Democrats need to abandon their impeachment inquisition


The White House’s refusal to participate in House Democrats’ “impeachment inquiry” has sparked the predictable political firestorm in Washington.
But while Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is trying to disguise this political ruse with the respectable regalia of a legitimate “impeachment inquiry,” all Americans should be wary of the secret inquisition that is actually underway.
This isn’t about truth and justice, it’s about hatred and fear – hatred of this president and his policies, and fear that he will be reelected to a second term.
Just take it from my fellow Texas Rep. Al Green, a Democrat, who went so far as to say: “I'm concerned if we don't impeach this president, he will get reelected.”
The way the Democrat leadership has handled impeachment violates both our collective conscience and our Constitution. It flies in the face of not only basic transparency and fairness, but also the due process rights upon which our republic was founded.
By abandoning the past precedent of holding a full House vote to open an impeachment inquiry – maintained by Republicans and Democrats alike – the Speaker is depriving the president and his administration the right to retain counsel, call witnesses, and cross-examination.
Sadly, the House chamber is being turned into a political circus. The once-reputable Judiciary and Intelligence committees are being reduced to nothing more than campaign operations.
Moreover, this inquisition is being carried out through depositions shrouded in secrecy, with the exception of cherry-picked leaks from Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.).
The Democrats’ reasoning is simple enough: the more of this sham process the American people see, the more their baseless allegations against this president are exposed.
Politically-motivated to the point of parody, Democrats know that facts are not their friends.
The transcript of the phone call released by the White House between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky clearly shows that there was no impeachable offense. The central allegation that a “quid pro quo” was offered to investigate Joe Biden’s son in exchange for U.S. military aid to Ukraine was debunked outright.
President Zelensky himself stated publicly and on multiple occasions that nobody pressured him on the call.
This reality matters little, however, to most Democrats who have fantasized of impeachment since the day this president took office.
In fact, a mere 19 minutes after President Trump took the oath of office on Jan. 20, 2017, a headline in the Washington Post heralded that “The campaign to impeach President Trump has begun.”
For the sake of our democracy, we must never allow the grave constitutional power of impeachment to be reduced to such base political considerations.
Our Founding Fathers had the foresight to warn us that the impeachment process would be prone to politicization and partisan abuse rather than driven by “real demonstrations of innocence or guilt.”
Today, their worst fears are being realized. Impeachment, along with every other congressional oversight power, is being abused and wielded as a weapon of political war.
This impeachment farce is worse than an exercise in futility, or even a distraction from doing the people’s business – it’s doing irreparable damage to our democratic institutions and our future ability to govern for the American people.
If Democrats are so hell-bent on removing this president from office, they should do it the American way: by making their case to the voters and beating him at the ballot box.
Until then, they should reserve the People’s House for the people’s business, and work with Republicans to solve the real problems facing our country.
If they don’t, history will judge harshly those who are participating in this political charade and secret inquisition, and the future will be unforgiving to our constitutional republic as we know it.
Congressman Jodey Arrington (R-Texas) is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives serving the 19th District of Texas. He is a former White House Advisor to George W. Bush and currently serves as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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