The first impeachment of Donald Trump over a phone call to the Ukrainian president was absurd. Presidents, as the main force in American diplomacy, have wide discretion when it comes to the conduct of foreign policy. It was a ridiculous political hit job doomed to failure in the Senate.
One Democrat, silent up until now, had serious reservations about the impeachment process in this case and went so far as to call the action “unconstitutional.” His own staff called it “illegal.” That Democrat is Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler of New York.
His views are detailed in a book to be released on Oct. 18 titled, “Unchecked: The Untold Story Behind Congress’s Botched Impeachments of Donald Trump.” It’s written by Politico Playbook co-author Rachael Bade and Washington Post reporter Karoun Demirjian.
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Apparently Nadler went after Intelligence Committee (HPSCI) Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff about the impeachment investigation process and said, “It’s unfair, and it’s unprecedented, and it’s unconstitutional.”
“I don’t appreciate your tone,” Schiff allegedly responded. “I worry you’re putting us in a box for our investigation.” Nadler’s team called Schiff a “control freak.”
Nadler’s anger with the process started to boil. His team asserted correctly that presidents facing impeachment had previously been allowed to defend themselves in front of the House Judiciary Committee, with lawyers for the president having the chance to attend hearings, cross-examine testifying witnesses, or call their own witnesses.
“If we’re going to impeach, we need to show the country that we gave the president ample opportunity to defend himself,” Nadler reportedly told Schiff and Pelosi.
“Stick close to the Nixon and Clinton cases,” Nadler said. “You have to arm yourself against these process complaints.” But Schiff ignored Nadler’s frustration and warning. Schiff and Pelosi wanted Trump’s scalp at any price including that of the truth and the Constitution. “These lawless HPSCI b——-!” one Nadler aide said. Another opined: “It’s dumb. It’s illegal!”
“They’re going to argue we don’t have due process for Trump. Why make that argument real?” Nadler asked Schiff. Schiff’s people retorted, “F— Donald Trump,” the authors report.
So, let’s get this straight. The Democrat Chairman of the committee established by law to consider impeachment thought the process was unconstitutional and his staff called it illegal.
But Schiff and Pelosi went ahead anyway, knowing full well their entire claim was fraudulent according to Nadler. Then Nadler, going with the inevitable flow, shut his trap and let the unconstitutional and illegal process, his own words and those of his own team, play out.
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The country was thus put through a farce of an investigation and House impeachment, only to see the whole indictment destroyed in the Senate. If only Jerry Nadler had done his constitutional duty and publicly called the process for what it was when it was driving a bulldozer over the rights of the president of the United States. But, that may be asking too much from a Democrat.