Donald Trump is lucky in his opponents. Hillary Clinton was a bad candidate, and now House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has chosen Rep. Adam Schiff to be the face of impeachment for Democrats.
Mrs. Pelosi took the impeachment reins away from Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler and handed them to Mr. Schiff, who has been running secret hearings as Chairman of the Intelligence Committee. Witnesses testify behind closed doors, and Democrats selectively leak the testimony or evidence to the pro-impeachment press in ways that are often distorted or incomplete. Republicans then offer a competing narrative, and the public is left to wonder what’s true. All of this is supposedly in service to the serious purpose of removing a President elected by 63 million Americans.
Mr. Schiff was challenged on his secrecy on Sunday by Margaret Brennan of CBS’s “Face the Nation,” and the Democrat’s response was extraordinary.
“There’s a reason why investigations and grand jury proceedings for example, and I think this is analogous to a grand jury proceeding, are done out of the public view initially,” Mr. Schiff said.
“Now we may very well call some of the same witnesses or all the same witnesses in public hearings as well. But we want to make sure that we meet the needs of the investigation and not give the President or his legal minions the opportunity to tailor their testimony and in some cases fabricate testimony to suit their interests.”
A grand jury? As Mr. Schiff knows, a grand jury is a criminal proceeding. Impeachment is a political process in which the House defines the meaning of “high crimes and misdemeanors.” Mr. Schiff wants it both ways: Run his secret hearings like a criminal grand jury, but then impeach Mr. Trump of political offenses even if the President committed no crime.
And he wants to keep it all secret so Mr. Trump and his “legal minions”—i.e., his lawyers and the House minority—don’t have access to the evidence he will use against the President. Oh, and he says contrary evidence will be fabricated—an accusation of a crime in advance but with no evidence. With his every statement and action, Mr. Schiff is making Mr. Trump’s case that this impeachment is a rigged game.
— The Wall Street Journal