Donald Trump and his remaining House Republican allies have given up all pretense of pretending that Trump is innocent in his whistleblower scandal, and they’ve instead seized on the notion that Trump isn’t being treated fairly by the House impeachment inquiry. Specifically they’re claiming that hijinks are involved because all of the impeachment witnesses thus far have testified behind closed doors, and Trump doesn’t know what’s being said.
That’s a completely bogus legal argument, as grand jury targets have no legal right to access evidence and testimony while the indictment process is playing out, and only gain access to that evidence after criminal charges have formally been brought. Still, the average American sitting at home may not understand this, so House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff is spelling it out tonight.
Yesterday, Palmer Report explained that for now, the impeachment witnesses have to testify in secret. That way the cooperating witnesses are able to corroborate each other’s testimony without knowing what the others have said. Also, when the co-conspirators are hauled in to testify, they have to worry about simply lying, for fear that the cooperating witnesses may have already provided proof of the truth. In his letter to Congress tonight, Adam Schiff is essentially making the same argument. It’s not that we’re mind readers, it’s just that this is standard procedure for a grand jury, which is what the House impeachment inquiry is.
The crucial part of Schiff’s letter is his confirmation that the transcripts of the House impeachment testimony will be made public as soon as the evidence-gathering process allows, and at that point going forward, witnesses will testify in public. Translation: we’re going to see those transcripts soon. By all accounts, they’re incredibly bad for Donald Trump and several of his people.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report