Citing “Vindictive Abuse of Power”: Coalition of National and State Advocacy Groups Calls on House Judiciary Committee to Reconvene Impeachment Inquiry

A coalition of national and state advocacy groups representing millions of people issued a letter urging the U.S. House Judiciary Committee to reconvene its impeachment inquiry of President Trump to investigate additional abuses of power by the president and Attorney General William Barr. Led by Free Speech For People, the statement is co-signed by: By the People, Center for Popular Democracy, Common Defense, Equal Justice Society, Greenpeace USA, Mainers for Accountable Leadership, Progressive Democrats of America and Revolving Door Project.

Since the conclusion of the Senate’s impeachment trial on February 5, Trump has ousted Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman and EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland from their positions after they testified in the House’s impeachment hearings, and Barr’s Department of Justice stepped in to reduce the recommended sentence for Trump ally Roger Stone following a tweet from the president calling the prosecutors’ sentencing “horrible and very unfair.” The letter argues that such actions are befitting of an autocrat, and it urges the House Judiciary Committee to reopen an investigation on whether to recommend additional articles of impeachment.

“A classic move of a tyrant or autocrat is to abuse government power to attack his adversaries and critics,” the coalition said in the letter. “Since taking office, President Trump has repeatedly pressured the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and other law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute political adversaries.  Often, he accuses his political adversaries and critics of treason simply for (as an example) failing to applaud his State of the Union speech. In the past, many of his efforts failed because officials ignored or declined to carry out his instructions. But most of those officials have since left the government; those in power now, such as Attorney General Barr, are willing or eager to do his will.” 

The letter details abuses of power involve retaliating against witnesses in congressional proceedings, improperly influencing ongoing judicial proceedings, directing law enforcement to investigate and prosecute political adversaries and critics, and obstructing the administration of justice. The letter ends by urging the House Judiciary Committee to “reconvene the impeachment inquiry to investigate these actions by President Trump and Attorney General Barr, and determine whether to recommend articles of impeachment.”

The full letter, including an explanation of all the abuses of power, can be found here.

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