Friday, December 6, 2019

Did Trump Claim To Be An Absolute Monarch?

Joel Pollak at Breitbart has an excellent article debunking the central Dem claim that their impeachment theater is a revolt against a president who claims the powers of an absolute monarch--a sort of We The People against George III Redux. That was the tenor of Pelosi's bizarre address, and it came up repeatedly in the Nadler committee testimony by law professors. Nadler's legal adviser, Norm Eisen, also raised it. But, as Pollak demonstrates, Democrats Used Deceptively Edited Video of Trump in Judiciary Committee Impeachment Hearing. In other words, they lied. Or, they continued their lying.

Follow the link for Pollak's full article. What I'll offer here is simply a digest focusing on Trump's actual words and comparing his actual words to the misrepresentations by Dems and their law prof lackeys.

Pollak begins by quoting Pelosi's address, in which she accuses Trump of claiming that he can do "anything he wants":

The president’s actions have seriously violated the Constitution, especially when he says and acts upon the belief ‘Article II says I can do whatever I want.’ No. His wrongdoing strikes at the very heart of our Constitution.

Hmmm. When did Trump actually say that? Pollak traces those words back to an interview Trump gave to George Stephanopoulos back in June, in which Trump discussed the fact that as president he had the power to fire Robert "Bob" Mueller:

Look, Article II, I would be allowed to fire Robert Mueller. Assuming I did all of the things, I said I want to fire him. Number one, I didn’t. He wasn’t fired. Number one, very importantly but more importantly, Article II allows me to do whatever I want. Article II would allow me to fire him. I wasn’t going to fire him. You know why — because I watched Richard Nixon firing everybody and that didn’t work out too well.

That's a very specific claim--albeit framed in Trump's very unique verbal style. He's making the claim that a president can fire his employees. That shouldn't be controversial, but a fairly contextualized presentation of what Trump was talking about would play well in the Dem impeachment theater.

A month later Trump made the same claim, again in the context of the Mueller Witchhunt:

… 500 subpoenas. They did everything. Their collusion? No collusion. They have no collusion [Applause] Then I have an Article II, where I have the right to do whatever I want as president, but I don’t even talk about that. Because they did a report and there was no obstruction. After looking at it, our great Attorney General read it, he’s a total professional, he said, “There’s nothing here, there’s no obstruction.” So they referenced, no obstruction. So you have no collusion, no obstruction. And yet it goes on. And they think this is helping them. I personally think it’s hurting them. A lot of people think it’s very bad for them. But it just goes on. But I wrote something out this morning on a thing called Twitter, whether we like it or not [Applause] it is a good way of getting the word out. Because I saw Mueller was testifying, yeah.

Admittedly Trump can be his own worst enemy with his imprecise language, but I can guarantee you that no one in attendance at the Turning Point USA Teen Student Action Summit, where Trump was speaking, walked out saying: Wow! He's an absolute Monarch! He can do anything he wants!

Pollak then cites this exchange at the "law prof hearing", Norm Eisen (a former Obama 'ethics czar'!) in colloquy with Harvard Law professor Noah Feldman:

Feldman: Now, putting yourself above the law as president is the core of an impeachable offense. Because if the president could not be impeached for that, he would in fact not be responsible to anybody. 
Eisen: And sir, in forming your opinion, did you review these statements from President Trump? 
Trump (first video clip): Well, we’re fighting all the subpoenas. 
Trump (second video clip): Then I have an Article II, where I have the right to do whatever I want as president. 
Feldman: I did. And as someone who cares about the Constitution, the second of those in particular struck a kind of horror in me.

No context. And Nadler picked up on that, too, in his closing statement:

President Trump has also asked a foreign government to intervene in our elections and he has made clear that if left unchecked, he will do it again. Why? Because he believes that in his own words, “I can do whatever I want.” That is why we must act now. In this country, the president cannot do whatever he wants. In this country, no one, not even the president, is above the law.

The mendacity of Nadler's statement is a bit shocking, even in this day of Dems gone wild. Fortunately Jonathan Turley from George Washington University was present to try to bring some sense of reality to the proceedings:

As regards Trump’s comment about fighting the “all the subpoenas,” in the first clip Eisen played, as George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley pointed out in the hearing, Trump has the legal and constitutional right to fight subpoenas until the courts ruled on the separation-of-powers issues between Congress and the executive branch.
As Turley warned the committee: “If you impeach a president, if you make a ‘high crime and misdemeanor’ out of going to the courts, it is an abuse of power. It’s your abuse of power.”

For the offense of speaking plain truths Turley--a liberal whose pet cause is advocacy for polygamy--is now being savaged and misrepresented far and wide in the left echo chamber.

1 comment:

  1. This is highly entertaining, as it's all about The Narrative. The Narrative must be reinforced at all cost--including revealing oneself as complete fool.

    Dems presume to know what Trump believes or thinks based on a statement of his, while omitting all context.

    Trump is a master at making his enemies look like fools. He credits his opponents--especially elected politicians--with an understanding of the Constitution, and the explicit system of checks and balances that operates among the three branches of government.

    Yet, these dullards are operating as if that baseline understanding of our constitutional order must be spelled out as a caveat every time Trump speaks.

    As I think, Peggy Noonan observed during the 2016 campaign (IIRC), Trump supporters (Republicans) took him seriously but not literally--while Democrats took him literally, but not seriously.

    The polarization in the country is not just a partisan divide, but a yawning gulf of cognitive understanding between those who "get" Trump, and those who don't.