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Discussing Impeachment – Robert Charles on The Morning Show with Celinda & James

Celinda Hawkins

Welcome Bobby Charles to the program. He is the spokesman for The Association of Mature American Citizens and he has also served as Assistant Secretary of State under President George W Bush, ran the joint committee in the Waco investigations, and has years of legal work with congress under his belt, and he is here to talk to us about the impeachment situation. Welcome to the program.

Robert Charles

Thank you very much.

Hawkins

Well, Bobby, can you sort out the impeachment, what’s going on right now for us all? Because it changes every minute.

Charles

I have to tell you, it’s a fast changing situation here in Washington and I certainly can, and let me just give you my sort of gut check – I think the average American is shaking their head right now, not only trying to keep up with what Congress is doing, but asking are we really at this all over again. But the short version of this is it started out as an argument, as you know, about whether the President of the United States was asking something inappropriate of the leader of the Ukraine – a new leader of Ukraine – when he asked for evidence tied to anti-corruption efforts that went all the way back to the Russia collusion idea, but also included anything that they had on a prior investigation that was related to Joe Biden and his son’s business activities in the country.

The irony in all this is that it turns out that the committee chairman in this instance, the Intelligence Committee Chairman Mr. Schiff, actually worked with the whistleblower to create the complaint that turned up in front of Mr. Schiff. So, we have, you know, what looks like a miscarriage of due process at the outset. The biggest issue in the last 24-48 hours is that the White House has sent a letter back over – it’s actually a very good letter, you can see it online. It sent a letter back over to the Congress and said, look, we’re not going to comply with all of these raining down subpoenas that you shifted out here until you abide by the rules that relate to an impeachment, and in particular due process requires before you initiate an impeachment process you have to take a vote of the entire House.

And the reason you have to do that is so that the Republicans are then legally entitled to serve their own subpoenas and legally entitled to participate in the process. Otherwise, they are completely disenfranchised and not allowed to participate. So, that one will probably migrate through the courts, unless the house actually takes a vote. The reason they don’t want to take a vote, of course, is that they don’t want to empower the Republicans to have subpoena power because then there will be subpoenas served on people like Mr. Schiff asking him what he had done and why he did it. And the other part about this is it will put every one of the Democrats on record and I would say that probably a third of the Democrats come from districts where Trump is very, very popular. So, you have all of this going on in the background.

In the foreground you have other things happening and I think people are forgetting, in many ways, the forest for the trees. One of the most important things that has happened, that no one is really reporting, is that there is a treaty that was ratified in the year 2000 that fully allows the United States leadership to talk to Ukraine about public corruption. A second thing that has happened is that it looks like there is evidence that Joe Biden’s investigation – the investigation into him going over and essentially threatening them or promising money if they would drop a prosecutor who was looking into his son’s business.

The other part of this, that looks like it happened, is that there’s a, you know, possibly a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violation on the part of Joe Biden and the Ukrainian government was already looking at this in February and March and April of this year, long before a phone call was ever made by President Trump. So, one of the big arguments that impeachment should go forward is there’s an idea called quid pro quo – this for that – meaning if you if you made a call and you demanded that they open an investigation on a potential opponent and you did that promising money, then that was a quid pro quo. But it turns out that investigation was open long before that.

And the last thing I’ll say, is that you have to think about this with common sense, which is very uncommon in Washington, and common sense says, does it mean that we can never have a criminal investigation pursued or a corrupt practices act violation as long as you just declare yourself a candidate for president? We’ve got, you know, a dozen candidates on the other side of the aisle. Does that mean they’re all free now from any inquiry into any prior criminal acts? I think it gets very complicated, but I think the average American is just shaking their head right now saying, it looks to us like you’ve started down that same old track of Russian collusion. Only, now, you filled in the blank with Ukraine.

Hawkins

Well, let me ask you something. First of all, is this just a continuation of tit-for-tat from long ago?

Charles

I think it is. I think there’s one additional factor, and your listeners should be heartened in a way by this, there are some big trains pulling into the station here. We’re about to hear from the Department of Justice Inspector General and he’s going to release information on what happened with that FISA process under Obama, and it looks like there was a miscarriage of that in a big way. The US Attorney in Connecticut looks like he’s about to deliver some significant news. The State Department, they have just interviewed about a hundred and thirty people to try to get at these Hillary Clinton emails and whether it ties back to the Russian collusion piece there.

So, I think the Democrats are rushing very quickly to get something out there so that, when these big things come out, they can turn around and try to make it look like those are retributive or like a response to the impeachment. But, actually, I think the impeachment is a house of cards. It’s probably just going to – I really think, unless they want to drive this all the way to next year, it’s going to begin to collapse under its own weight.

