Democrats hot on the trail of Donald Trump’s impeachment have introduced two articles of impeachment — neither, curiously enough, containing the sensational “bribery” or “quid pro quo” the American public was sold as the president’s drop-dead guilty impeachable offenses in the first place.
Where’d they go?
Apparently, exit stage right. Off and out of the room. They went Waldo — or, in today’s vernacular, they did an Adam Schiff and disappeared, like a whiff of smoke at a House Judiciary Committee hearing.
“What the president has admitted to and says it’s perfect, I’ve said it’s perfectly wrong. It’s bribery,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in a press conference in November, during which she referenced Trump’s tweets about his telephone call with Ukraine’s president.
“The bribe,” she explained, “is to grant or withhold military assistance in return for a public statement of a fake investigation into the elections. That’s bribery.”
My, how the headlines then flew. After all, a confession of bribery from a sitting president of the United States doesn’t come every day now, does it?
“Pelosi says Trump has admitted to bribery,” Reuters reported.
“Pelosi says Trump admitted to bribery,” CBS News reported.
“Pelosi says Trump committed ‘bribery’ in Ukraine scandal,” Politico reported.
“Pelosi calls Trump’s actions ‘bribery’ as Democrats sharpen case for impeachment,” The Washington Post reported.
Of course, that term “bribery” only came about after leftists learned, via polling, that “quid pro quo” wasn’t quite resonating with the public for impeachment. Quid pro quo didn’t zing enough. So in came bribery.
But now, now that the hearings have come to an end; now that the witnesses have all had their time in the hearsay, she-said, he-said, we-all-thought-that-meant-Trump-said sunshiny sun; now that the Democrats’ attorneys have had their fun playing testifier and questioner, witness and judge; now that all the ace cards have been pulled from pockets and magic beanies planted and sown and smoke and mirrors properly puffed and placed — now the impeachment articles have come forward and strangely enough, what’s most glaring is not what they contain, but what’s missing.
What they contain is “abuse of power” and “obstruction of Congress.”
What’s missing are the key, long-promised, long-accused offenses, quid pro quo and bribery.
“Democrats ditch ‘bribery’ and Mueller in Trump impeachment articles,” The Washington Post reported. “But is that the smart play?”
Umm — we’ll take “Democrats and Their Deceptions” for $600, Alex.
For years now, since before Trump was even inaugurated, the American public has been told this president has committed impeachable offenses. The American public has been put on notice that the Democrats will impeach, at all costs, even if it means — and it did, and it does — conducting search and destroy missions to find the right impeachable offense.
Russia collusion. Russia obstruction of justice. Conflicts of interest. Ukraine collusion. Ukraine quid pro quo. Ukraine bribery. Batter up; strike three; batter up.
It’s a game that never ends.
The problem with the Democrats is they overplay their hands and then think the American people are too stupid to see through their nonsense.
They’re not. We’re not. Come 2020 elections, it’s certain the Democrats will learn that, too.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter, @ckchumley.