Evidence presented by the House Intelligence Committee, during these past two weeks of public hearings, leaves no doubt that Donald tRump is guilty of impeachable offenses. By comparison, Richard Nixon’s crimes were child’s play.
Ken Starr, the Special Counsel who was so determined to impeach President Bill Clinton, that after a five-year investigation into his White Water real estate deal turned up nothing, he impeached him for lying about a consensual sex act, says:
“it’s over for Trump. Democrats know the president, in fact, committed the crime of bribery.” ~Ken Starr
Starr is correct in that Democrats know tRump is guilty. As for it being “over,” it should be over before inauguration, if not then, it should have been “over” with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report, but we’re talking about the Teflon Don, nothing sticks. He is protected by the Department of Justice headed by Attorney General Bill Barr, the State Department, led by Mike Pompeo, the Republicans in Congress, and he has stacked the courts in his favor.
The entire GOP is taken an active part in protecting this corrupt administration, and their resistance to letting the truth be heard and their unwillingness to take a stand against corruption can only make one wonder at their level of involvement.
On Thursday, the last day of impeachment proceedings so far, we heard from Dr. Fiona Hill, a British-born American foreign affairs specialist, and a former top-ranking official at the U.S. National Security Council specializing in Russian and European affairs.
“I would ask that you please not promote politically-driven falsehoods that so clearly advance Russian interests.”~ Dr. Fiona Hill
She unmasked witnesses Kurt Volker and Gordon Sondland.
“He was being involved in a domestic political errand. And we were being involved in national security foreign policy. And those two things had just diverged.” ~Dr. Fiona Hill
Hill wrapped up the case for impeachment nicely. Republicans had nothing to counter her testimony, so they used their time to redirect the narrative, disregarding Hill’s request to stop pushing Russian talking points.
Representative Elise Stefanik, (NY-21,) the GOP wunderkind, used the time she was allotted to question witnesses, to attack Chairman Schiff’s character. She repeated the lie that it was Ukraine, not Russia who interfered in our election, she complained that the whistleblower was unknown, (whistleblowers are protected by law for good reason,) she attacked the Bidens, and she even interjected President Obama: “TRUMP is the one who provided the Javelins, NOT Obama.” ~Stefanik
Devin Nunes, whose often frantic behavior first garnered my attention back in the spring of 2018, when he sprinted across the White House lawn in the dark of night, to share information with the administration, then called an impromptu press conference to announce that he was in possession of a memo that proved President Obama had ordered the surveillance of tRump, is practiced in the art of unfounded conspiracy theories and propaganda.
He used his time, not to question witnesses, but to read his prepared speech complaining about the unfairness of the proceedings, to demand Hunter Biden and the whistleblower testify, and to push the Russian talking point that it was Ukraine that hacked the 2016 US election,
Nunes is compromised, but how?
Democratic Representative Swalwell (D-CA) entered into evidence in Thursday a Daily Beast article that uncovered Nunes’ financial ties to the recently indicted Guiliani associate Lev Parnas, who recently asked through his attorney to testify before Congress. He’s willing to disclose which GOP members he gifted financial rewards. And as for Nunes, Parnas is willing to testify that he was told directly by the former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Victor Shokin that Nunes had met with him in Vienna to get dirt on Biden.
Schiff presented his case, impeccably. Most witnesses were nonpartisan, lifetime public servants, the exceptions being Gordon Sondland, Kurt Volker, and Tim Morrison. They were witnesses selected by the GOP.
Morrison had only been in his job for a short time, and seemed to have been called as a witness solely to try to discredit Leutenent Colonol Alexander Vindman.
Volker and Sondland were two of the “three amigos,” whose mission was to extract a public announcement from Ukraine’s new President that he was opening an investigation into the Biden’s.
Volker’s testimony was nonsensical. He “corrected” previous statements, because his memory had been jarred listening to others. He feigned ignorance and would have us believe he was naive enough to be unaware he was committing extortion. He was carrying out tasks without knowing the big picture.
Sondland’s testimony eviscerated GOP talking points. He said, “there was quid pro quo,” “nothing was done without the president’s knowledge,” “everyone is in the loop,” and “we were following the president’s orders.” Sondland’s demeanor was thick with charm and humor, but his memory was often conveniently lacking. It was difficult to believe he was genuinely forthcoming, particularly because he had tweaked his testimony for a third time to coincide with what other witnesses said about him.
To describe the selective memory loss of Volker and Sondland, John Dean, Nixon’s White House Counsel, quoted a phrase coined by John Ehrlichman, another Nixon era White House attorney, during the Watergate impeachment: ‘Modified Limited Hangout’ is laying out the basic information without implicating oneself.
Republicans in Congress are responding to the clear case of abuse of power and extortion by attacking the character of the most compelling witnesses. They would have us believe they’re all lying. Similarly, they would have us ignore that Donald Trump, Mike Pence, Mike Pompeo, Bill Barr, Rick Perry, Mick Mulvaney, Robert Blair, John Eisenberg, Rudy Giuliani, Charles Kupperman, Brian McCormack, Michael Ellis, and John Bolton, refuse to testify.
“We’re not foreclosing the possibility of additional depositions or hearings, but we’re also not willing to wait months and months and let them play rope-a-dope with us in the courts,” ~Adam Schiff
I can’t imagine anyone improving on Chairman Schiff’s handling of the hearings. In just two weeks, he offered enough evidence to impeach and remove tRump and to open investigations into Pence, Pompeo, Sondland, Volker, Giuliani, and others. With ANY congress other than this compromised group of traitors, this would be a done deal.
The GOP strategy now mirrors that of Bill Barr with his 4-page synopsis of the 400 page Mueller report. Barr claimed the report cleared Trump despite the opposite being true. The GOP continues to forward that lie. They’re doing the same now, claiming witnesses offered only hearsay.
As of now, there are no other witnesses scheduled to testify before the House Intel Committee for the impeachment of the most unethical man to occupy the Oval Office.
Chairman Schiff may be drawing the articles of impeachment, but it’s also possible he’s waiting until a judge rules, presumably on Monday, as to whether he can compel unwilling witnesses to testify. If so, there will be more hearings, and if not, the case moves on to the House Judiciary Committee.
Democrats in the House could drag out this process as long as necessary for a favorable outcome. I trust their judgment. If they have to wait until Senate Majority Leader McConnell loses his monopoly in the Senate, then that’s what they’ll do.