This morning, the Democrats’ Impeachment inquisition against President Trump began.
The hearings began with an opening statement from the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Adam “Pencil Neck” Schiff.
Schiff started the day’s proceedings by laying out the case for impeachment.
I thought this was supposed to be a strictly fact-finding endeavor. Sounds like Schiff has already made up his mind that the President is guilty of “high crimes and misdemeanors” and there is no need for these impeachment hearings.
A person would have to be extremely naïve to believe this. Schiff and the Democrats are clearly using these hearings as an attempt to justify their overwhelming desire to impeach President Trump.
Schiff outlined his two conditions for impeachment:
- If the president “conditioned or coerced” funding to Ukraine for political reasons
- If the president sought foreign influence in an American election.
He went on to claim that Rudy Giuliani believed in an unfounded conspiracy about Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election. He then went on to cite former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s frustration with the shadow diplomacy of Rudy Giuliani and U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland.
It has been reported that Bolton referred to not wanting to be involved in any “drug deal” that the two were engaged in (drug deal being another way of saying that the two were using funding as a way to get the Ukrainians to investigate the Bidens).
Schiff referenced the fact that multiple people were concerned about the contents of the call between Trump and Zelensky, including the so-called whistleblower.
Then, Schiff preceded to lie about not knowing who the whistleblower was.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) factually stated that Schiff was the only member of the House of Representatives that knew the identity of the whistleblower.
How does he know this?
Because The New York Times reported this, and the Times isn’t exactly an opponent of impeachment.
The Republican leader on the committee, Devin Nunes, then had his time at an opening statement. He framed the impeachment hearings as a new strategy to undermine the president after Democrats failed to impeach him following the release of the Mueller Report. They are just moving from one story to another to remove the president from office. These hearings have nothing to do with finding the truth.
He pointed out how the Democrats are staging this like a theatrical show and that the closed-door depositions were rehearsals for the main event.
Nunes pointed out how Schiff had prevented Republicans from calling witnesses, including Hunter Biden, who is at the center of the entire inquiry. Rep. Nunes highlighted the fact that this was a partisan proceeding in which the Dems were moving forward without the support of one single Republican.
Opening statements then were given by the two witness called to testify: George Kent, U.S. State Department official in charge of Ukraine Policy, and William Taylor, the Ambassador to Ukraine.
The two men proceeded to repeat many of the same points they made in the rehearsal hearings behind closed doors in the prior weeks.
Kent’s testimony was meandering and ineffective. He turned the statement into a history lesson about World War II and the American Revolution. His statement didn’t make sense and was a waste of time.
Taylor’s statement was more authoritative and to-the-point. Taylor outlined his concerns that military funding was being withheld due to pressure to investigate the Bidens.
As of this writing, with half of the day still to go, the Republicans haven’t had the chance to ask questions. However, Devin Nunes is about to begin questioning the witnesses for the Republicans.
This is a breaking story. Check back later for our next update on day one of the impeachment hearings as this story develops.
The marathon hearing is still going on as of this writing.
U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor has fielded the majority of the questions from lawmakers and their counsel.
The following is a brief summary of his testimony to this point:
- Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, was running Ukraine Policy.
- Taylor heard on a call that a staffer for the Office of Management and Budget said that their boss told them to withhold funding to Ukraine
- White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney had a “skeptical view” of Ukraine.
- John Bolton was furious when he found out the role Giuliani and E.U. Ambassador Sondland had in running a “second channel” of Ukraine policy. Bolton has said to have referred to their operation as a “drug deal.”
- The Ukrainians were confused by the “two channels” of diplomacy 1) Official 2) Giuliani and Sondland.
- Taylor claims that Ambassador Volker encouraged those involved to “seek cooperation” from Ukraine for a meeting with Trump, prior to the now-famous July 25th Trump-Zelensky call.
- Taylor delivered a letter signed by President Trump inviting Zelensky to a meeting at the White House
- Trump originally didn’t want a meeting with Zelensky
- Sondland and Volker made clear that Zelelensky not stand in the way of investigating in order for White House meeting.
- President Zelensky didn’t want to be used as a prop in American election campaign
- Taylor didn’t receive a “readout” following the Trump-Zelensky Call
- Sondland told him that Trump told him that he wanted Zelensky publicly to announce that investigations would happen into Ukraine.
- Sondland wanted Zelensky to respectfully tell Trump that the Ukrainian government would “leave no stone unturned” in investigations of the Bidens and Crowdstrike.
- Taylor said it would be “crazy to prevent funding for political reasons.”
- Sondland told Taylor that he was wrong to think that Trump wanted a quid-pro-quo
- Trump cares more about investigations of Biden’s than about Ukrainian policy generally
It is clear from Taylor’s testimony that he doesn’t have first-hand knowledge of what happened. Ambassador Sondland and Mick Mulvaney would be more important witnesses because they have had more first-hand dealings with President Trump.
At this point, we still don’t have confirmation that President Trump ordered military aid be withheld for political reasons. He is the president. He is the one that matters.
It doesn’t matter what people like Giuliani ordered others to do. Trump is the president; impeachment isn’t about his staff, it is about him.
Both sides will go to their corners and declare Trump guilty or innocent depending on their political views and not on the facts. We need to know a lot more before a sitting president is impeached. The evidence is far too flimsy at this point.
Check back with FreedomWire for a summary of the day’s hearings.