Mollie Hemingway Attempts to Own Justin Amash With Constitutional Provision That Doesn’t Exist


Fox News contributor and Federalist senior editor Mollie Hemingway rolled out a nonexistent constitutional provision in a failed attempt to slam Rep. Justin Amash (I-MI) after he defended the Trump-Ukraine whistleblower’s right to anonymity.

After Amash tweeted on Monday night that principled members of the American right “believe in protecting whistleblowers to expose government corruption,” as opposed to Trump supporters who believe “in exposing whistleblowers to protect government corruption,” Hemingway fired back with a provably false interpretation of the Sixth Amendment.

“AKSHUALLY the Constitution specifically provides for the right of the accused to meet his accuser,” Hemingway wrote. “Whistleblower protection has never — could never — mean that accusations are accepted without question. He of course must testify. To say otherwise is silly.”

Well, actually, the constitutional passage referenced by Hemingway, which is referred to as the Confrontation Clause, states that “in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right … to be confronted with the witnesses against him.” Nowhere in the Constitution does it demand that government whistleblowers back up their anonymous complaints in an open hearing.

Additionally, Hemingway is clearly conflating an internal government complaint and an official trial. The whistleblower’s memo regarding President Donald Trump’s pressuring Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden does not constitute a “criminal prosecution,” nor does the House’s impeachment inquiry that was set off by the complaint.

If Trump is impeached and the Senate takes the matter to trial, then the president will be able to confront the whistleblower if he is brought forward as a witness; though, even that development is unlikely, given that the accusations outlined by the whistleblower have been corroborated by a number of first-hand witnesses.

Hemingway went on to accuse Amash of being ignorant on “the difference between whistleblower protection and anonymity. And people who claim libertarianism and Constitutionalism should know more of the rights of the accused.” However, anonymity from the public isn’t the same as absolute anonymity, but both Trump and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) have repeatedly asserted that the whistleblower is not anonymous to lawmakers reviewing the complaint, nor to news outlets, including Fox. CNN’s Alisyn Camerota stated again this morning that her network has the name but they aren’t releasing it — because that’s the actual law.

“Whistleblowers are protected through anonymity,” Amash tweeted in response. “There may be a later stage where due process for the accused means confronting the whistleblower directly. That would be at trial (though it specifically applies to criminal prosecution).”

After the recently converted Republican-turned-Independent congressman refuted Hemingway’s erroneous interpretation of the Sixth Amendment, the Federalist editor suddenly shifted the conversation’s goal posts: “Oh I don’t think anyone could confuse the goat rodeo happening right now in the House with a judicial proceeding. The problem for the Resistance, of course, is that to be taken seriously by others it must reflect the standards of one.”

So, for those trying to keep up with the confusing whirlwind that is a Hemingway argument: First, it’s about “the Constitution specifically provid[ing]” the accused a chance to face their accuser, but when she realized that argument didn’t hold water due to the fact that there is no ongoing trial against the president, she pulled a dramatic pivot and began insisted that her point is about the House treating the inquiry like a judicial proceeding for the sake of public perception.

Oddly enough, the Twitter spat between the two was ignited after Hemingway — a Lutheran Christian — cryptically tweeted the entirety of the Bible chapter John 1 at Amash while demanding he “Read the Holy Scriptures;” the demand was made after the Michigan lawmaker suggested that Trump read the Constitution amid his impeachment inquiry.

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Caleb Ecarma was a reporter at Mediaite. Email him here: Follow him on Twitter here: @calebecarma