This is a tale of two impeachments.
On January 7, 1999, the impeachment trial of William Jefferson Clinton began in the U.S. Senate. Although the original charges presented to the House Judiciary Committee by independent counsel Kenneth Starr included eleven impeachable offenses, including perjury, subornation of perjury, obstruction of justice, witness-tampering, evidence tampering, abuse of power, and others, the House of Representatives was able to reach agreement on just two counts: 1) lying under oath in a court of law, and 2) obstruction of justice… both serious felonies.
Under Article I, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution, the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court is required to preside over all presidential impeachment trials. As Chief Justice William Rehnquist called the members of the senate to order, he called each of the 100 senators to the well of the senate where he administered the following oath to each one, in turn:
“Do you solemnly swear that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of William Jefferson Clinton, President of the United States, now pending, you will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws, so help you God?” With their right hands raised and their left hands on the Holy Bible, each senator responded, “I do!” Although most of us who’ve fought in the trenches against Democrats for many years could accurately predict how the Democrats would ultimately vote, only God, himself, and the 100 senators, knew which of them possessed the strength of character and the integrity to live up to that solemn oath.
House managers began presenting evidence on January 7, 1999 and completed their closing arguments on February 12. When the final votes were tallied on the perjury count, all 45 Democrats voted “not guilty,” in spite of undeniable evidence to the contrary. Forty-five Republicans listened to the evidence, did their duty, and voted “guilty.” Ten Republicans, after being presented with undeniable video evidence, voted either “not guilty” or “not proven.”
To be alive at that time and to have a clear understanding of Clinton’s irrefutable guilt, and then to watch as forty-five Democrats and ten Republicans flagrantly voted “not guilty,” violating their solemn oaths to “do impartial justice,” was a devastating blow to all who love our country and who respect the rule of law..
When votes on the obstruction charge were tallied, the Senate split evenly: 50 senators voted “guilty” and 50 voted “not guilty.” Throughout the voting on the two articles of impeachment, and in spite of the undeniable evidence of guilt on both counts, not a single Democrat voted to convict the one man most responsible for seeing to it that our laws are “faithfully executed” and that he/she will “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
But now, in late December 2019, as we gather together with family and friends to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, it is devastating to hear every Democrat in Congress, House and Senate, demanding that Donald Trump be removed from office, even though they are unable to find him guilty of any offense that would qualify as “treason, bribery, high crimes, or misdemeanors.”
Of the 100 senators who voted to either convict or acquit Bill Clinton in 1999, seven Democrats and eight Republicans are still there, preparing to vote on the question of whether or not our current president is guilty of impeachable offenses of such magnitude that he deserves to be removed from office. So, what can we expect from those seven long-serving Democrats and eight Republicans? Knowing what we do about Democrats, we know that they are evil, vile, disgusting, and loathsome people, totally lacking in integrity and self-respect. In fact, they are so despicable and so contemptible that we are able to predict with a high degree of certainty that they will all vote to remove Trump from office, innocent as he may be of any impeachable offense. All eight of the Republicans can be expected to stand with their more junior colleagues and vote to deny the Democrats their bitter revenge for having defeated Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Anyone with access to the mush-filled brains of a millennial might want to keep a very short parable on the tip of their tongue. What every young person needs to understand as they reach voting age is that, in February 1999, every single Democrat in the U.S. Senate voted to acquit a Democratic president who was indisputably guilty of the charges for which he was impeached, while it is readily predictable, with a high degree of certainty, that those same Democrats will vote unanimously to convict a Republican president whom they’d managed to impeach on the flimsiest of “trumped-up” charges, with no supporting evidence whatsoever.
The Clinton administration is a perfect example of the Democrats’ approach to law and justice. When the Clintons left the White House in January 2001, the American people had an opportunity to take stock of what was the most criminal administration in U. S. history.
During the Clinton years in the White House, some 113 individuals were known to have committed felony crimes. Of these, 54 went unindicted and 59 were indicted. Of the 59 who were indicted, three… two Buddhist nuns and Monica Lewinski… were granted immunity in exchange for their testimony; two were found guilty, but were later pardoned; two resigned from office rather than submit to a jury trial; one, a black cabinet secretary from Mississippi, was acquitted by a D.C. jury; and 39 faced a jury and were found guilty, as charged. The final disposition of the remaining 12 felony indictments is unknow.
