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Sunday, October 6, 2019

Impugn, IMPEACH and Repeat

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is joined by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., at a news conference as House Democrats move ahead in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is joined by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., at a news conference as House Democrats move ahead in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)


 THE WASHINGTON TIMES

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

If there are two sides to every story, they both deserve to be heard. In the epic tale of foreign influence in the 2016 presidential election, the narrative about Russia helping Donald Trump was exhaustively probed and ultimately debunked. As Americans gape at Democrats’ current efforts to impugn and impeach President Trump, they should be mindful that the gathering political storm represents the party’s desperate efforts to suppress the other side of the story — that it was Hillary Clinton’s campaign, together with Obama administration officials, who conspired with foreign governments to steal the election.
For Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, President Trump’s requests to foreign officials for assistance rooting out 2016 election shenanigans amount to shocking acts of disloyalty to the Republic. “We could not ignore what the president did. He gave us no choice,” she told CBS’ “60 Minutes” on Sunday. She referred to news of a White House whistleblower citing second-hand rumors of a leaked July 25 phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which Mr. Trump asked for his help on two fronts.
First, he requested assistance with information in Ukraine’s files on Crowdstrike, the security firm that purportedly fingered Russia for hacking servers belonging to the Democratic National Committee, thus triggering the futile investigation into collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. The second was help with details about Joe Biden’s intervention in a Ukrainian probe of corruption that effectively shielded his son, Hunter Biden.
To be sure, the Biden matter clearly would have been better left to Justice Department officials. Given the former vice president’s status as a Democratic presidential contender, it’s easy to fathom the party’s hypersensitivity to another in a long list of “Uncle Joe” gaffes. Still, just as Mr. Biden has been dinged with nothing more than the appearance of impropriety for protecting his son, Mr. Trump ‘s request crossed no boundary more ungentlemanly than one distinguishing Queensberry Rules from bare-knuckle politics.

In contrast, Democrats have unfairly seized upon Mr. Trump’s request from Ukraine for information that could help unearth how the Trump-Russia investigation was triggered. That is exactly the purpose of the probe that U.S. Attorney General William Barr ordered U.S. Attorney John Durham to undertake following the exposure of apparent political bias against Mr. Trump before and after his election in 2016.
Undeterred in its anti-Trump offensive, The New York Times lobbed a “bombshell” Monday contending the president “pressed” Australia’s prime minister for information disproving supposed wrongdoing that fed special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. The intimation: Not done with collusion, the Donald is at it again.
Except that it was nothing of the sort. Mr. Trump told reporters on May 24 he wanted Mr. Barr to query other nations about the roots of the Mueller probe. Australian Ambassador Joe Hockey volunteered his nation’s help in a May 28 letter to Mr. Barr obtained by Fox News saying, “The Australian Government will use its best endeavors to support your efforts in this matter.” Great Britain and Italy reportedly have also been contacted for relevant information. Not exactly the image painted by Democrats of a Mafia boss demanding favors.
Given the party’s carved-in-stone vow to rid the nation of Mr. Trump, the shouts for the president’s removal from office are only growing louder. Mrs. Pelosi has tasked her lieutenants with engineering a rapid series of hearings that are meant to produce articles of impeachment this fall. It leaves time enough to ram them through the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives, and still have plenty of time to lay waste to the Republican-controlled Senate during a constitutionally required impeachment trial.
For their part, at least a few Republican senators are reinforcing the president’s legitimate tactics for uncovering the source of the Trump-Russia collusion allegations: “Ukrainian efforts abetted by a U.S. political party to interfere in the 2016 election should not be ignored,” wrote Sens. Charles Grassley of Iowa and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin in a Monday letter to Mr. Barr. “Such allegations of corruption deserve due scrutiny, and the American people have a right to know when foreign forces attempted to undermine our Democratic processes.”
What Mr. Barr, Mr. Durham and their team of investigators uncover is the other side of the foreign collusion story that Americans deserve to hear. If Democrats proceed in their attempt to impeach and remove the president from office without it, their choice of rule by pitchfork and torch will long be remembered.

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