Throughout President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial the media have enthusiastically released a relentless series of ‘bombshells’ night after night as they partner with Democrats to pressure Republicans for a conviction.
The sensationalized, hyperinflated blockbusters have all turned out to be giant nothingburgers with extra toppings.
Their main goal has been to back vulnerable Republican senators into a corner so they will feel obliged to do the bidding of menacing Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York.
He and his party have been wielding several new storylines as cudgels to prove that Kentucky Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has no power to stop his members from calling more witnesses and introducing more documents into the Senate trial.
This would have handed Democrats and the media a tremendous victory. They would love nothing more than to continue their crusade of lies and attacks as they press their case that Trump should be removed from office.
The House impeached Trump in December for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress based on claims in an anonymous whistleblower’s report. They say he improperly influenced Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a July 25th phone call to investigate former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter. The younger Biden served on the board of an energy company in Ukraine for a lucrative $83,000 a month despite a shady career history.
Democrats claim the president withheld $391 million in military aid from Ukraine and dangled a White House visit to Zelensky to secure an announcement of an investigation.
This was an attempt by Trump to influence the outcome of the 2020 elections, Democrats argue, and the president must be removed from office as he poses a threat to our democracy which must be eliminated at all cost.
Trump’s legal team has argued that the evidence supporting the charge is based on hearsay. It also asserts Trump did not commit an impeachable offense, even if the allegation is true. The money was released to Ukraine without any indication the country would pursue an investigation and the call transcript had no reference to any quid pro quo.
On Monday the story broke that former national security adviser John Bolton, whose testimony Democrats have been seeking for months, will publish a tell-all book critical of the president.
Leaks from the soon-to-be-published book, “The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir,” contained the tit-bit that Trump told Bolton he wanted to withhold military assistance from Ukraine unless it helped him with investigations into Joe Biden. The timing of the story from an ‘anonymous source’ seemed suspicious.
Trump ousted Bolton from his position in September last year, even though he insisted he resigned. The president has accused him of being a disgruntled former employee. The book is slated for publication in March and people close to Bolton said he wanted to testify. A spokeswoman denied that he was behind the leak of the book, adding that the National Security Council has had a copy of it since Dec. 30.
The ‘bombshell’ temporarily achieved the desired effect of triggering mounting pressure on moderate Republican senators, including Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) who expressed interest in hearing from witnesses in the impeachment trial. For a while there was rejoicing among the impeachers and chagrin from Trump and GOP leadership. Democrats were convinced they were on the cusp of securing four GOP defections to call witnesses.
The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and the Washington Post gleefully trumpeted bombshell reports that McConnell told GOP Senators he did not have the votes to fend off Democrats’ demands.
Trump’s defense lawyers insisted Tuesday that John Bolton’s book manuscript case is “inadmissible” in the president’s Senate trial.
“You can’t impeach the president on an unsourced allegation,” attorney Jay Sekulow told senators. “I want to be clear on this, because there’s a lot of speculation out there.” He called the leak “an unpublished manuscript that maybe some reporters have an idea of maybe what it says.”
By Wednesday it became clear Senate Republicans were barreling toward wrapping up the impeachment trial after a morning meeting between McConnell and Lisa Murkowski. Several senators indicated they had secured enough votes to shut down the whole charade.
The Bolton bombshell came after the Lev Parnas blockbuster from mid-January fizzled spectacularly. Parnas is a Soviet-born businessman with close ties to Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. He and another Soviet-born businessman, Igor Fruman, were arrested in October and charged in New York on unrelated campaign finance charges. Parnas is hoping to get a plea deal if he helps congressional Democrats supplement their evidence for the articles of impeachment.
Democrats and the media went gaga over a 2018 recording of Trump that appears to show him discussing the dismissal of then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.
Democrats and the media have tried to paint her firing as sinister and even impeachable, lauding her as a martyr. Their protestations and bombshells don’t change the fact that the president has the authority to fire any ambassador at any time for any reason, making this story another epic nothingburger.
Parnas also supplied House Democrats with text messages and notes of conversations he had with Giuliani and other Trump officials about efforts to push out Yovanovitch and dig up dirt on the Bidens. They include a May 10 letter from Giuliani to Zelensky asking for a 30-minute meeting — a request Giuliani said was made “with [Trump’s] knowledge and consent.”
The disreputable Parnas scored an invite to Trump’s impeachment trial for his troubles, even though he was barred from the Senate chamber because of his ankle bracelet.