House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., speaks during his opening statement during a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on the constitutional grounds for the impeachment of President Donald Trump, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
From the moment Adam Schiff took to the podium on Tuesday afternoon through Jerry Nadler’s midnight tirade, I’ve been struck over and over by the feeling that the Democrats are accusing Republicans of the very offenses of which they are guilty. After their farce of an impeachment inquiry, which was unfair by any standard, speaker after speaker emphasized that the Senate trial is unjust. After three years of watching the Democrats in action, it’s becoming easier to read them and to predict their next moves. Well aware that President Trump will be acquitted, they are laying the groundwork for their next line of attack which they will repeat loudly and often through Election Day, ‘Had the Senate trial been fair, Trump would have been convicted.’
At midnight, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer proposed the 8th amendment to the trial rules of the day (which can be viewed here). Its purpose was to immediately subpoena Trump’s former National Security Advisor, John Bolton.
It’s easy to understand why the Democrats waited until late at night to send Nadler the buffoon up to the podium. Here is what Nadler read to the weary Senators:
…Only if you, the Senate, sitting as an impartial jury, do not work with the accused to conceal the evidence from the American people. We cannot be surprised that the President objects to calling witnesses who would prove his guilt. That is who he is. He does not want you to see evidence or hear testimony that details how he betrayed his office and asked a foreign government to intervene in our election. But we should be surprised that here in the United States Senate, the greatest deliberative body in the world, where we are expected to put our oath of office ahead of political expediency, where we are expected to be honest, where we are expected to protect the interests of the American people, we should be surprised, shocked, that any Senator would vote to block this witness or any relevant witness who might shed additional light on the President’s obvious misconduct.
The President is on trial in the Senate. But the Senate is on trial in the eyes of the American people. Will you vote to allow all of the relevant evidence to be presented here? Or will you betray your pledge to be an impartial juror? Will you bring Ambassador Bolton here? Will you permit us to present you with the entire record of the President’s misconduct? Or will you instead choose to be complicit in the President’s cover-up? So far, I’m sad to say, I see a lot of senators voting for a cover-up, voting to deny witnesses. An absolutely indefensible vote. Obviously, a treacherous vote. A vote against an honest consideration of the evidence against the President. A vote against an honest trial. A vote against the United States. A real trial we know has witnesses. We urge you to do your duty, permit a fair trial. All the witnesses must be permitted. That’s elementary in American justice. Either you want the truth or you (pause) and you must permit the witnesses or you want a shameful cover-up. History will judge and so will the electorate.
(Note: This portion of Nadler’s remarks can be heard in the tweet below. Nadler’s full remarks can be viewed in the video below.)
Let’s start with the obvious. House Democrats should have gone through the appropriate legal channels during the impeachment inquiry to get Bolton to testify. Knowing this case would be tried before a Republican-controlled Senate, they should have anticipated this and dealt with it when they had control of the process. They chose political expediency. I suppose they’d just become used to doing whatever they’ve wanted to do. They didn’t even try to hide it.
Impartial? House Democrats need to be reminded that they denied every individual on Rep. Devin Nunes’ witness request list. Schiff refused to allow the alleged whistleblower’s name, Eric Ciaramella, to be uttered aloud during the proceedings. This young man is responsible for the greatest hit and run in U.S. political history and Schiff insists that he remain anonymous.
Fair? Was it fair for the House to deny due process to the President? One of the best moments of the day was when Trump’s personal attorney, Jay Sekulow said, “Mr. Schiff also talked about a trifecta. I’ll give you a trifecta. During the proceedings that took place before the Judiciary Committee, the President was denied the right to cross-examine witnesses. The President was denied the right to access evidence. And the President was denied the right to have counsel present at hearings. That’s a trifecta. A trifecta that violates the Constitution of the United States.”
Next, Nadler accuses the Republican Senators of “voting for a cover-up, voting to deny witnesses,” which he calls “an absolutely indefensible vote, obviously, a treacherous vote.”
A treacherous vote? Mr. Nadler, each House Democrat cast a treacherous vote on December 18. After bastardizing the rules of impeachment set forth by our founders, each member of the Democratic caucus voted to impeach the President of the United States in the absence of an impeachable offense.
Why? Because they hate him. They’ve looked at the unimpressive field of potential Democratic nominees and know that none of them can beat Trump.
Nancy Pelosi crowed last week that impeachment is forever.
I would argue that a bogus impeachment is forever. For that’s how this Congress will be remembered by history. And the stars of the show, Pelosi, Schiff, and Nadler, will be judged most harshly of all.
(Full version of Nadler’s remarks.)