With the Senate looking to be on the verge of starting an impeachment trial for President Trump over bogus allegations that he incited the assault on the Capitol on January 6, Democrats have established the precedent that even after a president is out of office, he must be held accountable for alleged crimes committed during his presidency.
“If it is a good idea to impeach and try former presidents, what about former Democratic presidents when Republicans get the majority in 2022?” asked Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) as an ominous warning to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). “Think about it and let’s do what is best for the country.”
Cornyn’s message was clear. The Democrats, in proceeding with this impeachment, will have opened Pandora’s Box. While it’s hardly a sure thing that Republicans would have the courage to impeach former Democrat presidents once they are back in the majority (let alone a current one) the possibility now exists.
Cary Elwes, the actor most famous for his role as Westley in The Princess Bride, scoffed at Cornyn’s hypothetical: “And what would you try to impeach former Democratic Presidents for?”
Well, that’s the question I’m about to answer. The most obvious former Democrat president who could be and should be impeached despite already having left office is Barack Obama. While Democrats are most likely motivated by their desire to prevent President Trump from running for president again, there are other benefits given to former presidents that would be taken away upon conviction. Given his many impeachable acts while in office, the post-presidency impeachment of Barack Obama would hopefully set an example for future presidents.
I’ve compiled ten things Barack Obama could be impeached for once Republicans retake the majority in the House.
10. Illegally firing an inspector general to protect a sex predator
In his first year in office, Barack Obama illegally fired Gerald Walpin, the inspector general for the Corporation for National and Community Service. Walpin’s only crime was that he was investigating Obama’s friend and donor, Kevin Johnson. Johnson allegedly misused federal grant money for AmeriCorps by funneling it to his personal nonprofit group, paying for political activity, and using it to pay hush-money to underage girls he’d sexually abused. After Walpin recommended charges against Johnson, Obama, in violation of federal law, fired him. An investigation by Congress into the illegal firing was met with stonewalling by the Obama White House and the withholding of documents. The Obama White House also deliberately misled Congress about the reasons for the firing.
If breaking the law to protect a donor and ally who had misused federal grant money and sexually abused three underage girls doesn’t merit impeachment, what does? After all, Obama and his appointees misled and stonewalled Congress in an attempt to cover up his own illegal behavior.
9. His war on cops
Seeing as Democrats say that Trump’s rhetoric “incited an insurrection” at the U.S. Capitol as the primary reason for their second bogus impeachment, it’s more than fair to say that Obama should be equally held accountable for his rhetoric as president which inspired a war on cops, resulting in a spike in assassinations of police officers nationwide. As PJM’s Stephen Kruiser noted back in September, the Black Lives Matter movement may never have happened without Obama. His anti-police rhetoric began in the early months of his presidency when he blamed Cambridge police for a confrontation with an African-American Harvard professor despite not having seen all the facts. And the impact of Obama’s “leadership” on race relations was an absolute failure. According to Justice Department statistics, ambushes of police climbed 25 percent between 2008 to 2013 over the previous ten-year period.
In July 2016, after five police officers were murdered and nine others wounded in Dallas, Texas, William Johnson, the executive director of the National Association of Police Organizations, blamed Obama. “I think [the Obama administration’s] continued appeasements at the federal level with the Department of Justice, their appeasement of violent criminals, their refusal to condemn movements like Black Lives Matter, actively calling for the death of police officers, that type of thing, all the while blaming police for the problems in this country has led directly to the climate that has made Dallas possible.” Johnson added, “It’s a war on cops, and the Obama administration is the Neville Chamberlain of this war.”
Throughout his presidency, Obama helped promote the narrative that our system of justice is racist. During his final days in office, he used that bogus narrative to justify his record-number of pardons and commutations of prison sentences.
Barack Obama has blood on his hands, and he must be held accountable.
8. Illegal treaties
Barack Obama illegally entered the United States into two treaties while in office, the Paris Agreement and the Iran nuclear deal. Both meet the definition of a treaty under the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, which states that a treaty is “an international agreement concluded between [two or more] States in written form and governed by international law.”
Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution explains unambiguously how the United States can enter treaties. It says that the president “shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two-thirds of the Senators present concur.”
