Saturday is not only Halloween, but quite appropriately marks the one-year anniversary of the formal House vote to open up a ridiculous impeachment inquiry — the culmination of a post-2016 election vendetta, as I point out in "Abuse of Power: Inside the Three-Year Campaign to Impeach Donald Trump."
After the Democrats Russia-Russia-Russia obsession crashed and burned with the completion of a special counsel report, they moved to the country next door to try to remove him from office.
Knowing what we know now, turning the focus of the scandal onto Trump for his call with the Ukrainian president might have been the best way to mask a larger problem with Joe and Hunter Biden. The FBI reportedly has been investigating Hunter and his associates for possible money laundering since 2019.
Moreover, as interested as Trump (and at one point the media) were in Hunter's capers in Ukraine, the bigger story could be China. One of Hunter's partners, Tony Bobulinski, said on Fox News, if elected, "I think Joe Biden and the Biden family are compromised," when it comes to dealing with China.
Thus, we are in a place in 2020 that isn't so different from where we were in 2016. Whoever wins the presidency on Tuesday will be followed into the White House with suspicions he is compromised by a foreign adversary. Also, expect talk of the 25th Amendment to come into play.
Recall Democrats claimed even before the 2016 election that Trump could be compromised by Russia. After Trump was elected, Democrats went to town on a vast conspiracy theory that manifested into a costly investigation that found no such conspiracy between Trump's campaign and the Russian government or operatives. If Trump wins again, Democrats will almost certainly find a way to blame Russia as at least one factor.
Biden has always been chummy with China, prompting some Trump supporters to tag him "Beijing Biden." That concern about being a compromised president will increase if the former vice president is elected Tuesday. While the Justice Department is part of the executive branch, it's not easy to shut down an FBI investigation. Who can say how far this reported probe of Hunter Biden and his associates might lead? It might — as the Russia collusion probe of Trump — turn out be much ado about nothing with regard to a potential President Biden. Or it could be much more substantive.
Concurrently, while Democrats began impeachment-in-search-of-reason starting immediately after Trump's election — considering emoluments, Russia, James Comey's firing, Stormy Daniels and mean tweets before settling on Ukraine — many Democrats pondered the 25th Amendment as plan B, as also noted in "Abuse of Power."
In 2017, Rep. James Raskin (D-Md.) proposed a bill on the 25th Amendment to oust Trump. He recently proposed a similar bill — endorsed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) — for the next president. House Democrats claim the legislation isn't for Trump but for whoever the next president is. It could be a means of hedging their bets.
Previously, Democrats tried to push a narrative that Trump is crazy and will likely continue to make this claim if Trump is re-elected.
If Biden is elected, the cognitive issues already being talked about will gain heightened attention. In this case, the notion might even have some bipartisan buy-in. Republicans and conservative commentators have been more eager to raise it in an election year. But Democrats have oddly put forward a legislative framework for using the amendment against whoever is the next president.
So, on a policy level, there are some big differences between Trump and Biden. But, regardless of who wins, expect to hear a lot of chatter from the opposition party about a president compromised by a foreign adversary with scattered talk about invoking the 25th Amendment.