Amy Klobuchar explains her 'constitutional obligation'

In a Meet the Press interview, host Chuck Todd questioned presidential nominee candidate Amy Klobuchar about the impeachment proceedings against President Trump for soliciting investigations in Ukraine for possible 2016 meddling, and also possible corruption in relation to Hunter Biden and father Joe Biden's involvement with the Ukrainian company Burisma. In her opening response, clearly prepared, Klobuchar said:

The first obligation is a constitutional one.  We don't have a choice.  This is something where the founding fathers themselves — James Madison said that the reason we needed impeachment provisions is that he feared a president would betray the trust of the American people to a foreign power.

Huh? I had been under the impression that the offense was supposed to be about Trump's using the powers of his office to advance not the Ukrainian national interest, but rather his own personal political interest.  (This, we may infer, Klobuchar appears to assume, notwithstanding Trump's actual performance as president, would be detrimental to the national interest.)  But no, Klobuchar informs us, it is not about Trump trying to advance his own political interest at all, but about him trying to serve the Ukrainian national interest.  (This is really weird, because, according to Stanford law professor Pamela Karlan before the House Judiciary Committee, Trump "demand[ed]" at p. 5 of transcript investigations from Ukrainian President Zelensky that, if Klobuchar's accusation is true, were in Ukraine's interest.)

Even if we assume that it would be in Ukraine's interest to investigate 2016 and Bidens/Burisma, how would Trump's request constitute a "betrayal" of America?  Because, depending upon what an investigation on Biden would find, it would be to Trump's political advantage?  (Note the assumption here: that the findings of an investigation could only be beneficial to Trump, not to Biden — that there would be no possibility that there would be any vindication of Biden in the same way, for example, that Trump was vindicated when, after 2+ years of searching on the taxpayer dime, his enemies could still find no evidence of collusion with Russia.)

But even if the findings of such an investigation would, by exposing deeper corruption, serve to advance Trump's political interest, why wouldn't such exposure of the dealings of a potential candidate for the presidency serve the national interest as well — or at least those interests of Americans who support the rule of law?

Klobuchar goes on to "elaborate":

I see it simply as a global Watergate. Back then, you had a president in Richard Nixon who is paranoid, and he delegated to some people to go break into the [Democratic] headquarters and get into a file cabinet to get dirt on a political opponent. That's basically what this president has done on a global basis.

Again, huh?  On two levels.  First, what did Watergate — as Klobuchar herself describes it — have to do with treason, with "betray[ing] the trust of the American people to a foreign power"?  Nothing.  So, if that's the way Klobuchar sees it, and that's what she elaborates on, then why does she even bring up the reference to treason in the first place?  (As, incidentally, the aforementioned Pamela Karlan, before the Judiciary Committee at p. 4, did as well.)  Apparently, it was not as an actual charge that would have to be defended, but simply as a smear — something to throw in, and then move on to something else before there is a chance for response.

At the second level, Klobuchar compares Trump's open request for a legal investigation for information that Americans have every right to know to Nixon's secret order to illegally break into Democratic offices to steal information that no Americans, other than the parties involved, have a right to know.  (Aside from those minor points, it's a perfect match.)

Klobuchar concludes:

"In the end, it's our constitutional obligation, and I can do two things at once." (She smiles.)

Indeed, U.S. senator Klobuchar can.  She can, within a one-minute statement, make two points that contradict each other, and each of which is clearly (except, apparently, to Chuck Todd, who questions neither) absurd in itself.  To meet her constitutional obligation, however, her points need to be both coherent and plausible.

Complete interview here:

Photo credit: YouTube screen grab.

In a Meet the Press interview, host Chuck Todd questioned presidential nominee candidate Amy Klobuchar about the impeachment proceedings against President Trump for soliciting investigations in Ukraine for possible 2016 meddling, and also possible corruption in relation to Hunter Biden and father Joe Biden's involvement with the Ukrainian company Burisma. In her opening response, clearly prepared, Klobuchar said:

The first obligation is a constitutional one.  We don't have a choice.  This is something where the founding fathers themselves — James Madison said that the reason we needed impeachment provisions is that he feared a president would betray the trust of the American people to a foreign power.

Huh? I had been under the impression that the offense was supposed to be about Trump's using the powers of his office to advance not the Ukrainian national interest, but rather his own personal political interest.  (This, we may infer, Klobuchar appears to assume, notwithstanding Trump's actual performance as president, would be detrimental to the national interest.)  But no, Klobuchar informs us, it is not about Trump trying to advance his own political interest at all, but about him trying to serve the Ukrainian national interest.  (This is really weird, because, according to Stanford law professor Pamela Karlan before the House Judiciary Committee, Trump "demand[ed]" at p. 5 of transcript investigations from Ukrainian President Zelensky that, if Klobuchar's accusation is true, were in Ukraine's interest.)

Even if we assume that it would be in Ukraine's interest to investigate 2016 and Bidens/Burisma, how would Trump's request constitute a "betrayal" of America?  Because, depending upon what an investigation on Biden would find, it would be to Trump's political advantage?  (Note the assumption here: that the findings of an investigation could only be beneficial to Trump, not to Biden — that there would be no possibility that there would be any vindication of Biden in the same way, for example, that Trump was vindicated when, after 2+ years of searching on the taxpayer dime, his enemies could still find no evidence of collusion with Russia.)

But even if the findings of such an investigation would, by exposing deeper corruption, serve to advance Trump's political interest, why wouldn't such exposure of the dealings of a potential candidate for the presidency serve the national interest as well — or at least those interests of Americans who support the rule of law?

Klobuchar goes on to "elaborate":

I see it simply as a global Watergate. Back then, you had a president in Richard Nixon who is paranoid, and he delegated to some people to go break into the [Democratic] headquarters and get into a file cabinet to get dirt on a political opponent. That's basically what this president has done on a global basis.

Again, huh?  On two levels.  First, what did Watergate — as Klobuchar herself describes it — have to do with treason, with "betray[ing] the trust of the American people to a foreign power"?  Nothing.  So, if that's the way Klobuchar sees it, and that's what she elaborates on, then why does she even bring up the reference to treason in the first place?  (As, incidentally, the aforementioned Pamela Karlan, before the Judiciary Committee at p. 4, did as well.)  Apparently, it was not as an actual charge that would have to be defended, but simply as a smear — something to throw in, and then move on to something else before there is a chance for response.

At the second level, Klobuchar compares Trump's open request for a legal investigation for information that Americans have every right to know to Nixon's secret order to illegally break into Democratic offices to steal information that no Americans, other than the parties involved, have a right to know.  (Aside from those minor points, it's a perfect match.)

Klobuchar concludes:

"In the end, it's our constitutional obligation, and I can do two things at once." (She smiles.)

Indeed, U.S. senator Klobuchar can.  She can, within a one-minute statement, make two points that contradict each other, and each of which is clearly (except, apparently, to Chuck Todd, who questions neither) absurd in itself.  To meet her constitutional obligation, however, her points need to be both coherent and plausible.

Complete interview here:

Photo credit: YouTube screen grab.