Congressional Democrats are demanding that the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate do the work the Democrat-controlled House should have done before filing articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. Democrats should carefully think through the potential consequences of Senate compliance.
Democrats’ one-sided House impeachment hearings ignored due process privileges guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, denied counsel for the accused, prohibited Republicans from calling witnesses, and limited Republican questioning of Democrat-friendly witnesses. Committee proceedings were legally cloaked, so only Democrats’ generally-misleading leaks reached friendly media shills who ran everything, no matter how implausible.
But the matter has moved to the U.S. Senate where the outcome isn’t equally preordained. After each side presents their case, and questions are asked and answered, the Senate will render its verdict or approve further witnesses. New witnesses carry massive risks for important Democrats, so Senate Democrats would be smart to end it quickly.
If Senate Republicans allow Democrats to call witnesses, in fairness, they will also allow Republicans and the Trump team to call previously-unheard defense witnesses, while imposing one simple requirement: All witnesses, Republican and Democrat, must be first-hand fact witnesses whose testimony complies with legal evidentiary standards that exclude the second- and third-hand hearsay and assumptions that dominated House proceedings.
Here’s a partial list of witnesses Republicans might want questioned under oath:
- Joe Biden – former senator and Obama administration vice-president
- Hunter Biden – Joe Biden’s disreputable son
- George Kent – Obama administration deputy assistant secretary of state whose concerns about Hunter Biden’s Ukraine deals were rebuffed by the VP
- Hillary Clinton – former First Lady, senator, Obama administration Secretary of State, presidential candidate, and co-owner, Clinton Foundation
Susan Rice – former Obama administration National Security Advisor
- James Comey – former Obama administration FBI Director
- John Kerry – former senator and Obama administration Secretary of State
- John Brennan – former Obama administration Director of the Central Intelligence Agency
- James Clapper – former Obama administration Director of National Intelligence
- Victoria Nuland – former Obama administration Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs
- Donna Brazile – former Democratic National Committee (DNC) Interim Chair
- Alexandra Chalupa – Ukrainian-American former DNC contractor and staffer,
- Eric Ciaramella – former Obama White House employee, holdover, alleged “whistleblower”
- Adam Schiff – House Intelligence Committee Chairman and Impeachment Manager
- Potentially dozens of lower level staff members and operatives
Credible allegations of corruption and/or foreign interference in an American election would compel any president to authorize investigations, so if sworn testimony supports any of these claims:
- That Senior Obama administration officials, including some at State and in the intelligence community, meddled in Ukraine’s democratically-elected government, and/or bribed/extorted the regime to launder U.S. aid money to American politicians, their families and/or foundations,
- That the DNC and Hillary Clinton’s campaign colluded with the administration’s Ukrainian puppets to interfere in the 2016 election, and/or
- That Chairman Schiff was point man in fabricating impeachment charges designed to obscure and obstruct justice for Democrats’ official malfeasance, then
President Trump would be exonerated, reelected, and many prominent Democrats would lose careers, reputations, and, possibly, even their freedom.