Politics

Impeachment Trial Day 2: Democrats Impeach American Voters

Schiff argues removal is necessary because Dems can't trust the people to vote Trump out.

Thomas Gallatin · Jan. 23, 2020

Adam Schiff led House Democrats in making their opening arguments Wednesday in the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. Speaking for two hours, Schiff’s case boiled down to the supposed need to remove Trump for his “corrupt purposes.” You see, it’s not that Trump’s actions rise to the level of impeachable offenses; it’s his intentions as interpreted by Democrats that are impeachable. Orange man bad, must be removed. Furthermore, Schiff argued, “The president’s misconduct cannot be decided at the ballot box, for we cannot be assured that the vote will be fairly won.” Democrats don’t trust the American people to judge for themselves whether Trump deserves to remain in office.

Schiff’s statement is Hillary Clinton’s “deplorables” comment repackaged. This is simply how Democrats think about vast swaths of America, proving that they’re not really after Trump; they’re after you, the voter. Ever since Trump defeated Clinton, Democrats have been seeking to impeach the vote of the American people.

Also on Wednesday, the Senate received a letter signed by 21 Republican state attorneys general calling the Democrats’ basis for impeachment illegitimate and for it to be “explicitly rejected.” The AGs argue that the Democrats’ “corrupt motives theory is dangerous to democracy because it encourages impeachment whenever the President exercises his constitutional authority in a way that offends the opposing political party, which is predisposed to view his motives with skepticism and motivated by its own motives to regain that very office.” While this letter won’t stop the impeachment trial, it may serve Senate Republicans. As The Wall Street Journal editorial board argues, “This might take the form of a Senate resolution at the time of acquittal. The crucial point is to reject impeachment as a regular tool of partisan punishment, reserving it for genuine cases of presidential abuse.”

Meanwhile, the Democrats’ push to call more witnesses is proving tricky. There has been some speculation that Democrats would be open to a deal exchanging John Bolton for Hunter Biden, but Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer quickly shot that down, saying, “I think it’s off the table.” Then he quickly spun it as Republicans wanting to use it “to smear the Bidens.” The fact of the matter is that the crux of the whistleblower’s complaint rests entirely on Trump’s legitimate request that the Bidens’ shady behavior be investigated. It’s disingenuous to claim the Bidens are not tied up in this, but that’s par for the course with these Democrats.

The fact is Democrats will need the votes of at least four Republicans to get Bolton on the stand, and for those votes they will need to give those Republicans something in return. However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is playing it smart, stating that the Senate will be open to calling only those witnesses the House itself called; no new witnesses will be considered. He also warned, “It could dramatically change the separation of powers between the House and the Senate if the Senate agrees we will conduct both the investigation and the trial of an impeachment.”

But, as Mark Alexander has asserted for months, “What Democrats want is Republicans on the record voting against witnesses so they can perpetuate the ‘Trump is guilty and Republicans covered for him’ myth. They will then use those votes in campaign ads against a few Republicans they believe are vulnerable in November. The Demo impeachment charade has always been about retaking the Senate so that if Trump is reelected they can block conservative SCOTUS nominations. Republicans should call their bluff and seek witnesses — and Schumer and Schiff will run for cover.”

Finally, as far as the House Democrats offering any new or compelling arguments against Trump, the sentiment among Senate Republicans was summed up by Wyoming’s John Barrasso, who commented, “Six hours of testimony so far today… I didn’t hear anything new at all.” That matters not because the Senate is supposed to hear new things but because nothing Democrats have presented so far merits impeachment or removal.

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