“The Federal Rules of Evidence can be invoked by the Senate upon a majority vote...it could actually be done by Mitch McConnell himself.”
So said Gregg Jarrett, FOX News legal analyst and author of WITCH HUNT, in an interview with Sean Hannity on Monday night. Rules of evidence are exactly what the Schiff hearings have been lacking:
During the House “inquiry,” the Federal Rules of Evidence are being tossed out the window, and it can’t be stopped because the Constitution is silent about what rules the congressional majority can choose to follow during an impeachment hearing. You’d think the founders would have at least guaranteed the same rights for the accused that the Bill of Rights proscribes. Maybe they just assumed these rights WOULD apply; if so, they never counted on THIS power-mad group running the show.
In Adam Schiff’s court, witnesses are “auditioned” behind closed doors. The Intel Committee chairman will deny any question or witness he wants to, shut down a member of Congress entirely, ignore any evidence inconsistent with his narrative, and admit any “evidence” he deems helpful, even opinion and hearsay, regardless of whether it would be admissible in a court of law. I’ve never seen anything like this in my life; it truly is a kangaroo court. If someone’s testimony might damage the President, Schiff says, “Bring it on!” He doesn’t care what it does to legal precedent as long as it helps him and his cohorts get the President --- or, in a show of political theater, at least makes it LOOK as though they’re getting the President.
But if –- I mean when –- the House votes to impeach –- for any reason or no reason –- and there is a trial in the Senate, all of this changes.
Republican senators can show that they’re the adults in the room simply by voting to conduct their hearings as a real court of law would. And, according to Jarrett, Mitch McConnell has said he’ll use those rules. That means that the ridiculous third-tier hearsay, speculation, and opinion that we’ve been getting in the House show trial will NOT be a part of the Senate proceedings. Virtually everything we’ve heard so far in Schiff’s hearings will be inadmissible. And Republicans will finally be able to subpoena THEIR witnesses and ask THEIR questions. For that reason, I think a Senate trial, after the train wreck of Schiff’s impeachment “inquiry,” might be just the thing that’s needed.
In fact, Sen. Lindsay Graham is getting a jump on this. In breaking news, he has announced that DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz will be testifying on December 11 before the Senate Judiciary Committee about his findings on FISA abuse, including misleading the court, and the FBI’s conduct relative to the “Trump/Russia” probe, including leaks and media coordination. So we know we’ll be seeing the loooooong-awaited IG report soon, probably sometime in the week preceding his testimony. Most reports say it’s over 500 pages.
Jason Chaffetz says it’s more like 1,000. As for its conclusions, “You don’t do reports like this to give them a clean bill of health,” he says. At the same time, keep in mind that this is just an internal DOJ report; U.S. Attorney John Durham has cast a much wider net. His report, when we finally see it, will make WAR AND PEACE look like a recipe card, and it might also contain stronger stuff in terms of criminal charges. Attorney General Bill Barr has had the IG report since September –- just about long enough to read it, ha –- and one gets the impression from some of his recent remarks that it’s baaaaad.
Likely it’s a combination of outright criminal referrals and scathing criticism for rampant rule-breaking. But there had sure better be criminal referrals for any LAW-breaking. The Department of Justice will have to take a hard look inside its own organization, at its own people, and file charges where necessary. I speak for millions when I say it won’t be enough to wag a finger of admonishment at people who abused their power. They must be held to account. The two-tier justice system cannot stand.
The media are implicated in all this, too. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich had an interesting observation about the media, citing a paradox: Democrats need the news media to help them come across as believable, but that won’t work because the media themselves no longer come across as believable. When NBC hires sleazy special counsel “pit bull” Andrew Weissmann as a legal analyst, you know you can’t take the mainstream media seriously any longer. They are a propaganda arm, and it’s obvious to anyone with an IQ above plywood.
We'll be hearing from former Senior National Security Official Tim Morrison on Tuesday. Morrison was one of the officials who listened in on that “problematic” phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Zelensky. His behind-closed-doors testimony has already leaked, and in it he says that the President’s call “had no connection to his political interests in the upcoming election.” Morrison said that while he saw no quid pro quo, he believed the President “was rightly worried about corruption in Ukraine.” In a sane world, this testimony would be enough to cause the "inquiry" to close up shop, but no. Morrison will be one of four witnesses to testify Tuesday, going last, after Jennifer Williams, Alexander Vindman and Kurt Volker. (More on them Wednesday, after they’ve testified.)
That seems like a lot of witnesses in one day, but according to Texas Rep. John Ratcliffe, Democrats are so afraid of what the IG report is going to reveal that they want to speed through their “inquiry” and impeach ASAP. He says that’s why they’ve scheduled eight witnesses over five days of testimony this week.
They're not about to take a pause, but that's exactly what Rep. Lee Zeldin recommends. As reported by FOX News, he says that in light of some of this weekend’s closed-door testimony, all upcoming impeachment hearings should be postponed until the transcripts have been made public.
Democrats are on a mission and are going to move forward no matter what. It’s as if they’re all in a plane that’s stuck on autopilot, and they don’t see that they’re heading straight for Mt. McKinley. (I’m tempted to say that’s a pretty fun image.)
Contrast the nothingness they’re "investigating" with what we know Joe Biden did: threaten to withhold $1 billion in aid from Ukraine unless a certain prosecutor (who just happened to be investigating the corrupt company that had put his son on their board) was fired in six hours. He bragged about this. On video. In front of a live audience that laughed and applauded.
And Sheryl Attkisson makes a great point: that it was the diplomats themselves, by working at odds with the President of the United States on foreign policy, who were the real “shadow diplomacy.” The President’s use of private citizens to help him conduct foreign policy is not the slightest bit shadowy. I’d say this is a must-read. Too bad Democrats won’t read it.