Washington is in an impeachment frenzy, which is a dangerous moment for facts and context. A classic example is the political and media overreaction to Monday’s stories concerning Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Attorney General William Barr and impeachment.
Mr. Pompeo’s alleged misdeed is that he was among those listening to Mr. Trump’s July 25 telephone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. But why shouldn’t a Secretary of State be on a call to the new President of an important country? U.S. foreign policy is the secretary’s job. As far as we know, Mr. Pompeo isn’t responsible for Mr. Trump’s decision to mention Joe Biden in that conversation. This is not impeachable behavior, or even impeachment news.
As for Mr. Barr, he is supposedly implicated because he asked Mr. Trump to ask Prime Minister Scott Morrison for Australia’s cooperation with the Justice Department probe of illegal foreign influence in the 2016 election. Mr. Barr and prosecutors have also sought the cooperation of other foreign governments.
We certainly hope they have. Everyone has known for some time that Justice is investigating what happened in 2016, and Justice made that public last week in a statement when the transcript of Mr. Trump’s Ukraine phone call was released.