Archive for the ‘Impeachment’ Category

The Democrats shouldn’t be surprised that President Trump didn’t accept their invitation to the Democrats’ rigged impeachment hearing on Wednesday in the House Judiciary Committee. The White House received notice of the hearing just over a week ago. That’s beyond ridiculous:

In a Nov. 26 letter to Trump, Nadler said the president’s counsel can make a request to question a panel of as yet unnamed witnesses who will discuss the constitutional basis for impeachment.

What intelligent person would trust a Democrat who’s gotten caught with “plans for House Democrats to investigate and impeach Justice Brett Kavanaugh for alleged perjury and investigate and impeach President Donald Trump for alleged treasonous collusion with Russia”? Why would anyone think that Chairman Nadler was entering these hearings with an open mind? This tells me Chairman Nadler is hopelessly biased:

Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., also ripped Trump for not fully cooperating with Congress. “If the President thinks the call was ‘perfect’ and there is nothing to hide then he would turn over the thousands of pages of documents requested by Congress, allow witnesses to testify instead of blocking testimony with baseless privilege claims, and provide any exculpatory information that refutes the overwhelming evidence of his abuse of power,” he said in a statement.

I didn’t hear Chairman Nadler insisting that President Obama turn over documents requested by the Oversight Committee on the subject of Operation Fast and Furious. That’s because Nadler is a partisan hack. He only cares about doing as much damage to President Trump as possible.

Another sign that Chairman Nadler and the Democrats aren’t operating in good faith is because Democrats set the date for this sham hearing on the same day as the NATO leaders summit in London. The date for that summit was set 9 months ago. Chairman Nadler couldn’t have picked a different day? There’s no question that he’s operating in bad faith. This letter outlines the bad faith in greater detail:

The Democrats’ invitation to President Trump’s attorneys look more like pitchforks than invitations. Arranging the hearing without telling the minority who the witnesses will be is a terrible precedent. Setting the hearing without telling the minority if they’ll be able to call a single witness is a historic precedent that Democrats won’t be able to live down when the history books are written.

The Democrats haven’t been ready for primetime. Chairmen Nadler and Schiff have presided over clown shows. These Democrats haven’t played fair or consistently told the truth. That’s why Nadler and Schiff will be historic. It just won’t be in a positive way.

It’s time for Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler to stop the impeachment nonsense. That’s because President Zelenskiy just reiterated that President Trump never tied lethal military aid to investigating Joe and Hunter Biden:

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky insisted that he never discussed a quid pro quo with President Trump tying U.S. military aid to a request for political favors in a newly published interview. Nevertheless, he hit the Trump administration for the delay in that aid and for critical statements about his country.

Shortly after that, President Trump tweeted this:

That’s just part of the Democrats’ problem. Fred Barnes writes that Democrats haven’t identified a crime that President Trump has committed:

As they rush to impeach President Trump, Democrats have failed to recruit a single House Republican or to link the president’s offense clearly to an actual crime.

At townhall meetings last week, Democrats had difficulty answering questions about what specific crimes President Trump had committed. If Democrats are smart, which they aren’t, they’d drop these hearings. Democrats still haven’t produced proof that President Trump did anything that fits into “Treason, Bribery, high crimes or misdemeanors.” If this is any indication of the electorate’s mood, Democrats are heading into a stiff headwind:

But as the Ukrainian leader is preparing for talks with Russia, as he works to end the conflict, which included Russia’s 2014 seizure of the Crimean peninsula, he argued that withholding aid for any reason is not something an ally should do. “If you’re our strategic partner, then you can’t go blocking anything for us,” Zelensky said in an interview with TIME, France’s Le Monde, Germany’s Der Spiegel, and Poland’s Gazeta Wyborcza. “I think that’s just about fairness. It’s not about a quid pro quo.”

I don’t blame President Zelenskiy for wanting to enter negotiations with Russia with the strongest possible position. I can’t blame President Trump for not sending the lethal military aid until he was certain that President Zelenskiy wasn’t corrupt. Both presidents did what they thought was right for their countries. If that ever becomes a crime, I don’t want to be around for that day.

