Why the ACLU Has Called for an Investigation but Not Impeachment Now

The recent credible allegations that President Donald Trump sought to interfere with an ongoing investigation regarding Russia’s meddling in the U.S. election, and the Trump campaign’s potential collusion therein, have prompted some to call for the president’s impeachment. The ACLU has not advocated impeachment. Rather, we have demanded a full and public investigation of the allegations, including potential crimes by Trump campaign officials and advisers and potential obstruction of justice by President Trump himself.

Here’s why.

While the allegations of obstruction of justice and collusion with the Russians to affect the electoral process could, if proved true, constitute grounds for impeachment, we believe, guided by our commitments to the rule of law and the presumption of innocence, that the facts as we know them to this point warrant investigation, but not impeachment. The allegations are grave, to be sure. But allegations are not established facts.

Here's why we think an investigation is warranted.

The president allegedly asked FBI Director James Comey to drop his investigation into the Russian ties of Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser. He allegedly did so only after dismissing all other national security officials from the Oval Office. When Comey did not drop the investigation but instead sought more resources for it, Trump fired Comey. With the collusion of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Trump concocted a patently pretextual excuse for doing so — that Comey had mishandled the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server. Trump soon admitted that he fired Comey not for how he treated Clinton, but because of the investigation into collusion with Russia. And he then reportedly bragged to top Russian officials that he had fired Comey and that doing so had relieved “great pressure” from the Russia inquiry. Most recently, it has been alleged that President Trump asked intelligence officials to issue statements denying any connection between the Trump campaign and the Russians.

Our longstanding defense of the rights of persons accused of crimes leads us to resist a rush to judgment that does not take the time to look for and analyze critical facts.

These and related allegations strike at the heart of the democratic process and the rule of law, and therefore implicate core concerns of the ACLU — and the nation. The president has the power to fire the FBI director, of course, but he doesn’t have the authority to do so for impermissible reasons, such as to hinder an investigation that might prove embarrassing or worse for the president and his campaign. But these are still only allegations. We have not heard testimony under oath; we have not seen the contemporaneous memos that might corroborate or disprove the allegations. We must know more before we have a sound basis for judgment.

Our longstanding defense of the rights of persons accused of crimes leads us to resist a rush to judgment that does not take the time to look for and analyze critical facts. That’s why we’ve called for, not just the appointment of a special counsel, but also of a select congressional committee focused on these allegations. We are pleased that a special counsel has been appointed. But the special counsel will conduct his investigation in secret, as criminal investigations are generally conducted. A select committee, by contrast, could hold a public inquiry. The latter is critically important, given the gravity of the allegations and their relevance to the rule of law and democratic legitimacy.

 This issue is too important to leave to a confidential investigation. But it is also too important to call for impeachment before it is warranted by the facts.

 

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Impeachment bad

Good ACLU, you know if Trump is impeached we get a whole other set of worse people trashing the country. Pence, Sessions and Ryan would let loose a religious war on this nation. Sadly even the republicans are closing ranks behind Pence and will enable the civil war to begin.

Anonymous

Fuck that noise. You have no idea what he's doing w/ nuclear weapons.
And the person who said my dream was "just a dream" can get the hell bent or explain why it now looks like it really IS gonna take "2 years" to get his ass (AND THE REST) gone.
I'll be DEAD before 2 years pass. If he does anything to take away disability I'll literally DIE. So fuck that noise of worrying ONLY about gay people.

Liberals hate A...

just who does the Aclu think it is? who cares whether or not they think the President should be impeached? Do they think they are God Almighty? Nobody cares what they think. go ahead and impeach him and will have Pence as the president. The ACLU is full of fags and dykes

Anonymous

Pence is IN on it, he needs to go right along WITH Trump & both Mitch McConnell & Paul Ryan are co-signing his BS. They've needed to go for years now. from an OLD-school Republican (who distrusts Communist Russia)

Anonymous

I'll be dead before a year passes if he takes away "welfare," which doesn't exist anymore except in the form of "disability."
My doctor doesn't WANT me to work, he expressly forbade it and added a specific restriction.
I'm glad everyone thinks THEY'RE doctors when they've never been anything but fools & if they hadn't given idiots access to guns I never would have been shot by this particular imbecile.

