Democrats Begin To Make Their Case In First Day of Public Impeachment Hearings

There were few fireworks during the first day of public impeachment hearings, but the ground work for a case against the President was laid.

Yesterday’s opening public hearings in the impeachment investigation of President Trump lacked any bombshell moments, leading the White House and Republicans to call the proceeding “boring,” but the proceedings featuring testimony from Ambassador William Taylor and State Department official George Kent did contain some new revelations:

WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives opened historic impeachment hearings on Wednesday and took startling new testimony from a senior American diplomat that further implicated President Trump in a campaign to pressure Ukraine to publicly commit to investigating former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

In a nationally televised hearing from a stately committee room across from the Capitol, William B. Taylor Jr., the top American diplomat in Ukraine, brought to life Democrats’ allegations that Mr. Trump had abused his office by trying to enlist a foreign power to help him in an election.

Mr. Taylor testified to the House Intelligence Committee that he learned only recently of a July telephone call overheard by one of his aides in which the president was preoccupied with Ukraine’s willingness to say it would look into Mr. Biden and work by his son Hunter Biden for a Ukrainian energy firm. Immediately afterward, Mr. Taylor said, the aide had been informed that Mr. Trump cared more about “investigations of Biden” than he did about Ukraine.

A powerful witness for Democrats, Mr. Taylor appeared as Congress embarked on the third set of presidential impeachment hearings in modern times. Forceful, detailed and unflappable in the face of Republican taunts, the veteran diplomat delivered a remarkable rebuke of the actions taken by the president and his allies inside and outside of the government who placed Mr. Trump’s political objectives at the center of American policy toward Ukraine.

“Security was so important for Ukraine, as well as our own national interests,” Mr. Taylor testified, describing his growing sense of alarm at learning that $391 million in vital military aid for the former Soviet republic had been held up. “To withhold that assistance for no good reason other than help with a political campaign made no sense. It was counterproductive to all of what we had been trying to do. It was illogical. It could not be explained. It was crazy.”

The proceedings pushed into the public gaze an epic impeachment clash between Mr. Trump, his Republican allies and Democrats that has shifted into high gear less than a year before the presidential election. In the first impeachment hearing in more than two decades, Mr. Taylor and another seasoned diplomat, George P. Kent, sketched out, in testimony by turns cinematic and dry, a tale of foreign policymaking distorted by a president’s political vendettas with a small country facing Russian aggression caught in the middle.

Democrats toiled to make their case to a deeply divided nation that Mr. Trump had put the integrity of the 2020 election at risk by withholding the security assistance for Ukraine’s war with Russia to try to extract a political advantage for his re-election campaign.

“If this is not impeachable conduct,” demanded Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and the chairman of the committee, “what is?”

Showing no sign of doubts, Mr. Trump’s Republican defenders raged against a process they called unfair and illegitimate. They dismissed Mr. Taylor and Mr. Kent — who between them have 70 years of experience as public servants under presidents of both parties — as part of a “politicized bureaucracy” who were offering nothing more than hearsay and supposition, rather than evidence of impeachable conduct.

“The American people see through all this,” said Representative Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio. “They understand the facts support the president. They understand this process is unfair. And they see through the whole darn sham.”

At the White House on Wednesday, Mr. Trump sought to project an air of confidence in the face of an existential threat to his presidency. Before a working meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, Mr. Trump told reporters of the hearing: “It’s a hoax. I’m too busy to watch it.”

But even so, Mr. Trump was busy all day retweeting allies defending him. His re-election campaign blasted out a fund-raising solicitation accusing Democrats of “playing a sick game.” And the Republican National Committee circulated memes making fun of the witnesses as gossips who lacked firsthand information.

Asked for his reaction after the hearing ended, Mr. Trump said he had heard “it is a joke” and insisted that he had not watched it “for one minute.” He called the impeachment effort a sham and said, “It shouldn’t be allowed.”

(…)

Mr. Taylor said a member of his staff overheard a telephone conversation in which the president mentioned “the investigations” to Gordon D. Sondland, the United States ambassador to the European Union, who then told Mr. Trump “that the Ukrainians were ready to move forward.”

he conversation took place in a restaurant in Kiev one day after the July 25 phone call in which Mr. Trump personally pressed President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to investigate the Bidens and unproven allegations that Ukraine conspired with Democrats to interfere in the 2016 election.

When Mr. Holmes inquired after the call what the president thought about Ukraine, Mr. Sondland “responded that President Trump cares more about the investigations of Biden, which Giuliani was pressing for,” in Mr. Taylor’s telling. Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, led what Mr. Taylor called a “highly irregular” policymaking channel on Ukraine that ran counter to goals of longstanding American policy.

The episode was not included in Mr. Taylor’s interview with investigators last month because he was not aware of it at the time. But the new disclosure promises to figure prominently when Mr. Sondland appears next week for his own public testimony.

Asked Wednesday afternoon about the call, Mr. Trump said, “I know nothing about that.”

(…)

The revelation came as Mr. Taylor recounted publicly what he had already told investigators privately. He said he had discovered that Mr. Trump was conditioning “everything” about the United States’ relationship with Ukraine — including needed military aid and a White House meeting for Ukraine’s president — on the country’s willingness to commit publicly to investigations of his political rivals. Mr. Taylor’s testimony made it clear that the Ukrainians were well aware of the prerequisite at the time.

Asked by a Democratic lawyer if he had ever seen “another example of foreign aid conditioned on the personal or political interests of the president of the United States,” Mr. Taylor, in a sonorous voice that echoed through the hearing room, said, “I have not.”

The revelation of a new phone call during which the Ukrainian matter was discussed is perhaps the only “big news” to come out of yesterday’s opening day of hearings, but that doesn’t mean that the hearings were by any means boring or unimportant. Over the course of the better part of a day, Taylor and Kent acknowledged in public what they had already testified to in their closed-door depositions. Specifically, that there was significant pressure being put on Ukraine and on the newly-inaugurated Ukrainian President to commit to an investigation of Joe and Hunter Biden and to commit to cooperation in the investigation of the discredited Republican conspiracy theory that it was Ukraine, rather than Russia that had interfered in the 2016 election and that it did so to benefit the campaign of Hillary Clinton. Additionally, Taylor specifically testified that there was an unusual amount of pressure being applied to State Department and other officials to yield policy toward Ukraine toward to a cabal led by Rudy Guiliani, the President’s private attorney. To say the least, Taylor found the arrangement to be unusual.

For their part, Republicans on the committee, led by close Trump ally Congressman Devin Nunes, did their best to protect the President and to divert attention from the issues actually before the committee. As noted, they spent significant amounts of time trying to extract information about Ukraine’s alleged collusion with the Clinton campaign in 2016, something that both Taylor and Kent said they knew nothing about, Additionally, on several occasions they came close to mentioning the name of the whistleblower without actually doing so and demanding that the Democrats consent to issue a subpoena for him and his attorney. Of course, Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and the Democrats denied this demand, citing the fact that the committee has an obligation to protect the identity of the whistleblower and that, in any case, his testimony is not relevant due to the fact that we now have first-hand confirmation of all of the allegations first made in the complaint that was made public in September some of it, such as the summary of the July 25th phone call between Presidents Trump and Zelensky, from the White House itself. To the extent that Republicans were seeking to discredit either the hearings or the witnesses, yesterday was largely a failure.

