Nobody’s calling him a genius, but seriously, has he really thought this through? This is a lose-lose scenario either way.
Ever since critics have been pointing to Biden’s infamous video bragging about getting Ukraine’s answer to the AG fired, questions have swirled about potential conflicts of interest involving his son Hunter.
And the more he gets pressed with these questions the angrier and more defensive Biden gets.
Now that the impeachment circus will be shifting to the Senate, where there will be at least some governing rules concerning the fair use of exculpatory evidence, the right to cross-examination, having a lawyer present and other such things that any process respecting almost a thousand years of due process in common law takes as foundational, some other areas that Schiff and Nadler carefully silenced can finally be explored.
That includes the motivation behind questions raised by the President about that firing.
Shiff and Nadler can project their own interpretation of motives all they want, but ASSERTING a defendant’s motive — without allowing those assertions to be challenged — is NOT the prerogative of any accuser in a process respecting the Rule of Law.
We can only conclude, therefore, that accusations about the House Impeachment process having more in common with a Soviet Show trial and a Kangaroo court than any fair and transparent process have some basis in objective fact.
The Senate wants questions about Hunter’s alleged conflicts-of-interest answered… especially since investigative journalists have found, to use Schiff’s favorite phrase, ‘more than circumstantial evidence’ of connections between Burisma, Hunter, and White House access.
Biden does NOT want to play ball.
The former vice president, who had already ruled out voluntarily testifying at the impeachment proceedings, told NPR in an interview published on Monday he would not cooperate with a subpoena.
“No, I’m not going to let you take the eye off the ball here. Everybody knows what this is about,” Biden said. “This is a Trump gambit he plays. Whenever he’s in trouble he tries to find someone else to divert attention to.”
When pressed, Biden stood resolute, claiming there was not “one scintilla of evidence” he did anything wrong.
“No, I will not yield to what everybody is looking for here,” the former vice president said. “And that is to take the eye off the ball.”
Of all the places to assert that challenge, this one is the most ironic.
One of the two articles of impeachment written against Trump was precisely concerning his refusal to freely cooperate with this impeachment process and their demands to access Trump’s advisors and (potentially) information privileged under Article II.
We have already seen by Schiff’s publishing of certain phone records that privacy and limitations on the legitimate use of Congressional authority are of little or no interest to Schiff or his accomplices.
If Biden fights the subpoena, it will proceed to court and the judge will rule for or against the legitimacy of the subpoena. And either way, this hurts the Democrats’ case against Trump.
Scenario One: he fights it and loses. All his bluster and bravado simply makes him look like a guy with something to hide and any evidence that DOES come out (including that Obama-era prep question about conflicts with Biden and Burisma that the former Ambassador referenced in her testimony) will be colored by the energy he used to hide it.
That’s pretty bad. The other one is, in some sense, actually worse.
Scenario Two: Biden takes his subpoena challenge to the court and wins. The courts rule that Biden does NOT have to testify before the Senate.
Why is THIS a problem?
It destroys the very argument that Trump had ‘Obstructed Congress’. It underscores the fact that individuals have a right to CHALLENGE a demand made by Congress before the court, and the COURT’s final ruling is biding, NOT Congress’s.
It would open up a very simple line of defense for the President.
If Congress was so concerned that they needed to hear from these witnesses, why did they not bring their demands before the court and have THEM enforce the subpoena? Then it would have been binding. But as you can see by their ruling in support of Biden, just because Congress WANTS something, doesn’t mean they should get it.
Pelosi loves to spout off about co-equal branches of government, but that phrase clearly doesn’t mean what she thinks it means. Each branch is a check and balance for the other.
The Executive has just as much right to push back against Congressional claims to authority as Pelosi does against the Executive claims.
We should all probably thank Biden for helping us demonstrate that pushing back against claims of authority and making them prove their right to do so is distinctly AMERICAN, and NOT, as Shifty would claim, ‘evidence of obstruction’.