Donald Trump has been charged with high crimes and misdemeanors. Democrats in the House would impeach him for delaying lethal aid to Ukraine for one week. If President Trump can be impeached for this, then certainly President Barrack Obama and his VP Joe Biden “should have been impeached or doing something worse,” Victor Davis Hanson writes in NRO.
In other words, once presidential prerogatives are criminalized and impeachment is used for short-term political gain, then the revolutionary process takes on a life of its own and will eventually devour its own creators. In such a downward spiral, impeachment has become no big deal, but a simple way of discrediting a president the opposition hates.
The Democrats in their impeachment frenzy have now established that a president can be impeached for thinking about withholding foreign aid to a country that he suspects is mired in corruption, including foreign malfeasance that might have affected him personally in the past and may in the future.
But criminalization of such a hypothetical quid pro quo has all but condemned both Barack Obama and Joe Biden in the court of public opinion.
By that logic the Republican House should have impeached Obama in 2012 right before his reelection bid, for dismantling missile-defense plans in Europe in exchange for Putin’s putting off his annexations of Crimea and eastern Ukraine until after Obama’s reelection — in effect bestowing upon candidate Obama a private quid pro quo benefit of assuring voters that Obama’s “Russian reset” was sound foreign policy.
Candidate Biden stands accused of no thought crime, but of actually leveraging foreign aid to force the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor who, by his own admission, later claimed he was looking into Biden’s mysterious activities with regard to the board of a corrupt Ukrainian energy company.
Much more from VDH here.