Impeachment Acquittal: The Constitution Remains Protected – For Now

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Posted: Feb 06, 2020 8:45 AM
Impeachment Acquittal: The Constitution Remains Protected – For Now

Source: Leah Millis/Pool via AP

President Donald Trump was acquitted on Wednesday, and for those with an interest in preserving the unique balance underpinning the United States government, it was a very good thing.

Michael Knowles, who, along with Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz, has been hosting a nightly impeachment recap podcast called “Verdict with Ted Cruz” for the last several weeks, says that the partisan effort led by Democrats has been little more than an attempt to use impeachment as a tool to settle political policy disputes and that, more than the cynicism and the half-truths of the House managers, is what makes it an insult and threat to the U.S. constitutional framework.

Knowles and Cruz have discussed the threats to the constitutional order brought about by the partisan impeachment of Donald Trump, with Knowles laying out in a statement that their discussions touched on how “other seemingly disconnected issues – such as Roe V. Wade, where an imaginary constitutional right to abortion was concocted out of thin air – have led directly to [impeachment]. Impeaching the president for nothing may now be viewed as a tool to further amend the Constitution.”

Knowles expounded on those thoughts recently to TownHall, saying Roe V. Wade was “possibly the single worst court decision in history…from the perspective of the Constitution [because] it removed the issue of abortion from the people and threw it into the hands of the unelected lawyers.”

Because abortion was a right concocted, that made the judiciary a central part of the progressive Democrat agenda, Knowles said. And, with Donald Trump confirming 187 federal judges so far – and telling the world at the SOTU address Tuesday that there were “more in the pipeline” – Democrats had to get radical.

“Roe could only ultimately be decided by a highly partisan, activist judiciary,” Knowles told TownHall. “And there are other important pieces of legislation – DC vs. Heller (which upheld the 2nd Amendment), and Citizens United (which held that money in politics is protected free speech) – that Democrats recognize will matter more and more as the courts take more power. An activist bench is crucial to their agenda.”

And, Knowles said, Democrats seeing the Trump administration’s move toward judges without a history of legislating progressive policy from the bench, spooked them.

“They were willing to try to throw out a duly elected president,” he said.

Knowles and Senator Cruz are, of course, not alone in recognizing the constitutional threat a highly partisan impeachment represents. The president’s impeachment lawyer Jay Sekulow, during a portion of the impeachment defense, also pointed out concerns impeachment was being used to settle a policy dispute rather than address criminal or anti-constitutional behavior on the part of the president.

"It is our position, as the president's counsel, that the president was at all times acting under his constitutional authority, under his legal authority, international interest, and pursuant to his oath of office," he said. "Asking a foreign leader to get to the bottom of an issue of corruption is not a violation of the oath.

"It was interesting, because there was a lot of discussions the other day about Lt. Col. Vindman, and one of the things that we reiterate is that he himself said he did not know if there was anything of crime or anything of that nature. He had 'deep policy concerns.' I think that is what this is really about, is deep policy concerns, deep policy differences. We live in a constitutional republic where you have deep policy concerns and deep differences. That should not be the basis of impeachment. If the bar of impeachment has now reached that level, then for the sake of the republic, the danger that puts not just this body, but our entire constitutional framework in, is unimaginable," he stated.

Interestingly, with acquittal on the horizon, a new narrative has developed: that Trump’s exoneration has “historians and legal experts say[ing] an acquittal will likely lower the bar for permissible presidential conduct and give the executive branch more power in the face of congressional oversight — if the decision is based in part on the Trump legal team’s expansive view of presidential power.”

Democrats didn’t manage to impeach Donald Trump, but we’re far from done with attempts to declare him unfit for office. And you can bet this isn’t the last radical move they make in trying to force Americans to accept their agenda.

Sarah Lee is a freelance writer and policy wonk living and working in Washington, DC.