According to conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, congressional Democrats were banking on President Donald Trump sticking to conventional norms and not releasing the transcript of the phone call between himself and his Ukrainian counterpart.
That’s where their impeachment effort “Plan A” went wrong, Limbaugh argued on Thursday’s show.
“They rolled the dice that Trump would not reveal the transcript of the phone call in order to protect executive privilege, to continue to wage battle between Congress and the executive branch and the separation of powers,” the conservative said. “And they really believed that Trump and his advisers would go to the wall not releasing the transcript.”
If Trump did not release the transcript, the radio host argued, that would have allowed Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and his fellow congressional Democrats “to accuse Trump of exactly what got Nixon.”
Democrats, Limbaugh said, would accuse the president of engaging in a “cover-up” and “obstruction.”
“When the president released the transcript,” he said, “it immediately rendered the whistleblower irrelevant.”
“We then learned the whistleblower himself only knew secondhand what was said on the phone call,” Limbaugh noted. “Plan A was the whistleblower, with instant credibility, was to be the Christine Blasey Ford of this story. Except nobody was gonna get access to him. He was never going to testify because his life was threatened, remember? He was going to be kept under wraps because the president’s men were trying to kill him. The president’s men were trying to injure him. The president’s men were trying to find him. This was going to be the story. The whistleblower would never face cross-examination, would never face questions, would never be identified because what he had was so shocking, it would bring down the entire presidency.”
“That was Plan A” for the Democrats, Limbaugh emphasized. “Trump releases the transcript of his ‘perfect’ phone call with the president of Ukraine, and we find out that there’s nothing in it that is impeachable. There’s nothing in it that is criminal. It’s literally a nothingburger.”
“That’s when (Democratic Rep. Nancy) Pelosi should have canceled this,” the 68-year-old suggested. “But Schiff told her that he had it. Schiff told her he could still get the ball across the goal line.”
Most of Mr. Limbaugh’s Thursday show focused on the dismal showing Democrats had on the first day of the impeachment inquiry hearings. “The Schiff has hit the fan,” the host bellowed, highlighting the “despondent” mainstream media’s near blackout on impeachment talk mere hours after the hearing.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the Schiff has hit the fan. I’ve been running a test all morning long. I’ve been asking people, ‘So what is the big news today? What do you think the big news is?'” he said. “And I have not got a consensus of answers. And it is the most amazing thing. What happened yesterday, folks? Stick with me on this, now. What happened yesterday? What happened yesterday was we had an opening round of hearings into what? The impeachment of a president of the United States for the, what, fourth time in 300 years, 250 years.”
Partial transcript via RushLimbaugh.com