Archive for the ‘Adam Schiff’ Category

If the Democrats’ chief goal during their portion of the impeachment trial was to insult Republican senators, they picked the right people for the job. During Friday night’s closing arguments, Chairman Schiff said “CBS News reported last night that a Trump confidant said that key senators were warned, ‘Vote against the president and your head will be on a pike.’ I don’t know if that’s true.”

The Reuters article continued, saying “After that remark, the generally respectful mood in the Senate immediately changed. Republicans across their side of the chamber groaned, gasped and said, ‘That’s not true.'” That’s pretty dramatic. After Schiff’s statement, Susan Collins replied “Not only have I never heard the ‘head on the pike’ line, ‘but also I know of no Republican senator who has been threatened in any way by anyone in the administration.”

As disgusting as Chairman’s Schiff’s quote is, it isn’t that much more disgusting than Chairman Nadler’s statement:

He is a dictator. This must not stand. And that is why — another reason — he must be removed from office.

The Democrats’ highest-profile impeachment managers think that President Trump is a dictator who thinks that people who don’t follow his instructions should be impaled. Here’s the video of Schiff’s quote:

Schiff threw in the line that “I don’t know if that’s true. I hope it’s not true. I hope it’s not true.” Anyone who’s chronicled Chairman Schiff’s dishonesty won’t give him the benefit of the doubt.

“That’s when he lost me,” Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican moderate, said about Schiff’s remark, according to her spokeswoman.

It’s time to talk about another subject that people haven’t talked about yet. When Speaker Pelosi picked the impeachment managers, she said that “all seven managers have personalities that “fit a pattern that Speaker Pelosi kind of likes: to keep it reserved and somber.” That’s reserved and somber?

If this impeachment trial is finished by this time next week, it’ll be because the Democrats’ impeachment managers alienated moderate GOP senators. Despite the fawning media coverage he’s received, Schiff has done a terrible job. Rather than persuading people, he’s alienated senators. History won’t be kind to Chairman Schiff when this impeachment is written.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the Democrats’ impeachment presentation has stunk up the Senate. After President Trump is acquitted, Sen. McConnell should get the Senate floor cleaned to get rid of the House Democrats’ stench. While praising Chairman Schiff’s presentation, CNN and MSDNC haven’t noticed what’s substantively missing from the impeachment trial.

Can Chairman Schiff tell me the timestamp on the email from President Trump to Ambassador Sondland where President Trump told Sondland to screw over Ukraine if they didn’t investigate the Bidens? Is Chairman Nadler able to tell me the timestamp on the communication between the Department of Defense and Ambassador Taylor where the DOD tells Taylor that delaying the $391,000,000 aid package will endanger US national security? Has Zoe Lofgren or Hakeem Jefferies submitted documents from State Department officials telling the DOD that things are getting dicey on Ukraine’s eastern border?

If these sorts of things can’t be produced, then the past 2 painful days have needlessly tortured senators. If Democrats haven’t submitted documents that verified testimony supporting the Democrats’ accusations, then those accusations are just theories or opinions. Without physical proof, the Democrats’ presentation isn’t compelling. It’s just a word salad presentation built to destroy a presidential administration and hurt Republican senators from battleground states.

What’s the proof that President Trump asked President Zelenskiy to investigate Burisma for the purpose of hurting his political opponent? Have the Democrats proven that a) President Trump was worried that Vice President Biden was a threat to his re-election and b) the investigation wasn’t designed to simply eradicate corruption?

There’s a ton of evidence to support the fact that President Trump really was interested in fighting corruption. Early in his administration, President Trump has withheld aid to Pakistan, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador and other countries until they fixed their corruption problems. Further, there’s tons of proof that President Trump wanted NATO to pay their fare share towards defending Europe. This is one example of President Trump pushing that message:

Here’s another example:

In the July 25 transcript of his phone call with President Zelenskiy, President Trump mentioned the need for NATO and Europe to pay their fare share. That casts doubt on the Democrats claim that President Trump withheld aid for personal gain.

Democrats haven’t made the case that President Trump committed an impeachable offense. Thus far, the only thing that Democrats have made are one accusation after another. Without physical proof to support the accusations, the accusations should be ignored. Do we want a society where lives can be ruined based solely on an accusation? Think that through thoroughly before answering.

Without rock-solid proof supporting the Democrats’ accusations, this impeachment trial should be ended ASAP. A conviction without proof isn’t justice.

Back during the House’s impeachment inquiry, the conventional wisdom was that President Trump had to beef up his communications team. Rather than hiring a bunch of consultants to help with that, President Trump beefed up his legal team, hiring people like Alan Dershowitz, Robert Ray and Ken Starr. President Trump wasn’t finished, though. Later, he “announced eight House Republicans will join his legal defense team.”

Joining the team were Jim Jordan, John Ratcliffe, Elise Stefanik, Doug Collins, Lee Zeldin, Mike Johnson, Debbie Lesko and Mark Meadows. These aren’t the only reinforcements, though. Since the trial started, senators like Lindsey Graham, Josh Hawley, John Kennedy and Tom Cotton have played a more prominent role in defending President Trump against the House Democrats’ impeachment accusations.

This morning, for instance, Sen. Cotton was interviewed by FNC’s Sandra Smith:

Sen. Cotton is right. If Democrats had compelling evidence, they’d present it and “let it speak for itself.” They don’t have compelling evidence, which is why they’ve repeated the same things over and over again.

Since beefing up their legal team, these attorneys have applied a full-court press. Dershowitz has appeared on ABC’s This Week, CNN’s State of the Union and on FNC’s Hannity and Ingraham Angle shows. Robert Ray has been on multiple shows, as has Elise Stefanik, Doug Collins, John Ratcliffe, Jim Jordan, Josh Hawley and Tom Cotton. They’ve taken turns highlighting Adam Schiff’s dishonest statements. When Trump’s legal team makes their presentation, expect them to include many of Schiff’s dishonesties in that presentation.

If witnesses are called, expect Hunter Biden to be called. If he’s called, here’s why:

Talk about opening a door of opportunity for Republicans. BTW, this is what a confident, polished attorney looks like:

President Trump’s legal team and communications team are fitting together perfectly. They’re confident and well-prepared for each contingency. That’s what a team of professionals looks like.

Wednesday, Adam Schiff argued against himself when he said “the president’s misconduct cannot be decided at the ballot box, for we cannot be assured that the vote will be fairly won. The president has shown that he believes that he is above the law and scornful of constraint.”

It’s frightening to think that the House Democrats’ lead impeachment manager is this dishonest. The presidential election is a federal election It isn’t a national election. That’s the foundation for why we have an electoral college. That’s why we don’t elect presidents based on the national popular vote. Further, each state counts its votes at each polling station, which is done at the precinct level.

That’s 3-4 levels, minimum, below the federal government. It’s certain that each state has different laws governing their elections. Those laws are insulated from the federal government by the Tenth Amendment. The text of the Tenth Amendment says “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

There’s nothing in the U.S. Constitution that instructs states how to tally votes, what time polls close, etc. That automatically means that this is the state or local government’s responsibility. Other than preparing against foreign governments hacking into voting machines or the state secretary of state’s election website, there isn’t much that the federal government is involved with.

In this video, Chairman Schiff essentially tells the American people and the US Senate that President Trump will use his office to cheat on the 2020 election:

It doesn’t take a genius to know that this isn’t an impeachable offense. First, you can’t convict an impeached president without proof of criminality. Next, it’s impossible to gather proof for something that hasn’t happened yet. That’s what Chairman Schiff just tried. Third, Democrats hope you didn’t notice that they don’t have proof that President Trump’s call with President Zelenskiy was to rig the 2020 election.

The transcript of the call certainly is proof that President Trump asked for President Zelenskiy’s help in investigating Joe and Hunter Biden. Saying that it’s proof that he did that strictly political profit is a stretch. Without documentation stating intent, it’s just a theory. It’s a plausible theory but it’s a theory nonetheless.

