Friday, April 19, 2019
Remember right before the election when Republicans had already announced impeachment hearings?
I wrote this for Salon in November 2016:
When last we heard from Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the House of Representatives’ own Samuel Sewell (Salem’s famous witch hunter), he was declaring that just because Hillary Clinton had lost the election, her troubles were not over as far as he was concerned. He was undoubtedly disappointed that he was unable to pursue the impeachment hearings he’d been planning for several months. But Chaffetz gamely carried on and announced that he had every intention of continuing his investigation into her allegedly nefarious emails and conflicts of interest when she was secretary of state. On the day after the election, the Utah congressman told the press.
It would be totally remiss of us to dismiss [the email investigation] because she’s not going to be president. I still have a duty and obligation to get to the truth about one of the largest breaches of security at the State Department. Tens of thousands of documents still have not been turned over to Congress.
He complained about the current State Department being unwilling to cooperate and said that he believed the “Trump administration would be cooperative in getting these floodgates to open as they should.”
Here's the story from before the election:
As Democrats dither over whether to even talk about impeachment and the media starts to pound the idea that voters just don't care about whether or not the president is a criminal (so much for the populist notion that elite impunity is the source of voter anger) it's important to think about what the Republicans were planning to do even before the election.
GOP congressmen, asked about impeachment, warn of 'constitutional crisis' if Clinton wins
By Andrew Kaczynski, CNN
Wed November 2, 2016
"You really could have a constitutional crisis here," said Peter King.
"You put your finger on it: we would really have a constitutional crisis," said Louie Gohmert.
The outcome of the 2016 election won't be decided for another six days, but the topic of impeaching Hillary Clinton if she wins is already a topic of discussion on conservative talk radio.
They pretended it was an act of nature, something that couldn't be avoided because of her heinous crimes and corruption. They acted as if they had no agency, would it be necessary to preserve the rule o' law and protect the constitution. Because they were patriots.
Several Republican congressmen have been asked this week about a potential Clinton impeachment if she were indicted as a result of an FBI investigation into her emails; all of them warned of a "constitutional crisis" if Clinton were to be elected.
Their answers mirror what Donald Trump has being saying on the campaign trail. 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.
Texas Rep. Michael McCaul on Fox News Wednesday explicitly mentioned the possibility of impeachment.
"Assuming she wins, and the investigation goes forward, and it looks like an indictment is pending, at that point in time, under the Constitution, the House of Representatives would engage in an impeachment trial," McCaul said. "They would go to the Senate and impeachment proceedings and removal would take place."
"I would hate to see this country being thrown into a constitutional crisis because of Hillary Clinton's behavior," he added.
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."
Republican Sen. Ron Johnson from Wisconsin also said Clinton could be impeached in an interview Tuesday with a local newspaper, and Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson said in a radio interview over the weekend that she may be headed for impeachment.
It may have contributed to Trump's microscopic electoral college win too. There were undoubtedly people who knew they meant it.
And they did.
Update: I saw some reporters on twitter scoffing at this, but of course he's right:
Former President Bill Clinton said that impeachment hearings would have begun if a Democratic president, instead of Donald Trump, were in power and the Russia investigation was as far along as it is now.
"I think if the roles were reversed -- now, this is me just talking, but it's based on my experience -- if it were a Democratic president, and these facts were present, most people I know in Washington believe impeachment hearings would have begun already," Clinton told "CBS Sunday Morning."
And by the way, they all knew about the Russian interference when they were saying this.
digby 4/19/2019 10:45:00 AM