Site Title

Sign up for our newsletter


A Clear Abuse of the Impeachment Process

The Framers of the Constitution saw impeachment as a dangerous weapon to put in the hands of Congress, a weapon whose existence could only be justified by circumstances of extreme necessity.
They rightly feared that impeachment would be subject to partisan abuse. Gouverneur Morris warned the delegates to the Convention that there would always be “two parties.  The Executive will necessarily be more connected with one than with the other.  There will be a personal interest therefore in one of the parties to oppose him . . . .  Some leader of [the opposition] party will always covet his seat, will perplex his administration, will cabal with the Legislature, till he succeeds in supplanting him.”
To protect the President from such a partisan attack, the Constitution mandates at least a two-thirds Senate majority for conviction and removal from office.  The wisdom of two-thirds is becoming obvious today as we see a left-wing partisan effort to push impeachment through the House even with the narrowest of margins and a stunning lack of proof of any impeachable offense.
The ostensible reason for proceeding with impeachment was a rumor of a whistleblower claiming that the President, in a telephone call with the new President of Ukraine, had made some sort of disturbing “promise” and had threatened to withhold aid to Ukraine unless former Vice President Biden and his son Hunter were investigated.  This quickly fell apart when the contents of the call were made public.  There had been no promise, no threat, no demand for anything in return for the aid.  The President of the Ukraine personally confirmed those facts.
Rep. Adam Schiff, appointed by Speaker Pelosi to lead the lynch mob, then tried writing his own version of the phone call and reading it to the media, further eroding what little credibility he had left after proclaiming for more than a year that there was solid proof of Trump’s “collusion” with Russia.
Next was a claim that the President had asked Ukraine to “dig up dirt” on Biden so as to help in the 2020 campaign.  We know what a real request to “dig up dirt” looks like.  In 2016 the Clinton campaign hired Fusion GPS to approach Russians for dirt on Donald Trump.  Judging from the result (the notorious “Steele dossier”), the request was actually to “dig up dirt, and if you cannot find any, make some up”. 
President Trump’s request to the Ukraine was quite different.  Instead of an open-ended hunt for damaging material, he asked that they resume the investigation into allegations of corruption by Burisma.  Some Ukrainian sources say that the investigation had been terminated as a result of US pressure specifically related to the fact that then-President Joe Biden’s son was a director of Burisma.  Surely this narrowly-targeted matter, one that had recently been raised even in the liberal US news media, deserved another look.  The President asked Ukraine to discover the truth, not to make up anything about the Bidens.
Perhaps realizing that the Ukraine controversy is not a credible justification for impeachment, some on the Left want to resurrect the Mueller Report and claim that it proves the President guilty of obstruction of justice.
In fact, a reading of the full Mueller Report, noting both what it does and does not say, shows that not even Mueller believed President Trump to be guilty of obstruction.  The claim that the Special Counsel could not recommend indictment of a sitting president ignores the alternative – a recommendation of impeachment.
The precedent is unmistakable.  The Starr Report, on the very first page of its introduction, stated that it “hereby submits substantial and credible information that President William Jefferson Clinton committed acts that may constitute grounds for an impeachment” and approximately 40% of the report (99 pages) is entitled “Grounds for Impeachment”.
Mueller could have done the same thing if he truly believed that his report actually constituted a solid case proving obstruction.  He could also have sought to indict Corey Lewandowski, who was clearly an accessory in one of the incidents cited in the report as possible obstruction.
The Mueller Report itself explains why Mueller knew he could not successfully show obstruction.  The report admits that there was no crime to be covered up, and therefore a prosecutor must show corrupt intent.  This Mueller could not do.  As the report states, “The term ‘corruptly’ sets a demanding standard.  It requires a concrete showing that a person acted with an intent to obtain an improper advantage for himself or someone else, inconsistent with official duty and the rights of others.” [Mueller Report, Vol. II, pg. 8]
Mueller could make no such “concrete showing”, since his own report described the President’s motivation, one entirely consistent with his responsibilities as chief executive.  It quotes the President’s reaction when first told of the Special Counsel appointment.  “Everyone tells me if you get one of these independent counsels it ruins your presidency.  It takes years and years and I won’t be able to do anything.” [Vol. II, pg. 78]  In other words, President Trump understood that his political enemies would use the Special Counsel as a means of crippling his presidency, preventing him from carrying out the job he had been elected to do.
Lest there be any doubt, the Mueller report includes at least fourteen more occasions when the President repeated this same theme.  The investigation would “hobble his presidency and derail his policy objectives.” [Vol. II, pg. 49]  It would “disrupt his ability to govern.” [Vol. II, pg. 51]  It “interfered with his ability to conduct foreign relations.” [Vol. II, pg. 57]
In other words, the President’s actions were not at all “inconsistent with official duty and the rights of others.”  The President was merely attempting to carry out those official duties despite a massive campaign to destroy him by enemies within the executive branch, Congress, and the media.  Trying to fulfill his constitutional responsibilities cannot be an impeachable offense.

The Conservative Caucus, a project of Americans for Constitutional Liberty, is a public policy organization, contributions to which are not tax deductible. The IRS has determined ACL to be a 501(c)(4) organization, exempt from Federal income tax. Contributions to ACL are not subject to FEC regulation or disclosure requirements, and corporate donations are permitted.

Sign up for our email list