Schiff and other Democrats repeating that theory 20 times a day doesn’t constitute proof. It’s still just a theory, even if Democrats repeat the theory 50 times a day. Without an email, text or other electronic communication, it’s just a theory.

There’s no doubt that the Democrats don’t have much of a case. Chris Wallace said it all when he said “I thought he said it all. Then I realized we have [up to] 21 hours and 40 minutes left to go. … My Lord, three days and 24 hours [total]. You just wonder how many times you can keep making the same point.”

If Democrats don’t inject new life, aka proof, into their presentation, they will lose their fight by mid-afternoon Thursday. To follow Tuesday’s marathon session with a snoozefest is cruel and inhuman punishment. Nobody should have to hear Adam Schiff and his team of Democrats whine on and on and on and on. That ought to be an impeachable offense.

Apparently, it’s difficult, if not impossible, for Adam Schiff to go a day without telling a whopper. Tuesday night, Politico reported that Chairman Schiff “appears to have mischaracterized a text message exchange between two players in the Ukraine saga, according to documents obtained by POLITICO.” During Tuesday’s impeachment trial, Politico published an article that said “Schiff (D-Calif.) sent a letter to House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) last week summarizing a trove of evidence from Lev Parnas, an indicted former associate of Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani. In one section of the letter, Schiff claims that Parnas “continued to try to arrange a meeting with President Zelensky,’ citing a specific text message exchange where Parnas tells Giuliani: “trying to get us mr Z.” The remainder of the exchange, which was attached to Schiff’s letter — was redacted. But an unredacted version of the exchange shows that several days later, Parnas sent Giuliani a word document that appears to show notes from an interview with Mykola Zlochevsky, the founder of Burisma, followed by a text message to Giuliani that states: “mr Z answers my brother.” That suggests Parnas was referring to Zlochevsky not Zelensky.”

This is a parody of Chairman Schiff’s biggest whopper:

Schiff is in danger of alienating voters. His bombastic comments don’t play well in the Heartland. His accusations aren’t well-founded. Thus far, Pat Cipollone and Jay Sekulow have baited him and berated him, which threw him off his game.

During yesterday’s rules debate, Schiff would start each round with cherry-picked arguments. When it was their time, Cipollone or Sekulow would go into what they called at one time Paul Harvey’s Rest of the Story’ strategy. That’s where they filled in the unfair things that House Democrats did during the impeachment investigation. They had lots of things to choose from.

Whether it’s outright lying or whether it’s omitting important details, it’s still corruption. Yesterday, the NRSC put out this video mocking House Democrats:

As soon as Sen. Mitch McConnell introduced his rules resolution, Chuck Schumer started submitting amendments to change the rules resolution. When Chairman Schiff would rise to support Schumer’s amendments, he would drone on and on and on and on and … you get the picture. Despite using virtually all of the Democrats’ allotted time, Schiff’s presentations were often exposed as incomplete (to put it charitably).

When Pat Cipollone, Jay Sekulow or Patrick Philbin would rise in support of tabling Sen. Schumer’s amendment, they’d take Schiff’s arguments apart while highlighting the cherrypicked and incomplete information. The best part of Team Trump’s presentation was that it was sharp, aggressive and short. Team Trump understood that their audience, aka the American people, don’t have lengthy attention spans.

During one of the afternoon recesses, Dana Perino nailed it, saying “He has to make a decision. Does he want to go through all of these or tell [Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell: ‘Put these amendments in the record. Table them all at once. Get to the substance right away.'”

Perino noted that “most observers have a ‘limited amount of attention span'” while saying “not just in the [Senate] room … but for America,” she added. “Who is paying attention?”

