Did President Obama study American civics when he was in school? One among many who wonders is Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), who heads the House Judiciary Committee. Recently Goodlatte held hearings to determine what steps Congress might take to rein in a president who governs by edict without regard for the constitutional limits on the executive branch.
Said the Virginia lawmaker:
Our Constitution is clear: Congress writes our laws, the Judiciary interprets them, and the Executive enforces them. But for the past five years, President Obama has waived, amended, or ignored our laws and has bypassed the Congress, issuing executive decrees from the Oval Office rather than working with Americans’ elected representatives in Congress.
Immigration policy is one of the most flagrant examples of this usurpation of authority. In 2010 Congress voted not to offer legal status (amnesty) to illegal aliens in the Dream Act category. But two years later, the President simply decreed that to be. Instead of enforcing the law that Congress refused to change, Obama ignored it and acted as if he had the authority of the legislative branch.
Most interestingly, about a year prior to that edict, the President conceded that he had no such authority. But with pressure on him from amnesty advocates, he evidently allowed expediency to trump his stated principle.
Having gotten away with that, the President may feel that he can do the same thing again if the House fails to pass an amnesty bill this year or next. Earlier this year, he threatened to use his “pen” and “phone” to make his wishes law if Congress fails to act as he thinks it should on immigration and other issues.
Goodlatte’s hearings aim to advance legislation to stop this kind of unilateral executive action. The congressman deserves credit for his effort. Our constitutional system of checks and balances among the branches of government offers a formidable bulwark against authoritarian government. But the system will fail if a branch is too timid to defend its legitimate rights against usurpation.
Success requires commitment to the rule of law. And on this point Congressman Goodlatte might do some soul searching, as one who has endorsed legislative action to give legal status to most of the illegal aliens in the U.S. While doing this by an act of Congress would uphold the proper separation of powers, it would undermine the principle of law by rewarding people who have broken it.
Obama’s actions have not taken place in a vacuum. Past amnesties have created an attitude that immigration laws, which uphold our national sovereignty, are not significant. And being insignificant, they can be disregarded on a whim. Government by whim is another name for dictatorship.
For weeks, Democrats and their friends in the media have done everything possible to cover for former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden’s work with Ukrainian gas company Burisma. Despite multiple government officials who served under President Obama and Trump citing Burisma as a concern and notoriously corrupt, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff refused to allow Republicans to call Hunter Biden as a witness during impeachment inquiry hearings last week. Questions about Hunter Biden’s dealings, which included an $83,000 per month paycheck, have been brushed aside by the media as a political attack on Joe Biden, who is running for the White House.
But it wasn’t that long ago when questions about Hunter Biden’s dealings, right under the nose of Vice President Biden who oversaw the Ukraine portfolio for the Obama administration, came under questioning during a White House Press briefing.
“Hunter Biden has now taken a position with the largest oil and gas company holding company in Ukraine. Is there any concern about at least the appearance of, of a conflict there, to see the Vice President’s son…,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was asked in 2014.
“I would refer you to the vice president’s office, I saw those reports. Hunter Biden and other members of the Biden family are obviously private citizens and uh, where they work is not, does not reflect an endorsement by the administration or by the vice president or president. But I would refer you to the vice president’s office,” Carney said, deflecting the question.
1. Former Vice President Joe Biden admitted and bragged on TV that he threatened to withhold one billion dollars in American foreign aid to Ukraine if Ukraine did not fire the prosecutor investigating Burisma. Burisma was paying Hunter Biden, son of the Joe Biden, over $50,000 per month as a board member of Burisma. There is no dirt to dig up. Joe Biden admitted to the dirt.
2. The Obama-Biden administration did not supply military aid to Ukraine when Ukraine needed the aid against Russia. This was admitted by the acting ambassador to the Ukraine, William Taylor, in his testimony.Trump in December 2017 announced that the United States would send military aid to Ukraine that then–Ukraine president Poroshenko requested from the USA. Obama and Biden had refused the sale of $47 million’s worth of Javelin antitank missiles.
In May 2018, after Ukraine tested its new Javelin missiles, Poroshenko thanked Trump for supporting Ukraine and providing the Javelin antitank missile systems.
3. On July 25, 2019 President Trump asked Ukraine’s President Zelensky to investigate Ukraine’s involvement in the 2016 election. There is evidence that Ukraine helped Hillary in the 2016 election and tried to sabotage the Trump election.
