Convicted felon Rod Blagojevich, who was impeached and removed from office when he was the Democratic Governor of Illinois, wrote an op-ed published by Newsmax on Monday in which he blasts his party for abusing the U.S. Constitution by engaging in a political impeachment.
Blagojevich, who was convicted of corruption and sentenced to over a decade in prison, writes:
In 1998 I was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives during the Clinton impeachment, and in 2009, as the 40th governor of Illinois, I had the unhappy experience of being impeached and removed from office.
Nevertheless, I offer this interesting and unique perspective about impeachment as I sit here in prison.
Blagojevich noted that as he sat in prison he “wondered what would have happened had Nancy Pelosi been the Speaker of the House when Abraham Lincoln was president.”
“Would Speaker Pelosi’s House Democrats use the same flimsy impeachment standard they are currently using to impeach Honest Abe, one of the greatest presidents in the history of our country?” Blagojevich continued.
Blagojevich laid out his case, saying that today’s far-left Democrats would have:
- Impeached Lincoln for Obstruction of Congress and abuse of power
- Called for a special counsel to investigate Lincoln for offering Robert E. Lee command of the Union’s armies and would have claimed “Confederate Collusion.”
- Impeached Lincoln for “suspending the writ of habeas corpus across the Union as it related to traitors, spies, prisoners of war and Union soldiers.”
- “Argued that the routine horse trading employed by Lincoln’s political operatives at the convention was bribery and that Lincoln should be impeached.”
- Impeached Lincoln for offering a cabinet position to a senator from Pennsylvania in an effort to win over delegates from the state, arguing that is constituted an “illegal quid pro quo.”
Blagojevich concludes by taking a shot at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, noting that no president was safe from “hyperpartisan House members from the opposition party” if they are “willing to abuse the Constitution and vote to impeach.”
“And the worst part of it is, that should this happen, those politicians are taking from the people their right to choose their own leaders though free elections,” Blagojevich says. “So much for “government of the people, by the people, and for the people” not perishing from this earth.”
Noah Feldman, one of the Democrats’ top impeachment witnesses against President Donald Trump, noted in a op-ed following Democrats’ impeachment vote that the Democrats had actually not impeached the president because Pelosi was refusing to deliver the articles of impeachment to the Senate.
Unlike the impeachment of Bill Clinton, the Democrats’ impeachment vote was a purely partisan exercise, as no members from the Republican Party voted for it and multiple Democrats broke with their party and voted against it.
Attorney General William Barr responded to the impeachment by saying, “I think we have to be careful about trivializing the process and they put in a hurdle of high crimes – of treason, bribery, and other high crimes. The articles of impeachment here do not allege a violation of law and it looks as if it’s going to be along partisan lines – I think – I’m concerned about it being trivialized and used as a political tool.”
Impeachment expert Ken Starr called Pelosi’s impeachment a “phony impeachment” and that will be remembered in the history books with a “footnote” or an “asterisk.”