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Thomas Gallatin / January 17, 2020

Schiff Show Gets Underway in Senate

As the Senate trial starts, Dems engage in an underhanded effort to pressure Republicans.

Chief Justice John Roberts swore in all 100 senators Thursday as the Democrats’ orchestrated impeachment trial against President Donald Trump officially got underway. “Coincidently,” blocks from the Capitol building, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released an eight-page report alleging that the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) had violated the law when it temporarily withheld military aid to Ukraine. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi eagerly declared the report is “new incriminating evidence” that the Senate needed to accept.

So, how serious is this latest “bombshell”? In short, it’s a complete dud, which Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey does a great job of exposing. Furthermore, the GAO, an ostensibly nonpartisan agency that is uniquely an arm of the legislative rather than the executive branch, was urged by Democrat Sen. Chris Van Holland (MD) to state that Trump’s action on withholding aid was in violation of the law. Apparently, GAO General Counsel Thomas Armstrong, a Barack Obama appointee, obliged Holland’s wish and timed the report’s release to bolster Pelosi’s campaign to pressure Senate Republicans into caving to Democrats’ demands that witnesses and any “new evidence” they may come up with be accepted into the trial.

Pelosi sent articles to the Senate Wednesday. The GAO report released Thursday. That is not a coincidence for the party that colluded with the whistleblower to launch this whole charade in the first place.

The GAO’s report conveniently comes on the heels of Lev Parnas’s interview with rabid anti-Trumper Rachel Maddow in which he dubiously claimed that Trump was fully aware of the alleged scheme to pressure Ukraine’s president to investigate the Bidens. But Parnas is hardly a reliable source, as he has an obvious motivation to seek a deal as a means of getting out from under federal charges he currently faces for running a scheme to funnel foreign money to U.S. political campaigns.

Clearly, this is all part of an orchestrated ploy by Pelosi and company to put Senate Republicans on the defensive by claiming they are not interested in finding the truth but only in acting out of a partisan bias to exonerate Trump. Pelosi’s aim is to pressure the Senate into holding an open-ended impeachment trial based not only upon the vacuous charges and evidence the House supplied in its articles of impeachment but also upon any new “evidence” or “witnesses” Democrats may come up with as they continue their ongoing investigation. As Andrew McCarthy observes, “[The Democrats’] goal is to pressure the Senate not merely to conduct a trial but to complete the investigation that the House failed to complete — calling witnesses and gathering evidence, as if a trial were nothing more than an extension of an open-ended grand-jury probe.”

If Pelosi and company were truly concerned about constitutional fidelity and conducting a fair, nonpartisan trial after having supposedly uncovered new significant evidence, they would immediately request that the Senate hold the articles in abeyance or vote to dismiss the charges without prejudice so that the House could fully complete its investigation. But doing so would undermine Pelosi’s true goal: damaging Trump’s and Senate Republicans’ reelection bids.

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