STOP THE COUP: Judicial Watch, Hugh Hewitt Call on Senate to Reject Partisan Impeachment of Trump By Not Holding Trial
Judicial Watch and Hugh Hewitt have made respective calls for the Senate to reject out of hand any articles of impeachment against President Trump the Democrat House sends to the upper chamber of Congress because of the secret, partisan way in which the Democrats have conducted the impeachment investigation.
Hugh Hewitt on Meet the Press, November 10, 2019, screen image.
Tom Fitton, Judicial Watch president, appeared in a JW video posted Monday urging phone calls to the Senate demanding Senators reject any impeachment articles, “I would suggest you call your senators at 202-224-3121 to shut down [the impeachment]. They can dismiss it out of hand. They should be telling the House right now that they’re not going to buy into an abusive coup attack on @realDonaldTrump.”
Conservative author and talk radio host Hugh Hewitt wrote and spoke on Sunday about the Senate rejecting articles of impeachment.
Appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press, Hewitt observed the Ukraine controversy is in part based on disagreement with Trump using a backchannel to Ukraine.
HUGH HEWITT: I’ve read those stories. I imagine it would be Rudy Giuliani (a sacrificial lamb). But I’m doing my best to read all the transcripts. And I have enormous respect for the Department of State. People know my son works there. And Mike Pompeo’s a good friend of mine. So I’m trying to be very respectful of them. But what I see, I don’t see any impeachable offense in the record, thus far. I don’t even see an offense. I see a backchannel that the State Department has hated since Harry Hopkins went to England for FDR in ’34 and ’40, since Scali was involved in the Cuban Missile Crisis, since Kissinger went to China. The State Department hates backchannels. And when they blow up, like Iran-Contra, they blow up badly. But there is nothing illegal. It’s a policy dispute. And so we’re on the verge of the first partisan impeachment since 1868. And I don’t think the American people like this at all, purely partisan vote in the House. That’s what we’re going to have.
…in the first two impeachments there were, it’s a concrete act, a break-in and an affair in the White House with an intern, on which you had a date stamp, a time, and the American people understood. Not only is that not here, there is a compelling argument that what the president did is just what other presidents do. And I am persuaded by this. I don’t think the Senate — There will be an impeachment. They’re going to send an article over, purely partisan vote. I don’t think the Senate should take it up. I think they should reject the motion to proceed and never touch it. Otherwise, we will have this done again and again, secret tryings, secret hearings, ex parte contact, just a bad precedent.
Hewitt detailed in a Washington Post column Sunday how the Senate could reject the articles of impeachment without holding a trial. Hewitt cited research provided by former secretary of the Senate, Kelly D. Johnston, who has also worked for Republicans in the Senate. (Johnston is on Twitter hat this link.)
…Johnston says a critical moment will arise as soon as any “Articles” arrive in the Senate, but before any substantive proceedings occur. Under the standing rules of the Senate, the Senate must approve a “Motion to Proceed” to consider the articles. And it is at that moment that senators — even and especially those critical of Trump for other reasons — should think of a future littered with partisan impeachments born of secret proceedings and abuse of the House minority’s rights, as well as the rights of future presidents.
…Johnston imagined a scenario in which McConnell offered a measure to move forward, either with a full trial or something shorter, and a senator from either party objected. That would be McConnell’s cue to shut the entire thing down. “Under the rules, there would be unlimited debate until the leader files a cloture motion,” he explained. “That triggers an additional 30 hours culminating in a vote. As you know, other than nominations, it takes 60 votes to end debate (even though it just takes 51 votes to adopt a motion to proceed).”
“With 51 votes and the ‘Reid Rule,’” Johnston continued, “McConnell could first block the filibuster on any motion to proceed and then move to dismiss any article of impeachment with a simple majority.”
…This process — the refusal by the Senate to approve a “Motion to Proceed” — is how the Senate should flush articles of impeachment from the record as it stands today. Invite the House to begin again if it wants to, but using due process if it does, and backed by a bipartisan majority.
Also on Sunday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said on Fox’s Sunday Morning Futures that articles of impeachment would be “invalid” and “dead on arrival” in the Senate if the alleged whistleblower is kept secret and does not testify before the House.
“I consider any impeachment in the House that doesn’t allow us to know who the whistleblower is to be invalid because without the whistleblower complaint we wouldn’t be talking about any of this,” Graham told Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” stating that the process would be unfair if the person who brought the complaint in the first place does not have to face questioning.
…”I consider any impeachment in the House that doesn’t allow us to know who the whistleblower is to be invalid because without the whistleblower complaint we wouldn’t be talking about any of this,” Graham told Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” stating that the process would be unfair if the person who brought the complaint in the first place does not have to face questioning.