Today’s paragraphs come to us from Marc A. Thiessen, writing for the Washington Post (via the Spokane Spokesman-Review).
Mr. Thiessen wins Paragraphs Of The Day honors for informing us – not reminding us again, which he would have had to do if mainstream media had reported the information already – of the difference between how the so-called Trump “impeachment inquiry” is being run versus impeachment proceedings against former Presidents Nixon and Clinton:
Contrast today’s partisan inquiry with the Nixon impeachment. As American Enterprise Institute President Robert Doar has pointed out, the Nixon inquiry was a model of bipartisan cooperation. The Democratic chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Peter Rodino (N.J.), assembled a unified staff (including Doar’s father, John, a Republican whom Rodino appointed as special counsel). The full House voted on authorizing the inquiry. The minority was given joint subpoena power. The president’s counsel was allowed to be present during depositions, given access to all of the documents and materials presented to the committee, allowed to cross-examine witnesses, and even permitted to call witnesses of his own. Most important, the committee did not leak or release selective documents cherry-picked to make the president look bad.
The same was true during the Clinton impeachment inquiry. As former House speaker Newt Gingrich explained in a recent interview, Republicans “adopted every single rule that Rodino had used in 1973.” Yet today, Rodino’s party is systematically undermining every principle of fairness and due process he put in place in 1973.
Take last week’s testimony by acting ambassador William Taylor, who alleged that President Trump made U.S. aid contingent on “investigations.” He was deposed inside a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) in the Capitol, a room that is designed to protect the government’s most highly classified information. Cellphones are not permitted inside a SCIF. Yet somehow what appear to be cellphone photos of his prepared statement were leaked to the news media.
But the full transcript of his deposition – including his answers to questions from Republicans challenging his accusations – remains under lock and key in that SCIF. The president’s counsel is not allowed to see it, much less be present at the deposition to cross-examine the witness. So, Democrats are leaking derogatory information about the president, while restricting public access to potentially exculpatory information, all while denying him the right to see or challenge testimony against him.
Let’s be clear: There is nothing wrong with holding hearings behind closed doors as long as there is due process. But secrecy and fairness go hand in hand. One without the other is corrupt.
Were you aware of this? Did you know chapter and verse of how completely today’s Democrat-controlled House committees – with most of our mainstream media running cover for them – are perverting the most basic tenets of fairness in this ridiculous farce?
Well now you know.
And – this is the pathetic part – there is no reason for Marc Thiessen to win any honors from me or anyone else for telling you about it.
The reason? Because if media were acting as neutral venues, and simply reporting facts regardless of partisan considerations, Mr. Thiessen’s commentary would be nothing more than a rehash of what you’ve already known for a long time.
But if it isn’t; if much, maybe all, of this is news to you – and that’s a near certainty – Mr. Thiessen is not just providing information necessary to understand how farcical the “impeachment inquiry” is, he’s educating you on how farcical what passes for our mainstream media are as well.
Can these people even spell “journalism” or “integrity”?