01.28.2020 0

If the Senate calls Bolton to testify, it must call Trump’s preferred witnesses, too

By Richard McCarty

Democrats had their chance in the House to call as many impeachment witnesses as they wanted; as the Senate trial proceeds, it should now be President Trump’s turn to call witnesses. House Democrats refused to hear from Trump’s witnesses while calling some of those whom they did wish to hear; but Democrats intentionally skipped John Bolton, whom they suddenly claim is vital to their case. Having utterly failed to build a case for impeachment, House Democrats expect the Senate to waste its time collecting evidence that they themselves could not be bothered to attempt to collect. To this day, House Democrats still will not release records from one interview, which Republicans asserted contained exculpatory evidence.

If the Senate is going to hear from any witnesses, then the American people finally deserve an examination of those who sought the President’s removal and just what were their motivations. Here is a list of potential witnesses whom Senate Republicans should consider subpoenaing to help shed light on the Democrats’ witch hunt as well as some of the questions that should be asked under threat of perjury.

The “whistleblower,” which is reported to be Eric Ciaramella (who has been scheming against the President for years): What was his reason for triggering Trump’s impeachment? Was the whistleblower trying to hide his own wrongdoing or the wrongdoing of the Bidens, or was he simply unhappy with Trump’s policies?

Adam Schiff: Why did he lie to the American people about the Russian collusion hoax? What was his knowledge of the “whistleblower”? What are his real reasons for impeaching Trump?

Adam Schiff’s staffers: How exactly did they collude with the “whistleblower,” and why?

Joe Biden: Why, exactly, was he so insistent that the Ukrainian ambassador be fired? Was it appropriate for him to demand a quid pro quo – the firing of the prosecutor – in exchange for U.S. loan guarantees?

Hunter Biden: How did he land his job on the board of the Ukrainian company, Burisma? What qualifications did he have for the well-paying job? What, exactly, did he do for the company?

Alexandra Chalupa: What role did the Ukrainian government play in her dirt-digging efforts against Trump? Did she play any role in the Russian collusion hoax?

Viktor Shokin, the former Prosecutor General of Ukraine who was fired on Biden’s demand: Was he investigating Burisma or Hunter Biden? If so, why, and what did he find?

Maggie Haberman, New York Times reporter: How did she get access to information about Bolton’s book, which has not yet been cleared by the National Security Council?

Nancy Pelosi: After months of dallying, why was there a sudden rush to impeach Trump last fall? After rushing the impeachment hearings and the passage of the articles of impeachment, why did Pelosi stall for weeks before finally sending the articles to the Senate? Is Pelosi working with the Biden campaign to weaken Trump and keep the Democrat Senators who are running against Biden for the Democrat presidential nomination tied up with an impeachment trial?

Of course, this is just a short list; no doubt there are many other witnesses who could be called to bolster the President’s case.

No matter how many witnesses are called, some basic facts about aid for Ukraine will not change. Congress appropriated funds for Ukraine last year; those funds were given to Ukraine before the end of the fiscal year; the Ukrainians were unaware that the aid had been held up; and the Ukrainian president said he did not feel pressured by Trump.

There is a strong case that this Senate trial should be brought to a speedy conclusion so that Congress can get back to the business of the people, including passing a budget, passing trade deals, confirming judges, etc. If, however, Democrats feel that this witch hunt has not gone on long enough and wasted enough of the public’s time and money, then, perhaps, Senate Republicans should give them the longer trial that they seek – just, largely, with witnesses whom Democrats would prefer not testify.

Richard McCarty is the Director of Research at Americans for Limited Government.

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