House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler issued his impeachment report early Monday morning, arguing President Donald Trump abused his office, is a threat to the Constitution and must be removed from office as soon as possible.
But under the Democrats’ standard, former President Barack Obama was clearly in violation of it on at least two occasions during his 2012 re-election campaign.
The 658-page report — including a dissent by Republicans on the committee — opens with the two articles of impeachment that the House is expected to vote on and likely pass this week.
The first article alleges Trump “abused the powers of the presidency by ignoring and injuring national security and other vital national interests to obtain an improper political benefit.”
“He has also betrayed the Nation by abusing his high office to enlist a foreign power in corrupting democratic elections,” the article further reads.
Nadler and the Democrats’ charges of wrongdoing stem from Trump’s July 25 with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, during which Trump asked the newly sworn-in leader to look into a March 2016 incident involving then-Vice President Joe Biden and the firing of Ukrainian prosecutor.
In January 2018, Biden bragged he’d demanded the removal of the prosecutor or Ukraine would not be receiving $1 billion in U.S. aid.
The prosecutor happened to be investigating the Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma Holdings, which was paying Biden’s son Hunter at least $50,000 a month to serve on its board.
Nadler’s first article of impeachment alleges part of Trump’s abuse of power was conditioning payment of $391 million in aid that Congress authorized for Ukraine on the Kyiv government investigating the Bidens and the “discredited theory” that Ukraine interfered in the U.S. presidential election in 2016.
As House Republicans have repeatedly pointed out during the course of the impeachment proceedings to date, no matter how many times the Democrats allege it, Trump did not condition the receipt of military aid on Ukraine taking any actions during his phone call with Zelensky.
Both Zelensky and his foreign minister have stated they felt no pressure to open the investigations, and Trump released the aid in the middle of September with Ukraine not having announced an investigation into the Bidens or 2016 election interference.
So despite what Nadler or House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff may say, these are the facts, and they stand in complete contrast to what the Democrats are selling.
If the Democrats’ new abuse of power standard were to be adopted, Obama was clearly in violation of it during his re-election campaign 2012.
Where were the calls from Democrats that Obama violated his oath office in March 2012, when he asked then-outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, in an infamous hot mic moment, to tell incoming President Vladimir Putin that he would have more flexibility after the U.S. election that fall to negotiate about placement of anti-missile defenses in Poland and Romania?
“This is my last election … After my election I have more flexibility,” Obama said, according to Reuters.
In other words, for the sake of his re-election, his own political gain, Obama had to appear to be playing hardball with Russia.
Neither Nadler, Schiff nor then-House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, nor even the leaders in the Republican Congress, pushed for Obama’s impeachment for putting at risk U.S. security.
He engaged in a quid pro quo: If Putin does not push me on deployment of anti-missile defenses now, I promise I can give him a better outcome for Russia after I’m re-elected.
Was this weakness Obama displayed toward Putin a reason the Russian leader felt he could invade Ukraine with impunity a little over a year into Obama’s second term?
Obama’s collusion, if you will, with Russia in March 2012, wasn’t the only time that year he put his own political interest ahead of that of the United States.
The president also announced his Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program in June of that year.
Obama himself acknowledged two years before he had no constitutional authority to act unilaterally regarding the status of those who are in the country illegally.
When asked about the topic during a 2010 Univision interview, Obama responded, “I am president, I am not king. I can’t do these things just by myself. We have a system of government that requires the Congress to work with the executive branch to make it happen.”
To implement DACA by executive order was a clear political play aimed at helping his re-election prospects.
The Democrats held both houses of Congress — including a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate — during Obama’s first two years in office, yet did nothing to address immigration, despite calls from Hispanic leaders to do so.
Obama could not risk losing support from such a key constituency, so he took the law into his own hands. He failed to faithfully execute the law passed by Congress.
Republicans and even “Saturday Night Live” later pointed out that Obama acted in a lawless fashion, but there were no widespread calls on Capitol Hill to impeach the president, and certainly no impeachment inquiries opened.
The Democrats may be sowing the wind and about to reap the whirlwind in the years ahead with their new “abuse of power” impeachment standard.
Let’s hope the most immediate consequence is the American people voting to return Trump to office and remove Democrats from power in the House in 2020.
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