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Nunes Threatens Impeachment, Gets Documents From DOJ On Russia Investigation

by Countable | 4.12.18

What’s the story?

The Justice Department finally provided confidential documents pertaining to the origins of the Russia investigation to House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) that were subpoenaed in August 2017, reports the New York Times. Nunes had threatened to impeach top FBI and Justice Department officials, including FBI Director Christopher Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Can he do that?

The U.S. Constitution empowers Congress to impeach any civil officer, not just the president. They have impeached two presidents, one senator, one cabinet official, and fifteen federal judges. Only eight, all federal judges, have actually been removed from office. Here’s the process:

  1. Any member of the House of Representatives can introduce an impeachment resolution. Resolutions focused on individuals are referred to the House Judiciary Committee. Resolutions calling for an investigation of the needs for impeachment are referred to the House Rules Committee and to the House Judiciary Committee.
  2. The House Judiciary Committee conducts an investigation and then votes on whether grounds exist for impeachment. If they vote yes, a resolution calling for impeachment and detailing the allegations are presented to the whole House.
  3. The House can then vote on the resolution in whole or in part. Impeachment requires a simple majority vote.
  4. The Senate is empowered by the Constitution to sit as jury considering all charges of impeachment. Voting to convict on articles of impeachment require a two-thirds majority.
  5. If a two-thirds majority of the Senate votes to convict on one or more charges of impeachment, then the Senate may vote on whether the impeached official shall be disqualified from holding an office of public trust under the United States in the future. That vote only requires a simple majority.

The introduction of impeachment resolutions regarding Wray, Rosenstein, or any other officials over Nunes’ August subpoena appears to be off the table. Whether any impeachment resolutions focused on any other appointed or elected federal officials will be introduced by this Congress is always possible.

What do you think?

Would an impeachment resolution have been justified in this case if the Justice Department had not produced the documents requested? Did you know that impeachment is possible of federal officials other than the president? If there are issues with a federal official, is impeachment the best course of action?

Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: Josh Caplan via Twitter)

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