Issue :   
June 2019 Edition of Power Politics is updated.    Wishing You All a Happy New Year.       June 2019 Edition of Power Politics is updated.
Issue:June' 2019

AMERICAN DIARY

Constitutional crisis or impeachment ?

M. R. Dua

Donald Trump Opinions in Washington, DC, differ enormously, inordinately. And, in fact, opinions among the nation’s twin-party politicians on the state of American democracy, differ fiercely whether the US is actually in constitutional crisis. While the Opposition, the Democratic Party’s big-wigs, say yes; the ruling, Republican Party stalwarts, loudly bark, no, there’s no ‘crisis’, none. US democracy is strongest, hale and hearty.
But where does the truth lie? And, what’s the ground reality?
The fact of the matter is it’s hard to p r o n o u n c e c a t e g o r i c a l l y , one way or the other.

Robert Mueller While on the one hand, Democrats talk of a ‘constitutional crisis’ due to the White House stonewalling, road-blocking and uncooperating further congressional follow-ups aftermath the 448-pagereport of its investigations (after redacting some portions) delivered by special counsel Robert Mueller’s submitted last April (after redacting certain portions.) The Democrats protested violently, leading to u n p r e c e d e n t e d e x a s p e r a t i o n , indignation.
President Trump ignored the initial umbrage, but seeing the unending virulent rancour becoming unending mighty tide, responded and tauntingly tweeted: "The constitutional crisis is the Democrats refusing to work. Let them start by fixing the mess that their immigration laws have caused..."

The shrill continues to be louder, and keeps gathering pitch by the day.

Jerry Nadler Nancy Pelosi M e a n w h i l e , Democratic Party leader Jerry Nadler, a New York politician and chairman of the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, has tersely affirmed, "We are now in a constitutional crisis." The House Speaker, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, resoundingly supported him: "The nation is in a constitutional crisis. With the executive branch of government broadly refusing to cooperate with l e g i s l a t i v e branch."

William P. Barr The feud between the only two main political parties, and the other two branches of the government, the White House and Congress ( n a t i o n ’ s l e g i s l a t u r e ) , came to a head as the Republican Party-picked Attorney-General William P. Barr refused to turn in the unredacted portions of the Mueller report, the underlying documents, and the grand jury materials to Congress. He also refused to appear before the D e m o c r a t i c - majority House (of Representatives) J u d i c i a r y Committee, and the c o m m i t t e e ’ s decision to hold him in contempt – failure to comply with Congressional subpoenas-- to answer questions arising out the Mueller Inquiry Report on the controversial issue of the suspected Russian collusion, cooperation and allegedly manipulative interference in the 2016 presidential election which resulted in candidate Donald Trump’s unexpected win, and set his path to the 2017-2020 presidency.

The Mueller Report had ‘found no direct Russian collusion or interference’ or any ‘criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia in election’, but stated that Trump ‘could not be directly indicted being a sitting president as the rules prohibited’ such a recommendation. Mueller’s report did not exonerate Trump, although it said it didn’t find any Trump ‘obstructed justice’; there was no ground to charge the Trump administration with obstruction. Hence no ‘constitutional crisis.’ And, therefore, the Republicans say, "If you believe what you’re saying, then get on with impeachment, which is the proper constitutional remedy for the offence you allege. Otherwise, do the country a favour and drop the pretence."

But, ironically, House (of Representatives) Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff opines rather sternly, ‘President Trump has to be defeated,’ in his bid for a second term beginning 2021: ‘I don’t think this country could survive another four-year term of a president like this, who gets up every day trying to find new and inventive ways to divide us’... underlining that ‘Trump blocked Congressional (oversight committee) resolution’ further adds weight to the Democrats ‘call for impeachment ... a president having obstructed Justice Department investigation, now obstructing Congress.’

At the same time, one of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s close Democratic comrades, a 2020-preidential hopeful, former Harvard law professor, Senator Elizabeth Warren, has publicly repeated, ‘impeach Trump for the election fraud, and acting contrary to his oath of office, ... deserves impeachment and removal.’ Besides, many other active and implicit Democratic Party supporters of the Pelosi-move -- ‘constitutional crisis’ – are slowly developing cold feet expressing their reluctance for initiating ‘impeachment procedure saying "... we’re already a divided country and impeachment process will divide us further," is a refrain mutely heard in the party ranks and files.

The White House has recently instituted an inquiry to find out as who it was among Mueller’s lawyers ordering probe into the alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential elections. This will further raise temperatures among the disputants. The fact is that Trump is unflinching and maintaining his stance and reiterating that the alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential poll was a hoax perpetrated by Democrats.

Meanwhile, several Trump-opposed influential media outlets also advise Democrat swollen heads to not to be ‘tempted to move toward impeachment’. Moreover, legally speaking, it’s not exactly a textbook ‘constitutional crisis’...that ‘we are not seeing the breakdown of responsibilities.... Yet another view is, "keeping a threat (of impeachment) alive, even if it’s not much of a threat, is still better than removing it as an option altogether, that could be a case following a partisan Congressional impeachment and acquittal." An illusion that may not materialise.

In fact, some moderate Democrats’ expostulation is, "It’s fair to say that we’re looking at a crisis of confidence, a potentially constitutional crisis;" some opponents say that it’s a manufactured constitutional crisis. This so-called constitutional crisis ‘is just for show.’

Partly, the Democrats ‘want the show because it just feels good to bash the administration. 'Partly, they’re trying ‘to appease some party wings calling for impeachment for sensible reasons...’ Incidentally, of nearly one score Democratic 2020 presidential nomination hopefuls, less than one-fourth have come out openly advocating impeachment.

Meanwhile, President Trump has also broached, satirically: ‘Democrats are triggering constitutional crisis... No... one ... cry... impeachment, impeachment ... Russia, Russia, Russia...not much for impeachment... not enough confidence... Democracy needs to be stabilized.’ Trump is firm and resolute in disallowing any leeway for the Democrats’ any demand on the Mueller report and any concessions to access any related documents. ‘We’re fighting all the subpoenas’, Trump has sternly averred.

The White House has recently instituted an inquiry to find out as who it was among Mueller’s lawyers ordering probe into the alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential elections. This will further raise temperatures among the disputants. The fact is that Trump is unflinching and maintaining his stance and reiterating that the alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential poll was a hoax perpetrated by Democrats.

Finally, it seems only the courts’ ruling can or will settle the issues. Whatever time it takes. So be it.