This first hearing is, of course, just the beginning of the process. Tomorrow we will hear from former  US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, who was ousted at the same time she was pushing back against Administration efforts to hand over Ukraine policy to Giuliani and others. As demonstrated by her closed-door testimony, Yovaoovitch stands as the most direct victim of the efforts of the White House to place Ukraine policy in the hands of civilians who were apparently pursuing an agenda utterly at odds with previously stated American policy and which had the primary effect of seemingly undermining efforts to provide at least some assistance to Ukraine in a civil war where the opposing side is clearly and openly being aided by Russia.

For the first day of public hearings, I’d say that things went well for Democrats seeking to lay out the case for impeachment to the public. There will be more witnesses to fill in the blanks in the coming weeks. For Republicans, it was not a good day, Unless you live in the fever swamps of the right such as Fox News Channel and the online pro-Trump conservative media, much of what they were touching on likely came across as a bizarre, disjointed, and utterly confusing attempt to create an alternative reality where the Trump campaign and the GOP was the victim of a conspiracy between the Clinton campaign and the previous President of Ukraine. That no doubt led to favorable coverage from the usual sources and the approval of the President, but it didn’t appear to accomplish much of anything.

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, Congress, Donald Trump, Impeachment, Politicians, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Joe says:

    I will say the report of the overheard phone call with Sondland is the very definition of hearsay. If this were a court, that testimony would have been excluded. Of course, one purpose of these types of hearings is literally investigation and bringing this aid in to testify will address the most serious part of the hearsay problem here. And then, of course, there is Sondland himself, now that he remembers things.

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  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    To repeat myself from yesterday’s impeachment post:

    The best defense the GOP counsel could come up with for Sondland’s involvement with Ukraine was, “It’s not… as outlandish… as it… could be.” Taylor tries desperately to not laugh in the man’s face, and more or less succeeds.

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  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Joe: I read that the individual is scheduled to testify on Friday.

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  4. @Joe:

    1. The hearsay rule does not apply to non-criminal hearings such as an impeachment hearing.

    2. The person who was on the phone call in question has been identified and will be interviewed by committee counsel on Friday. He will likely testify in the near future in public.

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  5. @OzarkHillbilly:

    Actually he is scheduled for a closed-door deposition and will likely be testifying in public at a later date.

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  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Thanx for the correction. That is actually how I expect them to proceed.

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  7. Michael Reynolds says:

    Here’s what we know after Day One: Trump is clearly guilty of using our money, taxpayer money, to bully a foreign leader to help his re-election.

    Not his money, our money. So, in effect Trump stole a gun and used that stolen gun to commit a mugging.

    Reliable Trump taint-licker Marc Thiessen at WaPo has already fallen back on the incompetence defense: Trump was too stupid to realize what he was doing. Over the course of weeks and multiple conversations and memos from people yelling, ‘This is wrong!” So, re-elect Trump: he’s such a fkn idiot he can’t be held responsible.

    And let’s be clear on something. This Ukraine deal of Trump’s aided one country. Just one: Russia.

    Russia. Always Russia with Trump. Stab the Kurds in the back: advantage Russia. Withhold aid from Ukraine: advantage Russia. Russia, Russia, Russia. He’s the worst American president, but an excellent Russian president. He really gets the job done. For Russia.

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  8. Jen says:

    That cell phone call though…in a public place. At a restaurant. In Ukraine. Absolutely jaw-dropping breach of security and COMMON SENSE.

    Republicans wound up about EMAILS!!! should be absolutely furious, and yet…crickets.

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  9. Kathy says:

    I don’t like playing “If it had been a Democrat..” or “If it had been a Republican..” But in this case, what the Republican Party, its base, its supporters, and its sympathizers must ask themselves is this:

    If it were a Democrat doing the things Trump is alleged to have done, would you still excuse them? Because by excusing Trump, you’re guaranteeing a Democrat will do exactly this, or worse. Having made impeachment a partisan matter independent of law, norms, and fact, what’s to stop any future president, of either party, from abusing their power in any way they please?

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  10. Joe says:

    @Doug Mataconis:
    1. I am aware that the hearsay rule does not apply to this hearing. I am just saying this is a real example of hearsay, differing from much of what gets called hearsay. And, as much as I am pretty convinced that Trump did all this (and more), I personally wouldn’t put much weight behind Taylor’s testimony on this point, but defer to the actual staffer and to Sondland.

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  11. gVOR08 says:

    It’s a minor point, but given how Trumpsky got elected over the issue of best practices in official communications, I got a chuckle out of the Sondland/Trump cell phone call in a restaurant in Kiev. But I don’t imagine anything they were talking about was a secret to the Ukrainians, or the Russians.

    And is there anyone outside his district that doesn’t know Jordan is dumber than dirt? And does the man own a jacket?

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  12. Joe says:

    Having made impeachment a partisan matter independent of law, norms, and fact, what’s to stop any future president, of either party, from abusing their power in any way they please?

    This, Kathy, is why I think there should be two and only two points of impeachment: (1) a targeted indictment on shaking down allies for personal political gain and (2) obstruction of the impeachment investigation. This should force Senators opposing removal to say either the overwhelming evidence is insufficient or these aren’t impeachable offenses. That is as big a pill as we can try to make them swallow.

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  13. Ms. Cris Ericson says:

    Before voting on any Rules of the House,
    Nancy Pelosi and the
    Elected Members of the U.S. Congress
    swore an oath of office
    to uphold the US Constitution,
    but the rules of the House
    are in violation of the US Constitution,
    so U.S. Congressmen and U.S. Congresswomen
    and U.S. CongressLGBTers
    must help stop the impeachment inquiry
    immediately and demand a “continuance” until
    the unconstitutional rules of the House
    are repealed!

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  14. Kit says:

    @Kathy:

    If it were a Democrat doing the things Trump is alleged to have done, would you still excuse them? Because by excusing Trump, you’re guaranteeing a Democrat will do exactly this, or worse.

    Nah. Republicans only talk about principles because that gets Democrats to listen. But all they really care about is getting their way every time, vomiting up whatever principles the situation requires. ‘Twas ever so.

    Also, I think that Republicans know that Democrats are loathe to stoop to the R’s level.

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  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Ms. Cris Ericson: I know I’m wasting my time but I’ll put this up anyway: Article 1 Section 5:

    Each House shall be the judge of the elections, returns and qualifications of its own members, and a majority of each shall constitute a quorum to do business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner, and under such penalties as each House may provide.

    Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two thirds, expel a member.

    Each House shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such parts as may in their judgment require secrecy; and the yeas and nays of the members of either House on any question shall, at the desire of one fifth of those present, be entered on the journal.

    Neither House, during the session of Congress, shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.

    If you can get your head out of Roger Aile’s zombie ass and would like to read and find out what else is in the Constitution, here is a handy link.

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  16. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Joe:

    I will say the report of the overheard phone call with Sondland is the very definition of hearsay. If this were a court, that testimony would have been excluded.

    Excellent job repeating erroneous Fox News talking points.

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  17. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @Ms. Cris Ericson:
    click off
    On second thought, not worth the bandwidth

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  18. sam says:

    As I was watching the proceedings yesterday, the shade of Mark Twain appeared and said:

    “Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a Republican member of Congress; but I repeat myself.”

