House intelligence committee chairman Adam Schiff has released a 300-page Trump-Ukraine impeachment inquiry report. It’s what you would expect of a rushed report after two weeks of hearsay and opinion testimony: full of unsupported conclusions based upon faulty assumptions.
Garbage assumptions lead to garbage conclusions. Below is a list of several key assumptions Schiff totally failed to support in the report.
1. If You Believe Ukraine Interfered in the 2016 Election, You Must Believe Russia Didn’t
Schiff wrote, “The President demanded that the newly-elected Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, publicly announce investigations … into a discredited theory that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that interfered in the 2016 presidential election.” Schiff presented no evidence supporting the assumption that believing Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election requires one to believe Russia didn’t.
Schiff attributed this finding to the intelligence community, writing, “[T]he U.S. Intelligence Community had unanimously determined that Russia, not Ukraine, interfered in the 2016 election to help the candidacy of Donald Trump.” When did the intelligence community unanimously conclude that Ukraine didn’t interfere in the 2016 election? Schiff provides no evidence for that claim because it simply is not true.
2. Ukraine Election Interference Is a ‘Discredited’ Theory
Schiff wrote, “Witnesses unanimously testified that President Trump’s claims about former Vice President Biden and alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 U.S. election have been discredited.” Of course, these witnesses generally lacked firsthand knowledge (or claimed to) and couldn’t really confirm or refute the allegations. Schiff simply declared the Ukrainian interference theory to be “discredited” without addressing any specific evidence of that.
Actually, several operations to support Hillary Clinton in 2016 originated in Ukraine. According to New York Times reporting, a Ukraine court ruled that Ukrainian prosecutors illegally leaked “that a pro-Russian political party had earmarked payments for Mr. Manafort from an illegal slush fund. Mr. Manafort resigned from the campaign a week later.” Politico reported:
Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton’s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, a Politico investigation found. A Ukrainian-American operative who was consulting for the Democratic National Committee met with top officials in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington in an effort to expose ties between Trump, top campaign aide Paul Manafort and Russia.
3. Trump Pursued an Investigation into a ‘Discredited’ Claim About the Bidens
Schiff wrote, “The allegations about Vice President Biden were without evidence.” He later wrote, “In so doing, President Trump gave currency to a baseless allegation that Vice President Biden wanted to remove the corrupt prosecutor because he was investigating Burisma, a company on whose board the Vice President’s son sat at the time.”
Actually, Schiff’s own witnesses conceded that Joe Biden’s involvement in the firing of the Burisma prosecutor caused concern, even the appearance of impropriety. Schiff does nothing to examine or dispel the suspicions regarding the Bidens and simply asks readers to accept his declaration that any suspicions about the Bidens’ behavior have been “discredited” and are “without evidence.”
Investigative reporter John Solomon prepared a thorough examination of the timeline and supporting evidentiary documents that indeed indicate corrupt behavior by the Bidens. His article links to several original documents that support his conclusion.
4. Trump Wanted to Investigate Ukraine’s 2016 Election Interference to Help Him Win 2020
Schiff wrote, “President Trump’s scheme subverted U.S. foreign policy toward Ukraine and undermined our national security in favor of two politically motivated investigations that would help his presidential reelection campaign.” Schiff never explained how an investigation into Ukraine’s meddling in the 2016 election would help Trump’s 2020 campaign.
There’s no indication that any of the Democratic candidates had anything to do with the 2016 presidential elections. Proving Ukraine interfered in the election would not in any way help Trump win in 2020.
5. The Only Reason Trump Wanted to investigate the Bidens Was to Help Him Win Reelection — Which Is Impeachable
All first-term presidents use their powers to get reelected. That’s how presidents remain accountable to voters. But Trump was elected on the general grievance that elite Washingtonians seem to occupy an upper tier in a two-tier system of justice. The chant “lock her up” wasn’t about punishing Hillary Clinton specifically so much as it was directed at elites that seem immune from the same laws under which we, their subjects, must labor.
Schiff wrote, “[S]everal witnesses testified that a request to a foreign country to investigate a U.S. citizen ‘for political reasons’ goes ‘against everything’ the United States sought to promote in eastern Europe, specifically the rule of law.”
Of course, swamp-dwelling, privileged elites would express shock and dismay that their political allies might be subject to international investigations. But to Trump voters who have seen so many elites slip justice — Hillary Clinton, Jeffrey Epstein, Andrew McCabe, and now Biden, to name a few examples — the president is doing exactly what he promised to do by asking about the Biden-Burisma protection scheme.
When leftists seek to justify their relentless lawfare assault upon the duly elected president, they tell us over and over again that “nobody is above the law.” It reminds one of “Animal Farm,” in which the ruling elites amended a similar phrase, “All animals are created equal,” to add the phrase, “But some animals are more equal than others.”
And there it is. Schiff’s entire impeachment effort is a defense of the impunity of elite establishment types, such as Biden. Merely asking a foreign country about the Bidens’ side hustle is the crime for which Schiff is attempting to take down Trump.
It’s interesting that the word “bribe” or “bribery” appears five times in the report — but never to describe the president’s behavior. In fact, Schiff failed to tie the president’s alleged “misconduct” to any specific criminal statute. How can he? Swamp privilege may be real, but Schiff doesn’t yet have the guts to put it in writing.
Ironically, one of the first reforms Ukraine implemented to fight corruption was to repeal elite privileged immunity. America is in dire need of a similar reform here.