On the Bidens, Schiff Opened the Door

NBC news amiplified Schiff Adam misinformation attack free pressYou opened the door.

Trial lawyers live in fear of that phrase.

When a trial starts, both sides know what the allegations are. Both have had enough discovery to know what the adversary will try to prove. Just as significantly, both know what their own vulnerabilities are. A litigator spends his pretrial time not just laying the groundwork for getting his own evidence admitted by the court; each side works just as hard on motions to exclude embarrassing or incriminating testimony — evidence that would be damaging to that side’s position but that a court may be persuaded to exclude because it is not clearly relevant.

For an advocate, it is a coup when the judge rules that harmful testimony is excluded. But such rulings always come with a warning label: Don’t open the door. That is, don’t do anything that makes the otherwise irrelevant evidence relevant.

President Trump’s impeachment trial has a Biden door. Adam Schiff has thrown it wide open.

The first full day of President Trump’s Senate impeachment trial was consumed by legal arguments over whether witnesses who did not testify in the House impeachment inquiry should now be subpoenaed. One proposal has surface appeal because it is reciprocal: The House managers get to call John Bolton (the president’s former national-security adviser), but then the president’s lawyers get to call former vice president Joe Biden or his son, Hunter.

Schiff has pooh-poohed this suggestion. His basic objection is sound: The admissibility of a witness’s testimony is a matter of relevance, not horse-trading. If witnesses have testimony of strong value as evidence, they should be subpoenaed, even if it means that one side gets a dozen witnesses and the other side gets none.

Yet, though he now tells anyone who’ll listen that the Bidens have nothing to do with his case against President Trump, it is Schiff who has made them highly relevant.

The House Democrats tell you that their case is straightforward: The president exploited his foreign-affairs power by pressuring Ukraine to conduct an investigation for no reason other than that it would harm a political rival and thus help Trump’s reelection. On this account, it makes no difference whether there was a legitimate basis for such an investigation. Schiff’s point is that any presidential collusion with a foreign power that could influence the outcome of an American election is an abuse of power, period.

But Schiff is smart enough to know that all abuses of power are not created equal. Common sense says it matters whether there was a legitimate reason for the investigation the president was seeking.

It is fair enough to tut-tut that a president should not conflate foreign policy and domestic politics (something all of them do to some degree). And it would certainly be prudent (even if not constitutionally required) for presidents to leave questions about who should be investigated to the Justice Department, especially when a president’s political fortunes may be implicated. All that said, though, it makes a difference whether this president is asking the foreign power to manufacture a case against a political opponent, or whether the president is instead asking for an investigation into something that truly appears suspicious.

Schiff has ignored that salient distinction from the start. And by ignoring the difference, he has — however heedlessly — painted a bull’s-eye on the Bidens. The father and son were front and center within the first ten minutes of Schiff’s opening statement at the impeachment trial Wednesday afternoon. But that was old news. Schiff kicked the door open at the start of the very first House hearing. Not content to quote from President Trump’s actual call with President Zelensky of Ukraine, Schiff insisted on presenting a “parody” that, he maintained, conveyed the unspoken essence of Trump’s message: “I want you make up dirt on my political opponent, understand? Lots of it.”

In sum, the House’s chief prosecutor represented to the American people that President Trump had asked his Ukrainian counterpart to fabricate a false case against Biden. In any court in America, that would open the door to the Trump defense team to show that this was not the president’s intention at all; he was simply asking Zelensky to look into a situation that cried out for an inquiry.

In light of Schiff’s explicit allegation, the president is entitled to an opportunity to show that there was reason for him to believe that a notoriously corrupt Ukrainian energy company had retained Hunter Biden and paid him a fortune despite his lack of qualifications; and that later, despite the blatant conflict of interest, then–vice president Biden extorted Ukraine into firing a prosecutor who was investigating the company, threatening to withhold $1 billion in desperately needed funds.

Schiff insists that Trump’s claims in this regard are false. But his mere say-so does not prove falsity, no more than his mere say-so proves that Trump wanted Ukraine to “make up dirt” on Biden. Figuring out who has the better of a factual dispute is what a trial is about. If a litigant does not want to create a dispute, it’s up to the litigant to steer clear of the issue.

Adam Schiff steered his case straight into the Bidens. The Trump team may have their political reasons for highlighting Biden’s involvement. But it was Schiff’s strategy that made the Bidens relevant. If one or both of them ends up in the witness box, they have Schiff to thank.

Reprinted with permission from - National Review - by Andrew C. McCarthy

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8 months ago

Schiff,Biden and the whole bunch should be in jail.

8 months ago


8 months ago

I pray this whole impeachment scam come back to squash the entire demoncrat party.

8 months ago

If the Dims believe their own B.S. about there being overwhelming evidence against Trump, then why would they want more witnesses ❓ What more can they want beyond “overwhelming”? 😳

8 months ago

It continues to amaze me that the press (who we use to trust) continues to give Biden a get out of jail free ticket, when the evidence is captured on tape that he participated in a quid pro quo, along with Hillary who committed a felony by having her own computer system, and that Obama sent blankets and meals when weapons were requested. Add to that Biden had not committed to be a presidential candidate at the time that this supposedly impeachable crime took place. Let’s be realistic, the Dims are impeaching all of us that voted for Trump.

