If you are stuck on the east coast media cabal, you may think that Trump took a beating in the first public Democrat impeachment inquiry. Actually, the coverage evolved over the course of 24 hours. While the initial post-hearing reports were a bit circumspect, the reports morphed back into the old narratives as time passed.
The initial reports were not as comforting for the Democrats because things did not go all that well for the impeachment-determined legislators – especially the fairness and ethically challenged Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff.
Have you ever gone to a restaurant that advertised a specialty dish – and when you tried it, it was a huge disappointment? I thought of that in reflecting on the first public impeachment inquiry.
You will recall that Democrats and their media cronies hyped this first hearing to the max. We were told that Schiff was leading off with the most Trump-damaging witness —Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent and former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor. We were teased with leaked information – and biased spins – of their secret testimony. This was to be blockbuster stuff.
Weeeell … it fell a bit short. Nay! It fell far short. If this was the first hole in a game of golf, the ball barely fell off the tee.
As predicted here, what we heard in the five-hour hearing was not significantly different than what we were told these guys would say before they appeared in secret session, what was leaked from the secret session and what we were told they’d say in open session. That may be why the viewership fell off as the hearing proceeded.
Now the press did jump on what they said was new information –a cellphone conversation between President Trump and European Union Ambassador Gordan Sondland that was overheard by an unnamed member of Taylor’s staff. In this – and most other instances – Taylor was reporting gossip – things he heard.
Neither Taylor nor Kent could offer any information from their own experiences. Republicans were very effective in pointing out this lack of direct knowledge. In fact, they got both Taylor and Kent to admit that they have never met Trump or ever spoke with him. Oh yeah, Taylor says he bumped into Trump at some event more than 10 years ago.
If these are the best witnesses – with the most damning testimony – the Democrats have, they are about to suffer another setback like the Mueller investigation. Remember how Democrats spent the better part of two years assuring we the people that once Special Counsel Robert Mueller completed his $35 million two-year investigation, it would reveal all kinds of criminality on the part of the President. Of course, it did no such thing – and Democrats were left wiping egg off their faces.
The first phase of the public impeachment inquiry suggests that Democrats may be in store for Mueller II – an overly-hyped and flagrant attempt to bring down Trump – this time with an effort to politically weaponize the impeachment process.
In this first round, Republicans were able to counterpunch rather effectively. The star witnesses seemed to disagree with Trump more over policy than criminality – and policy differences are not impeachable.
The #NeverTrump Resistance Movement apparently realized that the old clarion call for impeachment was their last chance of removing Trump from office – or minimally muddying up the President to weaken his chance of re-election. From the onset, it was a risky venture – and it may be on the verge of collapsing.
Unless the Democrats can come up with something more substantive than what they showed to date – including their highly vaunted first public hearing – they may not even be able to bring Articles of Impeachment. I thought that was a certainty until this hearing. If Democrats go into a Senate trial on this picayunish crap, they will pay a high price politically. In their attempt to weaken Trump, they may wind up crippling themselves.
So, there ‘tis.