In the aftermath of closing arguments in the Senate impeachment trial, House manager Adam Schiff has not come off well.
True, Barbra Streisand tweeted that “Adam Schiff is so impressive. His knowledge of the law...his passion...his articulateness. His sincerity! He speaks the truth and would make a great president.” Personally, I think the best reason of all NOT to vote for someone for President is that Barbra Streisand said he’d make a great President.
But there has also been quite a bit of this: “...Schiff is not just dumb, he’s so deluded it’s bordering on the very kind of insanity Einstein spoke about.” And it continues: “Schiff is obsessed with Donald Trump. I don’t just mean he’s got a bit of a problem with him; I mean he’s pathologically demented in his absolute detestation of all things Trump. Every day since Trump was elected, Schiff’s been plotting to try to get rid of him…The impeachment has been about Adam Schiff, his ego and his career.”
And how about this: Adam Schiff, with his “curiously smug bug-eyed smirk” is “a man whose stratospheric ego is matched only by his astonishing superciliousness...”
Who do you think said all this? Some wild-eyed far-right-wing conspiracy theorist? Was it Dan Bongino? Sean Hannity? Maybe Devin Nunes? Me?
No, it was Piers Morgan, in a February 3 opinion piece for the Daily Mail. (If it had been me, I would have included the word “weasel.”)
According to Morgan, Adam Schiff “put his own gigantic ego and steely political ambition ahead of his party” and, with this monumental failure, helped his political nemesis get re-elected as President this coming November. He notes that the polls have been moving up for Trump throughout this impeachment process, especially on his handling of the economy, with its record low unemployment and overall stock market performance. I would add that thanks to Schiff and those in cahoots with him, Trump is coming across right now –- for the most part –- as the adult in the room, the man who’s keeping his head while all about him are losing theirs and blaming it on him (thank you, Rudyard Kipling). The same goes for his outstanding legal team, who acted like professional adults while the House managers were lying outrageously and calling names.
Adam Schiff has campaigned incessantly to get rid of Trump, Morgan says, though I would add that “The Squad” and others in the far-left, “impeach the **” crowd have pushed just as hard and deserve similar condemnation. Schiff, though, was and is the face of this impeachment. He’s the one who led the way with lie after demonstrable lie and who shoved through those horrendously unconstitutional committee rules that called for secret hearings in a secure basement “skiff” and completely shut out the President’s defense. He will go down in history for that.
It wasn’t just that Schiff conducted the impeachment improperly; Morgan thinks he was insane for starting an impeachment in the first place. Morgan didn’t like Trump’s phone call --- he thought Trump did something “stupid” --- but he’s never thought it rose to the level of an impeachable act. And with Republicans in the majority in the Senate (thank God), his efforts were destined to fail. Everyone knew that.
From a political standpoint, it was indeed stupid to hand the President another big win, as he’d already beaten Robert Mueller and the whole bloodthirsty, relentless special counsel team. In Morgan’s words, the Russia collusion allegation “was all bullsh*t.” He goes on to say that with Schiff’s D.O.A. impeachment, “they pulled the trigger on a hyper-partisan political gun that was only ever going to fire bullets into their 2020 election chances.”
It seems Schiff has attracted condemnation from both sides. Leftists and other anti-Trumpers hate him for giving the President a victory that will help propel him into another term. Trump supporters can’t stand him for his many shameless lies, his attacks on the Constitution and the damage he’s done, plus the huge waste of everybody’s time. If he thought he was going to further his political career, he may have done just the opposite. On the other hand, he does represent California --- and he at least can be assured of Barbra Streisand’s vote.
And remember my commentary from yesterday about how Alan Dershowitz is being trashed in order to delegitimize the President’s acquittal? Some legal “experts,” including Michael Gerhardt, who was on the panel of impeachment witnesses on “legal expert day” in the House, are saying the entire White House defense team could be brought up on ethics charges. Not the lying house managers Adam Schiff and Jerrold Nadler –- the WHITE HOUSE lawyers. He says THEY were lying. I kid you not.
But Jonathan Turley, the law professor serving on that same panel whose argument “helped” Trump by sticking to constitutional principles (even though, like Dershowitz, he’s not a Trump supporter) struck back with an excellent commentary, saying “The White House team were effective advocates for their clients and we do not disbar lawyers for making arguments or defending individuals that we do not like.”
Gerhardt, a legal analyst for CNN (big shock), said this to host Poppy Harlow: “I think what we are seeing...is that the lawyers who presented [Trump’s] case in the Senate basically misled or lied to the Senate. And so...at some point, we are going to see ethics charges brought against these lawyers for making false statements, which we all know are false.” But he is never specific about what statements are false, and Turley admonishes him by saying, “It is incumbent on an attorney to be specific about the false representation” when calling for ethics charges. In fact, he even warns Gerhardt that impugning the conduct of other lawyers without sufficient support can, in itself, be an ethics violation.
Turley gives the White House lawyers credit for showing that it was the House managers who misrepresented facts that were in the record. He points out that Adam Schiff was given four Pinocchios by the WASHINGTON POST for his denial of any contact between his staff and the “whistleblower.” Schiff still maintains the ridiculous farce that he doesn’t even know who the “whistleblower” is. I’d say that if we’re going to start throwing around ethics charges, Schiff should be at the top of the list.
“Lawyers often present one-sided views of the record that the other side views as unfair or unsupported,” Turley says of Gerhardt. “We do not declare on national television that the entire opposing legal team ‘will’ (not even ‘may be’) called before the bar.”
As for Schiff, I thought it was funny that after delivering piles of unsubstantiated drivel on the Senate floor on Monday, he said this: “He is who he is. Truth matters little to him. What’s right matters even less. And decency matters not at all.” It was funny because even though I knew he was talking about Trump, he was actually describing himself.https://jonathanturley.org/2020/02/02/gerhardt-the-entire-white-house-defense-team-will-face-bar-charges/