Joe Bee
8 months ago

Along with most loyal Americans, I cannot stand what the DAMOCRATS are doing to our country. I always believed in voting for the MOST QUALIFIED person running for office. I voted for JFK IN the 60’s , Clinton s first term in the 90’s but not in 96. The present group of Dems are disgusting, Communists + Socialist all.
I pray daily that President Trump will be elected and continue fulfilling his promises. We could not have anyone better to empty the swamp of the likes of Schiff, Pelosi & the other lizards!

8 months ago

Mr. Schiff has an apt name, shifty. He brings forth allegations that are sure to be questioned and those allegations are going to backfire on the people involved. Democrats are expert at projecting lies and inuendo on people who haven’t done anything suspicious. This is a ploy that is going to haunt the Democrats. As the article states: Mr Schiff you opened the door. The American people are waking up to shifty.

8 months ago

If squeezed Biden will sing like a canary. If he gets called into the witness stand he might get on the Obama’s and Clinton’s persona non grata list like Epstein, or Rich Seth. Ever since the beginning of the Kavanaugh and Schiff Shows, and recent events in Virginia we’ve known that the Dems have long crossed the line into insanity and no longer have a sense of decorum, appropriateness, and proportion; I would mention their abject disregard of the constitution but they would have had to have knowledge of its content first to even be able to “disregard” it.

8 months ago

The Democrats lead by Schiff,Nadler and nervous Nancy are a bunch of bumbling idiots. Are these the people we want to entrust America to. God help us if they gain power. Not a smart one in the bunch

8 months ago

The entire Biden family (brothers, sister, in-laws, friends of the family, and Papa Joe himself) should be investigated for the blatant nepotism THEY have been engaging in for a long time. Talk about quid pro quo! All of them have grown wealthy under circumstances that kept the Biden-Washington machinations very quiet. And I’ll bet the former president knew all about it. Time and time again, the investigations that the dems hoped would finally eradicate this administration have turned around, like a boomerang, and found THEM to be guilty of fraud and corruption. I hope these cartoon character democrats will be… Read more »

Stephen Russell
8 months ago

Add Schiff to witness box 2 later sometime aside Bidens & see the Dems “eat thier own” Hooray

8 months ago

Pres. Trumps Impeachment

A lot of Insinuations after Insinuations after Insinuations, I assumed, I assumed, I assumed. Where is your out and out Did He Come Right Out And Ask? And Did He Come Right Out and Say?
I can’t believe people vote for people like these????

Yet they turned a blind eye to Pres Obama and his signed ok for Canada based mining company mining in the United States to sell URANIUM to BIG BAD RUSSIA!!!!!!

Many, many year ago USAF vet NUCLEAR MISSILES

8 months ago

There is a video showing Biden bragging about his “quid pro quo” activity with Ukraine. Couldn’t/shouldn’t this be Exhibit A in this trial?

John Karkalis
8 months ago

This doesn’t really require a great deal of comment, I think.
The writer said it well when he wrote that one can “tut tut” conflating foreign policy with domestic matters but “ALL presidents have done it to some degree”.
Case closed! Unless you want to hold Mr. Trump to a different standard.
Mr Trump’s team will demolish any argument that would hold him to a special standard of guilt.
Order your tickets now for Mr Trump’s 2nd inauguration.

8 months ago

Schiff’s hatred is consuming him. And, he has demonstrated the fallacy of Washington.

Patriot Will
8 months ago

Schiff’s proclamation that the Bidens have nothing to do with the President’s impeachment is extremely ridiculous and dishonest. It’s pure poetic justice that there now is a big target on both Sleazy Joe and Druggy Hunter. Hopefully, the truth will come out, and yet again another
Democratic tall tale goes down in flames.

8 months ago

The democratics are the ones who have used the Abuse of Power, and We the People need to bring suit against the Democratic Party, that they have to pay every dime they have waisted of Taxpayers Money to destroy Our President that 80% did not want, and they knew he was not guilty, just wasting Money Time hoping he would screw up, so they could undo all the good he has done. And bring in their one world order garbage to America, So we need to Sue for every dime with interest, there has to be a decent lawyer out… Read more »

tony d willIiams
8 months ago

In my simple way of thinking the democrats are not about impeaching the sitting president. By what their votes, actions apart from and including the impeachment it would seem that the goal is the abolishment of our countries constitution and bill of rights, piece by piece until they are the ruling class and the rest of us. Well you know, if you are not the ruler with rights, then you must be the slaves.

Press ONE for English
8 months ago

Any job, including that of the president of the United States, entails certain responsibilities. If a president performs the duties he has to perform energetically and flawlessly, that will undoubtedly give him a political advantage over any opponent. Should that be considered taking unfair advantage of his position, and face censure or worse for it? Are we doomed to mediocrity? to have to accept the lowest common denominator in all situations? The left seems to think so. In fact I’m sure they would even reject the lowest common denominator as unfair, to be replaced by “OUR common denominator”, defined by… Read more »

J Freeman
8 months ago

Are they doing this intentionally because they don’t want Biden to be the nominee?

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