GOP Rep. Tom McClintock of California argued Monday that only twice in U.S. history have Democrats refused to accept the nation’s presidential election results: Once after Abraham Lincoln’s victory in 1860, and again following Donald Trump’s 2016 win.
“In every election, one side wins and the other loses,” McClintock said during the second day of the House Judiciary Committee’s impeachment hearing. “Democracy only works because the losing side always respects the will of their voters. The moment that social compact breaks down, democracy collapses into chaos. “
“That’s only happened twice in our nation’s history. It happened in 1860 when the Democrats refused to accept the legitimate election of Abraham Lincoln,” the lawmaker said.
“It happened again in 2016 when the Democrats refused to accept the legitimate election of Donald Trump.”
McClintock contended that since Trump was elected, Democrats have been “searching for a pretext” to remove him from office, including most notably through former special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe and currently by accusing Trump of wrongdoing in July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The congressman argued that Trump is the chief executive, charged with overseeing the nation’s foreign affairs.
“Our Constitution vests the executive authority, including the enforcement of our laws, with the president, and it gives him sole authority to conduct our foreign affairs,” McClintock said.
“Clearly this includes requesting a foreign government to cooperate in resolving potentially corrupt and illegal interactions between that government’s officials and ours,” he continued.
Trump asked Zelensky during their July phone call if the new leader would look into the alleged shady dealings of former Vice President John Biden and his son, Hunter, in Ukraine.
Biden bragged on tape last year about orchestrating the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor in March 2016 during an official visit to Kyiv as vice president.
The prosecutor had conducted an investigation into Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian natural gas firm that paid Hunter an exorbitant amount of money to be a member of its board.
If Ukraine failed to act before Biden left Kyiv in six hours, the vice president said they would lose $1 billion in U.S. aid.
McClintock was clearly suggesting the Bidens’ conduct was worthy of a closer look, and it was within Trump’s purview to ask Zelensky to investigate it.
The Republican went on to argue the case against Trump, based on the call, is “flimsy.”
“It’s so flimsy the Democrats have had to turn our Bill of Rights on its head,” McClintock said.
He noted some of the positions Democrats have taken during the impeachment proceedings that run contrary to the principles in the Bill of Rights, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying Trump had to “exonerate” himself.
Democrats have also denied the president the right to confront his accuser or call witnesses in his defense, and one lawmaker stated that hearsay evidence offered against Trump can be stronger than direct testimony.
“These are the legal doctrines of despots, but they’re the only ones that can accommodate the case before us today,” McClintock said.
“This is a stunning abuse of power and a shameless travesty of justice. It will stain the reputations of those responsible for generations to come.”
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