Join Senior Political Correspondent Dorian Lassiter as he spells out all the nuances of an official impeachment inquiry and explains in detail, what we can expect going forward
Written by Senior Political Correspondent Dorian Lassiter
You would think with all of the impeachments we’ve had over the past 25 years, most Americans would be pretty well-versed in how they play out and would have a reasonable idea of what to expect once a new one is announced, but that appears to not be the case.
But perhaps what’s most intriguing about this particular impeachment inquiry is that the alleged illegal activities of the son of the sitting President not only loom large in this inquiry but may even end up taking center stage in the investigation.
Be that as it may, a formal inquiry has in fact been initiated, so now, we have a job to do, both as journalists and as Americans; that job is to begin the BS-sifting process. To sift properly, professionally, and without bias, we have to constantly remind ourselves that being neutral means that, no matter how tempting, we must perpetually navigate our way through the sea of hyperbole and propaganda to find the truth.
Whether that hyperbole and propaganda is issued on social media, by private ‘influencers’ with a personal agenda, or through massive media conglomerates whose billionaire ownership requires that their personal agendas also dominate the editorial slants of their respective networks, there is no denying that it exists, that it is relentless, and that its sole purpose is to either convince you that something which is untrue, is actually a fact, or the exact opposite, that something which is actually a fact, is untrue – this is the absolute most practical definition of ‘fake news.’
This is the entire reason why all legitimate news stories are fact-checked. Most importantly, however, all legitimate news must be corroborated by at least one other fully independent source, and preferably more than one. By the way, in case you didn’t immediately catch it, fully independent means that the platform used to corroborate can in no way be related to or be a subsidiary of the outlet you’re investigating.
So, knowing these precepts, we can begin to evaluate the issues raging around this impeachment inquiry and the propaganda being disseminated in an attempt to control the narrative.
For example, in his explanation for requesting the official inquiry, (we have the complete video on our YouTube channel and I’m linking it here as well), House Speaker Kevin McCarthy details a laundry list of acts and behaviors that could potentially rise to the level of criminal activity – hence the need to begin a formal inquiry to determine if in fact the specified actions appear to be criminal acts upon closer inspection.
Detractors of the formal inquiry, who is pretty much anyone in American government that has a little ‘D’ in front of their name, were very quick to speak out and remind the American people that the Republicans in the House have no proof of the allegations they are making.
Now, while that could be true, what we know for an absolute fact the GOP has is dump truck-filled levels of probable cause to believe there may have been illegal acts committed, which is pretty much the deciding element to begin a criminal investigation of any kind, anywhere in America. Impeachment inquiries are no exception.
The entire purpose of the impeachment inquiry (directly analogous to a criminal investigation) is to take the probable cause that they obtained early on and investigate it much more closely and thoroughly to see if at least certain areas of that probable cause rise to the level of criminal activity. If they do, then we will have a formal impeachment vote – which is similar too, though not completely analogous to an indictment for criminal charges.
Yes, I know there are numerous uninformed people who appear on every media outlet in existence during these times and continuously regurgitate how a House impeachment vote is analogous to a grand jury indictment, however, the truth is, it is only loosely analogous. Why do I say that? Simple. Because in a grand jury indictment, those 18, 24, or 28 people (the exact number varies depending on your particular state or federal jurisdiction), are all completely neutral American citizens who are randomly selected to hear evidence in a case they have absolutely no personal or professional skin in.
This is 100% not true in the case of impeachment hearings and an impeachment vote, where virtually everyone on the other side of the political spectrum from the accused has an extremely vested professional, and sometimes even a personal motivation for achieving a successful impeachment in the House. In case you were wondering, this is also why none of the U.S. Presidents who have ever been impeached (Andrew Johnson, 1868; William Jefferson (Bill) Clinton, 1998; and Donald J. Trump, 2019 & 2021), have ever been convicted of the criminal aspect of the impeachment in their respective resulting US Senate trials.
This is true despite the fact that, especially in the Clinton impeachment, there was absolutely no doubt that he was guilty of lying to the FBI (perjury) and obstructing justice, (the two articles of impeachment he faced). He even later admitted his culpability and publicly apologized a tactic that would never work in any other actual court of law in the United States.
So what can we all expect out of this impeachment inquiry? Simple. Much of the same.
After reviewing the evidence that has so far been released to the public and watching the whistleblowers and other involved figures testifying before Congress over the past few months, I have no doubt the three House Committees (oversight, Judicial, and Ways and Means) will find more than sufficient evidence to bring a formal impeachment vote against Joe Biden. So much so, that I would be willing to bet my house on it.
I’m also just as certain that the slim Democratic majority in the Senate will guarantee Biden becomes the 4th impeached president to be acquitted in the Senate.
However, the impeachment of Joe Biden is going to be drastically different from all of the previous ones in a single key aspect.
This time, as the hearings leading up to the impeachment vote are conducted in the House, the leadership of those hearings is going to make sure that the American citizens watching the proceedings are made very well aware of the forensic nature of the financial document trail that they uncover during this impeachment inquiry — things like Pseudonym email accounts, international bank records, and shell company formation records all leave very distinct paper trials.
This is very unlike the alleged subjective ‘lies’ which were the subject of each of the previous Presidential impeachments, where there were no documents in evidence to prove actions or culpability, just what other people testified they saw, heard, or witnessed themselves on television interviews.
Instead, in this case, if the Republicans in the House are correct and this inquiry in fact generates a solid and irrefutable paper trial from a forensic accounting perspective, they are going to make sure every interested American citizen sees those documents.
Don’t get me wrong, Biden will still be acquitted in the Senate, no matter how devastating and undeniable the evidence against him and his son turns out to be. However, with a proven and established paper trail meticulously documenting those illegal acts, GOP Representatives are betting that the Senators who nevertheless decide to vote to acquit the President despite the proof of criminal activity will face a drastic public backlash in 2024 when a whopping 20 Democratic Senators are up for re-election as well as 3 Independent Senators who vote with the Democratic Caucus.
This is in stark contrast to the minuscule 10 Republican-held Senate seats up for re-election, opening up the very real possibility that the GOP can earn a supermajority in the US Senate as Americans rebel against Dems at the polls for not voting to convict Biden despite documentary proof that rises above reproach.
At least, this is what the GOP is counting on, and it’s why they will proceed with an impeachment despite already knowing that Biden will be acquitted in the Senate.