Here’s why Democrats may rethink impeaching Trump
Judges have repeatedly ruled that Congress has a greater claim to sensitive documents when it can point to an ongoing legal matter, like impeachment.
Absent opening up impeachment proceedings, Syracuse University law professor David Driesen said he thinks the Trump administration has the upper hand in its court fights over the ignored subpoenas and requests. The current argument that the information is needed to help Congress craft legislation just won’t cut it, he said.
“I think the courts — especially conservative judges — are more likely to give weight to an impeachment inquiry than the claim that this is somehow relevant to legislation,” he said.
Democrats have started to flick at impeachment in their legal arguments.
House Judiciary Committee Democrats on Wednesday voted to hold Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt for refusing to hand over the unredacted Mueller report and the special counsel’s underlying evidence. The contempt citation says the full Mueller report is needed to determine whether the committee should be “taking any further steps” to check the executive branch.
“That includes whether to approve articles of impeachment with respect to the President or any other Administration official,” the resolution says.
But some lawyers with Hill experience are cautioning Democrats against embracing impeachment proceedings solely for the benefit of new arguments to make in their legal briefs.