On the Bidens, Schiff Opened the Door

NBC news amiplified Schiff Adam misinformation attack free pressYou opened the door.

Trial lawyers live in fear of that phrase.

When a trial starts, both sides know what the allegations are. Both have had enough discovery to know what the adversary will try to prove. Just as significantly, both know what their own vulnerabilities are. A litigator spends his pretrial time not just laying the groundwork for getting his own evidence admitted by the court; each side works just as hard on motions to exclude embarrassing or incriminating testimony — evidence that would be damaging to that side’s position but that a court may be persuaded to exclude because it is not clearly relevant.

For an advocate, it is a coup when the judge rules that harmful testimony is excluded. But such rulings always come with a warning label: Don’t open the door. That is, don’t do anything that makes the otherwise irrelevant evidence relevant.

President Trump’s impeachment trial has a Biden door. Adam Schiff has thrown it wide open.

The first full day of President Trump’s Senate impeachment trial was consumed by legal arguments over whether witnesses who did not testify in the House impeachment inquiry should now be subpoenaed. One proposal has surface appeal because it is reciprocal: The House managers get to call John Bolton (the president’s former national-security adviser), but then the president’s lawyers get to call former vice president Joe Biden or his son, Hunter.

Schiff has pooh-poohed this suggestion. His basic objection is sound: The admissibility of a witness’s testimony is a matter of relevance, not horse-trading. If witnesses have testimony of strong value as evidence, they should be subpoenaed, even if it means that one side gets a dozen witnesses and the other side gets none.

Yet, though he now tells anyone who’ll listen that the Bidens have nothing to do with his case against President Trump, it is Schiff who has made them highly relevant.

The House Democrats tell you that their case is straightforward: The president exploited his foreign-affairs power by pressuring Ukraine to conduct an investigation for no reason other than that it would harm a political rival and thus help Trump’s reelection. On this account, it makes no difference whether there was a legitimate basis for such an investigation. Schiff’s point is that any presidential collusion with a foreign power that could influence the outcome of an American election is an abuse of power, period.

But Schiff is smart enough to know that all abuses of power are not created equal. Common sense says it matters whether there was a legitimate reason for the investigation the president was seeking.

It is fair enough to tut-tut that a president should not conflate foreign policy and domestic politics (something all of them do to some degree). And it would certainly be prudent (even if not constitutionally required) for presidents to leave questions about who should be investigated to the Justice Department, especially when a president’s political fortunes may be implicated. All that said, though, it makes a difference whether this president is asking the foreign power to manufacture a case against a political opponent, or whether the president is instead asking for an investigation into something that truly appears suspicious.

Schiff has ignored that salient distinction from the start. And by ignoring the difference, he has — however heedlessly — painted a bull’s-eye on the Bidens. The father and son were front and center within the first ten minutes of Schiff’s opening statement at the impeachment trial Wednesday afternoon. But that was old news. Schiff kicked the door open at the start of the very first House hearing. Not content to quote from President Trump’s actual call with President Zelensky of Ukraine, Schiff insisted on presenting a “parody” that, he maintained, conveyed the unspoken essence of Trump’s message: “I want you make up dirt on my political opponent, understand? Lots of it.”

In sum, the House’s chief prosecutor represented to the American people that President Trump had asked his Ukrainian counterpart to fabricate a false case against Biden. In any court in America, that would open the door to the Trump defense team to show that this was not the president’s intention at all; he was simply asking Zelensky to look into a situation that cried out for an inquiry.

In light of Schiff’s explicit allegation, the president is entitled to an opportunity to show that there was reason for him to believe that a notoriously corrupt Ukrainian energy company had retained Hunter Biden and paid him a fortune despite his lack of qualifications; and that later, despite the blatant conflict of interest, then–vice president Biden extorted Ukraine into firing a prosecutor who was investigating the company, threatening to withhold $1 billion in desperately needed funds.

Schiff insists that Trump’s claims in this regard are false. But his mere say-so does not prove falsity, no more than his mere say-so proves that Trump wanted Ukraine to “make up dirt” on Biden. Figuring out who has the better of a factual dispute is what a trial is about. If a litigant does not want to create a dispute, it’s up to the litigant to steer clear of the issue.

Adam Schiff steered his case straight into the Bidens. The Trump team may have their political reasons for highlighting Biden’s involvement. But it was Schiff’s strategy that made the Bidens relevant. If one or both of them ends up in the witness box, they have Schiff to thank.

Reprinted with permission from - National Review - by Andrew C. McCarthy

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El Ey
2 years ago

Let’s all keep on praying.
God hears it all.

2 years ago

I believe that the Democrats used Burisma to interfere with the 2016 election in some ways, and other corrupt money schemes, and this impeachment is to keep Trump from exposing their corrupt activities. Most Americans know that the Democrats are criminals and will do anything to line their pockets and stay in power. Mr Trump had every right to have Ukraine look into any corruption of US citizens or Ukrainian citizens that would have used the money meant to aid Ukraine in other ways.

2 years ago

Schiff is apparently not as smart as you give him credit for. I myself, a mere paralegal wouldn’t have made that stupid mistake.

