January 30, 2018

It's important to remember: most congressional Republicans stuck with Nixon during the Watergate investigation. But enough of them peeled off to move toward impeachment. And they did so because there were tapes.

We may move toward that outcome with Trump, particularly if Mueller winds up releasing details of Trump's tax returns, which I consider the smoking gun against Donald Trump.

The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on Monday hosted David Leonhardt, author of this op-ed in The New York Times on "An Article of Impeachment Against Donald Trump."

Leonhardt said we have a duty to keep up the pressure for this investigation, because we only need to peel off enough Republicans who think they can save their careers -- to take Trump down sooner rather than later:

DAVID LEONHARDT: I've been disappointed by how congressional Republicans have chosen the rule of Trump over the rule of law, but in some ways, if you look at the history of this country, the idea that they would defend a president of their own party is not shocking. I think you're making the point there, just because this hasn't happened so far, just because people haven't flipped on Trump so far, those of us that are deeply alarmed by what he's doing, the way he's flouting the law again and again should not give up. It's important to continue pointing out what's going on here because at some point some of his support could start to weaken.

Leonhardt's op-ed lists ten ways in which Donald Trump attempted to interfere with the Mueller Investigation. One of the most damning, in terms of understanding that Trump KNEW he was covering his own tracks, are the times he cleared the room to do so.

He has inserted himself into the details of a criminal investigation in ways that previous presidents rarely if ever did. (They left individual investigations to the attorney general.) And he has done so in ways that show he understands he’s doing something wrong. He has cleared the room before trying to influence the investigation. He directed his son to lie, and he himself has lied.

The same question faces us now: Can a president use the power of his office to hold himself above the law? Trump is unlikely to face impeachment anytime soon, or perhaps anytime at all. But it’s time for all of us — voters, members of Congress, Trump’s own staff — to be honest about what he’s done. He has obstructed justice.

He may not be finished doing so, either.

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