House Democrats rubber-stamped an ad hoc anti-Trump investigation Thursday aimed at overturning the results of the 2016 election after the spectacular failure of the grand Russian collusion hoax collapsing earlier this year.
The text of the resolution lays the framework for the official impeachment proceedings going forward led by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who has been operating an illegitimate process since Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced the beginning an investigation in September.
Despite Democrat claims that the resolution would mean an open and transparent process, House members are still holding hearings in secret even after its passage.
The Democrat passed rules for impeachment also bar Republican lawmakers from calling witnesses or subpoenaing evidence without prior approval from Democrats. Members of the minority party were granted these rights in both the Nixon and the Clinton impeachment proceedings.
Schiff, whose credibility was shattered by his peddling of the Russian conspiracy theory for the last three years, has run an unfair process from the start. Behind closed doors, Schiff interviewed witnesses and selectively leaked parts of their testimonies to frame the president while Trump’s legal counsel has been barred from participating, denying the president rights to due process.
On Wednesday, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., exposed Schiff for directing witnesses testifying not to answer questions asked be Republican members.
“He’s directing witnesses not to answer questions that he doesn’t want the witness to answer if they’re asked by Republicans,” Scalise told reporters on Capitol Hill. “He’s not cut off one Democrat. He’s not interrupted one Democrat and told a witness not to answer Democrat members’ questions but today he started telling witnesses not to answer questions by certain Republicans.”
Pelosi opened the investigation in September after an anonymous “whistleblower” filed a complaint accusing Trump of conspiring with the Ukrainian president to investigate political opponents. While the complaint was marked “credible” and “urgent” by the intelligence community inspector general, it was not given those ratings by the Department of National Intelligence.
The identity of the whistleblower was revealed Wednesday to be a 33-year-old former intelligence official who worked in the Trump White House as a holdover from the Obama administration. According to Real Clear Investigations, which first reported the identity of the whistleblower, the complainant worked with a DNC operative to peddle the Russian collusion hoax in addition to working under former Vice President Joe Biden and former CIA Director John Brennan.
The whistleblower’s complaint regarding the now infamous July phone call between Trump and President Volodymyr Zelensky alleges a quid pro quo offered by the president to his Ukrainian counterpart, threatening to withhold military aid in exchange for investigating the corruption related to Biden’s son’s energy company, Burisma.
Hunter Biden served on the board of the Ukrainian energy company raking in $50,000 a month despite having no prior experience in the industry. In an interview with ABC News, Hunter Biden admitted to practicing “poor judgement.” While serving as a senator from Delaware, Joe Biden reportedly reached out to federal agencies discreetly to discuss matters that his son’s firm was lobbying for, according to records uncovered by the Washington Examiner.
The complaint now at the heart of the Democratic impeachment efforts has been both corroborated and contradicted by witnesses testifying in secret.
On Thursday, the latest testimony came from a former National Security Counsel official who served under Trump, Tim Morrison, who testified before the House that he was not worried that anything in the phone call between the two world leaders was illegal, according to remarks obtained by The Federalist.
“I want to be clear, I was not concerned that anything illegal was discussed,” said Morrison, who was the NSC senior director for European affairs. “I have no reason to believe the Ukrainians had any knowledge of the [military funding] review until August 28, 2019,” which was the day that Schiff claimed that Trump had withheld funding to the eastern European nation as part of a quid pro quo.
Morrison also contradicted key elements of William Taylor’s leaked testimony, who serves in the U.S. embassy in Kiev, Ukraine for the State Department. Morrison said despite Taylor’s comments before the committee, that a meeting between Morrison and the Ukrainian National Security advisor never met at a private hotel.
Morrison also undercut Taylor’s testimony that U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Gordon Sondland requested a public announcement of an investigation into Burisma from the Ukrainian president.