Candace Warren
2 years ago

Happily, the little weasel opened his mouth one time too many. In even mentioning the Biden name, he has opened the door to them being called to tetify under oath. Although that most likely does not bother them in the least. I would like to see the LIAR take the stand, myself.

Greg Mather
2 years ago

Until politicians (ALL PARTIES) are held accountable for their personal gains they acquired while in office and go to jail for fraud. It’s going to be politics as usual, “He said’She said”. I would not be surprised that they are all best buddies and this is their pretend life show for their voters. Eliminate PAC’s and any outside financial influences for any politician. Provide them a liveable salary, no perks, and limit their terms. They are supposed to be in office to help us, not increase their wealth. The government should provide equal reasonable funding for political parties, provide equal air time, and let the best man/woman be elected. It would be costly but would be much less than the BS we are experiencing now.

2 years ago

Very good info. The Dims aka DEMS are quite good at twisting the truth. Let us hope that John Q Public realizes this scam

Nanci Thomas
2 years ago

The Democrats have gone so far left, the ship is about to sink. They might want to consider leaving the country. They care not one iota about the American taxpayer and voter. I do hope Americans wake up, because if they do not, one of these days America will be gone. Swallowed up in socialist communism. As the saying goes…”you won’t know what you’ve lost ’till it’s gone.” What a sad commentary on a wonderful country. Most kids, and some adults, don’t seem to understand that someone has to pay for “socialism” and guess who…It’s You!!!

C. Brinsky
2 years ago

Great explanation and Clarification. Thanks.

Peter K
2 years ago

If it weren’t for the bias in the MSM, this impeachment would be thrown out and no trial would be held. Because of slanted reporting, commenting is a better word, the MSM has put the Republican Senate in a bad place. One that if handled properly could hurt their 2020 chances because the MSM will paint it as a cover-up. Republicans are in a bad place. An acquittal with NO additional witnesses will change the dialog 180 in their favor because there was no crime or was there a crime even mentioned in the articles.

There are numerous factual examples of Obama, both personally and by his administration that were blatantly illegal that never get mentioned. .The quid pro quo by VP Biden was one, the payoff to Iran absent Congressional knowledge is another, swapping 5 terrorists for a traitor without Congressional knowledge is another. Interfering in the election of a foreign country (Israel) is yet another. I could name 3-4 more without hesitation.

Pretty sad state of affairs for the USA and a worse state of affairs for the Democrat Party. They are completely lost and pathetically clueless.

Denise Montgomery
2 years ago

I wish the liberals & rinos that have been wasting millions of taxpayers money on this attempted coup were required to pay every cent of it back to the US Treasury.

Pat R
2 years ago

And that’s why lawyer Schiff became a politician. He wasn’t good enough to actually make a living practicing law. AND that’s what’s wrong with Congress, having a majority of lawyers.

2 years ago

This is about the same length of time before the 2016 election that the Obama/Biden Administration had the FBI & the CIA start spying on Trump. They used the throwaway line of Trump at a rally about having the Russians find Hillary’s missing emails that were under subpoena, and the illegal FISA warrants as justification.
We have Biden on video bragging about his Ukranian quid pro quo so Trump should now task the FBI & CIA to spy on Biden, right?

Robert J Stitt Sr
2 years ago

After the impeachment has been cleared all the people bringing it should be charged with false allegations and reimburse the cost of the impeachment.

Nasty Nat
2 years ago

Bottom Line: The Dems know that they cannot beat Trump in the next election and just want to remove him from the ballot. Secondly, they want to win control of both the House and Senate. If Trump wins re-election, the Dems next impeachment farce will sail straight through the Democratically controlled Congress.

El Ey
2 years ago
Reply to  Nasty Nat

Let’s all hope and pray that ALL democrats are VOTED OUT this election and ALL future elections.
From my lips to God’s merciful ears.

sharon mcarthur
2 years ago

Very helpful explanation…could not hear this anywhere else

Brad Collins
2 years ago

No greater threat to freedom than a democrat. Any democrat. The world is shaking its head at how we attack the greatest president in modern history. Sit back and watch. Trump will crush these filthy dems. He’s way to smart and the dems don’t get it. They will soon enough.

2 years ago

“It is fair enough to tut-tut that a president should not conflate foreign policy and domestic politics (something all of them do to some degree).”

This is complete nonsense. Everything any politician does has an affect on domestic politics to some degree or another. Flip it around. If the president, or any other office holder, were precluded from engaging in foreign policy that might have an affect on the next election, could not conduct any foreign policy at all.

2 years ago

The Democrats are like the Communist in 1917 and Hitler and the Nazis in WWII.

Bud T
2 years ago

I totally agree. This type of political misuse, assumptions and lies from those house members should be treason and it’s WEAKENING our country, dividing it and destroying it. Do you believe we can compete with other nations with this behavior in the U.S. our future looks bleak especially when these socialist take control of our govt.

2 years ago

The Bidens will never testify. All Bidens will take the 5th or refuse to show up. What are we going to do. Arrest them ?
The Repubs should never agree to trade Bolton-Mulvaney for the Bidens. Joe Biden has already stated that he will refuse
to testify. Why is this even a topic ? The dems, as always, are looking for ways, such as this , to hoodwink republicans.
Why? Because they have done so many times in the past.

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