What happened between the 2 presidents doesn’t come close to reaching the standard of high crimes and misdemeanors. Democrats can’t admit that, though, because they’ve wanted to impeach President Trump since virtually the day he was elected. They’ve wanted impeachment so badly that they can’t admit that this isn’t it.

Zelensky did appear to lend credence to Trump’s concerns, admitting that his country has had problems with corruption, but said he is working toward eliminating them. “It’s not that those things don’t exist. They do. All branches of government were corrupted over many years, and we are working to clean that up,” he said. “But that signal from them is very important.”

Just like President Zelenskiy is shutting down corruption in the Ukraine, Ms. Pelosi, Chairman Schiff and Chairman Nadler should shut down the impeachment hearings. Democrats are going nowhere fast with impeachment.

A while ago, Adam Schiff and other Democrats compared his secret impeachment hearings held in a SCIF in the basement of Capitol Hill to grand jury proceedings. That’s BS. They’re as similar as oil and water.

Most importantly, impeachment hearings involve the leader of the free world. The Democrats’ impeachment hearings have taken months, which have distracted President Trump from his important responsibilities. When a grand jury indicts a criminal, the only person getting penalized is the potential criminal. When the president gets impeached, the people get punished as much as the president does. (Does anyone think that China wouldn’t have caved by now on a trade deal if not for this impeachment fiasco?)

Next, when witnesses testify before a grand jury, they’ve actually witnessed something. Over half of the people that the Democrats deposed didn’t witness a thing about what the Democrats are impeaching President Trump about. Testifiers like Marie Yovanovitch, George Kent, William Taylor and others didn’t listen to the call. None of those testifiers has even met President Trump. Lt. Col. Vindman listened to the Trump-Zelenskiy phone call but hasn’t met President Trump. Lt. Col. Vindman raised a concern but that was determined to be insignificant. Later, Lt. Col. Vindman testified that the rough transcript was accurate.

Democrats have a very weak case. They’re whining that White House staff won’t testify. When they had the chance to take them to court to compel testimony, though, they declined to compel testimony through the courts. Democrats have frequently said that the White House exerting various privileges might add more articles of impeachment.

That’s why the White House has declined to participate in Wednesday’s hearing of the Judiciary Committee:

“This baseless and highly partisan inquiry violates all past historical precedent, basic due process rights, and fundamental fairness,” wrote White House counsel Pat Cipollone, continuing the West Wing’s attack on the procedural form of the impeachment proceedings. Cipollone said Nadler provided only “vague” details about the hearing, and that unnamed academics, and not “fact witnesses”, would apparently be attending.

“As for the hearing scheduled for December 4, we cannot fairly be expected to participate in a hearing while the witnesses are yet to be named and while it remains unclear whether the Judiciary Committee will afford the president a fair process through additional hearings,” Cipollone said. “More importantly, an invitation to an academic discussion with law professors does not begin to provide the President with any semblance of a fair process. Accordingly, under the current circumstances, we do not intend to participate in your Wednesday hearing.”

Thus far, Democrats have vetoed each of the Republican witness requests. They’ve blocked the CIA snitch from testifying because he knows whether Schiff’s office sought him out. They won’t let Hunter Biden testify because connecting him with Burisma’s corruption hurts their case. They won’t Joe Biden testify because explaining this away would prove difficult:

Democrats are afraid that good prosecutors like Matt Gaetz and John Ratcliffe will expose Biden’s corruption. It’s a safe bet that they’d make Biden look like a fool. That’s why Democrats can’t play this fair. Playing fair wouldn’t get the result they’ve wanted:

To summarize: Many Democrats wanted to impeach Trump from the get-go. Frustrated at their inability to get it done, they jumped on their last, best hope, taking shortcuts to ensure their preferred result and racing to beat the political deadline imposed by their party’s presidential contest. Through it all, they have insisted they are acting only with great reluctance and sorrow.

The question now is whether the public will believe it.

One thing that isn’t in question is whether House Democrats, starting with Chairman Schiff, (D-Calif.), rigged the rules to ensure an unfair impeachment process. Something that Chairman Schiff repeatedly made clear was that the CIA snitch’s identity would remain cloaked in anonymity. That’s foolishness. Eric Ciaramella’s identity will become known at some point.

