Posted by Curt on 11 October, 2019 at 9:52 am. 1 comment.

Democrats like the latest polls on impeaching President Donald Trump, some of which show rising support. But in the long term, it is a losing issue. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) made it so when she launched an “impeachment inquiry” without waiting for the evidence.

By the time Pelosi convened a fateful meeting with House Democrats on Sep. 24, Trump had already announced he would release the transcript the next day. Pelosi went ahead, anyway.



After years of claiming that Democrats would wait to see where the facts would lead, hoping that Special Counsel Robert Mueller would deliver the goods on Russia “collusion,” Pelosi decided that she could not wait 24 hours for the facts to emerge.

She had lost control: behind closed doors, she faced a caucus that already backed impeachment: a majority of House Democrats had majority it since August 1, a week after Mueller’s testimony produced a dud.

Regardless of her reasons, the decision was a serious political mistake. The rush to impeachment showed that Pelosi was willing to put politics ahead of facts — and ahead of all the other promises she had made to voters in 2018. The fact that she marched ahead of the evidence — which contradicted the whistleblower’s claims — gave Republicans a reason to rally behind the president. It will also put an asterisk next to the 2020 election, in the event Trump loses.

Pelosi repeated her error on Tuesday. The White House sent her an eight-page letter, citing the Constitution, the law, and judicial precedent, explaining why it would not cooperate with an “impeachment inquiry” that the House had not yet voted to authorize. Such a vote would trigger impeachment rules and procedures designed to ensure fairness.

Pelosi’s response failed to address the White House arguments, and accused Trump of trying “to hide the facts.”

The idea that the target of an investigation cannot insist on a fair procedure, and will be further implicated for trying to assert his or her rights — as Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) stated explicitly last week with Pelosi by his side — is reminiscent of “justice” in totalitarian dictatorships. It is, as Breitbart News noted last week, an echo of the horrors of the “Star Chamber,” which the Framers who wrote the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights were eager to prevent.

Pelosi insists that the Constitution does not require the House to obey a set of rules or procedures for impeachment. She is right. But the Constitution also does not require the White House to comply with an “impeachment inquiry.” If the matter is brought to federal court, the judiciary would likely decline to intervene, citing the political question doctrine. Pelosi will have to hold an impeachment vote without the public ever seeing the evidence — or the defense.

There is another weakness in Pelosi’s approach. She is defending her “impeachment inquiry” based on the argument that she and her party are retraining a lawless president: “Mr. President, you are not above the law,” she declared on Tuesday.

But Pelosi herself is casting aside any set of rules. If the president’s alleged abuse of power is the problem, Pelosi and the Democrats are not providing an alternative. They are simply imposing their own arbitrary reign.

It is worth exploring President Trump’s alleged misconduct in further detail. He is accused of doing what Democrats have said for years that President Barack Obama’s administration had a duty to do: namely, to investigate possible foreign corruption by a presidential candidate. It was a matter of national security, they said, because Russia could use “kompromat” to control the president. (Many continue to claim Trump is doing Vladimir Putin’s bidding.)

The difference in the two cases is that Trump took personal responsibility for asking that Ukraine investigate former Vice President Joe Biden. Obama made a habit of avoiding any personal responsibility for anything controversial in his administration: he left that to underlings, then professed outrage when their misconduct was exposed. Trump not only made the request himself, but also repeated it publicly. He believes he has a duty to do so and is right to do so.

That is a matter for oversight, not impeachment.

It is telling that no one can name a single law that Trump has broken. After the so-called “whistleblower” raised his or her concerns, the Department of Justice (DOJ) investigated the president for allegedly violating campaign finance laws. It is illegal to accept foreign contributions, as two of Rudy Giuliani’s associates found out on Thursday. But the DOJ closed the case on Trump: he did not break the law.

As Democrats told us for years, while their party might have benefited politically from investigating the Trump campaign, that did not matter because there was a legitimate public interest in finding out whether Russian influence extended to a GOP candidate. (Never mind that Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee arguably broke campaign finance laws themselves by disguising payments to dig up dirt on Trump through foreign sources.)

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