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December 15, 2019 | Christmas Impeachment Stocking: There’s Nothing In It

Mike 'Mish' Shedlock

Mike Shedlock / Mish is a registered investment advisor representative for SitkaPacific Capital Management. Sitka Pacific is an asset management firm whose goal is strong performance and low volatility, regardless of market direction.

The Democrats have made the weakest case for impeachment since Andrew Johnson in 1868.

Stocking Stuffer

A quick check shows the Democrat impeachment stocking is stuffed with nothing. It’s the weakest case since 1868.

Honey, We Shrunk the Impeachment

Please consider the Incredible Shrinking Impeachment.

So that’s it? That’s all there is? After all the talk of obstruction of justice, collusion with Russia, bribery, extortion, profiting from the Presidency, and more, House Democrats have reduced their articles of impeachment against President Trump to two: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Honey, we shrunk the impeachment.

Democrats on the Judiciary Committee will vote as early as Thursday on the text of the two articles they unveiled Tuesday, and then they will rush it to the floor next week. It’s enough to suspect that Democrats understand they are offering the weakest case for impeachment since Andrew Johnson, that the public isn’t convinced, and so they simply want to get it over with.

Whatever happened to bribery and extortion? Democrats have retreated instead to charge “abuse of power,” a phrase general enough for anything Congress wants to stuff into it. [Mish Comment: That’s what inspired my Christmas stocking idea.]

They don’t even pretend any more to prove a quid pro quo. Instead they assert that Mr. Trump, in his phone call with Ukraine’s president, “solicited the interference of a foreign government” in the 2020 election “in pursuit of personal political benefit.” They also assert that this “compromised the national security of the United States and undermined the integrity of the United States democratic process.”

Their problem is that Mr. Trump didn’t withhold military aid to Ukraine, and even if he had he would have merely been returning to Barack Obama’s policy of denying lethal aid. How would that have jeopardized national security?

The second Democratic article is weaker in that it amounts to impeaching Mr. Trump because he is resisting their subpoenas. “Without lawful cause or excuse, President Trump directed Executive Branch agencies, offices and officials not to comply with those subpoenas,” the article charges.

His lawful cause is defending his presidential powers under the Constitution. Every modern President has to some extent or another resisted Congressional or special-counsel subpoenas. Nixon and Mr. Clinton did until they lost at the Supreme Court. House Democrats are refusing even to fight in court, claiming impeachment gives them plenary power to see all documents and any witnesses they want.

This ignores that the Constitution stipulates co-equal branches that each have the right to defend their powers. If Democrats are right in their claim, then every President essentially works for Congress. We should skip elections and let Congress choose the President.

Democrats also claim the emergency of time, and as usual Rep. Adam Schiff puts this case in the least credible way. “The argument ‘why don’t you just wait?’ amounts to this: Why don’t you just let [Mr. Trump] cheat in one more election? Why not let him cheat just one more time?,” Mr. Schiff told the press as the articles were unveiled.

Sorry, Pathetic Witch Hunt

What a sorry, pathetic joke of a witch hunt this turned out to be.

Bribery charges – MIA.

Extortion – MIA.

Dear Democrats, if you are going to present charges, at least present them in a way the general public can understand.

Instead, Democrats want to impeach Trump on the grounds he might do something deserving of impeachment if he gets reelected.

Why This?

Who knows? Certainly not me.

But I do know a pathetically weak case when I see one.

There is no way the Senate will convict on these ridiculous charges.

Democrats Up in Arms

The New York Times reports McConnell, Coordinating With White House, Lays Plans for Impeachment Trial

Mr. Trump said on Friday that he had no preference for how the trial — expected to begin in early January — unfolds, but he has privately pushed for a prolonged process that would allow him to mount a theatrical defense. Mr. McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, has resisted that idea in favor of a shorter, more dignified event.

Outraged Democrats, meanwhile, accused Mr. McConnell on Friday of abandoning his duty to render “impartial justice” in an impeachment trial — a response to a television interview in which Mr. McConnell dismissed House Democrats’ articles of impeachment as “so darn weak.” He added that he was “taking my cues” from the White House in shaping the trial.

No Trial?

There may not even be a trial.

The Senate can choose to to not even hear the case.

Unless there are 51 Senators willing to take the case, the process dies.

Monkey Trial?

If the Senate takes the case, it could easily morph into trial of Hunter Biden or other Democrats.

Trump wants theatrics. McConnell may or may not go along. Ultimately, McConnell will do whatever he thinks is best for Republicans, not just Trump.

But also look at it this way: If you make a mockery of the impeachment process by presenting amazingly weak charges, then expect a trial of the monkeys presenting the charges.

One does not have to like Trump to see what a farce this turned out to be. A majority of the US does not believe support this process.

And if all the Democrats can mount are these feeble charges, then expect the whole process to backfire on the Democrats.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

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December 15th, 2019

Posted In: Mish Talk

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