Impeachment

A 'Danger to Liberty': Adam Schiff Invokes Alexander Hamilton as Democrats Take the Impeachment Stage

"President Trump corruptly abused the powers of the Presidency to solicit foreign interference in the upcoming presidential election for his personal political benefit," said Schiff.

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Rep. Adam Schiff (D–Calif.) kicked off Democratic opening arguments in President Donald Trump's Senate impeachment trial on Wednesday with a quote from Alexander Hamilton, as the House Intelligence Committee chairman made the case for removing the president from office.

"When a man unprincipled in private life desperate in his fortune, bold in his temper, possessed of considerable talents," Schiff recited, "having the advantage of military habits—despotic in his ordinary demeanor—known to have scoffed in private at the principles of liberty—when such a man is seen to mount the hobby horse of popularity—to join in the cry of danger to liberty—to take every opportunity of embarrassing the General Government and bringing it under suspicion—to flatter and fall in with all the nonsense of the zealots of the day—It may justly be suspected that his object is to throw things into confusion that he may 'ride the storm and direct the whirlwind.'"

Hamilton's words were written in a letter to then-President George Washington as he voiced widespread concerns that the head of the U.S. might descend into "that of a monarchy."

In that vein, Schiff, who is one of the impeachment managers tasked with prosecuting Trump during his Senate trial, noted that the Founding Fathers were wary of presidents potentially using the power of their office to advance their personal interests. Trump, he said, crossed that threshold when he sought to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy into announcing investigations of Trump's political rivals, particularly as it pertains to his alleged withholding of $391 million in congressionally authorized military aid to the country. The House in December charged him with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, and the Government Accountability Office deemed that aid blockage illegal in January.

Trump's representation, led by White House counsel Pat Cipollone, counter that the articles of impeachment do not contain actual criminal allegations—the law referenced in the GAO's decision is not mentioned in the articles—which means they are thus unimpeachable. Many legal experts have pushed back on that, though, including Jonathan Turley, the Republicans' witness at the House Judiciary Committee's impeachment hearing on December 4th.

The expression "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors reflects an obvious intent to convey that the impeachable acts other than bribery and treason were meant to reach a similar level of gravity and seriousness (even if they are not technically criminal acts)," wrote Turley.

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73 responses to “A 'Danger to Liberty': Adam Schiff Invokes Alexander Hamilton as Democrats Take the Impeachment Stage

  1. doesn’t every word of that quote also apply to what the democrats are doing with this impeachment. When one quotes another be sure that is not speaking of themselves.

    1. Depends if you suffer from TDS or not.

    2. Of course it does. It’ Alinsky 101, accuse your opponent of what you’re doing. That’s all the Dems have done since the election.

  2. I have often called AOC the best ally we Koch / Reason libertarians have in Congress. But Schiff may have taken over the top spot.

    I especially appreciate that he used the fight the Russians over there so we don’t fight them over here framing. Since Putin’s attack on our 2016 election was so similar to 9 / 11, it makes sense to apply War on Terror rhetoric to Russia.

    #LibertariansForGettingToughWithRussia
    #LibertariansForSchiff

  3. I guess Schiff figures since Hamilton was a hit for Lin Manuel Miranda, it will work with him.

    1. Thanks to the musical, Hamilton is the only founding father most Lefties know about, they just think he’s Puerto Rican.

  4. I am not sure if Trump is a danger to my liberty. The Democrat’s presidential candidates have told me in no uncertain terms exactly how they are dangers to our liberties.

    Remove all Democrats.

    1. You must not have a uterus then. Republicans are literally turning this country into The Handmaid’s Tale by denying access to abortion care.

      1. funny, considering its the Democrats, not the republicans, which are preventing women’s contraceptives from being over the counter. And yeah, I know you’re a parody account.

  5. How do we know Schiff isn’t doing parody?

    1. Because he has a source that heard from someone else who overhead someone else say this came directly from Hamilton.

    2. At what point has Schiff ever shown to have the brain capacity for parody?

      1. His reading of the transcript of the call between Zelensky and Trump. Which he admitted was parody.

        I didn’t say good parody.

        1. hmmm. They’re learning.

