Democratic New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler summed up the case for ousting President Trump this way: “Simply stated, impeachment is the Constitution’s final answer to a president who mistakes himself for a king.” Which brings us to the case Democrats made Friday for their second article of impeachment charging “obstruction of Congress.” This would make Congress a king.
The remarkable House claim is that Trump violated the Constitution because he dared to resist congressional subpoenas. He cited executive privilege to direct nine “vital” administration officials not to cooperate with the House impeachment inquiry.
“President Trump thus interposed the powers of the presidency against the lawful subpoenas of the House of Representatives, and assumed to himself functions and judgments necessary to the exercise of the ‘sole power of impeachment’ vested by the Constitution in the House of Representatives,” the House declares in its impeachment resolution.
Shorter version: The House has the unilateral power to define executive privilege, and a president has no constitutional authority to resist. If he does resist, the House can throw him out of office.