PowerLine -> John Hinderaker weighs in on President Trumps refusal to Participate in Impeachment Farce

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PowerLine -> John Hinderaker weighs in on President Trumps refusal to Participate in Impeachment Farce

Daily Digest


  • Trump Refuses to Participate in Impeachment Farce
  • Impeachment Frenzy Is Hurting Trump
  • Leo Baeck, Berlin, 1935
  • First Step Act beneficiary wanted for murder
  • NBA stars affirm love for China
Trump Refuses to Participate in Impeachment Farce

Posted: 08 Oct 2019 05:13 PM PDT

(John Hinderaker)Today, President Trump’s White House Counsel, Pat Cipollone, directed an eight-page letter to Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, et al., declining on behalf of President Trump to participate in the Democrats’ sham impeachment proceeding. The letter, embedded below, is excellent. Some would say, brilliant. It attacks the Democrats’ constitutionally defective and politically motivated proceeding at its root. You should read it all. This is the letter’s introduction:

I write on behalf of President Donald J. Trump in response to your numerous, legally unsupported demands made as part of what you have labeled–contrary to the Constitution of the United States and all past bipartisan precedent–as an “impeachment inquiry.” As you know, you have designed and implemented your inquiry in a maimer that violates fundamental fairness and constitutionally mandated due process.

For example, you have denied the President the right to cross-examine witnesses, to call witnesses, to receive transcripts of testimony, to have access to evidence, to have counsel present, and many other basic rights guaranteed to all Americans. You have conducted your proceedings in secret. You have violated civil liberties and the separation of powers by threatening Executive Branch officials, claiming that you will seek to punish those who exercise fundamental constitutional rights and prerogatives. All of this violates the Constitution, the rule of law, and every past precedent. Never before in our history has the House of Representatives–under the control of either political party–taken the American people down the dangerous path you seem determined to pursue.

Put simply, you seek to overturn the results of the 2016 election and deprive the American people of the President they have freely chosen. Many Democrats now apparently view impeachment not only as a means to undo the democratic results of the last election, but as a strategy to influence the next election, which is barely more than a year away. As one member of Congress explained, he is “concerned that ifwe don’t impeach the President, he will get reelected.”1 Your highly partisan and unconstitutional effort threatens grave and lasting damage to our democratic institutions, to our system of free elections, and to the American people.

For his part, President Trump took the unprecedented step of providing the public transparency by declassifying and releasing the record of his call with President Zelenskyy of Ukraine. The record clearly established that the call was completely appropriate and that there is no basis for your inquiry. The fact that there was nothing wrong with the call was also powerfully confirmed by Chairman Schiff’s decision to create a false version of the call and read it to the American people at a congressional hearing, without disclosing that he was simply making it all up.

In addition, information has recently come to light that the whistleblower had contact with Chairman Schiff’s office before filing the complaint. His initial denial of such contact caused The Washington Post to conclude that Chairman Schiff “clearly made a statement that was false.”2 In any event, the American people understand that Chairman Schiff cannot covertly assist with the submission of a complaint, mislead the public about his involvement, read a counterfeit version of the call to the American people, and then pretend to sit in judgment as a neutral “investigator.”

For these reasons, President Trump and his Administration reject your baseless, unconstitutional efforts to overturn the democratic process. Your unprecedented actions have left the President with no choice. In order to fulfill his duties to the American people, the Constitution, the Executive Branch, and all future occupants of the Office of the Presidency, President Trump and his Administration cannot participate in your partisan and unconstitutional inquiry under these circumstances.

Well said! There is lots more good stuff, some of a more technical nature. Here are just a few more paragraphs:

The Committees’ inquity also suffers from a separate, fatal defect. Despite Speaker Pelosi’s commitment to “treat the President with fairness,”6 the Committees have not established any procedures affording the President even the most basic protections demanded by due process under the Constitution and by fundamental fairness. Chairman Nadler of the House Judiciary Committee has expressly acknowledged, at least when the President was a member of his own party, that “[t]he power of impeachment … demands a rigorous level of due process,” and that in this context “due process mean[s] … the right to be informed of the law, of the charges against you, the right to confront the witnesses against you, to call your own witnesses, and to have the assistance of counsel.”7 All of these procedures have been abandoned here.
***
It is transparent that you have resorted to such unprecedented and unconstitutional procedures because you know that a fair process would expose the lack of any basis for your inquiry. Your current effort is founded on a completely appropriate call on July 25,2019, between President Trump and President Zelenskyy of Ukraine. Without waiting to see what was actually said on the call, a press conference was held announcing an “impeachment inquiry” based on falsehoods and misinformation about the call.21 To rebut those falsehoods, and to provide transparency to the American people, President Trump secured agreement from the Government of Ukraine and took the extraordinary step of declassifying and publicly releasing the record of the call. That record clearly established that the call was completely appropriate, that the President did nothing wrong, and that there is no basis for an impeachment inquiry. At a joint press conference shortly after the call’s public release, President Zelenskyy agreed that the call was appropriate.22 In addition, the Department of Justice announced that officials there had reviewed the call after a referral for an alleged campaign finance law violation and found no such violation.23

