5 Times Obama Broke The Law But Democrats Didn’t Impeach Him
Perhaps the most exhausting part of the Democrats’ impeachment effort is their self-righteousness. “No one is above the law,” they say, “not even the president.” But perhaps my favorite argument that has been used several times in recent weeks, has been the Democrats' claim that Republicans have a double standard. "I don't think any of us have any question that had Barack Obama engaged in the activity, the conduct which is the subject of these articles of impeachment, every one of these Republicans would be voting to impeach him," Schiff said on ABC’s “This Week” in December. "And you know something, I have to hope to hell, George, if it were Barack Obama, I would vote to impeach him."
Of course, Adam Schiff was lying. Democrats had ample opportunity to prove their faithfulness to the law and the Constitution over their messiah, Barack Obama. I’ve previously documented examples of Democrats turning a blind eye to, or even defending Barack Obama for exactly what they’re trying to impeach and remove Trump for now. This time, I’ve compiled five examples of Obama specifically breaking the law that Democrats, despite Schiff’s above claim, did not impeach him for.
5. When Obama illegally fired an inspector general to protect a sex-predator
In 2009, 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 had 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. When 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.
How do Democrats justify not impeaching Obama after he broke the law by firing an inspector general to protect someone who sexually abused underage girls just because he was a friend and supporter?
4. When Obama illegally offered Joe Sestak an administration job to not run for Congress
Barack Obama violated at least four federal laws back in 2010 by offering then-Congressman Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) a job in his administration 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 on support from Obama. Obama’s then-spokesman Robert Gibbs wouldn’t confirm or deny that they made any offer. It wasn't until after Sestak defeated Specter in the primary that the Obama White House finally admitted that Obama offered Sestak a federal job to stay out of the election, but claimed Obama did nothing wrong. But, according to Judicial Watch, Obama broke at least four federal laws: 18 USC 210: Offer to procure appointive public office; 18 USC 211: Acceptance of solicitation to obtain appointive public office; 18 USC 595: Interference by administrative employees by Federal, State or Territorial Governments; and 18 USC 600: Promise of employment or other benefit for political activity.
The media was quick to accept the White House version of events, including the “everybody does it” excuse. Even Republicans lost interest in pursuing the story after Sestak was defeated in the general election by Republican Pat Toomey.
3. When Obama illegally changed immigration law via executive order
Obama spent most of his presidency with a divided Congress or a GOP-controlled Congress. His radical left-wing agenda was mostly DOA because rather than work toward compromise legislation, his default position was to act on his own, assuming the executive authority to change laws via executive fiat. Anyone who’s familiar with the Constitution knows he had no such authority.
Still, when the DREAM Act failed to pass, Obama issued an executive order creating DACA, an executive-branch version of the DREAM Act. Obama literally bypassed Congress, changing U.S. immigration law via executive pen to appease his pro-open-borders base.
What makes Obama’s abuse of power here even worse is that he’d previously acknowledged that he didn’t have the power to unilaterally create immigration law. But, when that pesky Constitution impeded his radical agenda, suddenly he decided that he did have that power. How many times have we heard Democrats claim that “no president is above the law” when talking about Trump? So far, they’ve failed to make a case that Trump has acted above the law because polls haven’t changed since they started the impeachment process. But, when Obama repeatedly acted above the law, they were nowhere to be found.
2. Obama’s illegal prisoner swap for Bowe Bergdahl
Back in 2014, the GAO ruled that Obama’s prisoner swap of five detainees at Guantanamo Bay prison in exchange for deserter Bowe Bergdahl violated federal law. “The Department of Defense violated section 8111 of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2014 when it transferred five individuals detained at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the nation of Qatar without providing at least 30-days notice to certain congressional committees," the GAO explained.
Obama’s swap violated another law, the Antideficiency Act, which prohibits federal employees from spending money not authorized by Congress.
"In this case, the duty to inform Congress could have been easily satisfied and it was not even necessary to violate the law in order to carry out the exchange," wrote George Washington Law Professor Jonathan Turley at the time the ruling was made. "It seems more likely that this was done for political purposes to avoid opposition in Congress."
Did Democrats care that the GAO had concluded Obama broke the law? Nope, In fact, Senator Debbie Stabenow completely forgot that it happened during a recent interview with Neil Cavuto.
1. Obama’s illegal Iran ransom payment
A few short months after Obama had completed negotiations for the Iran nuclear deal, the Obama administration made a shady payment to Iran of $400 million that coincided with the release of four hostages and was done completely in secret. The payment was made with foreign currency and done under the cover of night. Obama kept this so well under wraps that not even Congress knew about the payments or the hostage exchange. Why didn’t he at least tell Democrats in Congress? Probably because Obama knew the cash payment was illegal.
Anti-terrorism sanctions with Iran were still in place at the time of the payment. Obama claimed the reason they made the payment with foreign currency was that those sanctions prevented Iran from having access to America’s financial system. But, as Andrew McCarthy noted, “the sanctions prohibit transactions with Iran that touch the U.S. financial system, whether they are carried out in dollars or foreign currencies.”
“By his own account, President Obama engaged in the complex cash transfer in order to end-run sanctions that prohibit the U.S. from having ‘a banking relationship with Iran,’” explained McCarthy. “The point of the sanctions is not to prevent banking with Iran; it is to prevent Iran from getting value from or through our financial system — the banking prohibition is a corollary.”
McCarthy continued, “And the point of sanctions, if you happen to be the president of the United States sworn to execute the laws faithfully, is to follow them — not pat yourself on the back for keeping them in place while you willfully evade them. … Oh, and there is also Section 560.701, which makes clear that willful violations of the regulations constitute serious felony offenses under federal criminal law — punishable by up to 20 years’ imprisonment.”
After Barack Obama broke the law by violating sanctions that were still in place in order to make a ransom payment, Congress launched an investigation, only to be met with obstruction by the Obama administration.
Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama's Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis