On what else are the Democrats sitting? That’s a question at this stage of the impeachment of President Trump. Their premeditation in respect of Ukraine was illuminated in a brilliant column by Kimberly Strassel that runs in Friday’s Wall Street Journal under the headline “Schiff’s Shifty Timeline.” It turns out that the House Intelligence Committee chairman knew about the whistleblower before any whistle was blown — and he sat on it.
That is starting to look like the Democrats’ modus operandi. The idea would be to more effectively set up the President. We gained a classic glimpse of the m.o. during the confirmation hearing of Justice Kavanaugh. That’s when Senator Dianne Feinstein sat on a letter from Christine Blasey Ford alleging the future justice had behaved inappropriately at a party two generations earlier.
The letter reached the Coast Democrat on July 30, 2018. She sat on it, claiming she wanted to respect the accuser’s confidentiality. In late August, according to a timeline on Politico, Ms. Blasey Ford decided to stay quiet. In early September, all sorts of witnesses were heard by the Senate. Yet Ms. Feinstein sat on the letter through the entire hearing. Judge Kavanaugh was on his way to confirmation.
Then the Feinstein modus operandi began to operate. On September 12, the Times reported that Senator Feinstein shared the existence of the complaint with fellow Democrats. On the 13th, it was reported she sent it to the FBI. On the 14th, Judge Kavanaugh denied the anonymous accusation. On the 16th, Ms. Blasey Ford disclosed she was the accuser. On the 19th, Mr. Trump called for her to testify.
In the end, it went nowhere — but it was nip and tuck and it looks like Congressman Schiff was a quick study. He issued what Ms. Strassel calls the “explosive news” that he’d been alerted a few days earlier by the intelligence inspector general of an “urgent” whistleblower complaint. The complaint was dated August 12 and it turns out that even before then, the whistleblower interacted with Mr. Schiff’s staff.
“So,” Ms. Strassel writes, “Mr. Schiff knew about the topic of the complaint for more than a month — while the public did not.” During that period he developed what Ms. Strassels calls “an interest in all things Ukrainian” and “began aggressively previewing his impeachment mantra. The aim was to be able to “take full advantage of the whistleblower ‘news.’”
Even after “news broke of the complaint,” Ms. Strassel writes, “Mr. Schiff played dumb” — falsely telling MSNBC that “we have not spoken directly with the whistleblower” and later suggesting that without the intelligence inspector general “we might not have even known there was a whistleblower complaint.” In fact, Ms. Strassel notes, “the process was working and Mr. Schiff knew all about it.
The final feature of the m.o., demonstrated by Ms. Feinstein in the Kavanaugh confirmation, was to keep the other party in the dark — even more shocking in Mr. Schiff’s case in that he is the committee chairman. Ms. Strassel notes that he had “multiple opportunities to acknowledge his awareness of the coming complaint, but kept mum about his side’s early involvement.”
All this illuminates not only the Democrats premeditation in their strategy of sandbagging. It also raises the question of what else the Democrats are hiding. How can the GOP know? We are, though, starting to see a modus operandi that explains why an impeachment process that is supposed to be an objective look at high crimes and misdemeanors turns out to be but a partisan affair.