By Jon Dougherty
(TNS) A majority of Congress consists of members who have either gone to law school, actually practiced law, or both.
That includes House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.). But a statement he made last month on the day the Democrats impeached President Donald Trump was remarkable given that he, himself, is a lawyer.
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In essentially pronouncing the president guilty before he was able to bring a single witness in his defense or ask a Democrat witness a single question, Hoyer turned our system of justice on its head:
What I will do is remind Americans that the House provided President Trump every opportunity to prove his innocence.Â Instead, he ignored Congressional subpoenas for documents and for testimony by White House officials and ordered his subordinates not to cooperate.
This itself is unprecedented. When Presidents Nixon and Clinton were asked to hand over documents and allow officials to testify, ultimately both complied. Because it is the law. Such actions of the President can be taken as further evidence of his obstruction and abuse of power. It is itself impeachable conduct, the subject of the second article in this resolution.
Hmmm. You know whoÂ didn’t hand over documents requested by Congress ‘because it’s the law?’ Barack Obama, as Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) reminded the journalistically unethical Chuck Todd on Sunday when the NBC hack attempted to compare the god king to Trump’s assertion of executive privilege in denying the House witnesses and other materials:
In Fast and Furious, he [Obama] did exactly this. He withheld evidence from the House of Representatives, and the Republicans decided that it was not obstruction of Congress. The Democrats agreed, and we did not pursue it. Nancy Pelosi, Nadler, all said that that was not obstruction. And yet, in this case, when the President decides to use executive privilege, they now â€” all of a sudden â€” say, â€˜Oh, no. That is obstruction of Congress.’
So, there’s that.
As to Hoyer’s assertion that Americans — which includes the president, of course — are required to prove they are innocent rather than the state proving they are guilty, the latter of which is our founding legal standard.
On Sunday, Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), the Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, joined Fox News’ Mark Levin to discuss the president’s impeachment. At one point during the discussion, Collins brought up Hoyer’s alarming statement.
Iâ€™m not talking about the Bill of Rights, Iâ€™m talking about the kind of due process past presidents have had, judges have had who have faced situations like this. Basic Magna Carta type due process that people get. The President gets less due process than the terrorists on 9/11 get. They get habeas corpus. The President gets no rights. The Republicans, no rights.â€
The Democrats didnâ€™t call Bolton. Now they want to move through the Senate John Bolton, Mick Mulvaney, the OMB Director and the Secretary of State. They want all four.
Congressman, donâ€™t we know because of executive privilege and the separation of powers, the small circle around the President, Congress doesnâ€™t get them? So, theyâ€™re purposely creating this confrontation.
To which Collins responded:
Mr. HoyerÂ from Maryland made a very revealing statement for anybody whoâ€™s concerned about Constitutional rights â€“ and especially for me â€“ even those of my Democratic counterparts who worry about their communities, where they discuss police action andÂ rights being violated.
Hoyer said â€˜We offered him every opportunity to come prove his innocence.â€™ Iâ€™m sorry, did we take a vacation and leave the United States? Did we all of a sudden suspend the Bill of Rights? Did we suspend any modicum of due process?
I donâ€™t care if you think this president ought to be impeached or not. This is irrelevant. This should bother everybody that weâ€™re going to make stuff up. And I talk about this on the floor of the House. If I just want to go around and accuse you of something, under the new standards and all you have to do is â€œprove your innocence.â€
I think the American people are going to go back and see that. The Senators are going to look at it and say, â€˜Wait, this is what weâ€™re getting?â€¦This is what youâ€™ve wasted so much time on and now put us in a period of time in which weâ€™ve got to do something?â€™
I think the American people are going to see through this.
Well, a vast percentage of Americans are Trump-deranged and are never going to ‘see’ that Democrats generally couldn’t care less about the Constitution and in fact, mostly see it as an impediment to imposing their own brand of authoritarian rule.
But it’s worth documenting when these hypocrites make statements that completely undermine our founding system of justice in the pursuit of naked political power.
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