Trump impeachment hearing

The US Congress is holding a hearing into the possible impeachment of President Donald Trump, with allegations he used the office of President to pressure the Ukraine into investigating a political opponent, Joe Biden.

Partisan lines have been drawn, with the Democrat majority in Congress pushing the impeachment process, while Republicans claim it is a virtual coup attempt.

A White House spokesperson called it boring and a sham, while of course Trump is grumpy about it all.

Remarkably (but probably not surprising given how politics and even law can work in the US these days) it is claimed that public opinion is the key to whether impeachment will proceed or succeed or not.

Real Clear Politics – Watch Live: House Impeachment Inquiry Hearing

Ambassador William Taylor and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent testify in the first day of public impeachment inquiry hearings before the House Intelligence Committee.

Chairman Adam Schiff opened the hearing by saying Trump’s alleged actions are not “compatible with the office of the presidency.”

Republican ranking member Devin Nunes called the hearing a “coup against the President” and “televised theatrical performance.”

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham issued the first public reaction to Wednesday’s hearing in the House impeachment inquiry, calling it a “sham,” “boring,” and a “colossal waste” of time

In his opening statement, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent said he thought “Giuliani’s efforts to gin up politically motivated investigations” had infected U.S. relations with Ukraine.

William Taylor, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, agreed, saying the “official foreign policy of the United States was undercut by the irregular efforts led by Mr. Giuliani” to investigate Joe Biden and his son.

Stuff – Live: The Donald Trump impeachment inquiry

Rep. Adam Schiff, the Democratic committee chairman, outlined the question at the core of the impeachment inquiry – whether the president used his office to pressure Ukraine officials for personal political gain.

“The matter is as simple and as terrible as that,” Schiff said. “Our answer to these questions will affect not only the future of this presidency but the future of the presidency itself, and what kind of conduct or misconduct the American people may come to expect from their commander in chief.”

For the first time a top diplomat has testified that President Donald Trump was overheard asking about “the investigations” that he wanted Ukraine to pursue that are central to the presidentialimpeachment inquiry.

William Taylor, the top US diplomat in Ukraine, revealed the new information as the House Intelligence Committee opened extraordinary hearings on whether the 45th president of the United States should be removed from office.

The anonymous whistleblower’s complaint to the intelligence community’s inspector general – including that Trump had pressed Ukraine’s president to investigate Democratic foe Joe Biden and Biden’s son and was holding up US military aid – ignited the impeachment inquiry.

The hearing is the first chance for America, and the rest of the world, to see and hear for themselves about Trump’s actions toward Ukraine and consider whether they are, in fact, impeachable offences.

The first witness, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent, said he never heard any US official try to shield a Ukraine company from investigations, directly contradicting a core complaint against Joe Biden being raised by allies of the White House.

It’s hard to see this changing the minds of entrenched Trump supporters who forgive him just about anything, nor Trump opponents who see him as an egotistical and incompetent stain on the presidency.

Trump calls the whole thing a “witch hunt,” a retort that echoes Nixon’s own defence. “READ THE TRANSCRIPT,” he tweeted Wednesday.

At its core, the inquiry stems from Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukraine’s newly elected president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy when he asked the Zelenskiy for “a favour.”

Trump wanted the Ukraine government to investigate Democrats in the 2016 election and his potential 2020 rival, Joe Biden, all while holding as leverage military aid the young democracy relies on as it confronts an aggressive Russia.

The anonymous whistleblower first alerted officials to concerns about the phone call. The White House released a rough transcript of the conversation, with portions deleted.

The White House has instructed administration officials not to testify in the inquiry. But over the past month, witness after witness has appeared behind closed doors to tell the investigators what they know.

The circus continues.

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18 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  14th November 2019

    Aljazeera tv has been showing live coverage of the hearing, but at some point soon they’ll probably resume normal programming, so thanks for the “Real Clear Politics – Watch Live: House Impeachment Inquiry Hearing” link.

    I’ll go to that when they do.

    Reply
  2. Corky

     /  14th November 2019

    A sideshow that will chew resources and ultimately end in a farce. Don’t the Dems understand, win or lose, they won’t be coming out of this process looking like leadership material. Ironically, that’s something they accuse Trumpy of.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  14th November 2019

      It’s not a sideshow. It’s a main event. Although instead of booting Crooked Donald out as they should the Republican Senators will ensure a farcical result because they also have no other obvious replacement leadership material.

      Reply
      • It is a sideshow – Roadrunner – the hapless, crooked Dems trying to chase a President out of office.
        Here’s Jim Jordan questioning the star witness

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  14th November 2019

          Dirty Donald. Gross misuse of his office. Lock him up, lock him up, lock him up, Maureen.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  14th November 2019

            Aljaz tv carried the whole hearing. Their reporters are just summing up. Of note was the orchestrated campaign by Republicans to smear all the witnesses. Their White House reporter is just reporting that while Trump – in a meeting with Erdogan – was shown ssying it was a witch hunt, no doubt with the Dems using all “television lawyers” & that he he didn’t watch it. He was in fact angrily tweeting about things that were happening throughout, on his own & the White House Twit feeds.

