As an analyst who was on the phone with many on both sides of the aisle during last week’s Senate impeachment trial, the farce of it was readily apparent for all to see. The specific aspect that is still reverberating throughout Washington on Tuesday is the failed witness ploy by the Democrats. It was so weak, so pathetic, so confused, that DC is staring at it like a car wreck. Even Democrat media lapdogs are chiming in.
"This is why we fail": Democrats accused of caving on Trump impeachment trial witnesses https://t.co/dwI7aSnNWP
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) February 13, 2021
Fox’s Chad Pergram, one of the best reporters in DC, noted the scenes.
Pergram: “House impeachment managers demanded witness testimony. In particular, they wanted an interview with Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA). The managers hoped to probe the Congresswoman about what she knew regarding a screaming match between President Trump and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) in the middle of the January riot. McCarthy excoriated the former President, demanding he take action to halt the insurrection. Lead impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) described Herrera Beutler’s statement about the McCarthy/Trump phone call ‘an additional, critical piece of corroborating evidence.’ Raskin then called to subpoena Herrera Beutler and her ‘contemporaneous notes.’ He said the Senate could proceed with a deposition via Zoom.
“This proposition would open the gateway to dozens of witnesses. It had the potential to delay a verdict in the trial. The ‘floor’ part of the trial would likely go dark as the Senate heard from witnesses from both sides. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) threatened a panoply of witnesses.
“I want want to interview (Senate Majority Leader) Chuck (Schumer, D-NY). I want to interview (President) Joe Biden. I want to interview (Vice President) Kamala (Harris). I want to interview (House Speaker Nancy) Pelosi (D-CA). I want to interview (House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman) Maxine Waters (D-CA). I want to interview (Sen.) Cory Booker (D-NJ). (Former Attorney General) Eric Holder,” warned Graham.”
That’s when it happened. The Democrats didn’t expect the Republican bluff. Or was it a bluff? The call must have come quick from Harris and Pelosi: You idiots, kill this thing. Then the recrimination machine went into overdrive, as various Democrats started to blame other Democrats for the debacle. Van der Veen was now up to bat.
“On Saturday, van der Veen was volcanic in response to the idea of an elongated trial. A scowl folded van der Veen’s forehead into a mogul field worthy of a ski resort. His eyebrows formed a ‘V.’ Van der Veen posited that if Democrats needed to hear from Herrera Beutler, he’d demand “over 100” depositions. Pelosi. Harris. Many others.
“And not by Zoom. None of these depositions should be done by Zoom. We didn’t do this hearing by Zoom. These depositions should be done in person! In my office! In Phil-ee-delphia!” yelled van der Veen, hammering the lectern. The chamber roared in laughter at van deer Veen’s theatrical pronunciation for the City of Brotherly Love. It was like a schoolyard taunt. Up until Saturday morning, Van der Veen had played the Washington game for this trial. But if the Senate insisted on witnesses, he’d shift the affair to his turf. The land of Ben Franklin, Rocky Balboa, Dr. J. and the Phillie Phanatic.” And there Van der Veen would control the show, the veep and Speaker like any other loser in his hot seat. With this staring them in the face, Democrats gave up and folded with hardly firing a shot and made themselves the butt of many a DC jibe and joke this week. It recalls Napoleon’s dictum, “When you set out to take Vienna, take Vienna.”