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Conservative Lawyers: ‘Framers of the Constitution’ Would Say There’s Evidence of Impeachable Offenses


The reaction to Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s report continues. While Democrats have mainly been the only ones calling for President Donald Trump‘s impeachment, a group of conservative and libertarian lawyers co-founded by Trump nemesis George Conway released a statement on Tuesday saying that the framers of the U.S. Constitution would believe there was evidence of impeachable offenses.

The Checks and Balances group, as Law&Crime noted before, was started to “protect constitutional principles that are being undermined by the statements and actions of this president,” namely the rule of law. Jonathan H. Adler, Donald B. Ayer, John B. Bellinger, III, George T. Conway III, Carrie F. Cordero, Stuart M. Gerson, Peter D. Keisler, Marisa C. Maleck, Alan Charles Raul, Paul Rosenzweig, J.W. Verret all signed their names on a statement that said Mueller’s report was a “significant milestone in the civic life of the country.”

After addressing the national security and intelligence concerns raised by the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, attention turned to the obstruction portion of Mueller’s report.

They said that the “pattern of behavior” revealed therein is “starkly inconsistent with the President’s constitutional duty to ‘take care that the laws be faithfully executed.'”

Conway, the husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, basically made the same criticism earlier Tuesday. 

“Impeachment isn’t merely about whether a president committed crimes—though this one did—it covers dereliction of a president’s high duties,” he said. “A president who tries to sabotage an investigation into a foreign hostile power’s attack on our nation surely fits that bill.”

The lawyers agreed that it doesn’t matter if Trump wasn’t charged with a crime.

“The facts contained in the report reveal that the President engaged in persistent conduct intended to derail, undermine and obstruct ongoing federal investigations,” they said. “In light of the longstanding Department of Justice legal opinion that a sitting President cannot be indicted, we view it as irrelevant whether there is a prosecutorial recommendation that the crime of obstruction has been committed.”

They said it was made clear that Trump is “willing to abuse presidential authority to pressure or remove Senate-confirmed officials for purposes that undermine lawful functioning of government and to direct subordinates to falsify the record on matters he knew were or likely were under investigation.”

They further said that, in addition to what the report had to say, they remain otherwise concerned about an “existing body of information already in the public domain documenting the President’s violations of his oath, including but not limited to his denigration of the free press, verbal attacks on members of the judiciary, encouragement of law enforcement officers to violate the law, and incessant lying to the American people.”

In closing, they said that it is their sincere belief that the framers of the U.S. Constitution would agree that there is evidence of impeachable offenses.

“We believe the framers of the Constitution would have viewed the totality of this conduct as evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors,” the statement said. “Accordingly, Congress, which carries its own constitutional oversight responsibilities, should conduct further investigation.”

[Image via Mark Wilson/Getty Images]

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