“No point is of more importance than that the right of impeachment should be continued. Shall any man be above Justice?”George Mason
The matter of impeachment has always been a controversial one, it became so when the framers of the constitution recorded it within the supreme law and it became far more likely than not that impeachment would become divisive when the citizens of the United States ignored the warnings of their first President and the political parties were established. Impeachment while a constitutional device due to its very nature is also a political device, a fact that the White House is trying to exploit to block the investigation into the President by the House of Representatives.
I covered in a previous post how the actions of the Democrats had long been expected, although later than most had imagined and wondered perhaps if it was too little too late and would harm their prospects in 2020. However when it was announced the Democrats were starting an impeachment investigation, I predicted two events would come to pass.
The first that should a trial of the Senate come to pass that Donald Trump would escape conviction, unless there was evidence found that even the most diehard of the President’s supporters couldn’t stomach, he will escape conviction based purely upon the mathematics of the Senate. There are not 67 Senators that will vote for conviction. History has shown that everytime the House has brought a case for impeachment before the Senate there has never been enough votes to see a President convicted.
The second event that I believed would come to pass now has, the White House is refusing to cooperate. This should be of no surprise to any who have followed this White House, playing the act of being a helpful party in investigations but behind the scenes causing complete bedlam, they have been doing this ever since the Democrats formally took control of the House of Representatives in January. This White House resents the investigatory powers of Congress.
The argument the White House is using for refusing to assist in the investigation is that it is unconstitutional and all the Democrats are trying to do is undo the result of the 2016 election. This defence isn’t a defence, the White House knows it won’t hold up it is a action to motivate the Trump supporters into discrediting the impeachment process altogether, a strategy ahead of the 2020 race kicking off.
Presidents not complying with Congress with impeachment proceedings has happened before, one only has to look back to 1974 with Richard Nixon and Watergate. When the White House wouldn’t comply with the investigation it ended up in the Supreme Court in Richard Nixon vs United States. The Supreme Court ended up deciding in favour of Congress unanimously.
The White House know they cannot win delaying Congress however they are playing for time in the hopes the move will ultimately cost Democrats. The question remains the same as my last post on this topic: What will the effect be? It certainly will be interesting to find out.