Schiff and Dem. Witnesses Implode; Impeachment Exposed as Coup Attempt
Written by William F. Jasper
In a replay of the three-year “Trump-Russia Collusion” hoax, the alleged “Trump-Ukraine” conspiracy has been revealed as another nothingburger dressed up as a “smoking gun.”
The opening day of hearings for the Democrats’ impeachment effort of Donald J. Trump did not go so well for its ringleader, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.; shown), and the key witnesses he had carefully selected and coached. The historic impeachment inquiry that convened publicly on Wednesday, November 13, with the House Intelligence Committee, had been built up for weeks, with Democrats and their anti-Trump media allies promising that it would deliver devastating “smoking gun” evidence proving why President Trump should be impeached and removed from office.
That didn’t happen. Not even remotely.
Despite the fact that the Democrats control the House; despite the fact that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Intel chairman Schiff have had months to prepare their impeachment show trial in secret; despite the fact that they had stacked the deck to suppress evidence and witnesses that would undermine their impeachment narrative; and, despite the fact that they had concocted one-sided rules for the proceedings worthy of a one-party state like North Korea — despite all that, when the curtain went up their production turned out to be incredibly threadbare. Embarrassingly so. In fact, Chairman Schiff, dubbed “Shifty Adam Schiff” by President Trump, did indeed look uncomfortable and shifty as he tried to maintain an image of respectable, nonpartisan fairness over a proceeding that was obviously partisan and one-sided.
In his lengthy opening statement, Chairman Schiff attempted to present a high-tone appearance for the political theater that was about to commence, repeatedly citing the U.S. Constitution, our nation’s Founding Fathers, and respect for the constitutionally-set “balance of power” between the executive and legislative branches of government. He also attempted to paint a very sinister picture of President Trump and his allegedly “terrible” attempt to extort a political favor from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during a telephone conversation on July 25, 2019.
“The questions presented by this impeachment inquiry are whether President Trump sought to exploit that ally’s vulnerability and invite Ukraine’s interference in our elections,” Chairman Schiff stated. “Whether President Trump sought to condition official acts, such as a White House meeting or U.S. military assistance, on Ukraine’s willingness to assist with two political investigations that would help his reelection campaign? And if President Trump did either, whether such an abuse of his power is compatible with the office of the presidency?” “The matter,” he darkly warned, “is as simple, and as terrible as that.”
In his closing remarks, Chairman Schiff attempted to strike the pose of a non-partisan, fair-handed statesman, belying the very partisan, underhanded dealings of his impeachment proceedings.
“These are the questions we must ask and answer,” he solemnly averred. “Without rancor if we can, without delay regardless, and without party favor or prejudice if we are true to our responsibilities.”
He concluded with this gem, a familiar reference to our nation’s founding:
“Benjamin Franklin was asked what kind of a country America was to become, ‘A Republic,’ he answered, ‘if you can keep it.’ The fundamental issue raised by the impeachment inquiry into Donald J. Trump is: Can we, keep it?” That is rich, considering that Schiff and his Deep State political and media allies have been doing everything in their power to undermine the Constitution they claim to be upholding, specifically as it pertains to their brazen and treasonous efforts to undo the 2016 elections and evict our constitutionally elected president, Donald Trump from the Oval Office — by any means necessary.
Nunes, Republicans Counterattack
Representative Devin Nunes, the ranking minority member of the House Intelligence Committee was not going to play along with the Schiff-directed farce. As expected, when he was finally given a chance to speak, he came out swinging. In his opening statement for the impeachment hearing he reminded the millions of television and internet viewers that these proceedings were merely a new episode of the non-stop efforts by the Democrats and the “corrupt media” to hobble, smear, and delegitimize the president with a perpetual barrage of baseless charges.
To make his case, Rep. Nunes put the hearings in the context of the long litany of previous failed efforts by Schiff, Pelosi, and company to unseat President Trump, with their most spectacular fail being the years-long “Mueller investigation” into the alleged “Trump-Russia collusion.”
Without any of the usual pro forma pleasantries, Nunes jumped right in. “In a July open hearing of this committee following publication of the Mueller report, the Democrats engaged in a last-ditch effort to convince the American people that President Trump is a Russian agent,” Nunes began. “That hearing was the pitiful finale of a three-year-long operation by the Democrats, the corrupt media, and partisan bureaucrats to overturn the results of the 2016 presidential election,” he continued. “After the spectacular implosion of their Russia hoax on July 24, in which they spent years denouncing any Republican who ever shook hands with a Russian, on July 25 they turned on a dime and now claim the real malfeasance is Republicans’ dealings with Ukraine.”
