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Topic: Schiff’s Report Will Not Attract New Impeachment Supporters

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ATexasVol

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Schiff’s Report Will Not Attract New Impeachment Supporters
« on: December 05, 2019, 04:37:50 PM »
Andrew McCarthy lays out the truth that everybody knows, except fuzzy and a few of his hardball partisans.   This impeachment is not about removing the president; it's about the 2020 election.  


Democrats are in 2020 campaign mode, not engaged in a serious effort to remove the president.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/12/schiffs-partisan-report-will-not-attract-new-impeachment-supporters/

The most striking thing about the impeachment report filed Tuesday afternoon by the House Intelligence Committee chaired by Adam Schiff (D., Calif.) is how unapologetically partisan it is.

Don’t get me wrong. Chairman Schiff is fiercely partisan and no one would have expected him to call it down the middle. A serious impeachment effort, however, has to try to attract support from Republicans and independents. Schiff gives us not a feint in that direction. His narrative is the Democratic base’s political case against Trump. There is no pretense of at least presenting the other side of the story, even if only for the purpose of refuting it.

To repeat what I argued in Faithless Execution (2014), impeachment is counterproductive if there is no plausible chance of removing the president from power. To impeach under circumstances where the president is certain to be acquitted at the eventual Senate trial (where a two-thirds supermajority is required for conviction and removal) is only to encourage further executive excesses.

That is why impeachment is a historical rarity even when the House (where only a simple majority is needed to file articles of impeachment) is controlled by the president’s opposition party. Prudent lawmakers grasp that it is not merely a waste of time to pursue impeachment in futility; doing so fosters divisiveness in society and dysfunction in government.

Schiff is not trying to develop a broad public consensus that the president should be removed from office. His report is a 2020 campaign document. Its heavy-handedness is only going to irritate Republicans. That includes many who are not particularly enamored of the president but want to see a fair process.

There is also the point I made in Tuesday’s column: If there were truly an impeachable offense, one that was patently egregious and provoked grave doubt about the president’s fitness for office, there would be no need to spin it. All that would be necessary would be a straightforward, nonpartisan recitation. Schiff, to the contrary, is spinning at every turn.

The report, for example, begins by slamming the president for departing, in his dealings with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, from “a standard package of talking points [prepared] for the President based on official U.S. policy.” But it is the president, not the vaunted “policy community,” that makes American foreign policy. If President Trump does not share the “interagency” view that Ukraine is a strategic ally, and doubts that we should eagerly pour financial and military aid into a deeply corrupt country, that is the setting of executive policy. It is not an abuse of power for the president to disagree with the State Department, the NSC, Adam Schiff, the New York Times, etc.

Schiff portrays Gordon Sondland, Trump’s ambassador to the EU, as a co-conspirator in Trump’s thoroughgoing corruption. In introducing him, the report notes that he donated $1 million to Trump’s inauguration, intimating that he purchased his post, sidelining foreign-policy careerists. Is that really where Schiff wants to go? It is a commonplace for presidents to award ambassadorships to key supporters — a tradition that President Obama enthusiastically continued. How is it that now, suddenly, Democrats have decided that this is corruption?

Most glaringly, the report claims that Trump demanded Ukraine’s help in two investigations solely for the benefit of his 2020 reelection campaign. This is not true, but it leads seamlessly to descriptions of the two investigations that are grossly misleading.

There is little doubt that the president hoped the requested Ukrainian investigative activity would redound to his political benefit. But that was not the only purpose for encouraging them — which is a salient distinction, since all presidents hope their permissible public actions will help their personal political standing.

The first of the two investigations mentioned in the Trump–Zelensky call on July 25 involved Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election. Schiff misrepresents this investigation in two ways. First, he suggests it was to be conducted solely for Trump’s 2020 political purposes. In fact, it was primarily about (a) refuting the fraudulent 2016 narrative of Trump collusion with Russia and (b) exploring Ukraine’s meddling in the 2016 campaign.

Schiff ignores the ongoing Justice Department investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation. Democrats despise this probe and want the public to see it as a politicized extension of the Trump 2020 campaign. It is, however, every bit as legitimate as was the Mueller probe (also approved by DOJ, and despised as political by Trump supporters). It is routine and proper for governments to seek each other’s help in investigations — especially when the obligation to assist is codified in a treaty, such as the one Washington and Kyiv have had for 20 years.

