RUSH: All right. Has Nancy Pelosi started to panic yet? ‘Cause, folks, I have to tell you, based on the buildup and all morning today I was watching cable news, I’m going back and forth, and I’m hearing: The opening hour is gonna be a blockbuster. Schiff has got his two most powerful witnesses coming up, and it’s gonna be a blockbuster. You’re not gonna want to miss this.
And they lost the audience in the first 10 minutes of this thing after Schiff and Nunes finished their statements. I mean, it has been flat-out boring as a television show. Now, you may say, “Rush, that’s not the way to look at this.” But it is because that’s how it’s been promoted. It’s been promoted as a blockbuster hour, a blockbuster opening. And I’m telling you, folks, that’s not what this has been.
What we have here, what we really have here is exactly what I said yesterday. This is opening up for the American people to see exactly what this deep state is, whatever you want to call it. We have here a bunch of professional nerds who wear their bow ties and they have their proper diplospeak. And what are they upset about? They’re upset that Donald Trump used irregular channels on foreign policy, that he might have used — and they spit the name out — Rudy Giuliani, ew, yuk.
These guys are simply ticked off that they were not listened to. They are ticked off that they were not heard. I’ve been watching the questioning of Ambassador Taylor here. He is the big gun of the day. And the lawyer that Schiff hired to come in is actually an MSNBC contributor. This lead council, this Goldman guy, is from MSNBC, and he’s having to lead Taylor through every question. “Well, now, but then what did you say?”
“Well, I was…” (mumbling)
“But why did you say that?”
“And then after you said that, what did you say next?
“And then look at this text that you sent. What you mean by this text?”
The guy cannot say on his own — there hasn’t been a single crime announced. There hasn’t been a single impeachable offense named. There hasn’t been anything but a bunch of self-important, narcissistic, “We run the world” kind of guys really ticked off that they were ignored, that they were not listened to. This is about nothing more than policy disagreements. This is about nothing more than Donald Trump doing exactly what he was elected to do.
Adam Schiff lied through his teeth shortly after this began by claiming he doesn’t know the name of the whistleblower. Stop and think of this. Schiff says he doesn’t know the name of the whistleblower, but if the Republicans say the name, Schiff is gonna deal with ’em harshly. If Schiff doesn’t know the name of the whistleblower, how will he know if the Republicans use it in order to punish them?
Now, I kept waiting for the Kavanaugh equivalent here. I kept waiting for the mention of high crimes and misdemeanors and the bribery and all the outrageous things Donald Trump has done. And you know what it is? These guys are complaining that Ukraine didn’t get their aid in a sufficient amount of time. They never got their aid under Obama! They did get their aid to fight the Russians under Trump, and they’re trying to impeach Trump for delaying the aid that Ukraine eventually got.
When you boil it all down, these witnesses are making the case that there are no high crimes or misdemeanors. I mean, we have the transcript of the phone call between Trump and Zelensky. Why do we need to hear from these bureaucrats confused about their roles in the execution of the president’s foreign policy? Their noses are out of joint because they weren’t listened to, because they were not used.
You know, I kept waiting in the first 20 minutes. Where was the “Trump told the president to get dirt on Biden or screw you” meeting? Where was all of this that we have been promised? Where was all this blockbuster stuff that we have been led to believe happened? It still hasn’t been mentioned.
This was destiny, folks. Self-important nerds who do not understand how they are seen, do not understand how their work is perceived by people. They are from a different world, and it’s a world where they think they are in charge. It’s a world they think they run. And Donald Trump was elected president, has his own way of doing things that ignores them and leaves them out and their noses are out of joint and they are ticked off about it and so they’re joining other Democrats who want to get rid of Trump because he is rending them irrelevant.
He doesn’t need them to execute foreign policy. He doesn’t listen to them executing foreign policy, and for this — see, they’re not elected. They don’t get to determine foreign policy. But in their world, they do. In their world, they are in charge of foreign policy. They believe in their own superiority. They believe in their own competence and importance with a complete cluelessness.
George Kent was one of the first guys, he’s got the bow tie. He was whining to us about his blue-blood lineage telling us how important he is, sermonizing to us on the greatness of the deep state. And he finished with a nothing burger. We’re watching practiced arrogance. But the most important thing that’s missing here is any impeachable offense. There isn’t any crime that has been accused. There isn’t any impeachable offense that has been accused.
You know how bad it is? Up until about a half hour ago, CNN had nothing to chyron. Nobody had said anything that they could take out of context and make a glaring television headline out of. This is simply a policy disagreement thing. That’s all it is. Well, I mean, it’s much more than that, the attempt the Democrats are engaging in here. But the riff, the impeachable offense is that Trump is not from the Washington establishment. And he’s not doing things the way the Washington establishment expects nor wants to be done, and because of this, he poses a great challenge and risk and danger and so forth.
To give you an idea of the irony here, John Harwood tweeted that, “Ambassador Taylor makes clear the effect of Trump’s actions was to strengthen Vladimir Putin Putin’s Russia in its war against Ukraine, a U.S. ally struggling to defend itself.” This is literally insane. Trump’s actions have been to benefit Ukraine! It was Trump who saw to it that Ukraine got the Javelin missiles, that got their defense techniques, that got the arms that they had purchased.
Obama denied Ukraine all military assistance for eight years. Russia was able to come in and annex Crimea, and Ukraine was believing that we were gonna come in and defend. That’s why Ukraine disarmed under Obama, because we made a deal with ’em that we would come to their defense. And when they were attacked, we didn’t. Obama never provided Ukraine anything.
Where were these guys then? Where was their concern for Ukraine then? Now their only beef is that Trump delayed the delivering of aid because Rudy Giuliani got himself involved in a rogue way. You know, as I watch this, folks, it’s become abundantly clear to me that these people, that these two witnesses represent — call it whatever you will — the deep state, the foreign policy association, the establishment, the interagency group, it is clear that they think of themselves as a separate branch of government. It’s clear that they, in their minds, set foreign policy. And they don’t.
So we are watching an actual coup take place before our very eyes. We’re watching an attempt by the Democrats and Adam Schiff and all of their allies to create a case of incompetence and danger posed by President Trump because he avoids and doesn’t use the existing foreign policy interagency channels. And it’s all about policy differences.
But the thing that really struck me — let’s go back to this as a TV show. Forget the substance of it for a moment. The buildup to this was intense. I watched Fox. The Fox anchors and reporters today, of course they’re trying to stoke it. They want ratings for it. But every cable network was assuring us that Schiff was going to come out of the gate with the best he’s got. He’s gonna launch into Trump, it’s gonna be a blockbuster.
And, in fact, we put together a montage. Grab audio sound bite number 10. We put together a montage. We have been promised for weeks, just wait for the public hearings. Wait for the evidence to impeach Trump. It’s gonna be overwhelming. Here is that montage.
RO KHANNA: We will have the public hearings; the evidence will be overwhelming.
MARK WARNER: How overwhelming is the evidence?
JAMIE RASKIN: The evidence is absolutely overwhelming.
JOE BIDEN: There’s overwhelming evidence.
CHUCK TODD: …overwhelming evidence…
LAURENCE TRIBE: The evidence is overwhelming.
E.J. DIONNE: The evidence is too overwhelming.
LEON PANETTA: There is an overwhelming amount of evidence.
JONATHAN ALTER: The underlying evidence, it’s so overwhelming.
INDERJEET PARMAR: The overall evidence is overwhelming.
TERRY MCAULIFFE: There’s overwhelming evidence.
CHRISTINA GREER: There’s overwhelming evidence.
SEAN PATRICK MALONEY: The evidence is overwhelming.
CHRIS VAN HOLLEN: The evidence, to date, is overwhelming.
MAX BOOT: The evidence is overwhelming.
WILLIE GEIST: The evidence is so overwhelming.
HEIDI PRZYBYLA: …an overwhelming volume of evidence.
ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI: …an overwhelming cascade of evidence.
VAL DEMINGS: The evidence against the president is overwhelming.
CARL BERNSTEIN: We have some overwhelming evidence.
JAMES CARVILLE: (echo) The evidence is comin’! It’s going to be totally overwhelming.
RUSH: There wasn’t any evidence. There still hasn’t been any evidence. And that’s the whole thing. This has been boring. These people lost the audience in the first 10 minutes. These two guys lost the audience in the first 10 minutes. I’m standing here, I’m literally asking, is Pelosi panicking?
