Full of pomp and language better left to the eggheads in academia, the House released a 52-page report that laid out the legal/constitutional case for the impeachment of President Trump. In this silly piece of literature which will surely go down as one of the most nonsensical publications ever to come from the House of Representatives, the esteemed Mr. Nadler tells us that “…many people were impeached for non-criminal wrongs against the British system of government.” He then lists the Duke of Buckingham in 1626, the Earl of Strafford in 1640, the Lord Mayor of London in 1642, and a few others. Of course, Nadler leaves out that all these impeachments happened before the American Revolution- in many cases way before- and that is the governmental system which we were fighting a war to get away from to the point of independence. While making a case for impeachment using these instances, he makes a pretty damn good case not to impeach.
But if we cut through the historical crap Nadler and company put forth here, he is saying people were impeached in the absence of criminal wrong doing. Bring that forward a few centuries and Nadler is saying it is perfectly legitimate to oust a sitting President who has not committed a crime. That is the subtext of the entire 52 pages of drivel.
Nadler and company go to great lengths to quote the great constitutional authority, Joseph Story. Indeed, Story did say that the definition of “High Crimes and Misdemeanors” was incapable of classification. One could not, he said, develop a catalog of impeachable offenses. Given these quotes, one would expect that, given the number of unpopular presidents in our past including many who trampled constitutional rights of Americans (Woodrow Wilson) or were embroiled in actual, real criminal scandals (Teapot Dome), impeachment would be a regular thing in the House.
Yet, history shows that only two Presidents have ever been impeached- Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. Both efforts, as one suspects this one also, will end in failure. Johnson was impeached over a political move that twisted the knickers of Congress (in effect, being accused of defying Congress), and Clinton over lying on a deposition involving possible lewd acts in the Oval Office as part of a civil trial. Of course, they cite Nixon’s resignation as proof that the House can force a president out of office even in the absence of a crime (Nixon resigned before any articles of impeachment were voted upon).
In the case of Trump, however, we have no stains on dresses, nor do we have some juicy tapes with 21-minute gaps. Instead, we have a phone call between two world leaders discussing world leader things. We know this because we have the actual transcript of that call. We even know there was no alleged quid pro quo because the transcript of that call proves such.
So Nadler and company, having no evidence whatsoever of an impeachable offense- no matter how undefinable the phrase may be according to Joseph Story-, resort to a mystical trip across time and space and cite our Founders, those 55 participants at the Constitutional Convention in 1787. In fact, they are such diviners of the minds of 55 dead patriots that they mention them a whopping 123 times in 52 pages.
Given the amount of time they are mentioned, you would think they were involved in an impeachment proceeding their very selfs. You would think they would condone such a political circus that we are today witnessing. But their silly document saves the best for later.
We are treated to the story for King Louis XVI of France, a snuff box, and Benjamin Franklin. Nadler assures us when a king in the waning days of a kingdom gives an American official something of value- in this case, a diamond-encrusted snuff box- that is the reason for the Emoluments Clause. He also adds this is how foreign powers influence American officials.
Besides the absurdity of introducing the ghosts of Benjamin Franklin and King Louis XVI, the insinuation is that President Trump bribed the Ukrainians for some kind of assistance. Except in this case, the diamond-encrusted snuff box was non-existent. All these frequent references to European royalty play into the Democrat’s belief that Trump is monarchal.
Last week, in her classic, rambling, twitching way, Nancy Pelosi accused President Trump of abusing his powers. And who was Trump acting like, according to Pelosi? Why…King George III and she even said that in the United States “…the people are the king.”
They also dredged up the specter and words of a 18th century lawyer by the name of William Rawle, a Philadelphia lawyer who was appointed the prosecutor in Pennsylvania by President George Washington. Rawle also served as counsel to the First Bank of the United States and he prosecuted the leaders of the Whiskey Rebellion. In 1829, Rawles wrote that impeachment should be reserved for leaders who might be “productive of the most serious disasters.”
In the mind of Nadler, the “most serious disaster” occurred on the night of November 8, 2016 when Trump defeated Hillary Clinton and became the President-elect. The “disaster” they reference in this report is the one they anticipate on the night of November 3, 2020 when Trump wins reelection.