Impeachment of President Trump appears to be on the horizon. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who has opposed impeaching Trump in the past, said, “We could not ignore what the president did. He gave us no choice. So it wasn't any change of mind. I always said we will follow the facts where they take us. And when we see them, we will be ready. And we are ready.” According to a CNN poll of U.S. House members, a clear majority — 223 (all Democrats) of the 435 — support impeaching the president.
Impeachment does not remove the president from office. In our nation’s history, only two presidents have been impeached — Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. Neither were removed. Impeachment is the process by which a legislative body levels charges against a government official. It is the equivalent to an indictment in criminal law, and thus is only the statement of charges against the official. If the House votes to impeach, a trial will take place in the U.S. Senate, where a 2/3 majority is needed to remove from office. With Republicans having 53 of the 100 members, getting to 67 is a tough hill to climb.
First, Pelosi and the Democrats are not concerned with facts. In spite of her claim the House will conduct a fair and through investigation into Trump’s call with the Ukrainian president, their track record indicates otherwise. The Democrats — in lock step — have opposed everything Trump has done. They practice ‘group think’ and are blindly loyal to their cause. They are willing to excuse bad behavior in the name of unity, which is a form of collusion — the very thing they condemn in Trump. It is true that no one is above the law, but Pelosi seems willing to turn a blind eye to misbehavior on her side of the aisle.
Second, the Senate trial could hurt Biden and Democrats more than Trump. With Republicans in control, they will likely investigate Hunter Biden’s association with the Ukrainian company and if he violated any U.S. laws. If they go back far enough, they could look into Joe Biden’s brother, James and Hunter purchase of a hedge fund-Paradigm Global Advisors in 2006. According to an unnamed executive quoted in Politico, James Biden told employees the first day: “Don’t worry about investors. We’ve got people all around the world who want to invest in Joe Biden. We’ve got investors lined up in a line of 747s filled with cash ready to invest in this company.” At that time, Joe Biden was months away from becoming chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and launching his second bid for president. Was the purchase made to work around campaign finance laws?
Third, the 116th Congress will not get much else done in 2020. Expect the impeachment and subsequent trial to consume the legislative calendar. The people’s business will be pushed to the next year. That could backfire on the Democrats in the 2020 elections.
Citizens of all political stripes are fed up with the bickering, polarizing, positioning, partisan behavior on both sides. Their predictability is boring and doesn’t move the country forward. Expect it to get worse before it gets better.
Steve Fair is chairman of the 4th district of the Oklahoma Republican Party. He can be reached by phone at (580) 252-6284 or by email at email@example.com.