Tuesday, November 19, 2019

McCarthy: Trump impeachment inquiry obstructed by Democrats

Andy McCarthy has an excellently concise explanation of the way in which the whole "whistleblower" charade dishonestly and illegally--if the Impeachment Theater were an actual legal proceeding--obstructs the inquiry. You can read the whole thing: Trump impeachment inquiry obstructed by Democrats' 'whistleblower' secrecy charade. All this has to do with the supposed need to hide the identity of Eric Ciaramella, the putative author of the complaint against Trump.

I'll slightly rearrange McCarthy's argument a bit to hopefully help bring out the essentials.

First of all, we all know that Eric Ciaramella is not, in fact, an individual who is covered by the "Whistleblower Act".

Secondly, even if Ciaramella did qualify as a whistleblower, the Act does not provide for hiding a whistleblower's identity. What the Act does is protect individuals from reprisals for revealing information that may be embarrassing or incriminating.

Thirdly, it is a fundamental principle of our constitutional order, enshrined in the 6th Amendment, part of the Bill of Rights, that due process of law requires that an accused person be allowed to confront his accusers and not be tried on the word of anonymous persons. Even if the "Whistleblower Act" purported to change that--it would be unconstitutional. In other words, "who we are as Americans" (the phrase so hypocritically used by liberals) forbids that we stage show trials without presenting witnesses to the actual events and facts that are at issue. Nor do we allow hearsay, generally--the facts must be vouched for by identified persons with firsthand knowledge who can be subjected to examination by the defense.

With these facts and principles firmly in mind, McCarthy provides a lucid account of what's been going on with Impeachment Theater--and how fundamentally and outrageously wrong it is:

If this were a legal case, there is not a court in America that would keep the whistleblower’s identity and the details of his role in the origins of the Democrats’ Ukraine investigation under wraps. 
Congressional Democrats are not merely withholding the identity of the whistleblower. They are denying committee Republicans the right to question other witnesses about relevant dealings with the whistleblower. 
Contrary to what Democrats would have you believe, this is not an unusual situation. It comes up frequently in prosecutions. The principle is simple: There are many legal and policy limitations on the disclosure of information. If, however, the government decides to proceed with a prosecution that makes presumptively secret matters germane to the truth-seeking process, secrecy has to give way. 
Classified information is a good example. 
There are situations in which the Justice Department faces a harrowing dilemma. Let’s say the FBI has an informant who has infiltrated a terrorist organization; or perhaps the Bureau has managed to plant an eavesdropping device in a meeting place where terrorists plot attacks. Of course, the information the government is receiving, and the sources and methods of obtaining it, are highly classified because of the national security implications. But now, the Justice Department decides it would like to arrest and indict the terrorists based on this information. 
Under our due process rules, there is no way to do that without revealing the sources. The government thus faces an excruciating choice: Do we prosecute the terrorists and expose sources that are providing us life-saving information? Or do we forego bringing terrorists to the justice for what may be the greater good of continuing to get the life-saving information and to preserve the safety of our informant? 
Yes, there are federal laws that protect the confidentiality of classified information. But those laws are a shield; the government may not use them as a sword. If there is a prosecution, the confidentiality has to give way. The government is not permitted to bring a prosecution but deny the accused the right to mount a defense by claiming that the law mandates secrecy. If the government wants to have the secrecy, it has to forego the prosecution. You can’t have it both ways. 
If Democrats insist, against law and logic, that the whistleblower must remain confidential, they can drop their inquiry against the president – just as the Justice Department must sometimes drop cases in order to preserve secrets that promote national security. 
But if Democrats insist on proceeding with the impeachment inquiry, they cannot insist on secrecy. You cannot commence an adversarial proceeding and then deny the adversary the information needed to contest it.

McCarthy goes into additional detail, citing apposite examples. The bottom line is that the Impeachment Theater in the House is an outrage to truth, justice, and the American Way. That the liberal establishment should be in full cry in support of this hoax inquiry tells you just about all you need to know about how Trump got elected.


  1. HPSCI Ranking Member Devin Nunes questioned NSC official Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman about whether he had shared the contents of the phone call between President Trump and Ukraine President Zelensky with anyone outside the White House.

    In responding Vindman stated “two people”, and then named State Dept George Kent, and a person from the intelligence community. Then things get interesting. Vindman refused to name the intelligence agency because it would likely expose the CIA “whistle-blower”.

    This non-answer makes Alexander Vindman the source for the CIA “whistleblower” Eric Ciaramella.


    1. He's really in the soup if there's ever an actual trial. But that could lead to Schiff and Ciaramella landing in the same soup.

  2. Hey Mitch, and Lindsey, how can you not, given the case made here by Andy McC, not PUSH to be on each TV station that will have you, to stress that any Articles passed under these circumstances, will be DoA in the Senate?
    What would stop Lindsey from still, in the absence of a Senate trial, push for his committee having cracks at Vindmann, Schiff and Ciaramella?

  3. If memory serves, Dersh has been on Fox, making much the same argument as Andy McC does here.

    1. I'm sure he has. This is absolutely basic, bedrock principles of criminal law under our constitution. It's what I keep coming back to--due process: you don't investigate with predication, etc.

  4. Wonder what would have happened if Nunes had asked Vindman outright: "are you the source for Ciaramella?"

    1. We'll never know. But I think I'd be willing to bet that that question, or something very close to it, will eventually be put to Vindman and he'll be required to answer it under oath. Just not in the House. Maybe in the Senate, maybe in a court martial, maybe somewhere else.

  5. Honestly, this would be hilarious if it weren't so serious, important and tragic.

    If a scriptwriter came up with this plot, I wouldn't believe.

    Unfortunately it's true.

  6. I've been a bit worried that our collective concern with rules of evidence in respect of, for example, the hearsay rules and the 6th amendment (right to be confronted with witnesses), etc., obscures a larger point.

    Of course, Schiff's absolute disregard for the norms of investigative and judicial process is an outrage. But its not like these are mere procedural pecadilloes. The real truth of the matter is that Schiff and his witnesses are lying. They are making stuff up to impeach a United States president.

    The hearsay evidence they are giving is not faulty merely because it is hearsay. It is faulty because they never even heard a second or third hand witness say it. Its not just faulty evidence because its hearsay, its faulty evidence because its a made up lie. Its perjury.

    We can't forget that Vindman, Marie Yovanovitch, the whistleblower, etc. are not just offering hearsay. They are lying, as are Schiff and all of his co-conspirators.

    To complain that they are merely violating the rules of evidence let's them off the hook way too easy.

    1. But I think people get this. At least in the focus groups this is coming across in a generalized way--people view this as totally unfair.

  7. And it seems nobody is paying attention to the impeachment theatre circus because the media (and the Dems) have overwhelmed the public's sensory inputs with outrage and sensation. Commenting on a NYT story...

    ZH concludes: "Who could have predicted that years of fake news, failed proclamations, and overt partisanship would cause rational minds to recoil."