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Mature American’s, Nepotism, and Impeachment – Robert Charles on The Mitch Henck Show

Mitch Henck

We were talking a little bit last time, and even before the segment, about older Americans. Do they get more conservative in older age or do they move back liberal? My dad was always the Republican in my youth, the Chamber of Commerce guy, and then as he got older, and started paying for those prescription drugs, he moved to the left. I don’t know what happens on that, Bobby?

Robert Charles

Well, I think older Americans, first of all, because they’ve lived longer, they have a kind of a treasure chest of understanding of the world, and I think the longer you live the more you appreciate tradition. Obviously, prescription drug prices are important. Medical care rises when you’re older, but this president has actually done – he signed an executive order lowering prices on prescription drugs and he’s working aggressively to do that. He just signed another executive order, actually with AMAC members present, down in Florida, two weeks ago, so, you know this is a president who, I think, gets it. He’s older himself. He understands medical care costs have to be down.

But I think there’s also an element of older Americans and AMAC, which you can get to at amac.us – or you can google it – incredible advantages that come from this organization. As you rightly described it, the alternative – the conservative alternative to AARP. You get 40% off here and there. You get their magazine and a bunch of other really extraordinary benefits, but more importantly you get someone talking for you about common sense in Washington. And I think the other thing older Americans appreciate is due process. I mean, I say that in a broad sense, but it has an immediate meaning right now.

We’re seeing a United States Congress – the House side of Congress – really throw due process to the wind, and I think it offends some of the sort of inner sensibilities of people who lived through- Who respect rule of law, who’ve lived over the last 50 years with an understanding of what the law requires of our representatives and of each of us, and I think it’s, you know, this impeachment thing has really, I think, irked a lot of people because it looks like it’s one more fishing expedition and they’re sick and tired of the Congress wasting their money on this.

Henck

So, you make the letters to Senator Alexander, Senator Collins, Senator Romney… Could be coming from people 65 plus on this impeachment matter?

Charles

Well, I’ll tell you right now, the largest voting cohort, the largest chunk of Americans who voted in 2016, were those, in terms of percentages of that block, who actually voted, were those over 65, and those over 50 were the next block, and I think what you’re looking at right now is two things. One, I think they look at this hubbub around the phone call to Ukraine and they say, look, we lived through Watergate. This is no Watergate. There isn’t a smoking gun of any kind indicating criminal activity, and, in fact, quite the reverse. This is the other thing, I think, they rightly see, that you just had Hunter Biden go on the radio or television this morning saying that it was all, you know, he’s sorry he made some mistakes and it was all poor judgment.

Well, when you fly with your father to China and your father does your bidding in China and you walk away ten days later with a 1 billion-dollar contract. You know, that’s enough money to buy the Toronto Maple Leaves or you know the Tampa Bay- You can buy anything with that, with a billion dollars. And then you go to Ukraine and your father, who’s the vice president at the time, shakes down the Ukrainian government in order to get you off the hook and you’ve got a million dollars in annual contracts there.

The question is not whether you exercise poor judgment, the question is whether you and your father were engaged in some sort of continuing criminal enterprise here? And I will tell you, that it does not – it doesn’t just look bad, it is actually on the law, that if you’re going back and look at the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, it looks like something really inappropriate, legally, was happening in both Ukraine and China. When it came to Hunter Biden profiting from his father’s position, was his father complicit in that? I don’t know, but it sure seems like it if you’re riding Air Force One together over to China and you turn around and come back with a billion-dollar contract, your father’s probably complicit in that. So, I personally look at this and I think average Americans say, you know, all I want is for these people I elect to go to Washington, serve my interests, and come home.

They’re not supposed to get mega wealth brought into their family and they’re not supposed to be serving their own interests. They’re supposed to be serving America, and I think that’s what older Americans think.

Henck

Well, Bobby, to me it’s not even a question of whether they violated any laws, technically. It’s the fact that he got all this money because his dad was the VP. Americans can add that up. In terms of the Trump children, which Jake Tapper of CNN, the others, when always compared to the Trump children, but Trump children were doing business before he was ever in the White House. It predates Trump’s time in the White House.

Charles

Listen, you’re absolutely right, Mitch. Trump doesn’t need to shake anybody down for money. He’s made all his money and his kids have made their own money, and in the real estate business. And it’s a very different, you know, it’s black and white. What you have in the case of the Biden’s is people using their political position to make money for themselves. These people don’t start out wealthy, but an awful large number of them come back being wealthy and it’s not because their name recognition or their brilliance it has to do with the office they hold.

And so, you know, what are they doing? The appearance is that they’re cashing in on their public positions and I think that bothers older Americans. I think it bothers every American, but I think older Americans have lived through, you know, they’ve lived through enough to say that’s just wrong.

Henck

Yeah, I mean, I think there’s no question. It just looks bad and when you’re explaining you’re losing and even Paul Begala said that, so putting Hunter Biden on TV, it’s probably not the smartest move, you know?

