Julie Kelly calls it “The impeachment Schiff show” (emphasis on “show”) and sets it in the proper context. As Adam Schiff becomes the face the Democratic Party at the moment, what is to be said? The Democrats deserve that face.
Jerry Nadler’s is to follow. They deserve his too.
With an almost entirely partisan vote yesterday, the House adopted the resolution that will govern the impeachment “inquiry.” (I have posted the resolution below.) Two Democrats voted with the Republicans to oppose the resolution.
One of the two Democrats opposing the resolution was Minnesota’s own Collin Peterson. I infer that Peterson intends to stand for reelection yet again in Minnesota’s most Republican congressional district. Drat.
The sober New York Post columnist Michael Goodwin laments adoption of the resolution. He calls it a national tragedy. I should like to think that we shall overcome, but the Democrats appear to have positioned themselves to win regardless of the outcome.
Kim Strassel comments on the partisanship of the vote in her weekly Wall Street Journal column. Here is the heart of it:
The Pelosi impeachment resolution was supposed to deprive the GOP of its complaint that the process wasn’t formal. Instead, it formalized a rigged process—and gives Republicans a solid rationale for rejecting the entire proceeding. Democrats gripe that the GOP refuses to talk about the substance of the case against the president. But it is Democrats who have made that impossible, given the secrecy and one-sided approach. Due process is at the heart of America’s system of ordered liberty, and the “evidence” Democrats are secretly compiling in the basement of the House is already soiled.
As usual, I find Andrew McCarthy’s analysis most useful. His analysis is set forth in 12 points. Let’s go to points five and six, for example:
5) Interestingly, the Resolution takes pains to refer to the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence as “the Permanent Select Committee,” dropping “on Intelligence” after page two. If they were just trying to be succinct, they would use the usual HPSCI shorthand. Omitting reference to the Intelligence is more likely some recognition of the strangeness of running an impeachment inquiry behind closed doors in the intelligence committee, and a suggestion to the public that this committee has been specially selected for impeachment purposes. Impeachment should be the work of the Judiciary Committee (which will take the help in inquiry’s the next phase). By doing it through the Intelligence Committee, moreover, Democrats dodge Judiciary impeachment precedents that would provide for more due process. (See Thomas Jipping’s post at Bench Memos.)
6) Not surprisingly, the resolution endorses the “ongoing investigation” that Democrats have been conducting. The resolution is pitched as a means of continuing that inquiry, not beginning anew. This is a face-saving measure: Democrats should have passed this resolution at the beginning of the inquiry. They did not do that because, as discussed yesterday, they hoped to move public opinion in their favor with selective leaks to friendly media of their closed-door proceedings — a strategy that, sadly, has worked.
Republicans are right to complain (as, for example, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) has complained) that Democrats are continuing the secret proceedings for now, notwithstanding the promise of imminent open hearings. The closed proceedings are nearly devoid of due process — they do not feature the Republican participation provisions attendant to the open hearings (and the presidential participation provisions envisioned once things more to the Judiciary Committee). Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff (D., Calif.) says they are like a grand jury, but (as I’ve explained) they are not — they are a rubber stamp for Democrats who decided three years ago that Trump should be impeached, and a vehicle for shaping media coverage by selective disclosure.
Ironically, the resolution’s endorsement of the secret hearings is portrayed as part of Democrat’s’ commitment to “open and transparent investigative proceedings.”
If you want to understand the unfolding struggle, McCarthy’s analysis is must reading in its entirety and includes links I have omitted above.