Armstrong Economics Blog/Politics
Re-Posted Jan 21, 2020 by Martin Armstrong
There has been an interesting cyclical movement back and forth in The California 28th District from which Adam Schiff resides. While he represents West Hollywood, Burbank,
Glendale, Northeastern Los Angeles suburbs, as well as parts of Central Los Angeles, Schiff has held that position since 2013 and the Democrats have held that district since 2003.
There has been a swing back and forth between the Democrats and Republicans. The year 2020 will be the 17th election year. There should be a change this time around. The Republicans held that district from 1952 until 1975 for 23 years. It was the Nixon resignation that led to the backlash and the flip to the Democrats which lasted for 18 years until 1993.
The Republicans then took the district back in 1993 and held it until 2003 for 10 years. We are now approaching another 18-year run which means there is a risk that Schiff may lose here in 2020, but absolutely in 2022.
His personal animosity toward Trump really should disqualify him from being a prosecutor. The real risk for Schiff will be if he is compelled to answer questions himself by the Chief Justice. These will be tough questions about his involvement with a White House whistleblower. A prosecutor cannot preside in a case any more than a judge if he is himself a witness to any portion of the case on trial. Senators should be able to question Schiff about the House case and his role in starting the impeachment effort. It was revealed in October that Mr. Schiff’s staff met with the whistleblower before he even filed his complaint that is the basis of the impeachment charges was filed.
Mr. Schiff spearheaded the impeachment inquiry. He repeatedly denied knowledge of the whistleblower and worked to keep the whistleblower’s identity secret. Behind the curtain, the story goes that this whistleblower had personal contacts with Biden and was a supporter. Because of the law, I cannot even repeat his name.
Schiff told the senators that the president abused his power by coercing Ukraine to interfere in the election this year by investigating former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, a top contender for the Democratic presidential nomination. However, the very same charges could be made about the FBI and Obama no less Biden for spying like Watergate on Trump during the 2016 election. The hypocrisy is so openly blatant they assume the American people are just too stupid to pay attention.
Schiff went as far as to say that Mr. Trump “demonstrated he will remain a threat to national security and the Constitution if he is allowed to remain in office.”
Many assume that Trump is all but guaranteed acquittal in the Republican-majority Senate, where it would take a supermajority of 67 votes in the 100-member chamber to convict and remove him from office. These charges seem to fail since he only asked Ukraine to investigate, not falsely swear that Biden did anything at all.
The House impeachment inquiry was simply a party-line vote to impeach Trump whereas the motion to impeach Clinton was bipartisan as was the case with Richard Nixon, which is why he resigned instead. The damage of pushing this to the limit of Congressional power is that it may only further divide the country beyond any possible hope of returning to civility.
The rules will most likely follow the same course as the 1999 impeachment trial of President Clinton, meaning they will be established by a majority vote. The Democrats have been demanding more witness testimony for the trial, but that could actually backfire. I for one would be calling Biden and his son to put them on trial demonstrating that there was probable cause to investigate what they had pulled off in Ukraine.
The question of calling witnesses will most likely not surface until after the first phase of the trial is complete. That will include arguments from the House impeachment managers prosecuting Trump and then arguments from Mr. Trump’s legal team responding to the charges. That alone should be good for some wild headlines going into the end of the month.
If the Clinton rules prevail, which the Democrats object to, it would mean that the senators will be able to submit written questions to the House impeachment managers and the president’s legal team through Chief Justice Roberts. Schiff would have to explain himself under oath about his contacts with the whistleblower and the appearance that he or his staff told him what to include in the complaint.
Democrats in the House managed to protect the whistleblower preventing him from testifying. They have even protected his identity, which is really against Due Process of Law since you have a right to confront your accuser. That means in a Senate trial, the whistleblower can be called. Between calling the whistleblower and Schiff, this could turn into a real historical circus.
Schiff’s office has refused to comment on him having to answer questions he has refused to answer previously. If the whistleblower is compelled to testify and he was coached in any way, this is going to become a real constitutional crisis.
A whistleblower, who is said to be a CIA official assigned to the White House, accused the president of abusing his power for personal gain on the call, including withholding $391 million of U.S. military aid from Ukraine as leverage.
The preliminary transcript of the call center to this affair did not show the president presenting a quid pro quo deal for the investigations. The entire case of the Democrats rests on their claim that the threat was IMPLIED. Even the evidence that House Democrats have obtained since the two articles of impeachment were passed concerning Giuliani’s activities in Ukraine has not changed the absence of a direct threat.
Mr. Trump has acknowledged that he wanted an investigation into suspected corruption involving the Bidens and Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election.
The prosecutor Biden demanded to be fired or he would not release funds for Ukraine was looking into corruption allegations against Burisma and Mykola Zlochevsky, the Ukrainian oligarch running the company which had hired Biden’s son.
Trump also was asking for Ukraine to look into a missing Democratic National Committee server that was hacked by Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign. The Democrats refused to turn over the server to the FBI and instead hired the American cybersecurity company called CrowdStrike to examine the server who then claimed it was hacked by Russia with no independent proof.
To say that these Impeachment Proceedings can go either way is an understatement. It appears that we are fighting the 2020 election in the Senate Chamber for that is the objective at this point – score points for the election