10 reasons why this impeachment ‘inquiry’ is really a coup

November 12, 2019

By Victor Davis Hanson

There are at least 10 reasons why the Dem impeachment “inquiry” is really a coup.

1) Impeachment 24/7. The “inquiry,” supposedly prompted by President Trump’s Ukrainian call, is only the most recent coup seeking to overturn the 2016 election.
Usually, the serial futile attempts — with the exception of the Mueller debacle — were characterized by about a month of media hysteria. We remember the voting-machines-fraud hoax, the Logan Act, the Emoluments Clause, the 25th Amendment, the McCabe-Rosenstein faux coup and various Michael Avenatti-Stormy Daniels-Michael Cohen psychodramas. Ukraine, then, isn’t unique, but simply another mini-coup.

2) False whistleblowers. The “whistleblower” is no whistleblower by any common definition of the noun. He has no incriminating documents, no information at all. He doesn’t even have firsthand evidence of wrongdoing.
Instead, the whistleblower relied on secondhand water-cooler gossip about a leaked presidential call. Even his mangled version of the call didn’t match that of official transcribers.

He wasn’t disinterested but had a long history of partisanship. He was a protégé of many of Trump’s most adamant opponents, including Susan Rice, John Brennan and Joe Biden. He did not follow protocol by going first to the inspector general but instead caucused with the staff of Rep. Adam Schiff’s impeachment inquiry. Neither the whistleblower nor his doppelganger, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, was bothered by the activities of the Bidens or by the Obama decision not to arm Ukraine. Their outrage, in other words, was not about Ukraine but over Trump.

3) First-term impeachment.
The Clinton and Nixon inquiries were directed at second-term presidencies, when there were no more electoral remedies for alleged wrongdoing. By contrast, Trump is up for election in less than a year. Impeachment, then, seems a partisan exercise in either circumventing a referendum election or in damaging a president seeking re-election.

4) No special-counsel finding.
In the past, special counsels have found felonious presidential behavior, such as cited in Leon Jaworski’s and Ken Starr’s investigations. By contrast, special counsel Robert Mueller spent 22 months and $35 million, and yet his largely partisan law and investigative team found no “collusion” and no actionable presidential obstruction of that non-crime.

5) No bipartisanship. There was broad bipartisan support for the Nixon impeachment inquiry and even some for the Clinton impeachment. There is none for the Schiff impeachment effort.

6) No high crimes or misdemeanors. There is no proof of any actual crime. Asking a foreign head of state to look into past corruption is pro forma. That Joe Biden is now Trump’s potential rival doesn’t exculpate possible wrongdoing in his past as vice president, when his son used the Biden name for lucrative gain.
In other words, it is certainly not a crime for a president to adapt his own foreign policy to fit particular countries nor to request of a foreign government with a history of corruption seeking US aid to ensure that it has not in the past colluded with prior US officials in suspicious activity.

7) Thought crimes? Even if there were ever a quid, there is no quo: Unlike the case of the Obama administration, the Trump administration did supply arms to Ukraine, and the Ukrainians apparently did not reinvestigate the Bidens.

Double standards.
There is now no standard of equality under the law. Instead, we are entering the jurisprudence of junta politics. If an alleged quid pro quo is an impeachable offense, should Biden have been impeached or indicted for clearly leveraging the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor for dubious reasons by threats of withholding US aid?

9) The Schiff factor. Schiff is now de facto chief impeachment prosecutor. He has repeatedly lied about the certainty of impending Mueller indictments or bombshells. He flat-out lied that he and his staff had no prior contact with the whistleblower. He made up a version of the Trump call that didn’t represent the transcript, and when called out, he begged off by claiming he was offering a “parody.”

Tradition and protocol argue that the proper place for impeachment inquiries and investigations is the House Judiciary Committee. The hyperpartisan Schiff has hijacked that committee’s historic role.

10) Precedent. The indiscriminate efforts to remove Trump over the past three years, when coupled with the latest impeachment gambit, have now set a precedent in which the out party can use impeachment as a tool to embarrass, threaten or seek to remove a sitting president and reverse an election. We are witnessing constitutional government dissipating before our eyes.

Victor Davis Hanson is the author of “The Case for Trump.” This column was adapted from National Review.