Here are five things you need to know before you jump to conclusions.
The GOP’s ‘Trump Investigation’ Has a Serious Problem: A new report from the nonpartisan Government Accountability Institute found that the House Select Committee on Ethics is missing a key component of its investigation.
The IG report was conducted after the House voted to impeach President Trump last month, and the committee is set to meet for the first time on Friday.
The report found that only two members of the committee — Representative Bob Goodlatte of Virginia and Representative Darrell Issa of California — participated in the probe and they were not allowed to see or speak with anyone who had a direct interest in the investigation.
That’s because the committee was created in part to investigate President Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, not the allegations against him, the report said.
The committee was also created in a “power vacuum,” which led to the committee’s failure to follow a proper protocol for interviewing witnesses.
In other words, the committee never did a full and thorough investigation of the Trump presidency and its alleged ties with Russia, the IG report said, which means that the panel’s probe is “likely not credible.”
The report also said the committee failed to meet the standards set by the Office of Congressional Ethics for conducting its investigation and for conducting interviews with witnesses.
House Republicans Are Already Investigating President Trump and Russia: The House has already voted to subpoena witnesses and documents related to the Russia probe.
The House Judiciary Committee is also investigating President Trump, as are the House Oversight and Government Reform Committees.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) have already called for an independent investigation into Trump’s Russia ties, as have Republican senators.
It’s All About the Obstruction of Justice: The committee report said it’s possible the House and Senate could try to impece President Trump.
In that case, the investigation would be a criminal matter, not a congressional investigation.
But, the panel said, the House could also choose to make an independent determination.
The panel said that if it did decide to proceed with impeachment, the impeachment committee would have to prove a criminal conspiracy to obstruct justice.
The Senate Intelligence Committee has the power to hold the president in contempt of Congress: The Senate is the only branch of government that has the authority to remove a president from office.
But that power has been used only once, when President Richard Nixon resigned in 1974.
In 1974, the Senate Judiciary Committee held President Nixon in contempt, and he was removed from office by the House.
That means that only one branch of the government has the ability to remove an president from power.
If the House decides to proceed to impeaching President Trump for obstruction of justice, the Supreme Court would have no way to uphold that decision.
It Would Be Hard to Convince the Senate to Investigate Trump and His Russia-Russia Connection: The report said that there are “substantial legal barriers to a criminal prosecution of President Trump.”
The Justice Department would need to prove that President Trump had “knowledge, or should have known, that his actions were unlawful or in violation of law,” the report continued.
“A criminal prosecution would likely result in a politically charged process with a long list of potential witnesses, and it would be difficult for a president to argue that he is immune from any constitutional violation.”