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  19. wr says:

    @Ms. Cris Ericson: Uh-oh. Cris E seems to be running low on capital letters. Let’s all dig deep and send her some!

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  20. @Ms. Cris Ericson:

    The person in question has been identified, is being deposed by the committee tomorrow, and will likely testify publicly in the coming weeks.

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  21. JKB says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Yes, this apparently inconsequential delay in the release of funds for lethal military aid, including Javelin anti-tank missiles, is much, much better for Russia, Russia than the Obama ban on any lethal aid and the blankets he approved weren’t allowed to be flown into the actual Ukraine, but dumped at the border for private citizens to ferry into the country in an example of Obama’s “flexibility” for Putin.

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  22. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    I’m loving this defense of Trumps extortion for personal gain crimes; he is too incompetent to execute a quid pro quo.
    Graham, Ben Shapiro, The WSJ.
    Yet they seem to think he’s qualified to be the POTUS for another four years???
    #RepublicansAreDumbAF

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  23. JKB says:

    Hollywood dramatization of the search for quid pro quo through double secret heresy:

    8) Economics Teacher: Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?
    Simone: Um, he’s sick. My best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who’s going with the girl who saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors last night. I guess it’s pretty serious.

    Yes, this is an impeachment, not a real legal proceeding, but Middle School gossip rules are no way to remove a duly elected president less than 12 months from an election.

    Oh, and Ambassador Taylors transcripts show he got is belief that Trump was withholding aid for dirt on the Bidens from New York Times and Politico articles, not from others involved. When this hits a public, adversarial trial in the Senate, the Democrats’ case is going to bet eviscerated.

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  24. wr says:

    @Ms. Cris Ericson: “(1) what is the name of the person who “informed” the “aide”?’

    The “aide” was informed by Gordon Sondland, Trump’s hand-picked ambassador to the EU, who was also one of his point men in the Ukraine corruption.

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  25. sam says:

    Is JKB now writing copy for Jim Jordan?

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  26. wr says:

    @JKB: Shorter JKB: “Treason, theft, bribery and corruption are fine as long as they’re committed by my team.”

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  27. Teve says:

    I will say the report of the overheard phone call with Sondland is the very definition of hearsay. If this were a court, that testimony would have been excluded.

    And if my aunt had balls she’d be my uncle.

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  28. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @JKB:

    this apparently inconsequential delay in the release of funds for lethal military aid

    At least 13 Ukranian soldiers died while Trump extorted their President for his own personal gain. Nice to know you are OK with both Trumps crime (which both he and Mulveny have admitted to), and their deaths.
    Personal question, after Trumps meeting with Erdogan; are you also submissive to strong men, like Trump is? I’m not judging. There is nothing wrong with being meekly obedient to dominant males…someone has to be, and it is important to be open and honest about your sexuality, Sweet Pea. It is kinda of embarrassing for the country, though, when Trumps stands up next to someone like Erdogan, and openly proclaims himself to be a “bottom”.

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  29. @sam:

    That’s “Gym Jordan.”

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  30. Jen says:

    @JKB:

    but Middle School gossip rules are no way to remove a duly elected president less than 12 months from an election.

    You do realize that impeachment in and of itself does not remove a president, correct? So just stop trotting this out, it’s silly. We all know that removal by the Senate is unlikely.

    Also, it apparently needs to be reiterated: said “duly elected president” doesn’t get to do whatever he wants–he is REQUIRED to faithfully execute the duties of his office. It should not have to be said that this does not include the illegal solicitation of personal political assistance from a foreign government.

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  31. Teve says:

    Rick Wilson
    @TheRickWilson
    ·
    1h
    Since Trump and Sonland were using Trump’s UNencrypted personal cell phone, the odds are that eventually that conversation was recorded by *any* number of intelligence services.

    Not a transcript, a recording.

    I *guarantee* Putin’s services have it.

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  32. Jax says:

    Narrator Voice: She’s never going to get elected.

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  33. Paul L. says:

    Using the Same reasoning as claiming the testimony from Amb.William Taylor and State Dep. official George Kent proves Trump’s guilt.

    If only the educated people in the Group of 88 had testified to hearing about the rape.

    The credibly accused Duke Lacrosse rapists would have been convicted if more educated people with rape culture expertise like Tara Levicy had come forward to testify that they heard the Frat Gang rape happened.

    Journalism would have been vindicated and celebrated for their brave coverage of the case instead of having to change the subject to avoid embarrassment.

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  34. mattbernius says:

    @Ms. Cris Ericson:

    THEREFORE the RULES they made THAT
    VIOLATE THE US CONSTITUTION
    should be immediately repealed.

    Wow, I hadn’t considered this possibility before. Could you, in detail, break out the specific rules of the impeaching proceedings “THAT
    VIOLATE THE US CONSTITUTION” [sic.]

    If possible, can you please cite each of those rules and tie them to the specific passage of the Constitution? Because

    The Republicans and Independents should have an
    equal right to association with the witnesses and not be
    barred from closed door secret hearings
    and the Republicans and Independents should have
    an equal right to freedom of speech to
    Question the witnesses for an Equal amount of time
    the same as the Democrats.

    I’m not sure where an “equal right to association with the witnesses” is specifically cited within the Constitution. But you might be onto something here.

    not be
    barred from closed door secret hearings

    Also, that is completely and demonstrably wrong. Republican members of the committees have had access to all of the closed door hearings. Republicans who are not on the committees have not had access, but neither have Democrats who were not part of the committees as part of the overall congressional procedural rules that were written by and approved under Republicans.

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  35. Paul L. says:

    @Teve:

    @TheRickWilson
    the odds are that eventually that conversation was recorded by *any* number of intelligence services.

    So the Democrats have to collude with the Russians/Putin or admit that the US Intelligence Community spies on US citizens to get the smoking gun to remove Trump from office?

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  36. Modulo Myself says:

    It’s going to be amusing when Sonland testifies and confirms what Taylor’s aide said and then all of the culists do a 180 and start talking about Soros or something, because that’s where this is going. The Democrats have already heard Sonland’s testimony–I’m fairly certain that when his memory ‘cleared up’ he confirmed this under oath. And that’s one of a dozen smoking guns.

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  37. Mike in Arlington says:

    @JKB: Yeah, it was “inconsequential” because they got caught. Trump found out about the House beginning an investigation into the delay of the aid on 9/9 and only then released the aid on 9/11. (clip of the relevant portion of yesterday’s hearing at the link).
    https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/they-got-caught

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  38. mattbernius says:

    @JKB:

    Yes, this apparently inconsequential delay in the release of funds for lethal military aid

    Ahh, so you’re going with the “since the hostages were quickly released without demands being met so why are you charging someone with kidnapping” defense. That’s a bold move, though not as bold as @Paul L.’s screw all the corroborated facts, what about the Duke Lacrosse team?! defense.

    (Paul I see your out and out denial of established facts you don’t like appears to extend far beyond you climate denialism… hat tip on consistency sir.)

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  39. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Ms. Cris Ericson:

    so that if I am ever elected,
    it will be worth going down there to Washington, D.C.
    from Vermont.

    As a Native Vermonter, I am begging you; do not tell people you are from Vermont.
    The 14th State has a proud history…from the Abnaki and Mohawk of 12,000 years ago, to Peter Welch making Gym Jordan a fool, yesterday…and it is not for a whack job like you to embarrass us.

