WASHINGTON, D.C., April 19, 2019 – In the latest edition of Yeomans Work, AFJ Senior Justice Fellow Bill Yeomans writes that the Mueller report and Attorney General Barr’s attempts to undercut it leave Congress with only one course of action: it “must move rapidly toward impeachment” of President Trump.
Writes Yeomans: “Trump and his supporters are working hard to spin the conclusion of the Mueller investigation as a victory, despite all the criminal charges, pleas, and convictions, and despite the 400-page narrative that paints a devastating portrait of Trump and the band of incompetent dissemblers and grifters with whom he surrounded himself.”
Moreover, writes Yeomans, Trump himself will be more dangerous than ever in the wake of the report’s release — if Congress does nothing. He argues that Barr’s antics have made it clear that Trump now has an attorney general willing to protect and enable him. The Trump Administration has indicated it will resist subpoenas from Congress and other congressional efforts to exercise oversight. If conflicts over subpoenas lead to legal action, Trump is protected on that front as well, because he “has installed judges at a record pace, many of whom are unqualified and almost all of whom are ideological extremists who are likely to enable Trump’s resistance to oversight.” As a result, Trump is likely to feel now that he is impervious to legal risk or constraints and is free to do whatever he wants, including committing additional abuses of power. Congress should act now, Yeomans urges, before the situation worsens.
As for the political risks of impeachment, Yeomans is skeptical. “Now that the report is out,” he writes, “Democratic fears of impeachment appear overblown. They misread history. The failed Republican effort to remove Clinton was followed by the election of George W. Bush. The effort to remove Trump is thoroughly consistent with – and indeed may even facilitate — a Democratic victory in the 2020 presidential contest. Indeed, failure to move toward impeachment runs the risk of alienating Democrats’ base and making the party look weak and indecisive.”
Yeomans Work focuses on the challenges to the justice system in the era of Trump. Bill Yeomans is available for media interviews. Contact Laurie Kinney, Communications Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-464-7367.