“Impeachment” Hearings: Republicans Plan To Put Biden and Democrats on Trial, and Schiff Is Not Happy
Schiff has made it clear the House is committed to a Democratic show trial sham. Republicans want a process where all facts are laid out for the public to draw their own conclusions.
This is going to be a big week in the House as it relates to the Democratic
clown show “impeachment inquiry” that has, to date, taken part entirely behind closed doors.
The public hearings phase is set to begin Wednesday, where House Intel Committee Chair Adam Schiff will be calling who he feels are key witnesses to testify:
House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) announced on Twitter Wednesday that his committee will hold its first public impeachment hearings next week.
Driving the news: On Wednesday, Nov. 13, the committee will interview top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine Bill Taylor and State Department official George Kent. On Friday, Nov. 15, the committee will interview former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.
Why it matters: The move from closed-door interviews to public testimony is a significant step in the impeachment inquiry and an indication of how quickly the House investigation into Trump and Ukraine is moving.
“Committee sources” tell Axios, linked above, the goal of the hearings is to keep things “narrowly focused” in order to help “accelerate the impeachment timeline”:
Between the lines: Committee sources tell Axios’ Alayna Treene their goal is to keep the public hearings narrowly focused so that it’s both easy for the American public to follow and helps accelerate the impeachment timeline. They’re focused on bringing in the career officials who revealed the most about Trump and Ukraine — meaning don’t expect many new names or faces as the inquiry shifts to a more public setting.
Let’s really read between the lines here. The fact that they want to “accelerate” public impeachment proceedings goes against everything House leaders including Schiff, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler have been saying for months regarding the Ukraine call controversy and the Russia collusion investigation: that there is no rush to judgment and no rush to impeach.
Of course, that was an obvious lie, but the sources telling Axios their goal is to speed up the process just confirms it.
Secondly, Taylor, Kent, and Yovanovitch will go first because they are supposedly the Democrats’ star witnesses who Schiff and Co. believe will provide to the public the most damaging case against President Trump.
The most revealing information from the Axios report, however, is in how the committee seeks to keep the public hearings “narrowly focused.” The stated reason is to make it easier for the public to follow and to speed up the process.
The real reason is because Democrats want to obstruct House Republicans from their strategy of broadening the inquiry via their selection of witnesses in an effort to show the American people there are justifiable reasons why President Trump would want the Joe and Hunter Biden issue and the DNC server issue further investigated by Ukrainian officials.
After all, if the case can be made that Trump’s requests were legitimate and served American interests, then the reasons given for impeaching him will evaporate.
The witness list, released Saturday, shows Republicans want Hunter Biden himself to testify. Here are other notables:
-Devon Archer, former board member of Burisma Holdings
-Alexandra Chalupa, former DNC staffer
-David Hale, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs
-Nellie Ohr, former contractor for Fusion GPS
-The so-called whistleblower and any individuals they relied upon in drafting their secondhand complaint
Read the full Republican witness request list here.
Andrew Bakaj, one of the attorneys for the whistleblower, told CNN that subjecting the whistleblower to in-person questioning is not going to happen, but that his client is open to answering questions in writing:
Following the GOP’s request, the whistleblower’s attorney reiterated that his client is only willing to answer questions in writing.
“My client’s complaint has been largely corroborated. Nonetheless, I have offered to have my client respond in writing, under oath, and under penalty of perjury to Republican questions,” Andrew Bakaj said in a statement to CNN.
Bakaj said he is “concerned this is part of a larger effort to unmask my client’s identity” and said urged members of Congress to “step back and reflect on the important role whistleblowers play in our constitutional republic’s ability to oversee itself.”
The problem with that statement is that the whistleblower’s complaint has not “been largely corroborated.” Furthermore, there are questions that need to be answered beyond what has been asked of other witnesses behind closed doors, such as the nature of the whistleblower’s interactions with Schiff’s staff, and his working relationship with Joe Biden when he was vice president.
Schiff has indicated he will reject most if not all Republican witness requests, including the ones for Hunter Biden and the whistleblower to testify. The rationale given for denying their request for the whistleblower to testify was that it was “redundant and unnecessary.”
It was a rather odd statement to make considering that just a few weeks ago, Schiff stated he was ready to hear what the whistleblower had to say:
.@RepAdamSchiff just announced that public #impeachment hearings will begin next week.
A few weeks ago, Schiff said he wanted to hear from the whistleblower.
