The last time Democrats gave America a present around Christmastime, it was a giant lump of coal that’s come to be known as Obamacare.
Within months, millions lost their insurance plans and found themselves paying far more for less. Many people lost access to their doctors. Health care premiums lurched upward, and they’re still lurching. Merry Christmas.
This time around, Nancy Pelosi’s elves have cooked up a pot o’ impeachment soup that they want to pour down our throats quickly so voters forget it by November 2020.
The impending House vote is sending a thrill up the legs of Washington journalists, who hope the public won’t go beyond their misleading headlines. Perhaps few will notice that the Constitution doesn’t list “abuse of power” or “obstruction of Congress” as impeachable offenses.
Meanwhile, the media are minimizing the shocking findings in Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report on the FBI’s spying on the Trump campaign in 2016.
Mr. Horowitz listed “at least 17 significant errors or omissions” by the FBI. But, incredibly, he found “no political bias or improper motivation” for the decision to investigate the groundless “Trump-Russian collusion” narrative.
How about those emails brimming with hatred for Mr. Trump between high-level FBI lovers Peter Strzok and his mistress, Lisa Page? In one, Mr. Strzok assured Ms. Page that Mr. Trump would not reach the Oval Office because “we’ll stop him.” Another Strzok email referenced an “insurance policy” in case of a Trump victory.
On Tuesday, Ms. Page had the chutzpah to file a lawsuit against the FBI and the Justice Department, claiming that publication of her text messages caused her “reputational damage.”
After the Mueller report came up a dud, Democrats seized on a Trump-hating “whistleblower’s” hearsay report on Mr. Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukraine’s president. By the way, the “whistleblower’s” attorney, Mark Zaid, tweeted in January 2017 that a “coup has started,” that “impeachment will follow ultimately.” Later, he tweeted “we will get rid of him.”
On cue, California Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, launched his Stalinist-style show trial over the Ukraine call. Functioning mostly in the dark, he refused to allow Republican witnesses, curbed cross-examination, and leaked repeatedly to the press.
And, what about the Bidens’ role in Ukraine and Joe’s threat while he was President Obama’s vice president to withhold $1 billion in aid? Why would anyone look into that?
Back to the Horowitz report. The inspector general noted that the FBI held back “exculpatory” evidence when applying for the FISA court warrants to spy on Trump aide Carter Page, which opened up spying on other Trump aides. Mr. Page was talking to Russians all right. He was working for the CIA and reporting back to them. That’s sort of exculpatory, one would think.
The FISA court also wasn’t told that the now-debunked Steele dossier, the heart of the case for issuing the FISA warrants, was provided by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee. The court was led to believe it came from the intelligence community. Shouldn’t someone go to jail over this? Maybe the criminal investigation into Russiagate’s origins by U.S. Attorney John Durham will yet yield some indictments.
And let’s not forget Adam Schiff’s acquisition and publicizing of telephone records of Devin Nunes, the ranking Republican on the committee, along with Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Jay Sekulow and journalist John Solomon. So much for attorney-client confidentiality and freedom of the press. Mr. Schiff apparently thinks this is Venezuela.
Last Monday, Attorney General William P. Barr summarized the Horowitz findings: “In the rush to obtain and maintain FISA surveillance of Trump campaign associates, FBI officials misled the FISA court, omitted critical exculpatory facts from their filings, and suppressed or ignored information negating the reliability of their principal source.”
The Washington Post ran an editorial bashing Mr. Barr, although The Post did admit that the FBI “committed serious lapses.”
Is that like committing a crime? How do you commit a “lapse?”
On the same day, The Post ran a column by conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt defending Mr. Barr, but gave far more prominent space to one by former Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., titled, “William Barr is unfit to be attorney general.”
Mr. Holder violated his oath of office by refusing to defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), attacked voter ID laws as “racist” and lectured Americans about not being sufficiently obsessed with race. He lied under oath about the Mexican gun-running scheme that cost a federal agent his life. And he was censured by Congress. Yeah, he’s the one with the halo.
Overall, it’s a mess. No wonder House Speaker Pelosi wants to get this pot o’ impeachment soup out of her kitchen before the New Year and over to the Senate where it will quickly be dismissed. The public is wising up to how thin this gruel really is.
She may or may not save 31 House Democrats who face re-election in districts won by President Trump in 2016. If other seats remain steady and the Democrats lose just over half of the 31, the GOP could regain control of the House.
If so, Adam Schiff may have to do something really bizarre to impress his crowd of adoring media.
• Robert Knight is a contributor to The Washington Times.
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