Today, Common Cause called on the U.S. House of Representatives to immediately begin an impeachment investigation in response to White House non-cooperation and stonewalling of any attempts to investigate past and current potential criminal conduct or wrongdoing by President Trump or members of his administration. In new a detailed report that will be sent to every member of the House, the nonpartisan government watchdog makes the case, and stresses the need, for the impeachment inquiry.
In calling for the investigation, the report emphasizes the evidence laid out in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report, which Mueller also confirmed in today’s hearings, that details multiple instances of apparent obstruction of justice by the president, his dereliction of duty with regards to stopping ongoing Russian attacks on our elections and his refusal to admit such attacks even occurred during the 2016 election, as well as numerous felony campaign finance violations.
“The American people deserve the whole truth about Russian attacks on our elections, about apparent obstruction of justice and felony campaign finance violations by the President and his advisors,” said Common Cause president Karen Hobert Flynn. “But White House stonewalling of Congressional investigations makes it all too clear that the whole truth will never be revealed to the public until Congress launches an impeachment investigation. Faced with an Administration unwilling to recognize it as a co-equal branch of government, Congress must exercise the increased authority granted to impeachment proceedings in the United States Constitution. It is imperative that those proceedings include televised public hearings so that the American people can learn the truth about their President and his administration in the public square in the light of day. No American is above the law, least of all the President.”
Common Cause will be mobilizing its 1.2 million members to contact their representatives in the House over the August congressional recess to urge them to support an impeachment inquiry.
An overwhelming majority of constitutional law experts are in agreement that Congress’ power to conduct investigations and force compliance with subpoenas is at its peak when the subpoena is related to impeachment proceedings, because the Constitution explicitly vests the power to impeach with the House of Representatives. By contrast, Congress’ general oversight authority is only an implied power in the Constitution, so federal courts are not as likely to enforce congressional subpoenas as those vested with the force of an impeachment proceeding behind them.
Since the country’s founding, Congress has impeached two sitting presidents, with neither ultimately convicted by the Senate and removed from office. The letter and report emphasize that impeachment is not a measure that Common Cause takes lightly, and in nearly 50 years, this is the first time the organization has called for an impeachment investigation of a president. The correspondence stressed that the organization feels strongly, though, that the current president’s actions have reached a tipping point that must be addressed with the most significant investigatory tools that the Constitution prescribes.
To view the full report to Congress, click here.
To view the cover letter to Congress, click here.