What this 'impeachment' is really about — and it's not the Constitution

What this 'impeachment' is really about — and it's not the Constitution
© Greg Nash

I had the privilege of testifying in September before Rep. Jerry NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerMaloney wins House Oversight gavel House Judiciary Committee approves landmark marijuana legalization bill Maloney wins vote for Oversight chairwoman MORE’s (D-N.Y.) House Judiciary Committee on what’s now become the “old” impeachment narrative of Russia collusion. Given that the Democratic members of the committee were more interested in comparing me to a “fish” than in learning anything new, I don’t think that day was very productive for … well, for anyone.

Part of me thought they’d learn from this experience — not just from my compelling testimony but also from the fact that, by this point, there was no doubt that the entire witch-hunt they chose to run was, at heart, just a drawn-out attempt to “get” Donald Trump.

Turns out, they haven’t learned a thing.

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Clandestine hearings. Selective leaks. Ominous retellings of imagined conversations. More Soviet than statutory, House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Deal on defense bill proves elusive | Hill, Holmes offer damaging testimony | Trump vows to block Navy from ousting officer from SEALs On The Money: Trump signs short-term spending bill to avoid shutdown | Pelosi casts doubt on USMCA deal in 2019 | California high court strikes down law targeting Trump tax returns Wasserman Schultz makes bid for House Appropriations Committee gavel MORE (D-Calif.) and Rep Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffHill, Holmes offer damaging impeachment testimony: Five takeaways Schiff says Trump's actions go 'beyond anything Nixon did' Trump campaign releases 'Bull-Schiff' T-shirts MORE’s (D-Calif.) six-committee persecution of the president from the basement of the Capitol dragged on for more than a month before the leadership had the courage to begin a formal House inquiry into the impeachment of America’s duly-elected president.

“This is not any cause for glee and comfort,” Madame Speaker said, as her giddy caucus used the floor of the House of Representatives — the very same place where President Franklin Roosevelt asked for a declaration of war following the “Day of Infamy” on Dec. 7, 1941 — to formalize the framework of their newest sham.

Following two Democrats’ defections that assured bipartisan opposition, The Resistance laid down the rules of their newest game. The House Intelligence Committee, under Schiff, will lead the charge, subpoenaing witnesses, holding public hearings and, ultimately, delivering a report to Nadler’s Judiciary Committee with recommendations on how to proceed. The Republican members do have subpoena power to bring in witnesses of their own — but only if the Democratic chairman, or a majority of the Democratic committee, approves.

Since this whole thing began (theoretically) over a comment about Joe BidenJoe BidenKamala Harris receives new Iowa endorsements after debate performance Watergate prosecutor says that Sondland testimony was 'tipping point' for Trump Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Deal on defense bill proves elusive | Hill, Holmes offer damaging testimony | Trump vows to block Navy from ousting officer from SEALs MORE, what are the odds that Schiff will allow the committee to subpoena Joe or his son, Hunter, who was paid $50,000 a month to sit on the board of a Ukrainian energy company, so they can both say under oath just how “unsubstantiated” these corruption claims are? This inquiry is, after all, in search of truth.

Isn’t it?

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Doubtful.

This impeachment sham has nothing to do with House procedures, timelines for trials, or even Ukraine. It’s about something more fundamental: This is about what Donald Trump represents.

The establishment had a conception of how the world worked and how it should best benefit them. Unfettered immigration was a national boon. So-called “free trade” was the way to sustained economic prosperity. Foreign over-involvement was the best way to keep America safe, and if endless wars were a side-effect, so be it — defense contracts are lucrative.

When Donald Trump entered the White House as the political manifestation of the rejection of this Washington consensus, their whole world suddenly was under siege. Control over our borders, bilateral trade agreements that respect American jobs, and ending the painful stories of sons and daughters never returning from the Middle East were the new priorities of the chief executive. To the establishment, all of that was terrifying.

The establishment had never seen a threat like this, and — as we’ve seen — it will fight hard to make sure it never sees one like it ever again.

But Schiff and Madame Speaker may have made a bit of a mistake by jumping in head-first to endorse a rigged process they justify with “patriotism” and “the Constitution.”

Unlike their fractured caucus on the Halloween vote, House Republicans have presented a unified front. The conservatives, the establishment GOP, the economic nationalists and the MAGA crowd have all come together to state with conviction that the Democratic Party will not overturn the results of the 2016 election — and with it, have endorsed the Trump revolution.

U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement (USMCA), getting out of the Middle East, economic superiority over China, and national defense in place of international occupation are congressional priorities far more important than scheduling hearings over a phone call. Speaker Pelosi at one point knew this, advising Democrats from Trump-favoring congressional districts to avoid the “I” word at all costs leading up to the 2018 midterm elections.

Well now, at her direction, that’s all changed. The Democratic platform of bipartisanship and fixing health care promised in 2018 was a complete lie, with 29 of the 31 freshman Democrats from Trump districts falling in line behind the destroy-Trump faction that has overtaken the Democratic Party.

Is politics of personal destruction how the American people want their congressmen to spend their time when more than 130 people die within our borders each day due to the effects of an opioid overdose — a 9/11-caliber tragedy every 23 days? Or when advances in fair trade, “America First” immigration policies and ending the “Endless Wars” are all finally within our reach?

I guess we’ll have to wait and see. But if I were a betting man who listened to the everyday concerns of Americans in places like Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, I’d bet the under. 

Corey R. Lewandowski is President TrumpDonald John TrumpWatergate prosecutor says that Sondland testimony was 'tipping point' for Trump In private moment with Trump, Justice Kennedy pushed for Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination: book Obama: 'Everybody needs to chill out' about differences between 2020 candidates MORE’s former campaign manager. He is a senior adviser to the Great America Committee, Vice President Mike Pence's political action committee. He is co-author with David Bossie of the new book, “Trump’s Enemies,” and of “Let Trump Be Trump: The Inside Story of His Rise to the Presidency.” Follow him on Twitter @CLewandowski_.