Wednesday at 1PM Eastern, the Senate starts the “questioning” phase of its impeachment trial of the President. It seems to me that after the magnificent takedown of House impeachment managers by Trump’s legal team, everyone ought to just pack it up and go home. But that would happen only in a rational world. Judging from Adam Schiff’s press conference on Tuesday afternoon, the House managers may as well have had cotton stuffed in their ears during Alan Dershowitz’s lecture on what the Founders intended about impeachment. They do NOT CARE.
So...questions will go for eight hours on Wednesday and another eight hours on Thursday, alternating between the House managers and the Trump attorneys. Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s any way to shorten this process; once the clock is set, they just talk until they’re out of time and then the Democrats will all go out and drink cocktails with CNN reporters.
The CNN reporters would surely enjoy partying with Mitt Romney as well, as his dislike for President Trump is making him most cooperative with them. Alas, being Mormon, Mitt won’t be partaking of the cocktails. I can’t help but think that, at this point, if he decides to keep this whole mess going by voting to call witnesses in the Senate, he doesn’t deserve to have fun, anyway. He should sit alone in a dark, stuffy, windowless room and contemplate the longterm effect he is likely going to have on the balance of powers.
Not that the Trump attorneys need any help from me, but I thought it might be fun to offer, oh, a dozen questions to ask lead House manager Adam Schiff. Wouldn’t it be delightful if all the questions had to do with the “whistleblower” and Schiff’s part in the origins of the “inquiry” that he himself is now in charge of? I just love the idea of focusing relentlessly on that and watching him squirm. And, conveniently, we have some developing news about the “whistleblower,” which will be reflected in my questions. So, Mr. Chief Justice, here they are, in writing for you to read out loud on the Senate floor...
1. Mr. Schiff, everybody knows that “whistleblower” ERIC CIARAMELLA (oops) doesn’t fit the legal definition of a whistleblower at all, and so he doesn’t legally require anonymity. His protection was a fraud, though almost everyone has been playing along until now. So if I said ERIC CIARAMELLA was the so-called whistleblower, would you say I was right or wrong?
2. Mr. Schiff, just to clarify, is “CIARAMELLA” pronounced “See-ar-ah-mel-lah” or “CHAR-ah-mel-lah,” like the “Charlie” that Strzok and Page were texting about sending undercover to the White House? Just wondering.
3. Mr. Schiff, you and the Democrats are calling nonstop for witnesses, just as you called nonstop a few years ago for a special counsel until you got one. After two years, the special counsel did you no good. Do you still want to spend months calling witnesses to the Senate floor, knowing that the very first one will likely be ERIC CIARAMELLA?
4. Mr. Schiff, ERIC CIARAMELLA wasn’t even on the July 25 phone call between Trump and Zelensky. Do you think it was right to allow him to submit a complaint form based on hearsay alone, considering that Trump’s release of the transcript showed it to be a big fat fakeroo?
5. Mr. Schiff, ERIC CIARAMELLA did not disclose his contacts with members of Congress and/or their staffs on his official, signed complaint form, as he was required to do. Did he speak with your office only via mental telepathy, and, if so, does that exempt him from such disclosure?
6. Mr. Schiff, you continue to withhold the 18th transcript, which we know is a record of Intel Community IG Michael Atkinson’s testimony concerning “whistleblower” ERIC CIARAMELLA. Are you aware that as a member of Congress, you are not entitled to executive privilege?
7. Let’s get to the timeline, Mr. Schiff. What was the earliest date that ERIC CIARAMELLA had contact with anyone who works in your office? (Ask your staffer Sean Misko if you don’t know. Oh, and we’ll be calling him later.)
8. Okay, Mr. Schiff, that was for starters. Now we need every contact that anyone from your office --- including you, of course –- had with ERIC CIARAMELLA or with anyone else concerning ERIC CIARAMELLA or the Trump/Zelensky phone call. That means all names and all dates, and if you get anything wrong, you get to join Michael Flynn in the land of never-ending litigation.
9. Mr. Schiff, under the American Bar Association’s rules, you should not have been allowed to argue this case because you are a material witness, as your office conspired with ERIC CIARAMELLA to get the impeachment “inquiry” started in the first place. Our question to you is, why should we not drop-kick you out the door right now, say bad things about you once you're out of the room, and vote to dismiss all charges against the President?
10. Mr. Schiff, evidence is emerging that ERIC CIARAMELLA, whose complaint started the whole “inquiry,” had previously manufactured evidence against President Trump to suggest Trump had fired FBI Director James Comey at the behest of the Russians. This evidence, an email, appears to have prompted then-acting Director Andrew McCabe to open an investigation of Trump’s association with the Russians. So our question to you is, were you aware at the time ERIC CIARAMELLA came to your office to help YOU frame Trump that he had already helped the FBI frame Trump?
11. Mr. Schiff, you have accused the President of “cheating” to win the 2016 election and also say he is going to “cheat” in the 2020 election. Give us one piece of evidence that proves either allegation. While you’re at it, hand over the evidence you’ve been claiming for years to have that Trump was conspiring with Russia.
12. Mr. Schiff, we’ve all heard the tape of you talking on the phone with Russians whom you thought had naked pictures of Trump. You encouraged them to be in touch with your office. Question: should you be impeached for trying to use Russians to “get” something on Trump? It doesn’t matter that you were pranked, because hurting Trump was what was “going through your mind” and we know that’s the important thing.
That’s just for starters. I’m sure the President’s attorneys can think of a lot more. Here’s a refresher on the whistleblower (ERIC CIARAMELLA)…