The Senate impeachment trial hearings are really hard to watch. It is at once very grave and important...and utterly frivolous. It's the equivalent of having the Archbishop of Canterbury perform a wedding service...for Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy.
It's enraging to watch elected chambers of the U.S. government engaged in a grudge trial. Manager Adam Schiff, who appeared on CNN almost daily for months, emptily promising Russian collusion evidence, is the face of the prosecution. Manager Zoe Lofgren, who a colleague recently described as "a ham sandwich with hair," is supposed to bring some gravitas to the proceedings because this is her third impeachment. All that proves is that she's old, and we should have term limits.
President Trump's legal team has performed admirably thus far. White House counsel Pat Cipollone and Trump's personal attorney Jay Sekulow have presented the sober side of the affair, pointing out the ridiculousness of denying the president due process or the ability to question his accuser throughout the House impeachment process.
The confusing narrative forwarded by Democrats thus far: we have overwhelming evidence that Trump is guilty, but we need to gather more evidence before we can move forward.
Expect more grandstanding. Democrats don't have a case for impeachment, they never did. It's easy to forget, given the lapse in time between the start of impeachment and today, from the moment Trump released the call transcript, there hasn't been a case. Trump called their bluff. Pelosi and Schiff were so deep into their charade that they had to follow through.
This is why the proceedings are so painful. Listening to Manager Val Demings butcher basic words like "bogus" and "documents" is one thing. Her droning on for half an hour about State Department files that Democrats claim they need to successfully prosecute the case is another. It's a lie. They know Republicans aren't going to budge, so they claim that if they only had the documents, Trump would somehow be exposed as guilty.
The sheer gall of Demings to show an MSNBC clip of fraud king Lev Parnas in order to gird her position! What position, you ask? That ambassador Marie Yovanovitch's removal was not due to her questionable behavior, such as illegally monitoring conservative journalists, but because she stood between Trump and his nefarious plans. It's insulting.
At this hour, the hearings have devolved into arcane legal tiffs. I'd love to say it's compelling or shocking or revelatory. I can't. To paraphrase Devin Nunes, this is a replay of the low-budget sequel to "Muh Russia." Day one drones on. Unfortunately, there's plenty more to come.
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