January 30, 2020

Senators Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham teamed up to ask a question of the House Managers that was the gross, intellectually dishonest version of "Come on, you guys, don't you think you'd excuse Obama doing the same thing as Trump did?

CJ ROBERTS: In Mr. Schiff's hypothetical, if President Obama had evidence that Mitt Romney's son was being paid one million dollars per year by a corrupt Russian company, and Mitt Romney had acted to benefit that company, would Obama have authority to ask that that potential corruption be investigated?

It's a good thing we are in the questions portion of the impeachment trial, because I have a lot of questions.

Why do Sens. Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham think everyone is as terrible as they are? Is it because they think everyone is dumber than they are? (Yes.) Did they think by mentioning Obama's name they'd score political points with the one who yanks their leash? (Yes.) Did they think they'd succeed in diminishing Obama's great name? (Yes, but they failed.) Did they think they could trick Rep. Adam Schiff into admitting the untrue — that Dems wouldn't have minded if one of their own misbehaved like Trump and the disgusting GOP does? (Yes, but Katie Hill and Al Franken would like a word with you.)

As usual, Rep. Adam Schiff did not come to play.

REP. SCHIFF: Well, first of all, the hypothetical is a bit off, because it presumes in that hypothetical that President Obama was acting corruptly, or there was evidence he was acting corruptly with respect to his son, but nonetheless, let's take your hypothetical on its terms.

Would it have been impeachable if Barack Obama had tried to get Medvedev to try to do an investigation of Mitt Romney, whether it was justified or unjustified? The reality is, for the president to withhold military aid from an ally, or in the hypothetical, to withhold it to benefit an adversary, to target their political opponent is wrong and corrupt. Period. End of story.

And, if you allow a president to rationalize that conduct, rationalize jeopardizing the nation's security to benefit himself because he believes his opponent should be investigated by a foreign power, that is impeachable.

DAMN. Okay, boys? First of all, Ted and Lindsey were probably whispering to each other, "Who's Medvedev?" Second of all, they weren't expecting Rep. Schiff to say, "First of all, fix your question. Second of all, no. Obama would not have that authority, and neither does your boy, Donnie. Third of all, not only is it wrong, it's impeachable."

THEN, Rep. Schiff went even further to destroy Trump, Bill Barr, and their despicable, dangerous coziness.

REP. SCHIFF: Now, if you have a legitimate reason to think that any U.S. person has committed an offense, there are legitimate ways to have an investigation conducted. There are legitimate ways to have the Justice Department conduct an investigation. I would suggest to you that for a president to turn to his Justice Department and say, "I want you to investigate my political rival," taints whatever investigation they do. Presidents should not be in the business of asking even their own Justice Department to investigate their rivals. The Justice Department ought to have some independence from the political desires of the president, and one of the deeply troubling circumstances of the current presidency is you do have a president of the United States speaking quite openly, urging his Justice Department to investigate his perceived enemies. That should not take place, either.

But under no circumstance do you go outside of your own legitimate law enforcement process to ask a foreign power to investigate your rival, whether you think there's cause or you don't think there's cause. And you certainly don't invite that foreign power to try to influence an election to your benefit. It's remarkable to me that we even have to have this conversation.

At this point, the world is wishing for something they've never before wished: to see the faces of Cruz and Graham. Rep. Schiff blew through their stupid-ass question, and kept going to steamroll right over Bill Barr and the Justice Department, not to mention Trump's pathological need to call for Hillary Clinton and other political rivals to be investigated, too.

Finally, Rep. Superman summarized by landing on the fact that Trump didn't even want the actual investigation. He just wanted the announcement, and ended by fixing Senator Stupids' question for them.

REP. SCHIFF: And, so, I would say it's wrong for the president of the United States to be asking for political prosecutions by his own Justice Department. I would say it's wrong for the president of the United States to ask a foreign power to engage in an investigation of his political rival. But particularly where, as we have shown here, there is no merit to that investigation, is even more egregious. And you know there's no merit to it because he didn't even want the investigation.

And the more accurate parallel, Senator, would be if Barack Obama said, "I don't even need you, Russia, to do the investigation. I just want you to announce it." Because that betrays the fact that there was no legitimate basis, because the president didn't even need the investigation done, he just wanted it announced. And there is no legitimate explanation for that, except he wanted their help in cheating the next election.

When will they learn not to come for Obama? When will they learn not to come for Adam Schiff? To call it a fool's errand is an insult to fools. And to errands.

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