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Every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
And as set forth in the report, after that investigation, if we had had confidence that president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so we did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime
Senator Lindsey Graham, a close ally of President Donald Trump, once said that a president's refusal to comply with congressional oversight was an impeachable offense.
In an unearthed video from December 1998 circulating on Twitter on Friday, the South Carolina legislator passionately states that Richard Nixon could have been impeached for failing to comply with subpoenas from Congress.
"The day Richard Nixon failed to answer that subpoena is the day he was subject to impeachment because he took the power from Congress over the impeachment process away from Congress, and he became the judge and jury," Graham said two decades ago.
President Trump said earlier this week that he would not comply with Congressional attempts to question administration officials.
"We’re fighting all the subpoenas," Trump told reporters on Wednesday.
His remarks came after the Treasury Department failed to meet the deadline from the Ways and Means Committee to turn over several years of Trump's personal and business tax documents.
Administration figures also said this week Trump would claim executive privilege to block ex-White House Counsel Don McGahn from testifying before Congress.
“You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic, if this body determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role,” Mr Graham said at the time.
He added: “Impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honour and integrity to the office.”
The U.S. Constitution provides impeachment as the method for removing the president, vice president, federal judges, and other federal officials from office.
The impeachment process is political in nature, not criminal. Congress has no power to impose criminal penalties on impeached officials. But criminal courts may try and punish officials if they have committed crimes.
The Constitution sets specific grounds for impeachment. They are “treason, bribery, and other high crimes and misdemeanors.” To be impeached and removed from office, the House and Senate must find that the official committed one of these acts.
What are “high crimes and misdemeanors”? On first hearing this phrase, many people probably think that it is just an 18th century way of saying “felonies and misdemeanors.” Felonies are major crimes and misdemeanors are lesser crimes. If this interpretation were correct, “high crimes and misdemeanors” would simply mean any crime. But this interpretation is mistaken.
The Constitution gives the House of Representatives the sole power to impeach an official, and it makes the Senate the sole court for impeachment trials. The power of impeachment is limited to removal from office but also provides for a removed officer to be disqualified from holding future office. Fines and potential jail time for crimes committed while in office are left to civil courts.
Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan broke with his fellow Republicans in a series of tweets that suggested President Donald Trump might deserve impeachment by the House.
One of Amash’s tweets caught our eye, because it addressed the constitutional definition of impeachable offenses.
In his tweet, Amash noted that the definition of "high crimes and misdemeanors" in the Constitution is relatively fluid, but that it has generally been seen as a breach of the public trust:
"In fact, ‘high Crimes and Misdemeanors’ is not defined in the Constitution and does not require corresponding statutory charges. The context implies conduct that violates the public trust—and that view is echoed by the Framers of the Constitution and early American scholars."
Adam Klasfeld: Developing Cohen Story - Twitter Thread
Good morning from New York.
A federal judge issues his ruling on Jeffrey Epstein’s bail application in court at 11:30 a.m. EDT.
Michael Cohen’s search warrant materials related to a closed campaign-finance probe to be unsealed at 11 a.m.
Covering both live for @CourthouseNews.
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Sunlight Coming to Michael Cohen Campaign Finance Info
MANHATTAN (CN) – When the first batch of Michael Cohen search-warrant materials became public, the files disclosed evidence that President Trump’s former fixer secretly worked for a foreign government.
The new materials released on Thursday proved no less significant, detailing the actions Cohen took after the release of the “Access Hollywood” video threatened to derail Trump’s campaign. The day after the release, according to the warrants, Cohen exchanged a “series of calls, text messages and emails” with Trump; his then-press secretary Hope Hicks; the National Enquirer’s David Pecker; and Stormy Daniels’ lawyer Keith Davidson.
MANHATTAN (CN) – The first time a tranche of search warrants against former Trump fixer Michael Cohen became public, U.S. prosecutors aggressively redacted those materials to protect what was then an ongoing campaign-finance probe.
Announcing that investigation’s end, a judge ordered prosecutors on Wednesday to quickly disclose new information about how Cohen paid two women to silence their stories about supposed affairs with President Donald Trump.
“The campaign finance violations discussed in the materials are a matter of national importance,” U.S. District Judge William H Pauley III wrote. “Now that the government’s investigation into those violations has concluded, it is time that every American has an opportunity to scrutinize the materials.”