The President’s epic and historic letter to Speaker Pelosi on the eve of the vote to impeach him is nothing if not audacious and to someone who has been making many of the same points the President’s letter does, satisfying. I bet Bill Clinton wishes he had thought of it, except that he had a problem Trump does not: Clinton had in fact committed felonies by lying under oath, something a President must not do. (As I said at the time, without ever hearing a satisfactory rebuttal, if a lawyer would be disbarred for such conduct, as Clinton essentially was—he was forced to quit the Arkansas bar before he was fired from it—how can a President be held to a lower standard?).As President Trump’s letter correctly states, “The Articles of Impeachment introduced by the House Judiciary Committee are not recognizable under any standard of Constitutional theory, interpretation, or jurisprudence. They include no crimes, no misdemeanors, and no offenses whatsoever.”
Well, they are recognizable under some bad and dangerous Constitutional theories, many of which have advocates in the House and among the “resistance” punditry. For example, even now, prominent Democratic House leader Maxine Waters admits that she has no facts to back up her conviction that the President had a deal with Putin, she’s just sure he did. Waters said she was “ready to talk about” impeachment in February 2017, three weeks after Trump was sworn into office.Her theory later became that an opposing party House majority could impeach a President at will, and didn’t need any reasons other than as assertion that he was “unfit.”
That appears to be what Nancy Pelosi allowed her team to settle on, lacking anything better.
Naturally, the letter has prompted the Democratic Party/”resistance”/mainstream media coup team (what Ethics Alarms calls “The Axis of Unethical Conduct,” or AUC) to have a collective head-explosion orgy. The mainstream print media would not even report on the letter fairly, in most cases not giving readers the chance to make their own assessment and publishing it with “factchecks” attached, many if not most of which were just partisan spin as rebuttals. For example, in the New York Times version, the section I quoted above was linked to this: “The articles charge Mr. Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. But an impeachable offense does not have to be a specific crime.” Well…
- That’s an opinion, not fact. Every previous impeachment has involved a specific crime.
- As Prof. Dershowitz pointed out, the “obstruction of Congress” referred to in the Articles of Impeachment cannot be called misconduct, since the Supreme Court has deemed the President’s power in this regard an open question until they rule on it—next June.
- As Jonathan Turley (and Trump) pointed out, “abuse of power” is too subjective a standard to use as an excuse for impeachment.
Characteristically, as we have seen the past three years, the attacks on the letter have focused on style at least as much as substance. (On substance, however, the letter is difficult to rebut.)
On yesterday’s CNN Newsroom, the spectacularly hypocritical John Avlon (who once pretended to lead a “no labels” movement as a neutral non-partisan) claimed that the President’s letter would cause Republican Senators to raise questions about his “mental state.” This is rich: Impeachment Plan S is blowing up in Democrats’ faces, so Avlon pivots to good old, evergreen, Plan E : ”Trump is mentally ill so this should trigger the 25th Amendment.”
Yeah, boy, putting out that letter laying out exactly what the impeachment is in language anyone can understand was crazy.
Avlon’s foolishness does raise a question: did the President really write the letter himself? I doubt it. I think someone–Steven Miller has been mentioned as a prime suspect—did an excellent job channeling the President’s unique style and tone, but the letter is too well constructed to be Trump’s alone. Hey, John: if someone else authors a letter for the President that he signs, and you think it’s an “unhinged rant” and “the definition of not presidential,” does that mean he’s crazy? Can you delegate crazy?
As with so much that has gone before, the President has triggered his foes into broadcasting their own derangement.
A typical, measured, lawyer-checked, restrained Presidential letter would be far less effective. Ann Althouse figured this out, writing, Continue reading