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Daily Recap — December 17

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An Opening Shot

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President Trump, presumably through a ghostwriter, sent a harsh letter to Speaker Pelosi today urging her to halt impeachment proceedings one day before the House is set to vote to impeach him, accusing Democrats of an “unprecedented and unconstitutional abuse of power.” 

In the letter, Trump complained about the impeachment process, defended his conduct toward Ukraine and called out Dims for their own efforts to meddle in our suddenly sacred democracy.

The full letter can be read here.

“It is time for you and the highly partisan Democrats in Congress to immediately cease this impeachment fantasy and get back to work for the American People. While I have no expectation that you will do so, I write this letter to you for the purpose of history and to put my thoughts on a permanent and indelible record,” Trump wrote. 

The letter is long but full of punch, acting as somewhat of a continuation of the presidential Twitter feed. He rightfully points out the egregiously un-American Mueller probe and touches on other inconvenient topics for Dims such as The Squad®, specifically the “ranting and raving” anti-white Michigan congresswoman Rep. Rashida Tlaib., although there was no mention of her anti-white bigotry. He also points out his own accomplishments. of course.

“This is nothing more than an illegal, partisan attempted coup that will, based on recent sentiment, badly fail at the voting booth. You are not just after me, as President, you are after the entire Republican Party,” Trump declared. “History will judge you harshly as you proceed with this impeachment charade.”

And because the media sure as hell can’t be relied upon to do it, Trump pointed out how Dims are in many cases guilty of the exact actions they pretend to be fighting, namely election interference.

“You are the ones interfering in America’s election. You are the ones subverting America’s Democracy. You are the ones Obstructing Justice,” Trump wrote. “You are the ones bringing pain and suffering to our Republic for your own selfish personal, political, and partisan gain.”

“I have no doubt the American people will hold you and the Democrats fully responsible in the upcoming 2020 election. They will not soon forgive your perversion of justice and abuse of power,” he added.

This letter comes on the eve of the House vote on two articles of impeachment for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Dims will in all likelihood approve the articles of impeachment with no Republican support.

 

“You are turning a policy disagreement between two branches of government into an impeachable offense — it is no more legitimate than the Executive Branch charging members of Congress with crimes for the lawful exercise of legislative power,” the president wrote.

Fact check: True. The president is allowed to refuse to hand over documents to Congress if he pleases, pending a ruling by the judicial branch. If the courts rule that the president must cooperate, then he must cooperate. But Dims are trying to criminalize the very act of refusing pending judicial review, which would be not only unprecedented but very unconstitutional.

The White House has argued that a number of witnesses are immune from compelled congressional testimony because of their positions as close advisers to the president. This is not a new concept and has been invoked fairly frequently by various presidents throughout American history, but there is very  little case law to establish precedent, mostly because no political party has been desperate enough to challenge it — until now.

Trump’s letter quotes Jonathan Turley, a legal scholar and Republican witness from one of the Judiciary Committee’s impeachment hearings, saying that Democrats would be abusing their power by impeaching Trump for obstruction of Congress when a court should decide whether his argument holds up.

After taking the legal argument behind the woodshed, Trump continued with a personal jab at Pelosi, blasting what he called a “false display of solemnity.”

“You apparently have so little respect for the American People that you expect them to believe that you are approaching this impeachment somberly, reservedly, and reluctantly,” Trump wrote. “No intelligent person believes what you are saying.”

Fact check: Also true.

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Moving Forward

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The House Rules Committee met to debate the articles of impeachment today, and the full House is poised to vote on them tomorrow. Then, the articles would move to a trial in the GOP-controlled Senate where the president will almost certainly be acquitted. The current debate within the GOP is whether to actually hold a trial or just vote on a motion to dismiss it altogether, which would only need 51 votes for passage.

Data has moved decidedly against Dims on this matter, as even their own party has lost double digit support for the president’s removal over the past month. Unfortunately for Nancy and the gang, they’ve gone too far to turn back now. This letter, while correct in its premises, may as well have been a goodbye note to the Dim majority in the House. That is, unless Dims can reshape the current narrative to present themselves as legislative doers rather than democratic arsonists.

As long as The Squad® is in charge, I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

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