What Comes Next After Impeachment And Acquittal? Re-Impeachment
By J.D. Gordon
With President Trump’s predictable acquittal by a Republican-controlled Senate after being impeached in December by a Democrat-controlled House of Representatives, most Americans are wishing for an end to this national nightmare and a return to normalcy.
Regrettably, that is wishful thinking.
House Counsel Douglas Letter spelled it out in a December 23, 2019 federal court filing seeking to compel former White House Counsel Don McGahn to testify. That was just five days after the House passed two articles of impeachment alleging abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Letter’s logic was that if new evidence was uncovered, then Trump could be impeached again.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman and lead House Impeachment Manager Adam Schiff (D.-Calif.) put it in even starker terms during the Senate trial. After accusing Pres. Trump of trying to cheat in the 2020 elections, Schiff warned that if acquitted, Trump “will do it again.”
As for impeachment, Democrats most likely will try it again. And they are pursuing new, bright shiny objects to get it done.
Former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s new book manuscript which apparently leaked to the New York Times alleges firsthand knowledge of a Ukraine “quid pro quo,” providing weapons in exchange for investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. Former White House Chief of Staff and retired Marine General John Kelly reportedly told an audience in Sarasota, Florida that, “if John Bolton says that in the book I believe John Bolton.” And various officials within the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) reportedly involved in temporarily withholding roughly $400 million in Ukraine security assistance haven’t testified on this to Congress yet either.
But even beyond Trump and Ukraine, an impeachment ploy which magically picked up after the years-long Trump-Russia collusion hoax finally imploded after damaging and destroying countless innocent lives, Democrats indicate that their investigations of Trump World won’t end with the Senate acquittal.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) continues to pursue the Treasury Department over Trump’s tax returns.
House Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) is continuing investigations into Trump’s past financial dealings with bank lenders including Deutsche Bank AG and Capital One Financial. Waters reportedly told MSNBC last month that there will be impeachment “activity” to come later this year, even if Trump is acquitted.
Meanwhile, the House Oversight Committee is litigating a Supreme Court case over whether Trump’s longtime accounting firm Mazar USA LLP must turn over his financial information.
Some Republicans know it’s far from over.
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told Maria Bartiromo on Fox News this past Sunday that impeachment “will only end when the American people reelect Donald Trump in November and fire Nancy Pelosi and (Rashida) Tlaib for being in charge of the House.”
Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon told Bartiromo on the same show that, “Nancy Pelosi and these people are not going to stop. The formal acquittal vote on Wednesday is just the curtain coming down on one act.”
So why would Congressional Democrats, many of whom in the suburbs campaigned exclusively on kitchen table issues impacting all Americans like healthcare, education and jobs, put all their efforts into impeaching Trump again? Or at least enable it through sheer force of numbers?
First, because they can. There has been absolutely no deterrence, no downside apart from Twitter insults. Though Trump has repeatedly called for investigations of Schiff and others, nothing happens. Yet ironically, the first two House Republicans to endorse Trump during the 2016 campaign, Chris Collins of New York and Duncan Hunter of California, were both investigated thoroughly and indicted on unrelated charges, later resigning from Congress. How convenient.
Second, as legendary Democrat Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill used to say, “all politics is local.” Well, in many parts of America today that means hyper-charged identity politics, dim views of America and a sprint towards socialism. This gave us “The Squad” in Congress, knocking off more moderate, old school Democrats like 10-term Joe Crowley in New York and fellow 10-term Congressman Mike Capuano in Massachusetts. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has represented San Francisco for 17 terms — yes since the 1980s — and was always associated with the far left, now seems moderate by comparison. Times have changed.
Third, the crowded Democrat presidential field has been so weak that it’s quite possible none can beat Trump. They are either past their primes, unlikeable, or too extreme on the issues. Love him or hate him, Trump is a force of nature who turns out voters. And his America First policies generally resonate throughout the country. So Congressional Democrats are hitting the panic button, again and again, trying to remove Trump themselves. Failing that, they hope to permanently hobble him and his associates so that he’s unable to effectively govern or properly staff the administration.
In sum, we’re seeing a rapid disintegration of our republic. It’s what the Founding Fathers feared, impeachment by brute force. Mob rule. Voters must change that to save our democracy.
J.D. Gordon was a Senior National Security & Foreign Policy Advisor to Republicans Donald Trump, Mike Huckabee and Herman Cain. Previously, he served as a Pentagon spokesman during the George W. Bush Administration and is a retired Navy Commander.