I remember Harold Ford on TV earlier this week saying that if this thing’s not going right, if Pelosi judges by Friday this thing isn’t going right, she may pull it. I don’t know if that’s gonna happen, but I’m telling you, folks, this is not anywhere near what they led the American people to expect. The American people that tuned into this I guarantee you didn’t make it past the first half hour if they made it that long, it was that dull, it was that boring, it was that pretentious, it was that self-important.
It was dull, it was lifeless, and all of that was combined with an arrogance that was impossible to miss. Compare it to the Kavanaugh hearings. What did we get in the Kavanaugh hearings? We got Blasey Ford. (imitating Ford) “I was raped. I was left on the side of the road to die and Kavanaugh didn’t care and then there was a rape train and Michael Avenatti came along and said he spiked the punch and we were all gonna die and Kavanaugh’s a mean SOB.” What was the equivalent? Zilch, zero, nada.
We hear about the interagency group. We hear about alternate channels. We hear about text messages, these guys on trains from London to Paris talking to each other about how shocked they are at the things that Trump is doing, using Rudy Giuliani. But there’s not one crime that was mentioned, there wasn’t one impeachable offense that was laid out, and now under questioning these guys don’t know where to go.
Their lawyer is having to lead these witnesses with a “and what did you think then?” (mumbling) “And after you said that, what did you think? (mumbling) “I want to make it clear… (mumbling) Sondland, Sondland, Sondland said it.” “Okay, then after Sondland said it, then what did you do and who did you tell?” (mumbling)
They are unable to provide any eyewitness testimony to anything because, folks, they didn’t see anything. Taylor and Kent, neither of these two witnesses have any serious firsthand knowledge of any of the key events. They were not on the phone call. They don’t have firsthand knowledge. They are filled with nothing but their expert opinions and their expert reactions to the outrages of the Donald Trump presidency and these alternate channels, sidestepping the interagency group.
Do you know that Taylor, the star witness today, has never spoken to President Trump about any of this? The star witness has never said a word to Donald Trump. He’s never had a conversation with him. This lawyer was just asking Taylor, “How important is a White House meeting to the president of Ukraine?” (mumbling) “Was Zelensky a new president?” (mumbling) “So how important is a meeting in the White House to a new president?” (mumbling) “Sondland.” (mumbling) “Volker.”
“And if he didn’t get that meeting do you think it would upset him?” (mumbling) “So if Trump told him that he couldn’t have the meeting unless he investigated the Bidens, do you think that would be bad?” (mumbling) “I never heard that. I can only tell you what I heard other people say.”
So when we get to the moment of truth, when we get to the question that’s gonna have the slam dunk answer, these guys punt. And so the evidence is being provided by the staff lawyer and his questions. And he’s not getting the answers that he wants. The very fact he has to ask these questions leading his witness, these are the star witnesses, these are the best that Schiff has got.
By the way, the Republicans did something great. After the opening statements some Republicans started asking Schiff for points of order. They started talking about the whistleblower, and Schiff was taken off of his game. He had no expectation that the Republicans were gonna try to disrupt, and they succeeded. And he was stumbling and bumbling around as he tried to reassert order.
The Republicans were not rude, don’t misunderstand. They asked for points of order. They asked questions. For example, “Mr. Chairman, are you going to tell us which questions we can and can’t ask, like you did in the closed-door sessions?” (imitating Schiff) “I I I I (stumbling) didn’t happen. I don’t know who the whistleblower is, I don’t know the whistleblower’s name.” Schiff openly lied yet again. And I’ll tell you something else obvious. Schiff’s opening statement was a boring lie of lies. It was nothing more than a recitation of nothing, because when he can’t lie about what Trump said in that phone call, when he can’t make it up, he’s got nothing. They’ve got nothing.
Now, that having been said — and I don’t want you to doubt me on this — when this is all over, the media is gonna take this and they’re gonna reshape it and recast it and they’re gonna try to make it look like it was one blockbuster after another. So later in the day when they get started doing that, don’t tell me you think I missed something. I’m telling you, folks, there was nothing. They’ve got nothing. They had nothing.
All they did was show their partisanship. All they did was expose the existence of the deep state to people. All they did was throw up a couple of boring guys who made it clear they were very unhappy to be left out of Trump’s foreign policy in Ukraine.