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Trump accused: Key quotes from the Articles of Impeachment

 
Attorney Scott Pilutik wrestles with the news of the day, from a lawyerly perspective…

Quick notes and quotes from the impeachment articles

Article 1

— cites the “…discredited theory PROMOTED BY RUSSIA alleging that Ukraine than Russia interfered in the United States Presidential election.” [I’m glad they included this]

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— “With the same corrupt motives, President Trump acting both directly and through his agents within AND OUTSIDE the United States Government…” [reference to Giuliani]

— “These actions were consistent with President Trump’s previous invitations of foreign interference in United States elections.” [Nod to Mueller investigation]

— “…he will remain a threat to national security and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office, and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self governance and the rule of law.” [key basis for impeachment]

 
Article II

— Citing Congress’ “sole power of impeachment,” the article alleges that the President “assumed to himself functions and judgments necessary to the exercise of the sole Power of Impeachment…” [nicely written]

— Specifically, the article cites (1) the withholding documents subject to a subpoena; (2) directing executive branch agencies to withhold documents subject to a subpoena; (3) directing current and former executive branch officials to not cooperate or provide testimony, namely Mick Mulvaney, Robert Blair, John Eisenberg, Michael Ellis, Preston Griffith, Russel Vought, Michael Duffey, Brian McCormack, and T. Ulrich Brechbuhl. [Why not Pompeo? Pence? Rick Perry? Mark Esper?]

— “These actions were consistent with President Trump’s previous efforts to undermine United States Government investigations into foreign interference in United States elections.” [second nod to Mueller investigation]

— “President Trump sought to arrogate to himself the right to determine the propriety, scope, and nature of an impeachment inquiry into his own conduct, as well as the unilateral prerogative to deny any and all information to the House of Representatives in the exercise of its ‘sole Power of Impeachment,'” [Mirrors language of first article and is nicely written; power is zero sum in our tripartite system and so this is more than abuse of power, it’s Trump taking power for himself that isn’t his.]

— “In the history of the Republic, no President has ever ordered the complete defiance of an impeachment inquiry or sought to obstruct and impede so comprehensively the ability of the House of Representatives to investigate high Crimes and Misdemeanors”. [This is maybe the most important paragraph because it’s what sets Trump apart from all prior presidents, and which Republicans haven’t even tried to defend except make bad-faith, false assertions about “due process.” Even if the president had a legitimate due process concern, which he doesn’t, his refusal to cooperate in any manner is unprecedented and indefensible, and undermines the Constitutional order by showing contempt for the separation of powers. I would have preferred some mention of the president threatening those witnesses that did cooperate, which renders his conduct all the more constitutionally repugnant]

— “…he will remain a threat to the Constitution if allowed to remain in office, and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self governance and the rule of law.” [key basis for impeachment, and mirrors the basis in Article I]

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