According to Nikki Haley, the leg on which impeachment stands is so wobbly that Democrats might as well fold up their oust-Trump tent and withdraw to the political desert where they belong.
Ms. Haley, the former ambassador to the United Nations, showed she’s self-possessed enough to see it as a bit unseemly for President Trump to have asked Ukraine’s president to nose around for any smelly stuff on the Bidens.
She’s self-confident enough to explain, at the same time, why what Mr. Trump said on the phone to the Ukrainian leader didn’t amount a hill of beans — not when it comes to impeachable offenses.
“There was no heavy demand insisting that something had to happen. So it’s hard for me to understand where the whole impeachment situation is coming from, because what everybody’s up in arms about didn’t happen,” she told The Washington Post’s Anne Gearan.
“So, do I think it’s not good practice to talk to foreign governments about investigating Americans? Yes,” the former South Carolina governor said.
“Do I think the president did something that warrants impeachment? No, because the aid flowed,” she said. “And, in turn, the Ukrainians didn’t follow up with the investigation,” Ms. Haley said. She was alluding to nearly $400 million in military help.
No one has knocked the impeachment shenanigan for a loop as clearly as Ms. Haley.
“CBS Evening News” anchor Norah O’Donnell asked her straight out, “Do you think ultimately the president will be impeached and removed from office?”
Ms. Haley replied, “No. On what? You’re gonna impeach a president for asking for a favor that didn’t happen and giving money and it wasn’t withheld? I don’t know what you would impeach him on. And look, Norah, impeachment is, like, the death penalty for a public official. When you look at the transcript, there’s nothing in that transcript that warrants the death penalty for the president.”
To make what’s perfectly clear even clearer, Mrs. Haley added this:
“The Ukrainians never did the investigation. And the president released the funds. I mean, when you look at those, there’s just nothing impeachable there. And more than that, I think the biggest thing that bothers me is the American people should decide this. Why do we have a bunch of people in Congress making that decision?”
Well, technically the “why” is in the Constitution.
Article II, Section 4 says: “The president, vice president and all civil officers of the United States shall be removed from office on impeachment for and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”
But that’s not what Mrs. Haley means. She knows what’s in the Constitution. Just as important, she knows what’s in the minds of common-sense Americans. She knows they get that, in the run-up to a presidential election, the Democrats, under the cover of the impeachment provisions in the Constitution. are out to do a political hit job — with the connivance of a few never-Trump Republicans.
Is Ms. Haley going to run for the Republican presidential nomination in, say, 2024? She says nothing could be further from her mind.
Sure. For this quick-witted, dark-skinned, accomplished female politician with managerial and foreign-policy experience and with parents who hailed from India, a presidential run is the farthest thing from her mind — except when it isn’t.
Will she play it cautious for a future run and maintain some distance by asking Mr. Trump — on the q.t. of course — not to ask her to stump for him?
No. She says flat out she will definitely campaign for him.
Smart. There are two kinds of Republicans today: Trump loyalists and losers. If you harbor any doubt about the broad sweep of that generalization, go ask the Donald.