  6. This fucker deliberately lied to the American people to protect a seditious cadre of law enforcement and intelligence agents that sought to falsely investigate, prosecute, and remove the duly elected President of the United States. He also cooked up the entire Ukraine “scandal” which is the basis of the impeachment trial now before the Senate.

    Schiff should be hanging from the dome of the Capitol, not speaking in it.

    His time will come.

    1. Let’s do that a little less violently 🙂 = Schiff should be hanging from the dome of the Capitol, not speaking in it.

      Vote them out. That is how we do it. The ballot box is the ultimate check against impeachment. This is how the Founders intended us to settle these disputes, IMO, when our elected leaders cannot.

      1. I don’t live in Schiff’s district.

        1. Nor do I. But that is not the point. I reacted to the ‘hanging from the dome’ portion of the comment. No! It is wrong to advocate violence against our elected leaders. That path leads to the destruction of everything we have built this Republic into.

          All of that said, we have seen seditious behavior from the FBI, CIA and the administrative bureaucracy.

          1. It’s not going to happen, but it’s what he deserves

          2. I wasn’t advocating “violence” – it was hyperbole. But, at the end of the day, Schiff’s conduct is probably as close to treason as one can get and the punishment for treason, under the U.S. code, is death. If Schiff is going to be on the receiving end of any violence, it will be just and it will be after a trial on the merits.

            The man is scum and his seditious machinations will cost him dearly.

          3. Okay, so we won’t hang him by the neck. We’ll just put him in a full body harness and suspend him from the dome of the capital and let children whack him with sticks until candy falls out.

      2. 2020 elections are going to be epic.

        1. so will the after-party, one way or another.

          1. According to Bernie Sanders campaign staffer, it will either involve cities burning or gulags, depending on whether their guy wins or not.

    2. If no one hangs, it will only embolden the Dems.

    3. “Schiff should be hanging from the dome of the Capitol, not speaking in it.”

      I like the cut of your jib, Sir.

  7. Trump is terrible in a zillion ways. But he still has some redeeming qualities. The Democrats have none. Socialists the lot. Trump has $1T deficits — Lizzie would double the federal budget, Bernie would triple it. All want free handouts for everybody on their team. All would bankrupt the government and destroy the economy. Trump’s deficit sucks, but it’s nowhere near as bad.

    This is a political impeachment even more than Andrew Johnson’s.

    1. Literally every Democrat is better than Drumpf on immigration.

      #OpenBorders
      #ImmigrationAboveAll
      #BillionairesKnowBest

      1. Yes, parody; and so what? The way literally every Democrat would trash the economy would drive away all those immigrants.

    2. “”Trump has $1T deficits””

      The House controls the purse. $1T deficits belong to the them.

  8. ” the Government Accountability Office deemed that aid blockage illegal in January.”
    Posted this elsewhere but I guess Billy doesn’t read Reason magazine.
    https://reason.com/2020/01/17/four-observations-concerning-the-gao-decision/

  9. I will say this, Team D House Managers are well-rehearsed. It is clear that Team D used the delay from Speaker Pelosi to rehearse their arguments. I am not talking about the merits of their arguments (there are none), but the delivery.

  10. Adam Schiff Invokes Alexander Hamilton as Democrats Take the Impeachment Stage

    Which songs did he perform?

    1. I’m looking forward to the end where he and Mcconnell duel and he loses.

  11. “Hamilton’s words were written in a letter to then-President George Washington as he voiced widespread concerns that the head of the U.S. might descend into “that of a monarchy.””

    In context, Hamilton was denouncing the leaders of what became the Democratic Party.

    It was 1792. President Washington’s administration – and specifically Secretary of the Treasury Hamilton and his supporters – were accused by the proto-Democrats of all sorts of misconduct, and Hamilton’s letter to Washington was a rebuttal.

    One of the accusations of the Democrats against the Hamilton party (proto-Federalists) was that Hamilton and his pals were planning to institute a monarchy. Hamilton basically replied – in more eloquent language – “nuh-uh, *you’re* the monarchists!”

    “Objection XIV   The ultimate object of all

    “To this there is no other answer than a flat denial—except this that the project from its absurdity refutes itself.

