MENKEN: The Impeachment That Threatens America

Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images

To best understand why this impeachment is so troubling, I share with you what a friend from left-wing circles put out on Twitter: “I so want to believe that Lev Parnas has handed us the smoking gun, but I fear we are once again being led down the primrose path. As we have been at almost every turn since 11/8/2016.”

One might have imagined that, with so much of world history behind us, we would have learned better than to search for an excuse to charge or convict another person. You would think that this was obvious. Put “charging political adversaries with imagined crimes” on a Jeopardy! board, and the question is: “What were the Stalin Show Trials?”

And that is why the current impeachment is both morally wrong and an abuse of congressional power. Impeachment, like any accusation of criminal or otherwise nefarious activity, was never intended to be a political goal — a way to get rid of someone you don’t like. It was intentionally reserved for a president who had been caught up in criminal or similarly shocking activity. The accusations against President Trump not only fail to meet the constitutional standard of “high crimes and misdemeanors”; they aren’t crimes or misdemeanors at all.

Yet if you think my friend is atypical of Democrats, you haven’t been listening. The intent to abuse impeachment as a political tool is why The Washington Post reported that “The Campaign to Impeach President Trump Has Begun” on his inauguration day. It is why Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) came into office promising to “impeach the motherf***er” long before the phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky ever took place.

This same political partisanship and hostility is why House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), barely shielding her glee and schadenfreude, appointed the uniquely unfit Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) to now lead the prosecution of the president in the Senate.

To start at the beginning, it is why Schiff, as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, repeatedly lied to us about the president’s fictional collusion with Russia in the first place. Recall that he spent over two years asserting “ample,” “abundant,” and “damning” evidence of collusion between Russia and President Trump that Robert Mueller concluded simply doesn’t exist. Schiff was not simply asserting that these things were true; due to his position, he claimed access to classified information to which we were not yet privy and which ultimately proved him correct.

If Democrats had the least interest in a serious, measured prosecution of the president for actual crimes, Adam Schiff is literally the last person on earth they would let anywhere near the Senate trial — because there is no one on earth who lied more about inside information to which he or she purportedly had access, but did not, in order to slander the President.

Democrats, who are so quick to condemn the president for exaggerating as he brags about the size of his inauguration, his tax cut, his hands, and whatever else, have now appointed a man to lead them who maliciously lied in an attempt to destroy the president. They have become their own punchline.

America truly is a shining beacon of freedom. It has led the world in advancing civil liberties, mutual respect, and tolerance. Perhaps it is no coincidence that those who claim America is hopelessly racist and broken are leading the way to upend what the Founding Fathers called justice.

And perhaps it is no coincedence that both are so profoundly factually and morally wrong.


Rabbi Yaakov Menken is the managing director of the Coalition for Jewish Values, and co-editor of the Orthodox Jewish journal Cross-Currents.com. Opinions are his own.

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