The Democrats’ fervent hope in the impeachment process is no longer to remove President Donald Trump but rather to attain the moral victory of convincing just one Senate Republican to “cross over” and vote in favor of removal following the impeachment trial. For the adoring left within the media and on Capitol Hill, a crossover vote would give Democrats the bipartisan label they have so craved but have been unable to secure throughout the entirety of this process, largely due to their gross unprofessionalism and the obviousness of the Ukraine phone call being a pretext for ambitions they have held since 2016.
If the Democrats want to garner crossover votes in the impeachment trial, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., is the last person who should be managing the impeachment circus, largely because he has become the insufferable face of House partisanship and the blatant crookedness of the impeachment process. Yet he was one of seven Democrats chosen by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi last week to do so. But his performance today, combined with his salacious history, is a reminder of why he should be nowhere near the impeachment process.
In his opening statement before the Senate this morning, Schiff waxed poetic about concerns that the Senate would not hold a “fair trial,” declaring, “Right now, a great many, perhaps even most, Americans do not believe there will be a fair trial. They don’t believe that the Senate will be impartial. They believe that the result is pre-cooked, the president will be acquitted.”
Schiff’s statement, in all its attempts to grasp at some form of political gravitas, serves as a stark reminder of all that Schiff himself has done in the past to ensure this impeachment process would be as dishonest as possible. Granted, Americans — and Republicans in the Senate — may want a fair impeachment trial, but Schiff has shown himself to be incapable of offering that.
Schiff has spent the vast majority of Trump’s presidency peddling unfounded and debunked conspiracy theories and “leaking” false information to countless media outlets in hopes of forwarding the Democratic #Resistance narrative.
In the time period preceding the impeachment inquiry, Schiff invented a transcript for President Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, fabricating entire events within the phone call that never actually took place and reading his falsified narrative before the House.
Later, he claimed to have had no communication with the whistleblower prior to the formal filing of the complaint. That, too, like the phone call summary he delivered before the House, proved to be a lie.
And some Senate Republicans have caught on to the hypocrisy of placing Schiff at the center of the impeachment trial if the Democrats genuinely seek fairness. Earlier today, Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, lambasted Schiff in an interview with America’s Newsroom, accusing the California representative of a “cover-up” due to his dishonesty with regards to his prior contact with the whistleblower. Ratcliffe went on to declare that such a cover-up is precisely “what prevents a fair trial here.” Ratcliffe said, “The person in charge of this investigation [Schiff] was judge, jury, prosecutor.”
Though Federalist contributor Elad Hakim outlines here the legal reasoning Schiff is unfit to assume the role of impeachment manager, there is a strong argument to be made that Pelosi’s selection of Schiff amounts to a huge tactical error on the part of Democrats. If the goal is to ingratiate yourself — and your Trump-hating cause — to your GOP compatriots in the Senate, Adam Schiff is about the least likable person to spearhead that movement.
As with most gambles Pelosi has engaged in thus far with regard to the impeachment process — the withholding of the articles being perhaps the most strife with lunacy — the selection of Schiff shows Pelosi entirely overestimates how seriously the public is taking both her party and this process. In other words, Pelosi imagines Americans see the Democrats as the party of magnanimity. Schiff’s latest speech this morning was dripping with the same smug self-importance that has catalyzed this process from the beginning.
Schiff is right, the impeachment process is and has been fundamentally flawed. But the knock is coming from within.