It should be obvious to all patriotic Americans that, in the absence of a free and unbiased press, it is impossible to have a free country, and that, in the absence of an honest, educated, and fully informed citizenry, it is impossible to have a justice system that guarantees equal protection of the law to all citizens. At this point in time the American people have reason to doubt that we have either. We no longer have a free press, and we have a justice system that is increasingly administered based on nothing more than the (D) or the (R) that we place behind our names.
So, who is to blame for this unmitigated failure of the greatest experiment in self-government in the history of mankind? While there is no doubt that the Democratic Party… the party of slavery, secession, and segregation… has played a major role in everything damaging, destructive, and deadly in our nation’s history, the opposition party, the party of Lincoln, must also accept its share of the blame.
For example, in the present circumstance regarding the impeachment of Donald Trump, the Republican Party has abdicated its leadership and abandoned its strategic responsibilities in ways too numerous to mention. For example, when Democrats began developing their bogus impeachment claims against Donald Trump by criticizing his July telephone conversation with the newly elected president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, Democrats immediately placed Trump and congressional Republicans on the defensive. They did so by creating the impression that the primary purpose of Trump’s call was to congratulate Zelensky on his election victory and to seek his assistance in investigating evidence of Ukrainian corruption involving former vice president Joe Biden and his 49-year-old son, Hunter.
What the Trump administration and congressional Republicans fail to make clear is that, when Trump placed a telephone call to President Zelensky, he was “wearing two hats.” The first, and most significant hat, was his presidential/commander-in-chief hat. There is only one hat like it on the face of the Earth, and Donald Trump owns it until at least noon on January 20, 2021. The fact that he also wears the hat of a candidate for reelection, and that one highly visible American, whose family member appears to be closely tied to Ukrainian corruption, is also a candidate for president of the United States, is purely coincidental. In other words, when Trump called president Zelensky he was, first and foremost, carrying out his sole responsibility as chief executive of the United States. Any other topics of conversation were of secondary importance.
Congressional Democrats sprang their trap when it became known that a “whistleblower,” an unnamed lower-level official of the U.S. intelligence community, had written a letter to one of the principal Trump-haters in the Congress, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA). As it was soon made clear, the “whistleblower” complained about what he/she felt was an improper request made by President Trump in his July 25 telephone call. However, when Republicans asked for details of the identity of the so-called “whistleblower,” Democrats refused, claiming that they had a duty to protect the identity of the individual. In short, Donald Trump could be the first man in U.S. history to be indicted, tried, and convicted without being allowed to face his accuser, introduce witnesses in his own defense, or to cross examine his accuser or other prosecution witnesses.
At that point, congressional Republicans proceeded as if the “whistleblower” actually existed, although they had absolutely no proof that he was a real person. Instead of putting Adam Schiff and congressional Democrats on the defensive by questioning or denying the existence of a “whistleblower,” Republicans simply proceeded as if Democrats were being truthful about the source of the accusations against Trump. Had they taken the strategic offensive at that point, the Trump impeachment process may have had an entirely different outcome.
But there is hope. On Christmas Eve, December 24, 2019, Attorney General William Barr announced D.C. grand jury indictments against eight high-dollar Democratic fundraisers. The charges include conspiracy, making conduit contributions, causing excessive contributions, making false statements to the FBI, causing false records to be filed, and obstruction of a federal grand jury investigation. The recipients of the more than $3.3 million in illegal contributions include four super PACs; forty-one party organizations, mostly state Democratic committees; and sixty-nine candidates, including Hillary Clinton (2), Cory Booker (5), Amy Klobuchar (3), and Kirsten Gillibrand (3).
The Christmas Eve indictments of the nine Democratic fundraisers is just the first shoe to drop in what promises to be an election year filled with surprises for Obama administration officials and Clinton campaign operatives. If Attorney General Barr lives up to his stellar reputation, 2020 will be a very difficult year for Democrats. So, here’s wishing them the Happy New Year that they so richly deserve.
Paul R. Hollrah is a retired government relations executive and a two-time member of the U.S. Electoral College. He currently lives and writes among the hills and lakes of northeast Oklahoma’s Green Country.