11/13/2019 has come and gone. 5.5 hours of second and third hand “evidence” rolled out by Adam Schiff’s committee for all to see, and yes, it was a circus. First, we now know that the Republicans will not be allowed to bring in any of their preferred witnesses, because they have to be approved by Adam Schiff and every member of the Intelligence committee, and Adam will never allow that to happen. We also found out that Adam Schiff can and will object to any line of questioning if it has the potential to hurt his impeachment narrative, but Republicans are not given the same latitude. Finally, we discover that the person that created this mess in the first place, the so called “whistleblower” will not be interviewed at all in this process.
The witnesses were sober, apparently experienced career bureaucrats assigned to the State Department. In their opening statements we were given history lessons dating back to the Revolutionary War all the way up to present day. We were also given their impressive resume’s, but absolutely nothing about their first hand knowledge of any Presidential wrongdoing.
The lawyer representing the Democrats interviewed each of these bureaucrats, in a carefully choreographed Q&A session. Both the lawyer and questioner were constantly referring to notes on their respective desks. It was apparent that the questions and answers were concocted and practiced by all involved prior to the start of the session. Questions and answers were designed to show that the President abused his power and practiced a Quid Pro Quo in regard to his conversation with the Ukrainian President.
When the Republicans had their time with the bureaucrats, they pointed out through their questioning that neither of these gentlemen had any first hand knowledge of any Presidential wrongdoing. Instead, they were regurgitating what others had told them, many of which only had 2nd hand knowledge of the phone call, and no real evidence of the so called “Quid Pro Quo”. That, it seemed was their conclusion, albeit without any real evidence.
The bureaucrats also told us that “Quid Pro Quo’s” are never used to push a foreign government to start an investigation, at least not the way they felt our President was using it. They finally did admit that foreign aid is routinely held back in order to get the receiving government to change behavior, usually to stop internal corruption prior to releasing the funds. In effect, they indicated that Quid Pro Quo’s are routinely used in dispensing foreign aid, just not the particular way our President used it. They did admit that the Ukrainian government is very corrupt, but it was their opinion that our President withheld funds not to insure less corruption, but to investigate a political rival. They did not give any mention of the President’s favor to have the new Ukrainian President look into Ukraine’s involvement in our 2016 election, just based their assumption on the passing mention of looking into Hunter and Joe Biden’s activity in the Ukrainian gas industry.
Our butt hurt bureaucrats indicated that it was the job of the State Department to dispense and at times hold back foreign funding, not the job of the President. They also repeatedly told us that the President used back channels to keep them out of the loop on the Ukraine funding, and that was the essence of their hurt feelings. They felt that Rudy Guiliani was not a State Department employee, and should never have been inserted into the Ukraine story. It’s not illegal or unprecedented for a President to use a civilian in foreign affairs, in fact every President has used their own back channels, but one would not know it with the testimony given by these two witnesses!
We were lectured by Democrats about how 2nd hand information is just as valuable, and maybe even more valuable than first hand knowledge of the alleged crime, and was a practice honored in our court system. That is not true, because hearsay or 2nd hand knowledge is typically not allowed in American courts, but that did not stop Democrats from saying so, and of course Adam Schiff would not allow the Republicans to object to the statement.
At the end of the hearing, we effectively learned nothing. The Schiff Circus tried to tighten up his impeachment narrative, but without any real effect. No one’s opinion of the impeachment process was in any way changed, and the hearing turned out to be a big waste of time. This is one Circus that no one should be paying for. No entertainment value, and nothing there to be learned.