Trump Impeachment Not Justified by Evidence and Testimony Made Public So Far

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., hasn’t yet produced most of his witnesses in the public impeachment hearings regarding President Donald Trump. But if the State Department’s George Kent and acting Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor are representative of the testimony Democrats are relying on, future historians may label this episode “The Big Impeachment Blowout.”

The House impeachment inquiry is not a criminal proceeding. But as I listened to the hearsay and speculation that Kent and Taylor were offering Wednesday at the opening public hearing on impeachment, I couldn’t help thinking of REO Speedwagon’s song “Take It on the Run.”

One line of the song says: “Heard it from a friend who heard it from a friend who heard it from another you been messin’ around.”

Both Kent and Taylor admitted they never talked to Trump and only heard thirdhand what supposedly occurred in the president’s July 25 telephone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Congress is moving to impeach the president. But will their plan to remove him from office succeed? Find out more now >>

Democrats seem to have dropped the quid pro quo claim, since there was no evidence of it in the rough transcript the White House released of the call. The claim does not seem to be playing with the American public.

Taylor admitted in the hearing that Zelenskyy had no idea that U.S. aid was being delayed, and Zelenskyy himself has said there was no quid pro quo.

Democrats have now switched to using the terms “bribery” and “extortion,” no doubt because those terms sound more sinister, despite the fact that they’ve produced no evidence—so far—that would come even close to showing a violation of the federal laws defining bribery and extortion.

Both witnesses expressed their opinions disagreeing with the way Trump has conducted diplomatic relations with Ukraine and the handling of U.S. aid to the country.

But the president is not a postman for Congress or the State Department. His job is to faithfully execute the law. As the chief diplomat of the United States, he defines our foreign policy, not George Kent or William Taylor.

Our country doesn’t give money or aid to other countries for no reason. We give it with specific conditions attached.

The president has a duty to make sure that our money is going to countries that will use it as we intend and not divert it into profiteering and personal corruption. State Department bureaucrats have never been good at ensuring that countries prevent such corruption.

The priority of our diplomats is to maintain their access to government officials in the countries in which they are stationed. This too often overrides their duty to guard against corruption. The president has the final responsibility for ensuring U.S. aid is not improperly diverted in other nations.

It was widely known that Ukraine had, and still has, a corruption problem. It would have been irresponsible for Trump not to look into corruption and demand changes before our money went there.

Even Kent admitted in his testimony that Burisma, the Ukrainian company that employed former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden as a highly paid board member, was part of the “pervasive and longstanding corruption in Ukraine.”

Of course, we will not hear any facts about that because Schiff has refused to allow the Republicans to call Hunter Biden as a witness, which would enable the younger Biden’s possible self-dealing in Ukraine to be investigated.

If everything Hunter Biden and his father Joe Biden did was ethical and above board when it came to Ukraine, why wouldn’t Democrats want Hunter Biden to testify?

And why has Schiff’s committee blocked the Republicans from being able to call the so-called whistleblower who started this whole show trial that Democrats call an impeachment inquiry? What are they afraid will come out about this government employee that might damage his credibility and the claims he is making?

Apparently, Schiff doesn’t want any testimony that would support the legitimacy of the president’s corruption concerns about Ukraine or would somehow detract from the impeachment narrative Democrats are trying to weave into the minds of the American public.

We certainly won’t have an objective, bipartisan inquiry into all of the relevant aspects of what happened here—and why it happened. Schiff even interrupted Republican questioning to tell witnesses they should not answer questions based on “facts not in evidence,” a bizarre statement given the nature of a congressional hearing and how it is normally conducted.

Schiff used to be an assistant U.S. attorney—a federal prosecutor. Like all people in that position, he had to follow the U.S. Attorneys’ Justice Manual.

Before taking a case to a grand jury, much less to trial, Schiff had to convince his boss, in writing, that he had evidence establishing a case. He couldn’t just wing it and submit a case, however weak, based entirely on hearsay, to the grand jury on the off-chance it would indict.

Yet that is exactly what Schiff is doing here—throwing witnesses into closed and now open hearings hoping that he can stir the political pot into an impeachment boil.

It would undermine our system of government for a duly elected president to be removed through impeachment for partisan reasons.

Impeachment should only be used when there has been serious, substantial misconduct of such a nature that we can’t wait for the next election. As far as is publicly known at this time, that standard has not been met regarding Trump.

Originally published by Fox News


Hans von Spakovsky is an authority on a wide range of issues—including civil rights, civil justice, the First Amendment, immigration, the rule of law and government reform—as a senior legal fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies and manager of the think tank’s Election Law Reform Initiative. Read his research. Twitter: .


Adam Schiff, Founding Father: The chief impeacher tries to redefine ‘bribery’ under the law.

Here Are the Backgrounds of 4 Lawyers for Impeachment Witnesses

Everything You Need to Know About What’s Happening in Impeachment Process

A Note for our Readers:

As we speak, Congress is moving to impeach the president.

We do not have all the facts yet, but based on what we know now, there does not seem to be an impeachable offense.

The questions stand: In drafting the Constitution, how did America’s founders intend for impeachment to be used? How does the impeachment process work, and what can history tell us about whether or not President Trump faces the real threat of being removed from office?

The Heritage Foundation is making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!


EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

1 reply
  1. Royal A Brown III
    Royal A Brown III says:

    “The Schiff has hit the fan” – Yesterday’s impeachment inquisition lead by Schiff was a Total Bust ! No real surprises and no Bombshells. Recall the Democrats case hinges on what they think was Trump’s effort to convince Ukraine to launch politically advantageous investigations into the Biden’s, and the question of whether he withheld U.S. aid to get what he wanted eg. he established a quid pro quo situation.

