If past were prologue, and the Republican Congressional leaders were truly concerned about not wanting the country to be torn apart by impeachment, they would go to President Trump and tell him to resign, as Sen. Barry Goldwater, R-Ariz., House Minority Leader John Rhodes, R-Ariz., and Senate Minority Leader Hugh Scott, R-Pa. did when former president Richard Nixon was about to be impeached. That was then, this is now. Our current president lacks the dignity and patriotism of Richard Nixon and would be unlikely to accept such charitable advice.
Rather, the president, Republican Congressmen and at least one Senator are presently going at it hammer and tongs in an attempt to have us believe the impeachment inquiry violates due process by denying the president and the Executive branch access to the proceedings of House investigating committees, even to the point of comparing it to a lynching. The unmitigated shameless gall! Comparing a Constitutionally mandated legal investigation attempting to get to the bottom this administrations Mephistopheles pit of illegal and unconstitutional deeds to a mob dragging another human being from their home to torture and execute them because of the color of their skin is profoundly shameful, disgusting and should outrage every decent person in this country.
The Supreme Court has time and again upheld Congress’s Constitutional authority to conduct investigations under Article I, Section I. To be clear, taking statements and questioning witnesses or subjects of an investigation is done by every investigative body in this country to determine whether or not a crime or offense has been committed. And there are no less than 43 Republican congressmen sitting on the three investigating committees permitting ample opportunities to question witnesses and participate in the proceedings. As a reminder, the Democrats are following the House rules for conducting investigations written by the Republicans in 2015 during the Benghazi hearings -- such short memories.
With regard to Republican complaints that president Trump is being denied due process because he is unable to face his accusers — that is a farce and they know it full well. These are investigations not trials. The subject or target of an investigation is never permitted to participate in the questioning of witnesses during the investigation. Is it not obvious how bad of an idea that would be? However, if the person were to be charged with a crime, i.e., indicted, at that point they are entitled to all the provisions of due process of the law, including facing and cross examining their accuser. The president has not been indicted which, in the impeachment process, would be if or when the House votes to refer articles of impeachment to the Senate, who would subsequently conduct the impeachment trial to determine if the president should be removed from office. Were the impeachment proceedings to reach the Senate, the president would then get his day in the sun, but not before. They cannot argue the facts so they are attempting to argue process. The recourse of arguing process is the recourse of scoundrels.
Despite the Trump administrations best efforts to smother the light of truth, government servants whose lives have been devoted to faithfully performing the duties and ministrations of this country, are stepping forth again to serve by throwing back the shroud of lies and deception clearly by illuminating the contours of the presidents criminality in full detail. The republican ideals our country was founded upon courses to strongly in the veins of Americans to be throttled by hands of such incompetent and obsequious rascals.
Rather than have the Department of Justice investigate the president’s efforts to extort political dirt from the Ukraine, Attorney General Barr has refused to take up the matter, instead leading his investigators in a globe-trotting inquisition to validate disproven right-wing conspiracy theories. Then there is the president’s Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, who continues to find new ways to tie himself in Gordian knots explaining how the deceit before our eyes isn’t what it looks like. As Groucho Marx once said, “Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes”.
The Congressional Republicans and president’s men have entered into a Faustian bargain with Mephistopheles, relinquishing their souls for a moment of power. And as Faustus learned, when the note with Mephistopheles comes due there is no reneging.
Leroy Renninger is a resident of Chalk Hill.