    “The idea of introducing a monarchy or aristocracy into this Country, by employing the influence and force of a Government continually changing hands, towards it, is one of those visionary things, that none but madmen could meditate and that no wise men will believe.

    “If it could be done at all, which is utterly incredible, it would require a long series of time, certainly beyond the life of any individual to effect it. Who then would enter into such plot? For what purpose of interest or ambition?

    “To hope that the people may be cajoled into giving their sanctions to such institutions is still more chimerical. A people so enlightened and so diversified as the people of this Country can surely never be brought to it, but from convulsions and disorders, in consequence of the acts of popular demagogues.

    “The truth unquestionably is, that the only path to a subversion of the republican system of the Country is, by flattering the prejudices of the people, and exciting their jealousies and apprehensions, to throw affairs into confusion, and bring on civil commotion. Tired at length of anarchy, or want of government, they may take shelter in the arms of monarchy for repose and security.

    “Those then, who resist a confirmation of public order, are the true Artificers of monarchy—not that this is the intention of the generality of them. Yet it would not be difficult to lay the finger upon some of their party who may justly be suspected. When a man unprincipled in private life desperate in his fortune, bold in his temper, possessed of considerable talents, having the advantage of military habits—despotic in his ordinary demeanour—known to have scoffed in private at the principles of liberty—when such a man is seen to mount the hobby horse of popularity—to join in the cry of danger to liberty—to take every opportunity of embarrassing the General Government & bringing it under suspicion—to flatter and fall in with all the non sense of the zealots of the day—It may justly be suspected that his object is to throw things into confusion that he may “ride the storm and direct the whirlwind.”

    “It has aptly been observed that Cato was the Tory – Cæsar the whig of his day. The former frequently resisted—the latter always flattered the follies of the people. Yet the former perished with the Republic the latter destroyed it.

    “No popular Government was ever without its Catalines & its Cæsars. These are its true enemies.”

    https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Hamilton/01-12-02-0184-0002

    So he’s defending the federal government against opposition Democratic critics by saying that they, not Hamilton and his group, are the ones risking a monarchy by their demagogic ways.

    As to the specific individual Hamilton was referring to as a potential Cataline or Cæsar – it couldn’t be Jefferson, who had no military experience. The reference, then, would be to some other Democratic leader – could it be Aaron Burr? Burr and Hamilton certainly had no love lost between them.

    1. Democrats have no right to ever claim a founding father.

      They’re a party, due to its current status and the trajectory it’s on, most likely to rip up The Constitution.

      FFS, AOC just claimed the DNC is ‘centrist/conservative’.

      1. Now wait: Jefferson Davis at the least.

  12. Reason is hopelessly addicted to impeachment porn. Aside from Gillespie’s admitting this stuff really isn’t good for the country a couple of days ago, everyone else at Reason still believes the fantasy that somehow 20 Republicans will vote to remove Trump.

  13. That must have been a pretty good musical to convince Democrats to admire Alexander *&^%ing Hamilton of all people. What kind of revisionist %^#* is that?

    1. I suppose next you’ll be telling us that Hamilton wasn’t a person of color.

      1. With all the rampant revisionism in the zeitgeist, why not?

      2. On the 10 bill he’s green. The Econuts will be adopting him soon.

      3. I’d like to know what his pronouns were

  14. I’m reading the Federalist Papers and one thing is clear, Hamilton sure loves centralized power.

    Of course the ONE framer Schitthead chooses (and Democrats love) is Hamilton.

    1. I’ve seen arguments denying that, but hell, even the most rabid centralized-power-founder was a rabid minarchist by today’s standards.

      1. I think that’s probably accurate. Hamilton spends a lot of time arguing the best way to defend American interests is with a unified voice with a central government. Which isn’t crazy a notion.

        Whether he would have continued arguing for a growing Leviathan is another matter.

  15. Schiff lied about not meeting the ‘whistleblower’, lied about having evidence of Trump/Russia collusion everyday for three years, went on cable news and lied about the contents of the Trump/Zelinsky call AFTER the transcript had been released and we all knew he was lying. He has said not one thing that is credible during this whole process. Why is Binion carrying his water? What a fucking clown.

