What House Democrats describe as an "impeachment inquiry" is noting of the sort, and no "subpoenas" have been issued, contends former assistant U.S. attorney Andrew C. McCarthy.
"You are not to be faulted if you think a formal inquest is under way and that legal process has been issued," he writes in a column for The Hill.
Pointing out that the House has not voted as a body to authorize an impeachment inquiry, as required by the Constitution, he says the Democrats are conducting a "made-for-cable-TV political soap opera" designed to help them win the 2020 election.
A "haughty" Sept. 27 letter from House Democrats directing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to cooperate in their demands to depose State Department officials and review various records "is nothing more than an informal request for voluntary cooperation," he says.
"Legally, it has no compulsive power. If anything, it is rife with legal deficiencies."
He points out that the standing committees conducting the investigation of President Trump — Intelligence, Judiciary, Foreign Affairs, Oversight and Reform, Financial Services, and Ways and Means — indeed have subpoena power.
So why don't they use it?
"Well, because subpoenas get litigated in court when the people or agencies on the receiving end object," McCarthy writes.
"Democrats want to have an impeachment show — um, inquiry — on television; they do not want to defend its bona fides in court."
The "impeachment inquiry" is focused on the allegation of an anonymous whistleblower who, citing secondhand information, alleges President Trump forced Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate allegations of corruption against Joe Biden and his son Hunter with the threat of withholding U.S. aid. Zelensky insists he didn't feel pressured, and the Justice Department concluded Trump's July 25 phone call with Zelensky did not violate any laws.
Framers created high standard
He argues that resisting an information request is not evidence of obstruction.
"It is evidence that the recipient of the demand believes he or she has a legal privilege that excuses compliance. The recipient can be wrong about that without being guilty of obstruction," McCarthy writes.
"Congressional Democrats know this, of course — many of them are lawyers. They are issuing partisan letters that pose legally offensive threats, rather than subpoenas, because this is a show, not an impeachment inquiry."
The Framers of the Constitution worried that impeachment could be politicized, which is why they adopted the burdensome standard of high crimes and misdemeanors, in addition to treason and bribery, he explains.
Then they erected the even higher bar of requiring a two-thirds supermajority for conviction in the Senate.
"All this was to ensure that the electoral will of the people must never be overturned in the absence of misconduct so severe that it results in a broad consensus that the nation’s well-being requires removing the president from power," writes McCarthy.
He says "any reasonable judge asked to weigh the demands for information presented to Pompeo would not give them the time of day."
"They do not reflect the judgment of the House. They are reflective, instead, of partisan House leadership that realizes it does not have impeachable offenses — so much so that Pelosi & Co. fear the wrath of voters if Democrats in districts friendly to President Trump are put to the test of voting to authorize a formal impeachment inquiry."
Every presidential impeachment inquiry, from Andrew Johnson through Bill Clinton, has been the subject of bipartisan consultation and debate, he points out.
"Not this one. This one is a misadventure in exactly the bare-knuckles partisanship the Framers feared."
McCarthy argues Democrats wouldn't be in such a rush if they truly though they had a case, allowing time to study it.
"But they don’t have a case, so instead they’re giving us a show."https://www.wnd.com/2019/10/andy-mccarthy-there-is-no-impeachment-inquiry/