There are good reasons why hearsay “evidence” is not admissible in a court of law. One reason, discussed in Thursday’s commentary, is that hearsay makes it a whole lot easier to railroad someone, as Democrats have been trying to do to President Trump with their secret hearings, unreleased transcripts and lack of due process. That's why the Sixth Amendment provides that the accused has the right to confront his or her accuser --- not someone who talked to someone who overheard someone talking to the accuser.
Another reason we don’t allow hearsay is that so often, it’s just plain WRONG.
Case in point: In breaking news from Reuters that in a better world would send the impeachment “inquiry” packing and slinking away in shame, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Vadym Pristaiko said on Thursday that “Ambassador Sondland did not tell us, and certainly did not tell me, about a connection between the assistance [military aid] and the investigations [into the Bidens]. You should ask him.” This undercuts Wednesday’s testimony from William Taylor, who had said that the day after Trump’s call with Zelensky, a member of Taylor’s staff had overheard a phone call between Trump and Sondland in which Trump asked about the investigation into the Bidens and Sondland told him the Ukrainians were ready to proceed. See how this hearsay thing works, or, rather, doesn’t? Either the staff member got it wrong, or Taylor heard the staff member wrong. Taylor’s testimony is WRONG.
But this won’t stop the impeachment-hungry Democrats. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has to know how underwhelming Wednesday’s testimony was, said in an extremely convoluted way on Thursday that “what President Trump has done...in terms of acting to advantage his---a foreign power to help him in his own election and of the, uh, obstruction of information about that, the cover-up, makes what Nixon did look almost small.” (In an obviously orchestrated media show, her minions made similar comparisons to Nixon on TV throughout the day.) She said they’d be looking (“sadly, prayerfully...with a heavy heart”) at charging the President with bribery, which, she noted, is listed in the Constitution as a cause for impeachment. On the other hand, she said they hadn’t even decided whether to impeach, so she apparently is still leaving her options open. Maybe she wants to pray on it a little longer.
But as David Limbaugh explained on Thursday’s HANNITY TV show, the charge of bribery is a “specific intent” crime, which means they have to know the President’s state of mind and motive. “All they know is that he suggested that Biden and Ukraine be investigated. I think, as others have speculated, that he was looking backward to the 2016 election, which makes much more sense. He’s so agitated over them trying to steal an election while accusing HIM of interfering that he wants to get to the bottom of this coup. So he’s wanting to investigate, have Ukraine and Biden investigated, as to the 2016 election, not the 2020. Even if I’m wrong, there’s no way they can divine his intent.”
Former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yuvanovich, the only witness scheduled to testify Friday, is another “hearsay” witness. (Democrats will have Kleenex ready, as they're hoping she'll cry over losing her job.) As Byron York says of the transcript of her closed-door hearing, “It’s a long story of her not knowing what’s going on.” She’s hearing people tell her that Rudy Giuliani is out to get her, that she needs to watch her back, things like that. The Democrats could always subpoena then-Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and/or then-National Security Adviser John Bolton, who would have been the ones to talk to Trump directly about the matter of her firing, but they apparently have decided not to do that.
How come? Wasn’t Bolton supposed to be a big-deal witness? My guess is that they know a judge would side with the White House in its claim of executive privilege and that such a ruling would undermine any charge of obstruction they might want to make. They know that, with the way their "inquiry" is going, a charge of obstruction will likely be all they're left with.
Of course, Pelosi and Schiff know that Trump didn’t bribe Zelensky, as it's been established that no pressure was applied to him and that military aid was sent to Ukraine even with no investigation into the Bidens. Really, the most they can go for is “attempted bribery.” They’ll try to say Trump wanted to bribe, thought about bribing. But how does one even ATTEMPT to bribe without making a threat or applying any pressure? This makes no sense --- the fact of which, of course, will not stop them from doing it. So it will be up to the Senate to stop the insanity and set things straight.
As Limbaugh concluded, “Impeachment is a gravely serious matter, it’s an extraordinary remedy, it is not a political football. They need to require strict proof, and I’m confident the Republicans in the Senate will do it, and show what a sham this is.”
With so much at stake, not just for this President but for all future Presidents, we’d better pray that he’s right.