Democrats are poised to return Articles of Impeachment against President Donald Trump on the basis of a blatantly partisan inquiry, commandeered and presided over by the rabidly partisan Adam Schiff, that produced nothing more than a theory crafted by conjecture and surmise.
That they would really and truly seek to remove a sitting president without hard evidence of serious wrongdoing is light years beyond outrageous. It is, in fact, a constitutional obscenity, an abuse of power so flagrant that they, themselves, are not only the real wrongdoers, but monstrous ones at that.
Underlying their contempt for the 2016 presidential election and their assault on the presidency is a stunning irony. For right now, Democrats across the country are obsessed with impressing criminal justice reforms on police, prosecutors and the courts because, they say, the system is unfair to the accused. Where Trump is concerned, however, they’ve eschewed even the periphery of fundamental fairness in favor of behavior reminiscent of the notorious star chambers.
Irony and hypocrisy abound elsewhere too, as Democrats, from Nancy Pelosi, through Schiff, and on down have sought to justify their sham impeachment agenda as emanating from a need to protect the nation’s commitment to the rule of law. Yet, these same Democrats, out of political expediency, not only actively aid and abet the wholesale violation of the nation’s immigration laws but, calculatedly undermine Trump’s efforts to curb it.
The impeachment case devised by Schiff and company is so palpably weak that it wouldn’t withstand the slightest breeze of honest scrutiny. If the tables were turned, and Republicans were engaging in such a farce against a Democratic president, liberal media giants like the New York Times, the Washington Post and CNN would be driving that very point home day after day. Here, however, they operate instead - and as usual – as gleeful conduits for the Democratic line. Hence, the task of honest scrutiny falls on others.
Democrats set out to construct their impeachment case on the theory that Trump supposedly threatened to withhold military assistance to Ukraine unless its President, Volodymyr Zelensky, investigated that country’s possible tampering with the 2016 presidential election, as well as former Vice President Joseph Biden’s intervening in its internal affairs on behalf of his son, Hunter. However, they’ve produced no hard evidence to support it. Moreover, Trump did, indeed, eventually deliver military assistance to Ukraine, while there’s no evidence that Zelensky ever ordered the investigations.
At most, therefore, all the impeachment-crazed Democrats have is a theory that Trump may have thought about withholding such aid in an effort to exact those investigations. And clearly, thinking about doing something does not constitute actually doing it.
In contrast, the Obama Administration actually did withhold military assistance to Ukraine and, at one point, threatened to withhold non-military aid in order to force the removal of a prosecutor who was getting too close to Hunter Biden. Indeed, at a Council on Foreign Relations conference, the elder Biden boasted that it was his vow to withhold military assistance to Ukraine that resulted in the removal of Viktor Shokin, a prosecutor who seemed ready to investigate an energy company on whose board of directors Hunter Biden served.
More fundamentally, Trump would have been perfectly within his rights if he had, in fact, leveraged military aid to Ukraine to provoke those investigations. As President of the United States, he has an obligation to root out any and all cognizable wrongdoing in derogation of American law. That then Vice-President Biden may have actually done what Trump is now being accused of merely thinking about doing, certainly qualifies as a legitimate matter for the President to have pursued.
Democrats are also reportedly prepared to charge Trump with obstructing Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into allegations of collusion between his campaign and Russia. Mueller never found such collusion, of course, to their great disappointment. And he successfully conducted a 22-month long investigation into the matter, at a cost to taxpayers of $35 million, without either charging Trump with obstructing his efforts, or seeking judicial or other avenues of relief to remedy it.
The Democrats impeachment case is so week that the Senate should dismiss it without a trial, just as a court can dismiss an indictment where the grand jury minutes fail to support its being returned.
One way or the other, however, Trump is certain to be acquitted. Then the American people can decide next November whether he should remain in office.
Daniel Leddy’s column “On the Law” appears weekly. Follow him on Twitter. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
IMPEACHMENT CRAZED DEMOCRATS ARE THE REAL WRONGDOERS (12-3-19)
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Daniel Leddy's law column has been published by the Staten Island Advance for over 25 years, appearing every Tuesday on the editorial page. His most recent column appears below. An archive of his columns can be found here
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