The difficult thing about Donald Trump’s articles of impeachment for Democrats is that they never accused the President of any crime.
Scholars have said this isn’t a prerequisite for impeachment and removal, especially given that impeachment is an inherently political act, but it helps when you’re trying to convince a skeptical public (not to mention Republican senators) of your case when you can point to an actual felony the president has committed.
Democratic impeachment manager Rep. Jason Crow, however, insists that attempted bribery occurred during President Trump’s dealings with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The Colorado Democrat just can’t explain why that wasn’t in the articles of impeachment.
Crow was appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday where he made the case yet again for the Senate calling witnesses (“He has said that his call was a perfect call, he has said that he has done nothing wrong, so let’s have the people that are in the best position to confirm that come in and testify before the U.S. Senate”) and insisted, as a member of the House Democratic majority that ran the vulgarized, fast-track inquiry, that what they really wanted was fairness in the upper chamber (“The American people deserve a fair trial, so let’s have that fair trial”).
So far, so repetitive. What really set Crow’s appearance apart was his willingness to accuse the president of bribery with a total lack of explanation of why the accusation wasn’t in the articles of impeachment.
Keilar pushed the point, especially since Trump defense team member Alan Dershowitz, the constitutional scholar, was on earlier in the show arguing that the articles set forth by the Democrats — obstruction and abuse of power — didn’t meet the criteria for impeachment set out in the Constitution. Bribery, however, is specifically mentioned as an impeachable offense.
“You could have had bribery as an article and then abuse of power as an article, and, for instance, Alan Dershowitz is going to argue on the Senate floor, as he basically just stated, that bribery is in the Constitution when it comes to impeachment. He will argue, or will certainly feel, that you, Democrats, would have had a much better case to actually say bribery if you thought it was bribery,” Keilar said, asking if Crow thought it would have been a better idea, given what Dershowitz was going to argue, to include bribery in the articles of impeachment.
Again, Crow deflected away from anymore talk about bribery:
Saying it doesn’t make it so, @RepJasonCrow.
You impeached the President with no direct evidence in a totally partisan process where Dems set all the rules, picked all the witnesses, and denied due process.
And you still failed to prove your case.
But you got a cool pen. https://t.co/PvpIsxoJcz
— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) January 19, 2020