Here we are, the House Inquiry Committee hearings are over. I hear the president’s approval ratings have gone up slightly and calls for impeachment are down. The latter doesn’t surprise me because Americans aren’t into nuance these days.
I get a kick out of my conservative friends and online adversaries parroting the Republican House Inquiry committee members word- for- word, as if the president’s guilt or innocence came down to the testimony of the fact witnesses.
Some online posted a YouTube clip of their favorite representative’s words that were supposed to document a slam dunk for the president. i.e. “Trump never said he wanted a quid pro quo.” They never responded when I posted: Mick Mulvaney said it was a “quid pro quo” on national TV, probably because he knew it was going to get out anyway. I also reminded them that Fiona Hill’s recalling that John Bolton called Rudy Giuliani a “hand grenade” because of his shadow Ukraine foreign policy. Finally, I also reminded them that Ambassador Gordon Sondland said there was “quid pro quo” and named all those in the loop.
It would take a suspension of disbelief to think that President Trump didn’t want the vulnerable new president of Ukraine to say he was opening an investigation on his 2020 opponent before he could receive congressionally approved aid that was also certified as worthy, by the Defense Department. This is the same Donald Trump who settled a $25 million Trump University fraud case and recently paid a $2 million fine for diverting money from his veteran fundraiser to his campaign. To hear the Republicans on the committee, Trump was overly concerned over corruption. I hope a conservative friend of mine never says that because he would probably get angry with me when I burst out laughing. Come on, this is your friend from the last 30 years. Donald Trump has been a bully all his life.
Pundits are saying that the hearings are boring and people were tuning out. Were the hearings supposed to rival the “OJ Simpson trial?” Perhaps they got confused when Jim Jordon and Devin Nunes were asking questions about Crowdstrike,2016 Ukraine political interference in our election or the amount of money Hunter Biden made a month. One day Devin Nunes said he made $83,000 a month and the very next day he said he made $50,000 a month. I would hate to have him as my accountant.
This saying has been thrown around to describe the action of the minority party after each hearing. “If the facts are against you, argue the law. If the law is against you, argue the facts. If the law and the facts are against you, pound the table and yell like hell” ― Carl Sandburg. The Republicans were at the hearings to muddy the waters so people tuning in would say” it’s the same old Democrats v Republicans.” It’s the reason Jim Jordon was recently added to the committee. Representative Jordon had no qualms about going after a decorated war hero. I did notice that neither he or Congressman Mike Turner chose to go after Fiona Hill. I wonder why?
I thought RW boogieman, Adam Schiff did an excellent job as committee chairman but like the old saying” you can lead a horse to water…but you can’t make him drink.” Chairman Schiff summoned an array of excellent fact witnesses. I am sorry many of them have left the service because I can sleep at night knowing that they were on the job.
Monday will be an interesting day because it’s the day the courts will decide if former White House counsel Don McGahn will be allowed to testify. The John Bolton decision will rely on the court's ruling. The McGahn ruling will decide the “obstruction” part of the impeachment articles.
I wish Democrats on the panel would have pushed back on Jim Jordon’s talking points by telling him that Trump didn’t win by a landslide. Trump’s 304-227 electoral win is at the bottom five. They could have added that Nixon won 520-17 but that didn’t stop the impeachment drive on him.
I’m glad Adam Schiff didn’t stoop to the level as some on the Republican side by not outing the whistleblower. I’m glad Mr. Schiff made it clear that Joe and Hunter Biden nor the whistleblower would be available to the republicans. If they were really interested in a fair and fact-finding inquiry, they would have asked the president to allow Mike Pompeo, Mick Mulvaney, John Bolton, Steve Mnuchin and the head of Management and Budget to testify. Rudy Giuliani is pretty busy with SDNY right now.
It’s funny that Senator Graham wants the State Department to give him documents to investigate Joe Biden. They’ve had Joe’s phone calls for over three years when Republicans controlled both chambers. They didn’t find it worthy of the investigation back then. The 2019 State Department refused to turn over documents to the House Inquiry Committee. We’ll see how that goes.
My friends keep asking me “why to impeach if you can’t remove.” I tell them that Congress (even if it’s only one party) cannot ignore a clear case of bribery and if McGahn testifies, a case of obstruction of justice. It not only emboldens this president but it empowers him even more and what about future presidents. I think a censure of the president in the well of the House would make a reprimand something that Trump can’t define as winning. That’s all we have because there are not twenty principled Republicans in the Senate to remove. Until yesterday, I used to think Congressman Will Hurd was a principled Republican. He said he had not seen enough to impeach!
To some, it’s a game but it’s a historical event that should not be taken lightly. I was disappointed that in an unofficial poll of my hometown readers, only 30% said they had watched the impeachment hearings and 56% said they had not. I understand many are working but they could have recorded them but anyway, 50% would have satisfied me. I will admit I got a little drowsy at times and it was hard remembering those Ukrainian names but I do remember timelines…..At about 4:19 AM Congress released a memo saying they were going to investigate the withholding of aid to Ukraine based on a whistleblower’s complaint. About an hour later, Ambassador Sondland called Trump known as “the call.” The aid was released shortly after. Practically overnight Ukraine rid themselves of all corruption. SMH