The Never-Trump’er Case Against Impeachment

Trump's Impeachment is an assault against the Constitution and Justice

This post was 75% written December 18th. I didn’t have the pre-Christmas time or energy to polish it to the desired level before publication. I finished it today, including a few relevant updates.

Introduction

Donald Trump by Gage Skidmore

It’s a Christmas Miracle: The Democrats have made President Donald J. Trump look more rational, articulate, law-abiding, institution-protecting, and constitution-protecting than them. I am in shock and awe.

You will understand this shock better if you understand the esteem in which I hold our Dear Leader. I have been deeply critical of Trump’s character, emotionalism, dishonesty, poor logic, immoral behavior, ignorance, disdain for the law, and rude conduct ever since he was polling at a few percent in the GOP primary.

Never Trump & Lesser of Two Evils

Hillary Clinton
by Gage Skidmore

I did not vote for Trump or Hillary. I stated that I could not vote for the lesser of two evils as doing so is still evil. I stated that this is Satan and professional politicians’ way of moving The Overton window in forcing us to vote for greater and greater evil as each side leapfrogs each other each election. (Even in light of that prediction, I have been sincerely shocked at how aggressively the Dems have leapfrogged.) I maintain my stance in not voting for the lesser of two evils in 2020, despite Democrats’ determined efforts to change my stance.

Summary of Case Against Impeachment

There are four primary reasons this impeachment is an assault upon our Constitution and justice:

  1. Democrats have been desperately searching for a pretext upon which to impeach Trump since his inauguration, making it clear the current “facts” about Ukraine are not the real reason he’s being impeached. Totalitarian regimes, especially the Soviets, have historically decided to silence opposition politicians with whom they disagree and only try to find a pretext crime afterward. Democratic disdain for justice and rule of law in this case is striking and transparent.
  2. The factual record as established does not prove the narrative underlying the “Abuse of Power” article of impeachment.
  3. If the factual record did establish the Democrats’ narrative claims, the supposed “Abuse of Power” is no different than the many politicized Congressional investigations into every Presidential Administration by both parties stretching back (in my memory) to at least the Clinton Administration. (Not to mention every Congressional spending bill in recent memory.)
  4. Democrats’ “Obstruction of Congress” article is a rejection of the Constitutional norm of the Judicial branch interpreting the law and Constitution, especially when the Executive and Legislative branches disagree on the interpretation and application of Executive Privilege, is shocking, norm-destroying, and a direct assault on separation of powers. This stance opposes unanimous, bipartisan Supreme Court precedent in United States vs. Nixon.

Impeachment Primer

In case you didn’t know, according to the Constitution, this is the way impeachment works:

  • U.S. House of Representatives may vote on a simple majority to impeach “The President, the Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States” for “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors”. Typically the House gathers the evidence, impeaches the president (or judge), and sends the evidence to the U.S. Senate.
  • The Senate, with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court presiding, holds a trial to judge the guilt or innocence of the impeached as to the articles of impeachment. If the Senate convicts the impeached with a 2/3rd vote, they are removed from office.
  • If they are convicted and removed from office, they are then subject to regular criminal prosecution for their crimes by prosecutors.

Fairness of Process

This process of impeachment has been unfair in many ways which I don’t have time to explore in depth, but which primarily involves secrecy and a lack of due process in allowing both sides to call witnesses and make their cases. These defects were so transparent and egregious, several House Democrats crossed party lines to vote with 100% of Republicans against impeachment. Judiciary Chairman Nadler who presided over Trump’s impeachment hearings correctly diagnosed the defects of Clinton’s impeachment in 1998 and his words are clearly self-indicting. Finally, the most radical House Democrats have made it clear from Trump’s election day (long before the supposed offenses) that they hate him so much that they will work hard until they find a pretext to impeach him. They’ve not even been subtle about their dishonesty in this regard because their left-wing base in their safe House Districts feel the same way.