Charles

You know, there’s this old rule book in Washington, Mitch. In it, I never- You know, I come from a rural town in Maine and I look at Washington, I look at what people do, so one of the rules that these Washington people live by is the idea that the best defense is a good offense. And that if you just get your name and face out there, people will find a way to forget the underlying facts and you’ll be okay over time. Or more press is good for you, but, you know, I think Americans are a lot smarter than that. I think they’re smarter than what the Democrats are doing in the House.

The House has become a star chamber. They’ve conducted three or four high-intensity interrogations for nine or ten hours and they’ve not allowed the Republicans to be in the room. They’ve not allowed other sitting members – they’ve civically blocked other sitting members from being in there. Look, that’s the old English [inaudible] chamber where you privately find someone guilty and then you announce it. That’s not the way impeachment is supposed to work. They’re making a mockery of our Constitution.

Henck

Well, I hope the Republicans on the Intelligence Committee are allowed to sit in there.

Charles

Well, they are, but you know, there’s rules that- So, I ran an oversight committee for five years and we often used what they called the bubble room, which is upstairs, in the Capitol, on the House side, but we always allowed Democrats – it was a Republican run committee at the time – we always allowed Democrats, even to TSSCI hearings. In fact, we let them in in both chambers. Dianne Feinstein used to come to our briefings in the bubble room at TSSCI level because we did not exclude any member. A member is a member of Congress. But all of these rules have been thrown out the window. I mean, and I think that is what bothers people who live by rules themselves. We all have to file our tax returns. We all have to live by the rules. And they’re not doing that.

Henck

Well, and the things started in judiciary and Matt Gaetz who was kicked out yesterday is on the Judiciary Committee. I mean, Peter Rodino was the Chairman of the committee during Nixon. I mean Jerrold Nadler was Chair of the Judiciary Committee some Nancy gave us to Adam Schiff. By the way, Bobby, Sam Ervin was a lot more lovable than Adam Schiff.

Charles

You know you make an excellent comparison, and I think historians would be nodding their heads while they listen to you – and we all ought to be – because Peter Rodino and Sam Ervin were people who looked at the situation and said, look, is there or is there not a “there” there? If there is a violation of the law by Richard Nixon, either in the original acts of the break, in the burglary, or in the cover-up, and he is culpable, then we as a Congress – not as Democrats, not as Republicans – but as a Congress, have an obligation, in a bipartisan way, to open this up.

And they took a chamber wide vote and they began a series of hearings. And the extraordinary part out of that was that the reason Nixon resigned was that so many Republicans, as well as Democrats, have been included in this process, and they said, know Mr. President, if this gets to the floor you will probably be impeached and convicted in your impeachment, and so, that’s the right way to do this. I think what’s sad about this is that it undermines the legitimacy of the process for starters. But it also makes a mockery, it turns our Constitution and the impeachment process into a board game. This is not a board game. This is not about a 2020 election. This is about the sanctity of office. And then you turn around and you look at the hypocrisy where they won’t even shine that same light on Joe Biden. Why not?

Henck

Well, you can’t cross-examine witnesses in a grand jury investigation. I mean, in the Senate you can cross-examine in the trial and you can have lawyers present, and that’s what they’re trying to say, that we’re like a grand jury, but I say BS – BS to that.

Charles

Well, that’s true, but in a grand jury at least the witness who’s sitting there – you’re right, you don’t necessarily have an attorney beside you in a grand jury, but this is not what- The Founders didn’t set up the impeachment process to be a grand jury. They set it up to be an open process because we are an open political society. And this is a political process. It’s got judicial trimmings, but the notion is, that you will use the process – the due process that we afford every American – in a political setting in order to get a full and accurate assessment of whether a high crime, and they say high crimes and misdemeanors, but it’s really by definition a high crime has occurred.

And if you don’t include the Republicans so, if they can’t issue subpoenas, they can’t execute their side of the due-process process, then what you end up with is a twisted result. You end up – you know, I honestly think that what they’re looking for is one of three things. They either want a house impeachment so that they can sully up the President, even though they know they’ll get no conviction, or they want to end this by pulling back and calling it for a censure vote, which will, again, sully up the President. Or they just want to dirty up the President as much as they can so that whatever candidate comes out of their pile, in 2020, they’ve got something to argue about.

Because what else do they have to run on? The economy is doing great. Foreign policy is solid. So, you know, I think this is a game, and I think what Americans resent, on a kind of a day to day basis, is don’t play games with my Constitution.

Henck

Well, and I think your President might hurt himself in the Senate on this Kurd-thing, but that’s a whole other show, we’re out of time. Bobby Charles, we thank you very much. It’s always good to talk to you and give the website one more time, if you want to join the organization.

Charles

Yes, sir – amac.us – is non-partisan, but they’re very much about process and they’re very much about benefits to those over the age of fifty and they’re also very patriotic and all-American. And again it’s amac.us – great organization, great benefits.

Henck

AMAC.us and the Patriots are 6-and-0. Thank You, Bobby Charles. We’ll talk to you again. Take care.

Charles

Bye-bye, now.

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Mark A LaJoie

I don’ think that an Executive Order can actually mandate lower prescription drug prices. If I am mistaken, please explain why.