Much bandwidth has been used to talk about the Sixth Amendment and whether its protections extend to impeachment hearings and trials. The simple answer is this: they do if the House and Senate write those protections into their impeachment rules. Ditto with federal rules of evidence. There’s nothing in the Constitution that prohibits these considerations from getting written into the House or Senate rules.

There are, however, partisan reasons why Democrats wouldn’t write the federal rules of evidence into their rules. Ditto with omitting Sixth Amendment protections from their rules. The simple explanation is that Democrats didn’t insist on applying the federal rules of evidence into their hearings because those rules would utterly gut their case. Without hearsay testimony, the Democrats’ storyline collapses immediately. Remember this hearsay:

If that doesn’t qualify as hearsay, nothing does. WOW! Then there’s Mike Turner’s cross-examination of Ambassador Sondland:

Rep. Mike Turner: No one on this planet told you that President Trump was tying aid to investigations. Yes or no?
Ambassador Sondland: Yes.
Rep. Mike Turner: So, you really have no testimony today that ties President Trump to a scheme to withhold aid from Ukraine in exchange for these investigations?
Ambassador Sondland: Other than my own presumption.
Rep. Mike Turner: Which is nothing.

By not excluding hearsay testimony, each testifier was able to provide a juicy-sounding soundbite to the Agenda Media, which then dutifully splashed that “bombshell” across their website all day. The Agenda Media didn’t care that the soundbite got ripped to shreds on cross-examination. They had their juicy-sounding headline, their click-bait.

Democrats understood that, in these impeachment hearings, hearsay was their friend. Democrats understood that because their case was exceptionally weak. Had Democrats been interested in fairness, they wouldn’t have put the nation through this. That wasn’t their mission. The Democrats’ mission was to utterly demolish the president they’ve hated since he was elected.

That’s why Democrats approved the rules they approved.

Democrats understood that the CIA snitch would get ripped to pieces the minute his identity was confirmed, too. Without hearsay testimony, which got started with the CIA snitch, the Democrats don’t have anything. They have nice-sounding testimony from people with impressive resumes but they don’t have the evidence they’d need to win a high-profile case like this.

Democrats wanted this impeachment so badly that they’d do anything for it. In the final summation, that sums things up best. Democrats wanted this so bad that they ignored the needs of the country.

How sick is that?

Democrats won’t let impeachment go. They’re too invested in it to let go until the Democrats’ House majority is pried from their fingers next November by voters. That will happen next November.

The Democrats are delusional. Here’s what the looniest Democrats think:

Right now, Democratic leaders seem intent on a quick process: impeachment in the House before Christmas and a trial in the Senate sometime in the next few months. House leaders believe they have enough evidence to impeach the president. Finding enough Republicans to convict him in the Senate by a two-thirds vote looks impossible.

That’s foolish. Democrats still haven’t found a scintilla of evidence of anything. They’ve found corroboration for the MSM’s storyline but that isn’t proof. The Democrats’ big moment was supposed to happen when Bill Taylor testified. Things didn’t go as expected:

Ambassador Taylor didn’t talk with President Trump so Taylor’s understanding of the situation was based on hearsay. With a few exceptions, hearsay can’t be used as evidence. The other man that was supposed to put the final nail in President Trump’s coffin was Gordon Sondland, the US Ambassador to the EU. That didn’t end pretty either:

Though Democrats won’t admit it, they don’t have evidence that President Trump committed an impeachment offense. In Watergate, there was proof that Nixon told people to perjure themselves. That’s what real obstruction of justice looks like. In Watergate, there was evidence that President Nixon told FBI agents that they didn’t need warrants to wiretap antiwar protesters’ phone calls. That’s what a legitimate constitutional crisis looks like. It’s disgusting to compare the Democrats’ attempt to impeach President Trump with hearsay ‘evidence’ with a unified House and a unified Senate telling President Nixon that he’d be impeached, then convicted if he dragged it out.

