The White House Fires Its First Salvo In the Impeachment War

Image by DonkeyHotey via Flickr Creative Commons

from DonkeyHotey via Flickr Creative Commons

Image by DonkeyHotey via Flickr Creative Commons

The White House and anyone associated with President Trump’s family seems to have been hit with one or more letters from some House committee demanding either documents or testimony or both. What is going on is a pretty transparent attempt to a) placate the hard left Democrat base voters and b) develop a plausible case that impeachment of President Trump is appropriate.This impeachment is pre-ordained.


As I posted in President Trump Is Going To Be Impeached The Question Is How Much Damage It Does.

President Trump will be impeached.

The odds of him being removed from office is very low but the odds of him being impeached by the House of Representatives approaches 100%. Despite the noises you are hearing from the Democrat party and its Congressional caucus, the House Democrats can’t not impeach Trump for several reasons.

First, they have to even the score for Clinton. Clinton’s impeachment is still believed to be a wildly radical and improper step taken by a highly partisan special prosecutor and getting their own back will be just too great a temptation to resist.

Second, they want to put an asterisk by Trump’s election. The whole Russia-collusion narrative is being exposed for the utter bullsh** rational people always knew it to be. In its place they are going to use President Trump’s payments to two mistresses as a way of locking in their narrative that Trump won by cheating. As Nadler says, “they were committed in the service of fraudulently obtaining the office.”

Third, their base demands it and will punish them if they don’t.

Fourth, impeachment will take place as the 2020 primary season gets underway and they undoubtedly feel the best campaign advertisement for the Democrats will be lengthy House Judiciary Committee hearings, covered gavel-to-gavel by CNN and MSNBC as well as extensive play in the New York Times and Washington Post, where Trump can be attacked and where there will be virtually no significant coverage of his defenders. If the Senate drags its feet, that will be a further point of attack. It the Senate votes to acquit, yet another vulnerable flank is revealed.


Now the White House is showing it intends to fight these demands.

In total, the administration has 30 times refused or delayed turning over documents to 12 House committees. They include Natural Resources, Energy and Commerce and Foreign Affairs, according to a House Democratic document obtained by POLITICO. In one case, the IRS not only failed to provide documents but removed information from its website related to the issue, according to the document.

Six administration officials refused to appear before five committees while two officials have refused to come in for interviews with two other committees, according to the document.

This is mostly theater, in regards to getting either documents or testimony. In general, no one in the Executive Office of the President is going to be subject to any kind of Congressional questioning and White House documents aren’t going to be subject a House subpoena because of the doctrine of separation of powers. But that isn’t what is at stake here.

To make this impeachment attempt plausible, Fat Jerry Nadler has to convince a broad section of the American public that the action is justified and not merely partisan score settling. This is part of what Nadler was referring to when he said, “Before you impeach somebody, you have to persuade the American public that it ought to happen.” We know that abuse of power will be one charge and to do that they will use the refusal to cooperate with Congressional investigations as evidence. As I posted a couple of days ago, they are going to use actual legal actions by Trump as grounds for impeachment.


It is clear that the White House knows the game and are responding. They are casting all the demands as harassment and part of a fishing expedition (FACT CHECK: True).

Expect to see a lot more of this.

As we learned during the Clinton debacle, the president is much more powerful in these contests than is the Congress. Not only are there too many Democrat egos at work to push a coherent narrative, those same egos aren’t going to cede camera time to a colleague. At the same time, a very unified minority will be pushing a counter narrative. The president controls the communications apparatus of the federal government and can usually speak louder than a Congressional majority.

In the end, I expect President Trump to be impeached but I believe the fight will end up damaging the Democrats more than it does Trump.

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