Long Day Of Impeachment Hearings Brings More Evidence Against Trump

After a long day of hearings, the case against the President is becoming clearer and Republican defenses becoming more absurd.

Yesterday’s two-part, four-person, impeachment inquiry hearings before the House Intelligence Committee hearings were the longest yet in what is expected to be the final week of public hearings for this committee. After this phase of the process is concluded, the Intelligence Committee will prepare a report for the House Judiciary Committee, which is responsible for drafting and approving Articles of Impeachment prior to their being sent to the House floor. As part of that process, the Judiciary Committee may call its own witnesses in addition to those who had been called by the Intelligence Committee, but if the timing is right we should see a vote on Articles of Impeachment on the floor of the House of Representatives just

The witnesses consisted of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, an Iraq War veteran who serves on the National Security Council as a specialist in Ukrainian affairs, Jennifer Wilson, who is a close adviser to Vice-President Mike Pence, Kurt Volker, a former Ambassador to NATO who served most recently as the Administration’s representative for the ongoing negotiations over the war in eastern Ukraine, and Tim Morrison, a former special advisor to the President on Russia and Europe. Two of the witnesses, Vindman and Wilson, were among those listening in on the now-famous July 25th phone call between President Trump and President Zelensky. The other two were closely responsible for Ukraine policy leading up to and after that call and while they were ostensibly supposed to be “Republican” witnesses in that they had been requested by the minority and were supposed to reinforce the Administration’s defenses to the charges against the President, it didn’t exactly turn out that way.

By the time the day was over, the support for the argument that the President had committed impeachable offenses was strong, and the Republican defenses of the President had grown even less credible and more absurd:

Three current and former Trump administration officials described Tuesday how they harbored a variety of concerns surrounding a July phone call in which President Trump pressed his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate former vice president Joe Biden — boosting Democrats’ inquiry into whether Trump should be impeached and substantially undercutting the president’s assertion that the conversation was “perfect.”

Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been at the heart of Democrats’ impeachment investigation, and on Tuesday, they solicited public testimony from the trio of firsthand witnesses, who had been tasked with listening in.

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the National Security Council’s European affairs director, said he considered the president’s demand of the Ukrainian leader “inappropriate,” because it could have “significant national security implications” for the United States.

Jennifer Williams, Vice President Pence’s special adviser on Europe, said she thought the call was “unusual” because “it involved discussion of what appeared to be a domestic political matter.”

And Tim Morrison, the NSC’s former top Russia and Europe adviser, said he worried what might happen if the call was made public — as it ultimately was, after an intelligence community whistleblower complained about it and helped jump-start Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.

“I feared at the time of the call on July 25th how its disclosure would play in Washington’s political climate,” Morrison said. “My fears have been realized.”

The three witnesses were joined Tuesday by Kurt Volker, a former Trump administration envoy to Ukraine. Their day-long testimony kicked off what is likely to be the most intense week yet in the impeachment inquiry.

(…)

As they had behind closed doors, the witnesses testifying Tuesday, some in the face of public attacks from the president and his allies, offered a clear window into how Trump used the power of his office in a bid to get a political benefit from a foreign leader.

Republicans, meanwhile, intensified their attacks on the investigation — questioning Democrats’ motives, scrutinizing witnesses and suggesting that Trump was merely concerned about Ukrainian corruption in general.

“The Democrats are no closer to impeachment than where they were three years ago,” the House Intelligence Committee’s top Republican, Rep. Devin Nunes (Calif.), said during Tuesday’s hearings.

Trump said Tuesday that impeachment was “a little pipe dream” of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and that Republicans “are absolutely killing it” with their line of questioning for the witnesses.

Vindman and Williams testified together in a morning session before the House Intelligence Committee, followed in the afternoon by Morrison and Volker. Republicans had requested Volker and Morrison as witnesses and treated them far more gently — though their remarks did not fully exonerate Trump.

Volker testified that while he was aware that the administration was holding back aid from the Ukrainians as Trump sought investigations, he was not aware of a quid pro quo. He said he believed that the president merely harbored a general view that corruption was rampant in Ukraine — a view that was not necessarily unfair, given the country’s past leadership.

“The issue of the security assistance was one where I thought this was related to a general negative view about Ukraine,” Volker said.

Volker said, too, that while he was involved in the administration’s pressure on the Ukrainians to announce investigations of interest to the president, he did not connect those probes to Biden, Trump’s political rival. He said he initially believed that the administration was pursuing investigations of potential Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election and of a Ukrainian energy company, Burisma.

(…)

Williams — whom Trump tweeted about over the weekend — said she was “surprised” by the president’s tweet, which suggested that she was among a group of “Never Trumpers” who were trying to launch a “presidential attack.”

“I was not expecting to be called out by name,” Williams said, denying that she had attempted to launch an attack on Trump.

Vindman, in his Army dress uniform, initially spoke quickly and nervously, the sheets of paper containing his opening statement shaking in his hand as he read aloud. He called the attacks on those who have appeared before lawmakers “reprehensible” and — addressing his father, who brought the Vindman family to the United States from the Soviet Union decades ago — said: “Do not worry, I will be fine for telling the truth.”

Later in the hearing, though, Vindman seemed to grow more confident. At one point, he corrected Nunes after the Republican called him “Mr. Vindman,” rather than by his military rank.

“It’s Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, please,” Vindman said. He later declared himself “never partisan” in response to accusations that he is a “never Trumper” and, when asked about Trump’s attacks, asserted of his testimony: “I knew I was assuming a lot of risk.”

On Tuesday, Trump said of Vindman: “I never saw the man. I understand now he wears his uniform when he goes in.”

Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son, tweeted: “What a joke… Can anyone watch this and believe that Vindman has any credibility?

As expected, Vindman and Williams both testified that what they heard in the July 25th phone call left them sufficiently concerned to take further action. In Vindman’s case, that meant speaking with the chief attorney for the National Security Council about the matter as well as other intelligence community representatives, including possibly the person who ultimately became the whistleblower that started off this whole process. Vindmain also pushed back hard against the idea that Republicans have tried to advance that President Trump was not focused on the Bidens but on the general idea of corruption in Ukraine, noting that the President’s discussions with Zelensky focused solely on the issue of Joe and Hunter Biden and the discredited conspiracy theory that it was Ukraine that had interfered in the 2016 elections.

Vindman also directly contradicted the claim that the Ukrainians were not aware of the hold on military aid, and therefore could not have made a connection between the aid and an investigation of Biden. In his testimony, Vindman stated that he spoke with Ukrainian government officials in July and August and it was evident by that point that they were aware that the aid was being frozen, and that they were likely aware that it was being withheld at least in part to force Ukraine into complying with the President’s desire to see specific allegations against his political enemies. Finally, Vindman flatly rejected the Fox News/GOP conspiracy theory that it was Ukraine interfered in the 2016 elections.

Instead, Vindman correctly noted that all the available evidence regarding interference pointed at Russia and that the allegation that the interference actually came from Ukraine is disinformation that came directly from the Kremlin. In other words, Republicans, including the President and the hosts on Fox News, are spreading a conspiracy theory that likely originated in the office of Vladimir Putin himself. All in all, both Vindman and Williams reinforced the idea that there was something unusual about the manner in which President Trump tried to coax the Ukrainians to investigate the Bidens and that they took the steps they felt were necessary to alert their chains of command or superiors about their concerns regarding that call.

As for Volker and Morrison, as I stated these witnesses had initially been requested by the Republicans and were initially expected to provide testimony favorable to the President. As I noted above, though, it didn’t turn out that way. For his part, Volker, who was not on the July 25th phone call, stated that he did not think it was appropriate to link aid to Ukraine and investigations of the Bidens and discredited 2016 conspiracy theories. Volker also stated that he flatly rejected the corruption allegations against the former Vice-President, a position likely linked to his long association with the late Senator John McCain. Morrison, meanwhile, indicated that he at first did not see the mention of the Bidens in the July 25th as problematic but stated that, upon reading the depositions and testimony of other witnesses, he now has a different perspective on the matter. Morrison, who was Lt. Col. Vindman’s immediate civilian superior, rejected Republican efforts to undermine the credibility of Lt. Col. Vindman. Morrison also testified that Gordon Sondland, the Ambassador to the European Union who will testify today, told him that the Ukrainians were told that they must announce that the investigations will be undertaken before the hold on military aid would be released. Ultimately, of course, the hold was released the day after we first learned of the existence of the whistleblower’s complaint, which caused the whole house of cards to collapse.

By the time the day was over nearly 12 hours after it had started, the case against the President appeared to have been strengthened. Both Vindman and Williams came across as credible witnesses concerned primarily with doing their jobs and alerting their superiors to the unusual nature of what Lt. Col. Vindman characterized as President’s demand directed at President Zelensky. As for Volker and Morrison, they clearly didn’t provide Republicans with the ammunition they were hoping for and did not dispute the testimony of other witnesses who raised concerns about the contents of the July 25th phone call. While we have yet to come across a “smoking gun” in this proceeding, yesterday’s hearings went a long way toward reinforcing the idea that linking military aide with investigations of domestic political rivals was exactly what the President was trying to do. That’s bad news for the President, and for the Republicans seeking to defend him.

Today, the committee will hear from the U.S, Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland in the morning session. There’s been much speculation about exactly what Sondland will testify to, especially since there are significant parts of his deposition testimony that have been contradicted or shown to be incomplete by many of the witnesses who came after him. Sondland has already revised his previous testimony and may be required to do so again. This also raises issues of perjury, which has led to some speculation that Sondland may assert his rights under the Fifth Amendment in response to some questions. The afternoon session will consist of Laura Cooper, deputy assistant Secretary of Defense who previously testified that Ukraine was aware of the delay in military assistance by at least August. Testifying alongside Cooper will be David Hale an undersecretary at the State Department who will apparently testify regarding a phone call in which the President made specific mention of the Ukrainians conducting investigations before he would release the aid. As with the past several days of hearings, today’s proceedings will be carried live on a wide variety of television and streaming outlets.

FILED UNDER: Congress, Donald Trump, Impeachment, Intelligence, National Security, Politicians, Russia, Ukraine, 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. Bob@youngsrown says:

    Morrison testified that he (as one of the situation room listener/note Takers) had recieved a draft of the transcript to which he was to apply edits as needed.
    Isn’t that draft primary evidence?
    Who and how was that draft transcript produced?

  2. MarkedMan says:

    This could be be an interesting thread today, as Bob’s post above demonstrates. Or it could get hijacked by Trumpers and the people who feel compelled to engage with them.

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  3. drj says:

    I find myself remarkably incurious about these proceedings.

    As far as I am concerned, it was over once the transcript of the Trump-Zelensky call was released.

    I’m not saying these hearings shouldn’t be held, because we don’t know yet how deep the rot goes. And, of course, the Democrats should present their case to the public as fully as possible.

    But the question whether Trump committed impeachable offenses has already been answered.

    I don’t think we should pretend that never happened.

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  4. KM says:

    Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son, tweeted: “What a joke… Can anyone watch this and believe that Vindman has any credibility?

    Yeah, keep laughing chucklehead. Military, both active and veteran, are watching on of their one get slimed for no damn reason other then he dared to criticize the Emperor. Maybe they don’t *believe* him per se but they’re seeing how the Administration just dismisses everything that matters to them. A Purple Heart is nothing to sneeze at as a mark of patriotism and yet they’ve got the gall to outright state his loyalty is in question. They insult him for wearing dress uniform and disrespect him by not using his rank – all basic courtesy no-no’s and etiquette anyone who’s spent 5 seconds around the military would have picked up on.

    Vindman may not be *believable* to a lot of Trumpkins for his stance but he’s inherently *credible* to them because of what he does. That uniform carries weight in a lot of this country – Trump’s got to erode his own base’s beliefs in order to make this kind of attack. This is why his numbers are slipping. It’s going to have an unconscious effect if nothing else – doubt starts creeping in and once it takes hold…..

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  5. MarkedMan says:

    @KM:

    This is why his numbers are slipping.

    I wish that were true but according to 538 he is merely in the low end of the very narrow band he has maintained for roughly 2.5 years: 54% disapprove, 41% approve.

    There was a segment on Kimmel yesterday where they stopped random Trump supporters on the street and asked them various impeachment questions, substituting in actually Watergate occurrences. ( “Is it OK for President Trump to authorize breaking in DNC offices”). The people polled were profoundly ignorant and equally profoundly indifferent to morality. Trump was their guy, the lying press was saying mean things. End of story.

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  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    From the Guardian:

    As Vindman’s testimony neared the end, Sean Patrick Maloney, a Democrat from New York, asked the witness to reread the message he delivered to his father in his opening statement. He obliged.

    His father was “deeply worried” about his son’s testimony before Congress on matters related to the president of the United States, Vindman explained. Having spent the first 37 years of his life in Ukraine when it was still under the thumb of the Soviet Union, Vindman said his father reflexively understood that in some parts of the world such an act would carry the “ultimate risk”.

    Why, then, do you have the confidence to “tell your dad not to worry?” Maloney asked.

