The Schiff show has come to town. Grab your tickets and get ready for the debacle. The New York Post is in the front row, with its cover for Wednesday released a day earlier.

The cover is a mock-up of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), as they begin their impeachment trial against the president, and they are depicted as a couple of clowns, with the headline, “GUILTY! NOW FOR THE TRIAL…”

In the write-up, columnist Michael Goodwin writes that Schiff “takes his magic act public Wednesday as the impeachment hearings burst out of a Capitol Hill dungeon and onto television. Donald Trump’s presidency and the 2020 election likely hang on whether Schiff’s sleight of hand can survive the bright lights of public exposure and cross-examination.”

“Operating in darkness, where he controlled the witness list and leaked snippets of testimony that the Dems’ media echo chamber turned into proof of Trump’s guilt, Schiff has been a first-rate illusionist,” Goodwin continued. Even his exterior calmness is deceptive; he burns with a zeal to kill the king.”

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), speaks with reporters after his committee voted in a closed session to send more than 50 interview transcripts from its now-closed Russia investigation to special counsel Robert Mueller, on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Feb. 6, 2019. (AP)

Taking his magic act public is a whole lot more pressure than just operating in secret behind closed doors. The audience can be pretty discerning when it comes to deception and sleight of hand.

With the president’s reputation and perhaps job on the line, “Shifty Schiff” will need more than a few tricks up his sleeve. He needs to convince the American public that the president has committed a crime.

Schiff told Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep on Tuesday, the president is guilty of bribery and “high crimes and misdemeanors,” which are impeachable offenses, reports NPR.

“Bribery, first of all, as the founders understood bribery, it was not as we understand it in law today. It was much broader,” Schiff said. “It connoted the breach of the public trust in a way where you’re offering official acts for some personal or political reason, not in the nation’s interest.”

Testimony this week will be heard from acting Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent on Wednesday, followed by ousted former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch on Friday. They have already had a rehearsal in secret, so they should be reasonably polished supporting acts.

“The basic allegations against the president are that he sought foreign interference in a U.S. election, that he conditioned official acts on the performance of these political favors,” Schiff continued. “And those official acts include a White House meeting that the president of Ukraine desperately sought with President Trump, as well as hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded military assistance for a country that is at war with Russia and a country that the United States has a deep national security interest in making sure it can defend itself.”

Remember, the Mueller report fell flat without a whimper, so Democrats then turned their attention to Ukraine, creating something out of nothing. But, can it pass scrutiny? That rabbit in the hat may turn out to be a fish dead in the water.

Democrats then might be able to get themselves back in order and take care of the problems besieging the nation. Forget about card tricks and the like. We’ve seen them all before.

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