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Trump’s impeachment can begin immediately by using this roadmap from Watergate

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Writing at Lawfare, legal affairs journalist Ben Wittes advised House lawmakers eager to start impeachment proceeding against Donald Trump to look at how Democrats handled a similar situation when President Richard Nixon (R) was being investigated for his connection to the Watergate break-in that eventually ended his political career.

As Wittes notes, there is nothing stopping current House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) from asking special counsel Robert Mueller for any evidence of crimes he already has against the president that would constitute an impeachable offense.

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According to the journalist, former House Judiciary committee head Peter Rodino (D-NJ) found himself in a similar situation in 1974 as the investigation of Nixon dragged on and, “Pressure for impeachment was building, but while lots of evidence against the president was public, key pieces of it were not.”

“The prosecutor’s job was to prosecute crimes, not to evaluate the president’s fitness for office,” Wittes writes. “That latter job lay with the chairman and his committee, who didn’t have access to the prosecutor’s evidence. So the House judiciary committee chairman wrote a letter requesting that the evidence be turned over.”

In a letter to John Sirica, the chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Rodino wrote, “The House and the Judiciary Committee are under a controlling constitutional obligation and commitment to act expeditiously in carrying out their solemn constitutional duty.”

He added that it was the “Committee’s view that in constitutional terms it would be unthinkable if this material were kept from the House of Representatives in the course of the discharge of its most awesome constitutional responsibility.”

According to Wittes, newly-empowered Nadler should follow Rodino’s example.

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“I have a suggestion for Jerry Nadler, the current occupant of Rodino’s old office: He should consider taking a page from his predecessor’s book and formally requesting a referral of possible impeachment material,” Wittes advised.

“Let’s acknowledge up front the differences between Rodino’s circumstances and Nadler’s. Rodino’s committee already had an open impeachment inquiry, authorized by a nearly unanimous 410-to-4 vote in the House of Representatives,” the journalist explained. “Nadler’s committee, by contrast, has no open impeachment inquiry; indeed, Democratic leaders insist that they have no plans to impeach President Trump and are waiting on the evidence from Mueller before making any decisions about how to proceed.”

“The similarities between the situations strike me as ultimately more substantial than the differences,” he continued. “If Nadler wants a referral from Mueller of information that, in the language of the old statute, may be grounds for impeachment, he should ask for it. He should write both Mueller and [potential Attorney General Bill Barr a letter explaining—as Rodino explained—that it would be unthinkable if material relevant to the House of Representatives in the discharge of its most awesome constitutional responsibility were not made available to the Judiciary Committee.”

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“And he should request, notwithstanding the lapse in the independent counsel law, that Mueller—at the appropriate time and if such material exists—refers to the House judiciary committee “any substantial and credible information which [he] receive[d] . . . that may constitute grounds for an impeachment,” he concluded.

You can read a more expansive dive into the history and the law here.

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GOP senator: I may not support more stimulus because of the ‘great’ 11 percent unemployment

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On Friday, NBC News reported that although President Donald Trump remains interested in a second round of stimulus payments, many Senate Republicans are not.

One of these skeptical Republicans is Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), who told reporters that he wanted to wait and see in light of the "great" new unemployment numbers.

"Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., said the 'direct stimulus checks are going to depend on how the economy is doing' and noted the 'great unemployment numbers' of June, when the rate fell to 11.1 percent," reported Sahil Kapur and Haley Talbot. "'So if it turns out the economy is recovering, that's a good thing and direct stimulus checks may not be necessary,' he added."

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The nation’s first reparations package to survivors of police torture included a memorial — survivors are sill waiting

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ProPublica Illinois is an independent, nonprofit newsroom that produces investigative journalism with moral force. Sign up for The ProPublica Illinois newsletter for weekly updates.

It took some time for Vincent Wade-Robinson to come around to the idea of having his name inscribed on a memorial. His experience had been painful. He didn’t want to dwell upon it.

“How can you describe torture?” he asked me. “Every day I look in the mirror I have that scar across my nose. That’s my reminder of what happened to me.”

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2020 Election

Republicans handed a road map for dumping ‘dangerous’ Trump before the GOP convention

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In an appeal to fellow Republicans who have not yet turned their backs on Donald Trump after a disastrous three and a half years, longtime conservative gadfly Bill Kristol made the case that it is still possible for the GOP to salvage the 2020 election by dumping the president from the top of the ticket before it is too late.

With multiple polls showing the president falling farther and farther behind presumptive 2020 presidential opponent Joe Biden, and the president under siege over reports he knew and remained silent about Russia placing a bounty on the lives of American military personnel in Afghanistan, Kristol, writing at the Bulwark, suggested two approaches that would take Trump out of the mix -- voluntarily or not.

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