South Carolina attorney general Alan Wilson is the lead signatory and driving force behind a letter assailing the partisan impeachment proceedings against U.S. president Donald Trump in Washington, D.C. – a process he and others claim are “fundamentally flawed as a matter of constitutional law.”
The letter – signed by the attorneys general of twenty other states – cites a “duty to defend the integrity of the votes cast by those citizens and electors” in each state. It further cites “a duty to current and future generations” in urging U.S. senators to “reject the two articles of impeachment” adopted last month by Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Joining Wilson in signing the letter were the attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.
The 14-page letter provided a detailed analysis of the two articles, which it concluded lack any specific criminal allegation and instead rely upon a “nebulous” abuse of power charge tied to an allegedly corrupt motive – Trump’s alleged desire to weaken a political opponent by coercing a foreign government into investigating him.
“The president … is being impeached for a political thought crime,” the letter claimed (emphasis original) in reference to the first article of impeachment leveled against him.
Moreover, the letter reiterated our fundamental position on impeachment – namely that it seeks to deflect attention from a far more serious scandal involving former U.S. vice president Joe Biden, his son Hunter Biden and Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian oil and gas company that had at least one of the Bidens on its payroll.
To recap: In 2016, Ukraine was investigating Bursima and the Bidens – that is, until the former vice president threatened to withhold $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees unless it fired its former prosecutor general.
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“I said I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars,” Biden (above) recalled during a speech two years ago to the Council on Foreign Relations. “I said you’re not getting the billion – I’m gonna be leaving here … in six hours, if the prosecutor is not fired you’re not getting the money. Well, son of a bitch – got fired.”
Biden was directly responsible for U.S. policy toward Ukraine at the time.
“Reports about the Bidens dealings in Ukraine raise serious questions about possible violations of both U.S. and Ukrainian law,” the attorneys general concluded.
We concur …
This news outlet has never defended Trump’s conduct in regards to Ukraine, however we have consistently taken a dim view of the Democrats’ impeachment process – arguing from the very beginning that if they wanted these proceedings to have any lasting credibility then “(they) better come up with a smoking gun against the president that eclipses the brazenness of Biden’s admitted behavior.”
They have not …
As to the second article of impeachment, which alleges “obstruction of congress,” the letter asserted that House Democrats are seeking to criminalize Trump’s lawful invocation of executive privilege in a manner which would be “massively destructive of presidential independence from congress.”
“If the House can impeach a President for invoking executive privilege, the privilege is meaningless because it is under unilateral control of the House,” the letter noted (emphasis original). “If the House believed President Trump’s invocation of executive privilege was unjustified, it should have done what every other congressional committee has done: go to court to enforce the subpoena and challenge the assertion of privilege.”
Again, we concur …
“This partisan political effort undermines the democratic process, both now and in the future,” the letter concluded. “The House unilaterally rewrites the constitution, without the people’s consent to amend it. It weaponizes a process that should only be initiated in exceedingly rare circumstances and never for partisan purposes. This purely partisan attack on president Trump will damage democracy in America in the worst possible way; it will forever weaken the separation of powers – the very edifice upon which our democracy stands.”
This news outlet is not in the business of defending Trump – in fact, we continue to be disappointed in him on a host of critical fronts. On the bread-and-butter issues of taxes and spending, he has turned out to be no better or worse than any other Washington politician – which is inexcusable given what he promised during the 2016 campaign.
Furthermore, Trump had to be dragged kicking and screaming by his conservative base into the fight over his signature border security promise.
Nonetheless, it was up to Democrats to make a compelling case that Trump broke the law – and then somehow reconcile that alleged lawbreaking with the far more egregious conduct of Biden.
They have failed on both counts … which is one reason we support this effort by Wilson and his fellow Republican attorneys general to pull back the veil on what has clearly been a partisan, constitutionally dubious process.
According to a news release from his office, Wilson and four of his fellow attorneys general will be unveiling the letter at a press conference on the steps of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C.
WEB EXTRA: ATTORNEYS GENERAL LETTERletter-1.22.20
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