Fox News’ Andy McCarthy: President should still be able to “abuse his power” without being impeached

McCarthy previously wrote book calling for President Obama’s impeachment

Video file

Citation From the January 16, 2020, edition of Fox News’ Outnumbered

ANDREW MCCARTHY (FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR): If you are planning trial strategy, what you would always try to do is not take on anything that you didn't need to prove in order to get the bottom-line result that you wanted. And this is why, from the perspective of the president, I've always been curious about the determination to fight this on the grounds that, you know, “There was never any quid pro quo, there was no pressure, everything was perfect," when it has always seemed to me that the bottom-line best offense for the president has always been that nothing of consequence happened here. And the problem with taking on things that you don't have to prove, to establish your innocence in this case, is that anything that now comes out that disproves these things that you've, for whatever gratuitous reason decided to take on — anything that comes out emerges as if it was in the nature of a bombshell. And my point has always been that if your defense here is bottom-line, nothing happened — and I take it as a given that the president and his underlings tried to put some pressure on the Ukrainians in order to get these accommodations that he wanted — then Parnas' testimony, even if it was credible — and I think there's a lot of exploring obviously that has to be done about that — but it wouldn't be that much of a bombshell. It would just be more of the same of what we already assumed was true. So, I think part of the reason that this has become so sensational is the way that they conceived their defense, which I think should have been thought through better.

MCCARTHY: We used to have, and up until very recently, this has been the history of the United States, the expectation — which was the Framers' expectation — that from time to time, the chief executive would abuse his power, in the sense of either doing something that the Constitution didn't permit, or somehow overdoing the powers that the Constitution gives to the president. And the expectation was not that you were going to jump every time that happened to impeachment. There are other ways that the Congress, either by political pressure or by using the power of the purse, would be able to rein in presidential excess. The idea was that, you know, there is a lot of area between something that is wrong and something that is impeachable. And I think that's what we have lost in this equation.