House Impeachment Inquiry Thread

Thread to discuss the House of Representatives impeachment inquiry. Public hearings started today.

References and Resources

The Just Security website has page with links to transcripts of public testimony. See below.

22 thoughts on “House Impeachment Inquiry Thread

  1. Some House Republicans were attempting to undermine today’s witnesses because they didn’t have firsthand knowledge of what Trump or some others in the administration said. Michael McFaul, former U.S. Ambassador to Russia makes a good point–present facts that refute or weaken the hearsay testimony.

    Additionally, if hearsay testimony is so problematic–and this impeachment inquiry is without substance–the Republicans should urge that firsthand witnesses testify–tell the Trump to allow them to testify. And if Trump is so innocent–if the call to President Zelensky was “perfect”–he should have no problem allowing people from the administration to testify, instead of preventing them.

    The claims aren’t refuted. Trump not allowing to people to testify points to the claims being accurate.

  2. GOP Defense of Trump

    The following sub-thread contains the GOP talking points, their framing of Trump’s interactions with Ukraine. It also provides some rebuttal. I hope to add comments later.

    11/17/2019

    1. Investigating the narrative that Trump was motivated by a concern about Ukrainian corruption

    2. Some Republicans attempted to undermine recent witnesses by saying they provided only hearsay evidence–a claim that could be compelling, but should be determined by examining the specifics and context of each testimony). But for now, let’s focus on the ostensible complaint that the witnesses are problematic because they did not have firsthand knowledge. I agree with Senator Schumer below:

    3. Referring to witnesses as “Schiff’s witnesses” is a clever but specious way of discrediting them

    4. “Hey, President Zelensky and the Ukrainians have publicly said they didn’t feel pressured.”

      This could mean that, indeed, they don’t feel pressured by Trump. On the other hand, if they did feel pressured, it seems reasonable that they wouldn’t want to say so publicly and actually say the opposite. Senator Chris Murphy explains below:

  3. There’s a lot of things that should have ended Trump’s presidency, but he’s like a Hollywood villain, like Michael Myers, who you think should be dead, but isn’t. The following, if true (and the chances seem low it’s not), is one of the moments in the movie where you’re thinking, “OK, this should do it.”

    I haven’t read the testimony from David Holmes, yet, but this thread breaks down some key points:

    Another breakdown of Holmes’s testimony from Jake Tapper:

    One thing that came to mind: If we could see other phone transcripts–like to Putin–I think they would contain evidence that might even convince some Republicans to impeach and remove Trump.

    Also, my understanding is that Trump has continued to use an insecure phone in office. Based on this testimony, I imagine the amount of kompromat other nations and hackers have on Trump and others is enormous.

  4. Testimony of Lt. Col. Vindman and Jennifer Williams

    edit

    1. Official White House twitter account. Vindman testifying now.

      By Trump and his White House doing this, it lends notion that they’re trying to intimidate witnesses.

  5. There are proper channels to investigate corruption involving an American citizen

    This is my understanding, and I believe this is what Ambassador McFaul is referring to:

    I assume MLAT is an appropriate way to do the investigation. If the American in question is a political opponent of the POTUS, going through this proper channels–in order to show that he’s not using his office to go after his political rival. And if the rival is truly guilty, then process should reveal this.

  6. Gordon Sondland, U.S. Ambassador to the EU, testifies today

    1. Remember this tweet:

  7. On holding up foreign aid

    I thought this was a good thread on this issue.

  8. Testimony of Laura Cooper and David Hale

    Laura Cooper is Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense. (I’m not sure what that title means.)
    David Hale’s position is undersecretary of state for political affairs.

    Both testified today in an open hearing after Gordon Sondland.

    Based on what I understand this suggests that the Urkrainians knew that defense money was being held up at least by July 25, and it even suggests that this was brought up in the call.

  9. Testimony of Dr. Fiona Hill and David Hale

    Dr. Fiona Hill
    David Hale

    1. One Senate Republican rejecting Dr. Hill’s plea.

      Kennedy sounds like Trump, going against the consensus of U.S. Intelligence Community, when the latter cast doubt on Russian interference in the 2016 election.

      Not sure who this person is (claims to be a CNN reporter), but I’ve heard another person say the following, too:

  10. Trump’s own words implicate him

    More from that exchange, Trump speaking:

    They should investigate the Bidens, because how does a company that’s newly formed — and all these companies, if you look at —

    And, by the way, likewise, China should start an investigation into the Bidens, because what happened in China is just about as bad as what happened with — with Ukraine.

    So, I would say that President Zelensky — if it were me, I would recommend that they start an investigation into the Bidens. Because nobody has any doubt that they weren’t crooked. That was a crooked deal — 100 percent. He had no knowledge of energy; didn’t know the first thing about it. All of a sudden, he is getting $50,000 a month, plus a lot of other things. Nobody has any doubt.

  11. Summary of all the public testimonies so far

    I like this thread, by Ambassador McFaul (former U.S. Ambassador to Russia) summarizing all the public testimonies so far:

  12. Marie Yovanovich

    I didn’t read the following article, but if the headlines are accurate, this really stinks.

  13. I believe the people behind the account made the documentary, Active Measures, which I’ve heard good things about, but haven’t seen.

  14. House Intelligence Committee wrapped finished public testimonies last week (although they could call more witnesses later). Hearing from the House Judiciary committee starts this week. I believe the first hearing will be a discussion on what acts should be considered impeachable. The House Judiciary Committee invited the Trump WH to participate, but they declined.

    Here’s a quick explainer on impeachment that’s worth watching:

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