//  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: Can Trump Steal The Election?

10/6/20  //  Commentary

On this week’s Versus Trump, Jason and Charlie discuss whether Trump can really "steal" the election, as some have started to worry about. They discuss Jason's piece here on the topic. Plus, they say goodbye to Justice Ginsburg. Listen now!

Charlie Gerstein

Civil Rights Corps

Can We — And The Press — Maybe Take A Breath On The Whole Stolen Election Thing?

9/25/20  //  Commentary

It seems like a stolen election is all anyone can talk about these days. But it's very unlikely.

Versus Trump: Trump Versus Mail Voting

8/24/20  //  Commentary

On this week’s Versus Trump, Jason and Charlie discuss voting by mail in the pandemic. Have courts allowed the rules to be changed, either in responses to suits there should be more voting by mail—or less? Listen now!

Charlie Gerstein

Civil Rights Corps