As Rep. Adam Schiff’s “sentence first, trial later” show trial of President Donald J. Trump reaches a so-called public hearing phase, we find the weaver of fables dictating what witnesses the GOP will be permitted to call based on a set of three qualifying question they must answer in advance. These questions ask, essentially, if the witnesses believe President Trump is guilty of pressuring Ukraine to dig up dirt on the Bidens in exchange for military aid. The GOP, it seems, will not be allowed to call witnesses who have testimony or evidence to the contrary, that there was no pressure and no quid pro quo. Nor will the GOP be allowed to present witnesses or evidence that confirms that the “dirt” is accurate, that the crime of threatening to withhold aid for a personal and political favor, a crime Biden has already confessed to, was committed by Biden, not Trump, on behalf of Biden’s son Hunter. Nor will the GOP be allowed to make the case that any Trump inquiry of the Ukrainians was mandated by a treaty signed by President Bill Clinton. This is, dare I use the term Democrats used during the impeachment of Bill Clinton for a real crime, a phrase used by Joe Biden himself, a political lynching. As reported by the New York Post:
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff on Thursday released a tightened set of guidelines over what potential witnesses can be called in the impeachment hearings, saying Republicans must justify their relevance according to a three-point criteria…
The narrowed-scope of the questions, first obtained by Politico, are:
• Did the president request that a foreign leader and government initiate investigations to benefit the president’s personal political interests in the United States, including an investigation related to the president’s political rival and potential opponent in the 2020 US presidential election?
• Did the president — directly or through agents — seek to use the power of the Office of the President and other instruments of the federal government in other ways to apply pressure on the head of state and government of Ukraine to advance the president’s personal political interests, including by leveraging an Oval Office meeting desired by the president of Ukraine or by withholding US military assistance to Ukraine?
• Did the president and his administration seek to obstruct, suppress or cover up information to conceal from the Congress and the American people evidence about the president’s actions and conduct?
Republicans must justify the relevance of their witnesses in an impeachment hearing triggered by a so-called whistleblower with no firsthand knowledge of the phone call. The whistleblower’s relevance was never justified. This is a whistleblower coached by Adam Schiff and who colluded with Schiff, a deep-state CIA agent whom we are told might wet his pants out of fear if his identity was publicly acknowledged. The statute says a whistleblower’s job, if they are a genuine whistleblower, must be protected but there’s no requirement for anonymity. Ironically, in a major goof-up, Schiff forget to redact the name of the whistleblower — Eric Ciaramella — as noted by Gateway Pundit — in a posted PDF of the transcript of Amb. Bill Taylor’s testimony. Duh.
Does Schiff intend to allow testimony concerning the fact that when President Trump inquired of Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky about Ukraine’s investigations into the Bidens, Burisma, and possible corruption he was actually required to do so by treaty:
Yes, there is an actual treaty between the U.S. and Ukraine which obligates the leaders of both countries to cooperate fully and together on investigations of corruption, particularly criminal matters and corruption that involves both the United States and the Ukraine. The phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Zelenskiy, and it’s[sic] content, were not only legal, but the discussion and requests are actually mandated.
So now it is grounds for impeachment by Congress to enforce a treaty ratified by Congress? The signpost up ahead says we have entered the Schiff Zone, a parallel universe where you are guilty until judge, jury, and executioner Schiff says you are innocent. As BPR Business and Politics notes:
A 1999 treaty with Ukraine, signed by Bill Clinton, provides a rock-solid basis for President Trump’s request for Ukrainian President Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden for alleged corruption.
The Bidens are in up to their armpits with regard to a potential renewed Burisma Holdings natural gas probe… an overdue investigation that was in fact initially stopped by VP Biden while he was in office… a fact that he subsequently bragged about.
So, there is a firm legal underpinning to the request, the commander-in-chief to a country, an ally who we have a treaty with about criminal procedure to say, ‘Hey, can you look into some potential corruption allegations involving a U.S. Citizen?’” he added.
It is not obstruction of Congress, justice, or anything else for a President to exercise his legal and constitutional authority. The facts and the lack of an actual crime will not stop Schiff, just as it did not stop former Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Schiff, like Mueller, is following in the proud tradition of Stalin’s chief of the secret police, Lavrentiy Beria. Just show him the man, and he will show you the crime.
We may be thankful to Alan Dershowitz for reminding us of the delicious irony of Schiff and his investigations and so-called impeachment inquiries, one which began with a whistleblower who is not a whistleblower and another which started with fake “reports” of collusion with the Russians by Team Trump and charges of Russian hacking of our elections, now reverting to the tactics of Russia’s most murderous tyrant, Josef Stalin. As Dershowitz writes in the Washington Examiner:
Federal prosecutors generally begin by identifying specific crimes that may have been committed — in this case, violation of federal statutes. But no one has yet identified the specific statute or statutes that constrain Mueller’s investigation of the Russian matter. It is not a violation of any federal law for a campaign to have collaborated with a foreign government to help elect their candidate…
From McCarthyism to the failed prosecutions of Sen. Ted Stevens, Rep. Thomas DeLay, Gov. Rick Perry and others, we have seen vague criminal statutes stretched in an effort to criminalize political differences.
Now it seems you don’t even need real crimes defined by statute. You can invent them, as Dershowitz charged Democrats with doing in an appearance with former U.S. Atty Guy Lewis on the November 7 edition of “The Ingraham Angle” on Fox News.
One of the proposed Schiff articles of impeachment is something called “Obstruction of Congress.” As Dershowitz asks, just where is the statute defining this? Congress and the President are co-equal branches of government. If a Trump administration official refuses to comply with a subpoena based on executive privilege of other grounds, you take them to court. You don’t impeach the President and charge him with an invented crime.
Somewhere Josef Stalin and Lavrentiy Beria are smiling.