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BY BERNARD KENNY
Having accepted the premise that a sitting President cannot be indicted, Robert Mueller backed into a report that found insufficient evidence of collusion between the Trump government and the Russians regarding the 2016 election but set forth , without a finding, a mountain of evidence pertaining to the obstruction of justice in connection with the alleged collusion , the aforesaid election, and the investigation of both.
There is a certain amount of circular argument here which reasonable minds may find difficult to discern. But it all comes back to the-tail-wags-the-dog premise : A sitting President cannot be indicted.
So, now what? Mr. Mueller, an honorable man caught in a dilemma, tossed the Trump/ Russia treachery, of which there is no doubt, back into the hyper-polarized political arena where he found it, asking Congress to do what it does best ….politics.
The drawing up and consideration of Articles of Impeachment of a President is first and foremost a political question. But it is also a moral, yes, moral proposition that goes to the heart of the magisterium of our American government : All Men Are Created Equal as embodied in the Constitution, the rule of law , and the sovereignty of the people.
As to the political question, Speaker Pelosi must assess the impact of Impeachment proceedings on the 2020 Election. She will rely , in part, on polling science . She will also have input from a great array of opinion from impassioned political voices on both sides of the question. There will be no support from Republicans as they are locked into Trump in the Senate. Some will see this failure of bi -partisanship as determinative . Others will disagree and see the requirement for Republican cooperation as perplexing and self-defeating.
If the Speaker’s analysis shows Impeachment would be adverse to the Democratic election prospects in 2020 , she will not proceed. If it shows the needle has moved and has energized support for impeachment, she will be loathe to sit idle . On the other hand , if the analysis is inconclusive reflecting a hardened electorate , Speaker Pelosi will have to make one of the hardest decisions in American political history.
This leaves us to the moral proposition . If America remains what Lincoln called “The last best hope of
Earth ” , how does Congress not convene those measures necessary to validate our foundational principles which have been so besmirched?
The Mueller Report presents an unprecedented record of malfeasance by the President of the United States that will for time untold place our country in harm’s way. Mr Mueller allowed for no recourse but Articles of Impeachment of a sitting President who may have committed high crimes and misdemeanors.
Failure to act will leave future despots who become President rightly believing they are unaccountable and unfettered.
Bernard Kenny of Hoboken is the former 33rd District Senator and a Democrat.