Thursday, December 19, 2019


The president responds to impeachment:
Addressing cheering supporters at a rally in Battle Creek, Michigan, as the House delivered its historic verdict, Mr Trump was dismissive and defiant.

"They've been trying to impeach me from day one," he said.
That's a common Republican talking point, heard repeatedly throughout the impeachment process. A right-wing blogger cites evidence that Democrats wanted Trump impeached mere weeks into his presidency:

I'd just like to remind you how many Republicans were already talking about impeaching Hillary Clinton before the 2016 election, and how many others avoided using any form of the word "impeach" but insisted that a Hillary presidency would instantly be a "constitutional crisis."

September 2016:
Conservatives ... [are] promising to keep investigating Clinton's email issues even if she ends up in the White House. Some conservatives are even saying openly that impeachment hearings should be an option against Clinton.

"There probably ought to be," said Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala.
November 2, six days before the election:
The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee warned Wednesday on Fox News that Hillary Clinton could be impeached if she were elected, essentially delegitimizing Clinton before Election Day.

Reacting to the FBI’s announcement last week that it was reviewing a newly discovered batch of emails related to Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) was emphatic that impeachment would proceed if a criminal indictment of Clinton appeared imminent.

“This investigation will continue whether she wins or not, but assuming she wins and the investigation goes forward, and it looks like an indictment is pending, at that point of time in the Constitution, the House of Representatives would engage in an impeachment trial,” McCaul said referring to a House investigation into Clinton’s e-mails. “It would go to the Senate, and impeachment proceedings and removal would take place.”
November 3:
... a ... senior Republican, the chairman of a House Judiciary subcommittee, told The Washington Post he is personally convinced Clinton should be impeached for influence peddling involving her family foundation. He favors further congressional investigation into that matter.

“It is my honest opinion that the Clinton Foundation represents potentially one of the greatest examples of political corruption in American history,” said Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), who leads the Constitution and Civil Justice subcommittee. “Now that perspective may be disproven, time will tell. But given that conviction on my part, I think all options are definitely on the table.”
November 6:
[Wisconsin senator Ron] Johnson spoke at some length last week about his theory that Clinton committed impeachable offenses when she used a private e-mail server. And he left no doubt about his intentions. “I’m not a lawyer, but this is clearly written,” he claimed, after citing federal statutes in a rant about the Democratic nominee for president. “I would say yes, high crime or misdemeanor,” said Johnson. “I believe she is in violation of both laws.”
Those who didn't want to talk about impeachment in so many words spoke instead of a constitutional crisis, as CNN reported on November 2:
At a rally Monday, Trump warned of the "very possibility of constitutional crisis" and said if Clinton were elected, she would face criminal investigations and possibly a trial....

Wisconsin Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner told conservative radio host Charlie Sykes Tuesday that there would be a "constitutional crisis" if Clinton was indicted, and when asked about impeachment, answered, "I think that is something that is speculative in nature. I'm speculating, what I can say is that I think Richard Nixon would have been indicted and he would have been impeached. He stopped the impeachment by resigning as a result of Watergate and he stopped the indictment by President Ford pardoning him."

New York Rep. Peter King offered a similar response when speaking on Long Island local radio Tuesday morning.

"There's been nothing like this where you can have potential criminal charges," King said on "L.I. in the AM." Asked about impeachment, King responded investigations could drag on into Clinton's term as president.

"You really could have a constitutional crisis here," King said.

Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas appeared on Sean Hannity's radio show Monday, where he agreed that a potential Clinton administration is heading towards impeachment and investigations.

"You put your finger on it: we would really have a constitutional crisis," Gohmert said after Hannity said a Clinton presidency would likely be headed towards impeachment. "We've never had anyone under this type of investigation at the top of the election. There's nobody to blame but Hillary."
And as for the GOP electorate, here's Paul Waldman reporting on a survey conducted in late November 2016:
In a recent poll from Politico and Morning Consult, an incredible 82 percent of Republicans said that Clinton's email controversy was "worse than Watergate." In case you've forgotten, that was the scandal in which ... the president himself resigned when congressional Republicans told him he was about to be impeached and was certain to be convicted. That Watergate.
So to sum up: It's not true that Republicans would have been trying to impeach President Hillary Clinton from day one. They would have started to impeach her before day one.

And I mean that literally. Remember, members of Congress are sworn in before the president -- in 2017, it happened on January 3, two weeks before the presidential inaugural. I believe the House would have made investigating Hillary Clinton its first order of business. I don't believe she'd have been impeached before she was inaugurated, but I tshink the House would have been well on its way to impeachment by January 20.

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