Opinion | National Security

Pavlich: Nadler's intimidation tactics backfire

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As the release date of the Mueller report moves further away from the forefront of America's memory, Democrats on Capitol Hill are desperate to keep their false narrative of Russian collusion and obstruction of justice alive.

Despite saying for years the results of the Mueller investigation would be accepted as fact, no matter what the outcome, Democrats refuse to move on. They're treading over old ground by holding their own hearings, issuing subpoenas and carrying out impeachment without the official green light from Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

During the special counsel investigation, Robert Mueller and his team of investigators issued 2,800 subpoenas, interviewed more than 500 witnesses and reviewed millions of documents. The White House was compliant and gave access to the witnesses they wanted to interview, with the exception of President Trump. That wasn't enough for the likes of House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), who has an old ax to grind with the commander in chief.

Last week, longtime Trump confidante and former White House communications director Hope Hicks flew from California to Washington, D.C., to testify in front of Nadler's charade. At that point she had already testified to congressional investigators, including to the House Intelligence Committee, about her time in the White House. She sat down with the Mueller team and answered endless questions about the 2016 presidential campaign. Neither congressional investigators nor Mueller found she engaged in any kind of criminal behavior, which brings us back to her recent testimony in front of the House Judiciary Committee.

Given her lack of criminality and refusal to falsely implicate her former boss in crimes he didn't commit, Nadler was desperate for a tactic to justify her presence on Capitol Hill. He said at the beginning of the hearing it is the duty of his committee to conduct oversight of the executive branch and then things quickly got personal.

"Ms. Lewandowski, I think, in reading this," Nadler stated, invoking former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. 

"My name is Ms. Hicks," she responded.

"I'm sorry, Ms. Hicks.  I'm preoccupied," Nadler said.  

Out of options and without a blessing of impeachment from Pelosi, there's no doubt Nadler did this on purpose. He feigned distraction, but considering he's the one who issued the subpoena for Hicks to testify, there's no chance he didn't know her name.  Especially since she was the only witness.

Adding insult to injury, Nadler was happy to allow his members to act in an unprofessional manner and said nothing as they took photos of Hicks on their personal phones while she testified

"Mr. Chairman, I think there are a number of people taking pictures here, and I just want to say that I think it's making the witness uncomfortable. And I would very much appreciate it as a courtesy, if nothing else, if we could," Hicks's attorney Bob Trout said, according to the transcript.

"That's fine. If people will please refrain from taking pictures," Nadler requested only after being prompted.

This was Nadler's way of attempting to intimidate the witness, knowing the transcript would be released to his Democratic allies in the media and the public.

But his attempt fell flat, prompting regular critics of the Trump administration to come to Hicks's defense and to turn a critical eye to the purpose of Nadler's "investigative" efforts.

"A, why are Congress people taking pictures of a witness if you're having a serious, prepared, thorough investigation, what is that all about?" CNN's John King asked. "And then B, for the conversation, Chairman Nadler himself who called off the picture taking there repeatedly referred to her as Ms. Lewandowski. Corey Lewandowski was the campaign manager. On several occasions he called her ... Ms. Lewandowski. Her name is Hope Hicks. He fought to get her testimony. He knows her name is Hope Hicks. At one point she said, 'My name is Hope Hicks, Mr. Chairman.' If you're going to make the case to the American people that you are conducting serious, credible investigations and you're prepared, why be amateur and offensive?"

If Nadler's true goal is to impeach President Trump, which his actions and statements indicate, he's going to need more than sexist insults to get him there.

Meanwhile, it's time to allow Hope Hicks to proudly move on with her life.

"I'm extremely grateful for the opportunity I had to serve, and, yes, I would do it all over again," Hicks said. "I would do anything to make a positive contribution for our country, and I'm very grateful I had that opportunity. I'm proud of my service, and I thank all of you for your service as well."

Pavlich is the editor for Townhall.com and a Fox News contributor.

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