But neither of those treaties was ever ratified by the U.S. Senate. Barack Obama knew that getting two-thirds of the Senate to ratify either would be impossible. So, rather than make the case for ratification of either, he simply pretended that they weren’t treaties at all, specifically avoiding referring to them as such.
Like all presidents, Obama took an oath to abide by the Constitution, and this blatant act to bypass the constitutional process for entering into treaties should never have gone unpunished.
7. The Sestak bribery scandal
Barack Obama violated at least four federal laws back in 2010 for offering then-Congressman Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) a job in his administration in exchange for not challenging Arlen Specter for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate. Specter had recently switched from the GOP to the Democratic Party, and that switch was contingent upon support from Obama. Obama’s then-spokesman Robert Gibbs wouldn’t confirm or deny that any offer was made, but was never asked if Obama would resign after Sestak made his bombshell allegation, even after months of the Obama White House stonewalling a congressional investigation. Nor did they ask after the Obama White House finally admitted that Sestak was indeed offered a federal job to stay out of the election, but only after Sestak defeated Specter in the primary. The media was quick to accept the White House version of events, including the “everybody does it” excuse, and they accepted the White House claim that nothing improper had happened. Even Republicans lost interest in pursuing the story after Sestak was defeated in the general election by Republican Pat Toomey. But bribery is a crime, and Barack Obama committed it. He must be held accountable.
6. Rampant obstruction of justice
Obstruction of justice was the standard operating procedure in the Obama administration from day one. In August 2014, 47 of 73 inspectors general wrote an open letter to Congress informing them that the Obama administration was obstructing investigations by not giving them full access to the information they need to investigate properly. Such a letter was unprecedented, and the systemic corruption and obstruction of the inspectors general would have been considered an impeachable offense for almost any other president. That letter should have resulted in the appointment of a special counsel, but Attorney General Eric Holder, who famously called himself Obama’s wingman, wasn’t going to let that happen. Neither Holder nor Loretta Lynch, Obama’s second attorney general, ever appointed a special counsel, despite ample reasons for one to have been appointed. Obama didn’t just appoint attorneys general to lead the Justice Department, he appointed protectors to keep himself from being held accountable for corruption. Such rampant obstruction of justice should have prompted impeachment hearings right then and there.
5. Spying on the media
The media loved Obama, but Obama didn’t love them back. In fact, Obama abused the Espionage Act to target reporters and their sources. Less than six months into Obama’s second term we learned that his Justice Department secretly obtained two months of phone records of AP reporters and editors. One consequence of this Obama administration spying was that longtime sources stopped talking to the Associated Press and other news organizations.
Obama’s Justice Department also secretly obtained then-Fox News reporter James Rosen’s phone records, tracked his movements, and read his emails while investigating possible leaks of classified information to Rosen for an article on North Korea’s nuclear program. Rosen was also threatened with jail time when the Obama Justice Department labeled him a “co-conspirator” with one of his sources who was charged with violating the Espionage Act of 1917 for leaking the information to Rosen. Another journalist, James Risen of the New York Times, was similarly treated as a co-conspirator with a government source indicted by the Obama administration under the Espionage Act. Risen was subpoenaed, and originally compelled to testify against one of his sources.
Trump got a lot of flak for calling the media “the enemy of the people,” but Barack Obama, despite the love he received from the media, abused his power to spy on them when they deigned to hold him accountable for something.
4. The illegal war in Libya
Democrats often tried to paint the War in Iraq as an illegal war, despite the fact that Congress approved of it, and used that as a basis for calling for George W. Bush’s impeachment. But when Obama didn’t even go to Congress to start a war in Libya, you didn’t hear any such calls.
Even if you forget the disaster that became of Obama’s war in Libya, what seems to be forgotten is that we never should have been there in the first place. Obama knew Congress was not going to approve of military action in Libya, so instead of going to them for an official declaration of war, he went to the United Nations to get authorization to remove Muammar Gaddafi from power—bypassing Congress’s authority, and, as The Washington Times put it, “dilut[ed] the sovereign power of the United States.”
Obama’s illegal war in Libya proved to be a total disaster. The killing of Gaddafi ultimately led to the destabilizing of the country, enabling ISIS to expand its territory there.
