Impeachment case crash-lands

The bombshell media extravaganza of the year staged by Democrats on Wednesday to rally the country behind the president’s impeachment turned into such a snoozer that people were flipping channels in droves.

Many viewers who relish a prize fight tuned in just to watch the heavily promoted combat between the overwrought Democrats and Republicans all bulked up to defend the president.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff spent the day pounding his little gavel while cutting off anyone who asked any questions that might incriminate him or derail his precarious impeachment hoax.

President Donald Trump was working all day doing the nation’s business while the Democrats were busy playing prosecution games. He spent the morning in the Oval Office with several Republican senators at a meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey.

An aide to a senior House Democrat told on Wednesday that Schiff’s game plan was to swamp the White House with a jam-packed schedule, making it difficult for any other news to break through to the public.

“Schiff is going to flood the zone, quite simply,” the aide said. “He’s going to get this whole thing to dominate media coverage and drown Trump in bad news.” Schiff flooded the zone alright: with flatulence.

The widely panned and ridiculed television event featured career diplomats who had to be coached by Schiff to breathe some life into their testimonies.

Charge d’Affaires in Ukraine, William Taylor, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent, were the first two witnesses to testify. They were expected to produce “damning evidence” that Trump used a $391 million military aid request to pressure Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former vice president Joe Biden and his son, Hunter during a July 25 phone call.  Hunter Biden held a lucrative job on the board of Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian energy company.

 Democrats allege Trump wanted dirt on Biden, his political rival, who is a candidate for the Democratic Party’s 2020 nomination for president. Trump had concerns about deals the Bidens negotiated and Ukraine’s reported interference in the 2016 US election.

The call was flagged by an anonymous whistleblower and Democrats latched on to his complaint to justify a long desired case for impeachment based on bribery and corruption.

Both diplomats admit they never spoke with Trump about the holdup and had no direct knowledge of why it was delayed.

Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan, Republican member of the House Intelligence Committee, told Fox News’ Fox and Friends on Thursday Taylor “met with President Zelensky three times, and never once was aid linked to the president, Burisma, Hunter Biden, or the Bidens themselves. Never once it came up.”

Taylor testified that US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland told him that he said to Zelensky, “that while this was not a quid pro quo, if Mr. Zelensky did not clear things up in public, we would be at a stalemate.”

Taylor also said Sondland “told me that it was a mistake to have told the Ukrainians that only the meeting with the president in the Oval Office was held up in order to get these investigations. No, it was not just the meeting, it was also the security assistance.”  Sondland, however, testified in a closed door hearing that he could not remember the conversation.

 Jordan read a long-winded explanation from Sondland’s statement: “Ambassador Taylor recalls that Mr. Morrison told Ambassador Taylor that I told Mr. Morrison that I had conveyed this message to Mr. Yermak on September 1, 2019, in connection with Vice President Pence’s visit to Warsaw and a meeting with President Zelensky.”

Jordan challenged Taylor’s account and questioned Democrats’ decision to make him their ‘star witness.’ “We got six people having four conversations in one sentence, and you just told me this is where you got your clear understanding,” Jordan said.

Taylor also testified that State Department aide David Holmes overheard Trump say he cared more about investigating the Bidens than about Ukraine.

Holmes told Taylor he was at a restaurant with Sondland and overheard him on the phone with the president. The restaurant conversation, he said, occurred a day after Mr. Trump’s phone call with Zelensky.

“Following the call with President Trump, the member of my staff asked Ambassador Sondland what President Trump thought about Ukraine,” Taylor testified. “Ambassador Sondland responded that President Trump cares more about the investigations of Biden.”

Trump said he did not remember the phone call described by Taylor: “I never heard of this. In any event, it is more second-hand information,” he said while holding a joint press conference with Erdogan on Wednesday.

 Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) asked the witnesses to state what impeachable offense Trump committed with the call: “In this impeachment hearing today, where we impeach presidents for treason or bribery or other high crimes, where was the impeachable offense in that call? Are either of you here today to assert that there was an impeachable offense in that call? Shout it out. Anyone?”

Both Kent and Taylor looked like deer staring at headlights, then Taylor said snarkily, “I am not here to do anything having to do to decide about impeachment. That is your job.”

Kent, who was overseeing the administration’s policy towards Ukraine, made stunning admissions that ended up bolstering the president’s case for scrutinizing the Bidens’ Burisma deals. 

“To summarize, we thought the [CEO of Burisma] had stolen money. We thought a prosecutor had taken a bribe to shut the case,” Kent said.

“I think, since U.S. taxpayer dollars were wasted, I would love to see the Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office find who the corrupt prosecutor was that took the bribe, and how much of it was paid,” Kent added.

MSNBC host Chuck Todd complained bitterly Wednesday Trump’s Republican base was not doing what the media and Democrats were demanding. They were “not accepting the premise” that Trump must be removed from office.

Democrats have still not produced concrete evidence to back up their extortion claims. There was no reference to military aid on Trump’s phone call, according to the declassified transcript, and the aid money was released in September without an investigation into the Bidens. If all Democrats can produce is hearsay evidence, they have not made a compelling case yet to impeach and remove a duly elected president.