Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) asked a question on behalf of several other senators and himself during the Q&A session of the Senate impeachment trial yesterday:
Compare the bipartisanship in the Nixon, Clinton, and Trump impeachment proceedings, specifically how bipartisan was the vote in the House of Representatives to authorize and direct the House Committees to begin formal impeachment inquiries for each of the three presidents.
It’s about damn time that Republicans have started exposing the sheer partisan Democrat actions of the Nancy Pelosi-run House of Representatives in this impeachment farce! The House Republicans did an excellent job in doing so during the 48 days of star chambers hearings, but Senate Republicans have been subdued in their criticism for the most part. This question went to the heart of the Democrats’ political motivations behind this impeachment charade.
The Democrat managers sent up Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), who was in Congress for each of the three impeachment inquiries to answer the question.
Lofgren: In the Nixon impeachment, when we look back and think about the vote on the House Judiciary Committee that ended up bipartisan, but it didn’t start out that way. The parties were as dug in as parties are today. The Republicans and Democrats saw it differently, but as the evidence emerged, a bipartisan consensus emerged on the committee, and a number of Republicans … couldn’t turn away from the evidence that their president had committed an abuse of power, cheated in the election, and they had to vote to impeach him. When it came to the Clinton impeachment, that was again – it started out along very partisan line, and it ended along partisan lines, and I believe the reason why as I said a short while earlier was that we never had a high crime and misdemeanor – that was the problem. With Nixon, we had clear abuse of presidential authority to upend the constitutional scheme to cheat in an election, and members of both parties voted to impeach. With Clinton, we had private misconduct, yes, I think probably a crime because he lied about that under oath, but it wasn’t misuse of presidential authority as I said. Any husband caught in an affair could have lied about it, and it didn’t involve the use of presidential authority, and so we never got beyond our partisan divisions on that, and many of us … and I will include myself … believe that it was being done for partisan purpose because it didn’t reach a high crime and misdemeanor. In the Trump case, I’ll say I’ve been disappointed because I serve with a number of Republicans in the House who I like, who I respect, who I work with on legislation, and I honestly believed that when this evidence came out as with in the Nixon Administration, we would have a coming together, but it didn’t happen, much to my disappointment. I think you have a new opportunity here in the Senate. For one thing, it’s a smaller body; you are the greatest deliberative body on the planet. You have an opportunity to something that we didn’t have the chance to do, which is to call firsthand witnesses and hear from them. We have had a lot of things happen since the impeachment articles were adopted. One of them was … were emails that had been released that we didn’t know about. It’s been said by counsel that the Freedom of Information Act information … to show that if you follow the process you get information … you know, they had to sue, and they’re still in a lockdown fight over the Freedom of Information Act information … the redactions that were not proper … so that’s a big fight that’s still going on … but we’ve got information … but most tellingly, Mr. Bolton has now stepped forward and said he’s willing to testify. He’s willing to come here and testify under oath, and I think we would all learn something, and as Mr. Schiff has mentioned, we can structure this in such as way that it will respect the Senate’s need to do other business, which we also feel in the House. Let’s get that done, and let’s see if that kind of information can help the senators come together as happened in the House Judiciary Committee so many years ago when we dealt with the serious problem of presidential misconduct, abuse of power to cheat in an election when Richard Nixon shocked the nation and ultimately had to resign.
What bunk! Where do I start? The simple and truthful answer would have been that the House vote (albeit delayed) on the Trump impeachment inquiry was the only one of the three that was entirely partisan, contrary to the earlier statements of Nancy Pelosi that any impeachment inquiry had to be “bipartisan.” That is the central fact – this impeachment farce has been entirely partisan from the beginning, and not a shred of the hearsay evidence and personal opinions produced by the House Democrats’ witnessed moved even a single House Republican to vote for the two articles of impeachment. In fact, the real bipartisan vote was AGAINST the Trump articles of impeachment.
But there were also more lies and innuendos in Lofgren’s remarks. Here are a few of them:
- Lofgren claimed that Nixon committed an “abuse of power” and “cheated in the election.” Consider that Nixon won the 1972 by a landslide over George McGovern. The implication that the Watergate burglars made the difference in the election is absurd. It is unclear to this very day whether Nixon was even aware about the break-in beforehand, as a number of contemporaries claimed that he was surprised when he first learned of it! It wasn’t “clear abuse of presidential authority” that forced Nixon to resign, it was the cover-up afterward. Lofgren would rewrite history by trying to equate Nixon’s actions to President Trump’s. That dog won’t hunt!
- Lofgren then she thought that – probably – Clinton had committed a crime. How about 11 actual felonies, Zoe, as were cited in the Clinton articles of impeachment. The two articles of impeachment voted out of the House in 1998 were based on 11 actual crimes that were documented in great detail after months of investigation and the testimony of many witnesses – all methodically conducted by Independent Counsel Ken Starr. The Democrats and the Democrat operatives in the legacy media would have us forget about Clinton’s real crimes, none of which were disputed. The continuing myth propagated that it was “just about sex” is a bald-faced lie.
- Lofgren claims that Clinton’s actions didn’t involve “the use of presidential authority,” but that’s false, too, as Clinton used the power of his position to suborn perjury, not to mention to take advantage of a young woman. As a flaming feminazi, Lofgren would have been at the front of the line in condemning any corporate CEO for committing similar abuse of authority actions.
- Lofgren laments the lack of a “coming together” with House Republicans in 2019. She wishes for a repeat of the Nixon-era comity that led to Nixon’s resignation. But the simple reason for the absence of a “coming together” is that the House Republicans exposed the Democrats’ impeachment scam for exactly what it was during cross-examination of the Democrats’ witnesses. No Republican voted for the articles of impeachment because the allegations against the President were not proven by the hearsay and opinions of the witnesses that were deposed in the SCIF and questioned during the hearings.
- Then, Lofgren veered away from the direct question asked (“compare the bipartisan nature or the lack thereof in the three House impeachment inquiry votes”) to talk about “new information learned,” including the “Bolton manuscript” disclosed in the NY Times. This is the Kavanaugh playbook – the release of supposedly damning information based on unproven allegations. In this case, the NY Times doesn’t have the actual manuscript (the story was based on the usual “anonymous sources,” and both the DoJ and White House Chief of Staff’s office have issued official statements that reject the claims in that NYT article.
- The last part of her statement was nothing more than the House managers’ last gambit in begging senators for witnesses – claiming that testimony of new witnesses can be structured around Senate business schedules and can be completed “within a week.” This is nonsense, as the witness list wouldn’t just be who the House Democrats would have testify. Never mind that they’ve already had 17 witnesses testify to none for the President. You are transparent, Zoe.
Despite her rambling, the votes in the House of Representatives to initiate the Nixon and Clinton inquiries were bipartisan while the vote on the Trump inquiry was entirely partisan. That is the bottom line – which ignored the Founders fears about the House to abuse their power by using the “emotions of the moment” to impeach a president on an entirely bipartisan basis. And the Senate will take corrective action and quell that abuse by voting to acquit this president.
Post Script. The actual votes on the three impeachment inquiries were as follows, as reported by Patrick Philbin:
- Nixon: The vote was 410-4 to authorize the inquiry broken down by 232 Democrats 177 Republicans and one independent (an entirely bipartisan vote).
- Clinton: The vote was 258-176; 31 Democrats joined 227 Republicans to vote in favor of the resolution (a substantially bipartisan vote)
- Trump: The vote was 231 Democrats and one independent in favor to 194 Republicans (all of them) plus 2 Democrats against (the bipartisan vote was against the inquiry)