It was as stunning as it was laughable. One incompetent Democrat after another was fully revealed by Corey Lewandowski to be clownish caricatures. It was actually scary how bad they were. These are supposed to be serious people in powerful positions of power. Instead, the nation was subjected to repeated threats against a private citizen that were drenched in self-importance and sideshow semantics that had even far-left media outlets shaking their collective heads in embarrassment.
Have Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee figured out what President Trump did to them? By the looks of their questioning of Corey Lewandowski on Tuesday, the answer is no.
Democrats chose the former Trump campaign manager for their first hearing after declaring the committee is considering impeaching the president. They apparently thought Lewandowski would elaborate on his extensive testimony to special counsel Robert Mueller and also on his testimony from earlier investigations by other House and Senate committees.
Instead, Lewandowski jerked Democrats around — and around and around. He delayed. He asked for specific citations when anyone referred to the Mueller report. He repeated, over and over, his instructions from the Trump White House not to discuss his conversations with the president.
“The White House has directed that I not disclose the substance of any discussion with the president or his advisers to protect executive branch confidentiality,” Lewandowski said, over and over and over.
Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler was visibly frustrated from the start. “‘When you refuse to answer these questions, you are obstructing the work of our committee,” Nadler said. “You are also proving our point for the American people to see: The president is intent on obstructing our legitimate oversight. You are aiding him in that obstruction.”
“And I will remind you,” Nadler continued, “that Article 3 of the impeachment against President Nixon was based on obstruction of Congress.”
Perhaps Nadler thought that was a killer argument. But rather than highlight similarities between the Trump-Russia affair and Watergate, Nadler’s reference to Richard Nixon served to show the differences — and why Democrats are having so much trouble getting an impeachment effort off the ground.
Article 1 of the impeachment of Nixon began with an underlying crime: that agents of his reelection committee broke into Democratic National Committee headquarters. In Trump-Russia, the underlying crime — the DNC hack — was committed by Russians in Russia without any involvement of the Trump campaign. Article 1 then went on to accuse Nixon and his men of engaging “in a course of conduct or plan designed to delay, impede, and obstruct the investigation of such illegal entry; to cover up, conceal and protect those responsible; and to conceal the existence and scope of other unlawful covert activities.”
That was the heart of the Nixon impeachment, that the president obstructed the special counsel’s investigation into Watergate.
…The bottom line is that Trump has flummoxed Watergate-fixated Democrats with a simple strategy: cooperate with the special counsel. In not cooperating with the Judiciary Committee leadership, he is in effect arguing that he has already cooperated with the important investigation and does not have to cooperate with a political investigation on Capitol Hill, especially when the House leadership cannot decide whether it is a formal impeachment proceeding or not.
It really comes down to something very simple: President Trump isn’t Richard Nixon. First, there has yet to be any actual evidence that Trump did anything illegal. If anything, just the opposite. The Trump White House accommodated every request of the Mueller investigation and didn’t declare Executive Privilege once during that time. This is in stark contrast to say, Barack Obama, who utilized Executive Privilege repeatedly during the many (and far more serious) scandals that swirled throughout his administration.
The Trump-Russia collusion was a hoax.
The Trump obstruction allegations are a hoax.
The entirety of the House Democrats’ efforts to impeach the president for doing nothing wrong are merely an extension of these previous hoaxes and the American people grow increasingly weary of the nonsense.