Voting No on Impeachment
Opinion: Democrat-led impeachment trial 'will cause irreparable harm to our country'.
On Dec. 18, 2019, I voted “no” on two articles of impeachment against President Trump. I would have preferred to vote “hell no,” but that wasn’t an option.
The Democrats’ decision to push through a partisan, politically motivated, sham impeachment that lacked any sort of due process, constitutional basis, evidence, or facts, has and will cause irreparable harm to our country. Allow me to summarize how we got to this point.
It may seem like this all began a few months ago with the “whistleblower complaint,” but in reality, the Democrats’ work to take down our duly elected president began years ago.
Shocked, stunned, and horrified, Democrats stood in utter disbelief as President Trump was sworn in Jan. 20, 2017, as the 45th president of the United States. That very day, The Washington Post ran the headline “The campaign to impeach President Trump has begun.”
And since that day, efforts to undermine President Trump’s term in office and overturn results of the election have been unprecedented. From Russian collusion fairytales spun by Democrats and perpetuated by the mainstream media, to countless other outlandish lies and unsupported allegations, President Trump has weathered the storm and continued to put America first every step of the way – despite bitter and angry Democrats trying to tear him down.
Then came impeachment, which was fundamentally broken and partisan at its core. It was prompted by the news of a “whistleblower” claiming the phone call between President Trump and President Zelensky of Ukraine on July 25, 2019, was a "quid pro quo."
The White House was cooperative and quickly declassified the transcript of the phone call, which – what do you know? – showed no evidence of a quid pro quo.
Following the release of the transcript, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff launched an investigation. Now at the outset, everyone believed the “whistleblower” needed to be heard from – Republicans and Democrats alike, including Schiff. But that was before his office was caught coordinating with the whistleblower weeks before his complaint was filed to Congress. Schiff lied about this coordination on national television!
Even further, the Inspector General found the whistleblower to have “political bias” against President Trump, making it even more important than ever to speak with the individual. But to no avail.
That’s when – if there was any left – all the Democrats’ credibility went out the window.
In an unprecedented way, the Democrat-led House of Representatives began the impeachment inquiry process based on the whistleblower complaint without voting to open a formal inquiry. Instead, they began in secret.
Democrats then leaked bits and pieces of behind-closed-door transcripts to set up the anti-Trump narrative that was quickly published by the mainstream media – instead of the full story. Further, Democrats urged witnesses not to answer questions by Republicans. And that just scratches the surface of the corruption that went on behind closed doors, and we may never know the full extent of it.
Then came the public hearings, full of testimony from folks with zero firsthand knowledge of any events being discussed, and opinions from left-wing attorneys who supported impeachment before they were called to testify. The House Judiciary Committee chose these opinion witnesses instead of actual fact witnesses.
Why didn’t we hear from the whistleblower, who started this whole thing? Why didn’t we hear from Schiff, who is the only person who had contact with the secret whistleblower?
And most importantly, why didn’t we hear from Hunter Biden, who was paid $50,000 a month to sit on the board of a corrupt Ukrainian energy company, Burisma, despite not having any previous energy experience? At the same time, Burisma was being investigated for corruption while Vice President Joe Biden – Hunter’s father – was the White House lead on Ukraine policy, and withheld foreign aid until the prosecutor looking into the shady deals was fired.
In addition to not summoning any fact-witnesses to testify, the House Judiciary Committee Democrats broke House rules by not allowing a minority hearing for Republicans to call forth these very real fact witnesses and denied their subpoena power at every turn.
And even more egregious, they denied President Trump representation, counsel, and due process throughout the entire process.
All of these disgraceful moves make sense when you remember that 71% of Judiciary Democrats supported the impeachment of President Trump before the Ukraine call.
This was never about Ukraine or the whistleblower. This has always been about Democrats’ complete disgust and shock that their groomed, shoo-in candidate, Hillary Clinton, lost to an outsider, a businessman, and someone who promised to put America first and not apologize for it.
Since then, Democrats have tried to overturn the 2016 election and put a scarlet letter on our president for the 2020 election. It’s shameful.
With the Senate trial underway, we need to ensure President Trump gets his day in court. He needs the opportunity to present his case – the case that House Democrats denied for months in their one-sided sham investigation.
I hope the American people are paying attention to the atrocity that is the Trump impeachment. The Democrats have taken us down a dangerous road with a factless, one-sided, unprecedented impeachment, and I am afraid our nation will never be the same.
This will go down in history as the most partisan and rigged impeachment process in American history – and history will not be kind to the Democrats of the 116th Congress.
GOP Rep. Jeff Duncan represents South Carolina's Third District in Congress.