Philip Bobbit, a law professor at Columbia University who specializes in constitutional law, has told the Washington Post's Greg Sargent that House Democrats now have enough evidence to at least justify starting an impeachment inquiry.
In fact, writes Sargent, Bobbit thinks that Trump's conduct has been so disturbing that "the next phase of the House’s response must functionally embody an acknowledgment that Trump’s now-known conduct very well may constitute 'high crimes and misdemeanors,' ultimately rendering an impeachment inquiry obligatory."
Digging into the specifics of special counsel Robert Mueller's report, Bobbit says that it documents multiple instances of the president abusing power in ways that should at least be considered potentially impeachable offenses.
"Mueller depicts an executive branch that is using the levers of his constitutional power in a corrupt way," he argues. "It’s not that a president can’t determine whom to prosecute or investigate, or give advice to members of the executive to shape their testimony at legislative hearings. It’s that he can’t do so with the intent to frustrate the investigation of his own culpability. We certainly have ample evidence that suggests this what he was trying to do."
Bobbit also says that Trump's efforts to obstruct this investigation are particularly damaging from a national security perspective because they could have blocked the government from obtaining important information about Russia's efforts to influence the 2016 elections by illegally hacking into the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta's emails.
"The exposure of the country to very damaging political intelligence techniques, for the venal reason of not diminishing the status of your victory — would that be a high crime and misdemeanor? It certainly would," he says.