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HORIST: Weaponizing impeachment will further divide America

HORIST: Weaponizing impeachment will further divide America

The prospect of impeaching President Trump has no comparison in American history – and it will both divide the nation and stoke the fires of partisan hostility unlike any time since the Civil War.

The impeachment of Democrat President Andrew Johnson by the Radical Republicans in Congress following the Civil War took place BECAUSE the nation was already dangerously divided.  In the case of President Jackson, Congress chose to censure the President but not impeach.  President Nixon avoided the divisiveness of impeachment by resigning – and his removal was bipartisan and had the assent of the majority of the people.  The impeachment of President Clinton failed to divide the nation because his behavior was considered impeachable – not his dalliances in the Oval Office, but his lies and perjury.

No President has ever been forced out of office – and that is significant.  The will of the people is paramount to the will of partisan politicians.  That is why the Founders said impeachment should be reserved ONLY for “treason, bribery, HIGH crimes and misdemeanors.”  Even though they created a political instrument, it is clear that they wanted it applied ONLY in the case of high CRIMES under our rule-of-law.  That means rules-of-evidence and defendant protections – such as the right to mount a defense, to call witnesses, to have exculpatory evidence considered AND to confront accusers.

Unfortunately, in leaving impeachment in the judgment of politicians – without the protections of law – the process can be abused and weaponized – and that is exactly what is happening today.  And there are several abuses that are being utilized today.

Vote by the House

In the past, the House would vote to commence an impeachment hearing.  The hearing would be conducted by the House Judiciary Committee.  Unfortunately, while  that is tradition and good policy and builds confidence in the system, it is not an absolute requirement.  Consequently, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats have shoved that aside to unilaterally and summarily declare that their iniquitous investigations ARE an impeachment hearing – which they call an “inquiry” for obvious reasons.

Instead, Pelosi appoints half dozen House committees to “inquire.”  This is not an investigation or hearing.  It is a mandate to prejudge the President and to fish for as much as they can to stitch together a seemingly credible argument for the impeachment for which they already are prepared to vote.  It is nothing less than a decision looking for justification.

But the distinction between a real impeachment hearing and this kangaroo legislative process is more than style and semantics.  Under the rules of the House, in a REAL impeachment hearing, the President has a right to put up a defense.  He can be represented by lawyers.  In a REAL impeachment hearing, the Republicans on the committee are allowed additional staff to compensate for the partisan staffing that occurs normally.  Republicans would have the right to subpoena witnesses, which they are denied in the current Pelosi political process.  Pelosi and the Democrats are putting together a politically rigged process.

Abuse of and by the news media

It is impossible to understate the corruptive influence of the partisan liberal news media.  Like any propaganda operation, they obsess with partisan narratives without consideration to fact and counterpoint.

They are worse than a prosecutor in a courtroom.   Like the prosecutor, the east coast  establishmentarian media presents only one side of the story.  They construct, interpret and present all facts, theories and hypotheses to create the most damning case possible.  But even prosecutors in a courtroom are legally bound to reveal all exculpatory evidence and are barred from creating false evidence.  The press and their Democratic Party client have no such restraints.

We have seen how the press advanced the claim by Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff who said he had seen hard evidence of criminal collusion by the Trump campaign.  Even as he presided over an official investigation, Schiff entered false “evidence” in the court-of-public-opinion by presenting a fraudulent transcript of the Trump phone conversations with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky – an action that could have him disbarred and even indicted in the real judiciary system.  Instead, the crony news media played it down or even defended it.

Schiff repeatedly lied about his knowledge of the whistleblower and the details of his complaint.  Had he done that in a real court or to an investigator, he could have been indicted and sent to prison, like former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and George Papadopoulos.   Again, the media makes light of the situation – and they can because even the rules of fairness and decency do not apply to the court-of-public-opinion.