            He’s the world’s worst & most famous liar, Maureen. You know that. Everybody does. Christ, the Republicans must all have to hold their noses every time they twist $ turn to defend the bugger.

            Reply
          • Dems are using these processes to cover up and divert from their own corruption. Throw them all out .. then what?

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  14th November 2019

              If there was corruption there would be investigations already underway.
              There aren’t. They’re typical Trump smears.
              There’s plenty of evidence of Trump’s pathological lying & his attempt to coerce the Ukrainian President with a quid pro quo. It’s everywhere & out in thevopen, & an investigation is not only underway but proving it.

            • Blazer

               /  14th November 2019

              throw them all back in again….all done in the best…possible taste.

            • @ Gezza “.. there would be investigations underway. There aren’t…..”

              There are. From the Washington Examiner Nov 12
              Under the supervision of Attorney General William Barr, Durham is conducting an investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation, examining the conduct of the Justice Department, FBI, and intelligence community. Last month, Durham shifted his administrative review to a criminal investigation that allows his team the power to impanel a grand jury and hand down indictments.

            • Gezza

               /  14th November 2019

              Oh, ok – good. Hopefully they will find something & any culprits can spend time in the same slammer Trump belongs in with him.

            • Funny Mueller didn’t find anything to pin on him – what did you have in mind?

            • Gezza

               /  14th November 2019

              Well, I’m hoping that gross misuse of his office for political gsin in this case involves an indictable offence – something like attempted blackmail. Removal from office would be ok, but locking him up for doing something dodgy is probably long overdue & would be preferable, in my view.

            • this has nothing to do with Dem corruption – the tired conspiracy theories about the Bidens have been well disproven, the fuss over Hilary’s emails have long since been overtaken by far worse behaviour by the Trump family with their private emails, and…, and… , and…

              This is to do with Trumps transgressiveness – his willingness to lie and gaslight, and to behave corruptly and criminally to further his personal aims. He has turned the GOP into a party built on lies and his supporters are happy to live within the lie.

              The only success that Trump can claim is that he not only exposed the Republicans as nothing more than a hateful, foolish, and corrupted group, but he also has shown the country has always had hateful, stupid, and violent people who supported them.

            • The Devin Nunes theory:
              House Democrats colluded with a deep state whistleblower and his attorney, who had been plotting a “coup” against the president since his election, and who was willing to conspire with Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee to sideline the inspector general and hide the whistleblower from public view.

              Simultaneously, the Democrats worked with Russia toward funding and spreading the Steele dossier while “cooperating in Ukrainian election meddling.”

              Also going on, Hunter Biden used his pre-election influence to have an impact on foreign policy under Obama, and the “politicized bureaucracy” that now conspires to deliberately undermine “the president who they are supposed to be serving,” in the form of corrupt ambassadors.

              It’s a sprawling “hoax” engineered by the FBI, the Department of Justice, and the State Department along with the corrupt media to work hand and glove to something, something, Clinton emails, something, nude pictures of Trump, pizzagate, Benghazi, whatever…

              Nunes’ theory is that all of these entities conspired for years, together, to craft a hoax and sham “Star Chamber” in order to subvert the will of the American electorate.
              ________________

              The Schiff theory:
              Trump got a dumb idea in his head that Ukraine worked against him in the 2016 election, and another dumb idea in his head about how to smear his likely 2020 electoral opponent. So he created a back-channel to run a shadow foreign policy that involved withholding aid to Ukraine until their president helped Trump to smear Biden.
              ________________

              Sadly, there are still people who are sucked in by the Nunes-style unfounded elaborate deep state multiparty conspiracy plots but who refuse to recognise a simple Trump shakedown when it slaps them in the face.

  3. Patzcuaro

     /  14th November 2019

    Rachel Bitecofer did a good job of predicting the blue wave that gave the Democrats control of the House in 2018, predicting Democrats would pick up 42 seats. Based on the same model she predicted on July 1 that the Democrats would retake the Presidency in 2020.
    I note that she is a Democrat.

    http://cnu.edu/wasoncenter/2019/07/01-2020-election-forecast/#

    Reply
  4. Patzcuaro

     /  14th November 2019

    Reply
  5. I suspect that the outcome will be inevitable:

    – day after day of public hearings will lay out shocking details of the Trump Administration’s dirty dealings

    – being unable to defend Trump’s actions, Nunes and Jordan will continue dealing in red herrings and smoke screens

    – Trump will be indicted by the Dem-controlled House (rightly so if Day 1 is anything to go by)

    – the left will have a field-day calling for Trump’s head

    – the right will have a field-day with all the vast deep-state conspiracy theory/baloney stuff

    – the GOP-controlled Senate will vote to defeat the articles of impeachment despite all the facts and credible witnesses

    – the right will have a field-day blathering about innocent/exonerated

    – the left will have a field-day calling out unrepentant Trump-supporters who fail to see Trump’s myriad failings

    – no opinions will change on either side of the political divide

    And so it goes – the decline and fall of the American Empire…

    Reply

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