Thousands have written me saying they’re not watching the impeachment trial or are seeing it as little as possible to avoid getting physically ill.
Copy that! Many have also said they’re avoiding most media and are trusting my commentary to fill them in. We’re doing our best to live up to that expectation. If you didn’t see much of Thursday’s proceedings, a lot of time was devoted to trashing the idea that the Biden/Ukraine corruption was real. They used the same words over and over: “debunked,” “discredited,” “baseless.”
The same tactic was used earlier in Schiff’s House impeachment report. As Eric Felton says in RealClear Investigations, “The Democratic case against Trump detailed in the much more extensive House impeachment report shows how language can be used to compensate for shortcomings in the evidence.”
He goes on: “A careful reading of the report shows that its authors --- not unlike those who wrote the Mueller report to suggest guilt they couldn’t prove --- are convinced that thin allegations can be bulked up if repeated often enough.”
And that’s just what happened on the Senate floor on Thursday. Remember when John Kerry was running for President, and his fellow Vietnam swift boaters had some seriously unflattering things to say? News stories kept referring to them as “the discredited swift boaters.” We never saw the words “swift boaters” without the word “discredited” in front of them. Nobody explained how the swift boaters had BEEN discredited. And they hadn’t been.
That’s what’s happening now with stories about Ukraine, election interference and corruption involving the Bidens. Felton’s must-read article explains what House Democrats have been doing: “The repetitions that stand out in the House report are the adjectives that dismiss the President’s defense before that defense is made. Assertions or questions involving Ukraine made by Trump or his attorney Rudy Giuliani are typically prefaced with the words ‘debunked’ or ‘discredited,’ and usually followed by the characterization ‘conspiracy theory.’ ‘Debunked’ appears 22 times in the report; ‘discredited’ 15 times; ‘baseless’ 16 times and ‘conspiracy’ 56 times. A few of those are used by Republicans --- Giuliani is quoted as saying the impeachment inquiry is ‘baseless’ --- but the vast majority are by Democrats seeking to dismiss Trump’s claims.”
It’s easy to SAY Republicans’ claims have been “debunked.” But the report doesn’t debunk them. House managers believe if they just say “debunked” enough, people will think that. And that’s what they tried on Thursday.
Ironically, Felton does a great job of “discrediting” THEM. Read this, and the next time you see the words “debunked,” “discredited” or “baseless,” you’ll think twice. As everyone should. Personally, I’m tired of having my intelligence insulted, and I know you are, too.
The focus of Laura Ingraham’s Thursday show coordinated well with this theme. She pointed out that most of the media are doing a terrible job of fact-checking. She noted a story form the DAILY CALLER headlined, “CNN Only Fact Checks Republicans On First Day of Senate Impeachment Trial.” No surprise there; Democrats get to say whatever they want. Schiff was even leveling new charges against Trump, unchallenged, bringing up new, unauthenticated items that hadn’t even been included in the Articles of Impeachment and including them in Trump’s ever-evolving plot to win in 2020. He attributed corrupt motives to Attorney General William Barr, with no evidence whatsoever. Of course, he and the others continued playing mind-reader with the President as well, attributing corrupt motives to him with nothing to back that up. Conjecture and false rhetoric are NOT evidence.
House managers used another false premise to slam President Trump: that he is supposed to follow established “U.S. policy” in his dealings with foreign governments. It’s assumed he’s supposed to do things the way the bureaucrats want him to. (That was made clear during House testimony from the U.S. diplomat corps in Ukraine.) And today, House managers actually defended Joe Biden’s involvement in the removal of a prosecutor in Ukraine (the one who happened to be investigating Burisma, where his son Hunter was on the board), saying he did go through “official channels.” Unbelievable.
As Jim Jordan said on the Ingraham show, the facts are on the President’s side, while Schiff has lied over and over. To cite just one lie, Schiff said there was nothing wrong with the FISA process. Now, in HUGE breaking news (more on this later), the FISA court is saying the last two renewals of the warrant application to spy on Carter Page were illegal --- “not valid.” About doggone time. Decisions on the original FISA application and first renewal are pending.
House impeachment manager Hakeem Jeffries said on the Senate floor that the transcript of that phone call contains “damning evidence of a corrupt quid pro quo...hiding in plain sight.” Mr. Jeffries, you could peer at that transcript through an electron microscope, and there would be no visible evidence of wrongdoing. The evidence you see “in plain sight” is in your own mind, because the release of the money was NEVER tied to an investigation of Burisma and the Bidens. But Jeffries gets to say it, anyway, on the Senate floor, along with anything else he wants.
Wow, here’s another stunner by the House managers, this by Jerrold Nadler: “All of the legal experts who testified before the House Judiciary Committee...agreed that the conduct we have charged constitutes ‘high crimes and misdemeanors.’” What?? He apparently means the wild charges they leveled over and over without evidence, such as that he “cheated” in 2016.
To anyone thinking the Ukrainian effort to hurt Trump and help Hillary is a discredited conspiracy theory, here’s a huge, developing story that shows otherwise. POLITICO had a story about this in January of 2017, written by Kenneth Vogel and David Stern (link below), but since then, new emails from last year have come to light that discuss a January 2016 meeting between Obama officials and Ukrainian prosecutors concerning how the efforts to fight corruption in Ukraine might run up against Hunter Biden’s ties to Burisma. As Ingraham reported, the people who arrived for that meeting were checked in by none other than...the person who had set up the meeting...the future “whistleblower,” Eric Ciaramella!
Ken Vogel reportedly started working on a report about the 2016 meeting but for some reason decided not to pursue it. In a new development, though, it was discovered that one of the attendees, Andriy Telizhenko, a political officer in the Ukrainian embassy, was specifically mentioned in the 2017 POLITICO report about Ukrainian officials who were trying to undermine Trump’s presidential campaign. They reported that Telizhenko helped DNC operative Alexandra Chalupa by trying to find connections between Trump, Paul Manafort and Russia.
So when someone tells you that the idea of Ukraine trying to help Hillary and/or damage Trump in the 2016 election has been “debunked” or “discredited,” or that it is “baseless,” don’t believe it. I’m sure Trump’s legal team will have plenty to say about this, and much more of great interest, when they take the floor --- and THAT’S when we all need to tune in.