Perhaps the best evidence that there was no wrongdoing on the call is the fact that, after the actual record of the call was released, Chairman Schiff chose to concoct a false version of the call and to read his made-up transcript to the American people at a public hearing.24 This powerfully confirms there is no issue with the actual call. Otherwise, why would Chairman Schiff feel the need to make up his own version? The Chairman’s action only further undermines the public’s confidence in the fairness of any inquiry before his Committee.
***
For the foregoing reasons, the President cannot allow your constitutionally illegitimate proceedings to distract him and those in the Executive Branch from their work on behalf of the American people. The President has a country to lead. The American people elected him to do this job, and he remains focused on fulfilling his promises to the American people. He has important work that he must continue on their behalf, both at home and around the world, including continuing strong economic growth, extending historically low levels of unemployment, negotiating trade deals, fixing our broken immigration system, lowering prescription drug prices, and addressing mass shooting violence. We hope that, in light of the many deficiencies we have identified in your proceedings, you will abandon the current invalid efforts to pursue an impeachment inquiry and join the President in focusing on the many important goals that matter to the American people.

The Democrats won’t do that, of course. They care only about power and are determined to bully their way back into the White House in 2020.

Finally, a personal note: in 2010, I tried a $200 million case against Pat Cipollone in Denver. He is a good, tough lawyer. I am glad that he is now putting his talents to use on behalf of President Trump as White House Counsel.

  

Impeachment Frenzy Is Hurting Trump

Posted: 08 Oct 2019 04:34 PM PDT

(John Hinderaker)The Democrats launched their bogus impeachment drive just as President Trump’s approval rating was rising in the Rasmussen Poll, the only daily tracking presidential approval survey. President Trump was at 52% approval, 47% disapproval, among likely voters. I predicted that the impeachment frenzy would hurt Trump politically, regardless of the merits of the claims asserted by the Democrats, and it has.

Today’s Rasmussen poll finds Trump at 45% approval, 52% disapproval, which suggests that something like 7% of voters have changed their minds about the president as a result of constantly seeing his name associated with impeachment. This was what the Democrats wanted, and so far, at least, their plan seems to have succeeded.

Of course, the war is far from over. At some point, the Democrats’ impeachment drive will fail, leading some to conclude that it was a waste of time. Also, some voters will no doubt become more informed over time, and realize that the Democrats’ impeachment theories are wholly lacking in substance. And the upcoming reports from the DOJ Inspector General and U.S. Attorney John Durham may be devastating for Democratic politicians and activists, putting the Democrats’ desperate attacks on the president in a quite different light.

So the Democrats’ dishonest impeachment fraud might, at some point, rebound against them. But for now, their impeachment talk is having the desired effect.

  

Leo Baeck, Berlin, 1935

Posted: 08 Oct 2019 03:50 PM PDT

(Scott Johnson)Jews begin the observance of Yom Kippur at sundown tonight with the Kol Nidre prayer service. A few years ago a Christian friend asked to join us at the service we attend. Since then she has joined my family when we break our fast, as she will again tomorrow night. During the service, she pointed in our prayer book to an adaptation of the prayer composed by the reformist German Rabbi Leo Baeck for delivery in German synagogues during the Kol Nidre service on October 10, 1935. The prayer remains timely today. I have previously posted the prayer and am taking the liberty of posting it again today, both for its intrinsic interest and its continuing relevance:

At this hour the whole House of Israel stands before its God, the God of Justice and the God of Mercy. We shall examine our ways before Him. We shall examine what we have done and what we have failed to do; we shall examine where we have gone and where we have failed to go. Wherever we have sinned we will confess it: We will say “we have sinned” and we will pray with the will to repentance before the Lord and we will pray: “Lord forgive us!”

