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Panetta Tosses the “Impeach Trump” Crowd a Crumb, They Feast

Panetta Tosses the “Impeach Trump” Crowd a Crumb, They Feast

Ultimately, though, Panetta probably already knows that there are no grounds to impeach our President

I find it fascinating that almost two years into the Trump presidency, and #TheResistance is still dreaming of impeaching our duly-elected president and over-turning a free and fair election simply because they don’t like the results.

In the latest sad twist on this theme, the “Impeach Trump” media has latched onto what is ultimately a pretty innocuous statement by former Obama Secretary of Defense and former CIA chief, Leon Panetta.

It goes something like this: Panetta says that Congressional Democrats can’t even dream of impeaching President Trump until the Mueller report is released.  The anti-Trump media hears something like:  “hey, Democrats are going to impeach Trump . . . once we get the goods from Mueller.”

Under the headline, “Mueller’s report on Russia investigation ‘will ultimately determine’ whether to impeach: Panetta,” ABC News reports:

A former top-ranking official under Presidents Obama and Clinton said Democrats should hold off on impeachment proceedings if they win control of the House of Representatives in the midterm elections.

Leon Panetta, a defense secretary and CIA director under Barack Obama and chief of staff to Bill Clinton, told “This Week” Co-Anchor Martha Raddatz in an exclusive interview that Democrats should not consider impeachment proceedings until special counsel Robert Mueller releases a report on his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and the possible involvement of Trump associates.

Raddatz asked, “As we approach the midterms… do you think it’s wise for Democrats if they retake the House to start impeachment proceedings? Is it wise politically for them to do that?”

“No, not at all,” Panetta responded. “I think the most important thing that the Democrats could do is to allow Bob Mueller to complete his work.”

. . . . Panetta continued, “I think Bob Mueller’s work will ultimately determine whether or not there are going to be additional steps taken against the president and they ought not to get ahead of that report because that will be the key to determining what happens.”

Here’s the clip:

So Panetta says it’s unwise for Democrats to pursue impeachment should they win the House (of course, nothing can happen if the Senate remains in Republican control) . . . until after the Mueller report comes out.  Presumably, he means that there can be impeachment only if there is some evidence of an actual impeachable offense, so don’t put the cart before the horse.

The leftstream media just can’t help itself, though.

Politico‘s headline suggests that impeachment is a given, but that Panetta is merely suggesting they “hold off,” you know, for now:  Panetta: Democrats should hold off on impeachment.

Over at the Hill, the idea seems the same, impeachment will happen, let’s just show some restraint:  “Panetta: Dems shouldn’t get ahead of themselves on impeachment.”

This sleight of headline was picked up on right-leaning sites where the warning to wait for actual evidence of impeachable offenses was emphasized over the implicit suggestion that Trump will be impeached . . . in time (once we have the long-awaited great reveal of the Mueller report).

The Daily Caller‘s headline reflects this focus:  Leon Panetta Has A Blunt Message For Democrats Wanting To Impeach Trump. The idea here is that Panetta is unsure about the viability of impeachment, and I think that’s a fair reading of what he actually said.  I don’t agree that Panetta was being “blunt” at all.  If he had been, we wouldn’t have this headline war.

A few points:  One, despite the dearest dreams of the TDS-afflicted, the Mueller report is unlikely to reveal any impeachable offense; if they had the goods on Trump, we’d have learned about it long before now.  Two, even if the Mueller report cobbles together something shady that the media spins into hyper-drive but that fails to resonate with even fence-sitting Trump supporters, impeaching a sitting president without the consent of the people is a big mistake.  Big.  Even Congressional Democrats know this.  Three, without a Senate willing to convict, House impeachment proceedings will do nothing but strengthen support for Trump, all but ensuring his reelection in 2020.

Additionally, Raddatz’s question was fundamentally flawed.  Asking if it it is “politically wise” to pursue impeachment proceedings upon winning the House (while not presuming the Senate win necessary to remove him from office) is like asking if it’s politically wise to set up your own personal server as Secretary of State, to eliminate the Senate filibuster on judicial nominations, to base your presidential legacy on executive orders and your dearest hope that your preferred successor will win, or to call a huge swath of American voters “deplorables.”

The answer normal Americans give is “no, not wise at all.”  The answer swamp people give is “if you can get away with it.”  The answer Panetta gave is “I get it, but let’s not be stupid.”

Panetta is not an idiot, and given his connections, he probably already knows that there are no grounds to impeach our President.


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Bucky Barkingham | September 3, 2018 at 11:04 am

Not only no grounds, but no opportunity. There will not be a Blue Wave sweeping Leftists in control of the House in November.

Oooh! Squirrel! Squirrel, Squirrel!!

Media encouraging the new left position of putting the punishment before the crime. The crime, of which thus far, there is no evidence.

