It does not seem accidental the hastily defined two articles of impeachment mirror the arguments needed in two lower court cases brought by the House Judiciary Committee.
It is likely both articles of impeachment, “Abuse of Power” and “Obstruction“, are designed to support pending HJC court cases seeking: (1) former White House Counsel Don McGahn testimony; and (2) grand jury evidence from the Mueller investigation.
Because the full House did not originally vote to authorize articles of impeachment the House Judiciary Committee never gained ‘judicial enforcement authority‘. The absence of judicial enforcement authority was evident in the lack of enforcement authority in House subpoenas.
The House could not hold anyone in contempt of congress for not appearing because they did not carry recognized judicial enforcement authority. Additionally downstream consequences from that original flaw have surfaced in cases working through courts.
There is an argument to be made the rushed House articles are a means to an end. That is – a way for House lawyers to argue in court all of the constitutionally contended material is required as evidence for pending judicial proceedings, a trial in the Senate.
This would explain why all the prior evidence debated for inclusion and legal additions to “articles of impeachment” were dropped. Instead the House focused only on quickly framing two articles that can facilitate pending court cases.
If accurate, that perspective means the grand jury material is the unspoken goal and impeachment is simply the enhanced means to obtain it.
The 6(e) material relates to evidence gathered by the Mueller team for grand jury proceedings in their two-year effort to construct a case against President Trump.
Remember, the Mueller evidence was gathered during a counterintelligence investigation, which means all things Trump -including his family and business interests- were subject to unbridled surveillance for two years; and a host of intelligence gathering going back in time indefinitely. A goldmine of political opposition research.
Obviously if Jerry Nadler could get his hands on this material it would quickly find its way into the DNC, and ultimately to the 2020 democrat candidate for president. This material would also be fuel for a year of leaks to DC media who could exploit rumor, supposition, and drops of information that Andrew Weissmann and team left to be discovered.
We know from the alignment of interests it is likely Jerry Nadler and his legal Lawfare contractors are well aware of exactly what Weissmann and Co. created for them to discover. The problem for the House team(s) is they need legal authority to obtain it and then utilize it to frame and attack President Trump.
With the impeachment articles now approved – the DC Appeals Court is asking Nadler’s team if the purpose of their lawsuit is now moot. Essentially the court believes the prior lawsuit was based on gathering evidence for the impeachment articles:
If my suspicions are correct [SEE HERE] then Jerry Nadler will respond to the court by saying the HJC needs the 6(e) material to support the obstruction article in a Senate Trial. Per the court deadline, we will know by Monday December 23rd. The obstruction article will then become disposable; it will have fulfilled its purpose.
The original lower court ruling approved the HJC request but limited the scope of the material to only that which Mueller included in his final report. So it’s not accidental that Nadler’s crew shaped an “obstruction” article considering two-thirds of Mueller’s report was structured around… wait for it…. yep, obstruction.
Conveniently a pending Senate Trial against President Trump for obstruction paves the way for the DC appeals court to rule in favor of the HJC need for supportive evidence.
While twisted, this approach screams Lawfare…. that is, to make an indictment and then go fishing for the evidence to support that indictment. Evidence that, not accidentally, carries more political usefulness than the indictment it is intended to support.
Also, it is worth remembering HJC Chairman Jerry Nadler hired Mary McCord as part of his contracted team effort. McCord was the DOJ-NatSec Division head who accompanied Sally Yates to the White House to confront Don McGhan about Lt. Gen. Flynn.
“I think people do see that this is a critical time in our history,” said Mary McCord, a former DOJ official who helped oversee the FBI’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and now is listed as a top outside counsel for the House in key legal fights tied to impeachment. “We see the breakdown of the whole rule of law. We see the breakdown in adherence to the Constitution and also constitutional values.”
“That’s why you’re seeing lawyers come out and being very willing to put in extraordinary amounts of time and effort to litigate these cases,” she added. (link)
My suspicion is the articles of impeachment are a means to an end, and not the end itself.
Defeating and destroying President Trump is the goal, by any means necessary.
This severe type of goal is not guaranteed by relying on a republican Senate to remove him. More extreme Lawfare measures are needed…