It’s a circus. House Democrats are charging headlong into this impeachment business against President Donald Trump, a shamelessly naked political spectacle in which they’re trying to overturn the results of the 2016 election. They tried to get him on Russian collusion. They couldn’t. Now, they’re using this whistleblower report that alleged in a July phone call that Trump threatened to withhold military aid from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky unless he opened a corruption probe into Hunter Biden. The son of the former vice president was on the board of an energy company making $50,000/month while his father, Joe Biden, was in office. Hunter has zero experience in the energy sector. It was a gross conflict of interest issue, and the allegation that he was just there to sell access to the higher echelons of America’s political class hasn’t really been dispelled.
The whistleblower is a registered Democrat, a reported CIA agent, and someone who had worked with a 2020 Democratic candidate. They were also on the National Security Council staff for the Obama White House. This person does not have first-hand knowledge of wrongdoing. It’s all second-hand sourced, which explains the numerous errors. Adam Schiff’s staff was in contact with this person, and Schiff knew of the contents of the report before it was formally filed. Yeah, this isn’t a biased political hit job in the slightest, right? The Trump White House released a transcript of the Trump-Zelensky phone call, which petty much torpedoed the juicy allegations lobbed by Democrats, but that’s not going to stop this impeachment push. This whole effort is mostly being done behind closed doors. The impeachment of a president is very much a public affair. That’s precisely what the Democrats don’t want.
The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley Strassel has a new book about the anti-Trump Deep State, but her Potomac Watch column this week detailed the absurd rule High Chancellor of Impeachment Adam Schiff has instituted that made Rep. Elise Stefanik's (R-NY) jaw drop; Stefanik sits on the House Intelligence Committee.
It’s pretty simple. Democrats will summarize all of the interviews conducted relating to this unofficial Trump impeachment into one page—which can only be read with a Democratic staffer present. Schiff, whom Strassel calls “Lord High Impeacher,” is withholding documents as well. It’s all part of the larger scheme: controlling the narrative. Strassel notes how Democrats learned from their lessons regarding Trump-Russia collusion, and how the various open hearings embarrassed them and tore huge holes into the narrative because it was trash to begin with. They’re not making the same mistake twice; optics be damned (via WSJ):
Democrats had informed Republicans that, from here on out, the committee would produce a single, printed transcript of every interview it conducted as part of its impeachment inquiry. Only members of the three committees involved in the purported inquiry would be allowed to view that printout, and only in the presence of a Democratic staffer. Ms. Stefanik—an elected member of Congress who sits on the Intelligence Committee—will be babysat while reading by an unelected employee of the Democrats.
Democrats view control over the narrative as essential, having learned from their Russia-collusion escapade the perils of transparency. They banked on special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation proving impeachment fodder, but got truth-bombed. Their subsequent open hearings on the subject—featuring Michael Cohen, Mr. Mueller and Corey Lewandowski —were, for the Democrats, embarrassing spectacles, at which Republicans punched gaping holes in their story line.
Mr. Schiff is making sure that doesn’t happen again; he’ll present the story, on his terms. His rules mean he can issue that controlling decree about “only one” transcript and Democratic staff supervision of Republican members. It means he can bar the public, the press and even fellow representatives from hearings, even though they’re unclassified.
It means he is able to shield from scrutiny the whistleblower who prompted this impeachment proceeding. It means he can continue barring Republicans from calling opposing witnesses. It means he can continue refusing to allow White House counsel in the room to hear the accusations against the president.
Mr. Schiff has intimated he will eventually make some things public. But Democrats’ barring of Republicans and the White House from this “fact finding” stage ensures what is presented later will be a one-sided narrative. How could any senator vote to convict based on such a rigged proceeding?
Strassel adds that only 106 of the 435 members of the House of Representatives are privy to the details of this secret, politically motivated impeachment witch hunt due to committee assignments, which means the vast majority of the people’s representatives are in the dark about all this stuff. They have no access to the documents. There’s also another reason why Democrats don’t want an official vote on this impeachment stuff—it would mean the playing field is level. The GOP would be able to get access to documents and subpoena their own witnesses who will undoubtedly torch every point the Democrats have been making with this attempted coup. Yes, you can argue it’s a coup: a group of lawmakers from the opposing party working in secret to remove a duly elected president. It fits the bill, and for it to work, Schiff has to act like a dark lord of the Sith. We’ll find out soon enough what garbage evidence they’ve compiled in this effort to remove Trump. In the meantime, God Bless people, like Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who aren’t going to sit around and let this circus continue unmolested.