House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., seemed giddy Wednesday as she announced the impeachment managers who would go to the Senate and attempt to prosecute a case against President Trump.
“He’s been impeached forever,” Pelosi said. “They can never erase that.”
However, Pelosi has it exactly backward. The Senate is going to refuse to convict President Trump. He will be exonerated, and she and the Democrats will be condemned by history.
The wide repudiation of the House Democratic betrayal of the Constitution is already beginning. As a historian myself, I think it’s important to document these reactions.
Consider historian Victor Davis Hanson’s analysis for the National Review, which was subtitled: “The new normal: Impeachment as a routine partisan tool, endless investigations, lying under oath with impunity, surveillance of political enemies, zero accountability.”
This is hardly an endorsement of Pelosi’s trivialization of the Constitution.
Abraham Lincoln scholar and highly respected historian Allen Guelzo asserted in The Wall Street Journal:[Charles] Pinckney and [Rufus] King might have been right in 1787. Americans prefer to choose their presidents with elections, and whenever impeachment is used in an attempt to nullify those choices, the results aren’t happy for anyone. That was true in 1868, and as both Andrew Johnson and his accusers might warn us, it remains true after a century and a half.”
Clearly, Pelosi did not know enough history to understand the warnings of Pinckney and King – or the sad end of the impeachment process against President Johnson.
When he was interviewed by Arun Rath, Harvard law professor and ACLU liberal Alan Dershowitz commented:
“[Alexander] Hamilton said that the greatest danger would be an impeachment that was based on who had the most votes in the House or removal based on who had the most votes in the Senate. And that’s precisely what we’re seeing happen, and the reason we’re seeing it is because of the use of open-ended criteria. Every controversial president since John Adams has been accused of abuse of power. And obstruction of Congress? That’s part of our system of checks and balances. … So I think the House of Representatives violated the Constitution when they impeached him on these two grounds.”
When testifying before by Congress, George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley warned:
“One can oppose President Trump’s policies or actions but still conclude that the current legal case for impeachment is not just woefully inadequate, but in some respects, dangerous, as the basis for the impeachment of an American president.”
So, from these perspectives, it is Pelosi – not Trump – who threatens to undermine the Constitution….
…. So no, Nancy. President Trump does not have to fear the judgment of history on this impeachment effort.