democrats abuse of power
Jeff Note: Last week we published a segment from Fred Lucas’ great book called Tainted by Suspicion: The Secret Deals and Electoral Chaos of Disputed Presidential Elections.” which elicited many positive comments from readers. Fred’s new book “Abuse of Power: Inside the Three-Year Campaign to Impeach Donald Trump,” is just as good (and available at Amazon. Sara Carter described it as “A devastating and comprehensive takedown of Trump’s impeachment, and a thoughtful look at the historical context of past impeachments, with strong reporting and research to combat the Left’s inevitable rewrite of history.” As we pass the one-year anniversary of what he called the ‘worst impeachment” in American history.’ Fred has agreed to give the Lid Readers a tase of his new great work.
By Fred Lucas
The election apparently didn’t go President Donald Trump’s way, but 2020 was also a horrible year for the House Democrats that impeached him, now with a paper-thin House majority for going into Joe Biden administration.
Friday marked one year since the House voted mostly along party lines (with four defections on at least one article) to impeach Trump on vague charges that unfortunately set the bar extraordinarily low for future impeachment. My book, “Abuse of Power: Inside the Three-Year Campaign to Impeach Donald Trump,” explains how Democrats gained their majority running in red and purple districts, assuring their voters they were pragmatists that wouldn’t do crazy things, like pressing a presidential impeachment.
Far more profound events happened since the Senate acquitted Trump, along mostly along party lines, in February. A pandemic ravaged America and the world, and a disputed presidential election occurred. But the third presidential impeachment in American history certainly has left a legacy and, on balance, not good for the mob mentality that sought it.
Trump’s approval rating actually soared during the impeachment process, almost reaching the elusive 50 percent in a Gallup poll. The Democrats’ impeachment drive was never serious about removal from office but rather maximum damage for an election year. But it didn’t work. Impeachment wasn’t a factor in anyone’s vote who didn’t already dislike Trump. The undefined impeachment articles that didn’t allege a crime were not enough to whip up public outrage.
However, House Democrats took a beating this year. In 2018, Democrats across the country campaigned as moderates promising not to impeach Trump, and 21 of those candidates promised not to vote for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House. After all, Pelosi had a national favorable rating of 34 percent, so she would have reason to envy Trump’s numbers.
Most Democratic freshmen broke promises on the impeachment and Pelosi fronts. Setting aside questions about the election integrity, Biden had virtually no coattails, unlike most presidential candidates. House Republicans flipped at least 13 seats with two House races still uncalled.
Pelosi survived a leadership challenge in early 2019 but was eventually forced to cave to the far-left Squad. Moderates, fearing primary challenges from the progressive wing, also caved. This was key to what led to the impeachment. When Democrats running in red and purple districts this year insisted they didn’t support abolishing the police or enacting the Green New Deal, voters remembered, “That’s what you said about voting for Pelosi and impeachment.”
By contrast, Democratic freshman Rep. Van Drew of New Jersey was one of four Democrats who voted against at least one impeachment article. He switched parties and became a Republican. In November, he defeated Amy Kennedy—of the Kennedy dynasty—in New Jersey.
Of course, the predicate for the impeachment was Trump’s interest in the Biden family’s international conflicts of interest. Today, we know Hunter Biden is under federal investigation after cashing in on his father’s name.
Before the 2020 election, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who led the impeachment effort, claimed information about Hunter Biden was Russian disinformation. This was among the latest in his long line of Schiff disinformation. His reputation was assuredly not helped by the impeachment.
Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., didn’t play as prominent a role in the Trump impeachment—but he milked his position on the House Intelligence Committee for publicity and a short-lived presidential run. Earlier this year, Swalwell even wrote his own book on impeachment. After spending four years accusing Trump of being a Russian asset, he’s under suspicion now for his relationship with an alleged Chinese spy.
At one year, the Trump impeachment is in the history books—one of them being “Abuse of Power,” which describes this as the “worst impeachment” in American history.
Whatever you want to say about the impeachment of Bill Clinton, it was at least based on the charge of an underlying crime. Most historians still regard the first presidential impeachment, against Andrew Johnson in 1868, as a discredited affair by Republicans. However, you can at least say Johnson knowingly violated a duly-enacted law, the Tenure of Office Act. Decades later, the Supreme Court found the law unconstitutional, but it was the law of the land at the time.
Most agree Richard Nixon, who at a minimum was aware of felonious conduct by those working for him, got what he deserved in resigning to avoid impeachment. The only thing Nixon had going for him was other presidents–such as Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson—similarly used the government to target political enemies. But being the guy who got caught shouldn’t be an excuse to escape accountability.
Trump’s phone call with Ukraine’s leader was not a perfect call, but certainly, knowing what we know now, it wasn’t a high crime or misdemeanor. Democrats first tried to call it a quid pro quo, then bribery, then extortion. Failing to prove any of those, they settled on two non- crimes—abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The first basically translated into they don’t like Trump. The second translate into, he didn’t do what they told him to do.
So after a year, does it matter? Yes. Impeachment is an indispensable constitutional tool. But when used by Congress by trigger happy partisans, it creates a horrific precedent.
Fred Lucas is the author of “Abuse of Power: Inside the Three-Year Campaign to Impeach Donald Trump” (Post Hill Press, 2020). He is a veteran White House correspondent who has reported for The Daily Signal, FoxNews.com, National Review, Newsmax, Townhall, and other outlets.
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