Historic impeachment hearing rolls on

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We would love to read the transcript, Mr. President. But all we’ve been given — by you and your White House staff — is a summary of a phone call with the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky on July 25. But even in that summary you indict yourself by saying, “I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike … I guess you have one of your wealthy people … The server, they say Ukraine has.it. There — are a lot. of things that went on, the whole situation … I think you are surrounding yourself with some of the same people. I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it. As you said yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance, but they say a lot of it started with Ukraine. Whatever you can do, it’s very important that· you. do it, if that’s possible.”

He then goes on in the phone call to bring up the Bidens, Joe and Hunter, and proposes that the newly elected and seated president of Ukraine engage in a Kremlin (i.e. Vladimir Putin) conspiracy theory that has been debunked and was described as a “fictional narrative” by former White House intelligence expert Fiona Hill. In her opening statement to the Intelligence Committee hearings Hill said, “Based on questions and statements I have heard, some of you on this committee appear to believe that Russia and its security services did not conduct a campaign against our country — and that perhaps, somehow, for some reason, Ukraine did. This is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves.

Rep. Katherine Clark

“The unfortunate truth is that Russia was the foreign power that systematically attacked our democratic institutions in 2016. This is the public conclusion of our intelligence agencies, confirmed in bipartisan Congressional reports. It is beyond dispute, even if some of the underlying details must remain classified.”

And so on this morning, as the House of Representatives take up the debate on whether to impeach President Trump, or not, it’s important to remember why he is being impeached and look at a part, maybe the most important reason, Donald John Trump will be the third president in our history to be impeached. He gave aid and comfort to an adversary, then tried to cover it up, first by obstructing justice (as noted in the Mueller Report) and then by obstructing Congress.

No one is impeaching him because he’s a clown, that he is painfully and dangerously incompetent as president, or even for the policy of putting babies in cages, without their parents. He won’t be impeached for his socialist style bailout of the farming industry with price supports — in all fairness Democrats are for that aid because Trump’s trade wars have hurt so many farmers. Trump won’t be impeached for supporting the corrupt and murderous regimes in Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Russia. Well, actually, this impeachment has something to do with his support of the corrupt and murderous regime of Vladimir Putin in Russia.

Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA)

Trump won’t be impeached for his campaign finance violations when he paid off two mistresses, through his former lawyer/fixer, Michael Cohen, who is doing time right now for those very crimes. He isn’t being impeached because he said there are white supremacists who are fine people. He isn’t being impeached for calling certain nations “shithole countries.”

Donald John Trump is being impeached because he abused the power of his office to extort an ally for personal political gain and then obstructed Congress when the House of Representatives tried to investigate. You can read the full text of the Articles of impeachment, without any talking head analysis or comment. Read them for yourself. We can also find all the testimony from the witnesses called by the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees on C-SPAN’s YouTube channel. Watch the testimony and read the articles of impeachment and decide: Does this president deserve to be impeached?

Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA)

The Republicans in the House of Representatives have been putting up roadblocks at every juncture. They have claimed they have been shut out of the process when in reality Republicans have had equal opportunity to participate in all the hearings, closed and open and the president was invited to participate in the hearings, either in person or with his lawyers. But the White House declined.

Republicans want us to believe they were not allowed to call witnesses, but that is not the case. In all fairness, they weren’t allowed to call witnesses that would have promoted Russian propaganda as the president’s defense. The Minority in the Judicial Committee also wanted to call the chairman of the Intelligence Committee as a witness. What the hell was all that about? There are transcripts of the public hearings, plus video footage of it all, from various sources, everything the Intelligence Committee’s report was based on, is available. But, since Adam Schiff had the dual role of being the committee chair and the chief investigator, the GOP wants a chance to grill him with questions.

Plus, they want to expose the whistleblower, who had gone to the intelligence committee to register a whistleblower complaint. That office instructed the person on how to properly, legally, register a complaint. From the Republicans extrapolated that Schiff and the whistleblower coordinated the whistleblower report. There’s no evidence to support that theory, but then there’s no evidence to support the Russian propaganda the GOP is trying to use in the president’s defense.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal

Oh yeah, then there was Devin Nunes’ phone number getting caught up in the investigation into a Rudy Giuliani chum, Lev Parnas, who is now on house arrest awaiting trial. Why was the ranking member of the intelligence committee calling a corrupt Ukrainian businessman? We may never know because the Republicans want to know who identified the congressman’s phone number. Common sense would say the law enforcement investigators who are looking into all of the defendant’s contacts.

It would also seem of interest to the intelligence committee to know why the ranking member of the committee was in contact with Parnas, a man who is now charged with trying to direct foreign funds into U.S. political campaigns. But, the GOP is not interested in facts or even common sense. Their only interest is showing the president their slavish devotion to him. That includes defending the ranking members’s connections to a man who is now a defendant in a criminal case.

As I’m writing this: during the debate Wednesday morning one of the Republican speakers inserted the Russian propaganda into the record. My guess is that won’t be the only time it is mentioned — Louie Gohmert is still out there and brought it up in the Judiciary hearings. Mike Rodgers of Alabama just said it was the deep state … conspiracy theories, don’t you love them?

Speaker of the House
Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

Yes, it’s likely the Republican-controlled Senate will give the president a pass. Both the Majority Leader Moscow Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have said they have made their decisions before the Senate Trial and McConnell also told Fox News he was coordinating everything with the White House counsel. Before the House even votes on impeachment the results in the Senate are a done deal. Just as the result of this hearing is a done deal.

The Republicans will spend all day saying there is no evidence of President Trump committing a crime, but as Washington Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) stated, the president himself is the smoking gun. There is ample video of Trump on the lawn of the White House telling reporters he wanted Ukraine President Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Biden and his son Hunter. And then he invited China to investigate the Bidens. Those are the verifiable facts.

Then, early this morning we were treated to the president’s response to this impeachment. This man is unhinged and unfit to be president.

All photos are YouTube screenshots from the House impeachment hearings