Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) isn’t taking politics into account as he examines the evidence laid out by special counsel Robert Mueller on President Donald Trump.
Raskin, who is a Constitutional scholar, explained that the crimes outlined in the report are an outright attack on American democracy. He believes this is the reason Democrats must do what it takes to protect the rule of law.
“We shouldn’t be afraid of any part of the Constitution,” Raskin told MSNBC Sunday. “But we understand that impeachment is an extreme remedy for extraordinary circumstances when there are high crimes and misdemeanors committed by the president. There’s no doubt that obstruction of justice is a high crime and misdemeanor. That’s what Bill Clinton was impeached for. When he told a lie about having sex by the Republican-led Congress back in 1998, it’s what Richard Nixon was charged with shortly before he resigned from office. So, obstruction is justice is in that territory.”
He went on to say that he doesn’t’ think the Congress will decide on the impeachment based on what the GOP standard was for Clinton’s.
“I think we understand that high crimes and misdemeanors in our constitutional system relate to offenses against democracy, the character of democracy,” he continued. “And so we just need to see more. I bet you less than 2 percent of the American people read the Mueller report and we need to hear from witnesses to tell the story, so America understands and we also need to recontextualize this.”
Republicans have alleged that Democrats must move on to pass laws instead of investigations. As a point of fact, Democrats have been able to do both since taking power in January. Several bills have made their way through Congress, but Senate Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to vote on them.
Many Democrats are fearful that the Democratic Party will fall in the 2020 elections if Democrats choose to go the impeachment route. Given the Republicans are in charge of the investigation in the Senate, Democratic leaders must be thinking that the political cost could be too high for a Senate that will ultimately dismiss any findings on obstruction of justice.
Watch the interview below:
John Dean says Gordon Sondland just had his ‘John Dean moment’ by flipping on Trump: ‘The truth has come out’
Former White House aide John Dean on Wednesday compared his testimony against President Richard Nixon to the testimony of European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland.
"This has been called by some commentators a John Dean moment," CNN host Jake Tapper noted during a break in the testimony. "And there is no person I can think of who is better qualified to weigh in on that than John Dean."
"Is he the John Dean of this impeachment inquiry?" Tapper wondered.
"His statement certainly caught the Republicans off guard," Dean replied. "They didn't pick away -- just a few little picky points."
‘The worst day with the most damning evidence’: CNN’s Tapper explains how Sondland was very bad for Trump
European Union ambassador Gordon Sondland's testimony before the House of Representatives' impeachment inquiry on Wednesday generated several startling revelations, including confirmation of an explicit quid-pro-quo deal involving investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden.
CNN's Jake Tapper described Sondland's testimony as " a monumental and historic moment on what may turn out to be the worst day with the most damning evidence for President Trump in the impeachment inquiry."
He then laid out all the ways that Sondland has been very bad news for the president.
"Sondland directly implicated the president in directing the operation to pressure Ukraine," Tapper explained. "Sondland is testifying that there very clearly was a quid pro quo -- this was for a White House visit for the Ukrainians in exchange for an announcement about an investigation into the company Burisma and the Bidens. Now, Sondland later said it became clear to him that the quid pro quo also, he presumed, was tied to the holdup of hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid that Ukraine desperately needed."
Here are the most important moments from Gordon Sondland’s bomshell impeachment inquiry testimony
EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland, a key actor in President Donald Trump's effort to pressure Ukraine for dirt on his political rivals, was in the hot seat Wednesday as Democrats built their case for impeaching the US leader.
Here are some of the key quotes from his opening statement.
- Following Trump's orders -
- "As a presidential appointee, I followed the directions of the president. We worked with (Trump's personal lawyer Rudy) Giuliani because the president directed us to do so.
"We had no desire to set any conditions on the Ukranians. Indeed, my own personal view -- which I shared repeatedly with others -- was that the White House meeting and security assistance should have proceeded without pre-conditions of any kind."