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A Dangerous Impeachment Policy

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
Senate Television via AP

It doesn't matter whether the impeachment trial of President Trump is already over or it drags on for months.

Two-thirds of the U.S. Senate is never going to find the president guilty of the House Democrats' vague and bogus charges of abuse of power and obstructing Congress.

Everyone's always known that's how it will end, even the deranged Democrats.

But Adam Schiff and his supporting cast still wasted several days of the country's time in the Senate this past week declaring over and over that President Trump must be removed from office.

Among other hysterical things, they charged Trump is a threat to our national security, an archenemy of the Constitution and a corrupt dictator who intends to steal the 2020 election.

Democrats have proved for the last three years now that they can spot a new impeachable crime in every other presidential tweet or executive order.

But as Jay Sekulow of the Trump defense team warned the Senate on Tuesday, in their rage to take down Trump the House Democrats have made a serious mistake.

By drastically lowering the bar of impeachment, he said, Democrats have put the constitutional framework of our republic in "unimaginable" danger.

Sekulow also said he thought the impeachment of President Trump is not based on whether or not he exceeded his constitutional authority but is actually a political fight over "deep policy concerns" and "deep policy differences."

There's nothing new about wide policy differences between Congress and the White House and between the White House and the State Department.

One reason for that is because members of Congress and the employees of the State Department usually serve for 20 or 30 years while a president lasts eight years at most.

When a new president comes into office with his new policies - getting tough with the Soviets, expanding government health care, putting tougher economic sanctions on Iran - he often meets resistance from veteran congressmen and career bureaucrats in the state department who have their own long-held policy positions.

We saw exactly that kind of White House-State Department tension on display during the House impeachment hearings into President Trump's Ukraine policy.

The hard anti-corruption policy the president wanted to pursue in Ukraine was criticized, resisted or subverted by State Department officials who had been hired by previous presidents.

Making policy is a complicated process for any president. It's like making sausage. It's messy, has lots of ingredients and not pretty to watch being made.

It's the piece of sausage - Obama's Iran policy, for example, or Trump's Ukraine policy - that counts in the end.

When my father had to make important decisions on national security and foreign policy matters he would have the National Security Council write up three different versions of what he could do.

The NSC - which is made up of the vice president, cabinet officials, military leaders and other top advisers - and my father would discuss all three options. Then my father would make his decision and the policy would go forward.

No one at The New York Times ever saw those other policy choices and the arguments that went on in those NSC meetings were never leaked to the media.

If transcripts of those meetings had fallen into the hands of today's deranged Democrats, Adam Schiff would have impeached my father because he didn't accept one of the other two choices.

Jay Sekulow was right to warn the Senate about the danger to our republic of lowering the bar of impeachment.

If we start impeaching presidents just because we don't agree with their policies we're never going to have another one who can get anything done.

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