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Author Topic: Trump Impeachment Public Hearings [serious discussion]  (Read 230 times)
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November 11, 2019, 09:35:18 PM
Last edit: November 12, 2019, 08:37:42 PM by TwitchySeal
Merited by squatz1 (25)
 #1

The public impeachment hearings start this week with one hearing on Wednesday and one on Friday.  It's going to be covered in full on pretty much every network and should be pretty easy to find a live stream.  They are hoping to wrap things up and call a vote to impeach by Christmas, but many expect it to take longer.



Wednesday, November 13

William Taylor
- West Point graduate, Vietnam Vet
- First appointed as Ambassador to Ukraine by GW Bush in 2006
- Appointed Special Coordinator for Middle East Transitions by Obama in 2011
- Came out of retirement last Spring when Trump appointed him as Ambassador to Ukraine. (Currently Ambassador to Ukraine)
- Transcript from closed hearing


George Kent
- Appointed under Trump as Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs on September 4, 2018
- Has worked for the State Department since 1992
- Transcript from closed hearing

Friday, November 15

Marie Yovanovitch
- Appointed as US Ambassador to Ukraine by Obama in 2016
- Fired by Trump last Spring
- Transcript from closed hearing

(will update when more hearings are scheduled)


We don't know exactly what the Democrats plan to focus on or how the Republicans plan on defending them, but here are a few likely scenarios:

Allegations
- Trump leveraged foreign aid worth ~$450m (weapons), that Congress approved to provide to Ukraine as well as a White House visit to pressure Ukraine into publicly announcing they would be opening an investigation into Hunter Biden and Joe Biden (his most likely challenger in the 2020 election) as well as the role the Democrats played in meddling in the 2016 election..  Using the power of the President (federal foreign aid) to attack your political rivals is an impeachable offense.
- Trump used his personal lawyer, Rudy Giulliani, to circumvent the Senate confirmed State Department Officials and speak on behalf of the President and Country.  
- Trump obstructed the Democrats investigation into the Ukraine/Biden/Trump investigation.

Defense
- Trump did not withhold foreign aid/White House visit in exchange for publicly announcing a Biden investigation . (There was no "quid pro quo").  The withholding of funds were not related to his request for Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.
- Trump did withhold foreign aid, but it was justified because he wanted to make sure that the US Government wasn't sending foreign aid to a corrupt country.  It had nothing to do with the fact the Biden was in position to be his most likely general election challenger in 2020.  Asking Ukraine to investigate the Democrats involvement in the 2016 election was also not politically motivated, his only motivation was to secure future elections.
- Trump did withhold foreign aid for political reasons and was wrong for doing so, but that's not an impeachable offense.



The House voted on a resolution that laid out the rules for these hearings on Oct. 31.  It passed 232 - 196, (232 democrats voted yes, 2 democrats and 194 republicans voted no).

- The hearings will be conducted by the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence led by Chairman Adam Schiff (d) and ranking member Devin Nunez.
- Schiff will be able to question each witness for 45 minutes straight, and then Nunez will do the same for another 45 minutes.
- All other members of the committee will then have 5 minutes to question the witness, alternating by Party.
- Each representative will be allowed to have a staff member question the witness instead of doing it themself.  
- The Republicans can subpoena or request witnesses only if the chairman approves.  The Republicans have had two witnesses rejected so far, Hunter Biden and the Anonymous whistle blower.




Local Rules:
- When you post, you must have a clear point. If you ramble on about nothing, then your post will be deleted.
- You must stay fairly close to the topic, the Public Impeachment Hearings.
- Don't be an asshole.  No personal attacks, name calling, tantrums, circular arguments.

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November 11, 2019, 10:36:13 PM
 #2

Well just to start, unrelated to the topic, its nice to see the serious discussion tag present. I think if this is self moderated correctly you're going to be able to bring about some great conversation, I'll proably start using the same disclaimer on my post. So, thanks for that.

But back onto the topic:

This isn't going to end by Christmas. Even if the information present isn't enough to convince the American people that Trump is guility of a crime -- it makes the most sense for them to keep this up for as long as possible to continue to throw shit at the wall relating to Trump and hope that something latches on.

And if they do find something -- They're going to continue to poke and prod at it to try to find more. Because we don't know if the American people want to see the removal of a President right now -- even if he is 'guilty'

Will continue to post here once I watch the public hearings. Can't wait for this.




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November 12, 2019, 02:10:06 AM
Merited by squatz1 (5)
 #3

Well just to start, unrelated to the topic, its nice to see the serious discussion tag present. I think if this is self moderated correctly you're going to be able to bring about some great conversation, I'll proably start using the same disclaimer on my post. So, thanks for that.

Yeah.  I expect the hearings to be super interesting, figured it would be nice to have a thread that's not a complete train wreck.

