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HORIST: This time it IS a witch hunt

HORIST: This time it IS a witch hunt
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I try to resist hyperbole in my commentaries – and do not admire it in President Trump.  So, when I say that the unprecedented “impeachment inquiry” is taking on all the elements of a witch hunt — I do not use the term indiscriminately.

In the classic examples of witch hunts, individuals were deemed to be possessed by intangible demons suspected of producing odd behavior.  The Salem Witch Trials did not depend on hard evidence or any concept of a rule-of-law.

The subjects were often victimized by secret accusers whose accusations were tantamount to evidence.  Those put on trial were provided no opportunity for defense beyond their one protestations of innocence.  Deliberations were often carried out behind closed doors.  And verdicts were more the result of mob hysteria than empirical evidence.  In many cases, the “trial” was actually in violation of existing law and customs.

The same characteristics were seen during the Inquisition, in the vigilante justice and biased courts of the old segregated Democrat southland, in the purges that killed millions in Maoist China and Stalinist Russia and countless genocides throughout history.

No matter what one thinks of Trump’s personality and behavior, you would have to be a blind partisan critic – under the influence of rage rather than reason — to not see the similarities in the old witch hunts and the conduct of the Democrats in pursuing their efforts to impeach and remove Trump from office.

In the event you do not see the similarities, allow me to point them out.

The refusal to hold a vote to launch an impeachment inquiry

Democrats say that such a vote is not necessary.  They can vote to impeach the President at any time for any reason.  So they have launched a series of committee “inquiries” to set the stage for impeachment.  While they are technically correct – that the Constitution does not require a vote by the full House of Representatives to authorize an open hearing conducted by the House Judiciary Committee.  They claim that the impeachment process is more like a Grand Jury hearing in which testimony is taken in secret and the accused has no right to mount a defense.

(In citing the Grand Jury as an example, Democrats are pointing to one of the most corrupt and abused practices in our judicial system.  The United States stands with Liberia as the only two nations to use a Grand Jury system.  I refer readers to my commentary on that subject.)

The approach the Democrats are using is unique in modern impeachment history.  The first effort to impeach a President – Andrew Johnson – was over the question: Can a President remove a Cabinet member who was confirmed by the Senate.  The impeachment failed and that is why Cabinet members serve at the will of the President.

The denial of defendant rights

President Nixon resigned before an impeachment vote was taken by the House – or even the Judiciary Committee.  That makes President Clinton only the second President officially impeached and subjected to a trial in the Senate. In both the Nixon and Clinton cases, the entire house voted an impeachment resolution be carried out by the Judiciary Committee in open hearing – and with a number of rights afforded to the President.  These included the right to face all witnesses, the right to subpoena witnesses, the right to mount a defense.

Under the leadership of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Democrats are undertaking a series of secret hearing in which the testimony of witnesses can be interpreted or selectively leaked by the Democrat majority to a shamefully friendly news media.  The Pelosi process completely denies the President all the rights enjoyed by Nixon and Clinton as they faced impeachment.

The novel approach being taken by the Democrats is an affront to any concept of fairness.  It is an abusive and crass strategy designed to prevail politically despite dubious evidence of “high crimes and misdemeanors” as the Founders intended them.  They believed that Congress should NOT remove a President from office based on disagreements over policy, style, and administration of office.  While the Founders made impeachment a political – not judicial – process, they clearly did not intend it to be carried out for partisan political purposes.

The secret accuser

Great emphasis has been placed on the so-called whistleblower(s) who make their accusations from a protective shield of anonymity – a practice strictly forbidden in the Constitution or our courts-of-law. More than any other political chicanery engaged in by the House Democrats, this one is the most reflective of the old witch hunts.

If the Democrats are successful, neither the President, the public nor the members of the House who have to vote on impeachment will know the name of the accusers.  In fact, Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff – who is currently leading the impeachment effort – now says that the whistleblower(s) may not even be called as witness(es).

It should not be overlooked that Schiff does know who they are, and his office has worked with them to file their whistleblower statement.  What Schiff has set up is a classic “kangaroo court” within the larger framework of a witch hunt.

The concept of a fairness

Most Americans – even Trump critics – have a sense of fairness.  As the political shenanigans become better understood by the public, it is possible that we the people will see this impeachment charade for what it really is – the continuation of a three-year verdict on the Trump presidency looking for a crime.  No … not even a crime.  Just some salable interpretation of abuse of office.  All those claims of criminality by Trump advanced by the political calls are merely opinions stated as facts.  In fact, most of the actions they cite would never survive past the first motion to dismiss in a real court-of-law.

If the House votes to impeach, the Democrats may find their crass partisanship and outrageously unfair process to be on trial in the Senate as well as the President – maybe more so.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. kevin meyer

    Pencil Neck, He must be forced to take a polygraph concerning this matter. It is the only way to expose this political attempt to bypass the voters and remove Trump from a elected position!

    • Charles Newman

      No need for a polygraph. Only the totally biased members of the public and those living in caves don’t understand that he is incapable of telling the truth about anything. He must be removed from his chairmanship. The only way to do that is to remove the Democrat majority behind him .

      • Pat Dietrich

        How can you tell which demonrats tell the truth & which one are liars?

    • John Lemanski

      your boy mulevy already confessed to trumps crime.

    • robert barton

      A polygraph doesn’t work with habitual liars.

  2. brenda

    VOTE RED …If it weren’t for President Obama we might not have done the intelligence community assessment that we did that set up a whole sequence of events which are still unfolding today including Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation. President Obama is responsible for that. It was he who tasked us to do that intelligence community assessment in the first place. CLAPPER’S OWN CONFESSION

    • Phil in TX

      “VOTE OUT THE ENTIRE LYING,CORRUPT, TREASONOUS DEMOCRAT PARTY COME NOV 2020”. Don’t forget the RINO “Never Trump” Republicans. They need to go as well.

      Phil in TX

  3. Wade

    You see the reason behind all this is because their hatred for President Donald J Trump far far exceeds what they say they have for love of country. The ends justify the means does not matter how dishonest how many people have to be squished to get the end result they want that’s what they will do. They are truly evil wicked people

  4. Kurt Walker

    I believe this thing will get REALLY nasty and violent before it’s over. But I also believe the democrats would stand by and see this nation burned to the ground before they will give up what they perceive to be their power and rights. For three years they have done absolutely NOTHING for the nation. All time has been spent trying to nullify and get rid of the president.

  5. Frank D.

    If voters only watch MSNBC, NBC, CBS, and CNN they will never know the truth. FOX is getting as bad about spreading false information. Try One American News Network if you have Direct TV. It’s on Channel 347. If you don’t have access to OAN, you should do a little research instead of accepting these MSM Networks word as Gospel. They have an agenda and that is to aid the communist to over throw this government. They have been putting everything into motion since the end of World War II and are so close but the good Lord saw fit to give us a true patriot in the WH in 2016. They are frantic because he is determined to stop them. People who want the democrats or socialist in office should move to another country instead of destroying this one.


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