Nancy Pelosi laid the foundation for a second impeachment of Donald Trump today. Just listen to her words! (Emphasis added.)
We also saw the president this week demonstrate once again, uh, that he does have--has no respect for the rule of law. His assault on the rule of law by engaging in the political interference in the sentence, uh sentencing of his associate Roger Stone indicated obstruction of, uh, in the--of investigation into Trump-Russia ties and uh, witness tampering. That's what Trump--that's what Stone was indicted for. This is abuse of power, the president is again trying to manipulate federal law enforcement to serve his political interests.--Nancy Pelosi
As Twitter personality Carlos Osweda (a pseudonym) pointed out earlier today, the pieces are all in place to proceed with another impeachment. This iteration would be even more baseless than the last, and would have disastrous results--for the Democrats:
Sen. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer spoke later on the Senate floor, and made similar comments.
Why is this happening at all, and why now? Why are Democratic leaders in the House and Senate flailing so wildly on the heels of their deeply embarrassing impeachment process, seemingly eager to repeat the fiasco? Because their backs are against the wall. Attorney General Bill Barr has made his support of the president clear in the matter of impeachment, and with good reason.
What we know for certain: Barr is aware that the genesis of impeachment was deeply flawed: without FISA court corruption, there would have been no Russiagate, no national turmoil, and no impeachment. He's furious. Not in the partisan manner that Democrats would have the public believe, but over the damage to, and dereliction of, justice in our nation. Barr is a deeply principled and patriotic man.
Barr appears ready to embark on the more difficult legs of the journey back to American rule of law. He claimed in December that the Durham report would likely be released in the spring or early summer of this year. In the meantime, sweeping sanctions aimed at sanctuary cities were announced this week. The days of flouting established laws, not to mention entire federal departments, are coming to a close.
And then, this afternoon, Barr came forth in an interview with pointed remarks directed at...President Trump.
The way forward is always a bit fraught when the man you're defending is as strong willed as Trump. As reflected in the tweet and corresponding article above, there appears to be a degree of friction between Barr and Trump. Providing some pushback against both Trump and the increasing Democratic hordes who don't understand the role of an Attorney General, Barr remarked,
“Public statements and tweets made about the department, about our people in the department, our men and women, about cases pending in the department, and about judges before whom we have cases, make it impossible for me to do my job and to assure the courts and the prosecutors in the department that we’re doing our work with integrity.”AG Bill Barr, via the Daily Wire
Barr is on the side of justice. He wants a calm process, and necessary breathing room. None of this should worry Trump or his supporters. In fact, it stands in welcome relief to Barack Obama and his "wingman" Eric Holder.
Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky made the news twice today for different reasons, both of which underscore his career-long refusal to bend his beliefs to suit others. In one instance, he too appeared to snub the president. If you know Paul, you know better.
This morning, YouTube removed a video from its platform due to Paul identifying the Ukraine-call whistleblower by name, NSA/CIA agent Eric Ciaramella. It was complainant Ciaramella whose secondhand account of the July 25, 2019 phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky finally lit the inevitable fire of impeachment.
Paul wants to see the highly compromised whistleblower investigated, thereby demonstrating the setup that led to Trump's impeachment. He was a vocal supporter of Trump's during the Senate trial.
Paul fights for the president...except when he doesn't appear to. His motivation was different, albeit no less principled a few hours later, when he was one of eight Republican senators to join Democrats in voting on the War Powers Act to curb presidential power to commit acts of war.
Paul found a sympathetic ear to his vote on his father Ron's show.
Ron and Rand volleyed back and forth, massaging out the Paul stance: a vote for the War Powers Act is a vote that honors the framers of the U.S. Constitution. The Executive branch is always the "most prone to war," Rand explains, quoting James Madison, and the framers took "studied care" to place that power in the hands of the Legislative branch.
Paul was joined by GOP senators Lamar Alexander, Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins, Mike Lee, Jerry Moran, Lisa Murkowski, and Todd Young.
It may feel like betrayal of Trump, but it's hyperpartisan to miss the forest for the trees on this one. The end result was always the same: Trump has promised to veto the WPA anyway. If anything, this vote is the GOP demonstrating that it is not an inflexible, closed-minded body. In the aftermath of impeachment, wherein Republicans stood fast for the president (except Romney, whose career is finished), this ability to show some individual thought is important.
It might not feel like it, but these are good, calculated optics, an appeal to independents leaning to the right who are still skeptical. On to Cincinnati, not Cincinnatus.
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