Is Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the greatest political judo expert ever – if you believe the Democratic media machine – really going to impeach the duly-elected President of the United States, for, as Rivken and Foley illuminated in the Wall Street Journal, “doing his job?”
The Constitution: Presidential Authorities and Responsibilities
To summarize: Article II of the Constitution not only specifically designates the President as “Commander-in-Chief” of the armed forces of the United States, but it also identifies the President as the country’s “Chief Diplomat.” Specifically, Article II, Section 2 grants the President authority to negotiate treaties, subject to a two-thirds favorable vote by the Senate, and appoint ambassadors, also subject to the advice and consent of the Senate. Moreover, U.S. law solidifies this leadership, as the 1980 Foreign Service Act designates U.S. ambassadors as the “personal representative[s] of the President” of the United States to the governments of foreign countries.
Article II, Section 3 requires the President to “… take care that the laws be faithfully executed;” thus, he is the nation’s “Chief Law Enforcement Officer.” Returning to Section 2, it says that “… he may require the opinion, in writing, of the principal officer in each of the executive departments, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices.” Hence, each cabinet secretary and agency chief is the President’s direct report. Thus, constitutionally, both the Secretary of State and the Attorney General work under the direction of the President.
Reviewing the transcript of the President’s conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart, he was clearly acting in his constitutional capacity as “Commander-in-Chief,” “Chief Diplomat,” and “Chief Law Enforcement Officer.” During the phone call, in which he discussed various important bilateral diplomatic and military issues, he also asked Ukraine’s president to resume an investigation into suspect Ukrainian gas company Burisma’s activities while Hunter Biden served on the company’s Board of Directors at the monthly wage of $50,000. (In 2016, median personal income in the United States was ~$31,000 per year.) Notably, Ukraine’s President made no commitment to comply with the President’s request.
Quid Pro Quo Is A Fundamental Element Of Diplomacy
In my experience, a request for a sovereign foreign government’s assistance in investigating potential illegal activities of American citizens in foreign countries or foreigners’ criminal actions against American citizens while they are overseas, is a standard element of U.S. foreign policy. During my 25-year diplomatic career, I was frequently involved in supporting such requests, the most famous of which was obtaining the Libyan government’s approval for the FBI to investigate the murders of four Americans in Benghazi on the night of September 11, 2012.
Both press and politicians have made much about the appearance of a quid pro quo involving U.S. security assistance to Ukraine and the President’s request to reopen the Burisma investigation. This reveals the depths of misunderstanding within both professions about the practice and profession of diplomacy. During my diplomatic career, I cannot remember ever engaging a foreign counterpart in a professional discussion in which quid pro quo was not present, whether those discussions were in trade or investment negotiations, obtaining agreement for the FBI to investigate the Benghazi murders, or countless other interactions. Indeed, the conduct of diplomacy is impossible without quid pro quo.
Unraveling The Ukrainian “Corruption” Charges
A second objection to the President’s request reverberating among politicians and press is the notion that it is inappropriate to investigate possible criminal activities by an opposing political candidate or members of his family, simply because he is a political candidate. As Rivken and Foley point out, there is no such law granting political candidates immunity from criminal investigation and prosecution.
On the contrary, a successful democratic process requires educated voters to make informed decisions. Voters have a right to know the truth about Hunter Biden’s employment at Burisma. Right now, it looks like Burisma hired him to influence the U.S. government through his father, who personally intervened to leverage dismissal of Ukraine’s chief prosecutor because his investigation was getting uncomfortably close to exposing his son’s role.
Editor’s Note: The same “solid” prosecutor Joe Biden “brags” about (in above video) – who replaced the prosecutor Biden had fired – reopened the Burisma corruption investigation in 2018, per John Solomon, writing in The Hill….
But what makes Lutsenko’s account compelling is that federal authorities in America, in an entirely different case, uncovered financial records showing just how much Hunter Biden’s and Archer’s company received from Burisma while Joe Biden acted as Obama’s point man on Ukraine.
Impeachment As “Cover-Up?”
One would think that if the Bidens are innocent, they might want an investigation to clear their names, but that is not how they, or Democrats, are behaving. Instead, it appears that they are afraid that an investigation of the Bidens might suggest that the Clintons’ practices of using public office for private gain is more widespread in Democratic ranks than previously thought. In this regard, the public should consider that this impeachment is as much a cover-up as the leveraged removal of the Ukrainian prosecutor appears to be, or the massive effort to protect Hillary Clinton from legitimate investigations during the second Obama Administration was.
The Democrats and their media allies are also impeaching the President because they are deeply afraid that he will win in November 2020. Impeaching a President is always a serious decision. Impeachment as just another tool to gain and/or keep political power is irresponsible and dangerous. At a time when the United States is facing increasingly effective competition for global leadership from China, Russia, Iran, and violent non-state actors, the costs of this impeachment for our country will be very high.
The impeachment process has already exposed the widening rift in American society, one that is easily exploitable by our competitors’ propaganda machines. In addition, the public exposure of internal foreign policy and national security information related to the U.S. – Ukraine relationship is already a treasure-trove of intelligence for our competitors, and it will only grow as the investigation continues. As it comes into public view, this information, combined with the massive leadership data dump they have already collected courtesy of Hillary Clinton, Snowden, and Manning, will give our competitors even greater predictability of American strategy and tactics. Such information is priceless, and we’re giving it to our competitors for free. Beyond the intelligence treasure-trove, this impeachment “inquiry” will have serious deleterious consequences for our republic in the future.