Fox News judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano has again chosen to defend House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff’s otherwise widely questioned impeachment inquiry tactics.
While speaking on Thursday morning on “Fox & Friends,” Napolitano went so far as to claim that Schiff’s strategy of holding hearings behind closed doors like some sort of independent counsel is backed by precedent.
To argue this point, he pointed to the impeachment hearings that were held against former Bill Clinton back in the late 1990s.
(Source: Fox News)
“Let’s compare it to the Bill Clinton investigation,” he said. ” Ken Starr, whom we all know was the independent counsel at the time, handed a tremendous amount of evidence to the House Judiciary Committee. How did he generate that evidence? In secret.”
“He put witnesses on before a grand jury, and the grand jury made all kinds of findings and they took that … But nothing was used against Bill Clinton that came from Ken Starr that wasn’t at some point filtered through the public so that the president’s lawyers can challenge it. That’s what this procedure permits,” he added.
Based on this, Schiff is in the right, according to Napolitano.
“Congressman Schiff is, in my opinion, following the rules of the House of Representatives,” he said. “You generate the information in secret. You decide which you want to make public.”
“You can’t use anything against the president that hasn’t been challenged and aired in public. His lawyers, whoever they are going to be, ultimately will be seated at a table at the House Judiciary Committee challenging that evidence,” he continued. “When that challenge is over, the House Judiciary Committee votes and then the House of Representatives votes.”
The problem is that, in defending Schiff, the judge chose to follow his former colleague Shepard Smith’s lead and ignore a bevy of facts.
First, the House Intelligence Committee chair isn’t an independent counsel. This is a point that was noted by House Rules Committee member Rep. Debbie Lesko during a meeting on Wednesday.
“I’m sorry, Adam Schiff is NOT an independent counsel,” she said while arguing against plans by Democrats to grant him even more power. “In fact, he has made repeated statements over and over and over again that he wants to impeach the president. He’s very biased.”
Second, Schiff has been credibly accused of ethics violations.
“Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz filed an ethics complaint against House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff on Wednesday, citing ‘rules broken’ and ‘false statements’ as Schiff plays a starring role in the House impeachment inquiry into President Trump,” Fox News has confirmed. “Gaetz sent a letter Wednesday to the House Ethics Committee urging the panel to open an official investigation into Schiff, accusing the Democrat of improper conduct during the impeachment inquiry and the Russia investigation.”
His allegations against Schiff include that the Intelligence Committee chair distorted the president’s call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (Fact-check: TRUE), that he took part in the Russia collusion delusion conspiracy theory (Fact-check: TRUE) and that he has blocked members of the Judiciary Committee from taking part in the ongoing impeachment inquiry (Fact-check: TRUE).
Third, Schiff hasn’t simply been holding closed-door hearings. He’s been selectively leaking information that boasts the Democrat Party’s narrative. This is a point that the president himself has noted on more than once occasion.
“Adam Schiff is the biggest leaker in Washington,” he said to reporters this week. “You know that, I know that, we all know that. I’ve watched Adam Schiff leak. He’s a corrupt politician. He’s a leaker like nobody has ever seen before.”
He’d been explaining why Schiff and other Democrat leaders were not informed beforehand of the operation against now-deceased ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Fourth, Schiff has been accused of coaching witnesses and preventing Republicans from hitting them with certain questions.
“Chairman Schiff has prevented the witness from answering certain questions we have during the deposition,” Rep. Jim Jordan said after a hearing on Tuesday. “You know, one of the things you do in these depositions is you ask the basics — what, when, where, why — you ask those questions.”
(Source: Fox News)
Intelligence Committee ranking member Devin Nunes confirmed this later that evening on Fox News.
“I have never in my life seen anything like what happened today,” he said. “I mean, they’ve been bad at most of these depositions, but to interrupt us continually, to coach the witness, to decide whether or not what we’re going to be able to ask a witness.”
“[T]o not let us ask questions? I have never, ever had that. And to see someone coach a witness? This isn’t the first time. Schiff’s very good at coaching witnesses. Remember, he also met with the whistle-blower. This is just unprecedented,” he added.
The key word there is “unprecedented,” a word whose meaning Napolitano appears to not understand …
(Source: Fox News)
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