As an exercise in charity and patience, let’s give Rep. Adam B. Schiff the benefit of doubt — a courtesy the California Democrat certainly does not deserve.
But still, let’s assume Mr. Schiff has honest intentions. Forget all of his failed investigations and blown conspiracy theories of the past three years. Let’s assume he really just wants to preserve the integrity of the presidency and root out “abuse of power” by an elected official.
In this hard-to-believe fantasy world, what has President Trump done so wrong that the 2016 election must be overturned, the 2020 election must be canceled and Mr. Trump should be bounced out of office? What high crime has been committed that is so egregious that the legislative branch would be justified in beheading the executive branch? In an election year?
You hear vague terms like “quid pro quo” tossed around. It is always wise to be highly distrustful whenever people start tossing around squirrelly phrases that don’t have a precise meaning. Even wiser to be even more distrustful when those squirrelly phrases are in a foreign, ancient or dead language.
“No one is above the law,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi likes to say these days.
OK which law?
If you do a word search of the federal code, “quid pro quo” isn’t in there.
Funny thing, that “quid pro quo.” I have studied this very hard and asked around. For our purposes, “quid” is Latin for “investigate a political enemy.”
“Quo,” I have been informed, is Latin for “hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to a foreign country most of us cannot find on a map.”
(Quick side question: Why is a single working mother in rural Southside Virginia paying taxes to pay for military aid for a country she cannot find on a map? I would really like to see hearings held in Congress on this matter.)
Now lets just assume that “quid pro quo” is the high crime for which these goons have been desperately searching for the past three years.
Did, in fact, “quid” happen? No.
Did “quo” happen? Again, no.
Now is the moment when this latest scandal shifts into the “attempted” quid pro quo phase. Then comes the phase called “obstruction” of the investigation into the “quid pro quo” that did not happen.
Again, for the purposes of charity and an exercise in patience, we are giving Mr. Schiff the benefit of doubt that he actually wants to clean things up around here.
The legal case is a complete failure. So let’s consider the overall stink factor of what Mr. Trump did. The worst thing you can hang on him is that he urged the leader of a foreign government to investigate serious allegations of corruption potentially committed by a political opponent and his family in that foreign government.
Is that illegal, unethical or unseemly? Perhaps unseemly. But it is kind of hard to separate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden’s potential play-for-pay in Ukraine from the broader corruption that everyone says is in America’s best interest to clean up — especially if we are handing them hundreds of millions of dollars in hard-earned taxpayer money.
In addition, for the entirely of Mr. Trump’s political career, he has been the subject of the exact same shenanigans where political opponents turn to foreign operatives to dig up dirt to be used against him. And all the nonsense they supposedly dug up on Mr. Trump turned out to be false.
But the real killer thing about all this is why Mr. Schiff can never be given any benefit of the doubt as a remotely honest dealer.
Mr. Schiff and House Democrats want to remove Mr. Trump for launching an investigation to destroy a political opponent. But isn’t that precisely what Mr. Schiff is doing to Mr. Trump? And you are paying for every dime of it.
Indeed, the founders designed our federal government with the absolute worst, most dishonest and self-serving humans in mind. Mr. Schiff has certainly given them a run for their money.
But there is an election coming. There will be a reckoning. And all debts will be paid.
• Contact Charles Hurt at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @charleshurt.
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