President Donald Trump is twice acquitted by the Senate after the second impeachment trial—and still eligible to hold public office in the future. As “Abuse of Power: The Three-Year Campaign to Impeach Donald Trump” explains—the quest to impeach Trump began neither with a Capitol Hill riot nor a Ukraine phone call. The Lid published an excerpt of the book last week and the feedback was so positive I asked the author, veteran WH correspondent Fred Lucas if we could publish another. Lucas agrees and provided the below. Note: The e-book version of “Abuse of Power” — which exposes the left’s relentless efforts to expel Donald Trump from political life–is available at a 50% discount on all retail sites for one more week, until March 2. Fred Lucas Abuse of Power
Below are excerpts from the book providing a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes effort in the federal bureaucracy and on Capitol Hill that led to the first Trump impeachment–which is critical in understanding the most recent impeachment and acquittal of the 45th president.
In 2017, Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, was the first lawmaker to go to the House floor with an impeachment resolution. After casting their vote to impeach on December 18, 2019, many Democrats pronounced it a solemn occasion. Green closed out 2019 in an interview with MSNBC. The host, Chris Hayes, asked Green if the Trump impeachment was “pretextual and reverse-engineered to get to this point.”
Green gets the honesty award for his party.
“Well, the genesis of impeachment, to be very candid with you, was when the president was running for office,” Green responded.
Before the Ukraine call was even a controversy, Green publicly declared, “I’m concerned that if we don’t impeach the president, he will get reelected.”
The Mueller report was supposed to be the end of Trump. Instead, it cleared him and the campaign of conspiring with Russia.
After this, Democrats wanted the House to go after Trump for obstruction of justice. They considered Stormy Daniels, emoluments, and other matters.
“Democrats were gung-ho about impeachment from day one. After Mueller didn’t work out, they had to engage in new narrative building,” Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee said in an interview for this book.
And finally, the whistleblower complaint about a call between Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky offered salvation to the Impeach 45 movement.
“There was no smoke and no fire. Once we found [Adam] Schiff’s team was talking to the whistleblower, we knew it was a farce. It didn’t matter,” Nunes added. “This was an investigation in search of a narrative. It was a fishing expedition unparalleled in American history. The closest thing might be the McCarthy era. This one was for the purpose of a coup.”
When the Q&A portion of the first Senate trial began, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., submitted a question that shed much light on the matter. Chief Justice John Roberts, after staring at it for eleven seconds, said “The presiding officer declines to read the question as submitted.”
Paul later tweeted, “My question today is about whether or not individuals who were holdovers from the Obama National Security Council and Democrat partisans conspired with Schiff staffers to plot impeaching the president before there were formal House impeachment proceedings?”
In follow-up tweets, Paul wrote, “My exact question was: Are you aware that House intelligence committee staffer [Sean] Misko had a close relationship with Eric Ciaramella while at the National Security Council together?… And are you aware and how do you respond to reports that Ciaramella and Misko may have worked together to plot impeaching the President before there were formal house impeachment proceedings?”
Paul was back to rephrase the question; this time, Chief Justice Roberts read it out loud.
“Recent reporting described two [National Security Council] staff holdovers from the Obama administration attending an all-hands meeting of NSC staff held about two weeks into the Trump administration and talking loudly enough to be overheard saying, ‘We need to do everything we can to take out the president.’ On July 26, 2019, the House Intelligence Committee hired one of those individuals, Sean Misko. The report further describes relationships between Misko, Lt. Col. [Alexander] Vindman, and the individual alleged as the whistleblower. Why did your committee hire Sean Misko the day after the phone call between President Trump and Zelensky, and what role has he played throughout your committee’s investigation?”
Schiff responded with his usual righteous indignation, aghast that someone would challenge his absolute moral authority on the need for secrecy.
“First of all, there have been a lot of attacks on my staff,” he said, trying to recast the argument as standing up for his underlings. “As I said when this issue came up earlier, I’m appalled at some of the smearing of some of the professional people that work for the Intelligence Committee. Now, this question refers to allegations in a newspaper article, which are circulating smears on my staff and asks me to respond to those smears. I will not dignify those smears on my staff by giving them any credence whatsoever. Nor will I share any information that I believe could or could not lead to the identification of the whistleblower.”
Paul’s question to Schiff was rare, as too few senators used the opportunity to cross-examine the other side. In some cases, Democrat senators pushed the president’s lawyers, while Republican senators tried to hold House managers accountable. But the bulk of questions involved Republican senators asking questions of the president’s lawyers and Democrats submitting questions for the House managers to buttress their points.
Jeff Note: Fred is a veteran White House correspondent who has reported for The Daily Signal, FoxNews.com, National Review, Newsmax, Townhall, and other outlets. Fred’s latest book, “Abuse of Power: Inside the Three-Year Campaign to Impeach Donald Trump,” is a page-turner. Sara Carter described it as “A devastating and comprehensive takedown of Trump’s impeachment, and a thoughtful look at the historical context of past impeachments, with strong reporting and research to combat the Left’s inevitable rewrite of history.” If you haven’t read the book yet, I urge you to take advantage of this special offer. The “Abuse of Power” e-book version is available for just $4.99 until March 2, 2021 only— on all retail sites.