(Jan. 31) Senate Republicans are completing one of the most flagrant cover-ups in American political history, but House Democrats gave them plenty of excuses for their dereliction of duty.

For years, the Democrats cried wolf by threatening impeachment against President Trump when no impeachable offenses were evident. Then, when finally handed a set of circumstances that manifestly made impeachment a reasonable discussion, the Democrats repeatedly made it look as if they were attempting to railroad the president. They always offered abstruse, technical explanations, but nonetheless created an overwhelming perception of unfairness.

In politics, perception effectively is reality.

Everybody knows some Democrats were calling for impeachment before Trump was even sworn in, and many overstated the case on Russian “collusion” before the evidence was in. That record needs no elaboration. With that history, Democrats should have bent over backward to show restraint and fairness, not bloodlust, once it became clear how serious the Ukraine matter was.

Instead, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi insisted on proclaiming an impeachment investigation without asking the House to vote to open it. In the long run, what good did that accomplish? Nothing.

She assigned the primary part of the investigation to the House Intelligence Committee, even though very little of the information in dispute involved intelligence. Why?

The committee chairman, Adam Schiff, had for two years been one of the leading examples of bloodlust and overstatement, wrongly saying as early as Trump’s third month in office that, even back then, there was “more than circumstantial evidence” of punishable collusion. He also was caught being disingenuous, perhaps flat-out dishonest, in denying contact with the whistleblower who launched this scandal. Why hand him the ball?

Pelosi let Schiff conduct depositions in secret but frequently allowed anti-Trump depictions to leak. He allowed no lawyers to be present, not just for Trump but for midlevel aides Schiff tried to subpoena, even if they needed lawyers to advise them if certain information was classified.

[For the remainder of this catalogue of political errors, follow this link.]


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