Free Speech For People, a national non-partisan non-profit organization that launched an impeachment campaign on the day of President Trump’s inauguration, welcomes House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s announcement reinvigorating the House Judiciary Committee’s impeachment inquiry. However, her plan leaves several key points unstated:
- Timing. As we and our partners wrote to Chairman Nadler in July and reiterated earlier in September, the impeachment inquiry is dragging with no end date in sight, and there is a serious risk of “running out the clock” while President Trump continues to escalate his abuses of office. The Judiciary Committee must schedule a final vote on articles of impeachment no later than November 1, 2019, and the full House must vote no later than November 15.
- Scope. The inquiry must not be limited to the recent Ukraine revelations, or the earlier Mueller report, but must rather include a broad range of President Trump’s abuses of office. These include: abuse of power by directing law enforcement to investigate and prosecute political adversaries and critics, and to undermine the freedom of the press; corruption of the electoral process; abuse of office to promote and act upon racial hostility; and corruption and self-enrichment. (For more background on these categories, see our July 30 letter to Chairman Nadler.) Of note, the articles of impeachment against President Richard Nixon addressed a broad range of conduct, not just Watergate; for example, the second article of impeachment (which received more votes than the first) cited a wide range of abuses of power, including misusing federal agencies and violating the constitutional rights of individual citizens. The Judiciary Committee must not just limit its inquiry to the Ukraine or Russia-related charges.
We will be watching to see that the House leadership addresses these issues in the coming days.