“Where there is no law, there is no liberty; and nothing deserves the name of law but that which is certain and universal in its operation upon all the members of the community.” —Benjamin Rush (1788)
IN TODAY’S EDITION
- Trump refuses to play Pelosi’s impeachment game.
- So, the “whistleblower” had ties to a 2020 Democrat.
- Durham expands investigation into the Russia-collusion hoax.
- Senate Intel releases its report on Russian interference. Key takeaways.
- Daily Features: More Analysis, Columnists, Headlines, Opinion in Brief, Short Cuts, Memes, and Cartoons.
President Donald Trump is done playing the Democrats’ impeachment game. On Tuesday, the White House sent an eight-page letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Reps. Adam Schiff, Eliot Engel, and Elijah Cummings essentially telling them to put up or shut up. The letter highlighted the fact that Pelosi and Democrats have violated the Constitution, “the rule of law, and every past precedent” in their politically partisan quest to see Trump impeached. The letter, written by Trump attorney Pat Cipollone, bluntly exposes the Democrats’ true political motivation:
Put simply, you seek to overturn the results of the 2016 election and deprive the American people of the President they have freely chosen. Many Democrats now apparently view impeachment not only as a means to undo the democratic results of the last election, but as a strategy to influence the next election, which is barely more than a year away. As one member of Congress explained, he is “concerned that if we don’t impeach the President, he will get reelected.” Your highly partisan and unconstitutional effort threatens grave and lasting damage to our democratic institutions, to our system of free elections, and to the American people.
Cipollone asserts that Pelosi and company’s impeachment inquiry is invalid because no vote was held in the House or even in a House committee to initiate the current inquiry. Instead, Pelosi unilaterally “announced an ‘official impeachment inquiry.’” Cipollone writes, “Your contrived process is unprecedented in the history of the Nation, and lacks the necessary authorization for a valid impeachment proceeding.”
As a result of Pelosi’s invalid initiation of an impeachment inquiry, Cipollone points out that Trump’s due-process rights have been violated. While Democrat-led committees subpoena White House officials demanding compliance under threats of obstruction charges, Trump on the other hand is denied the right to confront witnesses against him, to call his own witnesses, and “to have the assistance of counsel.” All of those things would be afforded him if Pelosi were to actually hold a House vote to officially launch an impeachment inquiry.
The letter concludes, “The President cannot allow your constitutionally illegitimate proceedings to distract him and those in the Executive Branch from their work on behalf of the American people.”
Predictably, Pelosi responded with her own letter alleging that Trump is the one guilty of trying “to normalize lawlessness,” ridiculously adding that “he is trying to make lawlessness a virtue.” And once again Pelosi vacuously asserts that Trump’s “actions threaten our national security, violate our Constitution and undermine the integrity of our elections.” She further asserts that the White House is engaged in a “cover-up” of Trump’s “betrayal of our democracy.” It will be interesting to see if Pelosi moves forward with an impeachment vote, or if she continues to drag out her lawless charade.
When Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) Michael Atkinson first addressed the “whistleblower” complaint back in August, he noted that the individual showed “some indicia of an arguable political bias … in favor of a rival political candidate.” After the complaint came to light, it was learned that the whistleblower was a registered Democrat, which many may have assumed was the reason behind Atkinson statement suggesting that the whistleblower had “arguable political bias.”
However, now it has come to light that the whistleblower’s political bias runs much deeper than merely being a registered Democrat. During his closed-door testimony last Friday, Atkinson noted that the whistleblower had significant ties to a 2020 Democrat candidate. The Washington Examiner reports that three individuals with knowledge of Atkinson’s testimony stated that he said the whistleblower had “a professional relationship” with a current 2020 Democrat candidate, but Atkinson did not disclose who the candidate was.
So, here’s what we know about this whole “whistleblower” charade so far. The original form the whistleblower submitted had previously only accepted first-hand information to meet the “urgent concern” criteria in order to trigger a congressional alert, but it was mysteriously changed to eliminate the first-hand knowledge criteria. And we still have no answer as to when or why this change occurred. Finally, we know that the whistleblower contacted Rep. Adam Schiff’s office weeks before submitting the complaint. Schiff lied about having no prior knowledge of the complaint. Now we find out that the whistleblower had a “professional relationship” with a 2020 Democrat candidate. This is the real scandal, not President Donald Trump’s Ukrainian phone call.
