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Politics

Pelosi's Fact-Free Sheet on Impeachment

The big picture is that Democrats have discredited impeachment as a viable solution.

Nate Jackson · Oct. 22, 2019

Whenever a Democrat talks about upholding the oath to “support and defend” the U.S. Constitution, there are two appropriate responses: outrage and/or laughter. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has elicited cause for either one with her “fact sheet” laying out the case for the Democrats’ impeachment coup because President Donald Trump “has betrayed his oath of office.”

Not surprisingly, Pelosi’s distort-the-facts sheet fails to actually make that case. She points to the July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and subsequent “cover up” as “evidence” of Trump’s offenses, and she quotes the whistleblower complaint to allege that Trump “is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election.”

In other words, Pelosi’s big splash is nothing new. And it’s not even evidence; it’s skewing the facts of the matter to sell a narrative. The key fact here is that Trump asked for Ukrainian assistance investigating what happened in the 2016 election. Whatever benefits to his 2020 campaign there may be are incidental to the 2016 questions and U.S. foreign-policy interests, however careless and sloppy Trump is when he speaks.

So, where does this impeachment charade go from here? Well, Pelosi hasn’t even held a House vote yet, though she says Democrats are proceeding “solemnly.” Right.

From a broader perspective, however, Andrew McCarthy, author of Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment, says Democrats have made a mockery of a solemn process. “Our constitutional system will be damaged because impeachment will be discredited,” he writes. “That will not make it any less indispensable than [James] Madison judged it to be. Yet its invocation will be even less likely in some grievous future instance, when a presidential abuse of power actually does imperil the nation. We will have a virtually omnipotent president.” And that, he adds, “is not a prescription for the preservation of liberty.”

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