Trump mulls suit to stop inquiry
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Thursday said he might sue to halt House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry and lashed out at Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff as he struggled to fashion a message.
The president headed to the Oval Office after he returned to the White House for the first time since the inquiry began, and used Twitter to attack Schiff. So far, his strategy has mostly been to hammer Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the chairman with his usual volley of insults and allegations, while trying to discredit all involved.
Trump criticized the intelligence community whistleblower whose complaint pushed Pelosi to move ahead with impeachment for basing his alarms on “only ... second hand information.” He also questioned how Schiff can call that individual “credible” when the whistleblower possessed “zero info” and had a “known bias.”
But the latter statement raises questions because the president has said he does not know who the whistleblower is.
“It shouldn’t be allowed. There should be a way of stopping it. Maybe legally through the courts,” he told reporters at Joint Base Andrews as he returned to Washington from New York.
The president did not explain what legal rationale any sitting commander in chief would have to stop an impeachment inquiry. The monarchy-weary authors of the Constitution deemed a mechanism to remove a president over misconduct or an abuse of power so important they included it in the country’s founding document.
“The President, Vice President and all Civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors,” states Article II of the Constitution.
Senior Democrats, including Pelosi, in recent days have suggested the president at times has behaved like “a king.”
Trump’s comments came at Joint Base Andrews as he returned from morning fundraisers in New York that capped his three-day visit there for a United Nations General Assembly session.
After Marine One landed on the White House’s South Lawn, Trump greeted a group of supporters but only waved to a large throng of reporters who had ample questions about House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry and his July 25 call with Ukraine’s new president on which the probe is largely centered.