The impeachment trial of President Trump seems to be coming to an end. The House impeachment charges did not include treason or bribery and no “high crimes and misdemeanors” were alleged. The President has merely been accused of misuse of power, and obstruction of the efforts of the House of Representatives to impeach him.

Francis DeStefano

Almost since day one of his presidency, opponents have been looking for a reason to remove him from office. In May of 2017, Rep. Maxine Waters of California called for his impeachment. On Jan. 4 of 2019, long before the phone call to the Ukraine, newly elected Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib claimed that “we’re going to impeach the m—– f—–.”

But it appears as if the Democrats have really lowered the bar for what constitutes offenses worthy of impeachment. Using their new standards, a number of actions of President Obama and his administrators were far more serious and worthy of prosecution.  

Benghazi cover-op: President Obama’s response to the attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi and the murder of our ambassador and other Americans would certainly call for an impeachment investigation under the new standards. The attack itself could have happened under any president but the cover-up that followed certainly was designed for President Obama’s political advantage. Republican Mitt Romney was running the president hard in the 2012 election campaign but didn’t press the Benghazi issue, much less call for his impeachment.

Speaking about the election of 2012, on an open mike President Obama asked the president of Russia not to make any waves before the election, and promised that he would have a freer hand to cut a deal with Russia after his re-election. Under the new standards, that would certainly have warranted an impeachment process. He asked a favor that would help him win re-election.

Resisting Congressional subpoenas: During the Obama administration, Attorney General Eric Holder repeatedly resisted Congressional subpoenas to the point where he was actually held in contempt of Congress. He was head of the Justice department but the Mueller investigation, and the Inspector General’s report clearly showed that it was one of the most partisan Justice departments in history.

Misuse of Power: Two agencies in the Justice Department, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), formerly renowned for their probity and non-partisanship, became arms of the president and his party. The IRS targeted conservative political groups and organizations, and delayed applications for tax-exempt status. Only now are we learning of the shocking partisanship and dirty tricks of the FBI leaders appointed by President Obama.

Bribery: The Democrats have dropped charges of bribery against President Trump for lack of evidence. Nevertheless, under the new standards President Obama might have been impeached for bribery when he offered special deals to Senators and their states in order to secure passage of the Affordable Care Act early in his administration. In the old days, that would have been called politics but now, who knows?

Assassination: President Trump has been blamed for the targeted killing of an Iranian general in Iraq. Some have called it a violation of the law against political assassinations. When President Obama took out the notorious Osama bin Laden, the terrorist was not a military target and he presented no “imminent” danger. Where was the outcry then? Democrats lauded the President and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who for once enjoyed bi-partisan support. All agreed that it was good riddance.

In all of the above instances, no one ever suggested that President Obama be impeached. He had virulent opponents and critics but no one claimed that he was guilty of “high crimes and misdemeanors” that might initiate an impeachment investigation. With the impeachment of President Trump, the Democrats have opened a window that in the future could come back to haunt them and the country.

Francis P. DeStefano, Ph.D., of Fairfield, is a writer, lecturer, historian and retired financial planner.

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  1. Thanks for putting into print what every honest person who can look at the facts can see is the truth about what’s going on in Washington and the MSM as opposed to the people who are so blinded by TDS who believe facts don’t matter.

  2. Great article which brings us back to the double standards the democrats have.Total intolerance of others.Its hard for me to look at the democrats and say yes they our for America but how can they be when there trying to change the constitution by taking our rightsv away. And not a bidding by the oath they take to protect our boarders.ignoring illegal immigration and sanctuary city’s .on and on our they really for America?

  3. There are so many things wrong with this op-ed that it’s impossible to address them all. So I’ll pick one: Osama bin Laden. The author hit upon (but fails to recognize) the one huge difference between Obama’s targeting of bin Laden and Trump’s taking out Soleimani: Osama bin Laden was a TERRORIST. A leader of a terrorist organization responsible for 9/11, and who vowed to continue his atttacks. Soleimani — whatever else he was, and I’m not defending him — was a military official of a sovereign nation. And the reasons to target bin Laden never wavered. Trump’s rationale for taking out Soleimani keeps changing, from how imminent a danger he was, to what his supposed targets were, to “well, he has done bad things in the past” (or words to that effect).

  4. Unfortunately our “elected officials” have become the very thing our founders tried to prevent; a ruling class. Once in office they continue to seek increasing individual power regardless of the consequences. The Democrat leadership are perfect examples of this, they are blinded by their need to seek complete power over the executive branch.

  5. Benghazi cover-op: (sic)
    According to Wikipedia:
    “Ten investigations were conducted into the 2012 Benghazi attack, six of these by Republican-controlled House committees. Problems were identified with security measures at the Benghazi facilities, due to poor decisions made by employees of the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security, and specifically its director Eric Boswell, who resigned under pressure in December 2012.[1] Despite numerous allegations against Obama administration officials of scandal, cover-up and lying regarding the Benghazi attack and its aftermath, none of the ten investigations found any evidence to support those allegations.”
    I don’t see how this supports Mr. DeStafano’s contention that issues like this would now be grounds for impeachment. It was thoroughly investigated for years and years by Republican controlled committees, and came up empty. BTW, other than the 7 million spent by the Trey Gowdy Special Commission, the spending of the other 9 investigations is not clear, but likely far exceeds the Mueller investigation cost.

    1. Hi James, we welcome your comments but please note that our guidelines require that comments be limited to 1,000 characters. We will not be able to approve comments that exceed that limit going forward.

  6. This opinion piece is just so wrong. If I remember correctly Benghazi was endlessly examined by the Republican Congress, including an 8 hour or so testimony by Hillary Clinton, and absolutely no intentional wrong-doing could ever be substantiated. Likewise, comparing Eric Holder’s refusal to comply with some subpoenas, with Trump’s refusal to comply with ALL subpoenas, is just a very unbalanced equation. If Trump had complied with just some of the subpoenas he was issued we might have even had a fair trial? Further, Obama’s horse-trading for votes for Obamacare is called legislating, both in the old days and even now. Check with Mitch McConnell on that. That’s how it works. Extorting foreign-heads-of state to interfere in American elections is more along the line of criminality. Again, no comparison in an apples-to-apples sense is even remotely close. Finally, the killing of a non-state terrorist is in a much different category than the killing of high level government official of a nation state. The first is an act in the realm of war, while the latter is an assassination. In the world of international relations the difference is significant. The faulty analysis offered by Mr. Stefano does not further the kinds of real conversations we need to have in our democracy.

    1. Hi Fair, we welcome your comments but please note that our guidelines require that comments be limited to 1,000 characters. We will not be able to approve comments that exceed that limit going forward.

  7. The author puts into print what most Americans are thinking and saying in their private conversations. Trump’s overwhelming election victory coming this November will be the proof of it.

    The Democrats have had Donald Trump’s Impeachment waiting for him since he was elected President not only was it plain to see but several said so and were published in the press. The Democrat Impeachment of Trump was waiting for him before day one of his Presidency, all the Democrats were looking for was a plausible excuse to begin it, something to hang their hats on and in their desperation they have blundered yet again.

    The Democrat Party certainly has lowered the bar for Impeachment from High Crimes and Misdemeanors down to the level of a farce. This is why they lost to Trump and this will be their legacy that they wrote.

  8. It’s a far higher bar than was used to impeach President Clinton. Clinton’s offenses were against his family. Trump’s offenses are against the Nation. Hey

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