House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., and Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., right, the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, hold a news conference to introduce the “Secure America from Russian Interference Act,” on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, July 19, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Prior to Trump’s presidency, I mistakenly believed that, in the US legal system, all citizens were presumed innocent until they were proven guilty. “Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat. (The burden of proof is on the one who declares, not on one who denies.)” Further, one’s guilt had to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. “If reasonable doubt remains, the accused must be acquitted.” For most Americans, this right cannot be violated. However, if you happen to be Donald Trump, or anyone associated with him, this right was stolen a long time ago.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) delivered a floor speech on the day of the House impeachment vote during which he told his colleagues that they had provided the President “every opportunity to prove his innocence.”
What I will do is remind Americans that the House provided President Trump every opportunity to prove his innocence. Instead, he ignored Congressional subpoenas for documents and for testimony by White House officials and ordered his subordinates not to cooperate. This itself is unprecedented. When Presidents Nixon and Clinton were asked to hand over documents and allow officials to testify, ultimately both complied. Because it is the law. Such actions of the President can be taken as further evidence of his obstruction and abuse of power. It is itself impeachable conduct, the subject of the second article in this resolution.
This portion of Hoyer’s speech starts at 6:14 in the video below. (I made the mistake of watching the whole speech. Don’t do that.)
That’s an astonishing statement. Especially coming from a lawyer. Hoyer upended the burden of proof standard, and no one calls him out on it. If a Republican congressman had said it, there would be calls for his resignation.
Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) joined Mark Levin for an interview on Fox News’ “Life, Liberty and Levin” on Sunday to discuss the forthcoming Senate impeachment trial. This clip can be viewed here.
Levin addressed the partisan nature of the impeachment and the fact that President Trump has been denied due process. Levin says:
I’m not talking about the Bill of Rights, I’m talking about the kind of due process past presidents have had, judges have had who have faced situations like this. Basic Magna Carta type due process that people get. The President gets less due process than the terrorists on 9/11 get. They get habeas corpus. The President gets no rights. The Republicans, no rights.”
The Democrats didn’t call Bolton. Now they want to move through the Senate John Bolton, Mick Mulvaney, the OMB Director and the Secretary of State. They want all four.
Congressman, don’t we know because of executive privilege and the separation of powers, the small circle around the President, Congress doesn’t get them? So, they’re purposely creating this confrontation.
Collins recalls Rep. Hoyer’s statement on the day of the impeachment vote. He tells Levin:
Mr. Hoyer from Maryland made a very revealing statement for anybody who’s concerned about Constitutional rights – and especially for me – even those of my Democratic counterparts who worry about their communities, where they discuss police action and rights being violated.
Hoyer said ‘We offered him every opportunity to come prove his innocence.’ I’m sorry, did we take a vacation and leave the United States? Did we all of a sudden suspend the Bill of Rights? Did we suspend any modicum of due process?
I don’t care if you think this president ought to be impeached or not. This is irrelevant. This should bother everybody that we’re going to make stuff up. And I talk about this on the floor of the House. If I just want to go around and accuse you of something, under the new standards and all you have to do is “prove your innocence.”
I think the American people are going to go back and see that. The Senators are going to look at it and say, ‘Wait, this is what we’re getting?…This is what you’ve wasted so much time on and now put us in a period of time in which we’ve got to do something?’
I think the American people are going to see through this.
The Democrats have no respect for the Constitution. But until a change is made, it is the law of the land.
Democrats denounce our two tier system of justice. They rail that there’s one system of justice for the rich and another for the poor. I would argue that there’s one system of justice for Republicans and another for Democrats.
President Trump has not committed an impeachable offense. Period. I have this fantasy that one day during the trial, Trump’s defense team will expose irrefutable evidence of the Democrats’ plot against him. Something so glaring, so determinative that they will be humiliated and utterly, finally defeated. Is that too much to ask?