Now that a formal impeachment inquiry has been announced by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), we’re finally going to get the full story on exactly what President Donald Trump did and said during that controversial phone call he had with the president of Ukraine a couple of months ago.
But the Ukrainian issue may well wind up being the least of Trump’s worries, because a formal impeachment inquiry gives the impeachment committee powers that committees don’t normally have. As Lawfare noted in May:
“The Supreme Court has contrasted the broad scope of the inquiry power of the House in impeachment proceedings with its more confined scope in legislative investigations. From the beginning of the Federal Government, presidents have stated that in an impeachment inquiry the Executive Branch could be required to produce papers that it might with‐hold in a legislative investigation.”
In other words, the impeachment inquiry basically has no limits. That means it can include things other than the Ukraine controversy, and that means we’re going to get all of the evidence regarding the following:
The president has resolutely refused to let anyone see his tax returns. That seems to suggest he has cheated on his taxes or they may well contain information about who he has borrowed money from (i.e. Russia and Saudi Arabia, criminal organizations) and who may have their hooks in him. The president’s taxes will immediately be handed to the impeachment committee by the courts.
Who does the Trump Organization do business with? Is the president’s corporation in bed with Russian oligarchs or other unsavory characters? Have they ever done business with people or groups who have ties to organized crime? That too will be determined by the committee.
All of the Mueller Report
Instead of what they have now, the impeachment committee will have access to grand jury information, all supporting documents, and any other information that relates to what Special Counsel Robert Mueller investigated and found, whether he obtained indictments or charges from it or not. That means Attorney General William Barr will no longer be able to withhold information that might incriminate Trump.
In addition to the details of the phone call Trump made to the president of Ukraine, which has touched off this entire controversy, the impeachment committee can also subpoena other conversations Trump had with Russian President Vladimir Putin or Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. These could be particularly embarrassing and incriminating.
While the GOP-controlled Senate will probably never vote to convict Trump, the information that comes out during the impeachment inquiry could seal his fate with voters when an election is just around the corner.
Though he may try to pretend he isn’t worried about what’s about to happen, rest assured that if Trump has broken any laws or committed high crimes and misdemeanors, it will all come out during the impeachment inquiry. And if only one percent of what Trump is suspected of having done proves to be true, Donald Trump is indeed toast.