But not anymore.
What happened? We learned the whistleblower met with Schiff's staff and had a political bias. pic.twitter.com/tMYSPjU8Pl
— Oversight Committee Republicans (@GOPoversight) November 6, 2019
Though Schiff has made it clear the House is committed to a Democratic show trial sham instead of a more transparent process where all facts are laid out on the table for the public to draw their own conclusions, there’s still the very real possibility that when the Senate gets their go at this (because we all know that’s coming), some inconvenient truths will come to light that will blow this sham wide open:
Ds won’t let Rs call these witnesses. (Hunter Biden et al.) But this is a shot across the bow, warning Ds what a Senate trial might look like. A trial-within-a-trial about alleged Biden corruption and alleged DNC collusion with Ukraine to meddle in the 2016 election. https://t.co/boszOq5Sa0
— Ross Garber (@rossgarber) November 9, 2019
Bring it on.
— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —
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No points if you would have beaten the crap out of this as a child.
He thinks he’s entitled to impeach a ham sandwich if that’s what he wants to do.
And according to the text of the Constitution, he’s correct.
However, he needs a pointed reminder that the reason impeachment is couched in judicial trappings is so the voters it disenfranchises don’t start showing where the saying about “assassins only need to get lucky once” comes from.
I swear, that first picture. I want to beat it to death against a volleyball post.
Here is the deal. This is like the first time in 35 years I thought about volleyball.
First sight of Schiff was about a million years ago, on Fox News, supposedly ‘fair and balanced’, as he incessantly and blindly shilled for Hillary – regularly.
He was a delusional, robotic, idiotic, and disgusting, pencil-necked nobody then.
He’s earned some power and is a dangerous fool – soon to be hoisted by his own petard.
Obstruction of justice or an attempted cover-up by not allowing witnesses to testify or be questioned?
It would be nice if house republican leadership imposed certain guidelines on members of its own party – such as – you best toe the pro-Trump line and speak out at every opportunity or you’ll end up in a windowless and dank basement broom closet office with one staffer. And follow up on that threat be it veterans or freshmen.
And what about senate republicans? Intel committee sitting on their hands? The Russia report is two months finished, yet it’s not been released? And republicans blame Warner for the delay? Please. Pull my finger. Again.
Apparently the problem with the Senate is that it has some goofy rule that a subpoena cannot be issued w/o the permission of the committee’s ranking member, which give Dems a license to obstruct
Pesky things are meant to be changed.
Just ask Pelosi & Co.
And Senate rules can be changed by majority vote.
The Republicans always lose because they are always on defense.
McConnell should announce tomorrow that the Senate will grant the exact same rights to the minority party during the impeachment trial that the House grants to the minority party during the impeachment inquiry.
Yes, by all means. Let’s speed things up. All that cross-examination stuff is a real bottleneck and a waste of time. Shutting out the defense team will certainly make the prosecution go faster. I mean, that’s how things are done in the courts, right? Right?
The whole fiasco is turning into one giant “Biden is a crook” explosion that shows just how crooked the Veep was (and still is). If the Dems are stupid enough to ram this crock of crap through and into the Senate, the obvious answer from the Republicans should be full subpoenas on everybody the House refused to, and set this up *properly* i.e. Trump called for Ukraine assistance in an investigation into political corruption and election interference in the 2016 election, which involved Hunter Biden being used as a corrupt way to influence US policy in the region and allow Burisma to siphon off aid money and contracts. Indictments should be handed down for the guilty parties, and the Justice department should have them behind bars. Yeah, it’s hard on the senile old Veep, but he not only asked for it, he begged for it. Let’s see Rice indicted for allowing her security clearance to be used to unmask political opponents, the whistleblower EC sent up on charges of perjury, and Hillary hammered with fines for her careless handling of classified materials (because she’ll never serve time, so hit her in the wallet) They opened this can of worms, now let’s show them what the natural consequences are.
The Republicans need to have Schiff on the stand, then bring charges up against Schiff for the lies he has been pushing in order to orchestrate a coup.
Schiff is a seditionist, he is part of the effort crafted by Obama to overturn the election. He lied through the Herr Mueller investigation. The Herr Mueller investigation report contained what little the democrat lawyers who were part of it could twist into something, anything, to keep the coup attempt going.
Barr had better have something big going against these who worked on this coup attempt. Not one of them should ever see the outside of a prison again once they are convicted.
