//  7/26/19  //  Commentary

Drawing on constitutional text and structure, as well as the modern history of impeachment practice, my latest op-ed in the Washington Post explains that that the House has, in fact, formally begun an impeachment investigation:

Has the House of Representatives opened an impeachment inquiry? That question is starkly presented by a petition that the House Judiciary Committee filed in federal court on Friday. It is also answered by that petition. No matter what certain House Democratic leaders might say about the politics of the matter, there can now be no doubt that the committee is engaged an investigation of whether to impeach President Trump.

Through its petition, the committee seeks access to portions of the report by former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III that were redacted to protect grand jury secrecy. The committee also seeks grand jury testimony bearing on Trump’s knowledge of criminal acts, Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and Russian connections to his campaign. Finally, the committee seeks grand jury testimony about actions taken by former White House counsel Donald McGahn; this last request probably anticipates the committee’s rumored plans to seek an order compelling McGahn to testify.

It is settled law that House committees can obtain grand jury materials as part of impeachment investigations. So the legal dispute will probably center on whether such an inquiry is underway.

The Constitution itself does not use phrases like “impeachment investigation” or “impeachment proceedings.” This has led some to mistakenly assume that the House is disregarding its impeachment power because it has not yet held a floor vote approving articles of impeachment (or expressly instructing the Judiciary Committee to deliberate on such articles).

But to those who specialize in these matters, that all-or-nothing vision of the impeachment power is mistaken. The Constitution’s text and structure — supported by judicial precedent and prior practice — show that impeachment is a process, not a single vote. And that process virtually always begins with an impeachment investigation in the judiciary committee, which is already occurring ...

Read the full analysis here.


Versus Trump: The Senate As Impeachment Court

1/2/20  //  In-Depth Analysis

On this week’s Versus Trump, Jason and Charlie dive deep into two impeachment-related questions. First, what is the formal role of the Senate in an impeachment trial, and what power does the Chief Justice have? (Hint: Senators have all the power; the Chief Justice has basically none.) Second, what did the House say in its impeachment report about why it chose not to go to court or otherwise force recalcitrant Administration officials to testify—and does it make sense? Listen now!

Charlie Gerstein

Civil Rights Corps

Impeachment Trials and the Senator’s Oath of Impartial Justice

12/19/19  //  Commentary

Senators who vote on removal following impeachment trials must take an oath akin to that of a juror. The oath requires them to be impartial and vote regardless of the president's party affiliation. Will Senators do that here?

Ira C. Lupu

George Washington University Law School

Robert W. Tuttle

George Washington University Law School

Versus Trump: We're Famous! And There Are Articles

12/12/19  //  Commentary

On this week’s Versus Trump, Jason, Charlie, and Easha respond to Rep. Matt Gaetz's shoutout to this podcast during the Judiciary Committee's impeachment hearings. They then discuss their reactions to the Democrats' strategy with their public hearings and articles of impeachment. Listen now!

Charlie Gerstein

Civil Rights Corps

Easha Anand

San Francisco