As Democrats privately admit to themselves that there was no Russian collusion, they’ve also shifted gears to focus on the question of obstruction of justice. Despite the Mueller investigation being loaded with anti-Trumpers, even they weren’t able to say that any obstruction occurred. If there’s anything the release of the Mueller report has exposed, it’s not criminal behavior or even impeachable offenses of President Trump, but rather the hypocrisy of Democrats who are willing to call anything an impeachable offense with Trump but pretended the corruption that occurred under Barack Obama was all above board. By any reasonable standard, Congress had multiple impeachable offenses they could have gone after Obama for, but didn’t. Their turning a blind eye to Obama’s corruption completely undermines their efforts today to scandalize Trump and proves that they see two standards of justice: one for Democrats, and one for Republicans. Here are five examples of impeachable offenses that Obama should have been held accountable for, but wasn’t.
5. Illegally creating new laws and entering treaties
Obama’s dictatorial approach to governing would manifest itself many times during his presidency, and any one of them should have had Congress using their check on executive overreach, the power to impeach, but for reasons that can’t be justified, it never happened. One such example is Obama’s unilateral writing of immigration law. It is quite clear that Congress has the power to write immigration law, but Obama decided that since Congress wouldn’t act (and by that, he meant to do exactly what he wanted) he’d simply create a law with his executive pen. When the DREAM Act failed to pass Congress he simply began enforcing it without Congress’s consent by issuing an executive order, known as DACA. It was unconstitutional (even Obama repeatedly admitted that he didn’t have to power to create immigration law) and his blatant disregard for the Constitution should have resulted in articles of impeachment being drafted immediately. Lack of accountability to Congress emboldened Obama to expand DACA, but that expansion was quickly fought and defeated in the courts.
In addition to his delusions of dictatorship when it came to writing laws, he also completely ignored the Senate’s constitutional role in approving treaties. When it came to his precious and disastrous nuclear treaty with Iran, he knew the GOP-controlled Senate wouldn’t ratify it, so he just pretended he didn’t need their permission. The same thing happened again with the Paris Agreement. In both cases, Obama cared more about writing his presidential legacy than he did about the Constitution and utterly ignored it.
4. Illegally rewriting existing laws
The most notable example of Obama unilaterally changing existing law without the consent of Congress was Obamacare. According to the Galen Institute, by January 2016, there were at least 70 changes to Obamacare, and “at least 43 of the changes to the Affordable Care Act have been made unilaterally by the Obama administration.”
Obama also unilaterally redefined the meaning of existing laws in order for them to concur with his agenda. In 2016, the Obama administration warned all public and private schools receiving federal funds that “gender identity” was now protected under the 1972 Title IX statute, which protects against sex discrimination. What this effectively did was bully schools into allowing boys to use girls’ bathrooms and locker rooms and dorms. Suddenly, “transgender” students’ right to use whatever bathroom they felt like trumped the privacy of every other student who might object to having to undress in front of a member of the opposite sex. This also meant that boys declaring themselves “transgender” could play on girls sports teams, and as I’ve covered in the past, this has resulted in male students dominating athletic competitions and ruining opportunities for real girls.
These and other examples are proof that Obama considered himself above the law and the Constitution of the United States.
3. 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 Gadhafi 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 their territory there. Even Obama admitted his actions in Libya were a mistake—but only because of how it turned out, not because of how we got there.
2. Rampant obstruction of justice
I recently documented five high-profile examples of investigations obstructed by Obama and members of his administration and each one of those was an impeachable offense, had Congress had the cajones to hold Obama accountable. But the truth is that obstruction of justice was standard operating procedure in the Obama administration from day one. Midway through his second term, more than half of the nation’s inspectors general wrote a letter to Congress accusing the Obama administration of systemic obstruction of ongoing investigations. 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. In fact, neither Holder or Loretta Lynch, Obama’s second attorney general, ever appointed a special counsel, despite ample times where one should have been appointed. Obama didn’t just appoint attorneys general to lead the Justice Department, he appointed protectors to keep Obama from being held accountable for corruption.
1. Spying on Trump and protecting Hillary
There is no question that Obama spied on the Trump campaign. We know this happened. We know that this spying was justified using a bogus dossier funded by the Hillary campaign. 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, and thankfully, Attorney General William Barr appears to be willing to do something to find out how the illegal spying began. Combine this with Obama’s role in meddling with the investigation of Hillary Clinton, and we get what is truly the biggest political scandal in history. Richard Nixon, had he not resigned, would have been impeached for much less than the crimes of Obama here.
Matt Margolis is the author of The Scandalous Presidency of Barack Obama and the bestselling The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. His new book, Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy, will be published in 2019. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis