“Bluster and showmanship.” That’s what a progressive pundit told me during the House impeachment inquiry to justify why House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff was playing hardball against both fellow Republicans in the House as well as the President’s counsel. “It’s his show for now, but he’ll switch to the facts alone once he’s a House Manager, and I assure you he will be.”
My friend was correct. Schiff was chosen as one of the House Managers for the Senate trial. But where she was clearly mistaken – and possibly why she’s suddenly not answering any of my texts – was in her assertion that as a House Manager, Schiff would turn on “attorney mode,” as she put it, to deliver an evidential argument for President Trump to be removed from office.
Schiff would stop quoting hearsay testimony as first-hand knowledge, she said. No, he hasn’t. Schiff would work under the Constitutional presumption of innocence while trying to prove President Trump guilty, she said. Again, no, he’s not. But the most significant inaccuracy in my progressive friend’s prognostications was that Schiff would stop lying. He absolutely, positively hasn’t stopped doing that. In fact, he seems to be doubling down in front of the Senate.
Or, to be more explanatory of the actual situation, Schiff is doubling down in front of the wider television audience he’s currently enjoying on Day 2 of the impeachment trial.
Whether he’s lying about Lev Parnas and the so-called “wrong Mr. Z,” the whistleblower who Schiff still claims he’s never even met, or Gordon Sondland’s testimony which unambiguously stated he never heard that the President made the Ukrainian aid conditional on a quid pro quo, Schiff is boldly lying directly to the American people. The Senate is just there as a live studio audience. That last lie is telling because in Schiff’s opening arguments today, he invoked Sondland repeatedly.
Another important lie is that Schiff continues to pretend like the House impeachment process was fair while the Senate’s is not. This, folks, is projection. The President’s counsel wasn’t allowed to participate until the final seven days of a 78-day process. By the time they were even allowed to see evidence, the fact-finding process had concluded. The President’s team was only allowed to participate in the House Judiciary Committee’s portion in which legal scholars, not so-called fact-witnesses, were called to testify.
None of this is about impeachment. Not really. Impeachment is the backdrop for Democrats to make a 2020 election case against the President. That’s it. Nothing more.
There’s an old joke that goes, “How can you tell when Adam Schiff is lying? His lips are moving.” We can add an addendum to the joke after watching the impeachment debacle so far. How do you know a process is corrupt? Adam Schiff is involved.