Just in time for Christmas the House voted to reelect President Trump, “which reached a comic apotheosis,” writes Dan Henninger in the WSJ, “with Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s House-floor recital of the Pledge of Allegiance (shades of Aunt Bethany in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”).
Meanwhile, President Trump was away from the D.C. madness in Battle Creek, Michigan reaching out to Americans whose votes actually matter. Start watching at minute 20 for the President’s speech.
Review and Outlook wrote in The Wall Street Journal (abridged):
The problem isn’t GOP consciences, it’s the weak and dishonest Democratic case for impeachment. One issue is the unfair House process. Democrats refused GOP witness requests in the Intelligence Committee, denied the GOP a hearing day in the Judiciary Committee, and rushed the impeachment debate and vote. They claim impeachment is a serious, solemn moment but then sprinted to judgment to meet the political needs of swing-district Members who want it over fast.
On the substance, Democrats have taken an episode of Mr. Trump’s reckless foreign-policy judgment and distorted it into broad claims of bribery and extortion. The evidence of weakness is that their own articles of impeachment include no allegations of specific crimes.
Instead they watered them down to “abuse of power” and obstruction of Congress. The first is so general that the majority can define it to be anything. Impeachment doesn’t require a criminal offense, but the virtue of including a violation of law is that specific actions can be measured against it. That is why every previous impeachment included charges of specific violations of law.
This time Democrats have pulled a legal bait and switch. First they alleged an illegal quid pro quo. After doing focus groups with voters, they switched to bribery and extortion. Then they dropped those in the formal articles of impeachment, only to reassert them again on Monday in a 658-page Judiciary Committee document justifying impeachment. Can’t they at least be honest enough to charge Mr. Trump with the specific acts they claim he committed?
In their other Judiciary staff document on the history of impeachment, Democrats cited with approval the Republican impeachment of Andrew Johnson. They claimed that while the articles of impeachment cited Johnson’s violation of the Tenure of Office Act, Republicans were really impeaching him for undermining Reconstruction.
This is a giveaway that Democrats are impeaching Mr. Trump not for Ukraine, but because they believe he is simply unfit to be President. Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff has been explicit in justifying impeachment to prevent Mr. Trump from being able to “cheat in one more election” in 2020—a pre-emptive impeachment.
Where is that in the Constitution? Democrats are defining impeachment down to a tool of Congressional ascendancy that will threaten any President of the opposite party who becomes unpopular.
The second article—resisting Congressional subpoenas—boils down to impeaching Mr. Trump because he has gone to court to protect the powers of his office. Every modern President has done that on some issue, including Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. The article of impeachment claims Mr. Trump has gone to court “without lawful cause or excuse,” but Democrats won’t even give the courts the chance to define what is a lawful cause.
All of this is reason enough for House Republicans to vote no and for the Senate to acquit. Chuck Schumer, the Senate Minority Leader, is demanding to hear from witnesses like John Bolton whom the House refused to subpoena. Mr. Schumer wants to feed the impeachment maelstrom as well as prevent Republicans from calling Hunter or Joe Biden. The GOP is under no obligation to play along and, based on the House evidence, Senators are justified in voting to acquit without hearing anyone.
Read more here.
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