Live from music row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 am to 8:00 am – Leahy was joined on the newsmakers line by Representative Scott DesJarlais about the Soviet-style impeachment led by Adam ‘Shifty’ Schiff.
During the show, DesJarlais made it clear that the goal post by Democrats continues to shift due to inter-party confusion potentially as a result of Republican agreement to allow a quick process. He also admitted concern for more important legislation that is being neglected at the expense of Americans, Mexico and Canada because the Democrats fear a win for the President.
He stated, ‘I know the Democrats would vote for it. I know the people that are pushing it out there. They just don’t want Trump to get that win. they’d rather see America fail than Trump succeed. It’s hurting our farmers. It’s hurting our businesses. It hurts Canada. It hurts Mexico. Purely political and that’s a sham. We’ve got legislation to lower prescription drug prices. We’ve got to secure the border.’
Leahy: We are joined now by Representative Scott DesJarlais who represents the 4th congressional district in Congress. Good morning Representative DesJarlais.
DesJarlais: Good morning, Micheal.
Leahy: It’s Halloween and you’re up in Washington, D.C. and I think momentarily in a few hours you will be called to go and vote on this witchhunt resolution that the Democrats are putting for a vote today. When do you expect that vote will happen?
DesJarlais: It should be here in about an hour and a half or so.
Leahy: Well, I read this piece by Liz Harrington who is the Republican National Committees spokesperson. And the title is, ‘The Democrats are holding a Soviet-style show trial to overthrow the duly elected President of the United States, Donald Trump. Not an impeachment inquiry.’ Tell me what it looks like to you up there in the midst of this fight.
DesJarlais: It looks like their minds have been made up for a long time. This started three years ago with the Russia collusion investigation. And you remember Adam Schiff assuring all of us that there was hard evidence. That the President would be indicted. He had proof of that.
And then, of course, that didn’t work out so well for him. These folks have had their minds made up a long time ago because they don’t’ want to face Donald Trump in the election next November. Because frankly, their field of candidates is very week. So they feel like their best chances are to sully him through this process.
And fortunately, the Ukraine situation doesn’t have the teeth that the Russian situation had the way it was played out. Special council so on and so forth. And of course, that turned out to be a dud. So they’ve decided to hang their hat on this. The Democrats will have their impeachment in the House.
That’s predetermined. 10 of 13 members on the intelligence committee have already said they wanted to impeach the President and that was before the July 25th call. So this is just their way of telling the American people they want to undo the outcome of an election that they couldn’t accept.
Leahy: If you sit down and have a conversation with one of these Democratic members of the House, do you point out to them that this is utterly destructive to the country and it undermines our constitutional republic? Have you ever had that conversation with them and do their eyes glaze over if you have that comment?
DesJarlais: It depends on who you talk to. I’ve talked to a few of the Democrats that I don’t think will vote in favor of this resolution today. And we go back to ’98. There was a process there. There was a special investigator with Ken Starr. It was a fair and open process.
And the people got to decide whether President Clinton was impeached in the House but not in the Senate. You know that’s going to be the outcome here. The difference here is this process isn’t fair. Adam Schiff leaks the information to the press that he wants the people to hear.
If they were so confident that this president committed a high crime and misdemeanor, why wouldn’t they want this to be an open and fair process? Because right now, the reason they’re having this vote today is because of the pressure we put on them as Republicans to ask for a fair process has gotten through to a lot of the American people.
And they’re looking at this as a kind of kangaroo court or as you said a Soviet-style hearing. So they’re trying to backtrack and take the turd out of the punch bowl if you will. But I don’t think that can be done. I think the damage has already been done.
Leahy: Yeah. It’s a very compromised inquiry. It’s clearly a violation of the President’s due process. My guess is, I think they need like 18 defectors from the Democratic party to defeat this resolution. I don’t see that happening. I think maybe four or five Democrats will defect and that no Republicans will defect. Is that how you see it? I know you’re not the whip up there.
DesJarlais: No, I think that’s probably spot on. Three to five will vote against it. I don’t believe any Republicans will vote for it. Justin Amash who’s declared himself as an Independent. Wouldn’t surprise me if he voted for it. But that would be about it.
Leahy: After this show trial continues and total violation of the due process rights. When do you expect the formal articles of impeachment will be presented and voted on by the full House?
DesJarlais: You know, that seems to be a moving goalpost as well. First Nancy Pelosi wanted to strike while the iron was hot. And we thought that they’d wrap this up pretty quickly. And for Republicans we just kind of wanted to get out of the way. So we were in favor of a quick process.
And because we were in favor of a quick process I think they scratched their heads and said, ‘Maybe we need to drag this out.’ I’m not sure exactly what’s going on. I think initially they wanted to get it done by Thanksgiving. Then I hear, well they want to get it done by Christmas.
And now they want to get it done before the Iowa caucuses in February so it doesn’t look like an election ploy to sully the President. Even though that’s exactly what it is. So they’re kind of struggling within their own caucus on how to play this out.
Leahy: Have you ever met Adam ‘Shifty’ Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee? And can you tell us, is he as arrogant and condescending in person as he appears to be on television?
DesJarlais: I’ve not had that much contact with him. Certainly, I’ve been around him for several years. I don’t know that I’ve ever had a meaningful conversation with him. He seems to keep to himself. He’s been appointed the ‘Impeacher-in-Chief’ rather than going through the process.
Technically, Jerry Nadler and the judiciary committee could be handling this but I don’t think their own leadership wants him to do it. So he’s going to continue to hide out in his bunker and deny the Republicans and the President due process. He’ll leak to the press what he thinks helps the case.
Because after all, this is about just what they can get out into the press and the American people. They don’t care about the truth. This will hopefully change some people’s minds. We’re going to have an election next November. The Senate will dispense of this and we’ll have our election. They’ll still have to put forth a candidate and the people will decide ultimately as it should be.
Leahy: How frustrating is it for you. You’re a problem-solving kind of guy. To be in the House of Representatives when apparently the only thing they want to do or that’s on the agenda is this show trial, Soviet-style impeachment show trial of the President? Nothing else is happening!
DesJarlais: Yeah. It’s very frustrating. There are two things that immediately come to mind that could and should be taken care of now. Actually, the US Mexico/Canada trade agreement should have been done months ago. The Democrats are on board. Any day they could have brought that to a vote on the floor in the last couple of months and it would have passed easily.
I know the Democrats would vote for it. I know the people that are pushing it out there. They just don’t want Trump to get that win. they’d rather see America fail than Trump succeed. It’s hurting our farmers. It’s hurting our businesses. It hurts Canada. It hurts Mexico. Purely political and that’s a sham. We’ve got legislation to lower prescription drug prices. We’ve got to secure the border.
Leahy: And on those notes. Lack of Democratic action other than to impeach in the show trial. We say ‘thank you’ to Representative Scott DesJarlais. Scott, please come back and join us again.
DesJarlais: Absolutely, Mike. Thanks for having me on.
Listen to the full third hour:
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