The impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump exemplifies the classic proverb, “You can’t make a silk purse from a sow’s ear”. The Democrats have been out for his scalp even before his inauguration, where the abuses of the FISA Court are unraveling with the determination two of four warrants on which the surveillance of Carter Page was based were invalid, which means that investigations and prosecutions based on them qualify as “fruit of the poisonous tree”. The “two hop” rule allowed the FBI to investigate those who had direct contact with Page and those who had direct contact with them, which encompassed virtually the entire campaign.
This implies that the court cases that led to the convictions of Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn and Roger Stone, among others, are destined for reversal by the courts and that the principals behind this abuse, including John Brennan, James Comey and Andrew McCabe, will eventually be brought to account in (what may well qualify as) the greatest political scandal in the history of the United States, as the president himself is asserting (without exaggeration). The failure of (what is known as “Russiagate”, which has been thoroughly documented by Gregg Jarrett, The Russia Hoax: The Illicit Scheme to Clear Hillary Clinton and Frame Donald Trump (2018) and (now) Witch Hunt: The Story of the Greatest Mass Delusion in American Political History (2019), leave no doubt about it.
Russiagate fell apart when Robert Mueller testified to Congress and did not know the contents of his own report. The Democrats out of a sense of frustration rooted in “TDS” (Trump Derangement Syndrome) conspired a new plot to bring him down using a relatively innocuous phone call to the President of Ukraine as its pivot. What may be most remarkable about the ongoing effort is that even the key witnesses—Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, Ambassador to the EU, Gordon Sondland, and Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie L. Yovanovitch—testified that, although they disagreed with the president’s policy toward Ukraine, they did not believe he had done anything illegal.
That ought to have settled the matter, but Nancy Peolsi, Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler, inspired by Al Green’s observation, “If we don’t impeach this guy, he will get reelected!”, continued on course to do as much political damage to Trump as they could, in the awareness that they have no policies or candidates or prospects of defeating him—save by interference, not from Russia, but by Google. where the leading behavioral scientist, Robert Epstein, former Editor-in-Chief of Psychology Today, has testified to Congress that in the election of 2016, Google’s search algorithms were utilized to shift between 2.6 and 10.4 million votes to support Hillary Clinton, that it shifted a minimum of 4.6 million more in 2018 and that the prospects for 2020, if not checked, are a virtual guarantee of a Democratic victory, no matter how strongly Trump might be supported by the people.
Among the most important proofs of the contrivance of this impeachment is that the person who submitted the initial complaint had no direct knowledge of the phone call and where the form he submitted was revised from having required first-hand (direct) knowledge in the past to allowing complaints based upon hearsay (second or third hand) knowledge, which would be absurd were it to stand in place, since every rumor, speculation or guess would require time and effort to review which no serious agency would contemplate. He has been identified as Eric Ciaramella, the former NSC Ukraine director, who during the Obama administration, facilitated a meeting between White House officials and Ukrainian prosecutors to discuss the Burisma investigation and Hunter Biden.
Indeed, were he to be called as a witness, the Democrats’ case for impeachment would rapidly fall apart. The House leaders, especially Adam Schiff, have sought to protect his identity, false claiming to have had no contact with him prior to the submission of his complaint, which has been exposed as inconsistent with the facts. Moreover, even Joe Biden himself—in footage that has been played by the Defense—explained during a talk at the Council on Foreign Relations in 2018 that he told the Ukrainian government that, unless the prosecutor looking into Burisma were fired before he flew back to the US in six hours hence, $1 billion in foreign aid would be withheld, which has even been playing on a billboard in Times Square 24/7 and virtually guarantees his quest for the nomination of the Democratic Party cannot possibly succeed. So Joe Biden is the loser, not Donald Trump.
Among the latest developments in the impeachment trial:
- Senator Lamar Alexander has reported that, even though he believes the Democrats have proven their case, he will vote against considering additional witnesses, because he does not believe the case they have proven is impeachable.
- Senator Rand Paul tried to have the chief justice of the United States, John G. Roberts Jr., read a question aloud that included the name of Eric Ciaramella, widely thought to be the C.I.A. whistle-blower, which the Chief Justice declined to do.
- Several GOP senators, including Lisa Murkowski and Lamar Alexander, submitted a question that seemed to imply there was not need for testimony from John Bolton, casting doubt on the Democrats demands that witnesses be called.
- Senator Susan Collins announced that she supports calling witnesses on both sides, such as Joe Bide and John Bolton, the whistleblower and Hunter Biden, and perhaps two pair more, which the Democrats are almost certain to reject as too threatening.
Perhaps most significant, however, Democratic Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Doug Jones of Alabama are undecided on voting to remove the president from office. Insofar as the GOP has a 53-47 majority in the Senate and the party is highly loyal to and supportive of the president, his acquittal was never seriously in doubt. The odds now favor several of these Democrats joining with the Republicans, where Trump now appears to be on the verge of a bipartisan exoneration up to 56-44, which should take place today or tomorrow.
James H. Fetzer, Ph,D., a former US Marine Corps officer, is McKnight Processor Emeritus on the Duluth Campus of the University of Minnesota and co-founder of moonrockbooks.com.