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A Whimper, Not a Bang
Never before have political happenings been so dependant on the associated narrative as they are with Democrats’ impeachment inquiry. Witness after witness was brought forward, each lacking any first-hand knowledge of the events. In fact, as Republicans were keen to point out, the first that any of the “star witnesses” knew of a supposed Quid Pro Quo was when they read about it in the papers.
As Liberty Nation’s Graham J. Noble wrote:
The facts of what actually happened, then, bring us back to Taylor and Kent. Neither man has provided any first-hand knowledge of any event pivotal to the impeachment effort: During this first public hearing – as has been the case with every other individual who has so far testified – neither man was able to offer anything more than what he had heard from others, what he had assumed, or what he had suspected.
At this point, the narrative is all that impeachment hopefuls have left to work with. During the time of just transcripts, everything was focused on Trump trying to pressure Zelensky into opening investigations. When Democrats realized this wasn’t going to fly after Taylor and Grant’s testimonies, they shifted tack.
Now the unique selling point of the investigation is that Trump attempted to “intimidate witnesses.” The specific witness was former Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, and the intimidation was Trump’s tweets and conversation regarding her job performance. Once again, this seems like a wild shot in the dark, as Yovanovitch was completely unaware that discussions about her were being had until she read about it in the news.
What to Watch For
The witness intimidation attack against Trump will ultimately fail, despite coinciding nicely with the Roger Stone verdict. As we enter the second week of televised testimony, be on the lookout for more obfuscation, and wild claims as the Democrats try to piece together a charge with which to vote upon.
The most shocking element many of the impeachment hearing viewers may have witnessed was not the testimony given by people with zero first-hand knowledge of events, but rather the shocking partisan display by House Committee Chief Adam Schiff.
Blocking Republicans from entering a point of order, helping the witness respond to or avoid Republican questions, and even allowing speculative answers for his own side but not the other, any semblance of parity is long since departed.
It is quite possible that Schiff is hoping to get his licks in early; if this does ever make it to a Senate trial (presently unlikely), he may be expecting similar treatment. Yet with the “made for TV” style being broadcast to the nation, Schiff will be lucky to keep whatever reputation he has left intact. Almost certainly, Republicans are playing up to the audience and forcing Adam Schiff to reveal his partisanship, but if he weren’t partisan, there would be little to expose.
Noticeable is the almost complete lack of comment on his behavior from the media. But the reality is that they can’t run cover forever.
What to Watch For
Schiff’s cohorts will likely spend the weekend explaining to him that he has to be a little more judicious in his handling of the committee or risk alienation even from those who want Trump removed from office. It is possible to win a battle but lose the war.
Washington Whispers & Other Juicy Tidbits
Be on the lookout for:
- With Michael Bloomberg dipping his toes in the primary waters, pay close attention to how much bravado outsider candidates begin to emit. The former New York City mayor is a major threat to the frontrunners and may end up splitting the “mainstream” vote just enough to allow a third-tier candidate an opening into the major leagues.
- It’s entirely possible that Democrats may start pulling back or distancing themselves from the impeachment investigation. Not a one will admit that it was a mistake, but many might just start pitching the idea that in order to heal the country, it would be better to beat Trump at the ballot box.
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