The acquittal vote occurred February Pelosi knocking over that first domino yesterday means that we will probably spend the next six months talking about this. We have law-enforcement agencies whose duty is to investigate these sorts of things, and the claim that the FBI and Department of Justice are just too partisan to investigate the Bidens is nonsense. Who appointed the FBI director? Who appointed the attorney general? Who appointed the deputy attorney general? If a Democratic president ever did this, the reaction from Republicans and conservative grassroots would be comparable to a sun going supernova.
There is no longer objective right and wrong, only turnabout, under the theory that someday if our side acts badly enough, the other side will suddenly see the light and behave better. It was a festival of implausible paranoia that approached quasi-religious status, complete with prayer candles. The judgment by both Bidens and the Obama administration surrounding that March trip to Ukraine was terrible.
ADDENDA : As noted yesterday , Nancy Pelosi spent much of this past year resisting her own caucus on impeachment and antagonizing traditional allies, making compelling arguments to her own party that impeachment involved considerable political risks. Where did that bring you? Back to me. How many times since January 20, have we heard promises, pledges, and predictions that congressional Democrats would impeach the president?
Back in April, after the Mueller report came out, I argued that Democrats ought to get impeachment over with , recognizing that it would probably work against their long-term interests. If they really believed Trump had committed high crimes and misdemeanors, and they really believed impeachment was warranted, they should stop talking about it, do it, and accept the consequences. In and , many Congressional Republicans concluded that presidential lawbreaking demanded consequence, whether enforcing that consequence is popular or not.
Democrats are free to embrace that philosophy today.
Here we are in mid-to-late September. An impeachment process that took six months, like the one against Bill Clinton, would resolve itself sometime in March or so, after the first primaries and caucuses. I believe this is a matter best left for the American people to judge at the ballot box.
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I trust the voters to decide, unlike some people who have been throwing tantrums every day since Election Night Chicken Little has a credibility problem. Constitution states that Congress may not impeach the president if the national unemployment rate is below five percent. As of last week, just 37 percent of registered voters supported impeachment and 50 percent oppose it.
Maybe the new allegations about an attempt to strongarm Ukraine will change those numbers, but probably not dramatically. But Democrats might also wonder if their constant talk of impeachment but continued refusal to go through with it adds to the perception that nothing the president has done is out of the ordinary or all that bad. Impeachment might strengthen Trump politically, but it could also conceivably weaken him. Some Democrats might even be foolish enough to echo the argument of William Weld, that if Trump gets reelected, Congress should impeach him afterward.
Impeachment is not meant to be election insurance in case the voters make a choice that Congressional majorities oppose.
Because Democrats perceive Donald Trump to be the devil and believe that any allegations the president makes about any Democrat must be a lie, now no Democratic candidate can even bring up Hunter Biden. In an odd way, this is one of the best developments of the primary for Biden. This president loves to make counter-accusations of corruption against anyone who criticizes him. Nobody can prove that the claim of Native heritage alone ever got her hired or promoted or recognized.
Even if she did know about it, a white lie like that never really hurt anyone. He railed about this stuff for decades before anybody noticed. You hope his truce with Warren holds, because he deserves a lot of credit for shaking up a complacent, corporatist Democratic party in There are a whole bunch of folks out there who get offended by something you write and conclude that because you wrote it, you must secretly be on the other side.
Madeline Kearns is left to defend the instrument for imbibing liquids. Just picture what happens next if the American people decide that it is legal and ethical for an American president to urge foreign leaders to investigate his political opponents, as it appears Donald Trump encouraged Ukrainian leaders to do in Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden. Someday, there will be another Democratic president. The country could see another Democratic president as soon as January 20, , or it could be sometime many years after that.
This future Democratic president could urge Germany to investigate whether Nikki Haley and the South Carolina state government ever did anything unethical or cut any corners in their agreements to bring BMW production plants to the Palmetto State. The point, of course, would not be whether any of those GOP lawmakers ever did anything wrong.
