December 4, 2019 - Wednesday
Facts Get Short Schiff in House
December 04, 2019
Just how ridiculous is this impeachment farce? Even the Democrats' friends are mocking this morning's Judiciary session as a "climb into the clown car." "Up next," Slate scoffed, "a pointless hearing from the House's most impotent committee." Even before Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) gaveled members in, reporters like Jeremy Stahl were already declaring today a disaster. And based on the last five months of this absurdity, it was a pretty safe bet.
While Nadler debated constitutional law, the rest of the city was combing through two dueling impeachment reports -- one from Republicans and another from Democrats. Maybe Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) is a frustrated screenplay writer, the New York Post joked, because he managed to turn a non-case into 300 pages of "the second coming of Richard Nixon." "Say this for Rep. Adam Schiff," Michael Goodwin wrote, "his imagination is vivid, and he has a flair for the dramatic. If only he had more respect for facts and a tighter tether to reality."
When I asked Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) what the key findings were, he said that was the funny part. There were none. "There is no evidence," Louie explained on "Washington Watch." In fact, he said, "If we were in a court of law -- and I would submit that this is even more important than most criminal cases, because it would end up removing a president through impeachment for the first time in American history -- this evidence wouldn't [survive a] jury trial. You can't bring in what somebody tells somebody that somebody else said. You'd get laughed out of court. And if I were the judge, as I was once, there'd be some prosecutors [who] would either not be practicing in my court again or there would be some consequences. You just can't come in and base an important case on four-, five-, or six-way hearsay."
In the GOP report, which summed up the party's conclusions, they found absolutely zero proof that American aid for Ukraine was ever linked to investigations that President Trump called for. What's more, the Republican members point out, no senior Ukrainian official knew about this freeze in funding. If it was a bribe, then it wasn't a very good one -- since no one in Ukraine ever knew it was happening! And yet, Schiff's party insists, there is "overwhelming and uncontested evidence that President Trump abused the powers of his office to solicit foreign interference in our election for his own personal, political gain."
We've heard that before, Louie said, during the Robert Mueller investigation. "They said, 'Oh, there's plenty of evidence to convict him, to impeach him, to remove him... And there wasn't [any] at all. So imagine their surprise. They thought Muller was going to come through for them -- and he was sure trying. He was doing everything he could. But there just was no evidence of anybody with the Trump campaign conspiring [or] colluding with anybody in Russia." Now, he went on, we're talking about the most serious action Congress can take -- removing a sitting president from office -- and "there's just nothing... It's an outrage."
Louie's colleagues, like Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), are still waiting to hear what "high crime" President Trump has supposedly committed. "In desperation," Biggs points out, "Democrats started testing various catchphrases to focus groups in an attempt to find something that would resonate with the country. That hasn't worked either. They are shedding public support like a St. Bernard in an Arizona summer sheds hair."
Why? Because this isn't about what Donald Trump has done. It's about what Democrats failed to do three years ago: Win. But instead of building a better case for their party bid next year, they're focused on taking the choice out of voters' hands altogether! And, worse, they've ditched their entire legislative agenda to do it. I'd hate to be Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) next year when Americans go to the polls and compare the Democrats' accomplishments (none) with the president's (trade, economy, taxes, judges, jobs, national security, international diplomacy, immigration reform, religious freedom, pro-life protections, military readiness, Israeli relations, and more). Or the Democrats' vision (infanticide, open borders, socialism, gender confusion, Medicare for All, taxpayer-funded abortion, judicial activists the Green New Deal) with this administration's.
At the end of the day, the Democrats' obsession with Trump is on the verge of reelecting him. And if they do, the impeachment critics warn, they'll have no one to blame but themselves.
Tony Perkins's Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC Action senior writers.