Politics continue to move downward at a rapid rate with no end to how low it can go. Democrats in Congress and liberals, in general, have spent the last two years promising to prove that the Trump campaign somehow colluded with Russian to swing the election in his favor and cause Hillary Clinton to lose. It is their hatred of Donald Trump that keeps them united and also keeps them from putting forth an agenda of their own to win future elections.
Looking at some of the developments this week only goes to show that the left wing of the party will go to any extreme to remove Donald Trump from office. Some of the more seasoned veterans of the party realize this might be a fool’s errand and when they suggest that impeachment might be a reach too far they are met with derision and outward rebellion.
Paul Manafort was sentenced in a Virginia court and then again in a District of Columbia court to a total of 7.5 years in prison. In the Virginia court, Judge T.S. Ellis was openly questioning the Mueller team of prosecutors and gave what many felt was a light sentence to Manafort. In reality, it was about what anyone would get for the white-collar crimes that Manafort was convicted of committing. But the politics of the case made the liberals demand that more years be added to his sentence. Enter Judge Amy Berman Jackson and more hears were added bringing him to the above-mentioned term of imprisonment. Throughout the case, Manafort’s attorneys had made the argument that absent the Mueller investigation into Russian collusion they would not be in court at this time. Interestingly the Judge responded to this argument by saying from the bench called the defense’s repeated claims about the lack of collusion with the Russian government “a non-sequitur.” Jackson said such assertions were not persuasive to her, but perhaps were intended for another “audience.” Basically, she admitted that she was not trying Manafort on any Russian collusion but rather on other charges which stemmed from activities committed by him well before he became involved with the Trump campaign.
Not to be outdone, Cyrus Vance, Jr., the Manhattan District Attorney announced that he was indicting Manafort on additional charges that would ensure that Paul Manafort spent more years imprisoned. Once again, these charges are related to alleged crimes committed by Manafort before his short involvement with the Trump campaign. These charges are important because should President Trump decide to pardon Manafort that pardon would only apply to federal crimes and only a governor can pardon for state convictions. A form of judicial gotcha.
Manafort is not the first Washington operative to fail to file a FARA (Foreign Agents Registration Act) report. Last year the Mueller team referred Tony Podesta to federal prosecutors in New York for failing to register for work done for the Ukraine. That is the same government Manafort was charged for not registering as an agent. Want to bet that Podesta does not even get to a courtroom let alone face any prison time? He, like Manafort and others, have claimed that they were paid by some nonprofit organization but in reality, their real client was the government of Ukraine and the FARA reports require you to list that. But by making this dubious claim all of these operatives try to avoid the FARA process which I can testify from experience is tedious.
Rumors around Washington are rampant that the Mueller team will file a report with the Attorney General, William Barr, very shortly. Those same rumors seem to indicate that they will be unable to make a clear case of collusion, which is what this thing was supposed to be in the first place.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, being one of the more experienced political minds on Capitol Hill, is realizing that if Mueller does not bring collusion charges against Trump she needs to move her party away from any attempt to impeach him. But that does not sit well with the far left of her caucus and those that have made taking down Trump their personal mission. Cong. Al Green (D-TX) has gone to the House floor to make it clear he will still offer a bill with articles of impeachment. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, was interviewed on television saying that if the Mueller team cannot prove there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia he would look to charge Trump with other crimes.
Other members allow their hatred of Trump to color every issue. Today Cong. Gwen Moore (D-WI) compared the admissions cheating scandal dominating the news cycle to the giving of security clearances to Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump. How they are related has eluded me but in her mind, anything evil must be attributed to Trump in some manner.
And this week Megan Garber in the Atlantic tried to blame the college cheating scandal on Trump by writing “The logic of the con—the perversity of it—is becoming normalized. People talk about a financial dependency on, side hustles. An alleged grifter sits in the Oval Office, near a bust of Andrew Jackson and the nuclear codes.” Since this scam has been going on before Trump became President, I wonder how she can make this connection. And the people that seem to be indicted for this fraud seem to be ones that do not support Trump anyway. But liberals like Ms. Garber never let anything pass without attributing blame to Trump.
Is this where we want to go in our political discourse in this country? Do Democrats want to roll those dice and make impeaching Donald Trump their single goal during the next two years of his administration? If you listen to the likes of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her allies you would have to believe that is the only goal of Democrats in Congress. And any Democrat that disagrees with this freshman firebrand, on any issue, should know that she is making a list and will try to arrange a primary challenger for them.
I want to say up front that if there is conclusive proof that the Trump campaign colluded with a foreign government to swing an election in the United States then Trump will have to either resign or be impeached. But if there is not that conclusive evidence (not talking about what people think or want it to be) then any talk of impeachment is simply hot air. The House could, if Speaker Pelosi got behind it, pass Articles of Impeachment. That would force a trial in the Senate and there you need 67 votes to convict. That is just not going to happen absent some new evidence. The Republicans tried this with Clinton and failed miserably only to see Clinton’s popularity soar.
If we go down that road the opposition party will spend four years trying to find evidence of something the newly elected President has done in his past that will allow them to claim he/she should be removed from office. This is the slippery slope that we find ourselves sliding down the hill on.
I want to add one postscript to the college cheating scandal. When asked in an interview how much sympathy she would have for the parents who misrepresented the qualifications of their children to gain admittance to certain schools Elizabeth Warren had a one-word response: “None.” Now that is some real chutzpah.