Editorials

Calling the Deomocrats’ Bluff

Rep. Adam Schiff knows something about impeachment.  The California Democrat first won his seat in Congress in 2000, when he defeated a Republican incumbent, James Rogan, who two years earlier had been one of the “managers” acting for the House of Representatives in the Senate’s impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton.  Now Schiff is the ranking Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and in that position he has relentlessly hyped the narrative that Donald Trump’s presidential campaign colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 election.  The specter of impeachment stalks the administration because of that story and the Mueller probe to which it gave rise.

Yet early this May, Schiff wrote a New York Times op-ed headlined “Democrats: Don’t Take the Bait on Impeachment,” in which he argued, quite correctly, that, “if impeachment is seen by a substantial part of the country as merely an effort to nullify an election by other means, there will be no impeachment, no matter how high the crime or serious the misdemeanor.”  Why would Schiff douse his fellow Democrats’ enthusiasm for trying to get rid of President Trump before 2020?

His words bespoke a fear that impeachment talk would only energize Trump’s voters for the 2018 midterms.  Trump, who has warned that Democrats will pursue his impeachment...

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