Daniel John Sobieski
As Rep. Adam Schiff’s “sentence first, trial later” show trial of President Donald J. Trump reaches a so-called public hearing phase we find the leaker, teller of lies, and weaver of fables dictating what witnesses the GOP will be permitted to call based on a set of three qualifying question they must answer in advance. These questions ask, essentially, if the witnesses believe President Trump is guilty of pressuring Ukraine to dig up dirt on the Bidens in exchange for military aid. The GOP, it seems, will not be allowed to call witnesses who have testimony r evidence to the contrary, that there was no pressure and no quid pro quo. Nor will the GOP be allowed to present witness or evidence that conforms that the “dirt” is accurate, that the crime of threatening to withhold aid for a personal and political favor, a crime Biden has already confessed to, was committed by Biden, not Trump, on behalf of Biden’s son Hunter. Nor will the GOP be allowed to make the case that any Trump inquiry of the Ukrainians was mandated by a treaty signed by President Bill Clinton. This is, dare I use the term Democrats used during the impeachment of Bill Clinton for a real crime, a phrase used by Joe Biden himself, a political lynching. As reported by the New York Post:
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff on Thursday released a tightened set of guidelines over what potential witnesses can be called in the impeachment hearings, saying Republicans must justify their relevance according to a three-point criteria.
The California Democrat, in a letter to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the ranking member of the committee, formally asked for the GOP members’ requests for witnesses they would like to call for next week’s public hearings.
The narrowed-scope of the questions, first obtained by Politico, are:
Republicans must justify the relevance of their witnesses in an impeachment hearing triggered by a so-called whistleblower with no first-hand knowledge of the phone call. The whistleblower’s relevance was never justified. This is a whistleblower coached by Adam Schiff and who colluded with Adam Schiff, a deep state CIA agent who we are told might wet his pants out of fear if his identity was publicly acknowledged. The statute says a whistleblower’s job, if they are a genuine whistleblower, must be protected but there’s no requirement for anonymity. Ironically, in a major goof-up, Schiff forget to redact the name of the whistleblower - Eric Ciaramella – as noted by Gateway Pundit – in a posted PDF of the transcript of Amb. Bill Taylor’s testimony. Duh.
Does Adam Schiff intend to allow testimony on the fact that when President Trump inquired of Ukrainian President Zelensky about Ukraine’s investigations into the Bidens, Burisma, and possible corruption he was actually required to do so by treaty:
Yes, there is an actual treaty between the U.S. and Ukraine which obligates the leaders of both countries to cooperate fully and together on investigations of corruption, particularly criminal matters and corruption that involves both the United States and the Ukraine. The phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Zelenskiy, and it’s content, were not only legal, but the discussion and requests are actually mandated.
Joe Biden was a Senator when the Treaty Between the United States of America and Ukraine on Mutual L... was written, and the President who signed this treaty with Ukraine was none other than William Jefferson Clinton!
So now it is grounds for impeachment by Congress to enforce a treaty ratified by Congress? The signpost up ahead says we have entered The Schiff Zone, a parallel universe where you are guilty until judge, jury, and executioner Schiff says you are innocent. As BPR Business and Politics notes:
A 1999 treaty with Ukraine, signed by Bill Clinton, provides a rock-solid basis for President Trump’s request for Ukrainian President Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden for alleged corruption.
The Bidens are in up to their armpits with regard to a potential renewed Burisma Holdings natural gas probe … an overdue investigation that was in fact initially stopped by VP Biden while he was in office … a fact that he subsequently bragged about.
On Thursday, Jesse Watters revealed on “The Five” that he found the treaty that provides solid legal ground for President Trump’s appeal for investigative assistance from Ukraine….
So, there is a firm legal underpinning to the request, the commander-in-chief to a country, an ally who we have a treaty with about criminal procedure to say, ‘Hey, can you look into some potential corruption allegations involving a U.S. Citizen?'” he added.
It is not obstruction of Congress, justice, or anything else for a President to exercise his legal and constitutional authority. The facts and the lack of an actual crime will not stop Rep. Schiff, just as it did not stop former Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Schiff, like Mueller, is following in the proud tradition of Stalin’s chief of the secret police, Laverentiy Beria. Just show him the man, or woman, and he will show you the crime.
We may be thankful to Alan Dershowitz, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus, at Harvard Law School, for reminding us of the delicious irony of Schiff and his investigations and so-called impeachment inquiries, one which begin with a whistle blower who is not a whistleblower and another which started with fake “reports” of collusion with the Russians by Team Trump and charges of Russian hacking of our elections, now reverting to the tactics of Russia’s most murderous tyrant, Josef Stalin. As Dershowitz writes in the Washington Examiner:
Federal prosecutors generally begin by identifying specific crimes that may have been committed — in this case, violation of federal statutes. But no one has yet identified the specific statute or statutes that constrain Mueller's investigation of the Russian matter. It is not a violation of any federal law for a campaign to have collaborated with a foreign government to help elect their candidate….
One does not have to go back to the Soviet Union and Lavrentiy Beria's infamous boast to Stalin, "Show me the man and I will show you the crime," in order to be concerned about the expansion of elastic criminal statutes. There are enough examples of abuse in our own history.
From McCarthyism to the failed prosecutions of Sen. Ted Stevens, Rep. Thomas DeLay, Gov. Rick Perry and others, we have seen vague criminal statutes stretched in an effort to criminalize political differences.
Now it seems you don’t even need a real crime defined by statute. You can invent them, as Dershowitz charged Democrats with doing in an appearance with forme....
One of the proposed Schiff articles of impeachment is something called obstruction of Congress. As Dershowitz asks, just where is the statute defining this? Congress and the President are co-equal branches of government. If a Trump administration official refuses to comply with a subpoena based on executive privilege of other grounds, you take them to court. You don’t impeach the President and charge him with an invented crime.
Somewhere Josef Stalin and Lavrentiy Beria are smiling.
Daniel John Sobieski is a former editorial writer for Investor’s Business Daily and free lance writer whose pieces have appeared in Human Events, Reason Magazine, and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.