Yes, the House should impeach. But, it should not turn the case over to the US Senate for it will be doomed. At best, it will be given a fair trial and then hung, with certainty.
Here’ are my reasons for impeach, but hold the trial:
The impeachment issue is currently divided into the "abuse of power" and the "obstruction of Congress" cases.
At this time, the House lacks the evidence that Trump pressured Ukraine. I personally think he did and as proof, I point to the CNN interview that Trump allegedly forced down the Ukrainian president’s throat or else not receive the White House meeting or necessary military funds. However, much of the evidence requires inferences. On top of this, yesterday, Time Magazine published the interview of a top Ukranian official which does cast some doubt on the House’s case. It should not take the case to the public when it knows there is evidence that would require no inference at all, one way or another.
However, without doubt, Trump has engaged in obstruction of Congress just as I believe he previously engaged in obstruction of justice detailed in the Mueller report. He has denied the American people and Congress critical documents and witnesses essential to clearly provide closure to these controversies. He has shut down constitutionally-mandated duties of Congressional oversight. But, can Trump have obstructed Congress if he did not engage in the underlying act of abuse of power? Absolutely. Obstruction of Congress is an impeachable offense.
After impeaching for obstruction, Congress should continue its investigation and get to the bottom of the Ukraine quid-pro-quo issue. The House should wait for, however long it might take, whether a month or until Election Day or thereafter. To do real justice, to obtain the truth, it must obtain the critical information it needs to present a case that the Republican Senate will not summarily dismiss. The only way to do this is to get the requisite facts.
Unfortunately, Trump has deliberately denied Congress access to the necessary documents and witnesses for it to do its job. The writing was on the wall when after the release of the Mueller report, AG William Barr spun, Lindsey Graham said "case closed" and Trump’s counsel told the country that they would not allow Congressional discovery of executive branch witnesses or documents.
In effect, Trump said and his Republican enablers repeated, “you get nothing, sue me”. He continued this same strategy during the Ukraine impeachment inquiry.
While one could argue that the president is just testing the constitutional boundaries of where the Executive Branch lines exist vis a vis, Congress, his reasons are very suspect. If the president wanted the courts to decide, he would have filed actions for declaratory actions. Instead, it is simply saying “no, you can’t get it”, requiring Congress to affirmatively obtain resolution in the courts which by the time the final arbiter decides, the thinking goes, the case could become moot. Who knows? Maybe he would win the White House again and the Republicans capture both houses, therefore nullifying all impeachment activities.
The maneuvering is obvious. It's about delay. It's about winning the court procedures. It is not about revealing the evidence to Congress and to the public.
How can I make this claim? Look at the facts. He is essentially saying, “you are not entitled to this information, therefore, all you have is hearsay, you have no proof, you have no case—how dare you bring such a poor case, disrupt the government functionings". They are extending the executive and absolute privileges, not just to those close to the president but to anybody in the executive branch. No president has ever done made such broad and preposterous claims.
It is not truth they seek, but true political protections. If it were the latter, he and his advocates would say, “here is your first-hand information as we have total confidence that you will not find any wrongdoing”. It is the very fact they are taunting the House that its case is mere hearsay while halting the information flow that proves the issue is really about political advantages rather than obtaining the relevant facts to determine any wrongdoing.
Thus, the president might prevail right now because the House lacks the evidence but he will never be vindicated or exonerated because he is blocking us from the truth.
Just think about the significance of what Trump is telling this nation with his actions. He is claiming he cannot be investigated while president, even if he killed somebody on 5th Avenue. He is stating that since Congress cannot investigate, it cannot receive documents or testimony related to the Ukraine. At his whim, he can extend this shield to any future issue. By making these claims, he is neutering American voters' rights to assure members of the Executive Branch are not corrupt. The man, who claims to be so concerned about public corruption is claiming “I can do whatever I want, when I want and you must go to the world’s edge to stop me”.
The bottom line is this--nobody is above the law. Not the FBI and DOJ officials who are being outed today over the Carter Page FISA warrant. And surely not the president who can create an artificial boundary disable Congress from its duties.
As we debate the basic constitutional rights, Republicans must remember that one day they will not be in power. A Democrat President can be the next to abuse the process, prevent transparency and delay justice because according to the Trump Doctrine, he simply has the power to do so.
This party must stop doing Trump’s bidding. For the sake of the constitution they must stand up and say enough.
But will they?
Are you kidding?