Impeachment Vote: A Few Honest Dems

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard

On December 18, 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach President Trump. They did this along a mostly party-line vote of 230-197 and 229-198. The only Reps to cross party lines were the two Democrats who voted against both articles of impeachment and the one Democrat to vote against the more egregious Article Two. Finally a fourth Democrat, Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), voted “Present” because she can’t “in good conscience vote either yes or no” because she thinks Trump did wrong, but also thinks the way the Democratic House handled impeachment was a “partisan process” that undermined the “integrity of this solemn undertaking”. (Gabbard is running for the Democratic nomination for President in 2020 and is not seeking re-election to the House.)

(It is interesting to note that Clinton’s 1998 House impeachment vote was largely party line as well, but with five Democrats and five Republicans defecting on the first perjury article, for example.)

Chairman Nadler’s 1998 Hypocrisy

Rep. Jerry Nadler

It is instructive to note the 1998 words of Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) in regards to the impeachment of Democratic President Clinton. Rep. Nadler is now the Chairman of the House Judiciary committee who chaired some of the impeachment hearings:

There must never be a narrowly voted impeachment or an impeachment substantially supported by one of our major political parties and largely opposed by the other. Such an impeachment would lack legitimacy, would produce divisiveness and bitterness in our politics for years to come and will call into question the very legitimacy of our political institutions.

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry/flashback-what-nadler-said-about-impeaching-president-1998-n1095141

Foreordained Goal/Outcome, Disregarding Facts

Multiple quotes from various Democratic members of the House make it abundantly clear that Democrats have been looking for an excuse—a pretext—to impeach Trump from the day after Election Day 2016. This was long, long before any of the supposed crimes occurred. This impeachment has very little to do with any actual facts of actual crimes Trump has committed and has everything to do with a hatred of Trump and a desire to remove him from office.

Rep. Maxine Waters

So Republicans are united against impeachment and a few Democrats of conscience and/or political expediency have made opposition to impeachment a bipartisan affair. Furthermore, the past words of a key figure pushing for impeachment now also argue strongly against the legitimacy of the proceedings. Finally, the Democrats’ brazen and transparent admissions that their goal has always been impeachment and by extension that these “facts” are just a pretext.

Article One – Abuse of Power

Narrative Not Proven by Evidence

DJT called the Ukrainian President (with a whole bunch of the USA’s national security team listening) and asked for Ukraine’s cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice in investigating Crowdstrike and the DNC servers that were hacked. He also asked Ukraine to cooperate with the the US DOJ in an investigation of Joe Biden & Hunter Biden. (See Appendix A for more info on Biden Corruption.)

Behind the scenes and unbeknownst to Ukraine at the time, the Trump Administration was also holding up military aid to Ukraine (to help fight the Russian invasion). There is conflicting testimony on why the aid was held up, but the Ukrainian President has said repeatedly that he never understood any linkage between the aid holdup (which he eventually found out about) and Ukraine’s assistance in the investigations of Crowdstrike or the Bidens. The Democrats claim that the holdup in aid was extortion in exchange for the political favor of investigating the Bidens and Crowdstrike. I do not think Democrats have come close to proving this case.

Renowned liberal GWU Professor of Constitutional Law Jonathan Turley agrees, concluding:

Jonathan Turley by Slowking4, GFDL 1.2

[T]his record is comparably thin compared to past impeachments and contains conflicts, contradictions, and gaps including various witnesses not subpoenaed. I suggested that Democrats drop the arbitrary schedule of a vote by the end of December and complete their case and this record before voting on any articles of impeachment. In my view, they have not proven abuse of power in this incomplete record. […] I do not believe a crime has been proven over the Ukraine controversy, though I said such crimes might be proven with a more thorough investigation.

https://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/473171-turley-democrats-offering-passion-over-proof-in-trump-impeachment

It appears probable (and Turley concurs) based on their debates and discussions at the writing of the Constitution that the framers of the Constitution intended “high crimes and misdemeanors” to include such arbitrary, nebulous, and undefined crimes as “Abuse of Power” but only in the case of overwhelming, bipartisan consensus on proof of “conduct that seriously harms the public”. As we saw in the previous section (and this section), we are laughably far from that.

Gordon Sondland,
U.S. Dept. of State

As I remember it, U.S. Ambassador (to the EU) Gordon Sondland was the only witness who clearly tied the aid/investigation together as being contingent on each other (and was in a position to actually know semi-firsthand). He has modified his testimony multiple times to avoid the charge of perjury and is regarded by both sides as a dishonest and/or unreliable witness. When asked by Rep. Turner (R-OH), “No one on this planet told you that President Trump was tying aid to investigations. Yes or no?” Sondland replied, “Yes.” Turner continued, “So you really have no testimony today that ties President Trump to a scheme to withhold aid from Ukraine in exchange for these investigations.” Sondland replied, “Other than my own presumption.”

Like Sondland, I am presuming ulterior political motives on Trump’s part because it’s my opinion he is corrupt, just like Congress is corrupt, but even more so. However, based on the legal standard of actual available evidence, House Republicans have done a great and thorough job of showing how legally baseless these proceedings have been in proving what Democrats, myself, and a contradictory witness presume to be true.

Trump’s “Abuse of Power” is Regular Congressional Habit

Summary

If we were to assume for the sake of argument that Trump did have ulterior motives and if we were to pretend that Democrats had done their legal due diligence in compelling testimony in the courts (see impeachment Article Two below) that proved that assumption correct, we would still be left with an utter non-crime that if universally and consistently applied would result in the removal of 90%+ of Congress. Now that would hardly be a bad thing and I would applaud that, but until it is consistently applied, it’s quite Soviet-esque and totalitarian as noted in the opening summary.

Let’s compare President Trump’s supposed “Abuse of Power” with Congress’ regular habits:

  1. President, Ukraine: Legit policy goal of corruption investigations with ulterior political motive of revealing (or fabricating appearance of) political opponent’s corruption
  2. Congress, spending: Legit policy goal of government spending with ulterior political motive of buying votes in their district with earmarks
  3. Congress, investigations: Legit policy goal of investigating bad behavior (and ensuring accountability for public officials) with the ulterior political motive of damaging their political opponents

The great irony is that with both of Congress’ examples, the “ulterior” political motive can barely be called that because of how publicly and transparently they put politics ahead of country in their exercise of governmental power.

Deep Dive

Let’s break down Trump’s supposed offense in more detail. He allegedly used the power of the US government to compel a foreign government to conduct an anti-corruption investigation whose result he thought would benefit him politically. The first part is completely legitimate. Vice President Biden is on camera bragging that he withheld aid to Ukraine in order to compel anti-corruption measures and of course Democrats have no outrage about that. The brag also makes it clear that Biden was expecting that action to burnish his political resume as he positioned himself in 2018 to run for president. One could cynically argue that there is some distinction between Biden’s “good” positive, non-specific political gain (general anti-corruption credentials) vs. Trump’s “bad” negative, specific political gain (specific anti-corruption against political opponents), but the silliness of that distinction requires only one quick memory to dismiss: the years of countless, politically-motivated investigations in Congress (from both parties against Clinton, Bush, Obama, and Trump) that never showed any actual crimes and which set our country back in many different ways. If we were to say that using the power of government to compel a publicly-known investigation of your political opponent was an impeachable offense, every single Congressperson could be removed from office. It is a testament to either the effectiveness of Democratic propaganda or the guilty self-awareness of the self-indicting nature of such an observation for GOP Congresspeople that has kept this rather obvious conclusion from being shouted from the rooftops. The Emperor really has no clothes, people. If we say that what Trump did was an abuse of power and have an ounce of awareness of regular political events, we quickly understand that what he did is daily habit for Congress.

The sad thing is that the Democrats took a shady, dubious, politician-like call with Ukraine which was a negative for DJT because it showed him using the power of office for personal political gain (a routine occurrence for Congress, but which is distasteful and off-putting when clearly done in public view for either Congress or the President) and tried to concoct a crime around it to satiate their long-held dream of impeaching the President. In the process, they’ve yet again immeasurably strengthened DJT’s chance for re-election. This frustrates me to no end.

President Bill Clinton, by Bob McNeely,
The White House

(It’s again interesting to compare notes with Clinton’s impeachment. He was impeached on two of four articles. The two articles that passed were for actual federal crimes with a legal definition while both of Trump’s impeachment articles are made-up “crimes” without any legal definition. It’s especially telling that the nebulous Clinton “Abuse of Power” article failed by a massive 148-285 margin in the Republican-led House in 1998.)

Article Two – Obstruction of Congress

It’s the second impeachment article of “Obstruction of Congress” where the Dems really assault the Constitution, our democratic republic’s norms of balance of power, and Supreme Court precedent. The deep irony is that the Dems are doing the very thing that they insisted Trump was sure to do: assault the rule of law, defy norms, and engage in an imperial, extra-judicial use of power.

Wikipedia in “Executive Privilege” does a good job of explaining this essential, underlying legal concept:

President Richard Nixon

Executive privilege is the right of the president of the United States and other members of the executive branch to maintain confidential communications under certain circumstances within the executive branch and to resist some subpoenas and other oversight by the legislative and judicial branches of government […] The right comes into effect when revealing information would impair governmental functions. Neither executive privilege nor the oversight power of Congress is explicitly mentioned in the United States Constitution. However, the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that executive privilege and congressional oversight each are a consequence of the doctrine of the separation of powers, derived from the supremacy of each branch in its own area of Constitutional activity.

The Supreme Court confirmed the legitimacy of this doctrine in United States v. Nixon in the context of a subpoena emanating from the judiciary, instead of emanating from Congress. The Court held that there is a qualified privilege, which once invoked, creates a presumption of privilege [emphasis added], and the party seeking the documents must then make a “sufficient showing” that the “presidential material” is “essential to the justice of the case”. […] Regarding requests from Congress (instead of from the courts) for executive branch information, as of a 2014 study by the Congressional Research Service, only two federal court cases had addressed the merits of executive privilege in such a context, and neither of those cases reached the Supreme Court.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_privilege

Democrats in the House subpoenaed Trump Administration officials to testify under oath in their impeachment hearings. In turn, the Trump Administration has invoked Executive Privilege and refused to comply. Past precedent is that the prosecutor or Congress petitions the courts showing why Executive Privilege is inappropriate in this case, the court agrees, and compels testimony and document production pursuant to the subpoenas. The Trump Administration has proactively said they will comply with court decisions. Some Administration officials have proactively petitioned courts to rule on the issue because they feel caught between the competing legal theories of the Executive and Legislative branches of government, a conflict which has always been resolved by the Judicial branch. I believe Congressional Dems are correct in saying they have the power to compel Senior Administration officials to testify under oath on this issue. That should be an obvious outworking of their constitutional impeachment powers. How could they ever impeach the President if he has Executive Privilege to hide all the relevant documents and witnesses from them? Makes zero sense to me and I don’t think it would make any sense to the Supreme Court either.

In fact, two separate judicial precedents support my view. First, in United States v. Nixon in regard to the Watergate special prosecutor, the Supreme Court explicitly ruled that the SC was the reluctant but necessary arbiter of where Executive Privilege was legitimate shielding of candid decision-making, policy-making deliberations by the Executive Branch and where it was an illegitimate shield against legitimate criminal/prosecutorial oversight.

Second, “President is Denied Executive Privilege” in the Washington Post on May 6, 1998 writes,

President Bill Clinton & Monica Lewinsky
in the Oval Office, February 1997.

A federal judge has ruled that President Clinton cannot use the power of his office to block prosecutors from questioning his senior aides, rejecting Clinton’s assertion of executive privilege in the Monica S. Lewinsky investigation […]

In a ruling issued under court seal Monday, Chief U.S. District Judge Norma Holloway Johnson concluded that independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr’s need to collect evidence in his obstruction of justice probe outweighs Clinton’s interest in preserving the confidentiality of White House discussions, the lawyers said.

The decision made Clinton the first president to take a claim of executive privilege to court and lose since the dramatic Watergate showdown in 1974, when the Supreme Court unanimously ordered Richard M. Nixon to turn over the secret Oval Office tapes that ultimately led to his resignation.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/clinton/stories/starr050698.htm

The Democrats are saying with their “Obstruction of Congress” article of impeachment that the courts don’t need to decide whether the assertion of Executive Privilege is applicable or not, because Congress has already decided EP is not applicable. This is a dangerous approach. They are trying to bypass the courts’ Constitutional role as the interpreter of the Constitution and substitute their own imperial edict in its place by using their discretion to custom-create “high crimes and misdemeanors” even if directly contradicted by unanimous, bipartisan Supreme Court precedent. The gravity of the Democrats’ assault on the Constitution and the Judicial Branch was summed up by the testimony of liberal GWU Professor of Constitutional Law, Jonathan Turley:

I can’t emphasize this enough and I’ll say it just one more time: If you impeach a president, if you make a high crime and misdemeanor out of going to the courts; it is an abuse of power. It’s your abuse of power. You’re doing precisely what you’re criticizing the president for doing. We have a third branch that deals with conflicts at the other two branches, and what comes out of there, what you do with it, is the very definition of legitimacy.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/turley-lawmakers-impeach-trump-abuse-of-power

Conclusion

Prof. Turley had an excellent opening statement at the impeachment hearing. This quoted portion is especially outstanding and reignites in me a deep desire for an honest, principled opposition party to Trump. I disagree with so much of what Trump does, but there is no principled opposition. The opposition is as dishonest as him, freely mixing truth and lies. That empowers Trump to legitimately point to their lies and their #FakeNews. Their own behavior discredits their legitimate critiques.

Turley, on the other hand, is a breath of fresh air and gives a stirring challenge, which is promptly ignored by Democrats:

I would like to start, perhaps incongruously, with a statement of three irrelevant
facts. First, I am not a supporter of President Trump. I voted against him in 2016 and I
have previously voted for Presidents Clinton and Obama. Second, I have been highly
critical of President Trump, his policies, and his rhetoric, in dozens of columns. Third, I
have repeatedly criticized his raising of the investigation of the Hunter Biden matter with
the Ukrainian president.

These points are not meant to curry favor or approval. Rather they are meant to drive home a simple point: one can oppose President Trump’s policies or actions but still conclude that the current legal case for impeachment is not just woefully inadequate, but in some respects, dangerous, as the basis for the impeachment of an American president. To put it simply, I hold no brief for President Trump. My personal and political views of President Trump, however, are irrelevant to my impeachment testimony, as they should be to your impeachment vote.

Today, my only concern is the integrity and coherence of the constitutional standard and process of impeachment. President Trump will not be our last president and what we leave in the wake of this scandal will shape our democracy for generations to come. I am concerned about lowering impeachment standards to fit a paucity of evidence and an abundance of anger. If the House proceeds solely on the Ukrainian allegations, this impeachment would stand out among modern impeachments as the shortest proceeding, with the thinnest evidentiary record, and the narrowest grounds ever used to impeach a president. That does not bode well for future presidents who are working in a country often sharply and, at times, bitterly divided.

https://d3i6fh83elv35t.cloudfront.net/static/2019/12/Turley-Testimony.pdf

I’m thankful for a few honest House Democrats and a few legal scholars with the basic foresight to see what a disaster that this impeachment is for Constitutional checks and balances and the future of our country. I’m thankful that they’re willing to lay aside their personal animus and disagreement with Trump to make an objective legal judgment.

Hopefully you will join me in filtering out the partisan blather on MSNBC and Fox News and do a little independent research of the actual facts rather than the partisan spin repeated ad nauseam. And hopefully you realize the truth and refuse to join in amplifying either side’s propaganda.

The truth is, Trump’s little Ukraine move stinks. Just like it stinks when a congressperson favors a government contractor in his own district over one in another district. Or when congress bloviates endlessly about the sins of their political foes which are gravely and seriously being investigated by the impartial congressional committee of themselves. But if we’re going to make those stinky moves an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor, we need to make it a crime for all our government officials, which means most of them would be removed from office. I’m all in favor of that, but it needs to be consistent. Otherwise it’s hypocritical and Soviet-esque.

We know human nature. We know that if we desperately want to do something, we will find a pretext to justify it, no matter how ridiculous. The heart leads the mind. Fortunately Democrats have been utterly transparent from the very beginning that they desperately wanted to impeach Trump. And it appears they finally found an excuse to do so. The revelation of their heart was very instructive.

Finally, the “Obstruction of Congress” second article of impeachment’s shameful assault on the Constitution’s separation of powers and Supreme Court precedent is norm-destroying and crassly politically motivated. It’s so counterproductive and bad, I still have trouble wrapping my mind around it. I’m left nearly speechless and will simply end by repeating Obama-voting Professor Turley’s summary:

I can’t emphasize this enough and I’ll say it just one more time: If you impeach a president, if you make a high crime and misdemeanor out of going to the courts; it is an abuse of power. It’s your abuse of power. You’re doing precisely what you’re criticizing the president for doing. We have a third branch that deals with conflicts at the other two branches, and what comes out of there, what you do with it, is the very definition of legitimacy.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/turley-lawmakers-impeach-trump-abuse-of-power

Appendix A: Biden Corruption

Vice President Joe Biden

The best I can determine it appears that basically Hunter Biden was paid $50k/month to sit on the board of a corrupt Ukrainian company Burisma because he was the Vice President Joe Biden’s son. He had no expertise in energy or Ukraine. At the same time, the Ukrainian chief prosecutor Viktor Shokin was “investigating” Burisma, Joe Biden withheld $1b in US aid (at the advice of the US Embassy in Ukraine) until he was fired. Joe is on video bragging about this successful threat resulting in his firing. Joe (and a bunch of international and Ukrainian anti-corruption orgs which were calling for Shokin’s firing as well) said it was because he took bribes to not investigate corrupt companies like Burisma. Shokin’s subordinate, Vitaly Kasko, who resigned because of Shokin’s obstruction of corruption investigations says that the Burisma investigation under Shokin was dormant and many assume he was taking bribes from Burisma to keep it that way. So my conclusion is that Hunter was corrupt for sitting on the board, Joe was corrupt for letting it happen, but there’s no evidence Joe used his position of power to help Burisma/Hunter.

Appendix B: House Subpoenas of Bolton & Others

John Bolton

The “Obstruction of Congress” section provided essential legal and constitutional education on the gravity of Dems’ behavior in taking upon themselves the role of the courts in determining the applicability of Executive Privilege. What I did not address was the exact chain of events and public rationale/propaganda the Dems employed both in the House hearings and the Senate trial. This is relevant for the purposes of the recent propaganda blitz in the media to try to make Senate Republicans appear unreasonable for not doing the House Dems’ jobs and subpoenaing former National Security Adviser John Bolton.

The Dems knew it was their job in the House to call John Bolton to testify because they subpoenaed him to do just that. However, when the Trump administration asserted Executive Privilege, instead of continuing their court challenge against the EP claim, they dropped it with the lie (echoed broadly by the press) that it would take too long to legally resolve in the courts, Trump would try to “run out the clock”, and be past the election in November 2020. The truth was, impeachment had started to poll horribly for them and they realized that they just needed to get it done and over with as soon as possible to get it out of the headlines.