This isn't going to end by Christmas. Even if the information present isn't enough to convince the American people that Trump is guility of a crime -- it makes the most sense for them to keep this up for as long as possible to continue to throw shit at the wall relating to Trump and hope that something latches on.

And if they do find something -- They're going to continue to poke and prod at it to try to find more. Because we don't know if the American people want to see the removal of a President right now -- even if he is 'guilty'

Will continue to post here once I watch the public hearings. Can't wait for this.

I also doubt the will call the vote by Christmas.  The last day the House is scheduled to be in Session is December 12th and they have the entire week of Thanksgiving off so there are only like 16 days left really.

I don't think it would be smart to let it drag on as long as possible though.  February is a huge month for Democratic primaries, and the closer they get to the next election the more valid the "lets just forget about it because the election is coming up" argument will be.  I also think there are some strategical advantages to finishing before Christmas, mostly because there will be a 3-4 weeks gap between the House Investigation and the Senate Trial where Americans will just home from work and discussing current events.

On the other hand, it seems like Bolton actually wants to testify, but is insisting on a judge ruling so that  he is shielded from any liability in breaching executive privilege, which could take weeks to months?  The House decided to drop the subpoena and not involve Bolton with the hearing so that it wouldn't drag on.  Then Boltons lawyer sent the house this letter.

Quote
...we are dismayed that the Committees have chosen not to join us in seeking resolution from the Judicial Branch of this momentous Constitutional question as expeditiously as possible. It is important both to Dr. Kupperman and to Ambassador Bolton to get a definitive judgment from the Judicial Branch determining their Constitutional duty in the face of conflicting demands of the Legislative and Executive Branches. As I emphasized in my previous responses to letters from the House Chairs, Dr. Kupperman stands ready, as does Ambassador Bolton, to testify if the Judiciary resolves the conflict in favor of the Legislative Branch’s position respecting such testimony.

Then he sent another letter that basically said "I know things that you guys don't know, and I think you'll want to hear them:

Quote
[Bolton] was personally involved in many of the events, meetings, and conversations about which you have already received testimony, as well as many relevant meetings and conversations that have not yet been discussed in the testimonies thus far.

It's already established that Bolton was against the whole Ukraine investigating Biden campaign from the beginning.
“Giuliani’s a hand grenade who’s going to blow everybody up,”
“I am not part of whatever drug deal Sondland and Mulvaney are cooking up,”

So the question is, maybe let this drag on for several more weeks and likely (not definitely) have Bolton as a witness, or move more quickly without him.

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November 12, 2019, 02:18:47 AM
 #4

Well with all of your great reporting here I think it's fair to say that you're the authority on all things impeachment.

I'm not sure if I'm not keeping up with the news here, but I didn't know much about Bolton -- only the fact that they didn't include him in the subpoenas.

So yeah -- keep doing what you're doing, this is very interesting and I will continue to track this.




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November 12, 2019, 07:20:40 AM
 #5

Minority leader Kevin McCarthy announced that Jim Jordan is taking Devin Nunez' seat as ranking member of the intelligence committee.  That means it will be Jim Jordan that gets the 45 minutes to question each witness at the beginning of each hearing. 

Jordan has definitely been one of the most aggressive/confrontational members of the intelligence committee during past hearings, and Nunez not so much, so it seems likely that the Republicans are probably planning on him actually questioning the witnesses.  The Democrats will most likely be using a staff member with a lot of court room experience.

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November 12, 2019, 08:24:23 AM
Merited by PopoJeff (1)
 #6


This isn't going to end by Christmas. Even if the information present isn't enough to convince the American people that Trump is guility of a crime -- it makes the most sense for them to keep this up for as long as possible to continue to throw shit at the wall relating to Trump and hope that something latches on.

And if they do find something -- They're going to continue to poke and prod at it to try to find more.

Will continue to post here once I watch the public hearings. Can't wait for this.

This inquiry is a big sham by the Democrats as they’re using pressure techniques to remove Trump from the White House, because they’re well aware that they cannot beat him during next years elections. As many of you’ll know I have been a Trump supporter for quite a while, but I’m making these statements on logic rather than affection for Trump. The key turning point in my opinion will be when Trump shows the original transcript between him and Ukraine’s President as that’ll blow away all the claims put forth by the Democrats. @TwitchySeal I’ll be following this thread rigorously, while I liked the idea of strict discussions I hope you’ll allow some dramatic posts too.


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November 12, 2019, 02:48:31 PM
 #7

Minority leader Kevin McCarthy announced that Jim Jordan is taking Devin Nunez' seat as ranking member of the intelligence committee.  That means it will be Jim Jordan that gets the 45 minutes to question each witness at the beginning of each hearing. 

