House Judiciary Committee takes a giant step toward impeachment

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler has previously indicated that impeachment proceedings were a reasonable probability. Just not quite yet.

“There are several things you have to look at,” Nadler said in December. “One, were there impeachable offenses committed, how many, et cetera? And, secondly, how important were they? Do they rise to the gravity where you should undertake an impeachment?”

Nadler took a big step toward impeachment on Tuesday by announcing that he has hired Norman L. Eisen and Barry H. Berke  as “consulting counsels”  — two men who already have answers to those questions.

Norman L. Eisen (Brookings Institution photo)

Eisen, as the chairman of the investigative watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), has been arguably the most prolific and high-profile chronicler of Trump’s many ethical violations. He has written dozens of op-eds for the New York Times, the Washington PostUSA Today, and other outlets.

In fact, he and Berke, a white-collar criminal defense lawyer – along with CREW executive director Noah Bookbinder – authored a voluminous compendium, now in its second edition, of the evidence that Trump obstructed justice, published by the Brookings Institution.

They lay out the legal arguments supporting Trump’s impeachment and indictment, and broadly hint at which they consider preferable by calling indictment the “option of last resort”. They write:

In many ways, the question has become less about whether there is a case that Donald J. Trump obstructed justice, and more about whether and in what form the rule of law will be followed.

Eisen, who served as Barack Obama’s testy ethics czar for two years, has most recently accused Trump of soliciting campaign contributions from Russia and witness tampering.

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