American politicians may have improperly colluded with foreign nations to influence U.S. elections. That would be Democrats, of course, and back in May Attorney General William Barr appointed U.S. Attorney John Durham to get to the bottom of those efforts. News this morning is that Durham’s investigation has expanded.
According to Fox News, “Durham has expanded his investigation [by] adding agents and resources… The timeline has grown from the beginning of the probe through the election and now has included a post-election timeline through the spring of 2017, up to when Robert Mueller was named special counsel.”
Why is Mueller important? Well, in another Fox News report, we learn “that when Robert Mueller met with President Trump in May of 2017, Mueller was indeed pursuing the open post as the director of the FBI — something the former Russia probe special counsel denied under oath during congressional testimony this summer.” Thanks to now-revealed private conversations with then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Mueller “knew there was a real possibility he could be named special counsel if he wasn’t chosen as the next FBI director.”
Talk about a conflict of interest. President Donald Trump pointed this out before, and now we see that another “outrageous” Trump statement has proven true. If Trump tends to obsess about how The Swamp is out to get him, well, it is.
Meanwhile, a report from Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz is expected soon. His effort will detail almost certain corruption in securing FISA warrants to surveil Trump’s presidential campaign. That corruption is what kicked off the entire Russia-collusion fiasco, which in turn provided the template for the present impeachment coup attempt.
On Tuesday, the Senate Intelligence Committee released Volume 2 of its bipartisan report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. The Washington Examiner’s Tom Rogan sums up two big problems with the report. First, it “doesn’t tell us much that we didn’t already know,” in part because of heavy redactions. “But the report’s big problem,” says Rogan, “is its failure to recommend retaliation. Instead, it focuses on public service announcements.”
Meanwhile, lefty news-splaining website Vox offers the obvious Democrat slant in its title: “A GOP-led Senate intel committee report states the obvious: Russia favored Trump in 2016.”
That’s a gross misrepresentation for two important reasons that (sigh) we suppose bear repeating. Again.
One: To say Russia “favored” Trump is foolish. Typical Russian practice when interfering in elections is to boost a likely loser in order to weaken the likely winner. Like everyone else on the planet, Moscow’s team assumed Hillary Clinton would prevail and the true objective was to weaken her incoming administration by sowing dissent among the American population. Thanks largely to Clinton and Co., the Kremlin effort succeeded beyond Vladimir Putin’s wildest dreams.
Two: Russian interference didn’t demonstrably change a single vote — whether by persuasion or hacking alteration. Yes, there were a few fake stories seeded by Russian propagandists, but those were hardly more effective than the fake news propagated by the Democrats’ Leftmedia super PAC on a daily basis. That constant stream of dezinformatsiya sways millions of votes. Can you imagine what American elections would look like if the media were simply neutral?
ON OUR WEBSITE TODAY
- Featured Analysis: Study: Dem Tax Policy Driven by Hatred for Rich — Envy and retribution are poor foundations for crafting public policy.
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- Grassroots Perspective: Abolitionist History Matters — The story of William Lloyd Garrison is inspiring to Christian conservatives even today.
- Video: Bolton vs. Trump on North Korea — Bolton says Trump’s dealings with Kim Jong-un benefit Kim more than the U.S.
- Video: Why the Left Is Having a Temper Tantrum — Looking at a bizarre article about “Flyover Man” to explain Trump support from America.
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
TOP NEWS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
UKRAINE PROBE: “A newly unearthed document shows that Ukrainian officials had opened a new probe into the firm linked to Hunter Biden months before President Trump’s phone call with that country’s leader.” (Fox News)
LEGAL TEAM: The Washington Times reports, “Former Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy has been tapped to serve as outside counsel to President Donald Trump as the House impeachment inquiry expands.”