Rep. Nunes continued:
In the blink of an eye, we’re asked to simply:
• forget about Democrats on this committee falsely claiming they had “more than circumstantial evidence” of collusion between President Trump and the Russians;
• forget about them reading fabrications of Trump-Russia collusion from the Steele dossier into the congressional record;
• forget about them trying to obtain nude pictures of Trump from Russian pranksters who pretended to be Ukrainian officials;
• forget about them leaking a false story to CNN, while he was testifying to our committee, claiming Donald Trump Jr. had colluded with Wikileaks;
• and forget about countless other deceptions, large and small, that make them the last people on earth with the credibility to hurl more preposterous accusations at their political opponents.
And yet now we’re supposed to take these people at face value when they trot out a new batch of allegations.
After running through a litany (albeit abbreviated) of previous Democrat malfeasance and deception, Nunes cited some of what he called “typical signs” that the current Trump-Ukraine issue “is just a carefully orchestrated media smear campaign.” He cited, for example:
• After vowing publicly that impeachment requires bipartisan support, Democrats are pushing impeachment forward without the backing of a single House Republican.
• The witnesses deemed suitable for television by the Democrats were put through a closed-door audition process in a cult-like atmosphere in the basement of the Capitol, where the Democrats conducted secret depositions, released a flood of misleading and one-sided leaks, and later selectively released transcripts in a highly staged manner.
• Violating their own guidelines, the Democrats repeatedly redacted from the transcripts the name of Alexandra Chalupa, a contractor for the Democratic National Committee who worked with Ukrainian officials to collect dirt on the Trump campaign, which she provided to the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign. The Democrats rejected most of the Republicans’ witness requests, resulting in a horrifically one-sided process where crucial witnesses are denied a platform if their testimony doesn’t support the Democrats’ absurd accusations. Notably, they are trying to impeach the President for inquiring about Hunter Biden’s activities, yet they refused our request to hear from Biden himself.
• The whistleblower was acknowledged to have a bias against President Trump, and his attorney touted a “coup” against the President and called for his impeachment just weeks after his election…
“I’ve noted before,” said Nunes, “that the Democrats have a long habit of accusing Republicans of offences they themselves are committing.” As two examples of this habit, he observed that:
• For years they accused the Trump campaign of colluding with Russia when they themselves were colluding with Russia by funding and spreading the Steele dossier, which relied on Russian sources.
• And now they accuse President Trump of malfeasance in Ukraine when they themselves are culpable. The Democrats cooperated in Ukrainian election meddling, and they defend Hunter Biden’s securing of a lavishly paid position with a corrupt Ukrainian company, all while his father served as vice president.
Denouncing “this hypocrisy,” Rep. Nunes that “we should not hold any hearings at all until we get answers to three crucial questions the Democrats are determined to avoid asking.” Those questions, he said are:
• First, what is the full extent of the Democrats’ prior coordination with the Whistleblower and who else did the Whistleblower coordinate this effort with?
• Second, what is the full extent of Ukraine’s election meddling against the Trump campaign?
• And third, why did Burisma hire Hunter Biden, what did he do for them, and did his position affect any U.S. government actions under the Obama administration?
‘Rep. Nunes concluded his statement by charging: “This spectacle is doing great damage to our country. It’s nothing more than an impeachment process in search of a crime.”
It was no surprise that Schiff pointedly ignored Nunes’ charges, but he had more difficulty keeping all of the other Republican members of the committee gagged throughout the orchestrated kangaroo trial. Reps. John Ratcliffe, Jim Jordan, and Elise Stefanik especially appeared to give Schiff heartburn, as they methodically took apart the testimony of Schiff’s star witnesses, State Department official George Kent and acting U.S. Ambassador to the Ukraine William Taylor.
Rep. Jordan (R-Ohio) went after Amb. Taylor, who has admitted that his alleged knowledge of the alleged Trump “pressure” on Zelensky comes from hearsay conversations several times removed. And yet, he stated it was his “clear understanding” that President Trump had acted improperly. Rep. Jordan noted that in his sworn deposition Amb. Taylor had noted he had met with President Zelensky in person three times and that the Ukrainian president had never mentioned any pressure or quid pro quo demand from President Trump. Jordan then read the sworn testimony of Ambassador Gordon Sondland concerning Taylor’s daisy chain of evidence:
“Ambassador Taylor says that he recalls that I told Mr. Morrison that I convinced Mr. Yermak in connection with Vice President Pence’s meeting to Warsaw, and so we have six people having four conversations in one sentence and you are telling me this is where you got the clear understanding [ that Trump had committed an impeachable offense]?” Jordan asked Taylor. For emphasis, Jordan re-read the statement and added: “I’ve seen church prayer chains that are easier to understand than this.”
Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas), a former federal prosecutor, nailed the two witnesses with a a very basic and pertinent question. “So, in this impeachment hearing today where we impeach presidents for treason or bribery or other high crimes, where is the impeachable offense in that call?” Rep. Ratcliffe asked Kent and Taylor. “Are either of you here today to assert there was an impeachable offense in that call?” Stony silence. Neither “star witness” had an answer.
William F. Jasper is senior editor of The New American.
Courtesy of The New American