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CNN Legal Analyst: We’re Not Seeing a ‘Real Effort’ to Remove President Trump from Office


House Democrats announced publicly on Tuesday that they are going with two articles of impeachment: abuse of power (for withholding vital, congressionally appropriated military aid and soliciting foreign interference in the 2020 election) and obstruction of Congress. But Democrats aren’t engaging in a “real effort” to remove President Donald Trump from office, attorney, CNN legal analyst and impeachment expert Ross Garber said on the cable news network this morning.

Garber, who has long been critical and skeptical of the process Democrats have chosen (and who knows a thing or two about Real Impeachment), said that Rudy Giuliani’s conduct, especially lately, has clearly not been okay and that there is much to be investigated, and yet we are on a “fast train to acquittal in the Senate.”

CNN anchor Jim Sciutto began by asking if Americans at home should believe Trump and Giuliani’s conduct regarding Ukraine is “legal,” “constitutional,” and “acceptable,” given “all we learned from 2016.” Is it legal and constitutional, Sciutto asked, to “go out to a foreign government, even knowing that your sources of information there may very well be influenced by a hostile foreign government in Russia.”

“Putting aside the legal nuances, the constitutional nuances, Rudy Giuliani is the president’s personal lawyer and it is not okay the way he has comported himself in this. He has not made clear his role to Ukrainian officials, to American officials, and he’s overstepped his bounds, including through tweets in the past week, so that conduct is not okay,” Garber said.

This was one of the problematic Giuliani tweets Garber was referring to:

Garber said that Democrats missed an opportunity to conduct a “real investigation” and instead pursued a “rushed impeachment process” that has an all-but-guaranteed ending: acquittal.

“And it’s part of why I’ve been critical of what the Democrats have tried to do here. This is, I think, we’re seeing, not a real effort to remove the president,” he continued. “The Democrats, you know, are moving these articles through. They know it has little or no shot of going anywhere in the Senate. And, you know, as you probably remember, you know, for weeks or months, I’ve been saying, look, take a look at the actual issues here. Do a real investigation. And this notion by Schiff that he didn’t have time to go to court, you know, I think, is just nonsense.”

“One of the reasons why the McGahn case has taken eight months to play out is that the House didn’t go to court right away. They issued the subpoena, they waited a long time to try to enforce it,” Garber said. “They waited a long time to try to go to court. And so instead, we do have this rushed impeachment process, which is looking like a, you know, fast train to acquittal in the Senate.

He also explained his position on this in a tweet.

“At the risk of being like the guy who says professional wrestling is fake, I’m going to note that House Ds know the Senate won’t convict on either of these charges,” Garber said. “This impeachment is more about House Ds making a statement on Trump’s conduct than a genuine effort to remove him.”

[Image via Drew Angerer/Getty Images]

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Matt Naham is the Senior A.M. Editor of Law&Crime.