Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, joined at left by, Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., Rep. Bradley Schneider, D-Ill., and Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., prepare to walk out of the hearing room briefly after waiting Republican members of the committee to arrive more than an hour after the scheduled start time for a markup session, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 26, 2018. The panel was meeting on their months-long standoff with the Justice Department on the request by the Republican-controlled committee for documents related to the origins of the FBI’s Russia investigation and the handling of its probe into Democrat Hillary Clinton’s emails. Democrats charge the subpoena undermines special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s Russia ties and whether there was obstruction of justice. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The beat goes on for Democrats in the House who hold the delusion that impeachment of President Trump is possible, or even proper.

Jerry Nadler, famous for wearing his pants up to his chin and making a clown of himself and his committee, pushed through a formal opening of an “impeachment investigation.”

The House Judiciary Committee approved Thursday a resolution that outlines the rules and scope for its impeachment inquiry into President Trump. The 24-17 vote was along party lines.

Why it matters: It’s the committee’s first vote on an action related to its ongoing impeachment probe and grants House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) wide-ranging powers moving forward.

What this actually is, as I’ve shared before, is Nadler wanting to have his cake and eat it to. And the dude loves cake.

As I shared back in July (see Jerry Nadler and Company Move Forward With Stealth Impeachment In Bizarre Gambit), what Nadler wants to do is hold the power that comes with formal articles of impeachment while not actually succeeding into getting those passed. He wants the special privileges when it comes to discovery and subpoenas without having to take the political risk that should accompany that.

To do that, he’s changed the rules, deeming his new game an “impeachment inquiry.”

Details: The resolution allows Nadler the ability to brand hearings as impeachment hearings and designate hearings related to the probe to either the full committee or a subcommittee. It also gives committee staff an additional hour to question witnesses and deems all information gathered in the probe private until Nadler says otherwise.

  • It stipulates that Trump’s legal counsel is able to review and respond in writing to impeachment-related evidence only on Nadler’s invitation.
  • The scope of the inquiry includes Trump’s potential violations of the emoluments clause, hush money payments used to cover up alleged affairs and his alleged attempts to obstruct justice in former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Nadler doesn’t even want to let Trump’s legal team respond to or see the any evidence without his invitation, which he’ll no doubt withhold when it’s politically expedient.

The “violations” are nonsense. Multiple courts have already ruled that Trump is not in violation of the emoluments clause. Past courts have also ruled that it is not a violation as long as a fair market value is being paid for the product (in this case, hotel rooms).

The hush money stuff never made any sense. It did not occur while Trump was President, therefore the House has no oversight role there. The payments, while not good, clearly didn’t constitute an isolated campaign expenditure either because 1) they didn’t use campaign funds and 2) Trump has been paying off people for decades. A former FEC commissioner has pointed this out and Democrats just can’t seem to get it. If you want a full explainer, see this link.

The obstruction of justice stuff is also going absolutely nowhere for reasons which have been articulated many times. Namely that even Mueller couldn’t make the case to actually recommend charges and that it is not obstruction of justice to get mad on Twitter (which formed a large basis of Mueller’s obstruction insinuations). No one can cite a single precedent to show that. It is also not obstruction to fire a subordinate you have constitutional authority to fire. Comey, McCabe, and Mueller all said the President took zero actions to hamper their investigation.

The idea that any of those three areas is going lead impeachment of Donald Trump is pure fantasy. The idea that the public will tolerate it is even less likely.

This is a complete waste of time, which has become the norm for the Democratic House.

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