Some House Democrats are expected to immediately begin proceedings to impeach President Donald J. Trump, regardless of the findings in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report.
Mueller’s report on the investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 U.S. election and contacts between Trump’s campaign and Moscow is expected to be completed early in this year.
Although some Democrats seem ready to pounce, Democratic Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D., is not one of them, he told Uken Report in a telephone interview from his Washington, D.C., office. It is clear Ruiz is not salivating to impeach President Trump. He is taking a wait-and-see approach and leaving the door open.
Ruiz, in a slow, professorial tone, said he takes Article I, Section 3 of the U.S, Constitution “very, very seriously.” Ruiz, who coasted to victory in the November mid-term elections that put Democrats in control of the U.S. House of Representatives, said he not only respects the Constitution but also appreciates the genius of the nation’s forefathers who wrote the Constitution. They, he said, perhaps predicted the possibility of circumstances that we’re in today.
“Impeaching a president is a very serious matter,” Ruiz said. “It’s not an easy one. It’s a very difficult one that nobody … nobody wins when you impeach a president, per se. It is like a divorce that perhaps may need to happen, but it doesn’t go without pain for a family, and in this case, it wouldn’t go without pain for our country and our nation.”
Continuing, Ruiz, first elected to Congress in 2012, said, “When we talk about impeachment, we need to respect the Constitution, take it serious, and put country over politics.”
Under the Constitution, the president, the vice president and other U.S. officials can be removed following impeachment and conviction for treason, bribery or other “high crimes and misdemeanors,” Ruiz said. The process begins in the House.
The Constitution doesn’t define whether a political, personality, or policy clash is grounds to impeach a President of the United States.
If there is any obstruction of justice during an investigation toward a president that involves bribery, treason, high crimes, or misdemeanors, then that would be grounds for impeachment, the Congressman said.
“If the President, for example, had an agreement with the Russian government that they would help him win his election in return for release of sanctions on their oil exports, that would constitute both bribery and treason,” Ruiz said. “The Russian government had not been an ally; they attacked our sovereignty through their influence on the campaign and violated cyber security.”
Those are the precise things that Mueller is investigating, Ruiz said.
“I think it’s very important that there’s a thorough investigation, and that (Mueller) has a comprehensive view, and whether or not there is reason to impeach,” Ruiz said.
Only two American presidents have been impeached: Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998. Neither was convicted by the Senate. President Richard Nixon, facing almost certain impeachment over the Watergate scandal, resigned in 1974.
The 116th Congress convenes on Thursday, Jan. 3.
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