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Schiff and 'whistleblower' should be first to testify in Trump impeachment theater

By John Kass, Tribune Content Agency on

As House Democrats begin the public phase of their impeachment hearings into President Donald Trump this week -- over a presidential phone call to Ukraine -- I'm forced to use a dirty word.

If you melt easily, please cover your eyes and ears, or clutch your pearls and gird yourself. Here comes that dirty word:

Fairness.

To a politician, "fairness" is nothing more than a shiv, to be slipped between the ribs with a smile. Politics is never fair. It's not about who deserves what. Politics is the hand, and government is the club in that hand.

Americans are realists. What keeps us going isn't belief in the fairness of Washington media or Washington politicians. What keeps us going is our belief in the ultimate fairness of our fellow Americans. If we lose that, we're done.

So, I propose that, if nothing else, fairness should rule the televised impeachment hearings run by the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif.

 

He wants to call diplomats to testify about the phone call, to give their impressions of the call, though the transcripts have been released and anyone can read them. Calling the diplomats in isn't about beginning at the beginning. Calling the diplomats is about not beginning at the beginning.

It begins with the "whistleblower."

If the Democrats want to be fair about this, two witnesses must be called and sworn in under oath to testify and be questioned by Democrats and Republicans so that Americans, now focused, can also begin at the beginning.

The first witness should be the so-called "whistleblower," the government employee who brought the complaint to Schiff about that phone call to Ukraine.

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