After the rather disastrous House Judiciary Committee impeachment hearing on Wednesday — which included only one Republican-requested witness allowed by the Democrats and was highlighted by a Democrat witness using the president’s 13-year-old son’s name as a punchline — President Trump issued an early morning message to his political opponents in the House Thursday: “if you are going to impeach me, do it now, fast.”
“The Do Nothing Democrats had a historically bad day yesterday in the House,” Trump wrote in a pair of tweets early Thursday. “They have no Impeachment case and are demeaning our Country. But nothing matters to them, they have gone crazy. Therefore I say, if you are going to impeach me, do it now, fast, so we can have a fair trial in the Senate, and so that our Country can get back to business.”
“We will have Schiff, the Bidens, Pelosi and many more testify, and will reveal, for the first time, how corrupt our system really is,” he added. “I was elected to ‘Clean the Swamp,’ and that’s what I am doing!”
The Do Nothing Democrats had a historically bad day yesterday in the House. They have no Impeachment case and are demeaning our Country. But nothing matters to them, they have gone crazy. Therefore I say, if you are going to impeach me, do it now, fast, so we can have a fair….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 5, 2019
Trump has taken the unorthodox approach to the impeachment inquiry of opting not to have his lawyers participate with the House’s hearings. Instead, Trump’s team is gearing up for the Republican-controlled Senate’s hearings and what, as The Washington Post reported Wednesday, a plans to offer an “aggressive” approach to pushing back against Democrats’ impeachment arguments.
“The White House signaled Wednesday that it will aggressively defend President Trump in a near-certain Senate impeachment trial in the coming weeks, as legal experts called by House Democrats testified in a contentious hearing that Trump’s Ukraine dealings constitute an impeachable offense,” the Post reports.
“Eric Ueland, the White House director of legislative affairs, told reporters that Trump ‘wants his case made fully in the Senate,’ previewing a strategy that would include live witnesses on the floor, rather than videotaped depositions that were entered into evidence during President Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial in 1999,” the Post explains.
“In this instance, we believe very strongly — given the fatally flawed process in the House — that if they were to elect against our better advice [and] send over impeachment to the Senate, that we need witnesses as part of our trial and a full defense of the president on the facts,” said Ueland.
The rationale for the Trump camp’s decision to shun the House’s impeachment hearings was reiterated during the hearing Wednesday, Republicans repeatedly underscoring the lack of a “fair” process under the Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler-led hearings, particularly the inability of Republicans to call their own witnesses. In laying out the rules for the inquiry, Schiff imposed the requirement for Democrats to approve any witnesses the Republicans wanted to call. The result, as demonstrated Wednesday, has been an almost entirely Democratic witness list.
As for the “historically bad” hearing Wednesday, the most viral moment, and the lowest point for Democrats, came during the testimony of Stanford Law School Professor Pamela Karlan, who dropped what appeared to be a pre-scripted joke using Trump’s 13-year-0ld son’s name as the punchline.
“So while the president can name his son Barron, he can’t make him a baron,” Karlan quipped.
The bad joke resulted in massive blowback, including a rebuke from First Lady Melania Trump. “A minor child deserves privacy and should be kept out of politics,” said Melania. “Pamela Karlan, you should be ashamed of your very angry and obviously biased public pandering, and using a child to do it.”
Amid criticism from both the right and left, Karlan issued a backhanded pseudo-apology later in the day. “I want to apologize for what I said earlier about the president’s son. It was wrong of me to do that,” said the Democratic witness. “I wish the president would apologize, obviously, for the things that he’s done that’s wrong, but I do regret having said that.”