Schiff’s report obscures this fact by continuing to pretend (as Democrats did throughout Schiff’s hearings) that there is only one narrative of Ukraine’s 2016 collusion: a conspiracy theory that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that hacked the DNC email accounts. Regrettably, Trump has bought into this discredited notion, and he mentioned it to Zelensky during their discussion. This enables Democrats to say that Trump seeks to undermine the intelligence community’s assessment that Russia was the cyber culprit. But even though the president is wrong to dabble in debunked narratives, his focus was on establishing culpability for 2016 campaign wrongdoing, not political positioning for 2020 campaign purposes.

More to the point, Schiff continues to ignore significant evidence that Ukrainian government officials meddled in the 2016 election to promote Clinton and hurt Trump — including a Ukrainian court decision that so held. Coordination among the Obama administration, the Ukrainian government, and Democratic operatives is a legitimate area of inquiry for the ongoing investigation of the Trump-Russia investigation’s genesis. Contrary to the Democrats’ story, regurgitated in Schiff’s report, there is no contradiction in believing both that Russia hacked to harm Democrats and that Ukraine meddled to harm Trump.

The second investigation discussed by Trump and Zelensky (though it is given top billing in Schiff’s report) was to be a Ukrainian inquiry into potential corruption on the part of Vice President Biden and his son Hunter. During the Intelligence Committee hearings, Schiff falsely portrayed Trump as having asked Zelensky to “make up” incriminating evidence about Biden. In reality, Trump asked Zelensky to look into a situation in which there were (and are) palpable grounds for suspicion — e.g., the fact that Burisma, a corrupt energy company, put Hunter Biden on its board, and lavishly compensated him, when Joe Biden became the Obama administration’s point-man on Ukraine policy; and the fact that Biden extorted Ukraine’s government, on pain of losing $1 billion in desperately needed funding, to fire the prosecutor who was investigating Burisma.

Far from confronting these inconvenient facts, the Schiff report dismisses them, conclusorily declaring that “the allegations about Vice President Biden were without evidence” and that the prosecutor was removed solely because U.S. and European officials believed him to be corrupt. But of course, there was no evidence about Biden presented at the Intelligence Committee hearings because Schiff denied Republicans the right to present any. Further, it is fatuous of Democrats to claim that there was nothing at all to the Biden allegations when the neon-flashing conflict-of-interest is undeniable. And while it is certainly possible that the Ukrainian prosecutor in question was removed over corruption concerns, it is also quite plausible that he was cashiered because his investigation could have brought unwelcome attention to Hunter Biden’s cozy arrangement with Bursima, and thus to the vice president.

In no serious, objective investigation would the tribunal deny one side the opportunity to present its case, and then write a report concluding that no evidence supported that side’s position.

But this is not a sober, impartial tribunal weighing competing claims. Adam Schiff is a hardball partisan. His report would have you believe that there is nothing to see in the dodgy Biden situation, but that Donald Trump — despite ultimately giving Ukraine the defense funding without extracting any promise of investigations — somehow makes Richard Nixon look like a piker.


ANDREW C. MCCARTHY is a senior fellow at National Review Institute and an NR contributing editor. His new book, BALL OF COLLUSION: THE PLOT TO RIG AN ELECTION AND DESTROY A PRESIDENCY, is available for pre-order and will be released by Encounter Books on August 13. @andrewcmccarthy


ATexasVol

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Re: Schiff’s Report Will Not Attract New Impeachment Supporters
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2019, 04:43:04 PM »
I think this was already linked, but it's worth repeating.


https://twitter.com/i/status/1202334615102480385




Cincydawg

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Re: Schiff’s Report Will Not Attract New Impeachment Supporters
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2019, 06:01:49 PM »
I've always seen this as a politic gambit (as has nearly everyone else).  I still don't get the calculus of it.  Does this help Democrats more in 2020 than Republicans?  I don't see it.  The hard left of the party is going to wake up sometime in January to a realization that impeachment is followed by a trial, one that the President simply cannot lose, it's not remotely possible.  It never was possible.  So, they are left with Trump still smiling, and tweeting, and driving them insane.

So, where is the upside for Democrats?  Will enough Democrats in the House realize this and try to derail this train?

HK_Vol

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Re: Schiff’s Report Will Not Attract New Impeachment Supporters
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2019, 06:52:54 PM »
It is all about placating their base, which has insisted on it.
They are so filled with hate that they cannot rationalize that it will backfire on them in the 2020 election.

