Archive for the ‘Byron York’ Category

It’s becoming increasingly apparent that Adam Schiff, the Democrats’ Impeachment Committee Chairman, doesn’t care who he demolishes on his path to impeaching President Trump. Schiff’s latest act of intimidation was his “decision to publish the phone records of the president’s personal attorneys, a journalist, a fellow lawmaker, a National Security Council aide, and others.”

Schiff’s behavior since 2016 has been hostile and corrupt. The definition of corruption is “perversion of integrity” or “corrupt or dishonest proceedings.” If anyone personifies a “perversion of integrity”, it’s Schiff. He’s been caught lying so often that he’s often called ‘the little boy who cried wolf too often.’

Now Schiff’s depravity has reached a new low by releasing this private information. If Schiff is willing to do that about journalists and political opponents, why shouldn’t we think that he’ll next extend that behavior to anyone that stands in his way of impeaching President Trump. Unfortunately, Schiff can’t be arrested for this corrupt behavior because of the Speech and Debate Clause of the Constitution. What can be done is to expel him from the House the minute Republicans retake control of the House in 2021.

In a text exchange, I asked one Republican lawmaker with knowledge of the situation whether Schiff’s move raised any attorney-client issues:

Not legally. They used their subpoena authority. The decision to publish certain records is out of bounds as clearly political retribution, but it’s not illegal as far as I can determine.

Whether Schiff broke any laws is irrelevant. His actions were the personification of corruption. It isn’t a stretch to think that Schiff’s actions were meant as retribution against people who tried stopping his impeachment obsession.

Democrats who protect Schiff should be defeated at the next election. Schiff’s actions are reprehensible. Schiff has specialized in extreme lies. This is the most well-known example of Schiff’s lies:

What a worthless collection of human cells.

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.

Byron York’s article about the “Democrats’ Colonel Vindman problem” highlights the things that Col. Vindman said that might hurt Democrats by the time Democrats wrap up Col. Vindman’s public testimony. Of particular interest to Republicans will be Col. Vindman’s verification of the July 25th Trump-Zelenskiy phone call.

Democrats have suggested that the rough transcript was doctored by the White House. Though that hasn’t gotten much traction, it’s still out there. Col. Vindman put that to rest.

Another problem that Democrats have comes from John Ratcliffe’s cross-examination of Col. Vindman:

“I’m trying to find out if you were reporting it because you thought there was something wrong with respect to policy or there was something wrong with respect to the law,” Ratcliffe said to Vindman. “And what I understand you to say is that you weren’t certain that there was anything improper with respect to the law, but you had concerns about U.S. policy. Is that a fair characterization?”

“So I would recharacterize it as I thought it was wrong and I was sharing those views,” Vindman answered. “And I was deeply concerned about the implications for bilateral relations, U.S. national security interests, in that if this was exposed, it would be seen as a partisan play by Ukraine. It loses the bipartisan support. And then for — ” “I understand that,” Ratcliffe said, “but that sounds like a policy reason, not a legal reason.”

Saying that you’re worried about the conversation sounds ominous. Without pinning the source of the concern down, it might mean that Col. Vindman was worried for legal reasons. That’s certainly how Democrats tried portraying it. Rep. Ratcliffe’s cross-examination pinned that down as policy concern. That matters because you don’t impeach sitting presidents over policy disagreements. That’s a dispute best settled with elections, not impeachment.

This back-and-forth highlights another problem for Democrats:

At another point, Castor asked Vindman whether he was interpreting Trump’s words in an overly alarmist way, especially when Vindman contended that Trump issued a “demand” to Zelensky. “The president in the transcript uses some, you know, words of hedging from time to time,” Castor said. “You know, on page 3, he says ‘whatever you can do.’ He ends the first paragraph on page 3, ‘if that’s possible.’ At the top of page 4, ‘if you could speak to him, that would be great.’ ‘So whatever you can do.’ Again, at the top of page 4, ‘if you can look into it.’ Is it reasonable to conclude that those words hedging for some might, you know, lead people to conclude that the president wasn’t trying to be demanding here?”

“I think people want to hear, you know, what they have as already preconceived notions,” Vindman answered, in what may have been one of the more revealing moments of the deposition. “I’d also point your attention to ‘whatever you can do, it’s very important to do it if that’s possible.'” “‘If that’s possible,'” Castor stressed. “Yeah,” said Vindman. “So I guess you can interpret it in different ways.”

That isn’t a demand as much as it’s a petition or request. There’s lots of literary distance between demand and request. In fact, they’re close to being opposites. Saying that President Trump demanded an investigation is provocative. Saying that President Trump requested help with something doesn’t sound provocative.

That’s why Democrats intentionally chose the word demand. It isn’t surprising that Democrats used the provocative-sounding word considering the fact that they’re trying a weak case. You might even say that Democrats are trumping up the accusations because they know that the evidence doesn’t get them there. Then there’s this:

Vindman portrayed himself as the man to see on the National Security Council when it came to issues involving Ukraine. “I’m the director for Ukraine,” he testified. “I’m responsible for Ukraine. I’m the most knowledgeable. … Yet at times there were striking gaps in Vindman’s knowledge of the subject matter. He seemed, for instance, distinctly incurious about the corruption issues in Ukraine that touched on Joe and Hunter Biden.

“What do you know about Zlochevsky, the oligarch that controls Burisma?” asked Castor. “I frankly don’t know a huge amount,” Vindman said. “Are you aware that he’s a former Minister of Ecology”? Castor asked, referring to a position Zlochevsky allegedly used to steer valuable government licenses to Burisma. “I’m not,” said Vindman.

“Are you aware of any of the investigations the company has been involved with over the last several years?” “I am aware that Burisma does have questionable business dealings,” Vindman said. “That’s part of the track record, yes.”

If that’s the NSC’s definition of an expert, we should be worried. I’d make an exception if Col. Vindman was holding his cards close to his vest. I suspect that’s what Lt. Col. Vindman was doing.

Schiff steps in it

“Both those parts of the call, the request for investigation of Crowd Strike and those issues, and the request for investigation of the Bidens, both of those discussions followed the Ukraine president saying they were ready to buy more Javelins. Is that right?” asked Schiff.

Mr. Schiff just stepped in it mightily. An action can’t be both a request and a demand. Those words are close to being opposites definition-wise.

For the record, it’s obvious from President Trump’s softened language that request is the accurate word. Demand is a stretch.