SUBTERFUGE SHOT DOWN: Supreme Court refuses to throw out New York gun-rights case, rejects New York City’s attempted legal dodge (The Washington Free Beacon)
PROFILES OF THE AMERICAN SPIRIT: Trump awards Presidential Medal of Freedom to former Attorney General Edwin Meese (CNSNews.com)
PRIVACY ABUSE: “Some of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s electronic surveillance activities violated the constitutional privacy rights of Americans swept up in a controversial foreign intelligence program, a secretive surveillance court has ruled.” (The Wall Street Journal)
VIRTUE SIGNALING: “The CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods told CBS News this weekend that his decisions to stop selling certain guns and hire lobbyists to push for new gun bans have cost his company roughly $250 million. … [Ed] Stack also said the company destroyed $5 million worth of rifle inventory because Stack believed no one should be allowed to own them.” (The Washington Free Beacon)
DEBAUCHERY: The U.S. saw a record 2.4 million reported cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis in 2018, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S. News & World Report)
CALIFORNIA BLACKOUT: “Nearly 800,000 Pacific Gas and Electric customers are preparing for their power to be intentionally cut for what could be the largest deliberate power shut-off in California’s history.” (FOX40)
POLICY: The big problem with the Senate’s election-hacking report (Washington Examiner)
POLICY: Turkey’s alleged ties to ISIS can’t be ignored (Washington Examiner)
HUMOR: Progressive parents sit their kid down for talk about the birds and the bees and the birds who want to become bees and the bees who identify as birds and buckle up, this might take a while (The Babylon Bee)
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.
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OPINION IN BRIEF
Ryan T. Anderson: “Liberal activists have tried for years to get Congress to add ‘gender identity’ as a protected class. Having failed, they took their arguments to unaccountable bureaucrats and activist judges. They failed with the bureaucrats, until Team Obama came around. And they failed in the courts — until March 2018, when a federal circuit court held that the Civil Rights Act banned discrimination based on transgender status. Activists want the Supreme Court to affirm this novel ruling. To do so, the court would have to rewrite the law, thus usurping Congress’ role. People who identify as transgender should be treated with dignity and respect. Whenever possible, we should make them feel comfortable. But the price of that accommodation can’t be the erasure of girls and women. It can’t be a law that requires businesses to allow males into female-only spaces — or that requires schools to allow boys who identify as girls into the girls’ locker room or onto their athletic teams. Thankfully, the Civil Rights Act doesn’t require any of this. The Supreme Court shouldn’t rewrite our nation’s civil-rights laws in a way that would directly undermine one of their main purposes: protecting the equal rights of girls and women. Biology isn’t bigotry.”
Insight: “It is not the fact of liberty but the way in which liberty is exercised that ultimately determines whether liberty itself survives.” —Dorothy Thompson (1894-1961)
Sad but true: “Trump is president, and he has allowed the deficit to soar beyond the increases that were already projected to happen. And Republicans in Congress have reacted with muted concern at best, and more like a collective shrug. Trillion-dollar deficits under a Democrat were a national emergency. Trillion-dollar deficits under Trump are no biggie. It’s almost like the real problem, for many Republicans, wasn’t the deficit.” —Peter Suderman
For the record: “Corporate America doesn’t care if their products, ads, or messaging offend you, insult you, belittle you or demonize you. They’ll stand up to your complaints every time. But the moment an employee offends the Chinese government, they pee themselves and beg and grovel for mercy.” —Jim Geraghty
Food for thought: “What if the whistleblower had once worked for Biden? That would be wild.” —David Harsanyi
Braying jenny: “Maybe there does need to be a rematch. I mean, obviously I can beat him again.” —Hillary Clinton
Braying jackass: “I hope that in this country people who say that they’re Jesus-loving, God-loving, that they pay more attention to God-loving, Jesus-loving people on this side of the border with brown skin that are desperate, that are being treated cruelly by this president because he clearly doesn’t care about them.” —Julian Castro
And last… “Think about how China is reacting to a single tweet sent by a guy in Texas. Now imagine what it’s like to be an actual citizen of that country, entirely subject to its government’s whims. In conclusion, communism is bad. Very, very bad.” —Matt Walsh
For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.
For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.
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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis