First, and from the most unlikely source, Republican Representative Justin Amash recently stood up and courageously spoke truth to power, explaining that unlike most of the members of Congress, he had actually read Mueller’s Report and that he was “appalled” at what he read concerning the high crimes and misdemeanors that our current president committed since taking office.
Senator Elizabeth Warren, another American hero courageously stepped forward on the Senate floor, following McConnell’s “Case closed” comment, to say that it was past time for impeachment hearings to begin. She proved herself to be an American patriot when she said, “There is no political expediency exception to our oath to defend the Constitution. The House should begin the impeachment process immediately.”
Then, today, Mueller himself came forward and spoke, making clear that his report was meant as a referral to Congress. He indicated today in the clearest terms yet, and in his only public statement, that he and the Justice Department did not have the constitutional right to indict a sitting president, but that this was Congress’ solemn constitutional duty. He said that only Congress could hold the president accountable for any crimes he may have committed, and that this power was given to Congress in its power and authority to impeach a criminal president. Essentially, Mueller was saying, “All the evidence of the president’s illegal behavior is in my report. Now it’s up to the Congress to begin Impeachment hearings.” As Mueller underscored, even if he subsequently testifies before Congress, he cannot and will not add or subtract from what he has already set forth in his report. Indeed, he made this absolutely clear when he said, “The Report is my testimony.”
In essence, these three American heroes stepped forward in defense of our Constitution, all three urging Congress to do its solemn duty and to begin the impeachment process. They all three made it very clear that only Congress can hold a sitting president accountable for criminal behavior. This isn’t Mueller’s job. Neither is it the job of the Justice Department. Nor is it the job of the voters. This is not a job that our cowardly Congress can shove off on anyone else. It’s their call and theirs alone. That’s how our Constitution was established by our Founding Fathers. It is up to Congress to act or not to act. There is no squishy in-between. Either Congressional Leaders will hold this criminal president accountable for his unlawful behavior or they won’t. They will begin an official impeachment inquiry or they won’t. But they should be mindful that if they choose not to act, particularly out of their own political expediency, then they are choosing to excuse #45’s conduct, and essentially making of our Democracy a Dictatorship.
As Mueller indicated and as Representative Amash made quite clear, each and every member of Congress MUST read the full Mueller Report, and then each should ask themselves a few simple questions, “If we don’t impeach this president for the crimes he has committed each and every day, fully out in the open, is there anything a future president could do for which we would actually impeach?” And also, “If not now, when? If not him, who?”
Indeed, if the current criminal in chief doesn’t warrant impeachment, then no one ever will. If Congress chooses not to act, we will fundamentally have a dictatorship and it will put every future presidential tyrant above the law. Either we have a Rule of Law that everyone must obey or we have no Rule of Law at all.
Three heroes have stepped forward. Now it is time for the rest of Congress to step up to the plate, each to be counted, and fulfill their oath of office, an oath in which they solemnly swore to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America against all enemies, both foreign and domestic. And each should remember, as they cast their vote for or against: They did not swear to protect and defend this president or any president for that matter, or to protect and defend their party—but to protect and defend the Constitution and the Rule of Law.