Those who control the left-wing media – the owners, the producers and the reporters – are abusing the First Amendment’s protections provided by the nation’s Founders to a FREE press.  The low regard in which the Fourth Estate is held by the American public is NOT due to the attacks by Trump.  It precedes Trump and is largely due to the shameful departure from traditional journalistic standards and ethics.  If that were not true, Trump’s criticisms would have no impact.  His language may be hyperbolic, but his criticism is spot on.

The whistleblower(s)

There is a legal difference between a whistleblower and a leaker, but for all intents and purposes, it is a distinction without a difference.  They are insiders desiring to expose information damaging to someone or some institution.  The convenient assumption is that they are operating in the public interest.  In many cases, that may be true, but they can also be motivated by corrupt desires.

We have on the public record, the complaint of the first whistleblower.  It appears to be a lawyer-drafted prosecutorial brief against Trump – charging (implying) that he had created a quid pro quo that held back military aid to the Ukraine for political dirt on a potential opponent in the 2020 presidential election.  The case is based on the arbitrary interpretation of one sentence in the phone call. The facts in the complaint, however, fall far short of proving the contention.

The problem with this complaint is that it was a political roll-out partially organized by Schiff and his Intelligence Committee.  Having had initial meetings with the whistleblower, Schiff & Co. created a bright shiny object to attract maximum media attention.  That in and of itself is an abuse of the whistleblower system.

In a very real sense, a whistleblower is a de-criminalized leaker.  There is a reason leaking is a crime – and making it legal is not an appropriate action – especially in matters of criminal accusations.  Our Constitution is rather clear on the subject.  It requires that anyone accused of a crime has a right to know, see and confront their accuser.  As I have previously written, secret accusations are the product of authoritarians.  They were used during the Inquisition, by the Salem witch hunters, by segregationist Democrats in the Old South and by Twentieth Century Nazi and Communist regimes – to name a few.

Democrats are using the technicality that an impeachment is NOT a judicial process involving all the rules-of-law, but a political process where there are no rules or legal requirements.  That does not mean that the practice of secret accusers is not a dangerous threat to our basic concepts of freedom and inalienable rights.

Without knowing the accuser, we cannot judge the all-important credibility.  We do know that the whistleblower is out of the CIA and has a political bias.  Those facts alone raise questions of motive and credibility.

Now cometh a second whistleblower who can substantiate the complaint of the first.  Unless this whistleblower has new information of significance, it is just a matter of piling-on.  Like the first, whistleblower number two is out of the CIA and is represented by the same attorney(s) as the first.

With two whistleblowers out of the same intelligence agency, there is a disturbing possibility of a continuation of the historic efforts by intel officers to take down Trump – something that is currently being investigated.

By politically weaponizing the whistleblower program, Democrats and the media are drawing attention to its dangerous potential.  Our members of Congress would be well advised to not only look at the case in hand, but to address the weakness in the whistleblower program that allows it to be so easily and flagrantly abused.

Nullifying the will of the people

It is possible that between an impeachment and a trial in the Senate, the process will go well into 2020 – just months or even weeks before we the people can make our judgment about Trump.  Democrats want to snatch that right way for us so that they can engineer a bloodless (maybe) coup.  Like all authoritarians, the left-wing Democrats are seeking to usurp the right of the people by imposing an elitist decision.  I would argue that that poses more danger to the Republic than anything Trump has done.

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. Sam

    Well done and articulated. In an era of easily accessible data and information, it is sad to see so many people who are not well informed when it comes to these issues. Thank you for exposing the truth and the real intentions and desires of the dems.

    • Susan

      I agree , very well written.
      But it begs the question, WHY do the whistle blowers even matter at this point?? We have the original TRANSCRIPTS. That should put all the whistleblowers to rest. ( and the story they want to spin) .

  2. Buck

    Tell us WHY ————- is GLOBALIST George Soros allowed to usurp OUR nation with his COMMUNIST BULL SHIT ???

