Give me a break from all the Democratic congressional posturing over President Donald Trump’s hypothetical answer to George Stephanopoulos’ query about what he would do if a foreign power offered to give him derogatory information about his opponent in a U.S. political campaign.
Some particularly crazy Democrats are using the president’s answer — that he would look at it and might, or might not, notify the FBI — to build a case for impeachment.
But Hillary Clinton did exactly what Trump speculated that he might do when her campaign got a heads-up from Ukraine about what turned out to be corrupt payments from their former president Viktor Yanukovych’s administration.
In March of 2019, Ukraine’s top prosecutor told Hill TV that “he has opened an investigation into whether her country’s law enforcement apparatus intentionally leaked financial records during the 2016 US presidential election about then-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort in an effort to swing the election in favor of Hillary Clinton.”
The investigation was prompted by the release of a tape quoting a top Ukrainian law enforcement official as saying that he leaked the Manafort records to help Clinton win.
It was this leak that led to the resignation of Manafort from the Trump campaign only a few months before the election.
If this wasn’t foreign interference, I don’t know what is.
Also during the 2016 election, Clinton’s campaign enlisted the paid services of Christopher Steele, a former British MI-6 agent, to try to build a case against Trump for colluding with Russia to release her emails from her secret server.
Again, the Democrats get away with conduct that their party says is grounds for impeachment when done by a Republican president.
Of course, the Democratic field will be hurt by their obsessive focus on impeachment.
As any veteran or observer of the 1998 Democratic congressional campaign should realize, the Republican fixation on President Bill Clinton’s impeachment so besmirched their party’s image that they failed to win the congressional races that year — the first time the opposition party failed to gain in the midterm elections (it happened again in 2002).
Democrats need to show progress on their key issues — health care, education, climate change and income inequality.
If they are perceived as squandering their 2018 victory in the House races on impeachment or partisan warfare, angry voters won’t give them another chance.
Dick Morris and Eileen McGann write a syndicated column each week. They are conservative commentators and are featured regularly on news talk shows. Contact him on Twitter at @DickMorrisTweet or Dictmorris.com.