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  40. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Paul L.:

    The credibly accused Duke Lacrosse rapists

    Dumb fuq.

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  41. sam says:

    They must have some damn powerful weed up there in Vermont.

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  42. Michael Reynolds says:

    @JKB:
    Hey, dummy? You missed the part where the US told the Ukrainians they could have the javelins. . . if they promised never to use them against the Russians.

    Trump denies the plain fact that Russia meddled in the 2016 election. Advantage: Russia.

    Trump attacked and undermined NATO to the point that Macron declared it ‘brain dead.’ Advantage: Russia.

    Trump supports Brexit. Advantage: Russia.

    Trump pushed to get Russia back into the G-7. Advantage: Russia.

    Trump has fought every effort to safeguard our elections against Russian interference. Advantage: Russia.

    Trump tried to remove sanctions against Russia. Advantage: well, why don’t you see if you can figure that out.

    Add that to throwing our Kurdish allies under the bus and stabbing our Ukrainian friends in the back.

    You really need to start paying attention, @JKB. Because the idiot you support is a Russian asset and a traitor. And what do you think that makes you?

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  43. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Paul L.:
    Hey @Paul? Your brain not work so good. 2 + 2 = 4, not yellow.

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  44. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @JKB:
    @Paul L.:
    Guys…the only question here is if you, and the rest of the Republicans, believe that the Rule of Law matters? Or do y’all think Trump is above the law? That’s the only question. It’s so simple, even the two of you should be able to grasp it.
    Trump admitted to the crime.
    Mulveney admitted to the crime…get over it.
    The WH memo of the call (which is not a transcript) collaborates their admissions.
    Decide whether you are for the Constitution, or Trump….that’s all there is to this.
    So which is it???

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  45. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @sam:

    They must have some damn powerful weed up there in Vermont.

    There is…but her problem ain’t weed.

    Vermont took a very interesting approach to legalization. As I understand it; You can possess, but you cannot sell. You can trade and barter it, but you cannot sell it. There are no dispensaries. Every household is allowed to grow, I think, two plants per year. Dude…a household CANNOT smoke two healthy plants worth in a year. Farmers markets have tables where seedlings are simply given away. The state is literally awash in high grade pot. I’ve been to dinner parties where everyone had there own Tupperware containers full of the stuff.
    It’s fuqing brilliant.

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  46. reid says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: Trump has been such a fool and brazenly committed offenses that it’s almost fun to watch them try to defend it. Then I think, there are so many idiots and propaganda networks that he may get away with it and cry inside….

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  47. mattbernius says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:
    In his defense, Paul L. is not and has never have been a “rule of law” type (at least as it’s commonly defined).

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  48. Michael Reynolds says:

    @mattbernius:
    He’s never been a logic guy, either. Or a coherence guy. IOW he’s perfectly representative of Cult45: stupid as a stump and blissfully unaware of the fact.

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  49. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    stupid as a stump

    You insult stumps.

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  50. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:
    Yes, but can you get it delivered? And usually with more precise delivery times than Door Dash fetching me my pho and my dumplings.

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  51. Chip Daniels says:

    @mattbernius:
    They’re going with:
    “Attempted extortion! Now honestly, what is that? Do they give out Nobel prizes for Attempted Chemistry?”

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  52. Paul L. says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    Yet somehow without facts or logic stupid Cult45 was proven correct about the Duke Lacrosse/UVA rape stories, the Steele Dossier and Russian collusion/Mueller investigation.

    When is the Impeachment vote?

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  53. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Pelosi with the BURN:

    “If the president has something that is exculpatory — Mr. President, that means you have anything that shows your innocence — then he should make that known … so far we haven’t seen that.”

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  54. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Paul L.:

    Yet somehow without facts or logic stupid Cult45 was proven correct about the Duke Lacrosse/UVA rape stories, the Steele Dossier and Russian collusion/Mueller investigation.

    You were NOT proven right about the Steele Dossier or the Mueller investigation. In fact, I’m willing to bet you still have no idea what either of them are, or say…only what Fox News has told you they say.
    You haven’t answered; are you for the Constitution, or Trump. Simple question.

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  55. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    No…but in a state where almost everyone tends a garden, a couple plants will keep you in stock continuously…eliminating the need. The only struggle seems to be keeping your supply from getting mildewy before you can use it.

    ReplyReply
  56. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Paul L.:
    a) Cult45 did not exist at the time of the Duke case.
    b) Cult45 was absolutely NOT right about Russian collusion, see my comment to @JKB above.

    And what is your creepy obsession with the Duke case from 13 years ago? Something on your conscience you’d like to tell us about? Because normal men, decent men, don’t think one false accusation somehow cancels out the thousands and thousands of cases of absolutely true accusations. For example, against Steve Wynn, Republican finance chairman. And President Grab ‘Em By The Pussy.

    No, normal men despise rapists and molesters and pussy-grabbers. Right, @Paul? Normal men feel shame that men rape women. Isn’t that right, @Paul? Normal men don’t obsess over a single 13 year-old case of one false accusation. Who does? You do, Paul.

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  57. Jen says:

    @sam: The weed, cold, and ready access to maple syrup are a potent combination apparently.

    ReplyReply
  58. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Breaking:
    The AP says a 2nd US Embassy Official overheard the call, between Sondland and Trump, regarding the need for Ukrainians to investigate the conspiracy theories about the Biden’s and Crowdstrike.
    As with the payments to Stormy Daniels; Trump claims not to recall the conversation.

    ReplyReply
  59. Kathy says:

    I liked The Silence of The Trolls better…

    ReplyReply
  60. andros says:

    Through the looking glass: Trump, in leaning on Zelensky to provide information, otherwise inaccessible, about corruption and the Bidens, was “trying to enlist a foreign power to help him in an election.” This reasoning presupposes there was nothing here to investigate, despite Hunter’s self-richment spree and Joe’s absurd claim that he wasn’t even aware that his offspring served on Burisma’s board. Throw in the claims that Hunter and Devon Archer tried to enlist the Dept. of State in protecting Burisma.

    We’re told that all suspicions about the Bidens’ activities have been “debunked,” and require no response. “Debunked” how? By Lutsenko averring he sees no evidence of Hunter violating Ukrainian law? (This would be the same Lutsenko who accuses Yovanovitch of outdoing herself in trying to damage Trump in 2016.)

    The public interest in getting to the bottom of all this outweighs any temporary inconvenience caused by any delay in providing anti-tank weaponry. As earlier remarked, a ceasefire had been in effect since March.

    There was simply no conflict here between Trump’s political interest and the public interest.

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  61. Michael Reynolds says:

    @andros:
    Kindly explain how the activities, legitimate or not, of a private US citizen has anything at all to do with Trump’s obstruction of justice, witness intimidation, stonewalling, corruption or the extortion of a foreign head of state for the purpose of rigging a US election.

    Anything @Andros? Anything at all?

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  62. Gustopher says:

    @Ms. Cris Ericson:

    (4) Has the “aide” been drug tested?

    (this space intentionally left blank)

    ReplyReply
  63. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @andros:
    Dude…you are getting confused by the right wing spin machine.
    This is simple.
    Trump admitted to the crime.
    Mulveney admitted to the crime.
    The WH memo about the call collaborated those admissions.
    Are you for the Constitution and the Rule of Law, or are you for Trump?
    It cannot be both.

