Witnesses For Me, Not For Thee, Say Democrats
Witnesses For Me, Not For Thee, Say Democrats
With the House vote on impeachment looming, and the lack of must-see-TV that the Democrats produced over the previous weeks, the Senate is starting to prepare for a trial. That means more witnesses could be called.
The GOP leadership in the Senate is sending strong signals that they might just forgo witnesses altogether, in favor of making the Democrats prove their case on their own. Senator Lindsey Graham, who heads the Senate Judiciary Committee, has called this entire impeachment circus a “crock” and wants this thing over with. Graham’s philosophy is to have the Senate stick to the record that House has created, and feels that additional witnesses would slow everything down.
I personally am of the mind to bring in Hunter Biden, Adam Schiff, and the so-called whistleblower as witnesses and let them squirm under the camera’s glare. We know that Schiff’s office was in communication with the whistleblower and failed to disclose that, and under careful questioning by the Senate, we might find out what many have suspected – that Schiff’s office may have been helping “set up” the whistleblower report all along. Bringing in Hunter Biden and questioning him about the oodles of Ukrainian cash he was raking in for being a Biden would also be highly entertaining, because Hunter isn’t exactly the brightest crayon in the box. Is it schadenfreude? Yeah, it is. Is it worth it? I really want it to be, but Graham does have a legitimate point in his interview.
If the Senate sticks to the record that the House has created regarding the articles of impeachment, and then makes the House defend the articles solely on their own record of witnesses, it makes the case for impeachment look incredibly weak and pathetic. This has been a rush job, because Democrats were so convinced that their would be a pony in the pile of manure if they could just get that phone call transcript. I continue to believe that President Trump absolutely pulled the rug out from under the Democrats when he released the transcript without a court battle. When the transcript didn’t fulfill all their fever dreams, the Democrats decided to keep rushing through. The problem is that they didn’t actually subpoena witnesses. They invited several administration officials to testify. Those officials told the Democrats to issue a subpoena, but they would end up fighting those subpoenas in court – as is their legal right to do. So the Democrats didn’t even bother with the subpoenas, especially in the case of former National Security Advisor John Bolton.
“We would welcome John Bolton’s deposition and he did not appear as he was requested today. His counsel has informed us that unlike three other dedicated public servants who worked for him on the NSC and have complied with lawful subpoenas, Mr. Bolton would take us to court if we subpoenaed him,” the official said in a statement provided to CNN.
The official continued, “We regret Mr. Bolton’s decision not to appear voluntarily, but we have no interest in allowing the administration to play rope-a-dope with us in the courts for months. Rather, the White House instruction that he not appear will add to the evidence of the President’s obstruction of Congress.”
THAT is how House Democrats cooked up their completely idiotic article of impeachment about “obstruction of Congress.” When administration officials didn’t willingly come to testify, and told the House that they could fight it out in court as the law provides, the House Democrats said “nah, can’t wait for the facts” and claimed “obstruction” instead.
There is no defense for that article of impeachment, and Graham’s take is to simply let the House Democrats come into the Senate and try to spin it. There is merit to that tactic, as it will make the Democrats look extremely foolhardy and stupid.
Which is why Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is now saying to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, “hey, can we call some witnesses here?”
In the letter obtained by CNN, Schumer, a New York Democrat, called for at least four witnesses to testify, including acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, former national security adviser John Bolton, senior adviser to the acting White House chief of staff Robert Blair and Office of Management and Budget official Michael Duffey.
“We believe all of this should be considered in one resolution. The issue of witnesses and documents, which are the most important issues facing us, should be decided before we move forward with any part of the trial,” Schumer wrote in the letter, adding that he would be “open to hearing the testimony of additional witnesses.”
Ohhhhhhhhh, so NOW we need witnesses. The House Democrats didn’t need no stinkin’ witnesses if they actually had to WORK for them, but the Senate Democrats are suddenly looking at those articles of impeachment and thinking what the rest of us are: that this is some weak tea.
