Ben Clements and Ron Fein for the Boston Globe: The Mueller report is a roadmap for impeachment

In an oped for the Boston Globe, Free Speech For People Board Chair, Ben Clements, and Legal Director, Ron Fein, explore how the recently released report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller is both an impeachment referral and roadmap for Congress to begin an impeachment investigation of the president. While we have identified eleven legal grounds for Congress to launch an impeachment inquiry of the president, the Mueller report highlights the president’s repeated attempts to obstruct justice and interfere with the investigation by the Special Counsel.

While finding insufficient evidence to criminally prosecute any Trump campaign officials for conspiring with the Russian government, the report concludes that the Russian government unlawfully interfered with the 2016 election in “sweeping and systemic fashion,” identifies numerous links between the Trump campaign and the Russians, and demonstrates beyond question that Trump and his campaign eagerly accepted and used to their advantage the unlawful Russian assistance. The report then describes in granular detail the numerous ways that Trump sought to obstruct the investigation over the first two years of his administration, including directing his subordinates to lie, conceal, and even fabricate evidence, and explains why each legal defense offered by Trump’s lawyers is groundless.

Given the obstruction of justice detailed in the Mueller report, Congress must take up the impeachment referral and act now to hold the president accountable to law.

Will Congress heed that call, or will it reward Trump’s obstruction by giving Barr the last word? Will patriotic duty and the growing calls from House members and their constituents compel House leaders to begin an impeachment investigation or will political caution and cowardice prevail? The rule of the law, our democracy, and the legitimacy of the presidency and Congress itself hang in the balance.

Click here to read the full oped in the Boston Globe.

Click here to join our campaign calling on Congress to begin an impeachment investigation.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons, public domain 


To Access the Full Mueller Report the House Must Open an Impeachment Inquiry

The battle to access the full Mueller report is raging in Congress. Last week, the House Judiciary Committee authorized a subpoena to require Attorney General William Barr to provide Mueller’s full, 400-page, unredacted report of his investigation. However, in a recent decision, McKeever v. Barr, the court “reaffirmed the principle of grand jury secrecy and concluded that a court has no ‘inherent power’ to release grand jury information.” This decision could give Barr a plausible basis to resist the subpoena and to continue his cover up of vital information due to Congress and the American people.

In a recent op-ed, Philip Allen Lacovara, former counsel to the Watergate special prosecutor and Larry Tribe, a law professor at Harvard Law School, argues that the strongest legal recourse available to the House is to open an impeachment inquiry.

Lacovara draws a parallel with Nixon’s impeachment, explaining:

During the Watergate investigation, the special prosecutor working with a grand jury developed a report detailing the evidence tending to show that President Richard M. Nixon had committed various federal crimes, including obstruction of justice, that might constitute grounds for impeachment.

 He explains that opening a formal impeachment inquiry against Nixon allowed the House Judiciary Committee to bypass the decision of “grand jury secrecy,” and allowed the Committee to access the report and underlying evidence against President Nixon.

Given this history and the challenges facing the House to fully access the Mueller report, the House Judiciary Committee should focus on its strongest argument and start an impeachment inquiry against President Trump now.

As Lacovara and Tribe explain:

Trump’s selection of his new attorney general may prove to be his best line of defense — unless Pelosi revisits her stance and directs the House Judiciary Committee to include impeachment within its investigatory ambit.

Read the op-ed in the Washington Post here and read more about the fight to access the Mueller Report in Politico here.


Ron Fein on Rising Up With Sonali: What Does the End of the Mueller Probe Mean?

Last week, Free Speech For People Legal Director, Ron Fein, sat down with Sonali Kolhatkar, on Rising Up With Sonali, to discuss the end of the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and its implications for Trump’s future.

In his summary, Attorney General William Barr quotes Mueller’s report directly: “while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”

Regardless of whether Trump committed any “crimes,” we still have plenty of evidence that President Trump has gravely and repeatedly violated the Constitution. The Mueller Report should be made public, but Trump’s actions have already spoken for him, and the answer is impeachment.

Watch Ron Fein’s discussion on Rising Up with Sonali below to learn more about these violations and why the end of Mueller’s report does not mean an end to impeachment.


Trump’s hush money payments to influence the election are grounds for impeachment

President Trump has been directly implicated—by his own personal lawyer—in a criminal conspiracy to illegally influence the election. This justifies an impeachment investigation.

Facts

On August 21, 2018, President Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to eight criminal charges. Two of those charges stem directly from criminal actions that he took at the direction of then-candidate Trump in connection with Trump presidential campaign. 

Continue reading…


Watch Now: John Bonifaz on Democracy Now!

Thursday, March 14, Free Speech For People Co-Founder and President, John Bonifaz, was on Democracy Now! to make the case for why Congress must immediately begin impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump.

Watch the interview below and read the transcript on Democracy Now!