We Now Have Our Impeachment Inquiry

Tom Williams/Congressional Quarterly via ZUMA

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.

Well, Nancy Pelosi has given us our formal impeachment inquiry. And the Senate has voted unanimously to ask the Director of National Intelligence to hand over the whistleblower complaint. The official response from Donald Trump is “PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT!” The official response from the Trumpbot crowd is that Hunter Biden is the real scandal. The official response from the more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger crowd is that we’d all be taking this a lot more seriously if Democrats hadn’t been so mean to Trump all along.

On a side note, this should make it easier for Congress to subpoena Trump’s tax returns, shouldn’t it? The Treasury Department has been arguing that Congress doesn’t really have any legislative purpose behind the request, but an impeachment inquiry is unquestionably a legislative purpose. It’s hard to see how they can hold out much longer, or how a court could rule in their favor.

I suppose one of the big questions going forward is how to frame the eventual impeachment charges. Should the House issue multiple articles of impeachment (Comey firing, Stormy Daniels, Ukraine, etc.) and hold extensive hearings on them? Or should they focus tightly on Ukraine and try to get through this fairly quickly? I’m tentatively in favor of the latter. Not only is time short, but Ukrainegate is a nice, bright line. Republicans have already made it clear that they’ll fight all the other stuff, and it’s not clear the public would have a problem with that. But Ukraine? This is so plainly corrupt and impeachable that it’s hard to see how anyone can defend it. The best you can do, I suppose, is to say it’s bad but doesn’t rise to the level of impeachable. And that’s pretty weak tea.

THE END...

of our fiscal year is Thursday, June 30, and we have a much larger fundraising gap than we can easily manage with only days left to go.

Right now is no time to come up short: If you value the hard-hitting, democracy-protecting, justice-advancing journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us keep charging as hard as we possibly can with a much-needed and much-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

THE END...

of our fiscal year is Thursday, June 30, and we have a much larger fundraising gap than we can easily manage with only days left to go.

Right now is no time to come up short: If you value the hard-hitting, democracy-protecting, justice-advancing journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us keep charging as hard as we possibly can with a much-needed and much-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate