A Crimeless Impeachment Is An Innovation We Don’t Want And Don’t Need
Unwilling to accept the results of the 2016 presidential election, Democrats have tried everything in their power to delegitimize Trump’s triumphant victory. They’ve advocated to overturn the constitutionally created Electoral College. They’ve drummed up conspiracy theories alleging Trump colluded with the Russian government to defeat Hillary Clinton. They’ve claimed that Russia “hacked” the election. And they’ve claimed Trump’s victory was a consequence of “fake news,” all before Trump’s inauguration.
Once Trump took office, Democrats and a compliant media ramped up their efforts. On the day Trump took the presidential oath, the Washington Post declared that the “campaign to impeach President Trump has begun.”
Since then, Democrats have come up with 86 bogus reasons to impeach the president. They claimed Trump should be impeached for implementing a travel ban. That failed. They claimed Trump should be impeached over alleged violations of the Emoluments Clause. That failed. They claimed Trump should be impeached for firing former FBI Director James Comey. That failed.
After a two-year special counsel investigation with unlimited resources spearheaded by Robert Mueller accompanied by wall-to-wall media coverage investigating whether Trump worked with the Russian government to secure the Oval Office, Democrats failed to find anyone, not one person, guilty of such an act.
Now, Democrats have taken their latest efforts to impeach the president a year out from the next election to a July phone call between Trump and his Ukrainian counterpart where Democrats are charging Trump of withholding military aid in exchange for investigating political opponents at home. The unredacted transcript of the phone call has been declassified and released to the public in plain sight. The grand revelation to surface from its release? That Trump requested the Ukrainian government investigate corruption and the origins of its role in peddling the grand Russian conspiracy theory that damaged the United States.
In the 1970s, Richard Nixon did something that was clearly wrong. In the 1990s, Bill Clinton did something that was clearly wrong. Trump’s crime? That he requested a foreign government weed out corruption in its own country, hardly a “high crime and misdemeanor” constitutionally required to remove a president from office.
The transcript’s release showcases how desperate Trump’s opponents have become to oust the democratically elected president. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the opening of an impeachment inquiry prior to the transcript’s release based on an anonymous whistleblower complaint whose accusations were made relying on hearsay.
The charges in the complaint, which was deemed “credible” and “urgent” by the intelligence community inspector general but not by the Department of National Intelligence, had been contradicted by the transcript. Despite this, Democrats pushed forward with an illegitimate inquiry run in secrecy by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff of California, who played a key role in promoting the Russia hoax.
Last week, Pelosi finally put the impeachment inquiry to a full House vote, where Democrats rubber-stamped an ad-hoc anti-Trump investigation to be run by Schiff without any Republican support. The only bipartisan vote taken was in opposition, where two Democrats joined Republicans in refusing to participate in the latest Democratic witch hunt.
The House impeachment efforts are on course to set a dangerous precedent where the majority party will abuse congressional authority to whip up baseless charges to frame a president they simply don’t like, which, given the polarized nature of our modern political environment, will be every single future president of the opposite party.
Democrats have already shown a willingness to abuse such power on other targets. Prominent Democrats began calling for the impeachment of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh after new uncorroborated claims of sexual assault surfaced in September that allegedly took place more than 30 years ago. The New York Times authors who broke the story were even forced to admit that the alleged victim had no recollection of the incident.
If Democrats are successful in Trump’s crimeless impeachment, which has sown further division in an already bitterly divided country, they will open the floodgates to years of endless circus investigations for every new chief executive to hold office, making actual governance impossible.