Efforts by members of Congress to advance the narrative that President Donald Trump “obstructed justice” have now replaced the disproven claims of Trump-Russia collusion.
The public narrative of obstruction, however, originated prior to the conclusion of the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller and his resulting report.
Less than six months after Mueller’s appointment—on Oct. 10, 2017—the Brookings Institution published the first of two reports titled “Presidential Obstruction of Justice: The Case of Donald J. Trump,” which outlined, among other things, a scenario whereby Mueller would refer his obstruction findings to Congress, which would then take up the matter and continue investigating. The report also discussed ways in which Congress could impeach the president, mentioning the word “impeachment” a total of 90 times.
Norman Eisen and Barry Berke, two of the authors of the Brookings report, were later retained by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) on a consulting basis as special oversight counsels to the Democrat majority staff.
As Nadler noted in an announcement, the two men would have a particular focus on reviewing Mueller’s investigation and would be advising the committee. It also appears Nadler intended for the two lawyers to question Attorney General William Barr.