A day before President Donald Trump’s scheduled acquittal, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell delivered a scorching speech in which he summed up the Democrat Party’s entire case against the president with five simple words.
“He won and they lost,” he said on the Senate Floor this Tuesday, describing his belief that the ongoing, 3-year-long effort to impeach the president has been rooted in the Democrats’ inability to accept the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.
Listen to the whole speech below:
He began the speech by talking about the manner in which America’s Founding Fathers had intended the process of impeachment to transpire.
“They wanted impeachment trials to be fair to both sides,” he said. “They wanted them to be timely, avoiding the ‘procrastinated determination of the charges.’ They wanted us to take a deep breath and decide which outcome would reflect the facts, protect our institutions, and advance the common good.”
But that hasn’t happened, he continued.
“The drive to impeach President Trump did not begin with the allegations before us,” he said. “Here was reporting in April of 2016: ‘Donald Trump isn’t even the Republican nominee yet… [but] impeachment is already on the lips of pundits, newspaper editorials, constitutional scholars, and even a few members of Congress.”
“Here was the Washington Post headline minutes after President Trump’s inauguration: ‘The campaign to impeach President Trump has begun.'”
“Impeachment is already on the lips of pundits, newspaper editorials, constitutional scholars, and even a few members of Congress.” (POLITICO, 4/17/2016) https://t.co/UqWHfkwR3m
— Andy Grewal (@AndyGrewal) October 31, 2019
Jan. 20, 2017 at 12:19 p.m. ESThttps://t.co/NEaaIBLji5
— CathleenO (@cmortolani) February 3, 2020
“The articles of impeachment before us were not even the first ones House Democrats introduced,” McConnell added. “This was go-around number seven. Those previously-alleged ‘High Crimes and Misdemeanors’ included things like being impolite to the press and to professional athletes.”
“Their position was obvious when they openly rooted for the Mueller investigation to tear our country apart and were disappointed when the facts proved otherwise. It was obvious when they sought to impeach this President over and over.”
The Senate majority leader than broached his key point: “Here’s their real position: Washington Democrats think President Donald Trump committed a ‘High Crime or Misdemeanor’ the moment he defeated Secretary Clinton in the 2016 election. ‘That is the original sin of this presidency: That he won and they lost.”
And that’s why “ever since” the 2016 election, America “has suffered through a grinding campaign against our norms and institutions from the same people who keep shouting that our norms and institutions need defending.”
“We have watched a major American political party adopt the following absurd proposition: We think this president is a bull in a china shop, so we’re going to drive a bulldozer through the china shop to get rid of him,” McConnell continued.
“This fever led to the most rushed, least fair, and least thorough presidential impeachment inquiry in American history.”
In 1998, from inquiry opening until the Clinton impeachment vote, the process lasted 76 days.
This sham has lasted only 49.
What’s worse: Clinton was allowed to put on a defense, while Democrats have rushed their charade with NO due process for @realDonaldTrump!
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) December 18, 2019
“It takes time to find facts,” the Senate leader continued. “It takes time to litigate executive privilege. … But this time — no lengthy investigation. No serious inquiry. The House abandoned its own subpoenas. They had an arbitrary political deadline to meet. They had to impeach by Christmas.”
And so Democrats did exactly that — they filed articles of impeachment against the president right before Christmas — despite warnings from both sides that they’d pay a steep price in the long-run for their PR-boosting shenanigans.
Even notorious (and now incarcerated) anti-Trump zealot Michael Avenatti urged Democrats to take their time:
It makes no sense as to why the Dems are rushing to get the impeachment before the Senate, where McConnell, Graham, Cruz, et al. will take control of the process. Once again, the Dems are playing tic-tac-toe while the Republicans play 3D chess.
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) December 10, 2019
Turley warns House Democrats against rushing the impeachment process: “If you rush this impeachment, you’re going to leave half the country behind…You have to give the time to build a record. This isn’t an impulse buy item.” https://t.co/5Pgb8iGzpR pic.twitter.com/fe0ku8H52z
— CBS News (@CBSNews) December 4, 2019
And with the rushed process now practically over — save for the acquittal vote scheduled Wednesday — both the president and the Republican Party as a whole are enjoying some of the highest polling numbers seen in ages.
According to recent polling data from Gallup, the president’s approval is at a record high of 49 percent, while the party’s favorability rating is at a high of 51 percent. Meanwhile, the Democrat Party has cratered to a low of 45 percent.
Gallup: Trump job approval soars eight net points to 49-50, the best approval of his entire presidency.
If this (and the economy) holds, Trump will win reelection. pic.twitter.com/OxFVGIL2Ch
— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) February 4, 2020
Republican Party Favorable Rating:
Democrat Party Favorable Rating:
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) February 4, 2020
McConnell eventually concluded his speech by suggesting Democrats stop pursuing witch hunts against the president and start simply making their case to the public.
“If Washington Democrats have a case to make against the President’s re-election, they should go out and make it. Let them try to do what they failed to do three years ago and sell the American people on their vision for the country,” he said.
“I can certainly see why, given President Trump’s remarkable achievements over the past three years, Democrats might feel uneasy about defeating him at the ballot box. But they don’t get to rip the choice away from the voters just because they’re afraid they might lose again.”
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