Democrats will lose their majority in the House if they keep this up. Here’s why:

When asked to rank 11 issues as top priorities, impeachment placed last among independents, with just 27 percent ranking it as the top priority. For comparison, 74 percent selected the deficit, 72 percent selected healthcare, and 70 percent selected infrastructure spending as the top priority.

Voters simply don’t care about impeachment. You can beat a dead horse until your arms are sore but that critter still won’t eat, drink or swim. If Democrats keep beating that dead horse, their only ‘reward’ will be electoral defeats.

If I got $100 each time a CNN, NBC or MSNBC said “bombshell testimony”, I’d have nice-sized nest egg to live off of. If I got another $100 each time Adam Schiff or one of the pundits insisted that proof was overwhelming, I’d be a multi-millionaire. The thing is that we didn’t witness any bombshell testimony. I’m still waiting for the first bit of verified proof of an impeachable offense that wasn’t demolished on cross-examination.

Last week, the nation heard lots of testimony that corroborated the MSM’s storyline. We didn’t hear verified proof that President Trump committed an impeachable offense. Initially, Gordon Sondland used his opening statement to say “as I testified previously, Mr. Giuliani’s requests were a quid pro quo for arranging a White House visit for President Zelensky. Mr. Giuliani demanded that Ukraine make a public statement announcing investigations of the 2016 election/DNC server and Burisma. Mr. Giuliani was expressing the desires of the President of the United States, and we knew that these investigations were important to the President.”

Later in his opening statement, Sondland said this:

In the absence of any credible explanation for the suspension of aid, I later came to believe that the resumption of security aid would not occur until there was a public statement from Ukraine committing to the investigations of the 2016 election and Burisma, as Mr. Giuliani had demanded.

Notice that Sondland said “In the absence of any credible explanation for the suspension of aid, I later came to believe…” Mike Turner noticed them. When it was his time to question Sondland, he utterly demolished Sondland’s testimony:

When Jim Jordan cross-examined Bill Taylor, this was the memorable moment from that exchange:

These were moments when the storyline was exploded. The thing they had in common is that they happened during cross-examination. Whether Sondland or Taylor are Deep State guys or not, they were billed as star witnesses by Chairman Schiff, Schiff’s Democrats and/or the MSM. When Taylor and Sondland were finished, their credibility was gone. That’s the truth.

The storyline didn’t withstand scrutiny. What proof did Marie Yovanovitch provide? What proof did Fiona Hill provide? David Holmes? David Hale? George Kent? Lt. Col. Vindman? They didn’t provide verifiable testimony that President Trump had committed an impeachable offense. In fact, the thing that Ms. Yovanovitch will be remembered for is admitting that she wasn’t the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine at the time of the Trump-Zelenskiy call because she’d gotten fired from that position in April.

The MSM hasn’t refuted the Republicans’ cross-examinations. That’s interesting because Republicans have refuted the MSM’s storyline and the testifiers’ opening statements. Call me crazy but that’s proof that Democrats have a weak case. If this was presented in a criminal court, Democrats wouldn’t have had a lengthy trial because most of their ‘witnesses’ didn’t witness anything. That’s why I’ve consistently called them testifiers.

The American people saw that. That’s why independents don’t support impeachment anymore. The ‘horserace’ polls show support for impeachment but diving into those polls show shrinking support amongst independents. For all intents and purposes, impeachment is dead.

Good riddance.

Based on this information, it’s apparent that impeachment isn’t inevitable anymore. As polling for impeachment craters, more Democrats are jumping ship. One of the latest Democrats that’s jumped ship is “Rep. Brenda Lawrence, a prominent supporter of Kamala Harris who has previously supported the impeachment inquiry.”

Just like polls aren’t the most reliable predictors of election outcomes, polling doesn’t always paint an accurate picture of what’s happening with issues. Watching partisan politicians actions are often a better indicator. In this instance, Lawrence’s actions tell us everything we need to know. If the Democrats’ impeachment hearing had produced the quantity of “bombshell” testimony that the MSM reported, the Democrats that run the Impeachment Committee would’ve stayed in DC to write their report. That isn’t happening. This is:

When Adam Schiff responded to Jake Tapper’s question about impeachment, nobody in the civilized world would’ve anticipated his answer that he wanted to talk to his constituents and his colleagues. The Adam Schiff of a month ago would’ve quickly responded with a ‘yes, we’re moving forward with impeachment. The evidence is overwhelming and it speaks for itself.’ This Adam Schiff is more contemplative, cautious, less confident.

