Democrats who use comments from Founding Father Alexander Hamilton to buttress their attacks on President Donald Trump are taking Hamilton’s words out of context, according to one of Trump’s attorneys.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff of California and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York have each used Hamilton’s words during Trump’s Senate impeachment trial.
“They did not intend for the power of impeachment to be used frequently or as a matter of policy… but they put it in the constitution for a reason”
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) January 22, 2020
During Jerry Nadler’s opening remarks at the impeachment trial, he referenced Alexander Hamilton’s 1792 letter to George Washington but the graphic he used said it was written in 1972 pic.twitter.com/peGDLX7nlK
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) January 23, 2020
Hamilton, then the treasury secretary, was writing to then-President George Washington in 1792 on a variety of issues, including the possibility that America could become a monarchy, when he wrote the words currently being cited by the Democrats.
“When a man unprincipled in private life desperate in his fortune, bold in his temper, possessed of considerable talents, having the advantage of military habits — despotic in his ordinary demeanor — known to have scoffed in private at the principles of liberty — when such a man is seen to mount the hobby horse of popularity — to join in the cry of danger to liberty — to take every opportunity of embarrassing the General Government & bringing it under suspicion — to flatter and fall in with all the nonsense of the zealots of the day — It may justly be suspected that his object is to throw things into confusion that he may ‘ride the storm and direct the whirlwind,'” Hamilton wrote.
Using the quote was “inapplicable and completely out of place,” Sekulow told reporters Thursday, according to The Washington Post.
Democrats “used this famous quote from Alexander Hamilton about impeachment,” Sekulow said, as Fox News reported.
“It wasn’t about impeachment. It was a letter regarding policy disputes between Hamilton and Washington 5 years after the Constitution was adopted.”
“So they’re not only taking the wrong law, they’re taking the wrong quotes from the Founding Fathers,” he said.
“It would be really appropriate if they cited the right provisions and what the Founding Fathers were actually talking about,” Sekulow added.
Hamilton has been quoted by Republicans as well:
So Adam Schift admits his actions are meant to void the votes of millions of American voters because he doesn’t like their choice. Alexander Hamilton warned about political parties weaponizing Impeachment and here we have it! https://t.co/iFtbcvRbLV
— Greg Murphy (@RepGregMurphy) January 23, 2020
Democrats have weaponized (and trampled on) the Constitution!
Our Founding Fathers would be appalled:
HAMILTON: called impeachment “the greatest danger” when decided “by the comparative strength of parties, than by the real demonstrations of innocence or guilt”
— Kayleigh McEnany (@kayleighmcenany) January 22, 2020
We’re in the middle of what Alexander Hamilton called “the greatest danger”—the danger a partisan impeachment poses for our country.
This #ShamImpeachment is the real abuse of power.
— House Judiciary GOP (@JudiciaryGOP) January 23, 2020
In a Jan. 7 Op-Ed for Fox News, Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah wrote, “In Federalist 66, Alexander Hamilton argued that dividing the power of impeachment and removal between the House and Representatives and the Senate would ‘guard against the danger of persecution, from the prevalency of a factious spirit’ in either chamber.”
“Considering how deeply divided our nation is, there can be little doubt that a ‘factious spirit’ is driving this impeachment,” Lee wrote.
“It was both prescient and providential that our founding fathers saw fit to guard against this by placing the final say on conviction and removal not in the hands of the House of Representatives, a court, some specialized tribunal, or even a jury, but in the Senate.”
Elsewhere in his Op-Ed, Lee noted that impeachment was inextricably linked to politics.
“[T]he authors of the Constitution knew impeachment — for good or ill — was an inherently political act,” he wrote.
“James Wilson, one of the nation’s first Supreme Court justices and one of the principal architects of the Constitution, described impeachment as “confined to political characters, to political crimes and misdemeanors, and to political punishments.”
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