Impeachment 2.0? Democrats line up possible new charges against Trump
Democrats already have lined up possible charges if they choose to pursue impeachment 2.0.
Still pending is a wide-open probe launched by Rep. Adam B. Schiff, California Democrat. Mr. Schiff has been investigating President Trump, his family and businesses, the Trump Organization, over the congressman’s suspicions of blackmail, money laundering, and bribery.
Republican staffers say the inquiry was put on hold last fall pending the Ukraine impeachment proceedings led by Mr. Schiff. But there is no sign Mr. Schiff has given up trying to prove Mr. Trump is corrupt, and if the president is impeached again, the charges would likely come from this probe, informed sources said.
Mr. Trump alluded to a new impeachment push Thursday.
“So we will probably have to do it again, because these people have gone stone-cold crazy, but I have beaten him all my life and I will beat him again if I have to,” Mr. Trump said at a post-Senate acquittal celebration at the White House. “But what they are doing is very unfair.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, said Thursday that Trump investigations will go on.
Meanwhile, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler of New York said after Wednesday’s Senate acquittal that it’s “likely” the Ukraine probe will go on. His committee also has been investigating any Trump-Russia election conspiracy.
Mr. Trump said of Mr. Nadler: “I always beat him, and I had to beat him another time and I will probably have to beat him again because if they find that I happen to walk across the street and maybe go against the light or something, let’s impeach him.”
“Of course, they’re going to try again,” said Pam Bondi, a former Florida attorney general and member of the president’s Senate trial defense team, on Fox News.
“The unwillingness of the Democrats to accept the results of their gross abuse of their constitutional power is a crime against the public trust,” John M. Dowd, Mr. Trump’s former defense counsel, told The Washington Times.
Mr. Schiff, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, announced an anti-Trump staff investigation on Feb. 6, 2019, upon taking control of the committee. Some of his allegations mirror claims pushed by opposition research firm Fusion GPS and its co-founder Glenn Simpson — organizers of the discredited Democratic Party-funded dossier spread all over Washington.
Mr. Schiff’s Trump plans came one month before former special counsel Robert Mueller released an extensive report whose bottom line was: no Trump-Russia election conspiracy.
Mr. Schiff’s allegations, which remain under investigation:
• Money laundering. Mr. Schiff said: “During the prior Congress, the Committee began to pursue credible reports of money laundering and financial compromise related to the business interests of President Trump, his family, and his associates. The President’s actions and posture towards Russia during the campaign, transition, and administration have only heightened fears of foreign financial or other leverage over President Trump and underscore the need to determine whether he or those in his Administration have acted in service of foreign interests since taking office.”
The Mueller report didn’t mention any financial ties between Mr. Trump and the Kremlin. Mr. Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, told the committee he knew of no Russia money flowing into the Trump Organization, the president’s real estate development firm.
• Russia conspiracy. Mr. Schiff said: “The extent of any links and/or coordination between the Russian government, or related foreign actors, and individuals associated with Donald Trump’s campaign, transition, administration, or business interests, in furtherance of the Russian government’s interests.”
• Blackmail. Mr. Schiff said: “Whether any foreign actor has sought to compromise or holds leverage, financial or otherwise, over Donald Trump, his family, his business, or his associates.
“Whether President Trump, his family, or his associates are or were at any time at heightened risk of, or vulnerable to, foreign exploitation, inducement, manipulation, pressure, or coercion, or have sought to influence U.S. government policy in service of foreign interests.”
In the year since Mr. Schiff released this road map, there have been no leaks to the media, perhaps an indication he had not found evidence before he shifted to impeachment.
Mr. Schiff’s spokesman didn’t respond to message seeking comment.
None of these allegations surfaced in the Mueller report nor during the Schiff-led impeachment drive.
‘Nothing stopping them’
GOP staffers say that Mr. Schiff has not given up on proving money laundering, which supposedly revolves around his bank, Deutsche Bank, and Russia, or perhaps around an aborted bid to build a hotel in Moscow in 2015-16.
“Schiff will try to redeem himself by continuing his investigations, accompanied by the usual slew of misleading leaks to masochistic reporters, into Trump’s connections to both Russia and Ukraine,” one Republican staffer told The Washington Times. “He’ll probably go back after Trump-Russia money laundering, which is one of Schiff’s favorite conspiracy theories. He doesn’t know if it’s Russians laundering money for Trump through the NRA, Trump properties, Deutsche Bank, or the Trump Tower Moscow project, but he’s convinced that somewhere, somehow, something happened.”
One of Fusion GPS’s allegations is that Russians provided illegal campaign donations to the National Rifle Association’s political action committee. The NRA denied this in letters to the Senate.
Meanwhile, Mr. Nadler put together a legal staff that has accused Mr. Trump of transgressions outside the Ukraine storyline. Lawyers Norman Eisen and Barry H. Berke have depicted Mr. Trump as a criminal and liar involved in a number of conspiracies. They wrote that Trump people could be implicated in Russian online trolling and for “aiding and abetting” computer hacking.
In announcing Mr. Eisen, a former Obama administration attorney, and Mr. Berke, a longtime Democratic donor, as consultants, Mr. Nadler released 81 letters to Trump associates demanding various documents.
Mr. Nadler also has been investigating whether Mr. Trump obstructed justice in the Mueller probe, but did not include that offense in his impeachment articles.
Mr. Nadler has not announced an end to these probes.
Mr. Mueller brought no conspiracy charges against any Trump ally.
“Just because President Trump has been acquitted by the Senate, paradoxically that doesn’t mean the congressional investigations will end,” J.D. Gordon, a Trump campaign national security adviser, told The Times. “The House committees will keep on pursuing obstruction allegations related to Trump-Russia, and keep digging for new details on Trump-Ukraine. That’s in addition to their wide-ranging probes on his taxes, bank loans and financial history. Plus anything else that might help build a case in the media for a historic second impeachment. There is literally nothing stopping them.”
Source: Rowan Scarborough, washingtontimes.com/news/2020/feb/6/second-impeachment-could-be-on-horizon-for-trump/