The first stage of the Trump impeachment inquiry is complete. All transcripts have been made public, and now comes the time for Democrats to make a case against the president. If the final piece of the puzzle, the Philip Reeker testimony, is anything to go by, it looks like the opposition party has rolled snake eyes.
In gambling parlance, the Dems have “crapped out.” The party’s inquiry has been beset by a range of issues, and this final release of documents has failed to turn the tide of fortune in its favor. At the heart of the impeachment effort lies a core of three problems, and unless they can overcome these thorny issues, 2020 presidential hopefuls may wish the entire process had never begun.
Credibility, confirmation, and engagement are all key to Democrats making headway in the plan to remove Trump. If even one of these pillars is missing, they may walk away from the table as losers.
The final transcripts have been released (you can read them in full on Liberty Nation), and Acting Assistant Secretary of State in charge of European and Eurasian Affairs, Philip Reeker, provided little new information. If people were hoping for a bombshell, they didn’t find it.
Taken as a whole, the testimonies and witness examinations may spell trouble for the president, but only if House Democrats can weave it into a solid narrative that points clearly to Trump using his power to gain political advantage. At present, it can be easily argued that President Trump held up cash to Ukraine due to worries about corruption. It won’t be an easy sell to convince the public, let alone a Republican Senate, otherwise.
The American public is tuned out. They are not interested in partisan games from both Democrats and Republicans, who appear to be taking easy shots at each other. The impeachment inquiry has so far amounted to little but soundbites and posturing.
When White House Counsel John Dean spoke to the Senate during the Nixon proceedings, it was estimated that 80% of the public was watching. As Liberty Nation’s Leesa K. Donner wrote:
“Viewers were lashed to their TV sets for days – seemingly glued to the drama of it all.
Then there was the sordid tale of the Bill Clinton impeachment. While viewership paled in comparison to Watergate’s, Clinton at least came in with respectable numbers. An estimated 22.5 million watched the president’s taped testimony in 1998. Not Watergate stuff, but still drawing a crowd.”
On the very first explosive day of the televised impeachment hearings for Donald Trump, a mere 13 million sets were tuned in to watch. If House Democrats fail to provide a clear narrative, one that the average American can plainly see, this whole episode in history may become the biggest backfire ever witnessed.
Politics is so partisan that no one trusts politicians to act purely on principle … this goes double for Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA). Whether he was truly acting in a partisan fashion by disallowing Republicans to speak their piece during the hearings, or whether he was set-up to appear that way, his performance came across as biased and vindictive. Refusing to name the whistleblower, stopping lines of questioning, apparently assisting witnesses to avoid answering Republican questions – there is little doubt that he is being portrayed as the bad guy. As the frontman in this inquiry, as much rests on how the public perceives him as it does on how they interpret the evidence. In the eyes of the American people, Schiff may be the one abusing his position for political gain.
Read more from Mark Angelides.