After the Jan. 6 Capitol unrest, House Democrats wasted no time in concocting grounds for another impeachment against Donald Trump, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wearing the same outfit to commemorate the occasion. Even though it is now clear that they do not have the votes to convict Trump, they will still proceed with a trial and possibly attempt to get the requisite majority to censure Trump after he’s left office.
For a charge of “Incitement of Insurrection,” Democrats demand that Trump be deemed “a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution” and removed from office for having “endangered the security of the United States … threatened the integrity of the democratic system … interfered with the peaceful transition of power” and “imperiled a coequal branch of Government.” Strong stuff.
Surely, as the resolution noted, a public official who has “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the United States” should be removed from office. Any official who “has demonstrated that he (she) will remain a threat to national security, and the Constitution … and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law” should be impeached and sent packing.
But if justice were blind, then the impeachment charge Democrats are voting for would be lodged where it more rightfully belongs—against themselves.
A few weeks of time has already provided substantial evidence to exonerate the president of the charge of “Incitement of Insurrection.” For one, the Capitol attack was pre-planned and began well before he finished speaking. History has not been so kind to Democrats, though, and in their quest to destroy their enemy they have only indicted themselves.
It takes a lot of chutzpah to spy on a presidential campaign, to fabricate a sordid dossier involving Russian prostitutes, to allege treasonous collusion with a foreign government, to provide intentionally false info to a secret federal court, to use the powers of the Department of Justice to abuse political acquaintances and one esteemed general, to assert for years that a president was illegitimate, and to even accuse him of treason—all while knowing he was innocent. But it takes even more unbridled arrogance to now accuse the man who endured it all with the crime of interfering with a peaceful transition of power after an election in which legitimate questions abound.
If Pelosi truly wishes to help in “protecting our Constitution and our Democracy,” then should we expect a condemnation of House members who, by use of their congressional powers, supported the attempt to remove Trump from office via false allegations? Should their years of interference with the peaceful transition of power to the Trump administration, and its duties as a coequal branch of government, be written up in articles of impeachment? And should any House leaders involved recuse themselves to ensure impartiality, including the speaker?
With precedent established, we know that the urgency of the matter must dictate the process. There will be no time for hearings or defense counsel. We have the testimony of John Brennan, James Clapper, Loretta Lynch, Susan Rice, and others who testified under oath that they had no evidence to support “Russian collusion,” even as they and members of Congress were routinely promoting the phony claim on cable news shows. Action is required—now.
If this seems an absurd suggestion, then perhaps we should consider the absurdity of the latest impeachment of the duly elected president. What exactly did he say to cause this historic rebuke?
He did not directly or indirectly incite violence: not against the police, and certainly not against the institutions of government. His speech was a call to action for those “committed to the honesty of our elections and integrity of our glorious Republic.”
Shortly into it, Trump thanked the military, the Secret Service, and the police for doing “a great job” with crowd control and asked them to allow his supporters to move closer—an odd request for a group that would soon be labeled as lawless rioters who respect no boundaries.
The president told the amassed crowd that they were “gathered together in our nation’s Capitol for one very, very basic and simple reason, to save our democracy,” and that after the rally “we’re going (to) walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators, and congressmen and women.”
He explained their purpose by saying, “We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated, lawfully slated. I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard” (emphasis added).
He then recited lengthy evidence of election fraud in each of the six contested states. It was his last chance to present the case that the courts never heard. It’s all in the transcript. It pertained to concerns with the integrity of the democratic system, the very charge filed against him.
He concluded by saying:
My fellow Americans for our movement, for our children and for our beloved country and I say this, despite all that’s happened, the best is yet to come. So we’re going to, we’re going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue, I love Pennsylvania Avenue, and we’re going to the Capitol and we’re going to try and give… The Democrats are hopeless. They’re never voting for anything, not even one vote. But we’re going to try and give our Republicans, the weak ones, because the strong ones don’t need any of our help, we’re going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country. So let’s walk down Pennsylvania Avenue. I want to thank you all. God bless you and God bless America. Thank you all for being here, this is incredible. Thank you very much. Thank you.
Violence? Insurrection? No, he urged lawful people to exercise their lawful rights, and to do so peaceably. Sure, he mentioned the need to fight like hell. Perhaps the most quoted portion of his speech by those alleging incitement was this line: “You’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong.”
But if this kind of rhetoric is violence, or an incitement to violence, then what of President Obama’s “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun” rhetoric?
Shall we revisit Rep. Maxine Water’s comment, “If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere”? When these same words were tweeted after Jan. 6, Democrats piled on them on Twitter, calling them an “invitation to violence.” Will they call them that after they know it was a Democrat who said it?
And who will take responsibility for the gunman who stalked a Virginia baseball field looking for Republicans and then shot five, almost killing Rep. Steve Scalise?
If asserting that “voting machines across the country (are) prone to security problems” threatens democracy, then what shall we say of the recent letter by several prominent Democrat members of Congress using those exact words to warn of security issues with electronic voting machines?
If objecting to electors is incompatible with the rule of law, then what shall we do with those who similarly objected in each of the last three elections in which a Republican won the presidency?
If impeachment is now pursued once a candidate has left office, then shall we dig up the video of Obama whispering to Dmitri Medvedev to “tell Vladimir I’ll have more flexibility after the election”?
If attacks on a coequal branch of government are a focus, then should Sen. Chuck Schumer be worried for saying to the Supreme Court, “I want to tell you, Gorsuch. I want to tell you, Kavanaugh. You have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price. You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions”?
If “endangering the security of the United States” is a concern, then surely Rep. Eric Swalwell’s name will be included in the list of elected officials to be censured that we expect from the speaker. Democrats would have joined Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene in supporting the impeachment of President Biden on Jan. 21. Leveraging taxpayer dollars to bail a son out of trouble in Ukraine and accepting gratuitous business interests from Chinese plutocrats certainly leaves him and our nation compromised.
If making “false statements” is now grounds for impeachment, including claims of rigged elections, then get a note pad ready. The list of names will be long, beginning with Stacy Abrams, Hillary Clinton, and Nancy Pelosi.