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Congressman Tom McClintock

Representing the 4th District of California

Judiciary Committee Impeachment Hearing

December 9, 2019
Speeches
Judiciary Committee Impeachment Hearing
Congressman Tom McClintock
December 9, 2019
 
Mr. Chairman:
 
In every election, somebody wins and somebody loses.  Democracy only works because the losing side always respects the will of the voters.  The moment that social compact breaks down, democracy collapses into chaos.
 
That has only happened twice in our nation’s history.  It happened in 1860, when the Democrats refused to accept the legitimate election of Abraham Lincoln.  And it happened again in 2016 when the Democrats refused to accept the legitimate election of Donald Trump.
 
The issues before us today do indeed strike at the heart of our democracy.
 
The first calls for impeachment began just days after the 2016 election, and ever since the Democrats have been searching for a pretext.  

When the Mueller investigation found no evidence to support the monstrous lie that the President acted in collusion with Russia, the Democrats realized they were running out of time – and suddenly the Ukrainian phone call replaced collusion, Stormy Daniels, tax returns, emoluments, and even tweets, as the reason to nullify the election – just a year before the next one is to be held.
 
Impeachment is one of the most serious powers with which Congress is entrusted.  It requires an overwhelming case of high crime supported by clear evidence that a vast majority of the nation deems compelling.  
 
Our Constitution vests the executive authority – including the enforcement of our laws -- with the President and it gives him sole authority to conduct our foreign affairs.  Cleary this includes requesting a foreign government to cooperate in resolving potentially corrupt and illegal interactions between that government’s officials and ours.
 
The sum total of the Democrats’ case comes down to this:  Not one of their hand-picked witnesses provided any first-hand knowledge of the President ordering a quid-pro-quo – and two witnesses (Sonderland by testimony and Senator Johnson by letter) provided first-hand knowledge that the President specifically ordered NO quid-pro-quo.  No testimony was provided that the Ukrainian government believed there was any quid-pro-quo, but there are ample public statements its officials did not believe there was such linkage.
 
In fact, the testimony of their witnesses crumbled under questioning – and we were left with career bureaucrats who admitted the only evidence they offered was presumption, speculation, resentments and what they read in the New York Times.  
 
It is upon this flimsy evidence the Democrats justify overturning the 2016 Presidential election.  
 
It is so flimsy that the Democrats have had to turn our Bill of Rights on its head to make it.  
 
They have argued that hearsay evidence – better known as gossip – is better than direct testimony.  
They have argued that the burden of proof rests with the accused to prove his innocence, while denying defense witnesses.  
They have argued that the right to confront your accuser is an invasion of the accuser’s privacy.  
They have argued that appealing to the courts to defend your constitutional rights is ipso facto obstruction of justice and evidence of guilt.  
They have asserted the power to determine what witnesses the defense is allowed to call.  
They have argued that a crime is not necessary to impeach – but only impure motives in performing lawful acts – motives to be divined solely by the accusers.  
 
These are the legal doctrines of despots, but are the only ones that can accommodate the case before us today.
 
This is a stunning abuse of power and a shameless travesty of justice that will stain the reputations of those responsible for generations to come.  And God help our country if they should ever be given the power and replace our Bill of Rights with the doctrines they have imposed in this process.  The Democrats are fond of saying, “No one is above the law.”  But they have one unspoken caveat: “EXECPT FOR THEMSELVES.”
 
The Speaker has already short-circuited what should be a solemn, painstaking, thorough and above all, fair process by ordering her foot soldiers on this committee to draw up articles of impeachment, without this committee hearing from a single fact witness.  Despite the fact that Mr. Schiff doesn’t dare to appear before this committee to defend his work, we are supposed to accept his report at face value and obediently follow the Speaker’s orders.  As the Red Queen decreed, SENTENCE FIRST, verdict afterwards.  
 
We can only pray the Senate still adheres to the judicial principles of our founders and if they do, we can then begin repairing the damage this travesty has done to our democracy, our institutions, our principles of justice, our Constitution, and our country.