The party of ‘im­peach!’

Edmonton Sun - - COMMENT - Larry EL­DER — Larry El­der is a best­selling au­thor and na­tion­ally syn­di­cated ra­dio talk show host. www.lar­ryelder.com @Lar­ryelder

The Democrats’ pur­ported out­rage about Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian pres­i­dent Volodymyr Ze­len­sky might be taken se­ri­ously by the Re­pub­li­cans were it not for the Democrats’ drive to oust Trump from the mo­ment he won the pres­i­dency.

CNN’S Van Jones, with zero proof, at­trib­uted Trump’s vic­tory to “white­lash.” Trump re­ceived 57% of the white vote, ac­tu­ally a lower per­cent­age of the white vote than the 59% re­ceived by Mitt Rom­ney, the Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­date in 2012. In 2008, Demo­crat Barack Obama re­ceived a greater per­cent­age of the white vote than John Kerry did four years ear­lier. Obama also re­ceived 95% of the black vote. None dared call it “black­lash.”

Stunned, an­gry and be­wil­dered by Trump’s win, some Democrats urged the Elec­toral Col­lege to refuse to cer­tify his vic­tory. In a Wash­ing­ton Post op-ed, John Podesta, Hil­lary Clin­ton’s cam­paign chair­man, said, “The (Obama) ad­min­is­tra­tion should brief mem­bers of the elec­toral col­lege on the ex­tent and man­ner of Rus­sia’s in­ter­fer­ence in our elec­tion be­fore they vote on Dec. 19 (2016)."

Nearly 70 Demo­cratic law­mak­ers vowed to boy­cott Trump’s in­au­gu­ra­tion. Nearly a dozen Democrats re­fused to at­tend Trump’s first State of the Union ad­dress. In ex­plain­ing his re­fusal to at­tend, Rep. Bobby Rush, D-ill., said, “This is a pres­i­dency that has been built on racism, stu­pid­ity and lies, which has al­ready wasted enough of Amer­ica’s time and I will not waste any more of mine.”

Trump’s re­fusal to turn over his tax re­turns pro­voked claims of cor­rup­tion. Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., said: “What’s un­prece­dented is (Trea­sury Sec­re­tary Steven Mnuchin) re­fus­ing to com­ply with our law­ful, Ar­ti­cle I re­quest. What’s un­prece­dented is a Jus­tice Depart­ment that again sees its role as be­ing body­guard to the ex­ec­u­tive and not the rule of law. What’s un­prece­dented is an en­tire fed­eral gov­ern­ment work­ing in con­cert to shield a cor­rupt Pres­i­dent from le­gal ac­count­abil­ity.”

There was the bill in­tro­duced in April 2017 by Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-MD., with 67 co-spon­sors, to de­ter­mine whether to in­voke the 25th Amend­ment, un­der which a pres­i­dent can be re­moved if “un­able to dis­charge the pow­ers and du­ties of his of­fice.” About his bill, Raskin told Van­ity Fair last month: “It is still very much on my mind and the time will come. I don’t think of it as an al­ter­na­tive rem­edy for im­peach­ment. They ad­dress dif­fer­ent prob­lems. The core of the con­cern of im­peach­ment is high crimes and mis­de­meanors com­mit­ted by the pres­i­dent. The core prob­lem ad­dressed by the 25th Amend­ment is the men­tal or phys­i­cal in­ca­pac­ity of the pres­i­dent.”

Then there was the out­cry over Trump’s pay­ments to for­mer mis­tresses. About the pay­ments, Rep. Max­ine Wa­ters, D-calif., said: “The pres­i­dent is a crim­i­nal . ... This crim­i­nal must be brought up by the Congress of the United States for im­peach­ment.”

Rep. Alexan­dria Oca­sio-cortez, D-N.Y., said from “day one” Trump was im­peach­able for al­legedly vi­o­lat­ing the emol­u­ments clause of the U.S. Con­sti­tu­tion, which pro­hibits all per­sons hold­ing fed­eral of­fice from ac­cept­ing “any present, Emol­u­ment, Of­fice, or Ti­tle, of any kind what­ever, from any King, Prince, or for­eign State.” Last year, Oca­sio-cortez said about Trump: “I think that there are se­ri­ous grounds in vi­o­la­tions of the emol­u­ments clause from day one. I think that is, first and fore­most, one of the ba­sic el­e­ments and vi­o­la­tions. And then, once again, it’s hard to pre­dict what’s go­ing to hap­pen over the next few months. There are one or more in­ves­ti­ga­tions hap­pen­ing. But I think from day one we have had vi­o­la­tions of the emol­u­ments clause with the pres­i­dency.”

In July, Rep. Al Green, D-texas, wanted Trump im­peached for his “racist tweets” that at­tacked sev­eral Demo­cratic fresh­man House mem­bers known as “the squad.” Green tweeted: "(Trump’s) racism, anti-semitism, ho­mo­pho­bia, trans­pho­bia, xeno­pho­bia, and Is­lam­o­pho­bia can no longer be tol­er­ated or ig­nored. We must im­peach.”

One can only mar­vel at how, with a straight face, Democrats call Trump “racist” while em­brac­ing as “king­maker” the race card-hus­tling Rev. Al Sharp­ton and re­fus­ing to de­nounce anti-semitic Min­is­ter Louis Far­rakhan.

Of course, for 2 1/2 years, spe­cial coun­sel Robert Mueller in­ves­ti­gated al­le­ga­tions of Rus­sian “col­lu­sion,” and he drilled a dry hole. On the is­sue of ob­struc­tion of jus­tice, he punted. Be­fore the Mueller re­port came out, House In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tee Chair Adam Schiff, D-calif., claimed there was “di­rect ev­i­dence (of col­lu­sion) but ... also abun­dant cir­cum­stan­tial ev­i­dence.”

If Congress im­peaches Trump, the Se­nate will not con­vict. Mean­while, all this Ukraine busi­ness just places at­ten­tion on Joe’s Bi­den’s son. Hunter Bi­den re­ceived a lu­cra­tive monthly fee to sit on the board of direc­tors of a Ukrainian en­ergy com­pany, de­spite his lack of en­ergy ex­per­tise or his in­abil­ity to speak the lo­cal lan­guage. Joe Bi­den’s can­di­dacy will be ir­repara­bly harmed, in­creas­ing the odds that hard-left El­iz­a­beth War­ren will win the Demo­cratic nom­i­na­tion. Trump, post-im­peach­ment, can cred­i­bly call him­self a vic­tim of a po­lit­i­cal vendetta and ride that nar­ra­tive to vic­tory in 2020.

Well played, Speaker Pelosi.

don­ald trump

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