In the first public impeachment hearing on Wednesday, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) delivered a tour-de-force opening statement condemning the Democrats’ “impeachment sham,” a “drama” that is the “low-rent Ukrainian sequel” to the Russia collusion narrative. He raised fundamentally important questions that he said will not be asked to proper witnesses because Democrats refuse to call them.
Nunes began his opening statement by recounting the three-year Russia collusion hoax. He specifically mentioned the public testimony of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller, on whom liberals placed their hopes. As I reported in July, that testimony turned Mueller from the touted “savior of the republic” into a bumbling fool.
“That hearing was the pitiful finale of a three-year-long operation by the Democrats, the corrupt media, and partisan bureaucrats to overturn the results of the 2016 election,” Nunes began. “After the spectacular implosion of their Russia hoax on July 24 — in which they spent years denouncing any Republican who ever shook hands with a Russian — on July 25, they turned on a dime and now claim the real malfeasance is Republicans’ dealings with Ukraine.”
The congressman recounted numerous episodes of malfeasance in the Russia collusion hoax: Democrats placing the “salacious and unverified” Steele dossier into the congressional record, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) seeking “to obtain nude pictures of Trump from Russian pranksters who pretended to be Ukrainian officials,” and more.
Such actions “make them the last people on earth with the credibility to hurl more preposterous accusations at their political opponents.”
Nunes condemned the current impeachment inquiry as “a carefully orchestrated media smear campaign,” noting that despite House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) pledge not to pursue impeachment unless it were a bipartisan process, she has pushed impeachment “without the backing of a single Republican.”
Then the congressman turned to the Democrats’ impeachment hearings, which he characterized as try-outs in the drama. “The crucial witnesses are denied a platform if their testimony does not support the Democrats’ absurd accusations. Notably, they are trying to impeach the president for inquiring about Hunter Biden’s activities yet they refuse our request to hear from Biden himself,” he said.
Nunes also delved into the background of the whistleblower whom Democrats trusted to launch the inquiry. “The whistleblower was acknowledged to have a bias against President Trump and his attorney touted a ‘coup’ against President Trump and called for his impeachment just weeks after the election.” Indeed, the lawyer stood by those remarks when they were published earlier this month.
“At a prior hearing, Democrats on this committee read out a purely fictitious rendition of the president’s phone call with [Ukrainian] President Zelensky,” Nunes recounted.
Worse, “the staff of the Democrats on this committee had direct discussions with the whistleblower before his or her complaint was submitted to the inspector general.”
Nunes charged the Democrats with a “long habit of accusing Republicans of offenses they themselves are committing.” As for collusion with Russia, Democrats were “funding and spreading the Steele dossier which relied upon Russian sources.” As for Ukrainian meddling, Democrats cooperated in it. (Notably, Democratic senators sent a letter to Ukrainian officials, urging them to continue working with Mueller against Trump and threatening Ukrainian military funding if they did not do so.)
“Despite this hypocrisy, the Democrats are advancing their impeachment sham,” Nunes declared.
He raised three crucial questions: “First, what is the full extent of the Democrats’ prior coordination with the whistleblower and who else did the whistleblower coordinate this effort with? Second, what is the full extent of Ukraine’s election meddling against the trump campaign? Third, why did Burisma hire Hunter Biden, and what did he do for them, and did his position affect any U.S. government actions under the Obama administration?”
“What we will witness today is a televised theatrical performance staged by the Democrats,” Nunes declared. Turning to former acting ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent, he said, “I’d like to congratulate you for passing the Democrats’ star-chamber auditions held for the last weeks in the basement of the capital.” He noted that they had made the cut to “participate in a drama.”
“But the main performance, the Russia hoax, has ended. And you’ve been cast in the low-rent Ukrainian sequel,” he quipped.
Nunes concluded by referring to the deep damage that the Democrats’ and the deep state’s relentless attacks on Trump has done to the country.
“By undermining the president, who they are supposed to be serving, the elements of the FBI, the Department of Justice, and State Department have lost the confidence of millions of Americans who believe that their vote should count for something,” he warned. “This spectacle is doing great damage to our country. This is an impeachment process in search of a crime!”
Nunes was right to condemn the partisanship and tactics of the Democrats in this impeachment push. The president’s actions with Ukraine may be questionable, but any scandal does not rise anywhere near the level of impeachment. After the Democrats’ antics in the Russia collusion narrative, Democrats lack any credibility to push an impeachment inquiry, much less in this kind of nakedly partisan fashion.
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.