Sequels are rarely better than the original.
If we have learned anything over the last six days, as the feeding frenzy over the whistleblower has overtaken official Washington, it is this: Democrats want to impeach President Trump and they do not care if the facts support their cause.
On Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi finally got with the program and announced she would support an impeachment inquiry. She has resisted impeachment for months as her caucus has grown restless. She was considering the House Democratic majority. I thought she was disciplined and strategic.
She got ahead of the facts and now she is trapped.
As the transcript of the July phone call between Mr. Trump and the Ukrainian president was released Wednesday morning, several key claims made by Democrats and their media allies unraveled.
There was no “quid pro quo.” We were promised that Mr. Trump was explicit. The transcript shows no evidence of that.
The president did not mention defense aid even once. We were promised that Mr. Trump withheld defensive foreign aid as a bribe to secure an investigation of the Bidens. He did not mention the subject of defensive aid once during the call.
The only investigation that Mr. Trump brought up himself, unprompted, was an investigation into foreign meddling in the 2016 election, as it related to the hacking of the Democratic National Committee email server. Democrats used to care deeply about this subject.
The Ukrainian president was the first to mention Mr. Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and he asked that Mr. Giuliani travel to Ukraine.
Despite news reports that Mr. Trump urged an investigation of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden and his son Hunter as many as eight times on the call, the transcript shows he mentioned them only once. The Ukrainian president specifically said Wednesday he did not feel pressured by Mr. Trump.
This is far too thin for the extreme constitutional remedy of impeachment.
When the public is against the party pushing impeachment, pushing forward with this drastic step is bad politics. Republicans learned this painful lesson in the 1990s.
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