The New York Times put out a story yesterday that said “White House declares war on impeachment inquiry.”
At first, I thought “Damn right! It’s about time!”
But when I pondered it a little more, I realized that the Times as usual had it wrong. The White House wasn’t declaring war; it was just finally fighting back against a war that had been declared against Donald Trump back in 2016 by the FBI and CIA and their allies in the Democratic Party.
To call the letter masterfully crafted by White House counsel Pat Cipollone a “declaration of war” is to get the story backward. The U.S. soldiers at Fort Sumter who shot back when they were being attacked by South Carolinians in 1861 were not declaring war. That declaration had already been made by rebel Gen. Beauregard when he laid siege to the fort and eventually blasted it with artillery.
So too the war against Trump and against the voters who elected him had been underway for months in the form of a special counsel’s investigation. Then when Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a lawless “impeachment inquiry” before having seen either the transcript of Trump’s call with the Ukrainian president, it was the equivalent of the shelling of Fort Sumter, but it was the White House that was under siege.
You can read the full text of the White House letter here, and I will comment further on Cipollone’s letter in my column at Real Clear Politics.
In the meantime, I will quote a statement in full from White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham that accompanied the release of Cipollone’s letter. It says in plain language which anyone can understand that the president will not go gentle into that good night. Instead he is ready to fight back against the rebels in Congress. Now we find out who will stand with him.
The President has done nothing wrong, and the Democrats know it. For purely political reasons, the Democrats have decided their desire to overturn the outcome of the 2016 election allows them to conduct a so-called impeachment inquiry that ignores the fundamental rights guaranteed to every American. These partisan proceedings are an affront to the Constitution—as they are being held behind closed doors and deny the President the right to call witnesses, to cross-examine witnesses, to have access to evidence, and many other basic rights.
Today, on behalf of President Donald J. Trump, Pat Cipollone, Counsel to the President, sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi and Chairmen Engel, Schiff, and Cummings. The letter demonstrates that the Democrats’ inquiry lacks any legitimate constitutional foundation, any pretense of fairness, and even the most elementary due process protections. Democrats are pursuing purely partisan goals, including influencing the upcoming 2020 election. In the process, they are violating civil liberties and the separation of powers, threatening Executive Branch officials with punishment simply for exercising their constitutional rights and prerogatives. All of this violates the Constitution, the rule of law, and every past precedent. For these reasons, the Executive Branch cannot be expected to, and will not participate in, this exercise of partisan political theater.
President Trump and his entire Administration will, however, keep fighting for the American people, growing the economy, building prosperity, and protecting America’s interests at home and abroad.
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