I’d offer the same advice to the House Judiciary Committee as it considers a resolution
to define the substance and scope of its impeachment inquiry. The Judiciary Committee reportedly will focus
on a wide range of topics, including four pillars: (1) involvement by Trump associates in Russian interference in the 2016 election, (2) Trump’s alleged role in illegal hush money payments to two women who claim they had affairs with him, (3) Trump’s alleged dangling of pardons to immigration officials who might break the law to get a border wall built and (4) Trump’s potential Emoluments Clause violations and use of the presidency for personal profit.
If you look at that list and wonder, “What’s the connective tissue?” the answer is simple: President Donald J. Trump. However, beyond the fact that all four areas touch on potential wrongdoing by Trump, they share little or nothing in common. There is no substantive through-line. The audience — Congress and the American public — will have its focus fragmented, and the committee will find itself trying to run in four (or more) directions at once.
Sure, Trump has opened many doors by his norm-defying — and potentially illegal — conduct. But, strategically, Democrats won’t get far if they try to tackle everything Trump may have done wrong all at once.
The Judiciary Committee should focus primarily on the issue of emoluments and Trump’s alleged use of the presidency for personal enrichment. First, the notion of elected…
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