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  64. Teve says:

    Ken Olin
    @kenolin1
    ·
    27m
    When someone witnesses a crime and calls the cops, do Republicans really think that’s the person who should be put on trial?
    These people are so full of shit it’s embarrassing.

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  65. JKB says:

    @Jen:

    Hence, my statement that this is unlikely to survive or even look good in the adversarial trial in the Senate.

    I am fully aware that impeachment is only a written accusation. I also know, that this “impeachment inquiry” is being conducted as a partisan smear campaign under the color of Congress.

    The Nixon and Clinton impeachment inquiries had full-rights participation by the President’s party members in the House as well as participation by the President’s counsel. This process permitted witnesses to be cross-examined and impeached so that when the Articles of Impeachment were submitted to the Senate most of the adversarial process had been completed during the public House hearings.

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  66. Paul L. says:

    a) Cult45 did not exist at the time of the Duke case.

    White nationalist Senior Trump White House adviser Stephen Miller was a GOP rape apologist who defended the credibly accused Duke Lacrosse rapists and help make the narrative too toxic, insulting and hurtful for progressives.

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  67. Mikey says:

    @JKB:

    When this hits a public, adversarial trial in the Senate, the Democrats’ case is going to bet eviscerated.

    Oh, please, spare us. The Republicans have nothing. They have so much nothing that their staff attorney, Steve Castor, who is by all accounts not an incompetent boob, nevertheless looked like one yesterday. He had 45 minutes with Taylor and Kent, and it was obvious from the first minute he had nothing to work with. The minority members’ questioning was basically just a rehash of debunked conspiracy theories and whatever else you Trumpist fools suck from the Fox News propaganda tit.

    If it was that bad for the GOP in yesterday’s hearing, there certainly won’t be any improvement in their position during a Senate trial. The only thing you and the rest of the treason enablers can hope for is that the Senate Republicans continue to put party loyalty before loyalty to America, and don’t vote to convict.

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  68. Kit says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    And what is your creepy obsession with the Duke case from 13 years ago?

    Don’t you understand it, Michael? The entire liberal project is like a long mathematical proof: if any part is false, the entire thing collapses. So one false accusation from 15 years ago shows that liberals were wrong, are wrong, and will forever be wrong. And conservatism is the opposite of whatever the liberals say. QED.

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  69. Paul L. says:

    @Kit:

    And what is your creepy obsession with the Duke case from 13 years ago?

    The “old news” talking point.
    It is my opinion that Feminists and MeToo progressive do not believe that the Duke Lacrosse/UVA accusations were false.
    Only that they were mishandled(Nifong/Erdely) in a way that allowed rape apologists to undermine the Rape culture narrative in a toxic, insulting and hurtful way.

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  70. grumpy realist says:

    @Ms. Cris Ericson: Dearie, you don’t understand how the Constitution works. You don’t know how the regulations of each chamber occur. You also don’t understand how certain Amendments are interpreted. For instance, the “right to be represented by an attorney” doesn’t mean that you have the right to have an attorney at your side at all stages from your initial arrest onwards. There are limitations.

    In other words, go get a nice 400 page treatise on Criminal and Civil procedure and READ it before you open your mouth again, mmmkay? As it is, you’re simply coming off as a dimwitted bat who has fried her brain cells by smoking MJ ever since you were 8. You DO know that smoking that stuff while still developing kills mental acuity, don’t you?

    ReplyReply
  71. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Paul L.:

    It is my opinion that Feminists and MeToo progressive do not believe that the Duke Lacrosse/UVA accusations were false.

    And? What does this have to do with Trump’s criminal behavior? If I draw two dots do you think you could manage to connect them? Here:

    . .

    See if you can make a mental line connecting those two dots. You know, just a mental diagnostic.

    ReplyReply
  72. Kit says:

    @Paul L.: So, your obsession is rooted in the fact that some people are wrong. I’m guessing you are easily obsessed. But let’s not hijack the thread and instead wait until Doug gets around to posting his long-awaited follow up on that. Now back to talk on the impeachment…

    ReplyReply
  73. andros says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    Yeah, a “private U.S. citizen” who allowed himself to be bought, with no objection from Joe, in the expectation that influence was being purchased. And we’ve only begun to peel the onion on Hunter’s China caper. Anyone care to hazard a guess on the net worth of his financial interest in this Bohai outfit?

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  74. Michael Reynolds says:

    @andros:
    I’ll repeat: what does any of this have to do with Trump violating his oath of office?

    If you can’t answer that specific question, it’s because there is no connection and you’re just flinging scat around your cage.

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  75. Steve V says:

    Conservative media’s version of events:

    In a live show on Wednesday, Glenn revealed the secret back-door arrangements between the Democrats and Ukraine that are threatening to destroy our democracy — with all the evidence to back it up.

    Disturbing details and explosive documents show how the Obama administration Deep State allowed the theft of a country and set the stage for devastating consequences in our democracy today. Glenn explained how it’s all happening under the nose of the president and, more importantly, without the approval of the American people.

    https://www.theblaze.com/glenn-beck-special/live-now-a-glenn-beck-special-the-democrats-hydra"

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  76. Teve says:

    Rep. Steve King is now claiming the whistleblower is Alex Soros, son of George Soros.

    No, it is not too diptarded to believe. It’s Conservatism 2019.

    ReplyReply
  77. Rick DeMent says:

    @mattbernius:

    “equal right to association with the witnesses”

    Hell, “freedom of association” isn’t even in the constitution.

    ReplyReply
  78. andros says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    Hear that tittering in the background? It’s coming from Biden’s rivals for the nomination, trying to restrain their gloating over the mess he’s gotten himself into.

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  79. grumpy realist says:

    @Rick DeMent: Yeah, it’s like they dumped a copy of the Constitution into a blender, whirr, whizz, and then pull out scraps to stick into their “arguments”.

    I want to see Ms. Cris Ericson use the Dormant Commerce Clause in one of her screeds….

    ReplyReply
  80. Kathy says:

    You know the old joke that ends “if you can’t even argue the law, bang on the table and scream”?

    that’s what the defense, such as it is, of Trump, on the right is come down to. Except it’s more like “Scream, yell, gesticulate, bang on the table, and throw shit at the walls and see what sticks!”

    It’s the Gish Gallop, or as it’s more commonly known today, fire-hosing.

    It may seem desperate, but it’s what totally innocent people do when the totally innocent person they’re defending is guilty as hell and they know it.

    ReplyReply
  81. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I knew I was wasting my time. Oh well, in for a penny…

    @Ms. Cris Ericson: you don’t get the point I am making. You don’t know what the fuck you are talking about. That is why I gave you the handy dandy link to the Cornell Law School Constitution page. It has a really nice “tool box” that helps to explain the trickier parts.

    Please, use it. Stop abusing us with your ignorance.

    ReplyReply
  82. Jax says:

    @andros: Hear that loud roar of laughter? That’s all of us laughing our asses off because Trump’s so dumb he went and got himself impeached over a guy that’s probably not even gonna get the nomination.

    Man, if you are so concerned about Hunter Biden’s activities, wait til you get a load of what the Trump kids are doing in plain sight. You want all that investigated, too, right?

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  83. Michael Reynolds says:

    @andros:
    IOW, like I said: you got nothin’.

