Democrats are trying to convince Americans that President Trump should be ousted for trying to “dig up dirt” on a rival. They’d have more credibility if they didn’t abuse their surveillance powers for drive-by smears of Republicans and a free press.
Adam Schiff’s 300-page House Intelligence impeachment report doesn’t include much new about Mr. Trump’s Ukrainian interventions. But it does disclose details of telephone calls between ranking Intelligence Republican Devin Nunes, Trump attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Jay Sekulow, reporter John Solomon, former Giuliani associate Lev Parnas, the White House, and others. The details are “metadata” about the numbers and length of the calls, not the content.
The impeachment press is playing this as if the calls are a new part of the scandal, but the real outrage here is Mr. Schiff’s snooping on political opponents. The Democrat’s motive appears to be an attempt to portray Mr. Nunes, a presidential defender and Mr. Schiff’s leading antagonist in Congress, as part of a conspiracy to commit impeachable offenses.
“It is, I think, deeply concerning, that at a time when the President of the United States was using the power of his office to dig up dirt on a political rival, that there may be evidence that there were members of Congress complicit in that activity,” Mr. Schiff told the press on Tuesday. Complicit in what? Doing his job of Congressional oversight? Talking to Mr. Trump’s lawyer to get a complete view of the Ukrainian tale? Apparently Mr. Schiff now wants to impeach Members of Congress too.
This is unprecedented and looks like an abuse of government surveillance authority for partisan gain. Democrats were caught using the Steele dossier to coax the FBI into snooping on the 2016 Trump campaign. Now we have elected members of Congress using secret subpoenas to obtain, and then release to the public, the call records of political opponents.