I haven’t thought about Preston Brooks in about 35 years or so. Hoping there might be an incipient one in the GOP ranks.
The problem is the GOPe. They are responsible for this fiasco. They could and can shut this down with just a few words about any referral for impeachment when it comes to the senate. They could conduct senate investigations, calling the witness’s the dictators will not allow.
This sham impeachment is the biggest political blunder in American history. Imagine *IF* Articles of Impeachment are sent to the Senate. Republicans are going to call and put under oath: comey, brennan, clapper, mccabe, strzok, page, rice, yates, the bidens, the ohrs, simpson, steele and a whole slew of other SpyGate conspirators. It will be a 5th Amendment schiff show of epic proportions. The democrats are stuck with this hand grenade and time is ticking down.
The Shiffhouse hearings continue…
“The whole process is a joke. ….You [media] just pick things you like. Ya’ll hate this guy [Trump]. Ya’ll want to get him impeached. I’m not buying into Schiff running a legitimate operation over there. …This is a political vendetta.” — @LindseyGrahamSC
Graham on Fox: I consider any impeachment in the House that doesn’t allow us to know who the whistleblower is to be invalid, because without the whistleblower complaint, we wouldn’t be talking about any of this.
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) November 10, 2019
their goal is to keep the public hearings narrowly focused so that it’s both easy for the American public to follow and helps accelerate the impeachment timeline
So it’s slanted and filtered and kept information free for the American public, and helps keep anyone from seeing the actual crimes occurring because the hands are moving the cups around too fast for that.
I think that’s more accurate.
Narrow focused and fast, like a con artist pitching their line, or a railroad. Both seem adequate analogies.
There is no impeachment. The Constitution is very clear as to the process of impeachment.
From the National Center for Constitutional Studies,
““The request is referred to the House Judiciary Committee which forwards it to the Subcommittee on the Constitution. The Subcommittee then investigates the complaints and, if there is merit to the charges, Articles of Impeachment describing the specific offense(s) are prepared. Those Articles are forwarded to the full Judiciary Committee for a vote. If approved, the Articles are sent to the full House for a vote.
“A simple majority of the House either approves or disapproves the Articles. If disapproved, the issue is terminated. Approval, however, is, in effect, the equivalent of a grand jury indictment against that official. The approved Articles of Impeachment are then delivered to the Senate. With this action, the House’s role in an impeachment is finished.
“The Senate, according to the process described in Article 1, Section 3, Clause 6 and 7, then becomes a courtroom for a full-scale trial, with the Senators serving as the jury. In that setting, evidence is presented both by the defendant (the impeached official) and the prosecution. A vote is then taken. If less than two-thirds of the Senators present concur in the official’s guilt, then the impeached official is acquitted and returns to the practice, responsibilities, and full privileges of his office.”
None of these things have happened yet so at this point, this is more properly called “Russiagate II” By constantly referring to this as “Impeachement” you are validating the Democrat position.
Thank you for this post. Just as the “whistleblower” is not an actual whistleblower, we get stuck with terms because of narrative. With the msm today, it’s impossible to re-label someone such as the whistleblower. His real title should be “gossiping spy leaker.” We have “impeachment inquiry” when what it really should be called is: “The political theater designed to damage President Trump’s re-election chances and placate a portion of the American populace who can not accept the 2016 election results.”
Want to bet on that? Now that the “quid pro quo” thing has failed to produce what the democrats want (asking for a favor isn’t a crime) there are 33 alleged “writers” that would have the NYT drop the term “quid pro quo” and instead use the term “bribery” or “extortion” instead as well as a few other choice terms.
And I suspect the NYT would happily go along with this insanity. Anything to get Pres. Trump is a good thing after all (<-that's sarcasm by the way if you don't get it).
As to the procedure, read the Constitution, not something put out by an academic think tank or what-not. All impeachment takes as a legal matter is a majority vote of the House. No committees, no hearings, nothing other than a vote. Of course, the farce currently being conducted in the House can result in an impeachment, but that will go nowhere in the Senate, and the degree of respect (if any) with which the Senate treats the House “managers” when they show up is politically linked to how sensible (so far not very) the process in the House was.
And just what is Bakaj going to do to keep his client from testifying or from being identified when his client is issued a subpoena by the United States Senate or by a United States attorney? This guy’s hubris is astonishing.
