Politics

Pelosi: 'It's Not an Impeachment Resolution'

How the Vindman testimony reveals what a sham Democrats' resolution really is.

Nate Jackson · Oct. 30, 2019

As we noted yesterday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s real impeachment gambit is to keep President Donald Trump under a cloud of investigation while putting Senate Republicans on the spot in 2020 for defending him. Thursday’s scheduled vote on the now-released resolution on impeachment is all about controlling the narrative — which Pelosi inadvertently admitted by telling a reporter, “It’s not an impeachment resolution.”

House Majority Steny Hoyer said the same thing: “This is not an impeachment resolution. I don’t know what an impeachment resolution is.”

If “it’s not an impeachment resolution,” what is it?

Well, it’s an effort to “address” Republican complaints about an opaque process by setting certain public rules about hearings. But it’s also literally a “keep doing what you’re doing” directive to Democrats:

Resolved, That the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Committees on Financial Services, Foreign Affairs, the Judiciary, Oversight and Reform, and Ways and Means, are directed to continue their ongoing investigations as part of the existing House of Representatives inquiry into whether sufficient grounds exist for the House of Representative to exercise its Constitutional power to impeach Donald John Trump, President of the United States of America.

Except there’s one glaring problem about those “ongoing investigations.” As The Federalist’s Sean Davis notes, “This Pelosi non-impeachment resolution is hilarious. It goes out of its way to avoid authorizing a specific investigation and delegation of authority and instead repeatedly references an ‘investigation’ that under the rules of the House doesn’t even exist … because the House of Representatives never authorized one. And this resolution doesn’t either.”

Indeed, the bulk of the resolution is window dressing about transparency. For example, Adam Schiff, chairman of the powerful House Intelligence Committee, can decide what “sensitive information” to redact from publicly released transcripts. Republicans can call witnesses … subject to approval from Schiff. Remember, this is the guy who went out of his way to script the narrative with the so-called “whistleblower,” so no one should trust him.

In other words, the resolution is the Democrats’ version of putting on glasses and asking Republicans, “You wouldn’t hit a guy with glasses, would you?”

Even so, Democrats may not actually vote on this weak-sauce resolution. Hoyer waffled, “We’re going to have to consider whether or not it’s ready to go on Thursday.” The only thing that’s transparent is that this is a charade.

As for Tuesday’s testimony from National Security Council official Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman — a Ukrainian-born expert in U.S.-Ukraine relations — it illustrates the point about Schiff’s gamesmanship. As Democrats have done before, Vindman’s opening statement was leaked so as to “bolster” the Democrats’ narrative. Yet with this carefully controlled script being all we have to follow, it’s hard to believe anything Democrats are saying.

Vindman is the first official to testify who actually listened to Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. His “big reveal” was that the memorandum the White House released detailing the call omitted details — i.e., it wasn’t a true transcript. Specifically, Vindman says Zelensky explicitly mentioned Burisma Holdings — you know, the firm that paid Hunter Biden $850,000 despite his having no related energy experience.

Vindman said, “I did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen, and I was worried about the implications for the U.S. government’s support of Ukraine.” He also says he brought his concerns to superiors, including requests to update the memorandum on the call, but without result.

Who did he speak to? Rep. Jim Jordan would like to know, except… “When we asked [Vindman] who he spoke to after important events in July — Adam Schiff says, ‘No, no, no, we’re not going to let him answer that question.’”

Rep. Steve Scalise says of Schiff’s closed-door hearings, “He’s directing witnesses not to answer questions that he doesn’t want the witness to answer if they’re asked by Republicans. He’s not cut off one Democrat. He’s not interrupted one Democrat and told a witness not to answer Democrat members’ questions, but today he started telling witnesses not to answer questions by certain Republicans.”

Rep. Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, marveled, “I have never in my life seen anything like what happened today.” He accused Schiff of “interrupt[ing] us continually to coach the witness, to decide … what we’re going to be able to ask the witness.” He added, “Schiff is very good at coaching witnesses.”

But we’re supposed to trust Schiff to run an honest impeachment inquiry after the House votes on a sham not-an-impeachment-resolution resolution?

Democrats desperately want Americans to believe that Trump’s query regarding the Bidens’ corrupt dealings in Ukraine had more to do with benefiting the president’s reelection bid in 2020 than getting to the bottom of Democrat shenanigans in Ukraine related to the 2016 election. In other words, they insist, Trump’s supposed quid pro quo was corrupt and politically motivated. Consider, however, that Democrat corruption and soliciting foreign election interference is why this Ukraine fiasco and the now-defunct Russia-collusion hoax got started in the first place. Exposing Democrats would necessarily benefit Trump in 2020. That doesn’t make him corrupt.

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