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Professor Bowman: How Does the Mueller Report Fit into the Impeachment Puzzle?

May 3rd, 2019

Prof. Frank Bowman

Professor Frank Bowman has been writing about the presidential impeachment process on his blog, “Impeachable Offenses,” in op-eds in the media, and in his new book forthcoming this summer, “High Crimes and Misdemeanors: A History of Impeachment for the Age of Trump” (Cambridge University Press). Various media outlets have reached out to him for his expertise on the process and the Mueller Report.

In a recent article by Reuters, “Explainer – What does it take to remove a U.S. president from office?” Professor Bowman explains how impeachment is a political process and that Congress can look beyond criminal laws in defining “high crimes and misdemeanors.” He adds that the House and Senate “can decide on whatever burden of proof they want. There is no agreement on what the burden should be” – as there would be in a criminal court case.

NBC News reached out to Professor Bowman for its piece “Mueller didn’t charge Trump – but his report is a brutal indictment.” In the article, he says that it’s the pattern of activity by the president and not any particular violation of criminal statute that could lead to impeachment. He also points out – in reference to President Trump’s subordinates’ refusal to follow his orders, “The fact that they refused doesn’t change the constitutional impeachment calculus at all. Still, the fact that he was so often restrained will make it easy for Republicans in Congress to wave off his otherwise impeachable behavior.”

On his blog and in an op-ed in Slate on April 19, “The Mueller Report Is an Irrefutable Case That Trump Is Unfit for Office,” Professor Bowman says that Congress and the country must address President Trump’s fitness for office and whether he poses a danger to the integrity of the American legal system.  The next day, Professor Bowman participated in an on-line debate on Slate, “So Is Impeachment Plausible, Necessary, or Stupid?” where he and others discussed the process and whether or not Congress should pursue impeachment. Professor Bowman suggests that rather than relying solely on the Mueller investigation, “the House should be vigorously pursuing the whole spectrum. If the result is a comprehensive case for impeachment, good. Go for it. If not, meaning that sound political judgment suggests that impeachment is foredoomed, then use the investigative results to expose Trump’s flaws in advance of 2020.”

Professor Bowman also was a panelist on CGTN America (a Chinese government-funded network) about the Mueller Report on April 18, “The Heat: Mueller report released Pt 2.”

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