Lawrence occupies a safely Democratic district that includes eastern Detroit, and her reluctance to move forward with impeachment suggested that moderate Democrats in swing districts may also be getting cold feet now that all scheduled hearings in the probe wrapped up last week.

If Lawrence isn’t on board with impeachment, then it isn’t going anywhere. It’s one thing to favor censure if you’re a Democrat representing a purple district. It’s another thing when you’re advocating for censure from a safe district.

Expect more defections from the Democrats’ “impeachment bandwagon.” Whether enough defect to sink impeachment is still too early to tell. Still, this is proof that the Democrats’ impeachment hearings were a dud.

If Tip O’Neill is right that all politics is local, then this isn’t good news for Adam Schiff. Jennifer Barbosa, Schiff’s opponent, is attacking him because Schiff has paid too much attention to impeachment while ignoring the homeless crisis in his district.

Appearing on Fox & Friends, Barbosa said “Adam Schiff has been my congressman since 2012. He became my congressman through the redistricting process. Since he became my congressman he has not presented any legislation that’s become law. In terms of homelessness, what he’s done is he’s basically rubber-stamped Maxine Waters’ bill to deal with homelessness, and her bill essentially replicated the same failed policies that [L.A.] Mayor Garcetti has implemented in our city over the past few years. We know they’re not working. So, what we need to do in terms of homelessness… we need to stop allocating federal funds for affordable housing which costs $500,000-700,000 per unit and really focus on mental health services for the people who are living on the street.”

At this point, Schiff appears to have a difficult path to re-election. Impeachment has flopped. Schiff has been ineffective in fighting the crisis in his neighborhood. Barbosa is hitting Schiff hard on the home front, too:

“Seeing the impeachment inquiry, when he’s wasting all these resources — we know that Ken Starr’s impeachment cost about $70 million,” she said. “That’s $70 million that really could be spent on much better things in our district.”

If Schiff doesn’t start paying attention to things at home, he might soon be unemployed. If Schiff’s actions in committee are an indicator, he’s too invested in impeachment to pay attention to the crisis in his district.

Stay tuned to LFR for updates on this and other races that affect the balance of power in the House of Representatives.

It’s easy to see that the Democrats’ impeachment hearings have pushed the 2020 presidential campaign into a higher gear. While I’d be wrong to call it full speed, I wouldn’t be wrong in saying that it’s sped up more than a notch or two. Lots of information is accumulating just begging to be deciphered.

First, there’s the effect that impeachment is having on shaping the election. For that, I turn to FNC’s Liz Peek, who writes “Newsflash: Rep. Adam Schiff is dithering over impeachment! On CNN’s ‘State of the Union’ Sunday, the House Intelligence Committee chairman claimed that grounds for impeaching President Trump are ‘not contested’ but also said he wants to ‘discuss this with my constituents and colleagues before I make a final judgment on this.'”

Whoa! That’s like watching Moses part the Red Sea, then decide that 400 additional years of slavery in Egypt sounded ok. It isn’t that impeachment went well for Democrats. It didn’t. It’s that Schiff saw things that weren’t there.

The thing is that the impeachment train left the station when Pelosi announced the inquiry. It picked up steam when 232 Democrats voted for the inquiry. By now, the train that left DC is likely heading through Kentucky or parts west. The Lunatic Left demands an impeachment vote and they’re gonna get it or they’ll stop writing checks to the Democrats’ congressional candidates.

Displeasure with the impeachment push is also showing up in the polls. While early surveys indicated widespread support for the investigation into Trump’s commerce with Ukraine, the tables have turned. A recent Emerson poll shows 45 percent of voters oppose the impeachment push while 43 percent support; a month earlier 48 percent supported impeachment and 44 percent were against it. Perhaps more significant for Democrats hoping to regain the White House in 2020, support among independents has nosedived. Some 34 percent approve of the push today, down from 48 percent in October.

