Impeachment czar Adam “Shifty” Schiff has been attacking President Trump for efforts related to the “Qui Pro Joe” corruption investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
You know. The kid who was paid $50,000 a month for his “work” on behalf of a Ukrainian energy company despite the extent of his expertise going no further than his understanding of the difference between unleaded and super-unleaded at a gas pump.
There’s been lots of talk and criticism during Shifty’s impeachment reality show about Rudy Giuliani’s involvement as the president’s personal lawyer in dealing with this Ukraine situation – as if it wasn’t the president’s prerogative to go outside the “official” State Department channels.
Well, get this…
Way back in January 1960 – almost sixty years ago! – a guy by the name of Henry Wriston wrote about this exact subject for Foreign Affairs magazine.
If you’re not familiar with Mr. Wriston – and I certainly wasn’t – here’s a little background according to his Wikipedia page…
“Henry Merritt Wriston (July 4, 1889 – March 8, 1978) was an American educator, presidential advisor, and served as president at both Brown University and Lawrence University. … He served as President of the Council on Foreign Relations between 1951 and 1964.
“Wriston was also an adviser to President Eisenhower, a member of the United States Department of State’s Advisory Committee on Foreign Service, and Chairman of the Historical Advisory Committee to the Chief of Military History for the United States Department of the Army.”
Pretty strong bona fides. And here’s what Mr. Wriston wrote…
“Among all the instruments available to the President in his conduct of foreign relations, none is more flexible than the use of personal representatives. He is free to employ officials of the government or private citizens. He may give them such rank and title as seem appropriate to the tasks; these designations may be ambassador, commissioner, agent, delegate; or he may assign no title at all.
“He may send his agents to any place on earth that he thinks desirable and give them instructions either by word of mouth, or in writing, or through the Department of State, or in any other manner that seems to him fitted to the occasion. Some have been exceedingly formal; others completely informal.
“Many agents have borne commissions like those of Government officers, ensuring them diplomatic rights, dignities and immunities. Because of these circumstances many have mistakenly considered themselves officers. Others have had mere letters of introduction and have enjoyed no diplomatic privileges.
“Some have gone with no written credentials whatsoever, their errand described only verbally. Their functions have varied in importance from the trivial to the vital.
“Their missions may be secret, no one whatever being informed of them. They may be open and accompanied by a blare of publicity. Neither their private character nor public attention affects the position of the representative.
“The President may meet their expenses and pay them such sums as he regards as reasonable. In this matter there is no check upon him except the availability of funds which has never proved an insoluble problem. In short, he is as nearly completely untrammeled as in any phase of his executive authority.”
What else ya got, Shifty?
(Mr. Muth is president of CitizenOutreach.org and publisher of NevadaNewsandViews.com. He blogs at MuthsTruths.com. His views are his own.)