One of the lesser-known names on the new list of lawyers President Donald Trump approved to defend him during the Senate impeachment trial delivered a damning remark last month – damning for President Trump, that is.
“Contempt of Congress is illegal,” said Robert Ray, who served as the final Whitewater independent counsel after Ken Starr.
The Washington Post’s Paul Waldman and Greg Sargent report Ray made the stunning remark – one of the Articles of Impeachment essentially is contempt of Congress, or technically, obstruction of Congress – to The Daily Signal, a right wing website run by the conservative Heritage Foundation.
The Senate could force Hunter Biden and others to testify or face prosecution for contempt of Congress, said former independent counsel Robert Ray, who was involved in the investigation that led to Clinton’s impeachment.
“The Senate has the power to compel witnesses. So, subpoenas would be enforceable. Contempt of Congress is illegal. I don’t know that they have the votes, as a political question,” Ray told The Daily Signal.
That’s problematic for Trump, given his attorney has said the actions for which he is being charged are illegal.
Also problematic are these words: “No person is above the law, even the president of the United States.” Ray made that damning statement, as The New York Times reports, 20 years ago when Bill Clinton was the impeached president being tried by the Senate.
But if all that weren’t enough, proving just how bad a defense Ray has been spinning for Trump, his appearance on Fox News Business should have been an automatic “no” when Trump considered him.
On September 26, Ray told Maria Bartiromo there were not enough votes in the House, “yet,” to impeach Trump. Less than three months later Trump was impeached.
He also said, “impeachment to me is two things. You have to show both the high crime and misdemeanor, and you have to show an abuse of power.”
Trump was literally impeached for an abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Remember, Ray said “contempt of Congress is illegal,” and “you have to show an abuse of power.”
He seems to have been making the House’s arguments for them.
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Top MAGA Congressman Mocked for ‘Threatening to Retroactively Impeach Obama’
U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, possibly the most devoted congressman to President Donald Trump, concluded his questioning Wednesday afternoon with a hotheaded retort suggesting President Barack Obama – and not President Donald Trump – should be impeached.
“And you know what, if wiretapping a political opponent’s an impeachable offense, I look forward to the inspector general’s report ’cause maybe it’s a different president we should be impeaching,” Gaetz charged.
Matt Gaetz closes by threatening to … [quints at notes] …. impeach the ghost of President Obama pic.twitter.com/ppBjRCC9em
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 4, 2019
The Florida Congressman apparently has not been keeping up with the news, because the inspector general’s report will say that President Obama did not wiretap then-candidate Trump or Trump Tower.
Gaetz was widely mocked on social media, with one Twitter user asking, “Did Matt Gaetz actually threaten to retroactively impeach Obama?”
I’m sorry. I can’t even listen to anyone else right now. I’m in awe of the stupidity I just heard. Did Matt Gaetz actually threaten to retroactively impeach Obama? #MattGaetzIsATool #ImpeachmentHearing pic.twitter.com/HoEwR6jWgF
— Lindsey (@LindseyShawley) December 4, 2019
“They really think that Obama is still president don’t they?” mocked another user:
Did Rep. Matt Gaetz just insinuate that the president that should actually be impeached is Barack Obama?
They really think that Obama is still president don’t they?
— Abraham Gutman 🔥 (@abgutman) December 4, 2019
Matt Gaetz just threatened to impeach Obama. So, this is going well.
— Miles Kahn (@mileskahn) December 4, 2019
Gaetz wants to impeach Obama, I guess, which is fine with me if it means Obama is still President.
— Tom Hilton (@TVHilton) December 4, 2019
— Bryan Griffiths (@iambgriffs) December 4, 2019
Hey Matt Gaetz, are you also as outraged for the children kept in cages? What about when Republican staffers criticized Sasha and Malia Obama as being “classless”? I’m just trying to figure out where the line for outrage is here. #ImpeachmentInquiry
— Tiffany Valdes (@Tiffany_Valdes_) December 4, 2019
Yes, Matt Gaetz just now ended his question period, during which he yelled the entire time, by saying that we should be impeaching…..Obama. I am not making this up.
— I Am Not A Swan (@Oobleck999) December 4, 2019
Dumbass Matt Gaetz just said Congress should think about impeaching Barack Obama.
— Irishscribe (@satancstarfish) December 4, 2019
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