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Impeachment Hearings Day 3

WordPress lost my morning post again. I am not amused.

This is an open thread for following testimony today.

Witnesses: Colonel Alex Vindman, Jennifer Williams (NSC advisor detailed to Mike Pence). I think the foreign service person who overheard the Sondlund-Trump phone call will be testifying later.

It’s a full day.

Keep me informed.

******************

Just a note about the whistleblower. A recent poll commissioned by NPR shows that 56% of the population agrees that the whistleblower’s identity should be protected.

I just want to point out that there are rules in place about whistleblowing. They include anonymity.

Not anonymity except when it pertains to Donald Trump. It means anonymity regardless of reporting on the person doing the unethical or illegal activity.

When someone rewrites the rules to exclude and exonerate Donald Trump from being the target of whistleblowing, then we can talk about identifying the whistleblower, doxxing him and his family and generally ruining his life.

15 Responses

  1. These hearings are not programmed for people who live in PST zone! I did get up to see most of Goldman’s questioning of Vindman and the attractive (hey, the blogger at Wonkette, who is obviously gay, keeps writing about how dishy Goldman is) Williams.

    Vindman is obviously a very good person. He was not a great witness, though he was scrupulous i his answers. But I think the more powerful testimony from him came at the beginning, which I missed. Clearly, the issue is whether Trump has any believable excuse for holding up the appropriations. He does not, but his friends will spin it as if this was not unusual, he just wanted to “root out corruption” in Ukraine. Sondland’s testimony will be important, though I do not trust him, and Hill’s could be powerful, later i the week. Vindman was fine, just not as good as Yovanovitch or maybe Kent and the other one who testified last week.

    I turned it off for Nunes’ questioning. Nothing to learn or see there. The witness whose deposition was released over the weekend, Holmes?, could be devastating.

  2. According to Nicolle Wallace and Ari Melber during the break, Vindman did well, so that is good. In the part I saw, he was being careful not to unduly conclude about things he could not say for a certainty. These people are very honorable, whereas the Republicans make any accusation they can.

    • If you’re scientifically inclined, Vindman and Williams’ testimony is pretty good. They stick to the facts, the don’t extrapolate, they are very knowledgeable about their subjects of expertise. It’s hard to trip them up. They’ve done presentations before and they don’t jump to conclusions. They observe and report. Oh, and they apparently know when something’s very wrong with this picture.

  3. Congressman Hines is always excellent. He denounced the scurrilous attacks on Vindman, which really sink to a level below anything the Republicans have done thus far. Apparently, there is talk about Vindman being relocated by the military for protection, how awful. The Republicans have no conscience at all, it is a sickening spectacle to see them have no interest in any facts, or in the gravity of the accusations against Trump. Attacking these witnesses is despicable.

    Now I see that Ratliff is pounding away at the “no witness has said this was bribery” nonsense. They are not attorneys, they are not there to define or make legal findings of bribery. They described what they saw and heard. It is for the Congress to make the findings as to what it constituted. Bribery and extortion should be obvious to anyone who has a passing knowledge of those terms, but it is not for the witnesses to make that conclusion.

    • Ratliff is really underestimating the intelligence of his audience. It won’t take long before they discover that quod pro quo is just the Latin term for Bribery.

      • Ratliff always sounds exercised, as if some great miscarriage of justice is being committed. His anger is very unseemly, these are the most serious and honorable of witnesses. It would be nice to hope that we can win more House seats in the elections, thus relegating the Republicans to an impotent minority in the House for many years, at which point more of them will retire to take their rewards from corporations which will hire them.

  4. I will soon have to go out for the rest of the day, I hate to have to miss this. It was a stroke of genius for Speaker Pelosi to put this in the hands of the Intelligence Committee, and Schiff, rather than Judiciary and Nadler. And Schiff hired Goldman a few months ago, and from what I see, he is superb at directing a line of questioning.

    Republican questioning continues to be along the lines of, “You never talked to Trump, right? You were not charged with making decisions on Ukrainian policy. You weren’t at that particular meeting.” It would be equivalent to a witness who testified that he saw a burglary, being asked if he knew the burglar well, had ever met his wife, or employer. They testify only to what they see and and know.

    Obviously, Republicans are hoping to throw up enough of this , that the public will become weary, and say, “Well, it’s hard to say, there are arguments on both sides, I’ll go back to mowing the lawn.” Hopefully, this does not happen; we have seen that the interest in the hearings so far has been high.

  5. Oh, now we have a Republican from Utah trying to contend that “I need a favor” is just a casual request for a favor, not a demand. This of course ignores all the other testimony, the context, and the fact that the funds were not sent. Could the Republicans really be that stupid? Or is it just dishonorable gamesmanship? Virtually half the Congress and a majority of the Senate is held by these people, who have no interest in the truth of anything, and thus are worthless to the country.

  6. Early on (I had an afternoon apt. so missed anything after 1215 EST.) especially during his opening statement the Lt. Col. seemed overly nervous to me. I watched on CSpan so this could be camera angles etc., but you could see him glancing at his written opening statement and the papers were shaking… couldn’t see his hands, but why else would the papers shake. He did make mention during his opening statement to the effect of ‘Don’t worry dad, telling the truth wont get me in trouble’. It really is telling that the GOP is allowing this intimidation to continue, I read this afternoon (TPM, I think) that the army has plans to move his family to on base housing, if things get dicey.

  7. Off topic: South Dakota’s new slogan for its anti-methamphetamine-abuse campaign is:

    “METH. WE’RE ON IT.”

    As Dave Barry would say, I Am Not Making This Up. 😛

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/south-dakota-meth-we-re-it-sticking-anti-drug-slogan-n1085366

  8. Seeing the presentations of highly intelligent, articulate ,and dedicated public servants like Yovanovitch, Hale and Cooper, almost restores one’s pride in America.

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