Anonymous

Though I don't like the use of the F bomb I have to quote this person " So fuck that noise of worrying ONLY about gay people." Unquote. Though the language is a little rough I have to agree not about the gays but about only focusing on one group. There is so much focus on just alternative sex choices. That fact that it is being addressed and should continually be addressed by both sides to come to a peaceful and fair decisions . Everyone should be given health care period. Its not all about just people who practice alternative sex. This issue has been around for centuries. If they want to do that they should do it in private and not expect us all to watch and agree. God gives us all choices and in the end each one of us will be responsible for those choices one way or another. But we all should have protection under the law as the same protection and that includes unborn children. If a women is killed while she is pregnant it is called a double homiside correct? Yes. So why it is so hard to understand that child has to have the right to live? If it was not a child, then why call it a double homicide? The disabled and the seniors in the USA are getting shafted as are the Vets. No one is protecting us. Police discriminate all the time against those groups. But as I say, " every police officer is NOT discriminating". Their are good police, who need to stand up and be counted. We are fighting a wave of evil in this country. A force of selfishness and a evil force against those who have not and the have nots are being held down by antiquated Social Security rules that change and bend according to moods in employees with S.S. Let the noise of just fighting for gays and lesbians be settled down and lets fight in the courts and media for the rights of everyone. I think Trump is trying to let the states handle too much at once. But he is the trying. He has a plan we just can't see it completely and he needs us to help him not keep yelling. Government has been dealing with all of this for some time, it will take weaning off of government for us to win. The disabled have been trapped by social security and welfare for a long time. The rules are impossible for anyone to get off of S.S.D.I without S.S.D.I fining them. SSDI only allows a person to make a little over $1,000 a month to live on PERIOD and for some its much less depending on how much SSDI they have. Food stamps considers a single disabled person with $700. a month to income to be disqualified for help. Now how many of you can live on that? And if anyone on SSDI or Welfare gets help with housing they take away their benefits! So, USA wake up, stop crying about it all and look at the system in writing. Make it fair to " EVERYONE" to get healthcare, for everyone to be able to have the same limits and caps and for goodness sake, stop changing the rules and let people know the rules before they are accused of breaking ones they have no idea exist, get the same benefits and so on. I honestly have been disabled for years and I did everything in my power to work and get an education and when I did, I failed because the system knocked me down time and time again. Even when I. tried they pulled the rug out from underneath me when I became a senior. Why should they be taking away my benefits they did not pay me when I needed help paying my power bill so I could keep my husbands breathing machine on. How dare they take away my benefits 15 years later because I was Abel to get NON GOVERMENT help. I sold our home to a man who was kind enough to help me, brought my home and I made NO money off of it. My husband was ill and we had no income. I was penalized for paying less for rent, I was then penalized when I attempted to work because they said my chance to work was gone! So when I hit legal age to retire, they are trying to take away my money I was legally entitled and keep trying to make me homeless. Wake up America, top looking at the Mountain, look at what the trees are doing, look at the rules, the laws and demand transparency to all programs. Its not our president per say, its the guys in the offices making the rules and bending them to their liking. Demand the rules be written fairly so everyone can see them and know what to do. The way its going so many will die as a solution to our problems. But the problems will not go way, but we will see millions die from disease and from a poorly run county that will eventually end up worse that any county in the world. Like who is putting the crap in the air, the barium, you think those lines in the air are good? No its barium, its used in glass it coats the lungs and slowly kills people epically the older folks and those with weakened immune systems. Virus, chemicals in our foods. WAKE UP! Fight for justice in our food source, fight for our farmers who have been made to plan GMO seeds. Fight for the chem trails to stop. That is the plan of evil to shut down the USA, shut down communication between us all. As President. Trump said, " we are in a fight of Good and Evil" and he is right. If evil can keep us fighting and not thinking of ways to make it better for everyone, then we all loose PERIOD! One Nation under GOD folks or we all go down in a blaze. Peace

Anonymous

I love comments longer than the article itself! Not! Keep your God and religion, I'll be just fine. Thanks for your understanding.

Anonymous

we have jobs for people like you, they are called Wal-mart greeters. You can also stock shelves, deliver pizzas, cook burgers, clean houses, or even be an Uber driver. Oh wait you probably blame the immigrants for taking your jobs and SSI. Get real dude. Oh yeah, prison life is pretty easy for the old, 3 squares a day, tv, excerscise room and all the sleep you can get.

Anonymous

Comments seem vacuous, mostly ignorant haters. As an ACLU member, I know the only hope for our nation is defense of the Constitution, and those who oppose it are not patriots, certainly not "conservatives". There will be no "civil war" with this defense. Rule of law, not stupid racism.

Anonymous

Comments seem vacuous, mostly ignorant haters. As an ACLU member, I know the only hope for our nation is defense of the Constitution, and those who oppose it are not patriots, certainly not "conservatives". There will be no "civil war" with this defense. Rule of law, not stupid racism.

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