The Folly of August Impeachment Talk

President Trump’s business and political associates had a bad week this week.

Based on the 16 guilty findings, it is clear the President does not pick the “best” to work for him.

It is, highly likely, as Michael Cohen’s guilty plea tried to establish, President Trump and his presidential campaign violated at least some Federal Election Commission rules – if not some election laws.

But is a combination of poor hiring decisions, technical campaign violations, a clear record of misogyny, erratic tweeting, and a failure to comprehend what it means to be President of the United States – leader of the Free World – enough to overturn the legitimately decided 2016 election?

Based on precedent, the answer is NO:

  • The Obama campaigns paid roughly $350K in fines for campaign finance law violations and no one suggested a “high crime” or “misdemeanor” had been committed.
  • John Edwards was charged with directing campaign contributions to the support of his mistress and the jury found him not guilty.
  • Bill Clinton was impeached by the Republican House of Representatives on charges of perjury. The Senate acknowledged his wrongdoing but did not vote to find him guilty of either a high crime or misdemeanor.

In fact, President Clinton’s approval rate rose two points during the impeachment trial in the Senate.

But Clinton did have to surrender his Arkansas law license after admitting that he had lied to the Special Counsel under oath — felony perjury.

Impeachment is not a political instrument. That’s the purpose of elections.

It must be used only in defense of Constitutional liberty or the rule of law. It requires strong bi-partisan support from the American people.

Smoke or Fire: The President Still Has A Job to Do

Privately, some fellow Republican members of the House, agree with Oklahoma Republican, Tom Cole, who told CNBC, the day after the guilty plea and guilty verdicts he is “concerned about the President’s potential wrong doing”. Where there’s smoke, and there’s a lot of smoke, there may well be fire.”

But, at this point, the President is not charged with any actual misconduct – except the excessive and intemperate use of his Twitter account.

“Former government ‘experts’ are earning millions reading the legalistic T leaves on cable television through a lens of politics – pro-Trump (“it’s a witch hunt”) or anti-Trump (forecasting the proverbial “other shoe to drop”). The result is a more polarized electorate.

Meanwhile the Mueller investigators and the US Attorney in Manhattan continue their work – in silence – realizing that they must reach an incontrovertible conclusion based entirely on proven facts. Nothing else, either clearing the President of any wrong doing or finding him an “an “un-indicted co-conspirator” will be accepted by the American people.

And in the meantime, we have a country to run.

On most days, the main stream media and social media are so taken up with rumor and innuendo about the President’s state of mind and potential criminality – sometimes punctuated with brief coverage of a fiery conflagration or massive hurricane – the average citizen can easily forget:

Congress must pass a $857 Billion budget package by the end of September to avoid a government shutdown.

The Senate is scheduled to confirm a 9th member of the Supreme Court to replace Justice Kennedy before the Supreme Court resumes deliberations in October.

Congress Needs to Step Up to Do the People’s Business

And while all these problems remain critical and unresolved, where is Congress?

Chris Collins is probably negotiating a deal with the US Attorney in Manhattan to keep his son out of jail after their indictment for insider trading and lying to the FBI.

Duncan Hunter is defending himself against charges of misappropriation of $250K in campaign contributions by throwing his wife under the proverbial “bus”.

Paul Ryan is in the Grand Tetons with a bunch of wealthy Republican donors. I “liked” his Instagram picture rock climbing with his brother!

And 432 others are running to the microphones to argue for President’s impeachment or alternatively to “rile-up” the GOP base to prevent Donald Trump’s impeachment.

Issues Instead of Sound Bites

Fact is, unless Robert Mueller’s crack team of federal attorneys and investigators build a case against President Trump clearly demonstrating his guilt on charges of conspiracy with the Russians or the use of the Presidency to obstruct justice or tamper with witnesses — there are going to be no Articles of Impeachment.

Even if the President is found to, also, have cheated on his income taxes there will be NO Articles of Impeachment. Too many members of Congress, also, cheat on their taxes!

This is true even if the Democrats, as expected, take back control of the House of Representatives.

Why waste the time and national energy when there is no conceivable path to the 67 Senate votes needed to convict and impeach this President?

It is time you and I – the voters and taxpayers — demand that Congress return to Washington and do their job: Run the country. Act as the co-equal branch of government they are! Lead!

Find bi-partisan compromises to address the issues facing the nation and send legislation to the President to “take it or leave it”.

If the members of Congress cannot tackle the nation’s critical issues with public, not political purpose, then we should impeach them at the ballot box in November.

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