Friday, November 3, 2017

Impeachable Offense, But ...

NPR's Nina Totenberg notes President Trumpo's "rage" has "provoked speculation that he might seek to abort the DOJ investigation by firing Mueller or pardoning Manafort and others as a way of choking off the probe."
Asked Monday if the president would rule out, once and for all, firing Mueller, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said during the daily press briefing that "there is no intention or plan to make any changes in regard to the special counsel."As for potential pardons that would stymie Mueller's investigation, during a photo op in the Oval Office, a reporter asked if the president would pardon Manafort. Trump was silent, said "Thank you," ignoring the question entirely and putting an end to the press questions.
Totenberg says President Trump "could pardon any of the individuals under scrutiny in the Mueller Russia probe" and "seriously impede Mueller's inquiry." But "there is nothing anyone could do to invalidate such pardons."

Cass Sunstein, however, argues that abuse of the pardon power might be an impeachable offense. Indeed, it was one of the complaints levied against Andrew Johnson back in the day. But Prof. Brian Kalt observes, "It's not a coincidence that no president has ever been impeached by a House [of Representatives] controlled by his [own] party." See story here.

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