    • JMichael270

      Marie Yovanovitch the ambassador to Ukraine that was appointed by Obama in May 2016 stopped the investigation into Joe Biden’s Son, John Kerry”s Son and GEORGE SOROS. I’m with you Biuck, somebody is protecting this scum, and they all should be dealt with .Extreme Prejudice

      • David Barron

        Wwhere there is smoke there is fire, and the entire Ukrainian issue is a smoke screen to cover Illegal activity by the Democratic Elect.

  3. Juan Noyola Jr

    Who can step in and dismantle this hypocrisy and total disregard of our laws and put an end to what looks like a conspiracy or a coup against our President?
    It’s quite evident that the liberal Democrats own handling of the so-called impeachment inquiry is nothing more that witch hunt 2.0.
    The liberal Democrats have evidence much like the Russian collusion fiasco which ended up with nothing and it seems like this impeachment inquiry is going nowhere.
    The Supreme Court should step in at one point and visually look at what evidence the house has and the probability of impeachment or or they just stonewalling in an effort to find something, just something out of the blue and hope something will stick.

    • Carson Tyler

      I, agree. The Democrats should forget the laws. Better yet, Trump should disband Congress being they will not agree with him on many issues. After all he has lost many of his staff (19) since taken office because they cannot agree with him. So Fire Congress. He is in charge of our military so order the military to put them all in jail. Even some Republicans.

    • jsooz

      They know they cannot win in 2020, so this farce is to mussy POTUS, VP, AG Barr and any one else remotely associated with them. Therefore, I do not think they care what damage has been or will be done to this country and others. It will take decades to come back from this.

  4. Craig Lorenz

    Well said.

  5. Michael T

    Well said and without all the screaming and theatrics like the left.

  6. Jeanette Kelley

    God help this Country and our President. There no more
    equal justice under the Law left in this country. If your
    a nut Democrat/Liberal you can say and get away with
    anything! If your a God Believing , Fiscal Responsible
    Constitutional individual who is conservative that just wants
    to live their lives quietly and be left alone, with little
    Government interference, you’re Fair Game!

    Wake-up & beware America, this will affect everyone.

  7. Checkflight

    Ignorance and arrogance, paired with narcissistic (”neronic”) obsession of power was and is what our Founding Fathers so carefully addressed defining checks and balances in our constitution. Yet it seems nobody could ever imagine the ruthless distortion of this sacred document as we currently observe. Let’s hope the judicial branch can help navigate our nation back to where it began. It will be up to the new legislators we can all vote for very soon to ensure democratic conclusion and no repeat ever – unanimously, like winning wars defeating authoritarians and tyrants in the past.

  8. Frank Fraser

    Does this not sound like the RED FLAG GUN LAW wake up people

    • Checkflight

      We the people have the top power of choice: Vote them all out at every single election and vote for 4 more years with the real people’s president Trump. And, after all that’s what a true democracy is all about.

  9. Rick

    Those Commie SOB’s should be very afraid of the American People. They are underestimating our pure unadulterated anger. We will not allow those Marxist fools to remove our President. They are stoking the fires of a real, and literal civil war.

    • Kurt Walker

      If somehow the democrats manage to pull this off I wouldn’t want to be a congressman/woman or senator who cast a vote against the president. Up to this point the supporters of the president have been peaceful, have put up with things like ANTIFA, and have listened as these crooked democrat candidates and Romney RINOS bad mouthed the American way of life. But I’m sure that if the president is pushed out of office those responsible WON’T BE SAFE ANYWHERE. These idiots have no idea what they have stirred up.

  10. Michael Morgan

    Further divide America??? The Stupid Democrats…. they are the ”tools” of the Shadow Government that has been infiltrating our government bureaucracy with the Globalist Socialists for decades and filling our country with illegal aliens that are here, for the most part, our lucrative welfare system. The division is between the American Taxpayer and the American Welfare Union called the Democrat party.
    This sets the stage for a Civil Conflict as the bureaucracy tries to disarm the American Public and their constant arming and Militarization of the Bureaucrats.
    Soon we will be ”Ruled” by the Bureaucrats and the Liberal Courts, as we already are as we can see if we look close enough.