It’s official now. Democrats are careening toward the impeachment of a president and dragging the American people along with them. In today’s mass media age, it will consume this nation like few other events ever have.
I outlined a broader strategy for the GOP in my recent article for Fox News Opinion: “Republicans must win the impeachment trial – and they can by following these five steps.”
At this point, the formal House vote deprives the Republicans the right to subpoena witnesses without the permission of Adam Schiff – the man who has repeatedly lied to the American people. That is a stark departure from the procedure that was afforded the minority party under Nixon and Clinton.
If the Republicans are serious about winning this truly political fight, here are three witnesses they should demand be subpoenaed:
- Hunter Biden
- Joe Biden
- Barack Obama.
Before we talk about them, you might ask the question: What is an impeachable offense?
The Constitution explicitly states: "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors." That is the easy part when it comes to presidents. Treason and bribery are easily defined but “other high Crimes and Misdemeanors” are not.
Did those words refer to a president challenging a suspect law passed by a Congress seeking to determine who could serve in a president’s cabinet? In 1868, a Republican-dominated House of Representatives impeached Democratic President Andrew Johnson, with an overwhelming vote of 126 to 47, for just that. The Senate, however, never convicted Johnson.
Johnson’s acts related to his exercise of official presidential powers. The Nixon impeachment proceedings started based on the ill-famed Watergate break-in and a subsequent cover-up. Nixon’s acts were a combination of private acts and executive power.
Bill Clinton you ask? Well, that was based on his perjurous statement to a federal grand jury and obstruction of justice in a private lawsuit against him – largely private actions thought far too unfit for a president by the Republican House. The Senate did not convict Clinton either.
So, does the above enable you to determine whether the Trump Ukraine phone call is worthy of impeachment? Certainly not.
In truth, impeachment is far more political than legal. It is, as former House member President Gerald Ford once said, "Whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history."
As long as we are considering precedent, however, we should compare the acts of President Trump, for which he is accused, to those of a prior president’s administration that actually did that which the Democrats accuse President Trump of doing.
You see, the Obama administration clearly engaged with Ukraine starting in January of 2016. As investigative reporter John Solomon tells us, the Obama White House “summoned” Ukrainian authorities under false pretenses.
The January 2016 gathering, confirmed by multiple participants and contemporaneous memos, brought some of Ukraine’s top corruption prosecutors and investigators face to face with members of former President Obama’s National Security Council (NSC), FBI, State Department and Department of Justice (DOJ).
The agenda suggested the purpose was training and coordination. But Ukrainian participants said it didn’t take long — during the meetings and afterward — to realize the Americans’ objectives included two politically hot investigations: one that touched Vice President Joe Biden’s family and one that involved a lobbying firm linked closely to then-candidate Trump.
Of course, that was when candidate Trump was on the ascent. It is also important to note that Ukraine was seeking aid from the Obama administration at that time.
Then, as Solomon tells us, which narrative is largely confirmed by Politico, “In March 2016, a contractor for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) pressed his embassy to try to find any Russian dirt on Trump and Manafort that might reside in Ukraine’s intelligence files. The DNC contractor also asked Chaly's team to try to persuade Ukraine’s president at the time, Petro Poroshenko, to make a statement disparaging Manafort when the Ukrainian leader visited the United States during the 2016 election.”
You can plainly see that the Obama administration sought to involve Ukraine in the 2016 election. The March 2016 requests were declined by Ukraine on the basis that it would involve them in the U.S. election. In that same month, Joe Biden famously forced Ukraine to fire a prosecutor in exchange for aid.
We also know that the Biden investigation in Ukraine died and that Ukraine handed over information on former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort that led to his embarrassing resignation.
Quid pro quo.
Now, it would seem to me that those acts of the Obama administration are far more serious than the accusations against President Trump.
A Democrat in Congress might say Trump’s acts were for his personal political gain and that makes a difference. But, let’s be serious. Obama wanted to see Trump defeated at the ballot box and to have the Biden investigation in Ukraine quashed because the truth would hurt his legacy. It’s a safe bet to say that he could expect that Trump would unwind the Obama legacy.
In any case, the actions of the Obama administration are documented. Now that the impeachment inquiry in the House is officially underway, Joe Biden, under oath, should be brought in to tell the truth about why he did what he did.
Many others involved in the Obama scheme, like Alexandra Chalupa, an American working with the DNC, whom Politico says was part of an effort “to research connections between Trump, Manafort and Russia,” should be subpoenaed as well.
After they have sufficiently tied them down on the record, former President Obama should also be subpoenaed. Let him try to deny the facts that will have been so well documented.
All in all, the PRECEDENT of their actions – which did NOT lead to the impeachment of Biden and Obama is STRONG evidence of the meaning of an impeachable offense that must be entered into trial – and placed into the hands of Americans long before the impeachment. When it is, Trump can easily be acquitted for acts that simply don’t compare to those of the Obama administration.
Bill Clintons’ reelection request for aid from Britain’s former Prime Minister Tony Blair also should be explored while the Republicans are at it. Yesterday’s acts do shed light on today’s.
As for Hunter Biden, his deal with Burisma was the personification of rot and, to borrow a phrase, of influence peddling. He got millions for attending a handful of meetings because of his father’s name. His appearance could well end Joe Biden’s career once and for all.
Will the Democrats allow them to be subpoenaed? If they don’t, Republicans can say to America they are hiding the truth and railroading a President and our Constitution. If they allow it, the truth will finally come forth.
Overall, the Republicans can prove to America what truly is afoot in Washington. By point to past precedents they can prove that Trump is innocent. To do that, however, they cannot be shy. They must be bold – no less bold than our founders who laid down the gauntlet for the corrupt acts of a king and his massive army – who were only slightly more daunting than Nancy Pelosi is today.