In his column published Oct. 8, John Patrick Grace revealed to us his wish list. Namely, that not only President Trump be removed from office but along with him shall go Vice President Mike Pence for his putative knowledge regarding the president’s obvious wrongdoings and for not having “whistle-blown” over Trump.
This dream fantasy, twin killing mea culpa, according to Mr. Grace, can trace its initial roots to Mrs. Pence’s failure to publicly kiss and hug her husband with sufficient enthusiasm during the early morning hours of Nov. 9, 2016, as Mr. Trump was being declared the winner and with a mostly-in-shock and up-past-its-bedtime nation watching.
Granted, Mr. Trump’s manner of communication, the rough transcript of that infamous July call to Ukraine President Zelensky even without being partisanly parsed, raises serious questions. For that matter, so do the motives of the first whistleblower, those operatives in the shadows who may have been pulling his or her puppet strings.
However, here is the rub: As several nationally recognized political and legal analysts have observed, asking the Ukraine government to look into possible international misconduct by Joe Biden and his son (lest we overlook the Kerrys and the Romneys) in order to commence or further a criminal investigation of a then-acting vice president and his family is one thing; yet to ask for or demand an investigation for the purpose of smearing a possible 2020 presidential candidate foe as the quid pro quo for millions in American aid and in the process violate U.S. election law is quite another.
Interestingly, as we observed, President Zelensky publicly stated when prompted, “There was no quid pro quo.” President Zelensky would not be subject to a U.S. congressional subpoena. Good thing. I am certain the House committee(s) do not want to hear Mr. Zelensky ever utter those words again and while under oath.
The majority Democratic members of the House of Representatives will likely ignore or downplay the legal implications of this distinction in the course of conducting their hearings, reaching a decision whether to vote to recommend impeachment of the president. If the House were to vote to impeach, the GOP majority members of the Senate will surely seize upon that distinction and will cite the failure to establish sufficient evidence of a quid pro quo as their grounds to vote against the president’s removal from office.
Back to the dream sequence, as it is now time to wake up to a harsh reality: If President Trump and Vice President Pence were to both become the targets and focus of the House over the coming months, absolutely nothing to sustain, improve or enrich the lives of American citizens through federal legislation will get accomplished, and the Trump GOP support base will be out in fuller force come November 2020.