Open Impeachment Hearing #1

The counsel for the Republicans asked questions that had Bill Taylor wondering if the Dems had slipped him a stool softener

The first open impeachment hearing went well for America but bad for Trump. Bill Taylor and George Kent were credible witnesses. Committee chair Adam Schiff ran a tight, professional meeting. The Republicans made asses out of themselves, as expected, but Schiff never let them take control. Most of them deferred to Gym Jordan because he’s willing to make a bigger ass out of himself than anybody else. Adam Schiff’s opening statement framed the day and laid out the facts.

George Kent went first. After he read his statement he closed by acknowledging the foreign born public servants who have honorably and patriotically served their country so that maybe some of the Republicans in the room would think again about questioning the loyalty of immigrant diplomats.

Bill Taylor was no match for the Republicans. He is highly educated, articulate, accomplished, honorable, trustworthy, and patriotic. Everything that the GOP is not. His statement was jaw dropping. He made the point that Ukraine was under attack and that extortion of an ally at a moment of extreme vulnerability put untold lives at risk. Ukraine has suffered under Russia and really needs our help. People are dying every week. He was directed by Mike Pompeo and Trump to go to Ukraine. Gordon Sondland told him that Trump was withholding aid until President Zelensky met his demands by creating dirt on the Bidens. He testified that one of his staff members heard Trump ask Gordon Sondland about the status of the investigations on July 26 and Sondland told him that they were “ready to move forward.” He told the committee, “Sondland said Trump wanted President Zelensky in a public box” and “the Russians would love to see the humiliation of President Zelensky at the hands of the Americans”.

A little history of our relationship with Ukraine: For 5 years the US has been helping Ukraine get free from Russia. The US has a vested interest in Ukraine’s success. For 75 years the west has been united in its stance against the USSR/Russia. Ukraine broke free from Russia in 1991 and wants to be part of that alliance. 5 years ago there was a revolution in Ukraine, forcing the corrupt pro-Russia leadership out of the country. Russia retaliated by invading northern Ukraine and they’ve been at war ever since. 13,000 Ukranians have died fighting Russia. Europe’s security and prosperity is linked to our security and prosperity. If Europe is whole, free, and at peace, America is whole, free and at peace. Same goes for Ukraine. Trump screwed that all up by getting into bed with Putin and bribing Ukraine. Russia used to be a common enemy. Trump has changed all that, making things in the west uncertain for the first time since the end of WWII.

When it was Devin Nunes’ turn to read his statement he went all out deep state. Nude pictures of Trump…..the Steele dossier…..hoax…..corrupt media……Trump is being accused of being a Russian agent……falsely accused of colluding with WikiLeaks……..Democrats scorched earth war against Trump….a media smear campaign……..the House Democrats have been impeaching Trump for 3 years (they’ve only had power for 10 months)…….secret closed door meetings……..Hillary Clinton…….Hunter Biden…….whistleblower…….This is supposed to be a bi partisan process without Republican support…… Democrats lied to the American people on national television…….. Democrats accuse Republicans of doing the same thing they’re doing………This is a televised theatrical performance staged by the Democrats…….The witnesses passed the audition…….The Russian hoax has ended and the witnesses have been cast in the low rent Ukranian sequel……The Democrats are in charge, not the president……This is an impeachment process in search of a crime. Phew. Lots of crazy shit to unpack there so don’t even try.

“This Devin Nunes opening statement is what a kitchen sink hitting a Congressional microphone sounds like” — Seth Abramson

Here’s the gist of what we now know about the Ukraine scandal - Rudy Giuliani is a mobster who was dealing with other mobsters in Ukraine to take cash in on a gas company, Naftogaz. Everything was going their way until the people elected a new president with a parliament that is not corrupt. They want to be a legitimate western democracy and part of NATO. To get around the new good guys, Rudy had to find a way to get rid of Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch. He created a back channel with Gordon Sondland and Kurt Volker to bribe Ukraine to get them to say they hacked the 2016 election, not Russia, and that Hunter Biden is corrupt. Rudy found dirty prosecutors in Ukraine who were willing to make shit up about the Bidens to kill Joe’s campaign so Trump could win re-election and he got Trump to smear and fire Marie Yovanovitch. Since Ukraine was so young and vulnerable, they needed America’s help to fight Russia. Military aid was approved by Congress but Trump told the new president that he was going to hold it until he got what he wanted. People died because of this.

The Republicans have nothing. Trump is indefensible so they’ll just try and trip the witnesses and Democrats up with process complaints, conspiracy theories, and yielding their time to Gym Jordan to put on a grunt and poop show.

Meanwhile down the hall at Capitol Hill, the House Judiciary Committee passed legislation to clear the way for ratification for the Equal Rights Amendment which will guarantee equal rights for women in our constitution. Democrats can chew gum, run impeachment meetings, pass legislation, and amend the constitution at the same time.

This is not a criminal trial. It is a political proceeding about the abuse of power. After he’s gone he can be brought to trial for his crimes. For political purposes, this is conclusive. Trump is guilty of abusing his power to take advantage of a young, developing democracy and jeopardizing our national security, our democracy, and people’s lives. He must be impeached.

“The question is not whether Trump did it — it’s whether he’ll get away with it” — Michael H Fuchs

Tomorrow is Day #2 of the open impeachment hearings. Next up: Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch.

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Daily Crime Report - recounts of Trump and the Republicans’ daily disasters, with puns. Read them all in quarterly reports in The Treason Chronicles on Kindle.