Some thoughts on the ongoing impeachment process
Some Republican legislators are saying ‘All the evidence regarding the President’s attempts to extort the Ukraine is hearsay — third- or fourth-hand.’ Then why do they want to hear from and identify the whistleblower who only relayed what they’d heard from others?
To be clear, that makes no sense at all — when all the events detailed by the whistleblower were indirect, and, more importantly, have been completely corroborated by non-partisan public testimony from Ambassador Taylor and others.
Some Republican legislators asked in yesterday’s public testimony by Ambassador Taylor and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, George Kent, ‘Did you hear this directly from the President?’ But they carefully avoid the fact that the White House has blocked testimony under oath of the very people who were present, like National Security Advisor, John Bolton, and Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.
That’s like if I were to rob a bank but then be allowed to prevent the testimony of the bank employees that watched me do it — and then complain when employees 2 floors up testify about what they heard from the tellers.
And, for good measure, the State Department, under orders from Secretary Pompeo, has refused to turn over documents and notes written by those who are testifying. Flat out refused. I smell a cover-up.
Some Republican legislators are saying ‘- they got the money, what’s the big deal? This can’t be extortion.’ This conveniently ignores the fact that the money started to flow only after the whistleblower report became public. And they also want to avoid the fact that the Department of Justice tried to block the release of that report to Congress in the first place. I smell a cover-up.
Some Republican legislators are saying ‘they did not succeed so it’s not an impeachable offense’. They can’t be serious — attempting murder or robbery is still a crime.
What is this country coming to when the President’s supporters — members of Congress who swore to uphold the Constitution first before anything else — twist themselves into pretzel shapes to overlook his mob-boss behaviors?
Now, what to talk about next? Trump’s ties to Putin? Trump’s business ties to countries with dictatorships? Stephen Miller, Trump top aide and not-so-secret white nationalist? With so much to choose from, it’s going to be a tough decision.
The Dispatch Editorial Board is made up of publisher Peter Imes, columnist Slim Smith, managing editor Zack Plair and senior newsroom staff.