As the possibility of a resolution for impeachment proceedings looms large in Congress, Republican congressmen and senators potentially face making decisions on whether to vote against or in favor of the related bill. It is expected that they will use “political motivation” in blocking the impeachment move.
Yet Democratic House Representatives including House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler are saying that charges, on which the impeachment proceedings will be based, will focus not only the results of the Mueller investigations. Several other evidences of malfeasance committed by Donald Trump as POTUS, will be closely scrutinized and investigated.
Such actions are part of the House of Representatives’ mandate to hold accountable civil officers of the United States, primarily the incumbent President and Vice President.
Political Motivation is Not a Plausible Reason for Dismissing a Lawsuit
In fact an allegation of Trump’s abuse of power is documented via a lawsuit that was revived by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals last Friday, September 13, 2019. The New York-based appeals court overturned a previous ruling handed down by a district court judge, which dismissed a legal challenge over the profits gained by Trump from directly competing against D.C.-based luxury hotels, in providing hospitality services to guest foreign officials.
Second Circuit Appeals Judge Pierre Leval and Judge Christopher Droney.agreed that the emoluments case filed by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) was viable, based on the premise of the so-called competitor standing. The CREW filed the lawsuit in its behalf and on behalf of other players in the hospitality industry, who claim to have suffered losses as a result of the government’s diversion of business interests to greatly favor Trump’s hotel and other real properties.
In fact, the dismissal decision on a similar emoluments case handed down by Richmond-based 4th Circuit in Maryland was also overturned by the 2nd Circuit Appeals Court two months ago.
In both cases, the district court judges, who threw the cases out of court contended that the lawsuits filed were all politically motivated. However, Appeal Judges Leval and Droney said that even if political motivation exists in the context of a lawsuit, political motivation is irrelevant in determining whether there is cause to support or reject the determinative issues.
They ruled that the case by the CREW was a viable one on the grounds that it is based on the premise of the so-called “competitor standing.” Judge Leval wrote that the lawyers of the CREW had plausibly pleaded that Trump’s ownership of hotels and other hospitality businesses had competed with them, while having the advantage of the government’s power to induce. As the CREW contended, the inducement ensured that the foreigners’ patronization of Trump hotels and properties, will gain them the administration’s approval of business licenses to operate in the U.S.
The Propriety of Political Motivation as a Reason to Reject Resolutions for Impeachment Proceeding
Apparently, the same principle applies to the “political motivation” argument that Republican Congressmen and Senators will use in voting against formal impeachment proceedings. Political motivation does not take away the duty of Congress to carry out its investigation to determine whether allegations of high crimes and misdemeanors being raised against Donald Trump are valid.
Nonetheless, even if Republican senators succeed in blocking out impeachment actions against Trump, their political record will show that they were responsible in protecting a sitting president from facing Congressional investigations over allegations of abuse of authority, obstruction of justice, bribery, misuse of assets, tax evasion, intimidation, dereliction of duty, failure to supervise, conduct unbecoming a president and perjury of oath.
As Special Counsel Mueller pointed out during a Congressional hearing, even if Trump is not impeached for obstruction of justice acts cited in his report, Trump can still face court proceedings and be tried for misdemeanors committed during his term.