Every move you use against your opponents can be used against you, too. Hey, some of us were reporting about worries that the EB-5 program amounting to a visa-selling scheme way back in when Terry McAuliffe was running for governor. But did anyone listen? Go back to the big New Yorker article about Hunter Biden. It is full of Hunter Biden and his former associates insisting there was never any conflict of interest and other people who are less close to the Bidens not being quite so sure. In , Hunter Biden joins a lobbying firm, the National Group. Then when Biden becomes vice president:.
Joe Biden thinks his son is a swell and ethical guy; Hunter Biden thinks his father is a swell and ethical guy, and they assure the world that nothing wrong. Optics really mattered, and that seemed to be cutting it pretty close, even if nothing nefarious was going on. In the article, Hunter Biden describes a 2.
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Hunter began negotiating a deal for CEFC to invest forty million dollars in a liquefied-natural-gas project on Monkey Island, in Louisiana, which, he said, was projected to create thousands of jobs. In the summer of , Ye talked with Hunter about his concern that U. Hunter, who sometimes works as a private lawyer, agreed to represent Ho, and tried to figure out whether Ho was in legal jeopardy in the U.
He was later sentenced to three years in prison for his role in a multiyear, multimillion-dollar scheme to bribe top government officials in Chad and Uganda in exchange for business advantages for CEFC. In February, , Ye was detained by Chinese authorities, reportedly as part of an anti-corruption investigation, and the deal with Hunter fell through. These arguments are likely to fall on deaf ears.
A lot of people are willing to forgive a little corruption from their preferred political leaders. The argument against affirmative action has always been that we should judge people as individuals, and the work of Arcidiacono et al. He Always Wants Somebody Investigated. Take a look at them. Those investigations would be over FAST!
Because Epstein had an island. That was not a good place, as I understand it, and I was never there. So you have to ask, did Bill Clinton go to the island? It is not a chemical and is not related to acid-washed jeans. In September , Trump called upon the Department of Justice to investigate who wrote an anonymous op-ed in the New York Times , purportedly from an administration official who was attempting to constrain and undermine the Trump administration from the inside.
The medical examiner determined that she had a heart condition, hit her head on a desk, and that there was no foul play. You notice that few of these calls for investigations led to any investigations, right? The overwhelming majority of personnel at the FBI get up every morning, do their jobs, and follow the evidence like professionals, thank God.
Trump had to endure a long and thorough investigation and now wants his political opponents to have their turn on the hot seat. More on this topic below. Should the president of the United States repeatedly call for law enforcement investigations of his political enemies, based upon rumors, media reports, and his own theories?
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No, of course not. Does this enter a different area if the president is promising X to foreign officials in exchange for an investigation of American political rival Y? It all depends upon the specifics.
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As usual, partisans are getting wound up about a belief in some sort of secret and explicit lawbreaking, when the legal but unethical actions probably ought to generate sufficient outrage themselves. However, during this time, Joe Biden voted in favor of a bankruptcy reform bill that MBNA and other banks supported, and that many Democrats, including then-senator Barack Obama, opposed. Elizabeth Warren is most likely licking her chops and waiting for just the right moment to go on the attack over that legislation.
By , Hunter Biden had been a bank vice president, a lawyer, a partner at a mergers and acquisitions firm, attempted to purchase a hedge fund, founded two consulting firms, and shortly after his father started his second term as vice president, joined the U. Naval Reserve. That ended badly; he was discharged after about a year for failing a drug test.
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In April , at age 44, Hunter Biden joined the board of directors for Burisma Holdings, the largest non-government run natural gas company in Ukraine. Others said that they were wary of hurting his feelings. That was always my fear, that I would be really touching a very fragile part of him. While no one has yet found evidence where Vice President Biden explicitly changed or pushed for changes in U.
In appearance before the Council on Foreign Relations, former Vice President Biden described the time that he threatened to withhold foreign aid from the Ukrainian government unless they fired prosecutor Viktor Shokin:. I was supposed to announce there was going to be another billion dollar loan guarantee.
I had gotten a commitment. He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.
The European Union and Ukrainian parliament were happy to see Shokin go. In April, John Solomon of The Hill reported that before Shokin was fired, the prosecutor was preparing a wide-ranging corruption probe into. Maybe the Obama administration had good and legitimate reasons to want to see Shokin replaced.