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Impeachment hearings lack basic procedural fairness

Posted 11/21/19

Much like the Rorschach inkblot test where an inchoate spot of ink becomes whatever the viewer wants it to be, people can watch the same events and reach very different interpretations of what took …

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Impeachment hearings lack basic procedural fairness

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Much like the Rorschach inkblot test where an inchoate spot of ink becomes whatever the viewer wants it to be, people can watch the same events and reach very different interpretations of what took place. Hal Tarleton, in Saturday’s paper, opined that the Republicans made a very poor showing at the impeachment hearings whereas conservative pundits opine the same of the Democrats.

Mr. Tarleton’s presentation of the parallels and juxtapositions to the Watergate hearings are interesting and would be apropos except for one point, in the present case there is no underlying crime. A fair reading of the transcript of the Trump-Zelensky phone call shows Trump did not ask for any favors, rather, he suggested that the Ukrainian president revisit a corruption investigation that had been abruptly terminated under the previous president. All this is within the parameters of the president’s purview pursuant pre-existing treaty agreements.

The misappropriation of U.S. foreign aid funds, i.e. your tax dollars, was the predicate for such a request. It was not an attempt to harm a political opponent, here Joe Biden aka, Quid Pro Joe, whose moniker is appropriate as evidenced by the video of Vice President Biden bragging how he shut down an investigation of an allegedly corrupt Ukrainian company by threatening to withhold U.S. aid unless the Ukrainian prosecutor was fired; and he was.

Rep. Adam Schiff, as chair of the hearing, has drawn a clear distinction between his hearing and the Watergate and Clinton impeachments that attempted to be fair and balanced. Schiff has ensured that witnesses favorable to the Republicans will not testify and has done all he can to diminish Republican participation such as his disgraceful behavior toward Rep. Elise Stefanik whose attempts to question a witness were shut down by Schiff. Space does not permit more examples of the one-sidedness of this affair.

The willingness of the Left to go along with this totally un-American inquiry is unfathomable. There is no attempt at transparency as preliminary hearings are held in closed sessions in a basement hearing room, transcripts are not released so witnesses cannot be called to testify in open session and Mr. Schiff exercises whimsical dictatorial discretion at all times.

It is not too late to pull back and insert some fairness into the process less impeachment become a tit-for-tat affair that all future presidents of both parties will endure, resulting in a diminished Republic.

This is reminiscent of the saying, “It is all fun and games until someone gets hurt; then it’s hilarious.” The Left may be riding high now, but when all is said and done and the American people exact their revenge on the Soviet-style tactics of the Democratic Party in November 2020, it will be hilarious.

Tom Haitema

Wilson

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