Schumer is making demands. That’s adorable .
— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) December 16, 2019
McConnell, for his part, is in no mood to play.
Doug Andres, a spokesman for McConnell, made clear that the GOP leader wouldn’t negotiate publicly before he met with Schumer.
“Leader McConnell has made it clear he plans to meet with Leader Schumer to discuss the contours of a trial soon. That timeline has not changed,“ Andres said on Sunday night.
Which is why Schumer is saying this in public NOW. He’s trying to pin the sins of the House Democrats back on the Senate Republicans. If the Republicans move forward in a Senate trial without calling any additional witnesses, watch the Democrats forget that they ever had control of this process as they wail and gnash their teeth over how the Senate GOP doesn’t want the WHOLE truth. And the media will nod like brainless bobbleheads, anxious to restructure their narrative.
Lets note: The Dems in the House had the EXACT same choice here:
Delay the hearings until the courts decide, even if it takes months.
Pelosi et al decided it was not worth it.
Now they expect McConnell to do the dirty work? Good luck with that.
— Pradheep J. Shanker (@Neoavatara) December 16, 2019
We will just have to wait and see how this plays out. The House will likely vote to impeach by the end of the week (so they can go on vacation), and then the ball moves to the Senate’s court. Here’s hoping that the GOP remembers that they have a spine, and they need to use it.
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While it would be entertaining to examine the Bidens, Schiff and the Whistleblower, remember that they have not been deposed or even interviewed, so we don’t know what they would say. Only a fool calls a witness and asks questions to which he does not know what the answer will be, unless it’s one of those rare cases where the answer doesn’t matter. That’s not this case. The more I think about it, the more I think Sen. McConnell is playing it very smart.
Just so long as there’s no “Scottish law” crap in voting.
I think they could stick close to what raham is proposing while also having Schiff and such as witnesses. After all, someone has to explain the word salad the House will send over.
There is nothing stopping the Senate from following up an impeachment acquittal with initiating in depth hearings into corruption in Ukraine, election interference by Crowdstrike, etc.
>>they didn’t actually subpoena witnesses. They invited several administration officials to testify
Perused the current issue of “Time” at Barnes and Noble yesterday. They have a “timeline” graphic breathlessly recounting the impeachment saga like Watergate cosplay. One stop on this timeline is “Secretary of State Pompeo is the first administration official subpoenaed but refuses to testify.” Except that as you say they DIDN’T subpoena him, just invited him. He didn’t refuse a subpoena but declined an invitation. Nevertheless the Democrats have been throwing out the “subpoena” mantra about him and others and I suspect for the people at “Time” that blatant falsehood has become reality to the point that it made it into their publication.
Well put, Kebas.
Big problem bringing in witness and evidence not directly from House reports (Bidens): CJ Roberts gets to decide which evidence should be admitted. And we all know how worried he is about his and the SCOTUS legacy, so he would want to be extra fair, sort of like the media.
Is this why the Dems dropped all the bribery stuff? Things that make you go ‘Hmm…’
Well, asking Republicans to have a spine is risky.
Stand up, man up, and become a living example of the kind of Republicans you want to see.
Have you shown “spine” (your word) enough to walk your neighborhood precinct in 2016? 2018? Any time this year?
Have you shown “spine” enough to gather some people together and lead a streetcorner rally waving homemade “I ♥ TRUMP”, “MAGA NOW”, and “TRUMP 2020” signs as commuters pass by? Trump is your boy. Get out there and back him up.
Don’t blame us Republicans. We didn’t turn you into an inert Trumpotato.* You did.
* a portmanteau of Trumpist and couch potato
Stephen Miller should have used following response (attributed to Moliere upon receiving a bad review from a critic of one of his plays):
“I am seated in the smallest room of the house with your review before me. Soon it will be behind me.”