Trump comes out swinging against impeachment
The White House fired back at Trump's impeachers Monday, taking aim at their far-fetched legal arguments and their dishonesty. Trump's lawyers called the Democrats' grounds for impeachment a "made-up theory." They singled out House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff for "lying," violating "basic fairness" and "concocting" the whistleblower complaint.
The White House brief is Trump's battle plan for his trial, which begins in earnest Wednesday. The brief also serves as a warning to Democrats that if they succeed in their demand for witnesses, then Schiff will be called to testify about his role in engineering the whistleblower complaint and then denying it, and Joe Biden and his son Hunter will be grilled about their dealings in Ukraine.
Schiff's already playing tricks, excluding the whistleblower's complaint itself from the trial documents, as if the Senators shouldn't probe how this impeachment got started.
Trump's lawyers show the framers intended impeachment only for the most serious crimes. Yet House Democrats are insisting they can impeach a president even "for doing something he's allowed to do," if he's motivated by "private self-interest" rather than the national interest. Such "an amorphous and undefined standard" would make every president a target of impeachment, Trump's lawyers warn. It would spell the end of an independent presidency and the Constitution as we know it.
The pretext for impeachment is Trump's July 25 call with the president of Ukraine, when Trump asked him to "do us a favor" by investigating rumors of corruption involving Joe Biden's dealings there as vice president.
The Dems' articles of impeachment accuse Trump of withholding military aid to pressure Ukraine and benefit himself politically. But Trump's lawyers show there's no evidence of that. And, they ask, why should Biden be inoculated from investigations just because he's running for president? In dealing with Ukraine, asking about corruption is legitimate.
Biden was the Obama administration's point person on Ukraine. His son Hunter Biden, with no energy expertise, held a fat cat board position with a Ukrainian gas company thought to be under investigation. In 2018, Joe Biden bragged that he got the prosecutor fired by threatening to withhold $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees.
Back then, The New York Times cautioned that Vice President Biden's anti-corruption message "may have been undermined" by Hunter's lucrative arrangement. The Washington Post said it looked, "nepotistic at best, nefarious at worst." Now, these papers call these concerns "discredited."
For House Democrats, impeachment has two goals: taint Trump and also whitewash Biden.
Like every report Democrats have produced to justify impeaching Trump, their trial plan released Saturday insists "there is no evidence that Vice President Biden acted improperly." No evidence because no one has looked.