WASHINGTON, D.C., April 30, 2019 – In the latest edition of Yeomans Work, AFJ Senior Justice Fellow Bill Yeomans urges the House to move toward impeachment of President Trump. Yeomans worries that as more time elapses, Attorney General William Barr’s misrepresentation of the findings of the Mueller report will take root among the public, making action by the House all the more difficult. “While journalists and experts who have read the 448-page report have rejected Barr’s take and marveled at his audacity, the burden rests with Congress to set the record straight,” Yeomans writes. “Congress responded initially with a face-plant, otherwise known as recess. It returns this week to try again.”
So far, Yeomans writes, House leadership is taking the position that it can hold Trump accountable through a series of hearings. But the White House has made it clear it will resist every subpoena and attempt at oversight, in its strategy to run out the clock. The latest example is Barr’s announcement that he might refuse to testify to the House Judiciary Committee this week as scheduled. Says Yeomans: “Barr’s threat not to testify is a gift to House Democrats. They should denounce his unwillingness to cooperate, issue a subpoena for a much later date, and move on with their hearings into the meat of the findings in Mueller’s report, starting with Mueller himself.”
Meanwhile, Yeomans notes, “Trump’s posture of resistance adds further fuel for impeachment. He is denying the fundamental role of Congress in overseeing the executive branch. His unwillingness to authorize testimony or the production of documents manifests contempt for Congress similar to the contempt that formed one of the proposed articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon.”
As for the observation that the House might impeach Trump but the Senate will never convict him, Yeomans argues that’s no reason not to act. “True, the Senate is unlikely to vote for removal,” he writes, “but months of hearings in the House followed by a trial in the Senate will make every American aware of Trump’s betrayal and will force every Senator to defend their vote to keep Trump in office. That’s a pretty powerful lead into the 2020 election.”
Yeomans Work focuses on the challenges to the justice system in the era of Trump. Bill Yeomans is available for media interviews. His opinions are his own and do not necessarily represent the positions of Alliance for Justice.Contact Laurie Kinney, Communications Director, at [email protected] or 202-464-7367.