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Justin Amash (Republican/Libertarian member of Congress from Michigan): “Our Constitution is brilliant and awesome; it deserves a government to match it.”

2019-05-20

(photo lifted from the Intelligencer, credited to Andrew Farrer on Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Mr. Amash is better known for his statement that He who must not be named is eligible for impeachment, partly because he is the first Republican in Congress to say this.  His political tendencies in every other respect are abominable to me, but in this one instance I agree with him.  The House should declare that they are entertaining impeachment and commence a specific impeachment enquiry.  There is no need to hurry in this enquiry; if it still has not voted out an impeachment resolution by the time the next election comes up, that is a better outcome than if the resolution has been passed by the House and shot down by the Senate.

The most important thing is to speed the consideration of the House’s subpoenas in court.  We need the Supreme Court to receive this case as soon as possible.  Everything rides on this one case being decided and every consideration should be given towards strengthening the argument that Democratic lawyers can use before the court.  For that reason, declaring the opening of impeachment hearings is a good idea.  The argument that the House needs to see the subpoenaed materials to consider whether it should vote out impeachment of the president is the strongest possible one.  It refutes the argument by Republicans that the subpoena serves no legitimate legislative purpose– that is, that the House is not considering any legislation related to its subpoenas.  Executive privilege claims are negated by the assertion that there is criminal activity being covered up.

The longer a specific impeachment enquiry goes on, the more Republicans will sign on to this mission.  As evidence is dragged out, piece by piece, its sheer weight will eventually tip them over to favor impeachment.  The latest disclosure is that Deutsche Bank considered reporting both the president’s son-in-law and the president to the Treasury Department for suspicious financial transactions in 2016 and 2017.  A number of transactions between those two and foreign parties were flagged for suspicion of money-laundering or other crimes.  Only the intervention of a high-level staffer prevented these transactions from being reported to Treasury as suspicious.

Now the White House and Congress are struggling over access to Deutsche Bank’s records on the crime family.  A clear declaration that an impeachment enquiry is underway may help speed along the court process of forcing revelations.  The ultimate crisis will come when the Supreme Court considers the case of whether the House has the right to access IRS records and bank records as well as the working papers behind the Mueller Report.

If the Supreme Court decides that the House cannot force institutions to reveal the financial records that will show His corruption, then democracy in the United States will be over.  There will be no way to recover adherence to the Constitution after that.

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