Reagan column: The new rules of impeachment
I must have said it a dozen times since the Democrats’ impeachment miniseries took over our televisions, but I’ll say it again.
The Democrats and their allies in the liberal media think history began this morning when they rolled out of the left side of their beds.
It happened again during the Democrats’ opening impeachment tirades in the Senate.
Democrats are still wasting our time – and ignoring their jobs – trying to prove that President Trump should be impeached because he abused the power of his office and because he obstructed Congress by claiming executive privilege.
The obstruction charges against Trump are for refusing to let administration officials testify before the impeachment hearings in the House and for withholding documents the House had requested.
Well, if using or threatening to use executive privilege for those reasons are impeachable crimes, George Washington and every president since JFK, including my father, is guilty – often on multiple counts.
In 1962, for example, JFK used executive privilege to order his military adviser General Maxwell Taylor to refuse to testify before a congressional committee investigating the Bay of Pigs fiasco.
Between 1980 and 2012 it was used 25 times.
President Clinton, the all-time modern leader, asserted executive privilege 14 times to try to keep his staff from appearing before various grand juries and congressional committees.
George W. Bush used it six times, including in 2008 when he told his Attorney General to assert executive privilege in response to a congressional subpoena for documents related to an investigation into who outed Valerie Plame as a CIA operative.
Meanwhile, President Obama employed executive privilege so many times that even the liberal media of the day questioned the legitimacy of invoking it.
The prime example was the infamous “Fast and Furious” case in 2012, when Attorney General Eric Holder used executive privilege to shield documents from Congress that were related to the Obama administration’s program to let illegally purchased guns flow across the Mexican border.
Congress obviously didn’t rush out and impeach those pre-Trump presidents for obstructing Congress or for posing an existential threat to the U.S. Constitution.
They let the legitimacy of invoking executive privilege in each case be decided in the courts, where it belonged. That’s why we have three branches of government.
But now, thanks to the Democrats’ blind hatred of President Trump, the bar has been lowered to where if a president doesn’t immediately roll over and give Congress whatever people or documents it wants, he’ll get impeached.
It’s been frustrating having to watch the first three ridiculously long, tedious days of the Senate impeachment hearings, which Democrats are cynically using as a weapon to stain Trump ahead of the 2020 election and hurt some Republican senators who face tight races in the fall.
Everyone has known for months what the outcome of the House Democrats’ impeachment show trial will be – the Republican Senate will never find Trump guilty.
I’m starting to really feel sorry for the members of the Senate who are trapped at their desks for twelve-hours at a time without their smartphones.
They have to sit in silence as Schiff and his solemn crew say over and over again how the U.S. Constitution and our national security were put at risk by a phone call our treasonous president made to the president of Ukraine last summer.
All those poor senators are allowed to drink is milk and water. The rest us watching the hearings on TV are lucky.
We can always get up and do a few Jello shots or drink some tequila to pass the time and ease the pain.
Send comments to Reagan@caglecartoons.com. Follow @reaganworld on Twitter.
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This will be my 500th column — my final column in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent.