Kimberley A. Strassel: Crying Wolf on Impeachment 

The whole affair was a series of major fouls. The best outcome is a speedy acquittal.

Kimberley A. Strassel writes: The impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump is coming down to one big question: Will Democrats, by crying wolf, drown out the more legitimate Republican cry of foul?

“Foul” has served as the GOP’s most powerful and honest argument from the first days of these impeachment maneuverings. Democrats broke every standard of due process, transparency and fairness in their House investigation, making a mockery of their constitutional duty.

They hid the identity of the original accuser, denying Republicans and the country the ability to judge his motives. They held secret depositions, barring more than three-quarters of House members, as well as the press and the American public. They called 18 witnesses, but blocked the president from calling any in his defense. The White House legal team was excluded from the proceedings—prohibited from cross-examining witnesses, denied the ability to introduce any evidence that spoke to the central question of the president’s focus on Ukrainian corruption.

[Read the full story here, at WSJ]

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff secretly obtained and published the communications records of the president’s private attorney, a member of Congress and a reporter. Democrats withdrew their court challenge to compel a key witness, depriving the White House of the ability to defend its executive-privilege claim in court. And the legitimacy of the first portion of the House inquiry—including numerous subpoenas—is in doubt, since it was conducted before the House voted to open it.

Democrats approved two articles of impeachment that failed to identify a crime. Senators are instead asked to render verdicts on a vague “abuse of power” claim and on a “obstruction of Congress” charge that is the result of the House’s own decision not to litigate its demand for testimony. Those articles were passed by a partisan vote with no serious expectation of conviction, simply to make a statement: “He is impeached forever,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said this month. Read the rest of this entry »


Who Paid for the ‘Trump Dossier’? 

Democrats don’t want you to find out—and that ought to be a scandal of its own.

 reports: It has been 10 days since Democrats received the glorious news that Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley would require Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort to explain their meeting with Russian operators at Trump Tower last year. The left was salivating at the prospect of watching two Trump insiders being grilled about Russian “collusion” under the klieg lights.

Yet Democrats now have meekly and noiselessly retreated, agreeing to let both men speak to the committee in private. Why would they so suddenly be willing to let go of this moment of political opportunity?

Fusion GPS. That’s the oppo-research outfit behind the infamous and discredited “Trump dossier,” ginned up by a former British spook. Read the rest of this entry »


Kimberley A. Strassel: No Political Guardrails

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President Obama broke all the boundaries—and now Clinton and Trump are following suit.

renocol_KimStrasselKimberley A. Strassel writes: Twenty-two years ago, my esteemed colleague Dan Henninger wrote a blockbuster Journal editorial titled “No Guardrails.” Its subject was people “who don’t think that rules of personal or civil conduct apply to them,” as well as the elites who excuse this lack of self-control and the birth of a less-civilized culture.

“Can such leaders be trusted to administer Washington fairly? Of course not. That guardrail is also gone. Mr. Obama egged on his IRS to target conservatives, used his Justice Department to exact retribution on politically unpopular banks, and had his EPA lead an armed raid of an Alaskan mine.”

We are today witnessing the political version of this phenomenon. That’s how to make sense of a presidential race that grows more disconnected from normality by the day.

“Mr. Obama doesn’t need anyone to justify his actions, because he’s realized no one can stop him. He gets criticized, but at the same time his approach has seeped into the national conscience. It has set new norms.”

Barack Obama has done plenty of damage to the country, but perhaps the worst is his determined destruction of Washington’s guardrails. Mr. Obama wants what he wants. If ObamaCare is problematic, he unilaterally alters the law.

[Read the full text of Kimberley A. Strassel’s article here, at WSJ]

If Congress won’t change the immigration system, he refuses to enforce it. If the nation won’t support laws to fight climate change, he creates one with regulation. If the Senate won’t confirm his nominees, he declares it in recess and installs them anyway. “As to limits, you set your own,” observed Dan in that editorial. This is our president’s motto.

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“Mrs. Clinton routinely vows to govern by diktat. On Wednesday she unveiled a raft of proposals to punish companies that flee the punitive U.S. tax system. Mrs. Clinton will ask Congress to implement her plan, but no matter if it doesn’t. ‘If Congress won’t act,’ she promises, ‘then I will ask the Treasury Department, when I’m there, to use its regulatory authority.’”

Mr. Obama doesn’t need anyone to justify his actions, because he’s realized no one can stop him. He gets criticized, but at the same time his approach has seeped into the national conscience. It obama-angry1has set new norms. You see this in the ever-more-outrageous proposals from the presidential field, in particular front-runners Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

“Today’s divisive president never misses an opportunity to deride Republicans or the tea party. He is more scornful toward fellow Americans than toward Islamic State. This too sets new norms.”

Mrs. Clinton routinely vows to govern by diktat. On Wednesday she unveiled a raft of proposals to punish companies that flee the punitive U.S. tax system. Mrs. Clinton will ask Congress to implement her plan, but no matter if it doesn’t. “If Congress won’t act,” she promises, “then I will ask the Treasury Department, when I’m there, to use its regulatory authority.”

(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

“Think what you may about George W. Bush’s policies, but he respected the office of the presidency. He believed he represented all Americans. He didn’t demonize.”

[Read the full text here, at WSJ]

Mrs. Clinton and fellow liberals don’t like guns and are frustrated that the duly elected members of Congress (including those from their own party) won’t strengthen background checks. So she has promised to write regulations that will unilaterally impose such a system.

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“For his part, Mr. Trump sent the nation into an uproar this week with his call to outright ban Muslims from entering the country. Is this legally or morally sound? Who cares! Mr. Trump specializes in disdain for the law, the Constitution, and any code of civilized conduct. Guardrails are for losers.” 

On immigration, Mr. Obama ignored statute with executive actions to shield illegals from deportation. Mrs. Clinton brags that she will go much, much further with sweeping exemptions to immigration law. Read the rest of this entry »