A-B test (from Wednesday’s opening statements in impeachment inquiry)


REP. ADAM SCHIFF: Although we have learned a great deal about these events in the last several weeks, there are still missing pieces. The president has instructed the State Department and other agencies to ignore congressional subpoenas for documents. He has instructed witnesses to defy subpoenas and refuse to appear. And he has suggested that those who do expose wrongdoing should be treated like traitors and spies. These actions will force Congress to consider, as it did with President Nixon, whether Trump’s obstruction of the constitutional duties of Congress constitute additional grounds for impeachment. If the president can simply refuse all oversight, particularly in the context of an impeachment proceeding, the balance of power between our two branches of government will be irrevocably altered. That is not what the Founders intended. And the prospects for further corruption and abuse of power in this administration or any other will be exponentially increased.


REP. DEVIN NUNES:  But we should not hold any hearings at all until we get answers to three crucial questions the Democrats are determined to avoid asking. First, what is the full extent of the Democrats’ prior coordination with the whistleblower, and who else did the whistleblower coordinate this effort with? Second, what is the full extent of Ukraine’s election meddling against the Trump campaign? And third, why did Burisma hire Hunter Biden, and what did he do for them, and did his position affect any U.S. government actions under the Obama administration? These questions will remain outstanding, because Republicans were denied the right to call witnesses that know these answers. What we will witness today is a televised theatrical performance staged by the Democrats.


In comparing and contrasting the factual basis for these two opening statements, use Judge Martha Kavanaugh’s famous formulation, the one that underlies all of her scrupulously impartial son’s decisions, now as a lifetime Supreme Court justice: ‘use your common sense, what has the ring of truth?  what rings false?’

Which way the facts ring, of course, will be a matter of hot emotional debate in our black and white, white is black America of 2019.

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