“Have you no sense of decency, sir?”
That pivotal question was the tipping point for the unchained “investigation” — the 1954 witch hunt — by Sen. Joe McCarthy’s subcommittee on investigations into “communists” in government. The crusade was less about communists than about power.
McCarthy, a Democrat turned Republican, attacked the Army for its reluctance to give special treatment sought by the senator and his committee staff for their favored associates. McCarthy charged resistance — obstruction in today’s parlance.
“Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness,” Army counsel Joe Welsh declared. “Senator, you’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency? ... if there is a God in heaven, it will do neither you nor your cause any good!”
This time, Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, seeks to obscure the special treatment afforded other Democrat politicians. If not graft with a quid pro quo, then a protection racket that offered the opportunity for it.
As high handed as McCarthy, Schiff has made it impossible for defense attorneys, or even other representatives in Congress on the committee, to even ask if, at long last, he has no shame.
“We want to make sure that we meet the needs of the investigation and not give the president or his legal minions the opportunity to tailor their testimony and in some cases fabricate testimony to suit their interests,” Shiff told CBS on “Face the Nation”.
Minions? Schiff ignores scores of House Republicans who are not minions and who deserve to question witnesses and hear all testimony.
He has discarded procedures that Americans over 200 years have determined critical for the defense of individual liberty against the powers of the state. His team has illegally and selectively leaked. He has opposed cross-examining witnesses. He has opposed the concept that people under investigation deserve all the potentially exculpatory material the U.S. Supreme Court now calls Brady material.
By the end of the month, after the FISA investigation report is released, Americans will likely learn how other Democrats in office similarly undermined the Brady rights of Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.
The real crime is that Schiff decided other Republicans and Democrats do not deserve to see the many ways government can be subverted. He doesn’t want them to know how Ukraine or China played fast and loose with elected officials in 2016.
He doesn’t want them to see how previous Democratic administrations undermined and misused agencies for personal political gain.
Schiff and Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi trivialized impeachment to maintain their hold on power and access to the government trough. Instead they may have planted seeds for the collapse of the Democratic Party.
If Democrats don’t stand up to Schiff and Pelosi, walls may tumble down around them all.