Editor’s note: Each Sunday, the chattering class fills American airwaves with the thoughts and opinions of Washington’s most powerful Swamp-dwellers. Often these interviews make headlines and inform the public about what to expect in the coming week. If you want to stay informed but don’t have the time to devote to all the political punditry, there is hope. Liberty Nation author Kelli Ballard sifts through the shows for you and presents the high and lowlights in this weekly column.
This Week With George Stephanopoulos – ABC
Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) was one of the guests this week, and the talk was all about how the impeachment trial would or should proceed on Tuesday, Jan. 21. After reading the White House’s response to the upcoming proceedings, which stated that the whole affair was “bogus,” Schiff said, “The only thing really new about the president’s defense is that they’re now arguing, I think because they can’t contest the facts, that the president cannot be impeached for abusing the power of his office.”
Alan Dershowitz, a member of the president’s legal team, said that they absolutely had the right to argue that the two articles of impeachment sent to the Senate are not reasons for impeachment according to the Constitution. Stephanopoulos claimed that many are calling this form of defense “absurd,” and asked him what he thought about that; Dershowitz brought up former Justice Benjamin Curtis in the trial of Andrew Johnson as well as the dissenting judge in the Dredd Scott case.
“You needed proof of an actual crime … It has to be criminal behavior, criminal in nature … To call them absurdist is to insult one of the greatest jurists in American history.”
In typical fashion, the host kept trying to pin Dershowitz down on whether he, personally, thought the president was guilty of trying to alter the 2020 election by withholding aid to Ukraine. Although Stephanopoulos reworded the question several times, the attorney was having none of it and finally said, “I’m a liberal Democrat who voted against Donald Trump and voted for Hillary Clinton” and that he was only there as it pertains to constitutional law, not to provide his opinion on other issues.
Circling back to more important matters, such as how Trump’s defense team planned to defend the president’s actions, Dershowitz stressed: “I will make a strong argument that Justice Curtis was correct and that Congress was wrong in impeaching for these two articles.”
The theme of talk surrounding the impeachment trial last week was the need for witnesses, and this week it was that in order to have a fair trial, they needed access to … witnesses. Schiff was asked if he was concerned that Lev Parnas would not be seen as credible because he is under indictment. The representative didn’t actually answer the question, merely said: “It is the fact that with many of the people surrounding the president that they end up indicted. These are the people that the president has chosen to work with.” Then he clarified by saying he didn’t know who they would call since they don’t know if witnesses will be allowed.
So why didn’t the House do more to get the subpoenas upheld, the host wanted to know. Schiff had a swift answer to that as well:
“We did try to get these witnesses in the House. We subpoenaed many of these witnesses, and because of the president’s obstruction, they ignored those lawful subpoenas. If you argue that, well the House needed to go through endless months or even years of litigation before bringing about an impeachment, you effectively nullify the impeachment clause, you allow the president of the United States by delay, by playing rope-a-dope in the courts, to defeat the power of the impeachment clause.”
“The reality is because what the president is threatening to do is cheat in the next election; you cannot wait months and years to be able to remove that threat from office.”
However, Schiff wasn’t finished trying to explain why this wasn’t a fair trial. He even said that the intelligence community (and he named the NSA and CIA specifically) are afraid to have open hearings because they don’t want to suffer Trump’s wrath; that they are withholding important documents, especially from Ukraine.
Meet the Press – NBC
Aside from more on the impeachment trials, there were a couple of other interesting tidbits on Meet the Press. Dante Chinni hosted the Milwaukee roundtable in an episode titled “African American Voters Talk Generational Change.” The first topic up was, well, the impeachment of course. The panel was asked how they felt about the process and if it should continue or did they just want to get the thing over with.
Sherwin Hughes, executive director for Leaders for A Better Community, Inc, responded with: “It’s a good civics lesson … other than that, not much else.”
Marcelia Nicholson, vice-chair Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors, agreed. “I think folks would like to see Congress get back to business, start working on behalf of the people.”
CEO of the Wisconsin Black Chamber of Commerce Ruben Hopkins had a completely different take on the subject. “When black people hear white people saying we’re a country of laws, we’re like, ‘that’s what we’ve been saying,’” he opined. “It’s fallen on deaf ears when it’s issues, when it comes to justice in the black community. So, to expect us to jump up now and all of a sudden be on one side or the other about this, you know, country of laws, we’re just not there.”
The subject changed to the current Democratic candidates – and the fact that the party’s presidential field is all “white” now. Mike Holt, associate publisher, Milwaukee Community Journal, said:
“Having ‘minority candidates’ opened up the door of possibility that they would discuss some issues that were pertinent to black America. We won’t hear anything else. Even that last debate they talked about early childhood development, but you know, here in Milwaukee we lead the nation in seven negative social indicators, and at the top of the list is education.”
Face the Nation – CBS
Former Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn chatted with hostess Margaret Brennan about tax law. After playing a clip of Trump exclaiming how great the economy is doing, Brennan asked Cohn just how accurate that could be. Cohn said, “Our tax bill’s clearly working,” and talked about record unemployment rates down to 3.5% and wage growth.
Still trying to get a negative out of the topic, Brennan said the tax law is good for big business but bad for the little guy. Cohn disagreed:
“We’ve seen higher-end wage growth at the bottom pay scale than we have at the top. So, we’re seeing the incentives that we created in the tax law, by lowering the corporate rate, we’re seeing that happen, and that is happening in the last couple of years.”
Still not satisfied, the hostess asked about income inequality, and whether Cohn thought he contributed at all to that through the tax law he helped to write. Holding to his belief, Cohn argued:
“I think there’s been contributions to the positive. I think if you look at the data, you’ll see that we have grown wages at the bottom end of the pay scale faster than we’ve grown them at the top. That’s exactly what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to attract more jobs back to the United States. Put more people to work. And that’s what we’re seeing happening.”
Stay tuned next week to see what innovative ways the left conjures to misdirect and mislead the public.
Read more from Kelli Ballard.