Issues & Insights
Picture: George Cruikshank

Evidence-Starved Democrats, Like Oliver Twist, Know They Need ‘More’

I&I Editorial

The Washington Post editorial Wednesday on the House Intelligence Committee’s impeachment report gave the game away.

“The Democratic report lacks direct testimony of Mr. Trump confirming the quid pro quo … It also acknowledges ‘unanswered questions’” – and “the speedy referral” of the impeachment inquiry from the intelligence panel to the House Judiciary Committee “smacks of political expediency.” Intel panel Chairman Adam Schiff was urged to do some more digging so the committee can “provide a fuller and, to many Americans, more persuasive picture of his guilt,” the Post’s editorial board said under the headline, “There’s more to learn” – perhaps the Freudian slip of the year.

The totality of what Democrats have so far in their case to impeach President Donald Trump is much like the “three meals of thin gruel a day, with an onion twice a week, and half a roll on Sundays” that Dickens’ emaciated, 9-year-old Oliver Twist was living on in the workhouse run by Bumble the Beadle and Limbkins, chairman of the Board of Guardians.

Hungry like Oliver, albeit for facts rather than food, those who, like the Post, want impeachment to be successful in defeating Trump in next year’s election, can’t but help admitting that the gruel is very thin indeed. And then giving the game away to one and all by asking, “Please, sir, I want some more.”

In previous weeks, Schiff’s committee dragged various State Department and Pentagon officials to Capitol Hill and discovered nothing more damning to Trump than an ousted ambassador expressing her hurt feelings at her boss’ disparaging remarks regarding the performance of her duties; and the U.S. ambassador to the European Union repeatedly stating that the connection between U.S. military aid and Ukraine’s investigation of corruption was only his “presumption.”

As Rep. Brad Wenstrup, the Ohio Republican, told Gordon Sondland, the EU Ambassador, “two plus two does equal four, but in reality, two presumptions plus two presumptions does not equal even one fact.”

Experts Or Extremists?

The hostile, left-leaning constitutional scholars who appeared before the Judiciary panel on Wednesday focused not on the supposed evidence collected but on speculating about Trump’s intent. Harvard law professor Noah Feldman’s expertise apparently extends to reading minds – those of Trump and the Framers of the Constitution. He declared that the Founding Fathers would “identify President Trump’s conduct as exactly the kind of abuse of office, high crimes and misdemeanors that they were worried about, and they would want the House of Representatives to take appropriate action and to impeach.”

Apparently, original intent has made a comeback within the law school corridors of the left. Yet just in January, Feldman was repudiating originalism and asserting that “constitutional questions have to be decided according to the ‘whole experience’ of national and constitutional evolution. To do otherwise is to ignore the evolution that has enabled the Constitution to endure.” Somehow, with the chance to oust Trump, Feldman has suddenly devolved back into caring what the Framers wanted.

For Stanford’s Pamela Karlan, whose extremism is well-documented, the temptation to take snide shots against the hated president were too great. Her explanation of the difference between monarchy and our Constitution’s chief executive was: “The president can name his son ‘Barron,’ but that doesn’t make him a baron.”

Hearing tell of public criticism of her swipe at a 13-year-old boy, Karlan apologized before the hearing concluded – but the apology itself contained another shot at Trump: “I want to apologize for what I said earlier about the president’s son. It was it was wrong of me to do that,” but she added, “I wish the president would apologize obviously for the things that he’s done that’s wrong, but I do regret having said that.”

Most Americans have tuned out the House Democrats’ televised coup attempt masquerading as an inquiry. But the C-SPAN junkies remaining, and those who catch snippets of the Judiciary hearings on the TV news, will recognize that they’re not witnessing fair-minded assessment and analysis of facts gathered, but a crass ideological crusade.

George Washington University’s Jonathan Turley was the lone exception among Wednesday’s witnesses, warning that Democrats are close to rendering impeachment the equivalent of a parliamentary-style vote of no confidence that would remove America’s head of state because his policies are opposed to theirs. The other supposed academic constitutional guardians the lawmakers heard from care for the Constitution about as much as Bumble and Limbkins cared for Oliver.

— Written by Thomas McArdle

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I & I Editorial Board

The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.


  • Impeachment will continue if Trump wins in 2020. It is like a long running negative political ad

  • The Democrats intend to keep this circus going until the next election to try to undermine Trump. There never has been any evidence and they don’t care that there isn’t. It is the spectacle that they’re after.

    • Did you see the “Do us a favor, though, .. . “?

      Look up 52 USC 30121 where it says it is against the law to ask for a foreign favor. No response is necessary, just the solicitation.

  • It’s time to stop calling these interviewees witnesses. None of them have witnessed anything relating to any of this Russian or Ukrainian garbage. None. They have been asked if they have and they all answer “no” or don’t raise their hands. That should have been the end of this farcical coup attempt.

    • They are fact witnesses telling us about impeachment. Trump will not let witnesses testify. It is part of the impeachment charges.

  • The issue should go to trial before the Senate. The trial should drag on for months, forcing the squadron of Democrat senators to stay and watch through primary season, seeing Mr. Biden and Mr. Butigieg slug it out on the campaign trail, and forcing the ones not seeking higher office to try not to look like idiots as the drama unfolds. Note that Mrs. Pelosi is keen to have this out of her hands before house members need to campaign in earnest. If this were helping, would she really want a vote by the end of the year?

  • Ok you say the Demos don’t have direct testimony. The problem with this is Trump will not let anyone that knows direct information testify

    • Then let’s call Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, Adam Schiff and the anonymous’Whistle Blower’ to raise your right hand and tell nothing but the truth.

      • This is about a direct and intentional violation if a trust so sacred the Founding Fathers put it directly into the Constitution itself. It was then followed up with specific legislation such as 52 USC30121.

        The Bidens have nothing to do with it.

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