Newt Gingrich: Don't call it impeachment — Call it a witch hunt
I want to talk about the importance of words and the context they create. And I want to urge everybody who's fair to never use the word "impeachment" for the current political process, because it has nothing to do with an impeachment.
This is a legislative coup d'etat. It is an effort by the hard left, the news media, and the deep state to destroy the president chosen by the American people. This is a project they've been involved in since election night 2016.
So far, we have had two years of a totally false Russian narrative, which even the editor of The New York Times had to admit failed with the Mueller report because it revealed there was no collusion. In those two years, we had FBI agents who were leaking. We had all sorts of effort by people in the deep state to destroy the president. We had The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the networks doing everything they could to destroy Trump and they failed.
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Now they've come back with a new effort based on a new supposed scandal — which will turn out to be as phony as the Russian project was. But this fits the whole attitude of the left because they wake up every morning just certain Trump has done something terrible. They think he must be replaced. We can't wait till the next election, so they just try anything to get rid of him. This is, in constitutional terms, a coup d'etat. It is an effort by one branch of the government to destroy the incumbent president of the United States without any regard for the facts.
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Let's look at the current example. One of the questions that must be answered is: When did the intelligence community change the rules for whistleblowers? Up until recently, in order to be a whistleblower, you had to have personal, firsthand knowledge of what you were blowing the whistle about. For some reason, this was changed. Now, was it changed to make it easier to smear Trump? Probably. But the truth is that we don't know who changed it. We don't know why it was changed, but what it produced was somebody who was not in the room, did not hear the phone call, had no personal knowledge, pulling together innuendo, gossip and rumor into a multi-page complaint — much of which is just plain, factually false.
But the minute there was a supposed whistleblower report, the Times, Post, network news channels and Democrats in the House were all horrified to such a degree that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced they were pursuing impeachment. Keep in mind, she did this before she met the whistleblower and before anybody had read the transcript of the phone conversation between the president of Ukraine and the president of the United States.
It turns out when you read the transcript, you have to ask yourself — at least I do as a historian — what's the big deal? We have all sorts of records of Franklin Delano Roosevelt talking with Winston Churchill. We have records of John F. Kennedy talking with heads of state. We have records of Ronald Reagan talking with Gorbachev. Presidents do this and there’s no quid pro quo. In fact, the brand new, reform-oriented, anticorruption former comedian-turned president of Ukraine was in a happy, positive conversational mood and was telling Trump that he actually modeled himself on Trump to help break up the old order.
It's a fascinating moment, but what comes out of it? You get the hysteria at the Times, Post, and "Meet the Press." You get the constant chanting of impeach, impeach, impeach — and yet, that's not what was happening. The fact is, it isn’t Trump who brought up Biden to attempt to blackmail the Ukrainians. It was Joe Biden, who in his own speech to the Council on Foreign Relations says he threatened to take $1 billion in loan guarantees unless they fired the prosecutor who was investigating his son’s company.
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Now, maybe Biden was not aware that his son was getting $600,000 a year from a company in Ukraine. That strikes me as pretty implausible. I think if one of my daughters had a $600,000 a year job, I'd know it. But you know we've seen Joe have some problems remembering things, so maybe he just forgot that Hunter was involved.
But it's all weird. And it's not Donald Trump, and it's not Donald Trump's tweets. It is a video in which Biden himself says that he threatened them, told them they had six hours to cave and fire the prosecutor. And as he put it, "Son of a b----, he got fired." So, it's legitimate to ask, what was that all about?
And by the way, the prosecutor has said very clearly that he was investigating the company that Hunter Biden was involved in, and he was blocked because of that decision. So, then you get into a fight over whether this guy was corrupt or not corrupt? Part of the answer there is to investigate. Can you imagine the Democrats in the House having a hearing in which the Ukrainian prosecutor lays out the case against Hunter Biden? By any reasonable, normal standards, this is madness.
And it doesn’t stop there. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the chairman of the Intelligence Committee — which is normally considered a serious committee charged with monitoring the intelligence community of the United States as a global power — opened a supposedly serious hearing by reading two paragraphs from Trump that Trump never said. They just straight-out lie. In fact, Schiff himself admitted he wrote them as an "interpretation" of how Trump thinks.
Now, I'm only citing all this because no person who has any serious concern about the Constitution should use the word "impeachment" to describe what is closer to a Salem witchcraft trial than an orderly process of seeking justice.
An investigation would be fine. The investigation should include looking into when and who changed the rules for whistleblowing — and who were the sources for the whistleblower? How many of them are in fact liberal Democrats buried deep in the federal bureaucracy who hate Trump? Who leaked it to the news media? This whole thing is a political mugging and should not be honored with the term "impeachment." I hope that people would just recognize this as a coup d'etat.
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It is a deliberate effort by the left, both in the news media and in the Congress, to destroy the sitting president of the United States. It should be dealt with as such and we should be prepared to demand that they have to be open and engaged.
No one should be confused by the current phony, one-sided partisan effort. It’s not in any way an impeachment process. It is a denial of the American Constitution, a repudiation of the American people's choice of president, and an effort to impose on the country what the left wants — whether the rest of us want it or not.