Notwithstanding last week’s catastrophic appearances by former Special Counsel Robert Mueller and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s nervousness about impeachment, diehard Democrats remain hell-bent on prying President Donald J. Trump from the White House, long before Election Day 2020. But for what? “Trump-Russia collusion” turned out to be a bad acid trip, although the attendant hallucinations reverberate among fervent Democrats. As for obstruction of justice, there was none. Somebody should explain this to Trump haters — perhaps with crayons and butcher paper.
Here’s what impeachment-grade obstruction looks like:
In June 1972, the so-called White House Plumbers illegally broke into the Democratic National Committee, to spy on President Richard Milhous Nixon’s opponents. Nixon and his top aides unlawfully funneled “hush money” to these criminals, in cash, so they would clam up, rather than sing. Nixon six times asserted his presidential right to executive privilege and hid incriminating materials from scrutiny (not least Oval Office audio tapes of Nixon conspiring with his henchmen). This cover-up prompted Nixon’s resignation in August 1974.
In contrast, Russiagate involved no underlying crime. According to the Mueller Report: “The Special Counsel confirmed that the Russian government sponsored efforts to illegally interfere with the 2016 presidential election but did not find that the Trump campaign or other Americans colluded in those schemes.”
Furthermore, Trump waived executive privilege. Consequently, “approximately 1.4 million pages of documents were provided to” Mueller, then-Special Counsel to the President Emmett Flood wrote Attorney General William Barr on April 19. Trump, Flood added, “encouraged every White House staffer to cooperate fully with the SCO [Special Counsel’s Office] and, so far as we are aware, all have done so.” Among many others, these “voluntary interviewees” include Senior Adviser Jared Kushner, Senior Policy Adviser Stephen Miller, and these former aides:
• Chief Strategist Steve Bannon
• Deputy Counsel Annie Donaldson
• Communications Director Hope Hicks
• Chief of Staff John Kelly
• Counsel Don McGahn
• Chief of Staff Reince Priebus
• Press Secretary Sarah Sanders
• Press Secretary Sean Spicer
Trump himself answered questions in writing, as his attorneys and Mueller negotiated. Mueller could have pressed to quiz Trump in-person, but did not. That was Mueller’s decision, not Trump’s dodge.
The top three Russiagate inspectors testified under oath that Trump never obstructed their efforts:
“At any time in the investigation, was your investigation curtailed or stopped or hindered?” Rep. Doug Collins (R – Georgia) asked Mueller before the House Judiciary Committee on July 24.
“Were you ever fired as special counsel, Mr. Mueller?” Rep. Debbie Lesko (R – Arizona) asked.
Lesko: “Were you allowed to complete your investigation unencumbered?”
Former FBI director James Comey told the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 3, 2017, that he never felt political pressure to halt any inquiry, presumably including Russiagate.
“I’m talking about a situation where we were told to stop something for a political reason,” Comey said. “That would be a very big deal. It’s not happened in my experience.”
None of the president’s men defunded the Russiagate inquest. Former acting FBI chief Andrew McCabe told the Senate Intelligence Committee on May 11, 2017: “I know that we have resourced that investigation adequately.” McCabe also said that “there has been no effort to impede our investigation today.”
Despite this overwhelming proof of non-obstruction, Democrats still lust for Trump’s ouster.
“My personal view is that he [Trump] richly deserves impeachment,” House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler told CNN Sunday. “The question is, can we develop enough evidence to put before the American people?”
Nadler’s approach is even worse than the old Soviet legal standard: guilty until proven innocent. By Nadler’s own admission, his new, sub-Soviet legal standard is: Guilty, with evidence TBD.
Like Nadler, too many Democrats suffer a Captain Queeg-like obsession with impeaching Trump — never mind that the Mueller Report found no Trump/Russia collusion. Never mind that Mueller, Comey, and McCabe testified under oath that their Russiagate probes never were obstructed.
Democrats should find another hobby.
Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor with National Review Online. He has been a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University. Read more opinions from Deroy Murdock — Click Here Now.
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