    ReplyReply
  84. Moosebreath says:

    Meanwhile, you know the Republican talking point that Ukraine ended up getting the money anyway without opening an investigation of Hunter Biden?

    Well, that only happened because Congress got word of the whistleblower’s complaint and started asking questions. The Ukrainian President was all scheduled to go on CNN and announce the investigation:

    “Also on Sept 9th, three congressional committees launched an investigation into whether Giuliani strong-armed Ukraine “to assist the President’s reelection campaign.”

    Then, everything changed.

    On Sept. 11, The White House released the $391 million aid package to Ukraine, news of which spread worldwide the next day.

    Taylor testified that he immediately informed Zelensky and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko. And he reminded Yermak, he testified, of “the importance of not getting involved in other countries’ elections.”

    But he’d heard from Sondland that Zelensky had already agreed to a CNN interview, in which the Ukrainian president would make an announcement regarding the investigations.”

    Those meddling kids!

    ReplyReply
  85. andros says:

    These eruptions of partisan outrage don’t seem to be moving the public opinion meter. Rasmussen has Trump at 48% today.

    Ah, what’s to be done with such unlettered, uninformed, unteachable rabble?

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  86. wr says:

    @Ms. Cris Ericson: “Ozark Hillbilly, you don’t get the point I am making!”

    I’m pretty sure that no one ever gets the “points” you think you’re making. If they did, perhaps you wouldn’t have lost all those elections in such an embarrassing manner. If I’d run in 20 or so elections and never even managed to pull in 10,000 votes I’d start looking for another line of work. Or a better hobby.

    ReplyReply
  87. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Jax:

    because Trump’s so dumb he went and got himself impeached over a guy that’s probably not even gonna get the nomination.

    I think it is way funnier than that…he’s gotten himself impeached over some nonsensical conspiracy theories. It’s like getting yourself impeached over the Loch Ness Monster, or Bigfoot. I mean, fuq, if you’re going to get impeached you might as well get a blow job out of it.

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  88. wr says:

    @andros: “The public interest in getting to the bottom of all this outweighs any temporary inconvenience caused by any delay in providing anti-tank weaponry.”

    Except, of course, for the interest of those people killed by the tanks.

    ReplyReply
  89. wr says:

    @Paul L.: “White nationalist Senior Trump White House adviser Stephen Miller was a GOP rape apologist who defended the credibly accused Duke Lacrosse rapists”

    I’m not sure if this is supposed to be some kind of joke, but Miller was 22 years old at the time and hardly a white house adviser.

    ReplyReply
  90. Kathy says:

    All exculpatory evidence advanced so far in the Trump case amounts to:

    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..
    ..

    Of course, this is just for starters.

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  91. Kurtz says:

    @andros:

    Rasmussen has a a significant house effect that pushes its results toward the GOP.

    ETA: I just read the last sentence of your post. You may want to be careful calling other people “unlettered” while citing a poll without disclosing its MOE or how the methodogy used affects the results.

    My guess? You have no idea how polls work.

    ReplyReply
  92. Paul L. says:

    @Kathy:

    All exculpatory evidence advanced so far in the Trump case amounts to:

    Ukraine got the Foreign Aid and did not investigate Hunter Biden.

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  93. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    So I’m wondering…what if we tell Trump he can investigate the Biden’s if he passes Gun Control?
    2 dead in a Santa Clarita high school shooting, today.

    ReplyReply
  94. Mikey says:

    @andros: The Republican house pollster is an outlier showing far higher support for Trump than all the other polls? You don’t say!

    ReplyReply
  95. Kurtz says:

    @Paul L.:

    Try again. It is no more exculpatory than if a thief puts back the item after being caught.

    Here is the timeline:

    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/amp/ncna1082256

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  96. Mike in Arlington says:

    @Paul L.: The investigation of Burisma and Biden was done by the time Joe Biden threatened Ukraine with pulling the foreign aid in exchange unless they fired the corrupt prosecutor.
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-05-07/timeline-in-ukraine-probe-casts-doubt-on-giuliani-s-biden-claim

    And as an aside, removing the prosecutor wasn’t Biden’s call, it was Obama’s, and he was applying pressure along with the EU. The reason they wanted the prosecutor removed was because he was corrupt.
    https://www.rferl.org/a/ukraine-protest-prosecutor-shokin-dismissal/27639981.html

    ETA: Kurtz beat me to it.

    ReplyReply
  97. Michael Reynolds says:

    @JKB:
    Blah, blah, blah. You’re just a brain-stunned cultie talking utter horse shit. I mean, I get it, you sort of pray the rosary to Trump by telling lies for Him. You spend your day telling lies to people who have nothing but contempt for your dishonesty and absence of integrity. Now, as to why you’d want to spend your time lying on behalf of a god who’d piss in your own mouth if he couldn’t find a toilet, is beyond me. But I suppose some people are just natural bootlicks.

    Imagine an ego based on a talent for groveling. (Note to self: possible character idea.)

    But no one here buys you, dude. You’re playing the fool for people much smarter than you, giving us an easy punching bag when we’re bored. And again, why? I mean, you’re not a genius exactly, but you’re not the complete imbecile @Paul is, so you must know we laugh at you, right? You know you’re the clown in the room, right?

    Please say yes because otherwise I have to start pitying you.

    ReplyReply
  98. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Paul L.:

    All exculpatory evidence advanced so far in the Trump case amounts to:
    Ukraine got the Foreign Aid and did not investigate Hunter Biden.

    Seriously, man. If you are unable to understand the ins and outs of an issue, do some reading. Don’t just believe what Fox News tells you to believe. Try checking out some other sources that aren’t right wing nut jobs. Think these things through. What does the actual law say? Is attempting to bribe someone still a crime? Is Impeachment a criminal trial? Listen to people smarter than you.
    But whatever you do, Paul, don’t just latch onto nonsense you hear on Fox News and die on that hill. It just makes you look dumb.

    ReplyReply
  99. Steve V says:

    @Kathy: The GOP base is placing an awful lot of hope in the soon-to-be released IG report and the Durham investigation, which I hear will tell us that Hannity was right all along and Obama and the deep state are responsible for everything.

    ReplyReply
  100. andros says:

    @Mike in Arlington:
    So why doesn’t Joe just step forward and allow himself to be questioned about this business? How long can he remain inside the protective cocoon a fawning media has spun around him (called a ‘candidate protection program’ by Axlerod)?

    ReplyReply
  101. mattbernius says:

    @Paul L.:

    Ukraine got the Foreign Aid and did not investigate Hunter Biden.

    Ah, so you are a proud subscriber to “the hostages were freed after a short time after no ransom demands were met and the police showed up on the scene so therefore you cannot charge the hostage takers with kidnapping” line of thinking.

    I think I preferred your Duke Lacrosse defense.

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  102. mattbernius says:

    @andros:

    So why doesn’t Joe just step forward and allow himself to be questioned about this business?

    So why doesn’t the White House remove the orders to let all of the key administration figures (like Mulvaney who said “yes there was a quid pro quo — get over it”) testify before the hearings? And why doesn’t President Trump offer to come and testify under oath about the call?

    I look forward to your answer. I mean, you’re all about consistency right?

    ReplyReply
  103. Paul L. says:

    Listen to people smarter than you.

