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Trump Impeachment Theater offers two plotlines for Schiff

By John Kass, Tribune Content Agency on

U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, the California Democrat and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, once considered becoming a screenwriter. But he abandoned glitzy Hollywood dreams for the meaty thrills of Washington intrigue.

And as lord high inquisitor of Trump Impeachment Theater, he's the author of yet another failed revenge fantasy crafted by Democrats to satisfy "The Resistance" and keep their angry leftist base in line.

Schiff must know that there are two plotlines left open to him in this drama. In one, he is the hero he's always wanted to be. And in the other, which seems more likely, he's exposed in a Senate impeachment trial, and becomes the fall guy who wears the jacket for helping to re-elect President Donald Trump in 2020.

Then he'll be at the mercy of the mob.

Since Trump shocked the Washington political establishment by becoming president in 2016, America has been subjected to constant, angry political theater that has accomplished one thing: busily distracting the Democratic base from examining the reasons why they lost the presidency.

"The Resistance" and their media handmaidens have talked endlessly of dragging Trump from office before the election. They've dreamed of using the 25th Amendment to pronounce him mentally unfit and have him removed from office. They've threatened to abolish the Electoral College, which would topple the republic. And there was their failed Russia collusion narrative, another revenge fantasy that collapsed when Robert Mueller's investigation failed to show Trump colluded with Russia to win the White House.

 

Of the many Democratic cries for impeachment based on Trump's boorish demeanor, the Schiff hearings over Trump's ill-advised phone call to the Ukrainian president seemed strongest.

Trump had offered foreign aid and asked for an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter in a place that is more corrupt than Chicago. Hunter Biden reaped treasure from a Ukrainian gas company. And Joe publicly bragged that he forced the Ukrainian government to fire a problematic prosecutor -- one who was looking at Hunter's involvement -- by threatening to withhold $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees.

The Biden maneuvering is a quid pro quo the Chicago Way, but Schiff controlled the hearings and would not allow testimony explaining that part of the story.

Republicans have argued there was no quid pro quo in the Trump phone call. But after watching the testimony, it seems clear to me there was an attempt at it. Trump wanted an investigation of the Bidens, and dangled military assistance while asking for a favor.

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