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Will impeachment be a permanent bad mark (on Democrats)?

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Will impeachment be a permanent bad mark (on Democrats)?

Will impeachment be a permanent bad mark (on Democrats)?
February 10
18:51 2020

Democrats and media pundits take great joy in proclaiming that no matter the outcome in the Senate, President Trump suffers from an indelible bad mark on his historic record.  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi goes so far as claiming that the impeachment by the House clearly establishes Trump’s misdeeds.  It will forever overshadow any and all accomplishments of his presidency – of which Pelosi & Co. contend there are none.

Democrats take the incompatible positions that impeachment by the House is akin to an indictment in a court-of-law and, at the same time, is a confirmation of guilt.  That is wrong on both counts.  Impeachment is a political process – not a judicial process.  The differences far outweigh any similarities – just as a Senate trial is completely different than a judicial trial.

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The one similarity between an impeachment and an indictment, however, is that they both deal with accusations – charges.  The Senate trial is empowered to determine if a President is guilty or not guilty.

When the Senate determines that a President is not guilty, the accusations in the impeachment die even as the act of impeachment remains a matter of history.  This is underscored by one of our most important legal assumptions – that a person is to be considered innocent of any charges until proven guilty, whether in a judicial trial or the singularly unique Senate impeachment trial.

Those Democrats who say that the House has established Trump’s guilt – and that he is not acquitted or exonerated by the Senate trial – are advancing a false political narrative in the court-of-public-opinion.  Even those senators who say that what Trump did was ill-advised or wrong are speaking merely of propriety – not criminality.  Not abuse of power.  Not obstruction of Congress.  On those counts, the Senate determined that Trump was not guilty … period.  He is acquitted, exonerated and innocent of all charges outlined in the Articles of Impeachment.

Individual opinions about the charges, themselves, or the nature of the trial in the Senate are immaterial.  The impeachment was legal even if inappropriate.  The trial was legal even without additional witnesses.

Whatever we may individually think about the process and the results, President Trump has every right to claim complete innocence of the charges.  On the other hand, history may very well look negatively at the prosecutorial process carried out by the Democrats in the House that completely failed to win a conviction because of excessive partisan prosecution of questionable charges.

Contemporary predictions of future history are often far different than the judgments of time, themselves.  As just one example, President Truman was so unpopular in his day that he could not even consider running for re-election.

We should recall that historians believe that the impeachment of Presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton were too political – and therefore failed.  Unlike the wishful thinking of contemporary Democrats, the impeachment and acquittal of Trump may be nothing more than a footnote in history – or perhaps a black mark on the Democrats in Congress.

So, there ‘tis.

About Author

Larry Horist

Larry Horist

Larry Horist is a conservative activist with an extensive background in economics, public policy and politics. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman, as well as the White House. He has testified as an expert witness before legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress, and lectured at major colleges and universities. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He can be reached at lph@thomasandjoyce.com.

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1 Comment

  1. Anthony
    Anthony February 11, 20:54

    “Democrats and media pundits take great joy in proclaiming that no matter the outcome in the Senate, President Trump suffers from an indelible bad mark on his historic record.”

    The fact that Pelosi made this point very early in the piece (long before it went to the Senate) is IRREFUTABLE PROOF that it was a purely PARTISAN exercise. I can’t believe she was so remiss as to give it away so obviously, nor that the conservatives didn’t exploit this gaffe as it deserved.

    If you were sincerely and genuinely concerned about addressing a massive abuse of presidential authority for the sake of the nation and its constitution, this would be the last thing on your mind, not the first, as it evidently was.

    Reply to this comment

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