Why did Adam Schiff beat up Joseph Maguire?

While driving the back country roads of Maine yesterday listening to the House Intelligence Committee Hearing on the radio about Donald Trump’s July 25th call with the Ukrainian president my first thought was “Adam Schiff is blowing it.”

Campaign signs decorated the rural landscape as harbingers of the election coming and while contemplating the gravity of that fact I was struck by the arrogant tone of Schiff’s grandstanding in contrast to the humility of the witness, Joseph Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence. It was a daytime drama that raised many good questions including why is the leading Democrat beating up one of the good guys?

For what purpose was the Chair of the House Intelligence Committee smearing the reputation of Maguire — a decorated public servant — before he had the opportunity to speak and before all the evidence was collected? To convince the liberal base Trump should be impeached? To cajole the witness into spilling the beans? To agitate his Republican colleagues?

Of course Devin Nunes and his minority would stomp their feet and throw a fit — that’s their job. The majority party — especially on such an important occasion — has the privilege and burden of governing, right? Schiff blew it because he appeared to be campaigning when there was no need for it.

The facts speak for themselves. Anyone who reads the transcript of the call and the whisleblower complaint knows there is trouble in Trump Tower.

Anyone who heard his testimony Thursday knows Joseph Maguire is not the problem.

Maquire was the reasonable man. He was the hero Joe-Public in her pick up truck heard Thursday. Maguire is doing a hard job admirably, and he threatened to resign if he couldn’t speak freely to Congress about it. Maguire supported the whisleblower, worked with the Inspector General and navigated the thorny executive privilege issue within a couple of weeks and Schiff is outraged? Schiff is disappointed?

If you think you would have automatically looked at Title 50 of the United States Code and delivered the August 12, 2019 whistleblower complaint to the Intelligence Committee within 7 days of receiving it from the OIG you are full of it. It is not that simple or cut-and-dry and Adam Schiff knows it. The processing of the whistleblower complaint has been at light speed! I know. I represent whistleblowers who wait years to have their complaints resolved.

And, please. The suggestion that the application of a six and a half page single-spaced federal statute to this incredibly bizarre set of facts is “crystal clear” and that “shall means shall” is offensive. “Urgent concern” is a defined term in the statute. Whether a report that President Trump used the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 election is a violation of the law relating to “an intelligence activity within the responsibility and authority of the Director of National Intelligence” is not obvious at all. It’s unprecedented. Maguire’s description of his efforts to protect the whistleblower and obey the law were impressive and convincing.

Anyone not entrenched in DC partisan political warfare heard in Maquire what they want in government and they heard the leading Democrat attack him. Not a great campaign strategy.

The liberal base of the Democratic Party doesn’t need convincing about impeachment. If the purpose of the hearing on Thursday was ascertaining the truth, Schiff jumped to conclusions. If the purpose was winning elections Schiff lost votes.