All the Democratic buzzwords disappeared — and Kimberley Strassel thinks she knows why.
Since September, the air on Capitol Hill and liberal cable networks has been full of Democratic jargon aimed at sliming President Donald Trump:
“Quid pro quo,” “bribery,” “extortion.”
But when it came time for actual articles of impeachment, Nancy Pelosi & Co. settled on the much more amorphous terms of “abuse of power” and “obstruction of Congress.”
To Strassel that means one thing: They are trying to protect Joe Biden, the party’s current front-runner for its presidential nomination.
The watering down of the accusations might have been surprising. After all, it was only last week that the odious Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told NPR: “I don’t think there’s any question that the uncontested facts show this president solicited a bribe.”
But putting the accusation into an actual article of impeachment could have led to uncomfortably close questions for former Vice President Biden and his own behavior when it came to Ukraine when he was point man on the country for the Obama administration.
“It suddenly occurred to some members of the Democratic Party that that incredibly widespread definition — this very broad definition that they had to manufacture in order to ensnare Donald Trump in it — could ensnare, for instance, their own front-runner for the Democratic nomination,” Strassel, The Wall Street Journal columnist and Fox contributor, said on Fox Nation’s “Reality Check” on Tuesday.
Check it out here:
“This is a problem because if you’re going to define bribery the way Adam Schiff was defining it over the last couple of weeks, where it’s supposedly anytime you asked for anything that could help you politically, you’ve engaged in bribery, well, of course Joe Biden is guilty of the exact same thing. In fact, half of Washington probably engaged in an act like that yesterday,” Strassel said.
Strassel didn’t elaborate, but she could well have been referring to Biden’s boast in 2018 about a 2016 encounter he had with Ukraine officials where he demanded that a federal prosecutor be fired before Ukraine could receive $1 billion in loan guarantees. The prosecutor had investigated a company where Biden’s son, Hunter, enjoyed a lucrative position.
“Now instead, we get this watered-down abuse-of-power charge, which is equally mystifying, in that it’s not even attached or related to any statute that I know of,” Strassel said.
The nebulous charges might be mystifying, but the rationale for avoiding anything more serious like “bribery” is fairly obvious.
Charging the president with bribery would mean Democrats would have to prove it in a Senate trial.
And that would open the door to all kinds of questions about what was happening in Ukraine when Biden’s son, Hunter, was being paid $50,000 a month to serve on the board of Burisma Holdings, an energy company that did business in a field where he had no experience and whose language he didn’t even speak.
And with Biden as the only candidate for the Democratic nomination who comes across as even halfway palatable to many of the Democratic Party’s own voters, much less to the general electorate, Democrats know they can ill afford to smear him in the Trump character assassination.
Plenty of social media users saw the point, too:
— Terry Schmeltzle (@probizbuilder) December 11, 2019
Such frauds. They think they can make things up as they go along…to hurt one side and when it appears it will hurt their side they pivot away. They are reprehensible and care nothing for the country…only power
— L. Dealy (@mairnealachdha) December 10, 2019
— Linda Patterson (@lpruns) December 11, 2019
Strassel is one of the few Washington reporters — like John Solomon, formerly of The Hill — who does not toe the Democratic line when it comes to covering the Trump administration.
She’s established a solid record of journalism in a time and place where reporters and once-reputable news outlets have disgraced a once-proud profession by becoming shills for the liberal agenda, and knee-jerk opponents of the Trump White House.
The rest of the national media might be infatuated with the seemingly weighty words in the “abuse of power” accusation, but Strassel took note of the words — like “bribery” — that were no longer being used so much.
And she knew why.
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