Hawkins

Well, let me ask you this. The other component of this, obviously, is Mr. Trump and Rudy Giuliani and the way they are reacting to everything. What would you – you know, because, some people would say, you know, I’ve even had somebody tell us that Giuliana’s behavior is just – he’s not acting very – he’s not acting right. So, what do you say to that?

Charles

Well, I think, you know, people do get very defensive when they’re falsely accused or accused of something that they feel they didn’t do. There is documentary evidence that suggests that Giuliani was both working with the State Department closely and that he was over there trying to get facts tied to the Russia collusion piece. That was really the gist of his effort. Although, you know, again, I think there’s an awful lot we don’t know right now. I would say, I mean, if my style is a little different, I would say, I think, just take a deep breath. Sometimes, people will make so many mistakes on their own you don’t need to make mistakes for them.

And I think that the President and Mr. Giuliani, who’s a former United States Attorney himself up in New York, as well as having been the former mayor during 9/11 – I think they’re very – they’re reacting in a way that is very similar to how people react when they’re falsely accused. But I do think that the point is well-taken that maybe you kind of spin down a little bit. You don’t really need to react so strongly. You let this Congress show you what it is unable to do, and the American people will see this plain and clear.

Hawkins

How successful – and we’ve got a news story here that just came out, I guess, yesterday, that Ralph Abraham is going to try to expel – introduce a resolution to expel Nancy Pelosi from the house. Are we just going back and forth? Do you think that?

Charles

That resolution won’t go anywhere. You know the house is controlled by the Democrats and they’re not going to vote her out. Indeed she, I mean, to her credit, she’s been the one who has been slow rolling the impeachment and this group, AOC – congresswoman from New York – and a bunch of other really, I think very reflexive and really not very well thought out sort of socialist leaning members, were the ones that really led the charge together with a couple of other chairmen. Schiff together with Cummings, who chairs oversight, and Nadler, who chairs judiciary. They’re the ones that have pushed the impeachment probe. But I don’t think that’s going to go anywhere.

I think it does demonstrate that the Republicans have been disenfranchised and I think the next step in this, if she wants to do what should be a constitutional process – I personally don’t think there’s any basis for an impeachment, at least from what I’ve seen, but if she wanted to go forward with this, the proper way to do it is a full chamber vote. And that’s, of course, what has been done in virtually every other situation. There have been some federal judges impeached. Andrew Johnson was impeached in the house, but not in the Senate. Richard Nixon, it only got out of committee, and Bill Clinton, it got out of the house and was actually tried in the Senate and failed, but, you know, she’s trying to have her cake and eat it too here. Which is, don’t allow the Republicans to participate. Don’t allow them to serve subpoenas. Let’s do this all on our terms.

We’ll dirty the president up, we’ll create some impeachment articles that probably won’t go anywhere but will create a great big cloud of smoke here, and hopefully the President will be consumed in it. And I think that the President has a right, and so does Mr. Giuliani and so does, more importantly, Attorney General Barr and others to say, look this is not right. This is not the way this process is supposed to work. There really is no basis for the impeachment, but even if there were, you have to follow due process or it’s just basically turning a constitutional remedy into some kind of a political game.

 

Hawkins

Well, Bobby, do you think that this is really going to ultimately harm the Democratic Party in their efforts for the next presidential election?

Charles

I really do, and this brings us full circle. You know, I work with this group AMAC which is the conservative alternative to AARP, and that group really represents – and it’s very easy to get to them, by the way – amac.us or just Google AMAC – but that group represents, I would say, common sense Americans over the age of 50. And people forget that in 2016 those over the age of 50 and, even if you narrowed it down, those over the age of 65 were an enormous voting bloc. They actually turn out to the polls. They believe, a lot of them, in the sort of old Reagan-republican values. Things like a strong defense and protecting our border. They believe in the constitutional liberties that we have under the First Amendment and the Second Amendment and the Fourth and the Sixth and the Ninth. And they believe in America. They tend to be very patriotic.

That demographic, also, is very focused on things like smaller government and lower taxes, and lower prescription drug prices, things like that, for the purposes of medical care. And I think that group sees that President Trump is doing, to a large extent, what he has said he would do. And I think they also are people who abide by rules. They look at things like due process, which comes out of the Fifth and the Fourteenth Amendment, and they say, no, that’s important. That’s not something you just throw by the wayside on your way to try to, you know, shackle a president. That disenfranchises. If you don’t follow due process then you’re essentially trying to remove a president who has been voted into office by the American people, and that’s a pretty radical move.

Hawkins

Well, we want to thank you so, so much for being with us. Bobby Charles, a spokesman for, as he said, The Association of Mature American Citizens and, you did give the website, do it one more time.

Charles

Yes ma’am – amac.us – and believe it or not, if you get on that site it’s a very economical to go in for a year, you get all the 40% off on all kinds of things, but you also have a conservative voice in Washington.

Hawkins

All right, thank you so much, Bobby, for being with us today.

Charles

You bet thank you both and have a great day.

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