House Democrats Are Contemplating Adding New Articles of Impeachment

Posted: Dec 23, 2019 9:26 PM
House Democrats Are Contemplating Adding New Articles of Impeachment

Source: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

The Democrats' partisan impeachment push is getting even more interesting. It was revealed on Monday that House Democrats are considering adding additional articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, Fox News reported. The revelation came about when a lawyer for the House Judiciary Committee Democrats filed a brief with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing that they must have former White House Counsel Don McGahn testify before the Committee as part of their impeachment proceedings.

Democrats originally wanted to hear from McGahn as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia and whether or not President Donald Trump colluded with the Kremlin. They wanted to know about the claim that Trump wanted to fire Mueller. When the White House invoked executive privilege, Democrats were quick to say this was an obstruction of justice. 

According to the Democrats, McGahn's testimony could be vital for the House and could play a part in whether or not they decide to recommend new articles of impeachment.

“If McGahn’s testimony produces new evidence supporting the conclusion that President Trump committed impeachable offenses that are not covered by the Articles approved by the House, the Committee will proceed accordingly---including, if necessary, by considering whether to recommend new articles of impeachment,” the brief stated, noting that they still have “ongoing impeachment investigations.”

The brief did not go into detail about what new articles the House would consider. Even if the House declines to add additional articles, McGahn's testimony could be used in a Senate trial. 

The Department of Justice argued that one of the Democrats' articles of impeachments are based on the very court case that the Court of Appeals was hearing, which is why they feel the case should be dismissed in its entirety. 

"[T]he article of impeachment addressing purported obstruction of Congress relies in part on the judicial proceedings in this very case," the DOJ wrote. "Indeed, if this Court now were to resolve the merits question in this case, it would appear to be weighing in on a contested issue in any impeachment trial," which is why the court "should decline the Committee's request that it enter the fray and instead should dismiss this fraught suit between the political branches for lack of jurisdiction."

According to the DOJ, there is no need for the Court to expedite a decision before the January 3rd oral arguments. The Committee previously said they wanted the decision expedited so the House could continue their impeachment investigations. Now that the House has voted and approved their two articles of impeachment, expediting them is unnecessary.

Both sides are also fighting over another case. House Judiciary Committee Democrats are seeking grand jury information related to the Mueller investigation. The Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure prohibit grand jury material from being released except for in special cases, which include judicial proceedings. 

Lawyers for the Department of Justice argued that the material is not relevant because the House's articles of impeachment are based on Ukraine, not the Russia probe.

“Neither article of impeachment adopted by the House, however, alleges high crimes or misdemeanors stemming from the events described in the Mueller Report. Accordingly, nothing appears to remain of the Committee’s alleged need for the grand-jury materials in the Mueller Report,” the DOJ wrote in their filing.