By NICK BAKER
The House of Representatives’ almost-exclusively Democratic Party line vote of 232-197 to impeach President Donald Trump is certain to be rejected in early January by a similar Republican Party line vote in the U.S. Senate. Under the U.S. Constitution, the Senate acts as a trial body to determine the validity of House impeachment charges. A two-thirds vote is required to remove the president from office. The entire scenario has already proven to be nothing less than another tawdry expression of ruling class infighting, where the stakes involved for working people are zero. The December 19 nationally televised debate among the seven leading Democratic Party presidential contenders said as much as, with no candidate indicating the slightest confidence or even interest in the Senate outcome; all focused on touting their credentials as the most viable Trump opponent in the 2020 elections.
The real issues of the day—the bi-partisan ruling class attacks on working people, the deepening abrogation of democratic rights, capitalism’s endless wars against the poor and oppressed in the U.S. and worldwide, the racism, sexism and LGBTQI prejudice that is imbedded in the fabric of U.S. society, and the daily corruption involved in distributing and re-distributing the nation’s wealth to the richest one percent at the expense of the great majority—will never see the light of day during these proceedings.
The simple fact that the only charge against Trump is his phone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, where Trump suggested that Zelensky investigate Joe Biden’s corruption in getting his son Hunter a job at Ukraine’s leading oil corporation at $51,000 per month, is telling. Aside from this trivial crooked matter—a virtual tit-for-tat norm in everyday deal cutting between capitalists—the vast panoply of such deals, including illegal secret wars and war crimes around the world, are hidden from public view. The Wikileaks revelations made possible by Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden provided volumes, if not truckloads of revelations that the U.S. daily commits monstrous high crimes, not to mention “misdemeanors,” against the people of the world. These three truth-telling heroes are being threatened by the U.S. government with life sentences not for their massive revelations of bi-partisan criminal deeds based on irrefutable U.S. government documents, but rather for the “crime” of exposing them. In all the indictments launched against them there is not a word alleged by U.S. prosecutors that what they revealed was untrue.
In preparing the impeachment charges the Democrats decided to drop Trump’s interference in the Mueller investigation of alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 elections, according to Elizabeth Drew, writing on the opinion editorial page of the Dec. 16 New York Times. Citing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as her source, Drew wrote, “Ms. Pelosi and her close ally Representative Adam Schiff, Chairman of the Intelligence Committee, didn’t want to re-raise the matter of Russia’s role in the 2016 election. They argued that they should stick with matters on which the facts were clear and that pertained to national security” (emphasis added). Of course, the Democrats also factored into their calculation to drop “Russiagate” from their impeachment charges the just-released findings of the Justice Department’s Inspector General Michael Horowitz. The Inspector General testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in mid-December regarding his 500-page report that exposed major FBI misdeeds in its secret investigations of Trump.
“Our review identified significant concerns with how certain aspects of the investigation were conducted and supervised,” said Horowitz, noting that “the FBI failed to adhere to its own standards of accuracy and completeness” when it filed applications under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Horowitz was specific in referring to FBI applications to surveil former Trump campaign aide Carter Page. His report indicated that in seeking FISA court approval for FBI spying on Page the FBI falsified material in order to designate Page an agent of a foreign power – Russia – even though it had extensive information that demonstrated that Page had no such connections.
Over the course of the past four decades since the FISA was approved in 1978, FISA court judges had approved all but a handful of the FBI’s secret surveillance requests, out of several thousand. Days after the Horowitz revelations, the federal judge who has been so deceived by the FBI, no doubt to protect her integrity, screamed bloody murder and demanded an investigation into the FBI’s misconduct. We need not add that the Democrats touting any FBI investigation, Mueller’s included, as if this notoriously repressive, corrupt secret police agency were the icon of democratic functioning, is nothing less than reactionary hyperbole.
By all accounts the present impeachment farce may end sooner than later, although House Speaker Pelosi may decide to drag out the matter for expected future rhetorical gain based on the fact that Trump is only the third U.S. president to be impeached [charged] by the House. What happens in the Republican-controlled Senate [the trial body] is irrelevant to the Democrats. Given the certainty of Trump’s acquittal there, some Democrats have even suggested not sending the impeachment articles to the Senate at all. Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has vowed “total coordination” with Trump during the impeachment trial. Democratic Rep. Al Green has said that Democrats could continue producing “multiple impeachments” against Trump, while McConnell has threatened an “endless parade of impeachments” against future Democratic presidents.
Meanwhile, Democrats and Republicans jointly agreed to drop a provision in the just-passed $738 billion military spending bill that would have required Trump to not delay or withhold Ukraine’s allotted $250 million in supposedly sacrosanct military aid for the upcoming year, when Trump threatened to veto the gigantic military spending bill—among the largest ever and a $21 billion increase over last year—if the provision remained.
All this hyperbole regarding “high crimes and misdemeanors” is nothing less than election time grandstanding to both the Democratic and Republican Party shysters, whose real crimes are never adjudicated before the American people.