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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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There should be universal ‘dismay and disgust’ at Roger Stone’s actions: Judge Amy Berman Jackson

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Judge Amy Berman Jackson delivered quite the lecture to Trump ally Roger Stone during his sentencing hearing on Thursday.

Shortly before sentencing the longtime right-wing dirty trickster, Jackson delivered a blistering condemnation of Stone's efforts to lie to investigators and intimidate witnesses, all to cover up the truth about his efforts to make contact with WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential election.

"The defendant lied about a matter of great national and international significance," she said. "This is not campaign hijinks. This is not just Roger being Roger."

She also expressed astonishment that anyone would be calling for Stone to be pardoned despite being convicted on seven counts that included perjury, witness tampering, and obstruction of justice. She also said that Stone's assault on the truth was "a threat to our most fundamental institutions, to the very foundation of our democracy."

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Roger Stone sentenced to 40 months in prison

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Donald Trump's longtime aide Roger Stone was sentenced Thursday in a case that has caused a stir in Washington following meddling by the US president and his attorney general.

Stone received a sentence of 40 months in prison.

Stone, one of the Republican leader's allies and "oldest friends," was convicted in November of lying to Congress, tampering with a witness and obstructing the House investigation into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia to cheat in the 2016 election.

Just 10 days ago, four US prosecutors asked a judge to sentence the former political consultant to between seven and nine years in jail. Trump chimed in via his favorite method of communication -- Twitter -- to denounce what he called a "miscarriage of justice."

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Before being sentenced, the judge reads Roger Stone the riot act: He ‘injected himself’

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President Donald Trump and Attorney General Bill Barr may have wanted a soft sentence for Roger Stone, but before being sentenced Thursday, Judge Amy Berman Jackson ripped stone to shreds for "indicting himself."

Berman Jackson began by saying that Stone not only lied to Congress, he then threatened violence if others didn't back up his story.

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She then hammered Stone on the fact that he outright lied about his conversations with Wikileaks.

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