The GOP is pushing a couple of really bad impeachment arguments.
Bad Argument #1: Everything these witnesses are saying is hearsay!!!1!
.@Jim_Jordan: You didn’t listen in on President Trump & Zelensky’s call?
Taylor: I did not.
Jordan: You’ve never talked with Chief of Staff Mulvaney?
Taylor: I never did.
Jordan: You’ve never met the President?
Taylor: That’s correct.
Jordan: And you’re their star witness. https://t.co/2FyDReH2mw
— House Freedom Caucus (@freedomcaucus) November 13, 2019
Rep Turner rightly points out that the first 2 “star” witnesses in this impeachment sham have never even spoken to @POTUS. Think about that: in a Presidential impeachment hearing, the dems witnesses have never even spoken w President Trump. This country deserves so much better.
— Stephanie Grisham (@PressSec) November 13, 2019
Oddly, the people with the greatest degree of firsthand knowledge are refusing to testify — at the direction of the President. When he tells Mulvaney, Pompeo, Giuliani, and Bolton to go ahead and tell Congress what they know, and the Democrats refuse, saying “we’ll stick with our hearsay witnesses” … that’s the day Jim Jordan and Stephanie Grisham will have a valid beef about hearsay (which is misunderstood by 99% of people on the Internet anyway). Until that day, which will never come, their point is dishonest chutzpah. Nothing more.
Bad Argument #2: The aid flowed, so obviously there was no condition placed on its flowing!
This is the Nikki Haley argument. “So, do I think it’s not good practice to talk to foreign governments about investigating Americans? Yes. Do I think the president did something that warrants impeachment? No, because the aid flowed. … And, in turn, the Ukrainians didn’t follow up with the investigation.”
The problem here is that the whistleblower’s complaint was already under investigation in Congress before the aid flowed. Allahpundit explained this yesterday so I don’t have to:
[H]ere’s a notable admission from Kent today that won’t come as a surprise to people who are following the Ukraine saga closely but will come as a *big* surprise to casual consumers. Various Republicans, Nikki Haley most recently among them, have made the point that there couldn’t have been a quid pro quo considering that Ukraine got its money before it had to actually do anything about Burisma. If Trump was using the military aid as leverage, why the hell would he have handed the money over before they gave him the very thing he had been demanding? Democrat Raja Krishnamoorthi drilled down on that in his questioning this afternoon. The reason the administration coughed up the money, he suggested, is because various congressional committees started investigating the delay in aid on September 9 — the very same day, coincidentally, that the State Department finally released the aid. (And just four days before Zelensky was set to make a statement on CNN finally announcing the revival of the Burisma probe.) In other words, Krishnamoorthi is saying, the administration didn’t willingly cough up the aid; Congress scared them into doing it before the quid pro quo could be performed by Ukraine, or at least that’s what the timeline suggests. Kent confirms that that was indeed the timeline.
An attempted bank robbery is not non-criminal simply because a whistleblower uncovers the plot and blows the whistle before the robbers get the loot.
And as for Ukraine not following up with the investigation … hmmm. From early October:
Has something changed that I don’t know about since that announcement?
P.S. Kent clarified that there really is reason to be investigating Burisma. Aha! you say — so Trump was right all along! Not hardly. Kent also clarified that the prosecutors Biden sought to have fired were the ones most likely taking bribes not to investigate Burisma — and that the corruption allegations against Burisma predated Hunter Biden’s time on the board and had nothing to do with him. So yes, perhaps Burisma took on Biden for political reasons — but it didn’t work. And Trump’s theory on this is all bollixed up.
None of this makes Trump’s alternate-channel Giuliani foreign policy anything but self dealing.