The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

The New Dem Rules

As the Democratic j'accuse drones on during the impeachment trial, the words "cover up," "witnesses," and "documents" are used ad nauseum. The Dems understand that their sham accusations are very, very weak, and the introduction of additional witnesses and documents just might introduce information that could be spun into headlines that would hurt Donald Trump's election chances as well as the elections of a number of GOP senators—even after the inevitable happens, and Trump is acquitted.

It's amusing to listen to the Dems demand witnesses but absolutely, unequivocally, refuse to accept the two witness that are central to their accusations. After all, the Dems suggest that Trump wanted an investigation of Hunter Biden and his father, Joe Biden, for corruption in the Burisma case (the investigation never happened) and that Trump withheld foreign aid to the Ukraine for a few weeks to encourage them to investigate corruption (the aid was ultimately delivered).

But what if there was corruption? What if a presidential candidate, Joe Biden, while Vice President, involved himself in a Ukrainian investigation of Burisma* because his son was on their Board? Wouldn't that somehow be relevant to the Dems' accusation that Trump abused his power by asking that corrupt practices by the Bidens be investigated? Who better to hear from than the Bidens themselves?

Matt Margolis comments:
Democrats are so afraid of Hunter Biden testifying in the impeachment trial of Donald Trump that they would rather have no impeachment witnesses than risk the country hearing his testimony. During an interview on CBS’s "Face the Nation" on Sunday, [House Judiciary Committee Chairman, Jerry] Nadler said Democrats would not be willing to negotiate on witnesses for the Senate trial. In fact, he suggested that any attempts by the GOP to block or negotiate on witnesses were tantamount to a cover-up. [Ahhh, that word again]

“Is there any circumstance in which Democrats would consider, for reciprocity, having Hunter Biden come and testify?” asked CBS’s Margaret Brennan.

“You know, the question of witnesses in any trial, in any trial, all relevant witnesses must be heard,” replied Nadler. “Whether if—if you’re accused of robbing a bank, testi—testimony that I saw him rob the bank or he was somewhere else, he couldn’t have robbed the bank, is admissible. It’s not negotiable whether you have witnesses. And this whole controversy about whether there should be witnesses is just—is really a question of does the Senate want to have a fair trial or do they—or are they part of the cover-up of the president? Any Republican senator who says there should be no witnesses or even that witnesses should be negotiated is part of the cover-up.”
Nadler's incoherent response uses the word "cover-up" twice, but never seems to provide answers to CBS's question or to the questions I noted earlier in this post. To even suggest that a person central to an accusation of presidential abuse of power is somehow not relevant is ridiculous.

Even within the legal brief offered by the Democrat impeachment managers, there is an explicit attempt to protect the Bidens. Eric Felten writes:
... A careful reading of the report shows that its authors – not unlike those who wrote the Mueller report to suggest guilt they couldn’t prove – are convinced that thin allegations can be bulked up if repeated often enough.

The repetitions that immediately stand out in the House report are the adjectives that dismiss the president’s defense well before that defense is made. Assertions or questions involving Ukraine made by Trump or his attorney Rudy Giuliani are typically prefaced with the words “debunked” or “discredited,” and usually followed by the characterization “conspiracy theory.” “Debunked” appears 22 times in the report; “discredited” 15 times; “baseless” 16 times and “conspiracy” 56 times. A few of those uses are by Republicans – Giuliani is quoted as saying the impeachment inquiry is “baseless” – but the vast majority are by Democrats to dismiss Trump’s claims.

For example, arguing that Trump had committed high crimes and misdemeanors, the report accuses the president of pushing a “discredited conspiracy theory alleging Ukrainian interference in the 2016 United States Presidential election.”
Except that the allegations against the Bidens have NEVER been "debunked" or "discredited." Buried by the Obama administration ... yes. Ignored by the trained hamsters in the media ... yes. And shunted aside by deep state watchdog agencies... yes. But "debunked" or "discredited"—not a chance. Oh ... by the way, the democrat legal brief provides no evidence—none—that demonstrates that the corruption accusations against the Bidens are false. On the other hand, there is copious evidence in Biden's own words that he interfered with a Ukrainian investigation.*

Margolis continues:
What exactly is Nadler afraid of? Hunter Biden being questioned about his dealings in Ukraine, his father’s knowledge of those dealings and the [Obama] White House access Burisma effectively bought by putting him on the board? Any shady dealings that could come up in testimony would undeniably prove that President Trump was justified in suggesting the Bidens deserved scrutiny. House managers would still be able to cross-examine Hunter Biden. But, Nadler is clearly worried that even if they cross-examine Hunter Biden the damage will have been done.
An honest and unbiased media would be asking the same questions I'm asking in this post, but the hamsters are both dishonest and terminally biased, so the Dems get to speak incoherently and make insane assertions. Those are the 'rules' and the GOP must play by them.

The editors of the Wall Street Journal take a look at the question of "witnesses" and comment:
... Democrats are demanding that the Senate also call former National Security Adviser John Bolton ; acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney ; Mulvaney adviser Robert Blair ; and White House budget official Michael Duffey.

This is more than a little disingenuous. House Democrats could have gone to court to challenge President Trump’s assertion of executive privilege over testimony, and the House did sue initially to compel former Bolton deputy Charles Kupperman. But House Democrats abandoned their demands when litigation didn’t fit their rushed political timeline. They declared instead that the existing evidence more than justified impeachment. Yet now their “overwhelming” evidence has become a GOP “coverup.”

... Maybe Democrats hope witnesses will turn up something more damaging on Mr. Trump, but our guess is that the real game is political and geared to taking back the Senate. Democrats figure Republicans will vote down witnesses, and they can run from here to November claiming the trial was “rigged” and hid the truth.
And there's the truth of it. The Dems are perfectly willing to put our country through this travesty in a desperate attempt to gain some small political advantage in 2020 Senate races. After all, if they win a majority in the Senate, they'll be able to overturn the will of the voters (via a second impeachment) if Donald Trump wins a second term in office. They tried a coup once and it didn't work, but that doesn't mean they wont try it again. And the Dems argue that Trump is anti-Democratic! You might call their despicable strategy the 'New Dem Rules.'


* John Solomon reports:
It is irrefutable, and not a conspiracy theory [and certainly NOT debunked], that Joe Biden bragged in this 2018 speech to a foreign policy group that he threatened in March 2016 to withhold $1 billion in U.S. aid to Kiev if then-Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko didn’t immediately fire [Prosecutor General Viktor] Shokin.

“I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion.’ I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,’” Biden told the 2018 audience in recounting what he told Poroshenko.

“Well, son of a bitch, he got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time,” Biden told the Council on Foreign Relations event.
The only problem is that among Shokin's investigatory targets was Burisma. Interesting that the Dem impeachment managers don't mention any of this, isn't it? But then again, that might just be interpreted as exculpatory for Trump.