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Sprinkle: Impeachment inquiry is a flawed process

When did it become the rule of law in the United States that the accused had to prove his innocence? Yet, as reported by numerous news agencies, that is precisely what Nancy Pelosi said about President Trump on Nov.15: "If the president has something that is exculpatory — Mr. President, that means if you have anything that shows your innocence — then he should make that known.” On the contrary, Ms. Pelosi; in this country, the accused has the presumption of innocence.

Critics will scream that this is an inquiry, not a court of law, and the House of Representatives may set whatever rules it wishes. Indeed it may, but for the sake of the preservation of the republic, it’s imperative that the House redefine its rules to comport with the basic tenets of fairness applied in the American judicial system.

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For those who still have any remaining semblance of fairness, ask yourself the following questions. If you or a family member were accused of a crime, would you want Adam Schiff’s “rules of inquiry” applied to you? Would you find it acceptable if “witnesses” were brought to testify against you who “heard about” your crime but neither witnessed your supposed misconduct nor were even certain that what you did was actually a crime? Would you think it advisable that your attorney be present to cross-examine those “witnesses” to be certain that the accusers were not leading “witnesses” to slant their testimony to your detriment?

Many of us believe, based on the testimony to this point, that Schiff has proven himself to be a compulsive, chronic liar, he has engaged in multiple acts of witness tampering, and he has plotted to overthrow a duly elected president of the United States. Based on those acts alone, we feel he should be immediately removed from Congress, face criminal charges, and be disbarred. Having said that, however, we acknowledge that were a formal complaint filed, the burden falls on the accusers to prove their claims; Schiff does not have to prove anything.

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Like it or not, that’s how the American judicial system works. Or how it’s supposed to work. Or how it did work in past impeachment proceedings of Nixon and Clinton. But now we seem to have a new breed of supercilious politicians who are bent on impeachment. And Representative Al Green knows why: “I’m concerned that if we don’t impeach this president, he will get reelected.”

Pelosi told us that impeachment should be a bipartisan affair. Were that the case, the whole matter would have been dismissed when no Republican voted for the “inquiry,” and two Democrats, Reps. Jeff Van Drew and Collin Patterson, crossed over to vote with the Republicans.

Pelosi further told us, according to www.abcnews.go.com: "This is a very sad time for our country. There is no joy in this. We must be somber, we must be prayerful and we must pursue the facts further to make a decision as to, Did this violate the Constitution of the United States?” And the very next sentence from the prayerful Pelosi? “Which I believe it did.” So much for pursuing all of the facts and hearing all the witnesses before making a decision.

As reported by The Hill, Pelosi stated: “As the inquiry proceeds, we will decide whether we’ll go forward with impeachment.” Then she added, “That decision has not been made.” Really? Pelosi isn’t dumb. In attempting to preserve her Speaker of the House position, she capitulated to her left-wing base in moving toward impeachment, a direction she knew could prove catastrophic for Democrats in 2020. What is galling is that she would assume the rest of us are dumb enough to believe her.

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The sad fact of the matter is that the impeachment of this president has been in the works since before he was even elected. As early as April 17, 2016, Darren Samuelson of Politico wrote: “Impeachment is already on the lips of pundits, newspaper editorials, constitutional scholars, and even a few members of Congress.” And Joel Pollak of Breitbart summed up the Democrats’ intention as follows: “So impeachment was a first resort for Democrats from the moment it became clear that candidate Trump had a path to win the GOP nomination.”

If this is the future of Congressional application of the American judicial system, we’re all doomed.

M.K. Sprinkle writes from Hampstead. Her column appears every other Saturday.

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