Schiff’s “Hail Marie” Hearing Comes up Empty
Fired ambassador Marie Yovanovitch fails to pin a crime on President Trump.
“I’m glad that on Wednesday, after the Democrats staged six weeks of secret depositions in the basement of the Capitol—like some kind of cult—the American people finally got to see this farce for themselves.” That was California Republican Devin Nunes on Friday, at the outset of Adam Schiff’s second impeachment episode.
“These hearings should not be occurring at all,” Nunes said, “until we get answers to three crucial questions the Democrats refuse to ask: First, what is the full extent of the Democrats' prior coordination with the Whistleblower and who else did the Whistleblower coordinate this effort with? Second, what is the full extent of Ukraine's election meddling against the Trump campaign. And third, why did Burisma hire Hunter Biden, what did he do for them, and did his position affect any U.S. government actions under the Obama administration?”
Former ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch failed to answers those questions. On the other hand, the day’s only witness did prove enlightening.
“Do you have any information regarding the president of the United States accepting any bribes?” Rep. Chris Stewart wanted to know. “No,” Yovanovitch said. “Do you have any information regarding any criminal activity that the president of the United States has been involved with at all?” wondered Stewart. “No,” answered Yovanovitch, thus dashing Democrat hopes for a high crime and misdemeanor. As Nunes noted, Yovanovitch was not a material fact witness at all, but she did put on something of a one-woman show.
“We are people who repeatedly uproot our lives, who risk and sometimes give our lives for this country,” Yovanovitch testified. “We are Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Patrick Smith, Ty Woods, and Glen Doherty. People rightly called heroes for their ultimate sacrifice to this nation’s foreign policy interests in Libya eight years ago.”
That did not sit well with Sean Smith’s mother, Patricia Smith, who pointed out on Fox News that Yovanovitch “had nothing to do with Benghazi,” where “people died.” Yovanovich was very much alive, teaching at Georgetown, and reportedly still being paid by the State Department.
As on Wednesday, the co-conspirator Schiff is passing off as a “whistleblower” did not appear, though Rep. Elise Stefanik read aloud Schiff’s own tweets about allowing the whistleblower to testify. Also missing was Alexandra Chalupa who, Sen. Charles Grassley charged in 2017, was “simultaneously working on behalf of a foreign government, Ukraine, and on behalf of the DNC and Clinton campaign, in an effort to influence not only the U.S voting population but U.S. government officials.”
During Friday’s hearing Chalupa tweeted, “I have never worked for a foreign government. I have never been to Ukraine. I was not an opposition researcher,” and so forth. For his part, President Trump tweeted that everywhere Yovanovitch went “turned bad.” She started in Somalia “and how did that go?” In Ukraine, new president Zelensky “spoke unfavorably about her,” and as Trump noted, “It is a U.S. President’s absolute right to appoint ambassadors.”
Committee boss Adam Schiff read Trump’s tweet to the witness and the Democrat-media axis called it “witness intimidation.” On Fox News, Gregg Jarrett countered that Trump had no choice. “The president has no ability to defend himself so he goes over everybody’s heads to the American people and social media and issues a tweet.” Republicans can’t call witnesses, Jarrett said, and Schiff blocks their cross-examination.
When Elise Stefanik attempted to question Yovanovitch, Schiff shut her down. Nunes yielded part of his time to the New York Republican but Schiff would not allow Stefanik to speak. It was the fifth time Schiff interrupted the duly-elected member of Congress. The establishment media failed to call it intimidation or sexism on the part of Schiff.
Schiff’s media fans failed to call him out for lies, false predictions and obstructionism. Some recalled that as an assistant U.S. attorney Schiff had prosecuted FBI traitor Richard Miller, who had sold out to the Soviets. Schiff would doubtless have been stunned if the federal judge in that case denied testimony from key witness and silenced defense witnesses for no apparent reason. And Schiff would surely have objected if the judge allowed hearsay testimony, calling it “much better” than direct evidence, in the style of Democrat Mike Quigley last Wednesday.
Schiff is on record that the Miller case taught him “how the Russians operate, who they target, the vulnerabilities they look for,” and there may be some truth to that. Adam Schiff is staging what amounts to a Stalinist show trial, with all the trimmings.
On Saturday, Schiff’s committee released the previously withheld transcript of National Security Council official Tim Morrison but distorted it for the benefit of the media. Morrison had testified “I was not concerned that anything illegal was discussed” during the July 25 phone call between President Trump and Zelensky.
That statement does not appear anywhere in the Democrats’ “key excerpts” document, which also omits the statement of Mike Pence aide Jennifer Williams that she “didn’t have any firsthand knowledge as to the reasoning.” Morrison and Williams are slated to testify before Schiff’s committee on Tuesday.