And if the Senate issues a subpoena for Schiff & his staffers to testify, regarding their conversations with and coaching the so called whistleblower, Schiff will refuse, properly citing the Speech & Debate Clause of the Constitution, which will be winning the battle and losing the war by conceding that they are covering something up.
Speech and Debate clause only covers what they say IN THE CAPITOL BUILDING. If they can prove the whistleblower was only coached in the Capitol building, it applies. That’s why Harry Reid had to spew his lies about Mitt Romney’s taxes (which he couldn’t have legally seen) while standing on the floor.
Hillary needs to go before a Grand Jury, and prosecuted is so judged. She violated ore espionage act and needs to pay for it.
Favoritism among politicians must end.
I think there may be precedent for the Speech & Debate Clause, despite its narrow wording, covering both Members and their aides and covering anything they say in pursuance of their duties as Members even outside the Capitol building. But the point remains the same. If Schiff refuses — as he should & will — to testify or to allow his aides to testify on this subject, it will be a concession at he is covering something up. He can yell until hes blue in the face that he is just invoking his rights under the Constitution, but everybody, having heard at least 2nd- or 3rd-hand what happened, will see right through it.
This is Schiff’s moment to firmly cement his imprint on American history. He has already guaranteed that he will always be remembered as THE iconic example of a disconnected, self-destructing fool.
In a few years, we will be constructing a pantheon of modern traitors and he will be right up there with the Hillary, Barry O, Comey, Brennan and Clapper. It will be a very large building because this is the largest and most sinister conspiracy in world history.
their goal is to keep the public hearings narrowly focused
They have nothing and no hope of finding anything so they might as well keep it short. There is an election coming up.
Schiff is on the verge of setting himself up, should the Republicans take the House majority in 2020, to be the first Member to be expelled for misconduct other than taking up arms against the US (three during the Civil War) or convictions for bribery (one in 1980 and one in 2002).
I am retired from two careers, one as a financial reporter who covered (among other things) the Federal Reserve, and the other as a financial analyst for pension and mutual funds, and two investment banks. I say that not for ego, but as a credibility statement for my reading of next year’s election.
Ever since WW2, presidential elections have turned on the condition of the economy in the spring of the presidential election year. The best (though not infallible) indicator is to compare the unemployment rate in June of Election Year to March.
If it goes up, the incumbent party decisively loses the White House. If it’s unchanged, the incumbent party loses in a whisker of an election, often disputed. If it goes down, the incumbent party wins (or keeps) the White House.
The reason this works is because unemployment is a good proxy for how people are feeling on Main Street. The reason to use the second quarter is because employment and unemployment work with a lag; anything that happens after June takes too long to work its way through the python.
There are some exceptions. One is 1956, when unemployment ticked up by 0.1% in Q2 but Eisenhower was re-elected 57%-42%. The reason is that the uptick was a fluke amid what was otherwise a very strong economy. Next year could be similar; we might (or might not) see an uptick, but it will be from such a low level that it won’t matter unless it’s part of a weakening trend.
Now: Will there be a weakening trend next spring? Not likely, and here’s why. For one thing, the stock market is setting new highs, and the stock market is a good indicator of economic conditions 9 months in advance. Secondly, the Fed has cut interest rates three times this year. Not by enough, in my opinion, but by enough to keep the economy going pretty strong. Thirdly, the most recent jobs report, and revisions for the summer, were VERY strong.
Bottom line: Next spring, the economy will almost certainly be a-rockin’ and a-rollin’.
How does that translate to Election ’20? Well, let’s face it, Donald Trump is a very mixed bag. There’s been a lot of chaos, and his deportment is undisciplined and divisive. No one’s going to be running “I Like Ike” commercials for him.
So I think he enters ’20 with a 4-point margin, similar to Obama’s 51%-47% in ’12. But all the foreseeable risks to that forecast are on the upside. For starters, Trump has a very large and fast-growing money advantage. Secondly, the Ds have channeled the Rs in ’64 and the Ds in ’72 and gone to the extreme. Thirdly, the entry of Bloomberg further clouds their waters. Finally, this impeachment show, well, it’s like drinking at the office Christmas party: All downside risk.
Trump won’t go anywhere close to Eisenhower’s 15-point margin in 1956, but I could imagine him beating the D by 6 points. All the Rs really have to do now is not succumb to media clickbait in the Senate. Never underestimate the ability of either party to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, but I’ll be pretty damn shocked if the R Senate ever falls for this charade.