As National Review columnist Andrew McCarthy noted in an interview with PJ Media in 2014, “Obama had no authority to commence that war. It was done under circumstances where it was clear that it would empower anti-American Jihadists. They follow it up by this really recklessly irresponsible failure to provide protection for the personnel who are mysteriously assigned to Benghazi, which is one of the most dangerous places on the planet.”
This brings us to the next impeachable offense.
3. The Benghazi attack cover-up
The terror attack at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012, not only threatened the Obama-Biden administration narrative that al Qaeda had been crippled and that they were making progress in the War on Terror, but it also threatened their reelection. So they lied about it. They called it a spontaneous demonstration to hide the fact that it was a pre-planned terror attack and that they were grossly unprepared for such an attack. So, when Congress investigated, the Obama-Biden administration obstructed their investigation with vigor. They attempt to excuse their obstruction by saying they were launching an internal investigation, which was a complete joke because we know how their internal investigations go. State Department employees weren’t allowed to testify, and Hillary Clinton deleted thousands of subpoenaed emails. And an innocent man, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, was scapegoated and imprisoned by the Obama administration, who blamed his short film, The Innocence of Muslims, for the attack. He now lives in a homeless shelter. Imagine an administration so desperate to cover up its failure that they jailed an innocent man and destroyed his life. You don’t have to imagine it: Barack Obama did it.
2. The IRS targeting scandal
Amazingly, liberals still pretend that the IRS improperly targeting conservative and TEA party groups wasn’t a scandal. Lest they forget, Lois Lerner, the former director of the IRS Exempt Organizations division at the time, admitted it happened! Not only were TEA party groups improperly targeted, according to documents obtained by Judicial Watch, but the whole scheme was also orchestrated out of Washington, D.C. There was also evidence of White House involvement. Then-IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman was at the White House at least 157 times while the IRS was targeting TEA party groups. Obama’s cabinet members didn’t even visit the White House that often. Some IRS employees even claimed that Obama himself requested the crackdown of TEA party groups. There was certainly ample reason to suspect coordination with the White House. The IRS was also exchanging confidential taxpayer information with the White House the year Obama and Biden were reelected, and, according to a scholarly study conducted in 2013 by the American Enterprise Institute, the suppression of the TEA party movement by Obama’s IRS helped him get reelected.
The spying on President Trump’s campaign alone is so chock-full of abuses of power and illegal activity that this alone should be enough to impeach and convict Barack Obama. The Obama administration spied on the Trump campaign based on a bogus dossier funded by the Hillary campaign. The Obama administration used the dossier, that they knew was Russian disinformation ginned up to distract from Hillary’s email scandal, to obtain a FISA warrant even though they never had any empirical evidence of collusion. Further, evidence that Russia actually preferred Clinton over Trump was allegedly suppressed by Obama CIA Director John Brennan. The Obamagate scandal runs deep, wide, and dirty.
It also went straight to the top.
Documents declassified in May 2020 proved that Barack Obama was aware that his administration was spying on Trump’s incoming National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, whose communications with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak were illegally leaked to the media to bolster the bogus claims of Russian collusion between Trump and Russia. Obama’s direct knowledge of the details of Flynn’s wiretapped calls even shocked his then-Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates. Obama had fired Flynn as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014 in order to protect Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran. Evidence that the Obama administration intended to catch Flynn in a perjury trap or get him fired was also exposed, prompting Trump’s Department of Justice to drop the case against Flynn. And Obama’s direct knowledge of the attempt to railroad Flynn proved that the effort to undermine Trump went all the way to the top.
What began as a means to undermine Trump before the 2016 election ultimately became a means to undermine his presidency. The Mueller investigation, a 22-month effort to uncover alleged Russian collusion, predictably turned up nothing. There’s a lot more to this scandal, and much more we haven’t learned about yet, but there’s an ongoing investigation by John Durham, who was named special counsel late last year, of the alleged abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act by the DOJ and FBI. Based on what we already know, Obamagate is, without a doubt, the biggest political scandal of our lifetimes. It’s frightening enough to think that the campaign of a presidential candidate was spied on based on a bogus pretext, but even more frightening is the fact of Barack Obama not being held accountable for it.
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Matt Margolis is the author of Airborne: How The Liberal Media Weaponized The Coronavirus Against Donald Trump, and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter, Facebook, Parler, Gab, MeWe, Heroes, Rumble, and CloutHub.