Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., asks a question of House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., as the House Judiciary Committee hears investigative findings in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
There has been a lot of commentary from pundits all across the political spectrum who were spinning their interpretations of the Democrats’ Soviet-style impeachment star chamber since the “inquiry” began three weeks ago. Much of that commentary was hampered by the elaborate steps taken by Democrats to tightly screen and rehearse the testimony of witnesses that they felt would help them weave their hearsay case against the President.
On Monday, two Democrat hack lawyers, each of whom contributed tens of thousands of dollars to Democrats in recent years, summarized the Democrats’ case for impeaching the President without any direct evidence of impeachable crimes being committed. In fact, they ignored evidence that completely exonerated the President by falsely spinning the phone call transcripts and implying that Ukrainian President Zelensky was “lying” when he publicly stated SEVERAL times that he was not pressured to do anything during that 25 July phone call with President Trump.
A lot of positive attention from conservative- and independent-oriented media has been given to the statements of Republicans who have high name recognition during these hearings, e.g., Reps Nunes, Collins, Jordan, and Gaetz (deservedly so!) However, one of the best and most succinct summaries that absolutely nailed it on Monday was provided by Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA). Here is what he said:
This has been a truly historic and unprecedented hearing. It has been, frankly, an outrageous violation of due process – a SERIES of violations of due process, in fact. Let me review the past seven-and-one-half hours.
In the beginning of our proceedings today, I asked Chairman Nadler if Mr. Berke (majority counsel) was appearing here as a staff member or a witness. But the Chairman gave strange and conflicting answers to that important question. When I objected under House rule 17 that Mr. Berke was repeatedly and brazenly steamrolling over House decorum rules and using language that impugned the motives of the President of the United States and suggested that he is disloyal to his country, Chairman Nadler insisted that those words could not be taken down and stricken from the record, saying – quote – “the rules don’t apply here because Mr. Berke is merely appearing as a staffer.” But later, Chairman Nadler stated the opposite and declared that Mr. Berke was appearing to present the Democrat members’ report as their representative, which of course means that the member rules should apply.
Then Mr. Berke was allowed to switch places and turn from witness to questioner. That’s extraordinarily bizarre, of course, but that’s entirely consistent with this whole impeachment circus. As everybody knows, Chairman Schiff was allowed in the opening act of this circus to serve as judge, jury, prosecutor, witness coach, and case strategy chief all in one. So much for due process.
Under the Democrats’ haphazardly drawn special procedures for these special hearings, House Resolution 660, Mr. Berke was then allowed to join the elected members of Congress on this dais and ask 45 minutes of questions of his fellow witness Mr. Castor. When he was argumentative, assumed facts not in evidence, engaged in speculation, and committed countless other violations of House rules and the federal rules of civil procedure, I objected but was then ruled out of order by Chairman Nadler, who informed us that, while House Resolution 660 specifically provides for objections, it lists none of them, and the Democrats have ignored every request of ours to obtain a list of what rules and objections would be enforced and be applicable today. Again, so much for due process and fairness.
A month ago – listen, a MONTH ago – the Republican members of this committee formally requested all documents related to the impeachment investigation, but Chairmen Nadler and Schiff held everything until – you know when? – Saturday afternoon. That’s right. Less than 48 hours before this hearing, they dumped approximately 8,000 pages of documents on us when we were back home in our districts. They intentionally made it literally impossible for us to review all material in any meaningful way.
What’s worse is that the documents they decided to dump on us is not ALL of the records we need to review, but only a partial biased, redacted subset of the information that they think will advance their false narrative. And as has been mentioned here, we’re being allowed no minority day of hearings which is required by regular House rules.
Now I’d love to cross-examine Mr. Berke himself, but Chairman Nadler’s still mysterious rules for this hearing won’t allow it. I notice that he’s disappeared from the hearing room. I would love to ask him under oath about his own biases because you know, he hammered here over and over today the importance of fairness and objectivity and accuracy, and he insisted that everything here has been unbiased. But if he was under oath here, he would be forced to admit that FEC records show that he has personally donated approximately $99,000 to Democrat candidates over the years, including sizable donations to Hillary Clinton for President and also donated to Trump opponents Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillebrand.
Mr. Berke appeared here as a fact witness and a finder of fact, but in our system, a finder of fact is supposed to be fair and impartial. He is supposed to be an umpire. The problem with all this, and the problem that everybody at home can see with their own eyes, is that the umpires in this high-stakes game are parading around the field in the majority team’s jerseys.
The report evidence released by the Republican committee staff on December 2 carefully documents that in the hearings that led us to this point today, Chairman Schiff directed witnesses called by the Democrats not to answer Republican questions. He rejected witnesses identified by Republicans who would have injected some semblance of fairness and objectivity, and he denied Republican subpoenas for testimony and documents, violating the Democrats’ own rules to vote down those subpoenas with no notice to Republicans.
Chairman Schiff also publicly fabricated evidence about President Trump’s July 25 phone call, and he misled the American public about his interactions with the anonymous whistleblower to selectively seek information and to paint misleading public narratives. The anonymous reportedly acknowledged having a professional relationship with Vice President Biden and obviously his motives, biases, and objectivity are central to this case, but we can’t even question him.
This not due process; this is not the rule of law. And this is NOT how to impeach an American president. And this is NOT how we’re supposed to run a country. It can’t be.
Seventeen out of 24 of our colleagues over there (the majority) already voted to proceed with impeachment before we started all this. They’ve already made up their minds. They were prejudiced before they walked in, but the American people are not. Fairness matter; truth matters. And the people can see clearly that this is a sham.
A-frickin’-men! Rep. Johnson nailed it. Just the dispassionate summary that the American people needed to see and hear.
The Democrats’ impeachment lynch mob has been orchestrating this impeachment farce for months. They are grasping at straws to present a case for impeachment that contains no direct evidence and have fabricated a false narrative to try and convince Americans that President Trump should be removed from office.
The Democrats appear hell-bent on rushing to an impeachment vote before Christmas. Let them commit political seppuku by doing so. The tables will turn, and the real story underlying the House Democrats’ farce will become clear to all Americans during the trial in the Senate.