A Democratic congressman from Texas is calling for President Trump’s impeachment.
Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, said Monday that President Trump should be removed from office for firing FBI Director James Comey.
“President Trump is not above the law. He has committed an impeachable act and must be charged. To do otherwise would cause some Americans to lose respect for, and obedience to, our societal norms,” Rep. Green said in a statement.
Article II of the U.S. Constitution stipulates that the president of the United States can be removed from office via impeachment “for, and conviction of, treason bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” So what are the “high crimes” that President Trump has allegedly committed, according to Rep. Green?
“President Trump has committed an act for which he should be charged by the U.S. House of Representatives. The act is the obstruction of a lawful investigation of the President’s campaign ties to Russian influence in his 2016 Presidential Election.”
In short, Green asserts:
1. President Trump fired the FBI Director overseeing a “lawful investigation of the President’s campaign ties to Russian influence” in the 2016 election.
2. President Trump acknowledged he considered the investigation when he fired Comey.
3. President Trump “made the FBI Director the subject of a threatening tweet.”
“These acts, when combined, amount to intimidation and obstruction,” Green said.
This is ridiculous. Green is ridiculous. First, the president has the unlimited constitutional authority to fire anyone in the executive branch as he pleases, for whatever reason he deems fit. He cannot violate the law by firing Comey. No crime or misdemeanor there.
Is Trump obstructing an investigation? President Trump was not being investigated by the FBI. Comey told Trump himself. Now, there is an ongoing counterintelligence investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. As Comey said in March, the investigation “includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.”
But the keyword is this investigation is ongoing. The investigation was not impeded by Comey’s termination. Senator Marco Rubio established that fact when Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe gave sworn testimony before Congress last week.
“Has the dismissal of Mr. Comey in any way impeded, interrupted, stopped, or negatively impacted any of the work, any investigation or any ongoing projects at the Federal Bureau of Investigations?” Rubio asked.
“The work of the men and women of the FBI continues despite any changes in circumstance, any decisions — there has been no effort impede our investigation to date,” McCabe responded. “You cannot stop the men and women of the FBI from doing the right thing, protecting the American people, and upholding the Constitution.”
So President Trump’s actions did not hurt the investigation. The president was within his rights to fire Comey for whatever reason he wished (Comey was fired for being unapologetic about bungling the Clinton investigation and losing the confidence of the American people in the FBI). What about the so-called threatening tweet?
James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2017
The president refused to comment on what he meant by that tweet when asked by Fox News’ Judge Jeanine Pirro. There are three possibilities. Either Trump has access to recorded conversations between himself and Comey or Trump is raising the specter of more incidental data collection that occurred during the transition.
Or the president is simply joking.
In the first case, there is an argument that President Trump would be in his legal rights to record conversations. There is no evidence to suggest that Trump taped anything, as of yet. The second and third cases hardly amount to “intimidation” to silence Comey from speaking … from speaking about what? Details unearthed during the FBI investigation? The investigation is not complete yet, and the president has not obstructed the FBI’s work. Exactly what is President Trump supposed to be intimidating Comey to do? Green’s allegation makes no sense.
“Our mantra should be ‘I. T. N. – Impeach Trump Now,’” Green said. This congressman is blowing hot air by calling for Trump’s impeachment without grounds to do so, like Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif. before him.
More like “Imbeciles Talk Nonsense.”
Editor's note: This piece was updated to clarify Rep. Green's second and third points. A previous version of this article included Green's quote, in which he says "These acts, when combined, amount to intimidation and obstruction" as part of Rep. Green's second assertion,when it is actually a comment on all three assertions.
Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in politics and economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are conservative political philosophy, the American founding, and progressive rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.