4. The transcript of the phone call was released by President Trump. The transcript speaks for itself. There is no mention of conditioning American aid on any investigation of Biden.
5. There was no investigation by Ukraine into the 2016 election or any investigation of Joe Biden.
6. Ukraine received the American military aid that is the subject of the “impeachment inquiry” on September 11, 2019, six weeks after the July 25, 2019 phone call between President Trump and President Zelensky.
7. The Democrats have refused to produce the so-called “whistleblower” to testify.
The Democrats, led by Adam Schiff, AKA Shifty Schiff, believe that these facts are enough to constitute “bribery, treason, or other high crimes and misdemeanors” to impeach and remove President Trump.
Shifty Schiff is calling as “witnesses” State Department employees who are giving their opinions about the meaning of the transcript and their opinion of the events. They do not agree with President Trump’s foreign policy.
We have the transcript, and anyone, including Congress, can decide what it means. It means exactly what the words of the transcript show: no quid pro quo, nothing illegal.
The first two witnesses, George Kent, a State Department official
William Taylor, acting ambassador to Ukraine, clearly by their demeanor and opinions show that they do not support President Trump.
I would bet anything they voted for Hillary Clinton.
Both are annoyed that Trump is president and that Trump used his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, to investigate corruption in Ukraine. Rudy investigated as part of his defense of Trump in the Robert Muller investigation.
It appears that Shifty Schiff is offering these witnesses as “expert witnesses” as to how to deal with Ukraine. In a court of law, expert witnesses have to be qualified as experts in the field in which they testify
and are used only when an expert is needed to explain to a court and jury something beyond the understanding of the layman. For example, claims against doctors require that a doctor explain what the defendant doctor did wrong.
Kent and Taylor, and the rest, are employees who are to carry out the foreign policy established by the president. Their opinions about President Trump’s foreign policy are irrelevant to whether the facts constitute “bribery, treason, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”
At best, their opinions qualify them for a job at CNN or MSNBC, alongside John Brennan and James Clapper, to attack Trump.
But their testimony is not relevant and not material to the issue of whether the phone call amounts to “bribery, treason, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”
Kent and Taylor are upset that President Trump used Rudy Giuliani, his private attorney, to investigate Ukraine’s involvement in our politics
. After watching Taylor and Kent, the first two witnesses called by Shifty Schiff, President Trump was wise to use Rudy and not rely on these two.
But their “concern” about Ukraine rings hollow. They both knew that Obama refused to give Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine when Ukraine needed those during its battles with Russia.
Yet now they are “concerned” about Ukraine’s safety. They are following the Shifty Schiff narrative that Trump withheld aid for about six weeks, from July 25 to September 11. Both said that defending Ukraine means defending the USA.
If they and the Democrats and media, who have suddenly discovered that Ukraine is crucial to the USA defense, believed that, then they should have impeached Obama for failing to give the Javelin missiles to Ukraine.
In sum: President Trump supplied the Javelin missiles to Ukraine. Obama refused to supply the missiles. Joe Biden threatened Ukraine with the loss of one billion dollars in aid if Ukraine didn’t fire the prosecutor investigating Burisma. Burisma paid Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, over $50,000 a month for a no-show job only because he was the V.P.’s son.
But it is wrong, according the Democrats and media, to question Biden about this, and Trump should be removed from office because they interpret his phone call as asking Ukraine to investigate Biden.
The crime is that there is no investigation of Joe Biden using his position as V.P. to get the $50,000 per month to his son and to get the prosecutor fired. Nor is there any investigation of the Ukraine interference in the 2016 elections to help Hillary Clinton and Trump.
President Trump and the Republicans are correct to fight this shabby attempted coup. He should ignore the “advice” of former U.S. attorney Andrew McCarthy, who is usually correct in his legal analysis, and Fox reporter Chris Wallace, who is usually wrong in his political analysis because he is a NeverTrump. Both suggested following the hearing on November 13 that Trump admit that his phone call was inappropriate or wrong and argue that impeachment is too severe for the phone call. This is admitting the premise of Schiff’s charge. It is similar to a guilty plea where you ask for lenient sentence.
The Democrats and media have nothing.
If this were a real trial, the judge would dismiss the complaint and assess counsel fees and costs against the Schiff Democrats for bringing a suit with no basis in law or fact, and brought solely in bad faith to harass President Trump.
Corrections: $50,000 per year corrected to $50 per month; November 25 corrected to July 25