Thursday 6 February 2020

The impeachment of Donald Trump was a pointless bore, but will be an interesting footnote in history

 Lord Black in today's Spectator.
'Because Trump ran against the entire political class including the national political media, and was as critical of the Bushes as of the Clintons and Obama, the Washington establishment had trouble believing that he had been elected fairly. First they devised the monstrous fraud that Trump had colluded with Russia. Hillary Clinton attributed her defeat to the animosity of FBI director James Comey (who whitewashed her), and to Trump’s ‘treason’ with Russia. It is now clear that the Justice Department and the intelligence services corruptly assisted the Democrats against Trump; it was the closest the United States has ever come to tanks on the White House lawn, and a swath of the Obama administration and the Clinton campaign will almost certainly be indicted by the special counsel, (John Durham). This frivolous, failed recourse to impeachment should deter for a long time the temptation of another abuse of this remedy by a hostile House of Representatives majority.'
In the main his lordship is right. Donald Trump did nothing wrong by asking the Ukrainian President to investigate the theory that the Ukrainian firm Crowdstrike hacked the Democratic National Committee's emails.
"I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike ... I guess you have one of your wealthy people... The server, they say Ukraine has it."
President Trump did behave badly, perhaps very badly, by asking President Zelensky to look into why Joe Biden sought and achieved the removal of the public prosecutor, but not badly enough to be removed from office, for goodness sake.
"There's a lot of talk about Biden's son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that. So whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it...It sounds horrible to me."
The US establishment convinced itself, on no evidence, that Russia used her occult arts to make Trump president. When that idea finally petered out they had to find something else, preferably from that part of the world, with which to impeach the president. That's all there is to the story, really.  

Nancy Pelosi was right in thinking impeachment would hurt the Democrats, but the pressure from the Democrats' 'base' - its activists, who include most of the media - made it impossible to avoid. The impeachment will be quickly forgotten and the Biden family emerged fairly unscathed, though it probably contributed to Joe Biden's terrible performance in the Iowa caucus. I imagine he is finished, but not necessarily because of his son.

I admire Mitt Romney for voting to remove the President from office. Despite being an American Mormon who made his career in asset stripping, he has the bearing and manner of an English upper class Tory MP. I understand his loathing of Donald Trump, but it would have been an abuse of the Congress's power to have removed him for this. 

The Democrats might have done better to have investigated the finances of the President's son-in-law.

But the (very) real scandal is the attempt by the FBI and CIA to get rid of Donald Trump. 

They did so partly using very unconvincing information delivered by MI6 to his opponents in the race to be Republican nominee. MI6 was trying to destroy Trump's chances of the presidency, but Donald Trump was only a candidate at that time and England has every right to further her interests by meddling in other countries' elections. MI6 is not to blame therefore. The CIA and FBI are.

Lord Black is right to speak up for Andrew Johnson, who got very unfair treatment from Republican historians who admired Lincoln, and now from Democrat historians like Eric Foner, who see the 19th century American South as the seat of the Anti-Christ. 

He is also right to praise Nixon, who looks very good these days and was no more crooked than LBJ or JFK, his Democrat immediate predecessors. None of them murdered numerous people abroad as Bush 2 and Obama did and as Trump did when he had Qasem Soleimani, the high ranking official of another country, killed.


  1. 'When Trump called Volodymyr Zelensky on July 25, he was trying to pressure the Ukrainian president into investigating Biden. Biden’s son Hunter had served on the board of Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian gas company. Trump saw an opportunity to create an aura of corruption around the former vice president and threatened to withhold military aid to Ukraine unless Zelensky announced an investigation. Whether the investigation occurred or not was immaterial; Trump just wanted the announcement. But when a U.S. government staffer exposed the call, Trump was forced to release the aid—and the impeachment drive began.

    'Yet, ironically, the impeachment effort and the Republican counterattack against it have largely accomplished Trump’s goal. By keeping Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine in the news, they have turned them into a rough analogue to Hillary Clinton’s missing emails in 2016—a pseudo-scandal that undermines a leading Democratic candidate’s reputation for honesty. The Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee last fall launched a $10 million advertising blitz aimed at convincing Americans that Joe Biden’s behavior toward Ukraine was corrupt. After Trump’s lawyers devoted much of their energy in the Senate impeachment trial to demanding that Biden be investigated for corruption, Republican Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming crowed that the attacks would be politically “harmful” to the former vice president “in November if he’s the nominee and I think even in terms of getting the nomination.”'

  2. I wonder how many terms trump will serve in office?