Another thing that stood out was how Republicans trained their sights on Chairman Schiff’s credibility. Mr. Cipollone’s presentation sliced Mr. Schiff into tiny pieces:

Talking about taking depositions, Cipollone said “the President was forbidden from attending. The President wasn’t allowed to have a lawyer present. In every other impeachment proceeding, the President has been given a minimum of — minimal due process. Not even Mr. Schiff’s Republican colleagues were allowed into the SCIF. Information was selectively leaked out. Witnesses were threatened. Good public servants were told they would be held in contempt. They were told they were obstructing.”

The Trump team attorneys are getting under Schiff’s skin:

The lawyers invoked Schiff’s name over and over again, accusing him of hiding documents, conducting an unfair impeachment inquiry and fabricating the text of the July 25 phone call between Trump and the president of Ukraine. Just as Schiff sat down from making a lengthy opening case for new witnesses and documents, Sekulow took over and with a booming voice accused Schiff of telling falsehoods and “put[ting] words into transcripts that did not exist.”

Schiff kept his eyes wide open and glued on Sekulow, possibly aghast that Trump’s lawyers were putting him on trial.

Then it was Cipollone’s turn. He said it was “difficult” to hear Schiff tell his “tale.” He laid into Schiff even more and accused his staff of working with the Ukraine whistleblower, “contrary to his prior statements.” “Will Mr. Schiff give documents,” Cipollone pressed.

Mr. Nadler played a limited but important role in Tuesday’s trial. Late in the night, Nadler made this wild accusation:

“It’s embarrassing,” Nadler began. “The president is on trial in the Senate, but the Senate is on trial in the eyes of the American people. Will you vote to allow all the relevant evidence to be presented here? Or will you betray you pledge to be an impartial juror? … Will you bring Ambassador Bolton here? Will you permit us to present you with the entire record of the president’s misconduct? Or will you instead choose to be complicit in the president’s coverup? So far I’m sad to say I see a lot of senators voting for a coverup, voting to deny witnesses, an absolutely indefensible vote, obviously a treacherous vote.”

As far as I know, that was the only time Chairman Nadler made a presentation to the Senate. I strongly recommend that this be his last presentation.

The Democrats have 2 major difficulties staring right at them. The first difficulty is their unwillingness to fight for the witnesses that they now insist are essential to a fair trial. Why didn’t Mssrs. Schiff and Nadler file a lawsuit to compel John Bolton and Mick Mulvaney to testify?

Please don’t tell us that it would’ve taken too much time. That excuse is forever discredited thanks to Emperor Pelosi withholding the Articles of Impeachment for a month. Most likely, they didn’t file that lawsuit because they knew that the court would rule against them. The court likely would’ve ruled that both people were covered by executive privilege.

The other difficulty Democrats have is explaining why they haven’t released all of the depositions from the Impeachment Committee hearings. The only deposition that hasn’t been released is Michael Atkinson’s testimony. Atkinson is the ICIG. He’s the guy that gave us the whistleblower. He’s also under investigation, according to Devin Nunes.

The Democrats’ other crisis is their unwillingness to let any Republican-called witnesses testify. What exculpatory evidence was hidden as a direct result of that decision? In the House Judiciary Committee mark-up hearing, Chairman Nadler refused to provide for a minority witness hearing, as required by House rules. When asked why he didn’t let Republicans call witnesses, Chairman Nadler said that they weren’t relevant.

One of the witnesses that Republicans wanted to call is the faux whistle-blower. Democrats insist he must remain anonymous. The Sixth Amendment of the Constitution says he can’t. The Constitution wins those fights.

What are Democrats hiding? Are Democrats trying to hide exculpatory evidence? They haven’t released the transcript of their behind-closed-doors deposition of ICIG Michael Atkinson. According to House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Ranking Member Devin Nunes, Atkinson “is under active investigation.”

(Atkinson) is under active investigation. I’m not gonna go any farther than that because you know obviously he has a chance to come in and prove his innocence, but my guess is Schiff, Atkinson they don’t want that transcript out because it’s very damaging, Rep. Nunes said.

According to Sara Carter’s reporting, “Republican lawmakers asked Atkinson to explain who revised the complaint and for what reason.”