We stand before our God and with the same courage with which we have acknowledged our sins, the sins of the individual and the sins of the community, shall we express our abhorrence of the lie directed against us, and the slander of our faith and its expressions: this slander is far below us. We believe in our faith and our future. Who brought the world the secret of the Lord Everlasting, of the Lord Who is One? Who brought the world understanding for a life of purity, for the purity of the family? Who brought the world respect for Man made in the image of God? Who brought the world the commandment of justice, of social thought? In all these the spirit of the Prophets of Israel, the Revelation of God to the Jewish People had a part.

It sprang from our Judaism, and continues to grow in it. All the slander drops away when it is cast against these facts.

We stand before our God: Our strength is in Him. In Him is the truth and the dignity of our history. In Him is the source of our survival through every change, our firm stand in all our trials. Our history is the history of spiritual greatness, spiritual dignity.

We turn to it when attack and insult are directed against us, when need and suffering press in upon us. The Lord led our fathers from generation to generation. He will continue to lead us and our children through our days.

We stand before our God; we draw strength from His Commandments, which we obey. We bow down before Him, and we stand upright before Men. Him we serve, and remain steadfast in all the changes around us. We put our faith in Him in humility and our way ahead is clear, we see our future….

At the time he wrote and disseminated the prayer, Baeck was president of the Reichsvertretung der Juden in Deutschland, the official representative body of the Jews in Germany. The Gestapo discovered the text of the prayer and arrested Baeck. In Days of Sorrow and Pain, his Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Baeck, Leonard Baker writes that Gestapo officials showed up at some Yom Kippur services, especially in Berlin: “No count was ever made of how many rabbis read the prayer at the service; many did, so many that it was almost an act of collective defiance on the part of the German rabbinate.”

  

First Step Act beneficiary wanted for murder

Posted: 08 Oct 2019 02:43 PM PDT

(Paul Mirengoff)It was bound to happen, and sooner rather than later. Joel Francisco, dubbed by authorities the crown prince of the Almighty Latin Kings gang, was released from prison thanks to the First Step Act. Now, he is wanted for murder.

Francisco was sentenced in 2005 to life imprisonment for trafficking in crack cocaine. The Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 reduced sentences for this crime, but not retroactively.

The Fair Step Act that President Trump signed into law with broad bipartisan support, including a provision that made the Fair Sentencing Act apply retroactively. As a result, Francisco became eligible for release from prison. He was released in February.

This criminal now stands accused of stabbing a man to death at a hookah lounge in Providence, Rhode Island. According to this report, Providence’s deputy police chief had warned about Francisco’s “propensity for violence.” But the combination of two pieces of leniency for felons legislation — the Fair Sentencing Act and First Step — led to his release anyway.

Supporters of First Step — Sen. Mike Lee, in particular — assured us that the Act would not give early release to anyone, much less anyone with a propensity for violence. This assurance was false, as Sen. Tom Cotton warned at the time, pointing specifically to early for those convicted of dealing crack cocaine.

Now, it appears that a violent beneficiary of the First Step has taken a life.

  

NBA stars affirm love for China

Posted: 08 Oct 2019 02:17 PM PDT

(Paul Mirengoff)When Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn came to the U.S. after years of captivity in the USSR, he professed amazement at how U.S. journalists who had exhibited cowardice when in the Soviet Union were posing as courageous lions of the press in the more congenial setting of the United States. I get the same feeling about the National Basketball Association.

The NBA poses as a beacon of woke liberalism when it comes to U.S. politics. Yet, it kowtows to the tyrants of China.

There’s a difference, though, between the journalists Solzhenitsyn held in contempt and the NBA executives. The journalists feared for their physical well being in the Soviet Union (we can’t all be Solzhenitsyn). The NBA execs are fearful only of losing money.

The problem isn’t confined to frauds like NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and other executives. Players who are incensed when a police officer shoots a man who attacked him, and who rail against “mass incarceration” in America, seem untroubled when Chinese police or their stooges in Hong Kong violently attack peaceful protesters and when China incarcerates a million Muslims.

Houston Rockets star James Harden, with teammate and fellow star Russell Westbrook standing next to him, said: “We apologize to China, you know we love China.” The apology was for tweets by Houston’s general manager supporting Hong Kong protesters.

No one should care what an NBA player thinks about politics or world affairs. But since many take these guys seriously when they opine about such matters, it’s fair to call them out when they express their love for China and apologize for expressions of support for pro-democracy protesters.

Sen. Marco Rubio nailed it in this tweet:

I thought the @NBA was proud to be the “wokest professional sports league”?

I guess that only applies to speaking out on American politics & social issues.

I guess so.

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