Philbin: Dems’ Impeachment Runs “Fundamentally Antithetical To The American System Of Justice”

PATRICK PHILBIN: And it’s this fundamental theme running throughout both their obstruction charge and their arguments generally here that if the President stands on his constitutional rights, if he tries to protect the institutional prerogatives of his office, which he is duty-bound to do for future occupants of that office, that’s somehow an indication of guilt and shows that he ought to be impeached. And that’s fundamentally antithetical to the American system of justice and to our principles of due process, to our principles of acknowledging that rights can be defended, that rights exist to be defended, and asserting those rights cannot be treated either as something punishable or as evidence of guilt. And there would be a long line of past presidents—as Professor Dershowitz pointed out, there are a lot of presidents who have been accused of abuse of power, there’d also be a long line of presidents who could have been impeached for “obstruction of Congress” if every time a president insisted upon the prerogatives of the office of the presidency and insisted on defending the separation of powers, that could be treated as something impeachable and as evidence of guilt. President Obama himself refused to turn over a lot of documents to the House in the Fast and Furious investigation. His Attorney General was held in contempt, but no one thought that that was an impeachable offense. So, the concept of saying that when the President asserts constitutionally-grounded prerogatives of his office, that is evidence of guilt is a completely bogus assertion. It’s contrary to all of the principles of our American justice system and the fundamental principles of fairness and it ought to be rejected by this body.