“And nobody in the media is calling for it,” [Ranking Member Nunes] told The Sara Carter Show. “You’d think they would be, but you know I’ve talked about it on television, John Ratcliffe’s talked about it on television. There’s very few of us that actually know what’s in the transcript, but, yeah, it’s a major problem.”

Atkinson is certainly relevant to this impeachment trial because he’s the person who helped the whistle-blower file his complaint. What are Democrats hiding in Atkinson’s deposition transcript? It must be something important. Inspectors general don’t get investigated over trivial things.

John Ratcliffe articulated the argument beautifully in this interview:

Everything you need to know about the House Democrats’ reply is found in the size of the Democrats’ response. While President Trump’s legal team’s first filing was 7 pages, the Democrats’ first filing is 111 pages. The Trump filing is sharp, concise and filled with substance. The Democrats’ filing appears to take a throw-the-spaghetti-against-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks approach.

The first lie contained in the filing states “During a July 25, 2019 phone call, after President Zelensky expressed gratitude to President Trump for American military assistance, President Trump immediately responded by asking President Zelensky to ‘do us a favor though.’ The ‘favor’ he sought was for Ukraine to publicly announce two investigations that President Trump believed would improve his domestic political prospects.” This isn’t the first time that Democrats have used this lie. What was actually said is this:

I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike … I guess you have one of your weal thy people … The server, they say Ukraine has it. There are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation … I think you are surrounding yourself with some of the same people. I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it. As you said yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance, but they say a lot of it started with Ukraine. Whatever you can do, it’s very important that you do it if that’s possible.

It’s frightening that the Democrats said that President Trump called for an investigation into Joe Biden as a personal favor. That transcript is proof that Joe Biden’s name isn’t found anywhere in that paragraph. This isn’t a spin piece in Rolling Stone Magazine. This is a brief filed in the impeachment trial of President Trump. That dishonesty is enough to discredit the Democrats’ impeachment managers. Here’s another lie from the Democrats’ filing:

The second investigation concerned a debunked conspiracy theory that Russia did not interfere in the 2016 Presidential election to aid President Trump, but instead that Ukraine interfered in that election to aid President Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Chairman Schiff tried slipping that lie into the record during the open committee hearing. Devin Nunes slapped that down immediately, noting that the Intel Committee had put out a major report telling how the Russians had interfered in the 2016 election. Then Nunes stated that, in addition to the Russians interfering with the 2016 election, Ukraine tried interfering in that election, too:

In its most detailed account yet, the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington says a Democratic National Committee (DNC) insider during the 2016 election solicited dirt on Donald Trump’s campaign chairman and even tried to enlist the country’s president to help.

In written answers to questions, Ambassador Valeriy Chaly’s office says DNC contractor Alexandra Chalupa sought information from the Ukrainian government on Paul Manafort’s dealings inside the country in hopes of forcing the issue before Congress.

That’s the definition of interference. This isn’t some obscure fact that was uncovered by months of interviews and digging. It’s something that took less than a minute to uncover with a google search.

There’s an old saying that’s often attributed to Abraham Lincoln that’s applicable here. Lincoln supposedly said “If you want me to talk for an hour, give me 5 minutes. If you want me to talk for 5 minutes, give me an hour to prepare.” The principle is that it doesn’t take much preparation to talk for hours. If you wanted something concise, though, you’d need time to deliver maximum impact.

Apparently, it doesn’t take much time to put together the BS that the Democrats included in this filing.

For the past week+, the MSM has talked about how Sen. Schumer plans on making Cory Gardner, Martha McSally and Susan Collins make difficult votes about calling witnesses. This isn’t worthy of serious consideration. This is a tempest in a teapot. It’s difficult to picture that the issue is that important to most voters. If voters don’t care about the issue, it’s difficult to picture them voting for or against someone that votes for or against witnesses.