    Rush says the lack of media coverage today about the hearings is proof positive that the hearing fell flat with no new evidence of charges against POTUS including quid pro quo bribery of the Ukranian President.

    Schiff’s “Star Witness” Acting Ambassador to Ukraine, Bill Taylor’s testimony included one
    previously undisclosed allegation that the president was overheard by a member of his staff
    on July 26 asking EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland about “the investigations,” to which
    Sondland supposedly responded that “the Ukrainians were ready to move forward.” Taylor
    said that following Sondland’s call with Trump, the member of his staff asked what Trump
    thought about Ukraine.

    Taylor said “Ambassador Sondland responded that President Trump cares more about the investigations of Biden, which Giuliani was pressing for,” revealing new information from his prior testimony last month. “At the time I gave my deposition on October 22, I was not aware of this information. I am including it for completeness.”

    But, Republican Jim Jordan (Freedom Caucus) pointed out that Taylor’s testimony was unverifiable hearsay, several layers deep pointing out that Sondland has previously testified that Trump explicitly told him there were “no quid pro quo’s of any kind” with Ukraine and that military aid would not be conditioned on any politically motivated investigations.
    Further, Ukrainian President Zelensky did not announce any investigation of Burisma or the Bidens; he didn’t conduct a press conference and say “I’m gong to investigate the Bidens or Burisma- there was no linkage at all. Military aid was not withheld; yet you (Taylor) said you have a “clear understanding” that those two things were going to happen when in fact they did not happen. So where did you get this clear understanding? He then read this sentence
    from EU AmbassadorGordon Sondland’s sworn testimony. “ Ambassador Taylor recalls that Mr. Morrison told Ambassador Taylor that I told Mr. Morrison that I conveyed this message to Mr. Yermak on Sept. 1, 2019, in connection with Vice President Pence’s visit to Warsaw and a meeting with President Zelensky,’ ”

    Jordan then stated “We’ve got six people having four conversations in one sentence, and you
    just told me this is where you got your ‘clear understanding’ that the president had linked
    security assistance to investigations.”“This is what I can’t believe,” Jordan said. “And you’re
    [the Democrats’] star witness! You’re their first witness. Based on this. I’ve seen church prayer
    chains that are easier to understand than this.”

    When Taylor objected to his “star witness” label, saying he did not consider himself such,
    Jordan observed that while he may not, “they”—the Democrats—“do.” (He wasn’t wrong
    about that.)

    Jordan also reminded viewers that President Obama had declined to provide lethal aid to
    Ukraine, even after Russia’s invasion. Trump, on the other hand, eventually provided Javelin
    missiles. And, Ukraine’s president has said he felt no pressure, improper or otherwise, from
    the Trump administration to engage in any investigations.

    Another key witness for Democrats on Wednesday, George Kent, deputy assistant secretary of state for Europe, appeared to give testimony that supported Trump’s concerns about Biden’s family dealings in Ukraine. Kent testified that he would “love” to see Ukraine look into the circumstances surrounding the closure of a probe tied to natural gas firm Burisma Holdings, while also raising concerns that Hunter Biden’s role on the board of that firm created the appearance of a conflict of interest.

    All day, the diplomats testified about how an ambassador was fired, the new Ukraine
    government was confused and they discovered an “irregular channel” — a shadow U.S. foreign
    policy orchestrated by the president’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani which raised alarms in
    diplomatic and national-security circles.
    For their part, Republican lawmakers observed that the president — not unelected career bureaucrats — dictated foreign policy.

    In fact Obama did exactly what Democrats are now accusing Trump of that is – dictating
    foreign policy when BHO ordered the missile defense system be taken out of Poland;
    interfered in the Israeli elections; inserting himself in the BRIXT situation and refused to send
    any weapons to Ukraine after Russia invaded the Crimea etc.

    This is what I talked about last week – the left and their arrogant, self-centered State Dept
    “diplomats” like Kent and Taylor are ticked because POTUS Trump actually gets involved in
    foreign policy and this leaves them irrelevant.

    One other highlight was when Rep John Ratcliffe asked Taylor about whether Zelensky was
    aware of any hold on military aid when the July 25 call discussing those probes took place, and
    Taylor confirmed that he was not. Ratcliffe asserted that this was proof that Trump could not
    have used the call to pressure Zelensky into investigating the Bidens. Ratcliffe also noted that
    Trump eventually released the aid without any investigation taking place.

    “You have to ask yourself, ‘What did President Zelensky actually do to get the aid?’ The answer is nothing,” Ratcliffe said. “He did nothing. He didn’t open any investigations, he didn’t call Attorney General Bill Barr, he didn’t do any of the things that House Democrats say that he was being forced, and coerced, and threatened to do. He didn’t do anything because he didn’t have to.”
    At the conclusion of his time, Ratcliffe asked Taylor and State Department official George Kent if they could name any impeachable offense by POTUS that took place in the July 25 phone call. They both sat in silence. Taylor later said that he was not there to make a decision on impeachment.

    .@RepRatcliffe asked the two ‘star’ witnesses, ‘where is the impeachable event in that call?’ Both stared straight ahead with a blank look on their face, remained silent, & were unable to answer the question,” Trump tweeted Thursday morning. “That would be the end of a case run by normal people! – but not Shifty!” Donald J. Trump ✔@realDonaldTrump


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