    “Congressman, because this is America,” he replied without hesitating. “This is the country I have served and defended, that all of my brothers have served. And here, right matters.”

    From the back of the Longworth hearing room, members of the public broke into spontaneous applause. It seemed, if only for a fleeting moment, that Vindman was right.

    But beyond these columned walls – in American living rooms and TV green rooms, online and on social media, where his “truth” was being condensed and repackaged, analyzed and distorted, memed and mocked – there was little agreement over what was right – and even less agreement over whether it mattered.

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @drj: While waiting for my wife to come out of the bank yesterday, I turned on NPR and they were broadcasting the hearings. The first bit I heard was some Republican asking a question with a lead that was so baseless I clicked off before he even got to the question. When I came back it was a DEM preening for the cameras by pointing out all the ribbons on Vindman’s chest and segueing into the recent pardons for US war criminals… click.

    I don’t have the stomach. I am very grateful for those who do because they can tell me the highlights and the lowlights without inflicting all the senseless bullshit on me.

  8. DrDaveT says:

    It isn’t about evidence any more. Everyone now knows exactly what everyone did, and why. Privately, everyone understands that yes, it was a serious crime. The only thing left is to prove what GOP senators really stand for. Unfortunately, I think we all know the answer to that one, too.

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  9. Joe says:

    This, OzarkHillbilly, is exactly why I read the news rather than watch it, and why I hate Congressional hearings of all stripes.

  10. mattbernius says:

    On little irony from yesterday — after weeks of decrying hearsay, the Republican’s strategy to use Morrison to discredit Vindman was 100% based on hearsay.

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  11. Scott says:

    @KM: I’m not sure I agree with you. I’ve been part of DoD for 40 years, including 20 years active. We’ve been studiously unpolitical for the most part. I feel these days that Trump and his followers are tearing apart the military also. The pardons, the assault on service members testimony, etc. As the Yeats poem goes: Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold. I fear for our future.

  12. Hal_10000 says:

    I just submitted a post on this but the thing that jumped out at me listening to the hearing yesterday was that the Republicans know he did it. They’re not even questioning it anymore. Their “questioning” was mainly diatribes intended for Fox News or attempts to attack the witnesses’ motivations (TBF: most of the Dems weren’t much better). But they’re basically conceding that it happened. This is only to come down to whether it’s impeachable or not.

    And this is a big reason why I oppose a “narrow” impeachment. The case for removing Trump isn’t just Ukraine. It’s everything. It’s Russia. It’s obstruction. It’s emoluments. It’s corruption. It’s Ukraine. It’s the whole deal. Make the GOP vote on everything he’s done; make them own every violation of law and norms. Make it clear just how vile and corrupt this man is.

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  13. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Hal_10000:

    And this is a big reason why I oppose a “narrow” impeachment. The case for removing Trump isn’t just Ukraine. It’s everything. It’s Russia. It’s obstruction. It’s emoluments. It’s corruption. It’s Ukraine. It’s the whole deal. Make the GOP vote on everything he’s done; make them own every violation of law and norms. Make it clear just how vile and corrupt this man is.

    Totally agree.

    Sondland just threw the whole lot of them under the bus. The Trump Crime Family is cracking, and they’d have cracked on the rest of Trump’s corruption. The culties are one thing but most people don’t want a perjury conviction.

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  14. Scott F. says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    The culties are one thing but most people don’t want a perjury conviction.

    Perhaps Roger Stone’s conviction earlier this week for lying to Congress was a revelation for the witnesses the last couple of days.

  15. pylon says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Yes. He has tossed every single defence they have come up with aside. He actually used the words “quid pro quo”. He directly implicated Trump, who he knows very well. He said it was for political purposes. He said the aid was critical to Ukraine (so not to be shrugged off).

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  16. Mister Bluster says:

    Citizen Nunes is questioning Sonland and referring to Lt. Col. Vindman as Mr. Vindman.
    What a little man the Representative is.

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  17. Jax says:

    Hahahaha……”You believe the President, right?” The look on Sondland’s face was hilarious!!!

    Is that the sound of a TV being thrown out a White House window?

  18. MarkedMan says:

    @Jax: What does that refer to?

  19. CSK says:

    As far as I can figure out, Cult45’s line is that Trump was investigating corruption in Ukraine, and not only is there not anything illegal about that–it’s praiseworthy! The man was just doing his job!

    I know, I know.

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  20. MarkedMan says:

    Over the past month or so I’ve heard several Republican Congress critters asked if it would be wrong for a president to ask a foreign country for help in their election campaign. The go to answer seems to be, “I don’t answer hypothetical questions. We will have to wait to see what the President did.” Or, put another way, “I can’t tell right from wrong until I know whether Trump did it.” So bear that in mind lest you think one of these Republican dirtbags will develop a spine.

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  21. EddieInCA says:

    The silence coming from the White House…..

    ….says it all.

  22. Scott says:

    @Mister Bluster: I would pay good money for someone in that room to go “MOO” every time Nunes finishes talking. I know that’s childish but there you go.

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  23. Kathy says:

    @Jax:

    Is that the sound of a TV being thrown out a White House window?

    The new LED and plasma TVs are too light to break windows, and they don’t make such a satisfying CRASH when they hit the ground.

  24. CSK says:

    Oh, Lawd, this priceless. From a member of Cult45:

    “Our diplomats do not understand negotiation. Trump does.”

    Priceless.

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  25. Jax says:
  26. gVOR08 says:

    @Hal_10000: We’re not going to have a truth and reconciliation commission. The impeachment hearings are all we’ll get. And they can’t be considered complete until we know the answer to the question Mueller scrupulously avoided. Why is Trump doing this? Maybe it’s just Trump Tower Istanbul and Putin blowing smoke about Trump Tower Moscow. If the answer is just another example of the banality of evil, we still need to know.

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  27. Mister Bluster says:

    “Our diplomats do not understand negotiation. Trump does.”

    “We will no longer give the US president something to boast about for nothing in return, and we must receive from the US what is corresponding to the results that President Trump is already boasting as his achievements,” Kim said.
    Source

    HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!

  28. pylon says:

    “If you could show me that Trump actually was engaging in a quid pro quo, outside the phone call, that would be very disturbing”
    — Graham in October on “Axios on HBO”

    “I know that members of this Committee have frequently framed these complicated issues in the form of a simple question: Was there a ‘quid pro quo?’ As I testified previously, with regard to the requested White House call and White House meeting, the answer is yes.”
    — Sondland in his opening statement at a public impeachment hearing

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  29. mattbernius says:

    How does anyone look at these speaking notes the President was carrying with him as he departed the Whitehouse today and not realize that something is really, really wrong.

    https://twitter.com/GettyImagesNews/status/1197202729334128642

    Its not a retouch. And this should frighten people to their core.

  30. mattbernius says:

    One other note, everything looks poised to throw Giuliani under the bus at this moment. I don’t see how he doesn’t pull others with him.

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  31. Teve says:

    @mattbernius: that’s messed up.

    in other news Vanity Fair says Pompeo could be getting ready to turn.

  32. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scott: At heart I’m still 10 years old. So I want to hear it too.

  33. CSK says:

    @mattbernius:
    Sweet Jesus. Trump is certifiable.

    @Teve:
    Pretty soon Trump won’t be able to hold a Cabinet meeting, because he’ll have no Cabinet.

  34. Teve says:

    On Twitter you can find a short video clip of Devin Nunes’s face after sondland’s testimony. It’s a look that for several seconds says “O God we are fucked.”

    one of the Cognitive Dissonance podcast guys just tweeted out “why Johnny Ringo… it looks like someone just walked over your grave.”

  35. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: He’ll just hold one in the kitchen.

  36. Just Another Ex-Republican says:

    @Hal_10000: I get your point, but I’m not sure I agree. Keeping it simple and direct has a lot of advantages. There’s not going to be a conviction (boy I hope I have to eat those words!), so this is basically a political fight for the next election.

    A wide impeachment gives room for Trump’s defenders to more easily confuse the issues and drag in how the D’s are throwing everything against the wall because they hate him so much. They will play those cards anyway, but if the D’s can stay focused (hah! not bloody likely) they should keep circling back to a very narrow and well supported charge. Trump held up military aid approved by Congress in an attempt to smear a political opponent and help his own re-election chances. Nobody, not even the R’s any more, is really arguing that. They just keep attacking process and people but not the facts.

    Then the actual election rolls around, and hopefully the D’s have managed to hammer it into the public’s skull that the whole impeachment was driven by Trump trying to cheat for the election.

  37. Jax says:

    Gym Jordan is about as annoying to listen to as Trump.

  38. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: And serve hamberders and covfefe!

  39. JohnSF says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    How can Adam Schiff at some point not say: “I moo-ve to adjourn…”?
    No way I could resist… 🙂

  40. CSK says:

    And, for the record, Trump cannot spell “Zelensky.” In his notes, he renders it “Zellinsky.”

  41. Kit says:

    @mattbernius:

    Its not a retouch. And this should frighten people to their core.

    I’m frightened: our poor President is being terrorized by a demonic sharpie. We’ve been blind the entire time! This raises urgent questions.

  42. David M says:

    Shamelessly stolen but funny

    If GOP talking points were applied to bank robbery:
    1) it isn’t bank robbery if you don’t get the cash;
    2) it isn’t bank robbery if you don’t like some of the people who work there;
    3) I can rob any bank I want; it isn’t bank robbery if– look! A bird!
    4) It isn’t a bank robbery if the robber says it isn’t;
    5) It isn’t a bank robbery if witnesses are afraid to finger the perp;
    6) It isn’t bank robbery if another bank was robbed a long time ago;
    7) Who cares about this bank? It’s not like an important bank.
    8) Bank robbery isn’t illegal;
    9) You can’t fire someone just because they robbed a bank;
    10) Everyone robs banks.
    11) Ugh, talking about bank robberies is sooo boring.
    12) Your preoccupation with bank robbing makes you look dumb;
    13) If the witnesses don’t like the robber, their testimony doesn’t count
    14) {shouting}

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  43. Teve says:

    When one of the Republicans accused the guy who gave $1000000 to Trump’s inauguration of being a never Trumper, that was the best.

    “I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: ‘O Lord make my enemies ridiculous.’ And God granted it.”

  44. JohnSF says:

    Well, can we get to Rudy Giuliani’s testimony soon?
    Because I need to watch it and play this:

    How you get a rude and a reckless?
    Don’t you be so crude and feckless
    You been drinking brew for breakfast
    Rudie can’t fail (no, no)

    I know that my life make you nervous
    But I tell you I can’t live in service
    Like the doctor who was born for a purpose
    Rudie can’t fail

    I went to the market to realize my soul
    What I need I just don’t have
    First they curse, then they press me ’til I hurt
    Say, Rudie can’t fail

    First you must cure your temper
    Then find a job in a paper
    You need someone for a savior
    Rudie can’t fail

  45. CSK says:

    Trump says Sonderland’s testimony exonerates him (Trump).

  46. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @mattbernius: @Kit: I want to see it in the original crayon.

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  47. Teve says:

    Comment from a guy named Miguel on my Facebook about Sondland:

    He’s just some rich asshole who wanted some status with the government, not a ride or die member of the gop death cult. He’s got grandkids and a legacy to think about.

  48. JohnMcC says:
  49. Kit says:

    @David M:
    15) It isn’t bank robbery if our bank is robbed in the name of our best interests.

  50. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jax: Ouch.

  51. Mister Bluster says:

    It isn’t a bank robbery if I used my department issued piece and my neighbor made me do it.

    I used to drink coffee at one of the local diners with officer Krupke of the Sleepytown Police force.
    He said when the security video from the bank was viewed that it was first noticed that the gun was the same as those from the Police Department. Then when they looked closer they could see who it was right through the helmet visor.
    The crooks did not help themselves as they went straight to their homes in the next town over, Murphysboro 5 miles away, and stayed there!

    (Bonus points if you know who officer Krupke is.)

  52. CSK says:

    @Mister Bluster: West Side Story.

  53. Mister Bluster says:

    West Side Story… For the win!
    Caution! Trigger Warning! (too many to count)

  54. MarkedMan says:

    OK, what am I missing with all the references to Nunes and cows?

  55. Mister Bluster says:
  56. Jen says:

    @MarkedMan: He’s suing a fake (satirical, sorry not fake) Twitter account called Devin Nunes’s Cow that IIRC was poking fun at him for being a “farmer” and getting federal tax credits for it or something.

  57. MarkedMan says:

    @Jen: Ah yes, I remember that now. Thanks

  58. CSK says:

    @Jen: He’s also suing Liz Mair, Twitter, and another parody account. Crybaby.

  59. CSK says:

    Duplicate.

  60. Scott says:

    @Mister Bluster: @Mister Bluster:
    Dear kindly Sergeant Krupke
    You gotta understand
    It’s just our bringin’ up-ke
    That gets us out of hand
    Our mothers all are junkies
    Our fathers all are drunks
    Golly Moses, natcherly we’re punks