The reason this was likely a lie rests upon two data-points and a left-wing analysis point:

  1. Clinton asserted Executive Privilege March 21, 1998. Courts denied the EP claim May 6, 1998. That’s 46 days from assertion to denial.
  2. Trump asserted Executive Privilege on April 22, 2019 when White House counsel Don McGahn was subpoenaed by the House Judiciary Committee. The House did not petition the courts until August 7th, 2019 (after negotiations failed) and District Court denied the EP claim November 26, 2019, 111 days later. A mere 6 days later (which included Thanksgiving and a weekend) on Dec. 2, the same judge denied a stay of the ruling ordering McGahn’s testimony. The Court of Appeals then heard oral arguments January 3, 2020. This court is the last stop before the Supreme Court.
  3. A NYT piece which was, of course, very anti-Trump and was explaining why the House Dems couldn’t afford to wait, said that, “But if the Supreme Court does take the appeals, justices may issue no final judgment until the court’s term ends in seven months [June-July 2020].”

The House launched the Ukraine impeachment probe Sep. 24, 2019. Math:

  • 9/24/19 + 46 days (Clinton) = 11/9/19
  • 9/24/19 + 111 days (Trump/McGahn) = 1/13/20
  • 9/24/19 + 222 days (appeals guesstimate double 111 days) = 5/3/20
  • June-July 2020 (per NYT)

This idea that waiting on the courts (and doing things legally by the book) was “too late” and after the election or too close to the election is shown to be complete balderdash by even the most pessimistic and biased projections. In case you didn’t know, the elections are Nov. 2020. And if indeed the witness testimony and documents which Trump is “hiding” is so damning as Democrats claim, they should want it as close to an October surprise as possible. Democrats’ actions contradict their words: they’ve realized that both the polling and their own analysis of the evidence show that it is everything other than damning. It’s yet another Democrat conspiracy theory and failed attempt to concoct an excuse to impeach Trump.

Their actions demonstrate that they prefer the innuendo they can imply via anonymous leaked sources in the press where they can carefully spin the information rather than in cross-examined witness testimony under oath shortly before the election.

Rep. Adam Schiff

Since then, House Democrats have tried to spin their failures to follow through on subpoenas for John Bolton, Mick Mulvaney, and others as a failure by Senate Republicans (who chose not to call those witnesses given the House refused to do so). The problem is, every argument they wield against Senate Republicans in this regard is self-indicting. Every attempt to make it obvious the Senate should have heard from Bolton, et. al. is a further revelation of the House’ failure to properly investigate before rushing through impeachment on the basis of an “incomplete record” (Turley). And every argument the House wielded to say they couldn’t afford to wait for the Constitutional and legal resolution of the subpoenas in the courts applies even more so at this much later date after an attempted extortionary 3 week delay in Pelosi transmitting the articles of impeachment to the Senate. (Starting the clock in February 2020 instead of September 2019 would actually get us to Sep. 2020 with 222 days, actually finally getting close to the election.)

The Senate is right to consider only the evidence that the lead House impeachment manager Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) claimed was “overwhelming and damning” in whether to convict Trump or not. When you actually understand how fundamentally flawed this impeachment is from top to bottom, you quickly understand that quickly putting it out of its misery and not prolonging it is the only just and humane act. It’s so bad, it’s a genuine embarrassment to the nation.


I know I remember seeing a quote by a top House Democrat admitting that the decision to not pursue subpoenas in the courts was due to political timing considerations. In writing this post, I was unable to find that direct quote. If anyone could point me to it in the comments, I’d be grateful. The best I could find was this Bloomberg article:

Democrats now must decide whether to ask a judge to enforce subpoenas seeking information about the president’s push for Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. Any court battle would probably drag the inquiry into the 2020 election year, and even if Democrats were to win, a ruling could come too late to make impeachment politically viable.

“Every member I’ve spoken to wants to see it wrapped up in 2019 in the House of Representatives,” said Maryland Representative Jamie Raskin, a Democrat on the Judiciary Committee. 

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-10-14/pelosi-need-for-speed-on-impeachment-makes-court-help-unlikely

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1 Comment

  1. Well-thought post, Hans. As a person who follows politics very minimally, I have been confused on who to believe in this whole impeachment ordeal. You lay out your case well and I believe accurately. Thank you.

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