The initial rounds of public hearings in the Trump impeachment probe are set to begin next week, and Politico writer Melanie Zanona uses our favorite phrase: “Grab your popcorn, folks.” These hearings do promise to be popcorn worthy. Politico lists what they call the Democrats’ “star witnesses:” Bill Taylor, George Kent, and Marie Yovanovitch. Politico further discusses how Republicans will try to find ways to score points, such as Taylor’s testimony that he didn’t hear things “directly from Trump’s mouth.” Unfortunately for the GOP, this is an extremely weak argument. At the same time, they are doing things that are completely unnecessary and inappropriate, such as trying to “out” the whistleblower. If this is the best they’ve got, they might as well pack up and go home.
Instead of trying to get to the truth of the Ukraine matter, Republicans want to obscure and cry foul. It is rather telling that Bill Barr refused to hold a news conference declaring Trump innocent, and it is also telling that all the witnesses who have testified so far have corroborated each other. It is amazing that these supposed “representatives” are going out of their way to discredit career diplomats, threaten whistleblowers, and put on publicity stunts all for the sake of helping out the career criminal occupying the White House. If Trump were truly innocent, do you honestly think they would need to go to these lengths?
Adam Schiff told Politico that the “most important facts are largely not contested.” Indeed, Congress has put together quite a case of Trump’s abnormal behavior when it comes to a sitting president. Trump is well aware of the furor over Russian interference in our elections yet he had no qualms about trying to get Ukraine to do the same thing in 2020. That is not normal. If you know something is wrong—and you’ve been told numerous times that it is—yet you continue to do it, what does that say about you? For Trump, it merely affirms that he believes himself above the law or at the very least, that the norms of the office don’t apply to him. Congress is working to prove to him, again, that he is wrong.
The Republicans can try all they like to claim “no quid pro quo,” but they’re going to have an uphill battle. They are also now trying to suggest that Giuliani went “rogue” and did all this on his own, but Giuliani himself said as recently as this week that his actions were done on behalf of his client, Donald Trump. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) sums this up simply: “Rudy Giuliani is Donald Trump, and Donald Trump is Rudy Giuliani.” So it would seem, and according to Politico, the testimony to date bears out that statement.
When asked whether State Department officials tried to interrupt Giuliani’s efforts, Yovanovitch said, “I don’t think they felt they could.” More proof from Donald Trump’s own people who was really behind the extortion of Ukraine. When asked whom he believed Giuliani was representing, Bill Taylor quickly testified, “President Trump.” So, there you have it. Let’s see Trump and his cohorts worm their way out of this one. Their attempts should be interesting, so as we at Palmer Report are wont to say, “get your popcorn.”