What’s important is that these senators can highlight the fact that they’ve voted for President Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act tax cuts (that have put hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars into the average voter’s wallet.) Let’s do a brief thought experiment on this. Picture a voter making a decision on who to vote for. Will most people say ‘I just can’t vote for Sen. Gardner. He voted against calling witnesses’? Or will most people say ‘I’m voting for Sen. Collins because she voted to cut my taxes”?

If Republicans polled that pair of questions, there’s little doubt that the tax cut vote isn’t the most important of the 2 votes. Further, that’s before asking if, for instance, voters wouldn’t vote for Sen. Collins for fighting to lower prescription drug prices or Sen. McSally voting for additional funding for President Trump’s wall with Mexico.

Six months from now, if not sooner, impeachment will be a net negative for battleground state Democrats. Six months from now, lowering prescription drug prices, cutting taxes and building the wall will still be popular.

Voting for or against witnesses isn’t that difficult of a decision. That’s because it isn’t that important with most voters.

After House Democrats make their evidence-free, allegation-filled presentation, impeachment conviction will be on life support. After President Trump’s legal team finishes highlighting the holes in the House Democrats’ case, the American people will know that the Democrats’ impeachment investigation was a waste of time. The Trump legal team’s opening filing indicates the fact that they’re utilizing a take-no-prisoners approach to defending President Trump.

The first day or 2 will go relatively well for the Democrats. That’s because they’ll have the floor uncontested. After that, President Trump’s team will present their defense. It won’t take long for President Trump’s team to highlight the no-evidence nature of the Democrats’ case. Once that starts, Democrats will wish that they’d never impeached President Trump.

Kevin McCarthy’s closing statement highlights just how powerful the arguments from President Trump’s legal team will be:

By that time, anyone with common sense will know that President Trump did nothing worthy of impeachment.

Pundits have talked ad nauseum about whether there will be witnesses when the impeachment trial starts in earnest on Tuesday. Since President Trump has already said that he’ll invoke executive privilege should John Bolton or Mick Mulvaney get called to testify, the answer to that is no with an asterisk. They’ll certainly be called but they certainly won’t testify in any meaningful way. Don’t expect Democrats to litigate that issue. They’d rather have the issue than the information. (I can already hear Hakeem Jefferies saying ‘What is President Trump hiding?’)

Considering the fact that Mulvaney is President Trump’s acting Chief of Staff and Bolton is Trump’s former National Security Adviser, the answer is obvious that they’d have lots of classified information in their heads. A judge won’t side with the Democrats on compelling Bolton and Mulvaney to testify so Democrats can go on a fishing expedition.

Once those things happen, Democrats will have nothing to show for their efforts. What’s worse is that the whole world will know that their case is thin. What’s worst is that Democrats, especially Schiff, will be forced to either rest their case (which isn’t happening) or Schiff will start making foolish-sounding accusations.

When the Trump legal team starts poking holes in the Democrats’ case, they’ll show that the Democrats’ case is virtually nonexistent. That should make for some fun viewing and some interesting closing arguments. What pundits haven’t speculated about is the evidence collected during the Democrats’ impeachment investigation. Pundits haven’t speculated about it because, despite all the headlines of “bombshell” testimony, they know this case is weak.

Accusations aren’t evidence. When it’s exposed that the Democrats only have accusations, that will deliver a stinging rejection of these articles of impeachment. This isn’t a serious exercise. This impeachment was built on the Democrats’ rage. It wasn’t built on evidence. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell put it best, saying that “House Democrats had performed a pale imitation of a real inquiry”:

Adam Schiff will make a fool out of himself. After making a series of unserious accusations, which will happen, Republicans will vote to acquit President Trump. Most importantly, Americans will agree with Republicans.

The impeachment trial should then be used by the NRCC against every swing district Democrat on the ballot. Remind voters that House Democrats voted for a flimsy impeachment investigation, then voted for incomplete articles of impeachment. Finally, remind voters that House Democrats wasted 2 entire years on this flimsy investigation while ignoring the people’s business.

That’s how you maximize the damage to the Democrats. Make them pay a steep political price. That’s the only hope of getting them to stop these investigations.