The Emerson poll is not an outlier. An NPR/Marist poll also shows support for impeachment dropping over the past month and, even worse for the showboating Schiff, interest in the proceedings waning. Only 30 percent of the nation saying they were following the proceedings “very closely,” down from 37 percent in September. Adding insult to injury, Trump’s approval rating has actually gone up, not down, over the past month. And, the stock market keeps hitting new highs.

Then there’s this:

According to two new polls, Trump has now gained popularity with African-Americans— and the numbers are significant, even “bigly.” Both polls—Rasmussen, which usually tilts Republican, and Emerson, which is considered even-handed—came out almost exactly the same, putting Trump’s support among blacks at a surprising, almost astonishing, 34 percent. Typically, Republicans poll in single digits among blacks.

Check this out:

If President Trump gets 15%-20% of the African-American vote, Democrats would be looking at an historic bloodbath next November. It’s still a long ways from Election Day but the warning signs are accumulating. The bad news for Democrats is that they aren’t heading in the right direction.

Finally, the fundraising totals continue heading in the GOP’s favor. With the DNC essentially bankrupt, Pelosi, Perez and Schiff shouldn’t feel too confident.

According to this article by David Ignatius, last week’s “testimony was damaging to the president.” The next sentence from Ignatius’ article says it all:

But the Wisconsin survey showed modest but nonetheless perceptible shifts in the direction favoring Trump, on the question of whether he should be impeached and also in head-to-head matchups against leading Democratic presidential candidates. What makes the Wisconsin poll important is that it is a snapshot of a state that, more than any other in the country, could decide the 2020 election.

The obvious question is simple. If the testimony was damaging to President Trump, why is he in better shape today than he was before impeachment was initiated? It’s impossible, obviously, to hurt a candidate while he’s rising in the polling.

This is what inside-the-Beltway thinking looks like. David Ignatius is a smart guy. Still, he’s trapped thinking like others trapped inside the Beltway.

The Marquette poll found 40 percent of registered voters favoring impeachment of Trump and his removal from office, compared with 44 percent in October. At the same time, 53 percent oppose impeachment and removal, compared with 51 percent the previous month. Statistically these are tiny-to-insignificant shifts, but the direction of the changes on this and other questions are consistent.

This isn’t insignificant when put into perspective. The net negative on impeachment is what’s required. In October, impeach-and-remove was a net negative of -7. In November, impeach-and-remove was a net negative of -13. That’s heading in the right direction for the Trump campaign:

The results from Wisconsin also showed that, since the summer, the Democratic candidates have seen clear slippage in their support in hypothetical matchups with the president. Former vice president Joe Biden led the president by 51 percent to 42 percent in August. By October the margin was 50 percent to 44 percent. The latest poll flips the script. Trump now is ahead of Biden by 47 percent to 44 percent. The shift came primarily from movement among independents, either away from the former vice president to Trump or to a posture of saying they liked neither candidate.

If last week’s testimony was damaging to the president, shouldn’t that equate to bigger leads for Democrat presidential candidates? Isn’t this proof that the testimony wasn’t as damaging as the Beltway thinks it was? This is interesting:

Trump’s current approval rating in the state, according to the Marquette poll, is 47 percent, higher than his national number and about the same as it was in the poll in October. Republicans are more unified behind him today than they were when he first ran for president.

If Democrats can’t flip Wisconsin back to the blue column, there’s virtually no chance of them retaking the White House. Democrats would have to flip Michigan, Pennsylvania and another Trump state to win. Trump won with 306 electoral votes. Michigan and Pennsylvania equal 26 electoral votes. Wisconsin adds another 10 electoral votes. Even if Trump lost the so-called blue firewall, he’s still at 270, the winning number. The Democrat nominee would need to flip yet another red state while holding New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado, Minnesota and New Hampshire.

I can’t picture Democrats re-flipping the Blue Firewall while keeping the previous list of states. It’s possible. It just isn’t likely. When the votes are counted on Election Night, President Trump will still be President Trump.