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Trump’s Articles of Impeachment are Writing Themselves, with Echoes of Richard Nixon Growing Stronger

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President Donald Trump disembarks from Air Force One upon arrival at Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers, Florida, on Oct. 31, 2018.

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

On Thursday, at 10.11pm ET, BuzzFeed News dropped one of the biggest bombshells of the Trump presidency: “President Donald Trump directed his longtime attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, according to two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter.”

Let’s be clear: This is obstruction of justice, plain and simple. If this report from BuzzFeed News is correct, the president has committed a crime — obstruction of justice is prohibited by a number of federal criminal laws, including obstruction of judicial proceedings (18 U.S.C. 1503) and witness tampering (18 U.S.C. 1512) — and should therefore be impeached and indicted.

Trump’s lawyers have always claimed that the president “cannot obstruct justice because he is the chief law enforcement officer” under the constitution. Again, let’s be clear: This is ahistorical nonsense; it is Trumpian dishonesty and deflection of the most brazen sort.

The president “cannot obstruct justice”?

Tell that to Richard Nixon. The very first article of impeachment adopted by the House Judiciary Committee in July 1974 stated that Nixon had “prevented, obstructed, and impeded the administration of justice,” and in the wake of the Watergate break-in, had “engaged personally and through his close subordinates and agents, in a course of conduct or plan designed to delay, impede, and obstruct the investigation of such illegal entry; to cover up, conceal and protect those responsible; and to conceal the existence and scope of other unlawful covert activities.”

Tell that to Bill Clinton. In December 1998, the House of Representatives passed two articles of impeachment against him, one of which stated that Clinton had “prevented, obstructed and impeded the administration of justice, and has to that........

© The Intercept