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Politics

'Schiff Show' Roundup: Pelosi, Clinton, and Yovanovitch

Cloaking impeachment in the Constitution is farcical. Plus, Bill Clinton's advice.

Nate Jackson · Nov. 15, 2019

Whenever Democrats lecture about defending the Constitution, you know they’re up to no good. The very basis of the Democrat Party is to violate the Constitution wherever possible — tax policy, income redistribution, taking over vast swaths of the economy, and the very impeachment charade House Speaker Nancy Pelosi claims is to uphold their oaths.

Pelosi has used the Constitution to explain impeachment before, but she added to it Thursday. “The devastating testimony [Wednesday] corroborated evidence of bribery uncovered in the inquiry,” Pelosi insisted, adding that “the president abused his power and violated his oath by threatening to withhold military aid and a White House meeting in exchange for an investigation into his political rival — a clear attempt by the president to give himself an advantage in the 2020 election.” She later explained, “The bribe is to grant or withhold military assistance in return for a public statement of a fake investigation into the elections. That’s bribery.”

Two things. First, Pelosi was referring to testimony Wednesday in the first public hearings to date. It was hardly “devastating.” Second, Pelosi is solidifying the Democrats’ shift from screaming about a quid pro quo to claiming that President Donald Trump’s actions with Ukraine amount to “bribery.” That’s strategic, because that language is specific to Article II of the Constitution and it will, Dems and The New York Times hope, “resonate with the public.” It’s all about messaging and narrative.

Today features testimony from former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch. She was appointed to the position by Barack Obama (though she has served under previous Republican presidents), but Trump fired her in May — two months before the supposedly impeachable phone call with the Ukrainian president. The Washington Post laughably describes her as “one of the first victims of the politicization of the State Department under Trump.” Evidently, the partisans at the Post would like you to forget who ran the State Department for the previous eight years — that would be Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, two of the most politicizing individuals in Washington.

Democrats aim to accomplish two things with Yovanovitch’s testimony: Show Republicans attacking a woman and prove that Trump’s removal of her was corrupt and political. But while officials may not agree with the president, he has a right to set foreign policy with the people of his choosing. End of story.

Finally, Trump has received some important advice on impeachment from, of all people, Bill Clinton. The former impeached president said, “My message [to Donald Trump] would be — look, you got hired to do a job. You don’t get to — every day’s an opportunity to make something good happen. And I would say, ‘I’ve got lawyers and staff people handling this impeachment inquiry and they should just have at it. Meanwhile, I’m going to work for the American people.’ That’s what I would do.” Of course, Clinton was actually on video in 1998 committing perjury, whereas Democrats have yet to actually prove an impeachable offense on Trump’s part. But what’s a detail like that among friends?

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