In his second term, former President Richard M. Nixon (R) faced an impeachment trial arising from his knowledge and cover up of a break in at the Watergate complex performed by operatives of his re-election committee. On August 8, 1974 Mr. Nixon made his announcement that he would resign as President of the United States. Prior to that there was an ongoing skirmish between Democrats and Republicans first as to his impeachment and then as to whether a conviction could be had in the United States Senate. The Democrats controlled the Senate but lacked the necessary two-thirds membership to ensure a conviction.
There are startling similarities between the process leading up to Mr. Nixon’s resignation and the events unfolding day-by-day regarding allegations of corruption surrounding the acts of President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. As events unfold the pressure for resolution grows. However, in this instance it is the Republicans who are in control of the House and who can bring and pass a resolution of impeachment. But the Republicans lack a two-thirds majority in the Senate to ensure conviction and removal. In both instances it will require bipartisan agreement in order to secure the necessary two-thirds majority.
A February 7, 2007, article in Politico, in a strained attempt to support the impeachment of President George W. Bush, relates the history of the fateful meeting that pushed Mr. Nixon to resign rather than face an impeachment trial before the United States Senate. It notes as follows:
“Whether Nixon’s explanation [that he still had sufficient support in the Senate to avoid conviction] made sense, the fallout that can occur when a president loses support within his own party ranks bears scrutiny. [Bracketed words added]
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“Sen. Barry Goldwater, Ariz., the 1964 GOP presidential nominee, was a respected conservative leader in a Senate whose Republican ranks were less conservative than now. On Aug. 6, 1974, at the regular Senate Republican Conference lunch, Goldwater fumed: ‘There are only so many lies you can take, and now there has been one too many. Nixon should get his ass out of the White House – today!’
“Goldwater called William Timmons, a White House aide, to set up a meeting. He told Timmons he wanted to tell the president that many GOP senators wanted him to resign.
“Nixon agreed to see Goldwater on the following day. But he insisted that the top GOP congressional leaders accompany him. So Goldwater arrived with Sen. Hugh Scott, Pa., the minority leader, while Scott’s House counterpart, Rep. John Rhodes, Ariz., came separately.
“’There’s not more than 15 senators for you,’ Goldwater said. Nixon asked the pipe-smoking Scott for his views. ‘I think 12 to 15,’ said Scott, who had once had defended Nixon on the basis of a doctored Watergate transcript that had been shown to him privately.
“While the curtain came down quickly after that climatic showdown, portents of trouble ahead for the president were evident more than a year earlier.”
And that’s it. A man of integrity – allied, within reason, with the sitting president – chose to follow his conscience, to submit to the obvious, and to demand action. Mr. Goldwater was not the first Republican to break with Mr. Nixon. Sen. Edward Brooke (R-MA) was an early and constant critic of Mr. Nixon and demanded his resignation as early as November of 1973; however, as a junior senator, he lacked the gravitas afforded Mr. Goldwater and, thus the turning point for Mr. Nixon was the loss of support by Mr. Goldwater and the spectre of Mr. Goldwater’s public denunciation of him.
And the same is true for Mr. Biden. Each day new revelations draw the case of Mr. Biden, his son Hunter and other members of his family tighter. And each day, the leadership of the Democrat Party and their allies in the mainstream media turn a blind eye to Mr. Biden’s excesses instead demanding more proof while ignoring the proof that exists.
The Democrat leaderships response reminds me of my service as Deputy Attorney General for the State of Montana when we sought to indict members of the Montana Liquor Control Board for accepting “gifts” from liquor distillers and distributors. Reacting to a tip from an anonymous source we raided the Board’s warehouse and discovered a large row of various cases of liquor centered on the loading dock. My recollection was that the row was six to eight cases wide and high and probably thirty feet long. We photographed it, impounded it and seized the paperwork (invoices, bills of lading, etc.). The cases were segregate according to the purported recipient. We next appeared at a hearing before a district judge who when we sought to introduce the photographs and paperwork swept them from the bench and demanded that we produce a witness who would testify that (s)he loaded the liquor – this liquor and not any previous cases of liquor – in one or more board members’ cars. I responded by noting the proof of our case was in the paperwork and that we could not produce a witness because this load of liquor had not yet been moved into the board members’ cars. The judge dismissed our case and told me he wasn’t interested in paperwork and that only an eyewitness who would testify that (s)he loaded the liquor at the direction of a board member into the board member’s are would do. End of the case.
The judge ignored what was before him and demanded proof that was physically unavailable. Similarly, the Democrat leadership of the House and Senate continue to ignore that which is before them demanding additional proof – a game that is without end.
In the end, the removal of Mr. Biden from office as well as the indictment of he and his family on charges of corruption will depend on one or more Democrats, currently recognized as Senate leaders and aligned with Mr. Biden – men and women with integrity – to step forward and announce that “enough is enough.” and demand Mr. Biden’s resign or face a trial for impeachment. There are two problems with this however. First, finding those leaders with integrity. And second finding a resolution to the biggest problem with removing Mr. Biden – the succession of Vice-president Kalamata Harris (D) as required by the Constitution. While the Republicans will rail on about Mr. Biden’s corruption, they will not seriously pursue his removal, whether by impeachment or resignation because of the incompetence of his successor – Ms. Harris.
What we have here is a Morton’s Fork of the first order. (For those of you forced to endure a teachers union led education in the Portland public schools, a Morton’s Fork is a choice between two equally undesirable options. It is not, as you have been taught, a Hobson’s Choice – which is a choice between something and nothing which is really no choice at all.)
Find a solution to the Kalamata Harris problem and we can proceed. In the past I have suggested finding her a more important job. Finding one, short of leadership of some international government group, is virtually impossible and, in such a case, the rest of the world would cringe. And if you cannot find a solution, then suck it up for the next fifteen months and wait for the presidential election. (It is possible that Mr. Biden will dump Ms. Harris from the Democrat ticket since it is his decision alone and every poll indicates that she is a burden. In such an instance, given Mr. Biden’s dedication to race before competence, his choice will likely be Stacy Abrams – a Morton’s Fork herself.)