Follow me on this journey for just a few moments. I think I’ve discovered a possible path that could lead to an impeachment of Donald J. Trump.
Congressional Democrats who chair key House committees are set to vote on whether to hold U.S. Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress.
A contempt of Congress decision by the full House doesn’t have much legal impact, given that Congress lacks the authority — as I understand it — to send the cops out with handcuffs to arrest individuals found in contempt.
However, a contempt resolution does open the door for litigation by Congress, which then can sue for records it seeks from the AG, the former White House counsel and, yes, even the president.
So, a lawsuit goes to a judge, or a panel of judges.
Then you have the possibility of the federal court system standing behind Congress, therefore ordering the president, AG and anyone else to do what Congress is asking. Turn over the records, or else!
What happens then if Donald Trump orders Barr to ignore the courts? What happens if the president gets an order from the courts to hand over, say, financial records to Congress?
Right there, ladies and gents, is a violation of the law.
We then would have a president of the United States who has broken federal law. He would have sanctioned others to do the same.
It occurs to me: Wasn’t that the pretext that GOP members of Congress used to impeach President Clinton, because he lied under oath to a federal grand jury about his relationship with a much-younger White House intern? Didn’t they insist in 1998 that we cannot have a president who breaks the law, who perjures himself?
They couldn’t sanction what they called “lawlessness” then. What about now? Would be OK this time with congressional Republicans for POTUS to ignore a duly constituted court order?