Wednesday, February 26, 2020
Miles from the Mainstream
D. R. ZUKERMAN, proprietor

The President, too, has
Constitutional Rights

(An open letter to House Republicans)

June 19, 2019 --

Lonely Pamphleteer Review here asks that you become more vocal to defend President Trump against the aggressive campaign of House Democrats to undermine his presidency under the guise of congressional oversight.

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., campaigning in Iowa, June 11, called the president an "'existential threat'" to the country. In truth, the campaign waged against the president by House Democrats, if it succeeds, amounts to an existential threat to the bedrock principle of the Constitution: separation of powers. Indeed, the Trump-haters do not feel bound by the Constitution in obtaining their aim to end his presidency.

Federalist Paper No. 48 offers guidance to the separation of powers principle by holding that one of the three branches of government "ought not to be directly and completely administered by either of the other [branches]." No. 48 further points out that neither of the branches "ought to possess, directly or indirectly, an overruling influence over the others in the administration of their respective powers." What can be the aim of the barrage of House subpoenas against the Trump administration and collateral sources if not "an overruling influence" over the executive branch at the cost of the principle of separation of powers? House Republican members, the people need to hear you stand up against the anti-Trump onslaught and defend the Constitution

On May 29. when former special counsel Robert Mueller briefly spoke to the media about his report he declared: "But beyond these few remarks it is important that the [report] speaks for itself." This cogent observation on The Mueller Report was apparently not noticed by the media. With respect to indictments handed down by the special counsel's office against certain Russians, Mr. Mueller said, "These indictments contain allegations, and we are not commenting on the guilt of innocence of any specific defendant." This statement not drew scant notice, if any. President Trump was not named a defendant by the special counsel, yet House Democrats are determined to look beyond the four corners of the written report for the apparent purpose of concocting an impeachment resolution that would seek the president's removal from office.

Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan, the weekend of June 1-2, suggested than an alternative to impeachment could be "[c]ongressional censure." For what, being president? Such action, however, goes would go outside the Constitution. Ms. Noonan might have acknowledged that while the Constitution provides for impeachment and removal of a president, it does not set forth a censure action. When Democrats proposed censure as an impeachment alternative for President Bill Clinton, Republican Senator Phil Gramm led the opposition to censure, arguing it was not provided for in the Constitution.

Writing in her June 6 Washington Post column, Never-Trumper Jennifer Rubin suggested that the House should pass "legislation to criminalize activity of the type Trump committed," and then adopt a resolution that overrides the Justice Department memo that a sitting president cannot be indicted, and "tee[s] up the case for post-presidential trial." She added, significantly, "This is not a process explicitly laid out in the Constitution, but this Senate has corrupted the impeachment process." Ms. Rubin effectively calls for ignoring the process set down by the Constitution when it comes to ways and means for removing President Trump.

It is time for House Republicans to denounce the campaign to remove from office a duly-elected president? House GOP, your voices should be heard in defense of constitutional principles. True, no one is above the law, but the way Democrats are acting, their view of the law doesn't recognize the legitimacy of Mr. Trump's presidential tenure.