There’s one thing that’s certainly true about Republicans; they’re tenacious. If at first they don’t get the answer they want, they keep badgering and browbeating until they do. That’s the scenario that is setting up as the right-wing outrage over Hillary Clinton’s email continues.
Hillary and Bill Clinton may be the most investigated couple ever in American politics. And what has come out of all of those investigations, and the millions in taxpayer dollars that have been spent? Almost nothing. But that doesn’t stop the GOP from coming up with new “scandals” that lead to new investigations and new accusations of misconduct that end up never being proven, but somehow still become part of the overall meme that the Clintons are “crooks.”
Republicans are certainly a frustrated bunch right now. They are probably stuck with Donald Trump as their presidential nominee. The Benghazi committee just issued its final report, and they had to admit that there was nothing they could pin on the president or the former secretary of state. And now, FBI Director James Comey, himself a Republican, says that the Bureau will not recommend charges against Clinton over her use of a private email server.
Comey’s announcement that “no reasonable prosecutor” would bring charges against Clinton has sent Republican lawmakers into their latest fit of anger. They can’t understand how Comey could criticize her use of a private email server and then say that the evidence doesn’t warrant charges being brought. So now they’re going to grill Comey over how the FBI came to that conclusion.
Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz appeared on Morning Joe on July 7, where he expressed his unhappiness at the “disconnect” between Comey’s criticism of Clinton and the recommendation not to prosecute. And he said one thing that suggests the email “scandal” is far from over. Chaffetz opened the conversation with this statement:
I worry that there are two standards: that if your name is Clinton or you’re part of the rich and powerful, you live under a different set of rules than everybody else. Because it does appear based on the fact pattern laid out by the director that if you had done those things, you’d probably be in handcuffs, you’d probably be going to jail and probably should, based on the statute. So, we want to ask him about that and now that the Department of Justice said they’re not going to prosecute, no reason they can’t provide us all the information.
It sounds like Chaffetz has made up his mind, absent a full presentation of the evidence, and despite the recommendations of former prosecutor James Comey, that Hillary should be going to jail. Chaffetz, who is not a lawyer, probably knows enough law to understand that a prosecution of Clinton is not going to happen. But he also knows that Republicans in Congress have another option — impeachment.
Impeachment is a political, not a legal action. The standards of evidence required in a courtroom don’t exist in impeachment proceedings. The only punishment that comes directly from it is removal from office. All a party needs is the political will to do it. And when it comes to people named Clinton, the GOP certainly has the political will. Could Hillary Clinton be the first person whose impeachment is being planned before she is even elected? The Republican obsession with her makes the scenario a definite possibility.
Republicans certainly realize that a successful Clinton impeachment would still leave a Democrat in the White House. But it would be a Democrat whose name is not Clinton, and a conviction would allow them to further tarnish the name and legacy of the Clintons.
Of course, Hillary would have to be elected president first, and Republicans would also have to hold both Houses of Congress in order to have a chance at a conviction. But if those things happen, look for a motion in the House for articles of impeachment within days — a few weeks at most — of January 20, 2017. Remember, these are the guys who started plotting against President Obama the very day he was sworn in. A pre-planned impeachment is certainly not out of the question. You might even argue that they’ve been preparing it for years.
Here’s Jason Chaffetz on Morning Joe. Does it sound like he’s hinting at a possible future impeachment to you?
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