As the threat of COVID-19 wanes and the rioting in America’s streets finally starts to dissipate, it appears that Democrats are desperate to come up with one final cudgel with which to beat the president before the November election. Enter Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) and his plans to impeach President Trump once more, based on a book he has not even read.
In the heady days of yore, the impeachment of a president was seen as a one-shot deal, not a campaign tool. But how times have changed.
A Hail Mary Play?
Thanks to former National Security Advisor John Bolton’s latest book, the DNC has one more chance to remove Trump from office before its fate is left to the worst possible arbiter: voters.
Excerpts from the book, published in a pre-release marketing campaign, detail alleged misconduct by the president over his dealings with China. During this weekend’s episode of NBC’s Meet the Press, Schiff was goaded by Chuck Todd into making what seems like a commitment to impeachment. Todd asked, “If you believe he has done impeachable acts with the Chinese government, can you really wait until after the election to, to put Bolton under oath, to start the process?” To which Schiff responded:
“I don’t think we should wait if we conclude that there are important things that he [Bolton] says that need to be exposed to the public. The public needs to know exactly what they have in this president. A lot of it is not a surprise. But at the same time, exposure of this president’s misconduct is the best way to protect the country.”
The “conclusion” Schiff is waiting on is presumably that of the committee he has formed to look into the allegations made in Bolton’s book, which he admits he has not yet read.
This is either a genuine attempt at impeachment or a Damoclean sword Democrats hope will hang in place until November 3. But what is at the heart of the issue?
This is either a genuine attempt at impeachment or a Damoclean sword Democrats hope will hang in place until November 3.
Bolton claims that President Trump asked Beijing to buy more agricultural products to assist him in winning the 2020 election and that he gave his “blessing” to build concentration camps for the Uighur ethnic minority in the west of China. To any who have read a newspaper, or even seen NBC’s coverage of the ongoing trade war, these accusations seem spurious at best.
Donald Trump has brought the Chinese economy to the brink of collapse with his aggressive trade practices, whereas Joe Biden could, at best, be described as “soft on China.” The idea that President Xi Jinping would prefer another four years of Trump in the Oval Office, rather than any other person, is ludicrous.
And as to the charges that Trump “blessed” the building of Uighur camps, this is hearsay twice removed.
Time to Pile On
Nominee Joe Biden (or his team), naturally had two cents to throw in the wishing well, tweeting:
“[I]f John Bolton’s accounts are true … it’s not only morally repugnant, it’s a violation of Donald Trump’s sacred duty to the American people to protect America’s interests and defend our values.”
News outlets across the country are ditching their previous reporting on the “deadly” U.S./Sino trade war and taking at face value Bolton’s claims, presenting them as something akin to Gospel. But the important question remains: Will voters see this as a political hit job?
President Trump has long averred that Democrats are willing to stoop to any level to derail his presidency; if they go ahead with yet another impeachment, they run the risk of proving his point. Voters may not like the president, but Americans of all political stripes are against partisan persecution.
A second bite of the impeachment apple – especially one based on a book written by a man Dems have spent years criticizing – may become the stone on which the president sharpens his electoral blade.
Read more from Mark Angelides.