January 22, 2020

THEIR CASE WOULD SEEM MORE PERSUASIVE IF THEY EVER TOLD THE TRUTH ABOUT ANYTHING: Byron York: Impeachment, Democrats, and those 90,000 documents.

For weeks, Democrats have been demanding to see new witnesses and documents for the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump. Mostly they have emphasized witnesses. But on Tuesday, the first full day of the trial, the Democratic House managers seemed to turn up the call for documents, claiming that President Bill Clinton provided tens of thousands of pages of documents for his impeachment trial in 1999.

“In the Clinton case, the president provided all of the documents — more than 90,000 pages of them — before the trial took place,” the managers said in a statement released Tuesday morning. “[Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell’s resolution rejects that basic necessity.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi backed up the managers. “For the Clinton trial, witnesses were deposed and the president provided more than 90,000 documents,” she said Tuesday.

“All of the documents in the Clinton trial were turned over prior to the trial,” said lead impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff when arguments before the Senate began. “All 90,000 pages of them, so they could be used in the House’s case.”

So a question: Where did the figure of 90,000 pages, or documents, come from? Did Clinton helpfully cooperate with the House Republicans who were trying to remove him from office 20 years ago?

It turns out Schiff, Pelosi, and their colleagues were not telling the whole story. They got the 90,000 figure, apparently, from Clinton’s rebuttal to the Starr report — the report independent counsel Kenneth Starr turned over to Congress on Sept. 9, 1998, after seven months of investigating the Monica Lewinsky affair. In that rebuttal, given to Congress on Sept. 11, Clinton’s lawyers wrote: “During the past four and a half years, the President has … produced more than 90,000 pages of documents and other items” to investigators.

But not to Congress. The Clinton situation was entirely different from the one Schiff and his fellow Democrats face today. Starr was an independent counsel with full law enforcement powers, and his office issued many grand jury subpoenas pushing Clinton, who often resisted fiercely, to turn over the 90,000 documents over the course of four and a half years, covering the Whitewater, Travelgate, Filegate, and Lewinsky investigations.

“If memory serves me correctly, I don’t think he voluntarily gave us anything,” said Sol Weisenberg, a former Starr prosecutor, in a conversation Tuesday.

With Trump, the House has been involved in a different process. Speaker Nancy Pelosi chose not to seek the appointment of a special counsel to investigate the Trump-Ukraine matter. (The old independent counsel law under which Starr was appointed expired years ago; a Trump-Ukraine special counsel investigation might have operated along the lines of the Robert Mueller Trump-Russia investigation.) Instead, House Democrats conducted a hurried investigation that did not involve a grand jury or engage in the type of fighting for documents that Starr did.

The whole thing is a politicized sham.

InstaPundit is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.