In most scandals it is the alleged wrongdoer who wants to keep a lid on information, to stonewall and obfuscate, while investigators insist on openness and laying the facts before the public.
In the case of the Democrats’ impeachment-style inquiry — not an actual impeachment since it hasn’t been voted on — Democratic California Rep. Adam Schiff and his collaborators want to keep the proceedings under wraps while the White House is pushing for transparency. That suggests that it is the investigators who are up to no good.
The names of the so-called “whistleblowers” remain secret. Two hearings, with former Ukraine special envoy Kurt Volker, and Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson, were in secure facilities. Schiff and his cohorts have put together a clever, yet disingenuous, rationale for secrecy. They claim (falsely) the whistleblower law assures absolute anonymity, plus since the intelligence community is involved, that implies that all matters should be conducted behind closed doors. But there are no national security interests involved in this new witch hunt, no actual reason to keep the public from knowing the truth. In fact, when the stakes are this high the process must not be shrouded in secrecy. The public has a right to judge the motives and the interests of the people involved. (RELATED: I Worked On The Clinton Impeachment — And Trump Is Not Impeachable)
Matt Taibbi, hardly a Trumpster, points out in (of all places) Rolling Stone that there is nothing remotely heroic or risky in this misnamed “whistleblowing.” And there is absolutely no need for “whistleblower protection” because these people are already protected by the Democratic power structure and the press. Schiff has stage-managed the entire “crisis,” and has been from the beginning. He blatantly lied about not having contact with the “whistleblower” before the matter was reported to Congress, and it turned out his staff had been working on it for weeks. This alone should demonstrate that the effort is illegitimate. Worse, it’s a vicious political stunt that is backfiring badly.
The fact that this is a politically motived and Congressionally orchestrated takedown is pretty much accepted at this point. Stylistically it is a combination of the Mueller investigation and the Kavanaugh fracas. The Muelleresque aspect is how Democrats are exploiting the whistleblower statute to engineer these complaints, in the same way former FBI Director James Comey cynically manufactured a case to activate the special counsel law. The Kavanaugh flavor comes from the potentially endless number of supposed “witnesses” Democrats can push forward, shielded by anonymity and inventing crimes from whole cloth. And it is worth noting that both the previous efforts failed to take down their targeted victims.
Contrast Schiff’s secrecy with the president’s transparency. It’s not just that President Trump immediately declassified and released the phone log in question, which short-circuited probable planned Democratic charges of a coverup. He also made the “complaint” public, to let the people decide if it was worthy of all the fuss. President Trump has been completely candid about his views on the Biden family’s lucrative financial connections to Ukraine and other countries.
His public statement that China should look into the return on investment they got by investing in Hunter Biden rattled critics, but it shined a light on what Trump sees as the central issue in this case, international sweetheart deals that make instant fortunes for politically connected families. This bipartisan practice of influence peddling and institutional corruption is what Schiff et al. are really trying to keep under wraps. Trump the Disruptor is destroying business-as-usual for the Washington Establishment. (RELATED: Hold An Impeachment Vote, Nancy Pelosi — If You Have The Guts)
Put the deals in perspective. How much time, money and effort was involved in tracking down the details about a Trump hotel in Moscow that was never built? How many angry words were written about a deal that never actually happened? If an unbuilt hotel can be a scandal, so can Burisma.
Democrats are trying their best to keep the Justice Department away from Ukraine in its investigation of the origins of the Russian collusion hoax. But Ukraine is where the trail leads, as well as to the U.K., Australia, Italy and other countries. President Trump has been very open about this as well, publicly suggesting — on May 24, 2019 — these countries were part of the investigation at a White House press gaggle. Again, nothing to hide, at least not on his part.
Since this is all part of an ongoing Justice Department criminal investigation, are the supposed “whistleblowers” and Democratic operatives in fact obstructing justice? During the Mueller investigation it seemed like any public statements or presidential tweets that even mentioned the witch hunt were denounced as criminal, even impeachable obstruction. Maybe that same standard should be applied here.
The main reason this covert non-impeachment will fail is because at the end of the day it is a Washington insider manufactured hoax with no identifiable crime. The American people know, or should know, that this is a politically motivated effort to protect the power and influence of politicians, cronies, lobbyists, and other swamp dwellers. Those dead set on making Trump the bad guy are far from being the good guys in the eyes of those who elected the president. If anything they are the problem, and this insidious plot to subvert the president proves the point.
Chris Farrell is director of investigations and research for Judicial Watch, a nonprofit watchdog group. He previously worked as a counterintelligence case officer.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.