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:
NEW: Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says Democrats should hold off on impeachment proceedings if they win control of the House in 2018:
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) September 2, 2018
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.DONATE
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