Three witnesses, 11 hours of testimony and endless squabbling between Republicans and Democrat Adam Schiff. That’s the bare-bones tally of the first two days of public impeachment hearings.
Along the way, patient viewers learned many things, some interesting but none decisive. So we don’t know the final score, but we do know the big loser.
America, in a landslide. Make that a mudslide.
With apologies to the late President Gerald Ford, we are in engaged in a new national nightmare as one party — and one party only — tries to remove the president of the United States. As distasteful as that is, it is even more remarkable that the impeachers still can’t honestly explain the reasons for their putsch.
Pressed to describe the “high crimes and misdemeanors” visible exclusively to Donald Trump haters, Dems throw words at walls, hoping something will stick. Quid pro quo, bribery, extortion, abuse of power, obstruction and witness intimidation are all getting a tryout.
The search for buzzwords proves the entire enterprise is 100% political. If impeachment were justified by facts, the right words would be obvious to the vast majority of Americans.
Quid pro quo, the battle anthem for six weeks, was ditched after focus groups told Dem pollsters that bribery was easier to understand than Latin. Presto — bribery it is.
Yet the week’s most important revelation was nothing said to or by the House intelligence panel. Rather, it was the completion of the strange evolution of Nancy Pelosi.
The speaker, who often sounds and acts as if she is cuckoo, has gone full coup coup.
For months, Pelosi made a big deal of pushing back against impeachment, calling it radical and divisive. Then she moved to accepting the possibility, saying investigators would determine where the party went next.
Those days are gone. Pelosi is now the zealot leading the charge to boot Trump from office by any means necessary, facts be damned.
Evidence that the change was complete came when she spoke to reporters a day after the first hearing.
“The devastating testimony corroborated evidence of bribery,” Pelosi insisted, adding that it was now certain “the president abused power and violated his oath by threatening to withhold military aid and a White House meeting in exchange for an investigation into his political rival.”
The charge itself was nothing new — it’s basically what Dems said all along while calling it a quid pro quo. But now Pelosi was calling it bribery, and declaring it already corroborated.
She then helpfully pointed out that bribery “is in the Constitution attached to the impeachment proceedings.”
Asked by a confused reporter, “So what was the bribe here?” she responded: “The bribe is to grant or withhold military assistance in return for a public statement of a fake investigation into elections. That’s bribery.”
It is? If she means Trump bribed the president of Ukraine, she’ll need another new word. Many public officials get in trouble for taking a bribe, but I’m not aware of any who were arrested for paying a bribe. Certainly no president was ever impeached for that.
She wasn’t done. Pelosi then said, “We haven’t made a decision to impeach. That’s what the inquiry is about.”
Perhaps realizing she was backtracking, she tried to explain. “What I am saying, that what is — the president has admitted to and says it’s perfect. I said it’s perfectly wrong. It’s bribery.”
So it’s bribery but they might not impeach? Trapped, she abruptly brought up Richard Nixon, saying what Trump has done “makes what Nixon did look almost small, almost small.”
Five more minutes of questions, and she would have compared Trump to Hitler. Ho-hum.
Pelosi’s absurd act would be comical if she weren’t doing such great damage to America. I’ve written before how her friends distinguish the speaker from her party’s far-left crazies, but that’s no longer possible. She’s one of them.
With her actions and ridiculous comparison to Nixon, she seals her fate as a rank partisan heedless of the national interest. Pelosi had another, better option.
Recall that after Dems took the House in 2018, Trump complimented her, saying, “I give her a lot of credit . . . She’s worked long and hard.”
He added: “Hopefully, we can all work together next year to continue delivering for the American people, including on economic growth, infrastructure, trade, lowering the cost of prescription drugs. These are some of things that the Democrats do want to work on, and I really believe we’ll be able to do that.”
None of that happened. Pelosi aligned her power with the resistance and rejected Trump’s offer of bipartisanship, especially on immigration, where she refused even to negotiate.
Worse, she made the fateful decision to join Schiff and others in pushing Russia, Russia, Russia. When Robert Mueller gave them nothing to work with, they instantly seized on Ukraine, which GOP Rep. Devin Nunes rightly called a “low-rent sequel.”
Yet to this day, Pelosi continues to accuse Trump of being a Russian agent, repeatedly saying recently that with him, “all roads lead to Putin.”
She includes the president’s dealing with Ukraine despite the fact that Trump gave the former Soviet republic the anti-tank Javelin missiles that Barack Obama wouldn’t. Obama, against bipartisan support for giving lethal aid to help fight off Russian invasions, limited support to socks and military rations.
His reason was shameful: He didn’t want to antagonize Putin. Obama chose appeasement which, as always, failed miserably and tragically.
The next time Pelosi cites Ukrainian battle deaths, as she did last week, she should separate out those who died because of Obama’s fecklessness and fear of Putin.
In that regard, a related development is the proof that the Obama State Department knew that Hunter Biden’s lucrative job with a corrupt Ukrainian company smelled to high heaven.
Marie Yovanovitch, the ambassador Trump pushed aside, testified her preparation for Senate confirmation in 2016 included the topic. If it came up, she was told to refer the Senate to the office of Joe Biden, the vice president.
The Obama White House didn’t care about Biden family corruption then and Democrats are trying to hide it now. How fitting if their reckless bid to hang Trump ends up driving the final nail into Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign.
Bloomy’s sorry state
Another sign former Mayor Michael Bloomberg is running for president: He apologized for past sexist and crude statements.
The New York Times pressured him, and he relented. All the remarks cited are more than 20 years old.
An apology only whets the left’s appetite. If Bloomy isn’t careful, he’ll be saying sorry so often his campaign won’t get out of the gate.
From The AP, London — “Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says she’s ‘dumbfounded’ the UK government has failed to release a report on Russian influence in British politics as the country prepares for national elections.”
For Clinton, different country, same song.
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