House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) is giving members of his committee just 24 hours to read and sign off on his report recommending articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. As Breitbart News reported Friday, House Judiciary Committee chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler has previewed the report, and suggested it will include claims of “collusion” with Russia — as well as Ukraine, Russia’s enemy.
And as reported Saturday, Schiff will provide the full report to committee members on Monday, who must sign off on Tuesday in time for the first hearing in Nadler’s committee on Wednesday, which will discuss the supposed constitutional and legal basis for impeachment.
It is a foregone conclusion that Democrats will sign off on Schiff’s report. Evidence does not seem to be the top priority for Democrats: a majority favored an impeachment inquiry by August 1, eleven days before the so-called “whistleblower” sent a letter to Schiff complaining about Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.
However, as the Washington Examiner‘s Byron York has noted, Democrats are in such a rush that they are leaving potential facts out of their examination. For example, they could wage a court battle to force former National Security Adviser John Bolton to testify. Bolton reportedly disapproved of the role played by U.S. Ambassador to the E.U. Gordon Sondland and Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani in relations with Ukraine. He could be a key witness. However, Democrats did not want to wait to hear what he had to say.
As York noted recently in a column titled “Why the rush toward impeachment?”, Democrats “are racing to get the job done by Christmas. They’re not even trying to hear from some key witnesses, like former national security adviser John Bolton, because they don’t want to take the time to go to court over it.”
York notes that Democrats are fearful of letting impeachment drag into the 2020 presidential primary, when it will pull several U.S. Senators off the campaign trail. And they are also worried about the fact that public support for impeachment is stagnant at best, and slipping at worst, after lackluster public hearings last month.
But the rush has been a feature from the very beginning. On the day that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced an impeachment inquiry, the president had already announced that he had declassified the transcript (or “readout”) of the phone call with Zelensky, and that it would be published the next day. Pelosi did not want to wait for the evidence: her decision was driven by political factors.
Likewise, the Intelligence Committee has rushed its proceedings before all of the evidence was available to most members of Congress, or the public. It often published lengthy transcripts of closed-door depositions on the eve of public hearings, and only released the most exculpatory transcript after public hearings were over.
Nadler has given Trump until Friday to respond to a request to participate, either directly or through his counsel, in the Judiciary Committee’s impeachment proceedings.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.