    Same people who said
    Nifong’s Duke Lacrosse case is solid and winnable.
    UVA Rape story is solid Journalism.
    After the 2016 election, The IC has all the proof to get Trump. He will be gone in 6 months.
    Mueller will indict and convict Trump and his family for Russian collusion.
    Single worst day for Trump. We have reach the Tipping point. This looks like the beginning of the end for Trump.
    Trump ordered Cohen to lie.

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  104. gVOR08 says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    I think it is way funnier than that…he’s gotten himself impeached over some nonsensical conspiracy theories.

    I think they aren’t that dumb, but way more evil. If they could get Zelinsky to say there’s an investigation, it hurts Biden, whether true or not. And once they’ve compromised Zelinsky, maybe the next round of aid comes with a demand for hints of fake evidence. Kompromat doesn’t have to convince anyone of anything, it just needs to create confusion.

    ReplyReply
  105. Kathy says:

    Here’s what’s wrong with the “nothing happened!!” defense.

    It sounds good at first, right?

    It’s not.

    If Donnie, and Rudy, and their criminal cabal had merely planned to pressure Ukraine’s president to investigate Biden, and they had only planned to threaten to withhold aid until he caved, then, yes, if they had deiced not to do it, one could argue there was no crime.

    But once Donnie and his Keystone Kriminals 1) withheld aid to Ukraine which had been approved by Congress, 2) pressured Ukrainian officials, 3) and had Donnie Boy make a call to pressure the president to cooperate, then it doesn’t matter whether their scheme paid off or not. The deed was done.

    What they are arguing is “Well, we broke into the bank, blew open the vault, but then heard sirens and we fled without taking anything. We are not guilty of robbing the bank!!”

    BTW, the call is only part of the whole thing, not the whole thing itself. What the call does, though, is implicate Trump. he should fire all his lawyers and advisers and sue them for incompetence, as they failed to prevent him from implicating himself in a criminal enterprise.

    But for the call, he’d be clear. he could argue, assuming this whole mess even came to light, that it was all the work of his subordinates, just as Reagan did about Iran-Contra. No one would believe it, but no one would be able to prove anything either.

    So not only is Dennison a criminal, he’s a stupid criminal.

    ReplyReply
  106. wr says:

    @andros: “These eruptions of partisan outrage don’t seem to be moving the public opinion meter.”

    They do seem to be moving the goalposts pretty effectively, though. Just a few hours you were arguing that Trump was innocent — now you’re gloating that even though he has committed more crimes than any president in history, the slavering obedience of his moron fans will protect him to the end.

    ReplyReply
  107. andros says:

    @Kurtz:
    Would you seriously propose that the raw hatred poured on Trump by the media doesn’t affect the validity of the other polls? Me, I don’t care what some twit thinks of my political preferences, but others lack my thickness of skin.

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  108. Paul L. says:

    @mattbernius:
    Ah, so you are a proud subscriber to someone called the police to report they “had shot and killed his father, was holding his mother and younger brother hostage, and was planning to set the house on fire
    And the police were right to kill the man at the address given.

    Free Tyler Barris IMPEACH Drumpf

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  109. andros says:

    @mattbernius:
    Because Trump is the President, and his advisors must be allowed to express their advice in confidence.

    You know full well there is no way Biden can talk his way out of this.

    ReplyReply
  110. Kurtz says:

    @andros:

    You care so little that you call people twits rather than responding to their arguments.

    Secondly, you didn’t even deal with the points made in my post. Rather than try to figure out anything, you made a different point about the media.

    Your point is fatally solipsistic–only you (and those like you) are immune to the machinations of the Democrat-ClintObama-Deep State-Soros-Reptillian-Pinko-Media complex. Everyone else doesn’t have a sharp enough mind to not be fooled.

    Finally, you cite a poll that gives a result you like then claim no other poll can be accurate because… fake news™. As if Rasmussen only polls those who watch Fox and OAN.

    Face it, your dude is underwater because of his own personality, his own actions and his own lack of ability.

    ReplyReply
  111. Teve says:

    From my friend Bill F on Facebook a minute ago:

    I started to type into Google, “is attempted bribery a crime,” but after I typed, “is atte,” Google suggested “is attempted bribery and extortion a crime.”

    Seems like a lot of people want to know the answer to that question this morning!

    ReplyReply
  112. andros says:

    @Kurtz:

    ReplyReply
  113. Jax says:

    @andros: Talk his way out of what? You don’t seem to understand the difference between Biden’s actions during Obama, and Trump’s actions.

    ReplyReply
  114. andros says:

    @Kurtz: @Kurtz:
    Since you know it all, I assumed you were aware that those polled by Rasmussen are not required to reveal their political preferences to a live person, some “twit,” one might say.

    The irony of my “unlettered” sailed right over your noggin, didn’t it.

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  115. Kurtz says:

    @andros:

    That is irrelevant.

    ReplyReply
  116. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @andros:

    The public interest in getting to the bottom of all this outweighs any temporary inconvenience caused by any delay in providing anti-tank weaponry.

    Conveniently ignoring the fact that we have already gotten to the bottom of these baseless conspiracy theories time and again and again and again…

    ReplyReply
  117. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Paul L.: I know you think this somehow, someway, exonerates trump but trust me. it doesn’t. In fact, it has nothing to do with the crimes trump may have and, by his own admission did commit.

    ReplyReply
  118. Michael Reynolds says:

    This is like an argument between the only two people in an elevator over who farted. Both people know the truth, one is a liar, and both know he’s a liar.

    We all know, everyone on both sides, that Trump is guilty. We know who cut the fart. The Trumpaloons know who cut the fart. They’re now down to arguing that even if they did cut the fart, it smelled of elderberry. Not that they admit they cut the fart. But they do. And then they don’t.

    Check Trump’s Twitter feed for @JKB’s latest sincere Doublethink insight.

    Must download Tucker to know how to pwn libs. Libs laughing at me. Praise Trump! Praise Trump! Praise his farts! Not that they’re his! Unless they’re perfect! See me, Orange Jeebus, I serve yooooooou!

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  119. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Paul L.: @Paul L.: I’ve been away from the gym for a couple of days, so I haven’t had the chance to watch Fox News. What is the connection between what Fox News is talking about related to impeachment and the Duke Lacross Team, Steele Dossier, and Mueller Report? Or are you just riffin’ on your own side tune on all of this?

    ReplyReply
  120. andros says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Ok, so what was the outcome of Blue Star’s attempt to get the State Dept. to “call off the dogs” on Burisma, invoking Hunter’s name? Where is the proof that Shokin was corrupt, given that he had raided Zlochevsky’s residence, and caused him to flee, shortly before Biden procured his dismissal? Why was Biden content with his replacement prosecutor, who promptly closed the file on Burisma? What did Hunter promise Burisma he could deliver? Why did Joe let him run wild? This affair is not only unseemly, but intolerable, a stain on our reputation.

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  121. Jax says:

    @andros: Why would anybody bother to answer your question again when you obviously do not click on any links that you are given that explain the timeline?

    If you would kindly list YOUR links that have led you to this conclusion, I would click on them.

    Then let’s do the Trump kids! 😉

    ReplyReply
  122. MarkedMan says:

    @Kit: I’m with Michael on this one. There is something not right about Paul L’s constant focus on this case. It’s been more than ten years in the past, yet Paul seems to obsess about it constantly, working it into virtually every thread he posts to, regardless of relevance. I can think of a few reasons why someone is obsessed by a false accusal of rape. Most of them are not good.

