A pro-Russian Republican conspiracy and cover-up?

Musings on the Impeachment Process and Apparent Republican conspiracy to block impeachment and removal of Trump

We need to step back from the “breaking news”and headlines of the day to consider, in broad terms, what is going on in the battle to impeach President Donald J. Trump and remove him from office.

The most obvious facts are often the hardest to discern, particularly when we are so obsessed with the latest details that we cannot see the forest for the trees.

Trump’s apparent malfeasance in office, including both the alleged bribery, extortion and coverup related to Trump’s alleged withholding of foreign military assistance to Ukraine and of an invitation to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenski for a White House visit have been in the news in recent weeks. 

However, Trump’s alleged misdeeds are much broader and more sweeping in nature than those relating to Ukraine, and include the 10 well-documented instances of alleged obstruction of justice detailed in the Mueller report.

For an overview, see

Max Boot, “For aiding Trump’s abuse of power, the GOP deserves to be voted out of existence,” Washington Post, November 15, 2019.

Republican Congressmen and Senators have engaged in pervasive attacks on witnesses in Congressional impeachment hearings and in criminal investigations, including the Mueller investigation. In doing so, they have often followed the lead of the president, and what generally appears to be the White House or Republican narrative. These attacks include those made by legislators in each house of congress, which may be privileged, and those made from outside of Congress, including those on television, which are not.

With respect to the Ukraine affair, one must ask whether Republican politicians, having been briefed by the Intelligence agencies and having heard witnesses, and seen the Mueller report, all of which have charged Russia with interference in the 2016 campaign–and given their persistence in propagating a Russian narrative which blames the interference on Ukraine–should be viewed as acting as part of a criminal conspiracy to cover up the truth regarding such intervention, and the crimes Trump may have committed in his dealings with Zelensky.

For background, see

Todd R. Russell & O. C. Snead, Federal Criminal Conspiracy, 35 Am. Crim. L. Rev. 739 (1997-1998). Available at:https://scholarship.law.nd.edu/law_faculty_scholarship/20

Is there a Republican conspiracy to influence congressional and other investigations and witnesses so as to discredit the truth regarding Russia’s intervention in the 2016 elections, or Trump’s actions regarding Ukraine? If there is such a conspiracy, the Republicans who have participated in it could be viewed as co-conspirators, who may be subject to potential criminal prosecution until the statute of limitations runs out. This could occur well after Republicans lose the Presidency and control over the Department of Justice.

The possibility of being criminally prosecuted at some point in the future for participation in such a pro-Russian coverup conspiracy is one which should concentrate Republican minds.

The Trenchant Observer

About the Author

James Rowles
"The Trenchant Observer" is edited and published by James Rowles (aka "The Observer"), an author and international lawyer who has taught International Law, Human Rights, and Comparative Law at major U.S. universities, including Harvard, Brandeis, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Kansas. Dr. Rowles is a former staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States OAS), in Wasington, D.C., , where he was in charge of Brazil, Haiti, Mexico and the United States, and also worked on complaints from and reports on other countries including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. As an international development expert, he has worked on Rule of Law, Human Rights, and Judicial Reform in a number of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Russian Federation. In the private sector, Dr. Rowles has worked as an international attorney for a leading national law firm and major global companies, on joint ventures and other matters in a number of countries in Europe (including Russia and the Ukraine), throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan. The Trenchant Observer blog provides an unfiltered international perspective for news and opinion on current events, in their historical context, drawing on a daily review of leading German, French, Spanish and English newspapers as well as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other American newspapers, and on sources in other countries relevant to issues being analyzed. Dr. Rowles speaks fluent English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and also knows other languages. He holds an S.J.D. or Doctor of Juridical Science in International Law from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Law (J.D.) and a Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.=LL.M.), from Stanford University. As an undergraduate, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, also from Stanford, where he graduated “With Great Distinction” (summa cum laude) and received the James Birdsall Weter Prize for the best Senior Honors Thesis in History. In addition to having taught as a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, Dr. Rowles has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs (CFIA). His fellowships include a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Development, the Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship in International Human Rights awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and a Harvard MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security. Beyond his articles in The Trenchant Observer, he is the author of two books and numerous scholarly articles on subjects of international and comparative law. Currently he is working on a manuscript drawing on some the best articles that have appeared in the blog.