One of the joys of being retired is that if one is interested, one can spend hours in front of the TV watching Congressional hearings, or in this case, the farce that are the impeachment hearings. It doesn’t matter which side one sits, several “facts” have become clear.
One, the Democrats changed House rules on the impeachment process to make it easier to go forward. In the past, the effort had to be bi-partisan. This has been hardly that.
Two, the witnesses spent their time in front of Schiff’s committee whining about how they weren’t consulted, the president went around them, I was fired for no reasons, ya de da de da… So far, not one witness has offered a smoking gun or a shred of evidence that there was a quid pro quo, even Sondland who listened to the conversation.
So what has Schiff done?. Two things, one he’s gone the conspiracy route and called witnesses who testified that within the administration, there was a concerted effort to go around the laws and pressure the Ukrainians to investigate Hunter Biden. So far, while there was a lot of discussion, the Democrats have not presented hard evidence that there is a quid pro quo.
What we do know is that while Vice President Biden was in office he strong armed the Ukrainians to end an investigation into the activities of his son. The Ukraine is one of the most politically corrupt countries on the planet and one could infer that if the Ukrainian government was going to investigate the actions of the U.S. vice president’s son, it must have been pretty bad. Yet, we hear very little about this particularly since it took place at a time when the significant chunks of Ukrainian territory was being gobbled up by the Russians. It should also be noted that the Obama administration only offered “non-lethal” aid to the Russian action that resembled the German reoccupation of the Rheinland in 1936 or its invasion of the Sudentland in 1938.
Three, Schiff is inventing charges to throw at President Trump. The latest is that the president is going to be charged with “Obstruction of Congress.” Unfortunately for Schiff, there is no basis in U.S. law for such a charge.
There are more questions that need answering about the hearings which even some Democratic commentators admit have not gone well in the most important court – the one of public opinion, i.e. how is the impeachment hearings going to play out in the 2020 election? This is Adam and Nancy’s dilemma, not the impeachment vote.
The Republicans only have to reclaim 18 seats to return Ms. Pelosi to her role as the minority leader and there are many vulnerable Democrats who won seats in districts that voted for Trump. Already polls are showing that the impeachment hearings are not playing well with independents. The strong economy, the hearings and the well left-of-center agendas being outlined by the current Democratic presidential candidates may spell trouble in November 2020 when the real vote on impeachment happens.