Today, as the House Judiciary Committee prepares to vote on an impeachment inquiry, Common Cause continued its call for Members to support the 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. Common Cause mobilized its 1.2 million members over the congressional recess to gain additional Member support for the impeachment inquiry in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“The American people deserve to know the full truth about Russia’s attacks on our elections, and about the apparent obstruction of justice and felony campaign finance violations committed by President Trump and his advisors,” said Common Cause president Karen Hobert Flynn. “Citizens made it very clear over the congressional recess that they expect their Representatives to support an impeachment investigation to get to the truth behind White House stonewalling. Without the full weight and additional powers inherent in an impeachment investigation, it has become apparent that the truth will never be revealed to the American people. The House has been forced to exercise these Constitutional powers by a presidential administration that has refused to acknowledge Congress as a co-equal branch of our government. The impeachment investigation must include televised public hearings so that the American people can learn the truth about their President and his administration. Our Constitution guarantees that no American is above the law, including the President.”
Common Cause initially called for the investigation on July 24, sending a report to every member of the House, making the case, and stressing the need, for the impeachment inquiry. Simultaneously the organization launched a website ImpeachmentInquiry.org to track Representatives’ positions on the impeachment inquiry and to facilitate public outreach to House Members to urge them to support such an investigation. Since that initial call, tens of thousands of Common Cause members nationwide have called, emailed, or met with their U.S. Representatives urging them to support an impeachment inquiry. To date, the nonpartisan watchdog organization has verified that at least 136 U.S. House Members support the inquiry – including more than half of the Democratic majority in the chamber.
In its report calling for the investigation, Common Cause emphasizes the evidence laid out in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report to Congress detailing 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.
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. Common Cause has emphasized from the outset that impeachment is not a measure that the government watchdog takes lightly, and in nearly 50 years, this is the first time the organization has called for an impeachment investigation of a president. Common Cause has stressed to Congress 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 the ImpeachmentInquiry.org website, click here.
To view the cover letter to Congress, click here.
To view the full report to Congress, click here.