    1. You forgot the lies he read into the Congressional record during his sham impeachment, then dismissed as ‘satire’.

  16. He’s abused it since day one- see the case against him for his inauguration bills, all his trips to Mar a Lago, etc.

    He’s a crook and a con. Too bad for us that there’s far more jackasses in this country in strategic locations who actually trust a word of what he says.

    1. You.
      Are.
      Full.
      Of.
      Shit.

    2. He’s abused it since day one,

      Schiff? Well, look at that, you’re right about something for once, you useless pustule.

      1. Shhhhh. He hasnt learned why it is bad to use indirect objects yet without listing the object. That’s 6th grade.

    3. And yet, has passed some extremely important piece of legislations that actually HELP people.

      He’s arguably done more in almost four years – with the entire media and political apparatus against him – than the other guy. The dim Lightbringer.

      Keep pushing that sophomoric position. It’s good for a laugh or two.

  17. this “danger to liberty” meme that they are trying out is the biggest loser of the bunch. It isn’t close.

    Even if you buy 100% of their accusations, and buy the absolute worst interpretation that one should be impeached for digging up “dirt” on an opponent in foreign lands… there is no argument to be made that this is any threat to liberty.

    Liberty means freedom. Trump isn’t threatening anyone’s freedom by exposing the corruption of the Obama administration.

  18. Listen to your betters and take your medicine you clingers. You know what is right and what is wrong. The new order is the right and only way to live. Other who will not submit to reeducation may not find their way into the light.

    1. Will the gates at the re-education camps have “Work will set you free” written on them?

    2. Eat shit loser.

      1. check the spelling of the name

      2. yeah, the real Rev doesn’t believe in re-education. Besides, mass graves are so much more eco-friendly.

    3. Not enough oral rape in this one

  19. From the idiots speech today…

    Then Schiff dropped a doozy: “For precisely this reason,” he announced, “the president’s misconduct cannot be decided at the ballot box, for we cannot be assured that the vote will be fairly won.”

    1. The orts and droppings of the House managers are nothing new. Six plus hours of the same shit I heard in November and December.

      1. Any of them catholic or irish or italian or other non jewish ethnicity? Funny about that

    2. “For precisely this reason,” he announced, “the president’s misconduct cannot be decided at the ballot box, for we cannot be assured that the vote will be fairly won.”

      If there were any Republicans who thought they would impeach, that comment would instantly reverse it. What a loon. I’m sure they’re just trying to appeal to the base now.

      1. Yep, at this point it’s all about fundraising and get out the vote with their insane base. “Elect a Democrat majority to the Senate so Trump can’t appoint another rapist to replace St. Ruth!”

  20. So I ran a search for that quote, and I found a few dozen articles from Huffpost and other leftist rags that were over a year old. Heck, Schiff used this same quote in the House over a month ago. There’s nothing original about this, he’s regurgitating talking points that have been in the leftist zeitgeist since 2017.

  21. Democrats corruptly abused their powers as House members in an attempt to interfere in the 2020 election; this is after the Obama administration tried the same thing in the 2016 election.

    Democrats want single-party rule and are using their political powers to try to get it.

    Well, if they keep going like this, they may succeed, just not in the way they wanted.

    1. They want to replicate California’s one-party rule in Washington.

  22. Hamilton? I might not be quoting him given how far he either lied or strayed from his Federalist writings. Old Schiff has Russia on the Brain…that darn czar…

  23. Let’s undo the election because the Democrats are going to lose in 2020. Danger to liberty indeed.

  24. The Democrats know they’re unlikely to get Trump removed from office, so they’re going to throw everything they can at him during the impeachment trial, whether it relates to the articles of impeachment, or is provable or not, in hopes some of it will stick until November 2020, when we’ll hear it all again in campaign ads.

    1. In their media bubble, they believe everyone in the country thinks like they do. They ruthlessly silence any dissenting voices. So on election night they will once again by slapped in the face by reality. Once again, they won’t be able to process the fact that everything they believed was wrong, so of course it must be some nefarious conspiracy between Russians and neo-Nazis and Chic-Fil-A.