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  123. Jax says:

    @Paul L.: I’m super excited to see you defend this when the next Democratic President tells Congress to fuck off. This is a link I pulled off your own blog.

    https://thefederalist.com/2019/10/08/white-house-tells-pelosi-your-fake-impeachment-subpoenas-have-no-real-legal-authority/

    Oh, right, whataboutism and all that. Only….they tried and tried to impeach Obama, but they couldn’t ever….quite……get it done. Trump made it real easy. 😉

    ReplyReply
  124. David M says:

    A reminder, that no matter how many lies andros and crew tell, there is no Biden/Ukraine scandal

    https://thebulwark.com/truth-lies-and-the-nonsense-trump-biden-ukraine-false-equivalency/

    It’s all garbage they mindlessly repeat, because they couldn’t care less about the truth.

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  125. Zachriel says:

    @andros: Where is the proof that Shokin was corrupt, given that he had raided Zlochevsky’s residence, and caused him to flee, shortly before Biden procured his dismissal?

    Shokin was prosecutor general from February 2015 to March 2016. Zlochevsky fled Ukraine in 2014. Meanwhile, Shokin refused to cooperate with British authorities on charges against Zlochevsky, and two of his top prosecutors were caught with diamonds and cash, and the investigators on the “diamond prosecutors” case were reassigned.

    EU hails sacking of Ukraine’s prosecutor Viktor Shokin

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  126. mattbernius says:

    @Paul L.:
    Serious questions:

    (1) — Leaving aside my routine defenses of you on the topic of qualified immunity and my many comments related to the militarization of the police and lack of prosecutions for policy violence (Radley Balko follows me on twitter, so I must be doing something right on that topic) —
    Can you unpack why that SWATting metaphor applies to this situation.

    (2) Also, I’m genuinely curious about why someone who is so attentive to police and prosecution overreach can be such a passionate supporter of the current president. After all, not only did he undo the (admittedly limited) steps Obama took to slow the militarization of police and investigate police departments for civil rights abuses, Trump and his DOJ freed up more funds for the transfer of military tech to police departments. They’ve reversed path and we have the least number of investigations into police departments in recent memory (including under the Bush Administration). Trump also enjoys heavy support from Police Unions and has put more “tough on crime” judges on the bench. Oh and he’s pushing for accelerating the used of the death penalty at the federal level.

    What in any of that speaks to your concerns about over-policing?

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  127. Paul L. says:

    @mattbernius:
    To quote progressives and NeverTrump,
    Trump is undermining the brave men and women of the Law Enforcement caste. The patriotic heroes who put their lives on the line everyday in the FBI/NSA/DOJ smeared by Trump saying they spied on him using FISA and calling the Mueller investigation a witchhunt.

    I blame AG Jeff Sessions for the rollbacks in Obama’s DOJ minor investigations/coverups of police departments’ abuse of civil rights that started after he was safely reelected.
    He is no longer the AG.
    I do not like Trump’s and the NRA’s Police Unions support but I am willing to overlook it as long as he does not sign any new gun laws.

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  128. DrDaveT says:

    @andros:

    Would you seriously propose that the raw hatred poured on Trump by the media doesn’t affect the validity of the other polls?

    I am trying to fathom how you can interpret the mainstream media’s relentless normalization of Trump’s most extreme behaviors and reluctance to describe his lies and crimes accurately as “raw hatred”. Trump has been given more benefit of the doubt by the media than any other politician in history, as best I can tell, and you somehow interpret that as vitriol? What the hell color is the sky where you live?

    Can you quote me a concrete example of this raw hatred from the media? I seem to have missed, well, all of them.

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  129. mattbernius says:

    @Paul L.:

    I blame AG Jeff Sessions for the rollbacks in Obama’s DOJ minor investigations/coverups of police departments’ abuse of civil rights that started after he was safely reelected.

    Ummm… who appointed Sessions? And have you noted that Barr hasn’t reversed Sessions approach? Who appointed Barr? Whose wishes are they carrying out (see again, Trumps orders around the rapid death penalty).

    Seriously, have you heard the way Trump talks about the police and how much he respects them?
    See f0r example – https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-international-association-chiefs-police-annual-conference-exposition-chicago-il/

    In the years before I took office, outrageous slanders on our police went unanswered and unchallenged from your leaders in Washington. You know that very well. Radical activists freely trafficked in vile and anti-police hostility, and criminals grew only more emboldened as a result. In the two years before my election, violent crime increased 8 percent. Murders were up by more than 20 percent, and going a lot higher, nationwide — the steepest two-year consecutive increase in over 50 years.

    But with your help, all of that is changing and changing very rapidly. Under this administration, we are once again standing up for law enforcement, we’re condemning anti-police bias in all forms, and we’re giving you the support, resources, and the respect — and we have tremendous respect for you — the respect that you deserve.

    Or how about the “You should rough up the suspects quote:”

    “When you see thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon, you just see them thrown in; rough. I said, ‘please don’t be too nice,’” Trump said Friday at a Suffolk County, New York event discussing the administration’s efforts to handle a violent gang known as MS-13. “Like when you guys put somebody in the car and you’re protecting their head, you know, the way you put your hand over it. Like, don’t hit their head, and they’ve just killed somebody. I said, you can take the hand away, O.K.?.”

    Why are you doing everything you can to pretend that you’re not actively excusing that behavior?

    I do not like Trump’s and the NRA’s Police Unions support but I am willing to overlook it as long as he does not sign any new gun laws.

    Got it, so you really don’t care that much about those issues. Or rather you care more about you getting disarmed than any action to disarm the police.

    So glad to see you’ll passively support a police state so long as it doesn’t touch your guns.

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  130. mattbernius says:

    @andros:

    Because Trump is the President, and his advisors must be allowed to express their advice in confidence.

    You know full well there is no way Biden can talk his way out of this.

    You do realize that Biden was acting on behalf of Obama on the Ukraine issues (the expressed US policy at the time, along with the EU) was the removal of Shokin. It wasn’t that he was going rouge. So why, exactly, don’t those same Presidential protections extend to Biden?

    Or if you are arguing that they don’t apply to Biden (acting on behalf of Obama), then they apply to Trump?

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  131. Paul L. says:

    @mattbernius:
    Your hero FBI Director James Comey shows and praises the true Heroes of the Attack on a Orlando Nightclub

    I would like to say an word of thanks and express admiration for the work of local Law Enforcement in Orlando.
    They showed professionalism and extraordinary bravery that saved lives.
    We are very lucky that such good people choose lives of service in Law Enforcement.

    They protected the most important lives. The Lives of the Law Enforcement Caste.

    1st Rule of Policing: Police have the right and the duty to go home at the end of each watch. It does not matter how many non-law enforcement personnel are injured or killed or have their “rights” violated to achieve this goal as Police are entitled to impunity for their violence and protection from harm above all others.

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  132. mattbernius says:

    @Paul L.:
    Can you point out to me a single time I praised Comey? Or Holder? Because I sure that is coming.

    At best Obama took middling steps to reign in police power (but by no means enough). The thing is I know and don’t try to hide the sins of those I support. But I’m also not intellectually insecure.

    Unlike your constant complaints about the growing police state while actively defending a man whose explicit agenda is to grow it? Not to mention actively trying to explain away that agenda as not being really his fault.

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