Matt Schlapp battles CNN’s Camerota over ‘standard’ for impeachment in testy exchange

SG Camerota-Schlapp
Screengrab CNN

Democrats and their media allies, not to mention “Never Trump” Republicans like Ana Navarro, are beside themselves after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi failed to get a single Republican lawmaker to back her play, which would have allowed her to call their maneuver to unseat President Trump a “bipartisan” effort.

In passing an official impeachment inquiry resolution on Thursday, the Democrat Party may have outsmarted themselves as they effectively confirmed that this effort is a partisan maneuver.

Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, appeared CNN Friday to say he felt good about the day’s turn of events, only to have anchor Alisyn Camerota push back on the definition of “high crimes.”

The phrase is open to misinterpretation, acquiring a broad meaning in U.S. law that may refer to criminal actions, but may also include serious misuse or abuse of office. That the debate centers on phrasing may be the best indication that Democrats have failed to produce the goods on impeachment, as decidedly left-wing “journalist” Tom Brokaw declared this week.

 

“When I say we had a good day it’s not because it’s good that the Democrats and only Democrats want to impeach the president,” Schlapp began explaining to Camerota. “I actually think what’s good about it is that if there are no crimes, and if they don’t come forward with articles that show any criminality –”

Camerota quickly cut him off to say, “Matt, it doesn’t have to be a crime, that’s just misleading.”

“Ana got to talk for two straight minutes, let me talk!” Schlapp pushed back, having not been allowed to finish his thought.

“But you need to not be misleading,” Camerota replied. “You know that a crime is not the standard, Matt.”

The head of the ACU called the CNN anchor out for having two sets of standards on the show.

“Don’t have an asymmetrical standard,” Schlapp said, which prompted Camerota to fire back, “Don’t use misinformation.”

“I’m not lying, name one lie, if you think it’s a crime, you give me the code right now,” Schlapp said. “Give me the code, what’s the crime? Don’t say that I’m lying.”

“Matt, it doesn’t have to be a crime. It doesn’t have to be a crime, Matt, you know that,” Camerota said.

“It has to be a crime or a misdemeanor, it’s in the Constitution,” Schlapp insisted.

“Matt, you know that ‘high crimes’ is open to misinterpretation,” Camerota countered.

A smug Navarro chimed in to cite Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., saying during the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton that a crime isn’t needed to impeach.

Graham’s exact quote from Jan. 16, 1999:

“You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if this body determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role. Impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”

 

Schlapp pushed back, adamantly stating that Sen. Lindsey Graham “was wrong.”

“He not one of our Founding Fathers, Ana,” Schlapp said. “I know he is a great guy and all, but he doesn’t get to write the Constitution.”

He went on to say that, in his opinion, the president should not be impeached unless there are serious crimes.

“I think Bill Clinton, when he committed perjury and had the Me Too movement, I think those are pretty serious, but even in that situation, the Republicans paid a price because it looked like they were being partisan,” he said. “If the Democrats look like they’re being partisan with the impeachment of Donald Trump, I do believe, as you’re polling that you’ve done a good job on explained this morning, will demonstrate it will benefit the president.”

Navarro, a rabid Trump-hater, responded to say a crime was committed — based on her biased interpretation of events.

“I do think there is a crime, because I think it is a campaign violation to get something that is worth money from a foreign government, from any foreigner,” she said. “I think that is a campaign violation crime.”

When she reiterated her point, Schlapp declared, “Then Clinton should be in prison, and so should Joe Biden under your standard.”

This being an apparent reference to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign paying for the unverified Fusion GPS/Steele dossier on Donald Trump, which was central to the FBI opening an investigation of the president’s campaign.

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Tom Tillison

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