As Alan Dershowitz said:

“Under the unitary theory of the executive, the president has the right to direct the Justice Department and the right to direct the FBI on what to do. Thomas Jefferson told his attorney general to prosecute Aaron Burr. He told them how to do it and called witnesses in. He…called Chief Justice Marshall and threatened to have him impeached if he didn’t convict him. Aaron Burr got acquitted in the end but not through any efforts of President Jefferson. The president is head of the executive branch and can’t be convicted of obstruction of justice for simply performing his Constitutional duties…. I don’t see any crime here.”

Impeachment if they get the chance? If the Commie Libs take over and try then they will crash their ship on the rocks of very deep intra party divisions.

JusticeDelivered | September 3, 2018 at 11:54 am

Impeaching Trump would give Dems Pence, and Dems would be much more unhappy with Pence than they are with Trump.

The truth is that Dems screwed themselves in a multitude of ways, there were just sooo many errors of judgement.

    OOO…OOOO….OOO…Lemme try….dim’s impeach President Trump…get President Pense….President Pense pardons President Trump….dim’s impeach President Pense….Jim Jordan becomes president…President Jordan pardons President Pense…ohh ohhh….bada bing bada boom….oooohhh yeah…hahahahahahaha!!!! now…dat thar’a funnie….

    They’ll give Pence the Agnew treatment!

If the D’rats control the House, they can vote to impeach. All that’s needed to do that is the vote; no crime is needed, but they’ll make one up, for the sake of appearance.

If the D’rats don’t control the Senate, and they can’t come up with a real crime, the impeachment trial will fail, and all the D’rats will be left with is some miserable publicity.

If the D’rats don’t control the Senate but they can come up with a real crime, the Senate might just possibly vote to convict, if a few Repub Senators think the crime is actually impeachable.

The great asymmetry in American government is that the Party discipline of the D’rats grossly exceeds that of the Repubs. D’rats will vote in lockstep that the moon is made of green cheese if that’s what they’re told to do. Some Repubs will not automatically vote their Party line, particularly if it’s just plain stupid or criminal, and while that makes them better human beings than the D’rats, it makes them much weaker politically.

So, if there’s the slightest chance that Mueller will ever come up with any hint of a real crime, that’s the time for impeachment, because it just might succeed. If the D’rats jump the gun and impeach as soon as they can without waiting for evidence of a crime, all they can possibly get is noise and some fawning press. But the President will thereafter be unassailable.

Bitterlyclinging | September 3, 2018 at 12:33 pm

The anti Trump MSM is hysterical because they know full well they’ve been an integral part of the “Muh Russia” collusion hoax and are well aware that if “They don’t all hang together, they’ll all hang separately”

I wonder if Panetta still has security clearance. If so, why? I imagine he used it for personal gain as well 🙂

You know, if I were more plugged into the whole “social media” thing and wanted to troll TDS loonies, this might be fun bit to float:

“Senate introduces bill to extend Trump presidency for a period equal to the total length of the Mueller investigation.”

During the Obama era, I spent a lot of time telling people that, in order to impeach a President, you have to be able to point to the elements of a high crime or misdemeanor. Policy differences are not crimes.

The same is true, now.

Articulate the elements of a crime, or go home.

    tom_swift in reply to Valerie. | September 3, 2018 at 2:53 pm

    In theory a “high crime or misdemeanor” is required. In practice, all that’s required is whatever the House thinks is required. Even if the charge is a fabrication or a non-crime, there’s no appeal mechanism aside from the Senate. “[T]he Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments.” There’s no provision for appeal or further review of the Senate’s vote on the charges, bogus though they may be as a matter of criminal law.

    Once the President is removed from office via impeachment, he can be tried on the criminal charges, the “high crimes or misdemeanors”. That would be an ordinary criminal trial and the usual mechanisms of appeal to higher courts would be available. And purely bogus charges are unlikely to result in a criminal conviction. But the subsequent criminal trial has nothing to do with the impeachment trial. When Gerald Ford pointed out that “{A}n impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history,” he was correct, so long as the Representatives are able to convince themselves, however improbably, that “high crimes or misdemeanors” are somehow involved.

    Certainly seems like a bad idea to me, but I wasn’t consulted when the Constitution was drafted. The D’rats have been trying to use impeachment to remove non-Democrats as a matter of policy since 1804, and there doesn’t seem to be anything we can do about it . . . except stop voting for goddamn Democrats.

the problem is while we didn’t follow Europe lead and have a royal class we did manage to develop our own version, we ended up with three, the political class, the bureaucratic class, and the judicial class and not of them have the American people first. to borrow again from Jerry Pournelle, his Iron Law of Bureaucracy, it will protect itself and all cost.

Subotai Bahadur | September 3, 2018 at 9:07 pm

Whether they have control of either or both of the Houses of Congress, they WILL attempt impeachment.

They will either succeed or they will fail.

If they succeed, they will proceed to attempt to make it impossible for anyone to ever oppose them again. The means will be neither non-violent nor constitutional. In which case there will be resistance that will also not be non-violent and which will be outside the Constitution.

If they fail, they will resort to violence and terrorism as that is their default position for the last few decades. That terrorism will be answered in kind.

The survivors will make new rules that probably will not be like the old.