Dems' impeachment vote puts them in big trouble

Yesterday's partisan House vote to advance the impeachment process is a double-edged sword for Democrats.

Since his surprise election in November 2016, Washington insiders have tried to drive the duly elected president out of office.  First, it was based on a connection with Trump business interests and Russia.  We endured nearly two years of lawyers amassing testimony and hearing from various witnesses.  Americans footed a $40-million tab.  There were no charges, and the process turned out to be a turd.

Then Democrats in Congress moved to the president's business interests.  Reveal your tax returns.  Give us your financial data, has been the cry by partisans.  That issue is being resolved in the courts and may not be settled until after the next presidential election.  No tab has been placed on this inquiry.

Now we are on to the famous Ukraine phone call.  The president is accused of "quid pro quo," asking that the government investigate potential corruption charges against a potential political opponent's son, who may have been benefited financially when Biden was vice president.  Hunter Biden was paid $50,000 monthly to sit on a Ukrainian company with no energy experience.  His only experience was being the vice president's son.  No average American would be even be considered for a position like this.  Charges have been made on other potential "sweet deals" in other nations.

President Trump released a transcript of the conversation to clarify an unnamed "whistleblower's" complaint.  There was no "quid pro quo" during the call.  Ukraine received its aid; no Ukraine inquiry has been opened on the Biden family.  But House Democrats won't let it go.

Congressman Adam Schiff, the pit bull for the partisan effort, lied about not knowing about the whistleblower.  Apparently, his staff and partisan Democrat lawyers helped draft the complaint.  Oh, the whistleblower wasn't actually on the call.  He only heard another person's memory of it.  Schiff is now holding secret hearings to find disgruntled federal employees who do not share President Trump's politics to give their opinion of the conversation.

It turns out that the whistleblower is a partisan Democrat who was fired from the White House for leaking information to the media.  The more we know and the more that is made public, the more frustrated House Democrats must feel.

Meanwhile, President Trump did nothing inappropriate.  The committee has apparently over 90 hours of transcript that has not been released to the public.  This star chamber has become the star chamber of the century.  Rep. Schiff appears to be coaching witnesses and keeps Republicans from asking legitimate questions.

This sham process will not prevail.  Before the impeachment vote, media pundits predicted Republican support.  In fact, there was only bipartisan opposition to the process.  The legislation gives Schiff a "veto" over what is released, what questions can be answered or not, and who can be called to testify.  Joe McCarthy would be proud of the majority.

You may not want President Trump as a neighbor or friend.  You might not like this personal style.  But he is president of the United States.  He deserves the same attribute we hold for those seeking justice in criminal matters: innocent until proven guilty through a process to protect the rights of the innocent.

Meanwhile, government stalls.  Congress needs to focus on fiscal accountability, health care reform, and trade agreements, among other priorities.  I suspect that the impeachment strategy may not be the best one for House Democrats to use to stay in the majority.

Dr. David Rehr is a professor and director of the Center for Business Civic Engagement at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University.

Image: Lorie Shaull via Flickr.

Yesterday's partisan House vote to advance the impeachment process is a double-edged sword for Democrats.

Since his surprise election in November 2016, Washington insiders have tried to drive the duly elected president out of office.  First, it was based on a connection with Trump business interests and Russia.  We endured nearly two years of lawyers amassing testimony and hearing from various witnesses.  Americans footed a $40-million tab.  There were no charges, and the process turned out to be a turd.

Then Democrats in Congress moved to the president's business interests.  Reveal your tax returns.  Give us your financial data, has been the cry by partisans.  That issue is being resolved in the courts and may not be settled until after the next presidential election.  No tab has been placed on this inquiry.

Now we are on to the famous Ukraine phone call.  The president is accused of "quid pro quo," asking that the government investigate potential corruption charges against a potential political opponent's son, who may have been benefited financially when Biden was vice president.  Hunter Biden was paid $50,000 monthly to sit on a Ukrainian company with no energy experience.  His only experience was being the vice president's son.  No average American would be even be considered for a position like this.  Charges have been made on other potential "sweet deals" in other nations.

President Trump released a transcript of the conversation to clarify an unnamed "whistleblower's" complaint.  There was no "quid pro quo" during the call.  Ukraine received its aid; no Ukraine inquiry has been opened on the Biden family.  But House Democrats won't let it go.

Congressman Adam Schiff, the pit bull for the partisan effort, lied about not knowing about the whistleblower.  Apparently, his staff and partisan Democrat lawyers helped draft the complaint.  Oh, the whistleblower wasn't actually on the call.  He only heard another person's memory of it.  Schiff is now holding secret hearings to find disgruntled federal employees who do not share President Trump's politics to give their opinion of the conversation.

It turns out that the whistleblower is a partisan Democrat who was fired from the White House for leaking information to the media.  The more we know and the more that is made public, the more frustrated House Democrats must feel.

Meanwhile, President Trump did nothing inappropriate.  The committee has apparently over 90 hours of transcript that has not been released to the public.  This star chamber has become the star chamber of the century.  Rep. Schiff appears to be coaching witnesses and keeps Republicans from asking legitimate questions.

This sham process will not prevail.  Before the impeachment vote, media pundits predicted Republican support.  In fact, there was only bipartisan opposition to the process.  The legislation gives Schiff a "veto" over what is released, what questions can be answered or not, and who can be called to testify.  Joe McCarthy would be proud of the majority.

You may not want President Trump as a neighbor or friend.  You might not like this personal style.  But he is president of the United States.  He deserves the same attribute we hold for those seeking justice in criminal matters: innocent until proven guilty through a process to protect the rights of the innocent.

Meanwhile, government stalls.  Congress needs to focus on fiscal accountability, health care reform, and trade agreements, among other priorities.  I suspect that the impeachment strategy may not be the best one for House Democrats to use to stay in the majority.

Dr. David Rehr is a professor and director of the Center for Business Civic Engagement at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University.

Image: Lorie Shaull via Flickr.