Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi corralled the media on Wednesday and upbraided them as if they were part of her infantile caucus. The tongue lashing ensued the day after a tumultuous start to the public phase of her impeachment inquiry on Wednesday, leaving her party swirling in political turmoil. By mid-afternoon it was obviously flatlining with voters, to the displeasure of Madam Speaker.
The California congresswoman made it crystal clear during a press briefing on Thursday that in her chamber the whistleblower, whose complaint triggered the inquiry, would be exalted and respected. Every word he speaks will be revered like Moses’ Ten Commandments, while President Donald Trump would be treated like a fly on the wall — an adjunct to the proceeding.
The kerfuffle kicked off shortly after the briefing began when Sinclair reporter James Rosen bravely asked: “We hear it said routinely, and of course it’s true, that impeachment is a political process, not a legal one. And yet as we can all observe many of the accoutrements surrounding the legal process are inherent in this political process. We have counsel, depositions, subpoenas, acts of perjury and so forth. This was made starkly clear yesterday by Chairman [Adam] Schiff, it seemed to me when he reminded the minority that he would do everything necessary to ensure the legal rights of the whistleblower to preserve anonymity in this political setting. And so I wonder if you can explain to the American people why the legal rights of the whistleblower should prevail in this political setting over those of President Trump who should ordinarily enjoy a right to confront his accuser?”
Pelosi recoiled in horror: “Well, let me just say this, I will say to you, Mr. Republican Talking Points, what I said to the President of the United States. When you talk about the whistleblower, you’re coming into my wheelhouse. I have more experience in Intelligence than anybody in the Congress. Anybody that ever served — 25 years on the committee as top Democrat, ex-officio, as Speaker and leader. I was there when we wrote the whistleblower statute.”
“The whistleblower is there to speak truth to power and have protection for doing that. And any, any retribution or harm coming to the whistleblower undermines our ability to hear it. I will defend the rights of the whistleblower vehemently. Vehemently,” she said.
“The president can come — if he has a case to make. Does he want to come speak? Does he want to present in writing or speak to the committee about his — what might be exculpatory for him? He has that right to do. But nobody, nobody, president — the president is not above the law. The president will be held accountable. Nobody should have the right to endanger whistleblowers. That is the system I will defend and the American people — the American people understand,” Pelosi asserted.
If the whistleblower’s legal rights are being upheld, despite the political nature of the process, why not the president’s? Contrary to Pelosi’s statement, the Republican minority of the House of Representatives does not have the right to subpoena witnesses and documents on President Trump’s behalf.
President Trump’s lawyers will not be able to participate in examining witnesses, subpoenaing documents, introducing and objecting to evidence, and otherwise defending the president. Democrats will only allow the President’s counsel to participate in the proceedings in the House after the Judiciary Committee begins weighing final articles of impeachment.
Pelosi appears to be suggesting that the nature of the accusations against the president are so egregious that he does not deserve due process. In other words, he has already been found guilty. The findings of Democrats do not need to be challenged, therefore the president has no right to present a proper defense.
Democrats launched the inquiry based on accusations of the anonymous whistleblower, who claimed that Trump tried to bribe Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky with $400 million in military aid and a White House visit in exchange for a politically motivated corruption probe of Joe Biden and his son. There isn’t any exculpatory evidence that has stopped the Democrats’ impeachment freight train.
The White House released a transcript of the first phone call between Trump and Zelensky on Friday, illustrating that the president offered him a White House visit with no preconditions, threats or mention of a Biden probe.
The administration already released the call transcript that triggered the whistleblower’s complaint last month and it had no reference to a promise of aid money for an investigation, or as Pelosi now charges, a statement indicating there will be an investigation.
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said on Thursday that U.S. ambassador Gordon Sondland did not explicitly link military aid with opening an investigation into the Bidens. Zelensky has also denied that he felt any pressure or coercion during the phone call to pursue an investigation.
Although the military aid was briefly put on hold, it was released in September and the Ukrainians did not begin an investigation.
The president tweeted Friday: “The Impeachment Witch Hunt should be over with the statement made last night by the President and Foreign Minister of Ukraine.”
South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said on Fox News Tuesday, the night before public hearings were set to begin: “What’s happening in the House is basically un-American. No American, including Donald Trump, should be accused of misdeeds without confronting their accuser, which is the whistleblower, and no American should be denied the ability to tell their side of the story by calling witnesses to explain their defense. That’s being denied the President of the United States.”
Pelosi has become a degenerate creature spawned by the political process. She trembles with rage whenever she speaks of the president that she has been empowered to impeach by virtue of electoral victory. She has shown inherent bias and animus toward the president. So has most of her chamber.
How then can any of the House committee chairmen, or Pelosi herself, be entrusted to fairly conduct the inquiry? They have such contempt for the president and the Constitution that they have elevated the legal rights of a whistleblower over the President of the United States.