ATexasVol

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Re: Schiff’s Report Will Not Attract New Impeachment Supporters
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2019, 10:37:11 PM »
I've always seen this as a politic gambit (as has nearly everyone else).  I still don't get the calculus of it.  Does this help Democrats more in 2020 than Republicans?  I don't see it.  The hard left of the party is going to wake up sometime in January to a realization that impeachment is followed by a trial, one that the President simply cannot lose, it's not remotely possible.  It never was possible.  So, they are left with Trump still smiling, and tweeting, and driving them insane.

So, where is the upside for Democrats?  Will enough Democrats in the House realize this and try to derail this train?

The only thing I can figure is they think they are better off impeaching him in the House so that the DNC can run negative ads during the campaign.  They'll try to frame him as an out-of-control president who abuses his power and is a danger to the country.  Look: he's even been impeached for his multitude of crimes.  Maybe they poll-tested "Trump" vs "impeached Trump" like they did "quid-pro-quo", "bribery", and "abuse of power".  

It's a desperate gambit, but it may be the only one they have.  

fuzzynavol

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Re: Schiff’s Report Will Not Attract New Impeachment Supporters
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2019, 11:16:06 PM »
No Congressional Democrat can ignore Trump's egregious and undeniable crimes - they have no choice but to impeach.  They can't go down in history as the opposition party that ignored the President's crimes.  

Like the majority of their base, some congressional Republicans live in a fantasy world and are in denial of what's going on.  Some others realize what's going on, but cannot be honest about it because it would be political suicide to vote against Trump, as intellectually dishonest partisanship dooms their legacy.  Those that speak out against Trump are dismissed as "never-Trumpers."  To the Republican base, no one can objectively accuse Trump of anything, as the Teflon Don is simply always the victim of bias.  

I won't get any credit here, but I've said that Trump would be impeached all along and my prediction has come true.  Trump deserved to be impeached for the crimes detailed in the Mueller Report, but now we'll never know if that would have been the outcome without the quid pro quo.  

ATexasVol

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Re: Schiff’s Report Will Not Attract New Impeachment Supporters
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2019, 11:53:13 PM »

No Congressional Democrat can ignore Trump's egregious and undeniable crimes - they have no choice but to impeach.  They can't go down in history as the opposition party that ignored the President's crimes. 

Trump has committed no crimes, not to mention "egregious and undeniable" crimes.   The dims have nothing and you know it.   

Like the majority of their base, some congressional Republicans live in a fantasy world and are in denial of what's going on.  Some others realize what's going on, but cannot be honest about it because it would be political suicide to vote against Trump, as intellectually dishonest partisanship dooms their legacy.  Those that speak out against Trump are dismissed as "never-Trumpers."  To the Republican base, no one can objectively accuse Trump of anything, as the Teflon Don is simply always the victim of bias. 

There are two possibilities here.  One: you are laughing as you type drivel like this because you're just having fun.   Two: you are mentally ill.  You won't tell us, but I am curious.    

I won't get any credit here, but I've said that Trump would be impeached all along and my prediction has come true.  Trump deserved to be impeached for the crimes detailed in the Mueller Report, but now we'll never know if that would have been the outcome without the quid pro quo. 

Unless you are a complete blathering idiot, you realize that the impeachment is all about political optics.   The dims are desperate to stick Trump with the "impeachment" label in the hope of influencing swing-state voters in the 2020 election.  It is a short-term, divisive, and destructive tactic that is bad for the country.  If Republicans have enough balls, they will do the same to the next democrat president.   


Cincydawg

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Re: Schiff’s Report Will Not Attract New Impeachment Supporters
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2019, 06:33:00 AM »
I suspect some portion of the "base" is going to be shocked when he is impeached and not removed from office and DEMAND the Democrats DO SOMETHING!!!!!!!!!!!

The question is not really whether he SHOULD be impeached, for me it's more "What will be the ramifications of this?"

It's clear it is not going to change anything tangible.  So, do the optics favor either side?  Or does this dilute out with time?



DunkingDan

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President Harry S. Truman said: “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount.  The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings…  If we don't have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.”

ATexasVol

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Re: Schiff’s Report Will Not Attract New Impeachment Supporters
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2019, 10:14:01 AM »

 

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