The D.C. Democrats’ public impeachment “inquiry” hearings are set to begin. No one can seriously say that the lopsided procedure they have decreed is remotely fair, let alone a model of due process. As it unfolds, the Republicans need to be ready to counterattack.
History shows, that as the Nixon impeachment process got underway, there was obvious bipartisanship. When Republican Howard Baker asked, “What did the [Republican] president know and when did he know it?” America knew that the truth was being sought.
The Washington Democrats running this impeachment process have no such intentions. They have dictated a lopsided set of rules that require Republicans to ask permission to have a witness brought before the hearings.
When Republicans requested that the person who lodged the now-famous whistleblower complaint to be called as a witness, the ethically-challenged, prevaricating politician who broke the law helping the whistleblower before he filed his complaint – you know him as Adam Schiff -- denied their request. Schiff denied it because he said it was “redundant and unnecessary.”
Actually, Mr. Schiff, it is the people who come after the whistleblower who are “redundant.” The first cannot be redundant.
In any case, it is clear that the D.C. Democrats, at this stage, are intent on running not a “show trial” but a show pre-trial in the run-up to their partisan impeachment vote.
Here are four things to watch for during these public hearings and what Republicans must do in response.
1. Expect the Democrats to start with their best witnesses. They need to get media attention to keep this going.
2. Opinions will be masqueraded as facts. Few, if any, of the witnesses have first-hand information. Nevertheless, they will be called and they will give their opinion on what the president said or did. No court in the land would allow that – but this is a made-for-TV event so you will see a lot of it.
3. Policy differences will be on full display. It will be quite clear that the State Department and other government officials had policy differences with this president. Diplomats never want to upset the apple-cart – they want to massage everything. Presidents sometimes want to be bold – as in “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” Everyone should know by now that diplomats took that line out of Reagan’s speech. It was put back in at Reagan's insistence -- and changed the world.
4. Expect Republican efforts to be cut short. The rules are stacked against the Republicans already. Expect the Democrats who are running the show to circumvent Republicans at every possible turn.
So, what should the Republicans do in the face of this show pre-trial? The Republicans should do the following:
1. They should prepare graphics for each Democrat witness, a dossier if you will, demonstrating (a) their bias, (b) their policy differences with the president, (c) any action they took in contravention of the whistleblower law or stated U.S. policy and (d) any false statements or unlawful conduct by them; and
2. At the end of each hearing, Republicans should hold a “Truth Round-Up” summarizing (a) how the D.C. Democrats rigged the day’s proceedings, (b) exposing any witnesses in accordance with No. 1. and (c) previewing the next day’s charade; and then…
3. Put together videos for national dissemination of the above.
There is a good case to be made that the Democrats will never actually take an impeachment vote. As Tom Brokaw said, they do not have the “goods” on this president – not like they had on President Nixon. The Democrats know that, too and so they have engaged in an unprecedented massive taxpayer-funded opposition research smear in resistance to the last election results.
Whether you like President Trump or not, Democrats’ current tactics cannot become the new normal for our presidential politics.
In order to stop that from happening, Republicans must be prepared to defend our republic in unprecedented fashion.