Conservative Never-Trumper warns Democrats to avoid Russia in new impeachment inquiries
Jennifer Rubin -- MSNBC screenshot

Conservative Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin warned Democrats Tuesday to avoid the trappings of the Russia investigation if they're investigating the president over his Ukraine scandal.

Monday evening, centrist freshmen Democrats with national security backgrounds announced that they were now supporting impeachment. Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) spoke out Tuesday about President Donald Trump pressuring Ukraine to find dirt on a political opponent. He called it an abuse of power, but at the same time, Trump is blocking an "urgent" whistleblower complaint from being turned over to intelligence committees in Congress.

Thanks to Trump and Rudy Giuliani's own admissions, the Democrats finally have the information necessary to file articles of impeachment. Sources close to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) have said that she intends to announce impeachment at 5 pm.

"However, the House must avoid at all costs the debacle that has occurred regarding other investigations," Rubin wrote in The Post. "Without the power to enforce subpoenas for administration figures to testify and to produce documents, the House Judiciary Committee hearings have bogged down into endless procedural delays, process fights and nonproductive inquiries. Court battles have dragged on. That is not the way for Congress to proceed."

The goal, she said, must be to pass the impeachment quickly and put pressure on Republicans. Officials are also just a little over one year from the 2020 election, where six Republicans could lose their seats if it becomes clear they are trying to manipulate the law, cover for Trump or lie to Americans.

"House leadership and Democratic presidential candidates need to begin a national campaign to pressure Senate Republicans to act in defense of the Constitution," Rubin said.

It isn't confirmed that the whistleblower complaint is about the Ukraine scandal, but Rubin said that Intelligence chair Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) will question acting director of national intelligence Joseph Maguire about the complaint this week. Maguire is required by law to hand over the complaint to Congress and Rubin told Schiff he should have subpoenas ready if Maguire refuses to do so.

"If Schiff does not receive such information within two weeks, the committee should assemble all information in the public record, including Trump’s and Giuliani’s latest admissions (e.g., Trump did ask to delay the delivery of aid), confirm the administration has refused as required by law to turn over needed information and refer the matter to the House Judiciary Committee to vote on two articles of impeachment," Rubin wrote. "Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), who spoke directly with the Ukrainians, can provide a sworn statement substantiating the Ukrainians’ concern that Trump was pressuring them to dig up dirt on former vice president Joe Biden and his son."

With the filing of impeachment, fruitless court battles are over, Rubin explained. The law opens up many doors for Democrats seeking information like this complaint and a score of additional information Trump has worked to hide from Americans.

"Let the administration prepare its defense for the Senate, and let the advocates of impeachment and removal run a vigorous campaign to enlist as many Senate Republicans as possible," Rubin wrote. "That’s it. That’s the process."

Read the full column at The Washington Post.