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Nate Jackson / Jan. 24, 2020

Impeachment Trial Day 3: Can We Get a Witness?

Haggling over witnesses continues, Nadler blows it, and Schiff whiffs on the truth.

As we reflect on Day 3 of the Senate’s impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, three things stand out:

Witnesses and the whistleblower

Senators continue to haggle over whether to call additional witnesses and who those witnesses might be. Democrats still want former National Security Advisor John Bolton and White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney. Republicans maintain that the House should have done its job in calling witnesses and that the Senate is responsible only to try the evidence at hand. Nevertheless, if witnesses must be called, they want to question Joe and Hunter Biden, and of course Adam Schiff and his so-called “whistleblower.”

As Mark Alexander notes: "The Democrats’ entire case hinges on Trump’s request that Ukrainian officials investigate how Hunter Biden landed his sweetheart deal with Burisma. Anyone with an IQ above 50 (which apparently excludes most House and Senate Democrats) can connect the dots between how Ukrainians wanted to purchase favor with then-VP Joe Biden by giving Hunter $850,000. Obviously any witness list must include the Bidens.“

Democrats opened the door to Hunter’s testimony by protesting a bit too loudly that he has nothing to do with corruption allegations against his father.

Alexander added: "And of course the so-called ‘whistleblower,’ Barack Obama’s deep-stater Eric Ciaramella, and his handler Adam Schiff would also have to be on the witness list. But Democrats know that if Schiff was questioned, that would reveal his collusion with Ciaramella and the whole case could unravel.”

Democrats are even more concerned about Ciaramella now that investigative journalist Paul Sperry revealed this inconvenient tidbit: “Barely two weeks after Donald Trump took office, Eric Ciaramella — the CIA analyst whose name was recently linked in a tweet by the president and mentioned by lawmakers as the anonymous ‘whistleblower’ who touched off Trump’s impeachment — was overheard in the White House discussing with another staffer how to remove the newly elected president from office, according to former colleagues.”

And Fox News’s Laura Ingraham reported that Ciaramella also has some extremely inconvenient connections to the Bidens and Burisma.

Clearly Democrats do not want any of them to see the light of day in this Senate trial — with the exception of Bernie Sanders, whose rising political fortunes will benefit from the Biden appearances.

Nadler’s accusation backfires

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, whose personal animus toward Trump dates back to the early 1980s, challenged Republicans on witnesses. “Will you bring Ambassador Bolton here? Will you permit us to present you with the entire record of the president’s misconduct?” he asked. “Or will you instead choose to be complicit in the president’s cover-up? So far, I’m sad to say, I see a lot of senators voting for a cover-up, voting to deny witnesses. [It’s] an absolutely indefensible vote — obviously a treacherous vote.”

That “cover-up” language is part of the Democrats’ strategy to win the Senate by accusing Senate Republicans of obstructing a fair trial. But, for now at least, Nadler’s hyperbolic charge appears to have backfired.

GOP senators rejected Nadler’s characterization. Susan Collins said she was “stunned by Congressman Nadler’s approach,” while Lisa Murkowski said she was “offended,” and Ron Johnson called it “offensive.”

Nadler may have just united Republicans against voting to call any witnesses. Nice work.

Schiff’s whiff

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff gave an impassioned speech Thursday to make the case against Trump, though he led with a “joke” about hoping senators “don’t choose imprisonment” over paying attention to him. He opined at length with an exceedingly mendacious interpretation of events before concluding, “If right doesn’t matter, we’re lost. If the truth doesn’t matter, we’re lost. The Framers couldn’t protect us from ourselves if right and truth don’t matter.”

To hear Schiff lecture on right and truth is laughably absurd. Schiff was completely wrong about FISA surveillance of Trump’s campaign, which launched impeachment charade No. 1. He’s the man who, as we mentioned, colluded with the whistleblower through his staffers and then lied about it. He knew the case against Trump was so weak he fabricated Trump’s conversation for dramatic effect.

Moreover, Schiff’s party calls a pre-born baby a clump of cells that can be aborted. Schiff’s party says a man can claim he’s a woman and play women’s sports and use women’s bathrooms. Schiff’s party claims that marriage can mean two men. Schiff’s party believes that taking your money to pay someone else who doesn’t work is the moral thing to do. Schiff’s party believes that Trump is corrupt and that American voters can’t be trusted to weigh in.

Is this really the man or the party to judge the president or to lecture anyone about right and truth?

(Updated.)

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