Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, accompanied by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif. and other congress members speaks during a news conference on Trump Putin Helsinki Summit at Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday, July 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Televised impeachment hearings against President Trump have begun and what we are witnessing is such a dud of expectations on the part of the Democrats. One star witness who opened the hearings, the top American diplomat in Ukraine, Bill Taylor, had this bombshell of a statement: “What I can tell you here today is what I heard from people.” Surely, America held its breath and dramatic drum rolls raged across the country as Taylor made this dramatic statement. Schiff’s star witness, in fact, witnessed nothing. The other “witness” that day, George Kent, likewise failed to show any quid pro quo with Ukraine in that now infamous telephone call. One suspects that after these “bombshells,” viewer ratings dropped quicker than those of CNN.
But Schiff was not through. Next up was former Ukraine ambassador, Marie Yovanovitch. The thrust of her testimony was basically her feelings were hurt because she was abruptly recalled from her post by the State Department. Obviously ignorant of the fact that ambassadors serve at the pleasure of the President, her testimony was rife with self-puffery since she was the nonpartisan, patriotic dutiful servant of the American people.
If the first week of these hearings are any indication, we now know why Schiff’s depositions of “witnesses” occurred in private in the basement of the Capitol Building. By comparison, the Mueller investigation looks almost exciting and we all know how that ended. Not only is this a dud of a hearing; it is also redundant, pointless, and downright boring.
The transcript of that call between Trump and Zelensky has been unclassified for weeks now. There was not a scintilla of evidence of a quid pro quo. Zelensky himself has stated he felt no pressure to open the requested investigation. While some may demand the testimony of the so-called “whistleblower,” who the Democrats still suspiciously guard, that too would be pointless. What can they offer other than second-hand hearsay also? Schiff may as well call the reporting staff of CNN and the Washington Post as witnesses. Instead, what the country is witnessing is the Democrats in Congress chasing that elusive ghost and wasting taxpayer money in the process.
So what is the motivation of the Democrats? Having failed with the Russiagate waste of time and money, it becomes apparent that they have nothing to lose. Aside from a few select media outlets, Democrats control the narrative through their patsies in the media. They can count on the media to turn every dud of testimony into some nefarious smoking gun. One must also remember that before any phone call or recall of an ambassador, Democrats have been screaming impeachment for a variety of alleged offenses which boil down to one belief: “We hate President Trump.”
It is also apparent that Schiff, Pelosi and others have an eye on 2020 and have come to the conclusion that not one of the clown car participants in the presidential sweepstakes has a chance of defeating Trump in 2020. If they really thought that Biden was going to win in 2020, they would have never opened this line of inquiry through Ukraine. Instead, now the public, if they are even listening, will hear tantalizing details about Joe Biden, his son Hunter, Burisma, withholding $1 billion in aid if a prosecutor is not fired in Ukraine, etc. In short, they will hear about a real quid pro quo and corruption on the part of Obama’s vice president.
Another reason is that this sham of a hearing is occurring against the backdrop of an investigation of how everything started in the first place. No doubt the announcement that the Durham probe had transformed into a criminal investigation was a motivating factor in going public with an impeachment inquiry. If allegations that criminal activity took place among top intelligence and federal law enforcement people who had a visceral dislike of Trump are confirmed, they may be in need of some good legal advice in the coming months. We know what the reaction will be: Trump is doing this to distract from the real corruption and abuse of power and the lapdog media will play along.
These factors taken together- the Barr/Durham/Horowitz probes and an unlikely defeat of Trump in 2020- is what motivates Pelosi and Schiff to go down this path. We are left with a race to November 2020 to show who- Trump or the Democrats- are less or more guilty in alleged wrongs in the eyes of the American public. Because Trump is fighting both the Democrats and the media, it is important that Barr and the IG get things absolutely right. Perhaps that is accountable for the delay in the much-anticipated release of reports. The big question is whether Barr can deliver the goods. We know at this point that the Democrats have no goods.
The question then arises whether the Democrats can survive the 2020 elections. Since they seem content to proceed down a suicidal path given this sham of an inquiry and the quality of their socialist presidential wannabes, we will likely know the answer sooner, as in 2020, rather than later.