President Trump’s brain works — how can this be put delicately? — differently from the rest of us.
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The rest of the world watched Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s morning press conference today and came away with the key takeaway that he only failed to indict Trump on obstruction of justice charges because of the Department of Justice policy that prohibits the indictment of a sitting president, not for lack of evidence of any crimes.
In telling the world that he stood by the carefully chosen words in the report that he and his team drafted — a report that Attorney General William Barr has refused to provide in unredacted form to the members of Congress and the public at large — Mueller was throwing the gauntlet to Congress and practically begging them to begin impeachment hearings based on the ample evidence of criminal obstruction contained in the pages of the second volume of his report.
President Trump, on the other hand, had a quite different takeaway from the Special Counsel’s extraordinary press briefing and expressed it publicly via a tweet.
Nothing changes from the Mueller Report. There was insufficient evidence and therefore, in our Country, a person is innocent. The case is closed! Thank you.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 29, 2019
Conveniently ignoring Mueller’s clear indication of the constitutional remedy available when Justice Department regulations prevent the indictment of the president, Trump tries yet again to escape punishment for his thoroughly documented acts of obstruction.
Ripping apart the president’s tweet, Trump falsely pretends that the Mueller report declared that there was insufficient evidence for obstruction of justice, not just of conspiracy with the Russians to interfere in the elections — a judgment that in and of itself only applies to the level of evidence required for criminal charges, not for the “high crimes and misdemeanors” that are impeachable offenses.
The fact that Mueller reiterated his inability to clear the president of wrongdoing — “If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so,” is not a statement of innocence by any stretch of the imagination — means the case is far from closed.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) made that fact perfectly clear with a statement that he released shortly after Mueller’s press conference.
Given that Special Counsel Mueller was unable to pursue criminal charges against the President, it falls to Congress to respond to the crimes, lies and other wrongdoing of President Trump – and we will do so. No one, not even the President of the United States, is above the law. https://t.co/w61a8rRQeK
— (((Rep. Nadler))) (@RepJerryNadler) May 29, 2019
With even Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), the lone Republican calling for impeachment, urging Congress to do the job that the Special Counsel is so transparently asking them to do, the pressure on Democratic leadership to quit equivocating and begin the impeachment process to preserve the integrity of our constitution, despite the political consequences, will be stronger than ever.
If the House leadership starts to receive an overwhelming groundswell of support for impeachment from the public, perhaps their reticence can be overcome and we can move quickly to impeachment hearings that will bring even more evidence to bear under the weight of constitutionally undeniable subpoenas of the relevant witnesses to the president’s criminal acts which at this point far exceed those of even the disgraced President Nixon.
It’s time to act. Call your elected Congressional representatives today and demand the impeachment that President Trump deserves.
Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.