Witness Intimidation: A Primer

It’s snowing outside my window.

The brightness of the Christmas lights on our pine trees (yes, yes we have Christmas lights pre-Thanksgiving, don’t @ me) fades as daylight tries to peek through the ever-present gray clouds of a Minnesota winter morning.

Stores are already jam-packed on the daily with people vying for the best deal on that perfect gift.

This can only mean one thing.

IT’S CHRISTMAS MOVIE SEASON!

(Hey. I’ve got quite a few classics to get through in a very finite period of time.)

One of our family’s favorites is A Christmas Story. It’s packed with hilarious takes on life from the vantage point of a little boy who just wants a BB gun for Christmas, for Pete’s sake.

(And yes, he does very nearly shoot his eye out.)

One pillar of the movie is the bully—Scut Farkus, with the braces-lined grin and the yellow eyes (“he had YELLOW eyes!”)—who spends his days, well, bullying the other kids into submission. A favorite pastime of Scut’s was twisting a kid’s arm behind his back until he squealed “uncle” loud enough to satisfy Farkus’ sadistic spirit.

The very sight of Farkus and his little toadie Grover Dill was enough to make the kids do just about anything to avoid the daily punishment.

I couldn’t help but think of this today in a very different, much more serious context.

Do me a favor: google “intimidating the witness” right now. Don’t put any caveats or additions on the phrase; just google it as is. “Intimidating the witness”

What pops up?

Nearly every piece of news that makes its way to the top of good ol’ Google is something about how Donald Trump has been intimidating those being questioned in the impeachment inquiry hearings.

Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad. She started off in Somalia, how did that go?” tweeted the president in reference to the former Ambassador of Ukraine.

President Trump continued, “Tell Jennifer Williams, whoever that is, to read BOTH transcripts of the presidential calls, & see the just released [sic] ststement from Ukraine. Then she should meet with the other Never Trumpers, who I don’t know & mostly never even heard of, & work out a better presidential attack!” he tweeted in reference to the Department of State official.

Sensing yet another opportunity to make this an even bigger circus  Rep. Adam Schiff, leading the proceedings, has said: “we take witness intimidation very, very seriously.”

*Trump quivers with fear*

Eh, ok, I’ll be serious.

I’ll get back to Google.

Now, do you happen to see anything in reference to one Congressman Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, by chance?

Didn’t think so.

In fact, when this little nugget came to my attention courtesy of the 11.20.19 edition of the Rush Limbaugh show’s coverage of the hearing, I had to do some digging to actually find anything on the aforementioned Blumenauer’s involvement the impeachment inquiry at all.

Deep down in the depths of a publication out west called the Willamette Week, there’s an unassuming article about the Congressman, and his fiery tweet during Gordon Sondland’s testimony Wednesday.

Tweet

Not exactly shocking.

There’s a democrat who likes that a key witness in the inquiry used the words “quid pro quo”?

Kind of drab on its face; not exactly a headline.

Interestingly enough, however, Earl Blumenauer also just so happens to be the one who was calling for a boycott of Gordon Sondland’s hotel properties … until and unless Sondland would agree to testify.

Let’s remember: Sondland could have used executive privilege and NOT testified before the committee. But he agreed to.

Lo and behold, wouldn’t you know it: Congressman Blumenauer’s spokesman told the local publication that “Blumanauer quietly dropped his call for a boycott weeks ago, after Sondland agreed to testify.”

His (Blumanauer’s) intimidation campaign was briefly made a part of the inquiry when Republican Rep. Conway brought it up. “We have countless emails, apparently, to my wife. Our properties are being picketed and boycotted,” Sondland shared.

In The Atlantic this last month, there was a piece entitled “The Conspiracy of Silence Is Cracking: Trump’s stonewalling relies on the willingness of others to stay quiet, and Marie Yovanovitch and Gordon Sondland are opting out.”

Marie Yovanovitch wanted to be there. You could tell. But Sondland?

Sondland—well, I don’t know. But something smells off. The Atlantic continues: “A conspiracy of silence works only if people want to conspire.”

Eh, and what if said “people” were intimidated out of this so-called silence? Because that’s exactly what appears to have happened to Gordon Sondland.

Look, whether Sondland is good, bad or indifferent—the circumstances of Sondland’s agreeing to testify don’t exactly strike me as someone who was chomping at the bit to get in front of the committee.

Frankly that, ladies and gentlemen, is witness intimidation. Not whenever Trump breathes in the general direction of Twitter to opine on the proceedings.

This is serious. We’re not talking about minor issues here; we’re talking about the unseating of a duly elected president. Even if impeachment is merited (which so far there is zero actual evidence to support the calls beyond opinion and conjecture), it is an extremely grave affair.

There’s a reason why it has so seldom been levied against a president, and this is the first time it has been so levied on such absurdly thin grounds. And now, adding insult to injury, we’re watching the system be further damaged by witnesses who are coerced into appearing and saying what the left wants to hear—facts be hanged.

So the next time Adam Schiff runs in front of the camera to cry wolf about so-called presidential “witness intimidation,” a Democrat congressman was out there using his “congressional influence to try to bully and threaten a witness before these proceedings.”

Keep that in mind.

Mary Ramirez is a full-time writer, creator of www.afuturefree.com, and contributor to The Chris Salcedo Show on KSEV 700 Radio in Houston, and on Newsmax TV. She can be reached at: afuturefree@aol.com; or on Twitter: @AFutureFree

 

 

 

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