Jordan has definitely been one of the most aggressive/confrontational members of the intelligence committee during past hearings, and Nunez not so much, so it seems likely that the Republicans are probably planning on him actually questioning the witnesses.  The Democrats will most likely be using a staff member with a lot of court room experience.

This is a massive power move right here. Putting Jim Jordan (a massive Trump ally) in the hearings who has been proven to ask very intense questions is something that I support.

This does come from the fact that he is on the oversight committee though, and has been able to see a lot of this play out. We'll see!





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November 12, 2019, 06:23:17 PM
Last edit: November 12, 2019, 06:37:14 PM by TwitchySeal
 #8

Minority leader Kevin McCarthy announced that Jim Jordan is taking Devin Nunez' seat as ranking member of the intelligence committee.  That means it will be Jim Jordan that gets the 45 minutes to question each witness at the beginning of each hearing.  

Jordan has definitely been one of the most aggressive/confrontational members of the intelligence committee during past hearings, and Nunez not so much, so it seems likely that the Republicans are probably planning on him actually questioning the witnesses.  The Democrats will most likely be using a staff member with a lot of court room experience.

This is a massive power move right here. Putting Jim Jordan (a massive Trump ally) in the hearings who has been proven to ask very intense questions is something that I support.

This does come from the fact that he is on the oversight committee though, and has been able to see a lot of this play out. We'll see!



I totally misread that article about Jim Jordan.  He's being swapped with another congressman (Rick Crawford from Arkansas) for a regular seat on the Intelligence committee, not the chairmans seat.  I thought Jordan was already on the intelligence committee for some reason, oops.

This means Jordan will get 5 minutes to question each witness.  In past hearings several other congressmen have yielded their 5 minutes to Jordan, so I'm guessing that will happen a couple times also.

Most likely staff council will be doing the questioning for the first 45 minutes for each party.

I agree it was definitely a smart move to put Jordan on the council.  He is good at creating sound clips for conservative media to focus on and if there are any holes in a witnesses testimony he'll be very effective in pointing them out.


This inquiry is a big sham by the Democrats as they’re using pressure techniques to remove Trump from the White House, because they’re well aware that they cannot beat him during next years elections.
I don't think anyone really 'knows' what is going to happen in 2020, but yeah the 2020 election is definitely motivation for having these hearings.  If what they are alleging is true, and I believe at least some of them really do believe it's true, then I don't really see any other option than to hold the hearings.  Just letting it go because the election is in less than a year doesn't make sense when the allegations are that Trump is willing to abuse his power as president to influence the election.  It would be like thinking someones cheating at a game, and deciding to just keep playing instead of trying to have them disqualified because the championship was just around the corner


@TwitchySeal I’ll be following this thread rigorously, while I liked the idea of strict discussions I hope you’ll allow some dramatic posts too.

Drama is fine.  The hearings are shaping up to be pretty dramatic.  Just want to keep the thread clear of trolls and derails and hopefully attract some users who normally avoid threads like this that usually devolve into an unreadable mess.

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November 12, 2019, 09:10:09 PM
 #9

...
This inquiry is a big sham by the Democrats as they’re using pressure techniques to remove Trump from the White House....

So now the "Whistleblower" isn't going to be called to the stand?

Guess he had a lot to hide.
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November 12, 2019, 09:52:33 PM
 #10

...
This inquiry is a big sham by the Democrats as they’re using pressure techniques to remove Trump from the White House....

So now the "Whistleblower" isn't going to be called to the stand?

Guess he had a lot to hide.

I don't think he's relevant anymore.  He didn't listen to phone call first hand, someone else told him about it so he reported it.  We have the "transcript" that confirms his claim and several witnesses who actually listened to the phone call.  What could he possibly add?  Even if he was totally discredited, it wouldn't change the facts that have been established since his report was filed.

Identifying him would  only discourage federal employees from reporting something they think is wrong.  He'd be instantly hated by half the country, his entire life would be put under a national microscope, there would be death threats and harassment for him and his family.  Unlike public officials and politicians, that's not what he signed up for.  It's important for federal employees to feel they can report something they think is wrong without worrying about being dragged into the political arena.

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November 12, 2019, 09:59:27 PM
 #11

With elections coming in around a year from now, I don't think that impeachment sounds likely. Procedures would take long, and it is of course onlly in the interest of Democrats to pursue such matter. In the meantime though, both parties have to start paying attention to their presidential races. I'm positive that whatever official procedure for impeachment runs at the moment will sooner or later be abandoned or be met with a dead end as the official date for the 2020 election approaches.

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November 13, 2019, 06:57:22 AM
 #12

Trump Campaign Public-Impeachment-Hearing-Eve Email:

Quote
Can you believe this Impeachment WITCH HUNT is still going on?
Nancy and Chuck have led the Democrats to become the party of high crime and blatant corruption. It’s disgusting. It’s so simple just READ THE TRANSCRIPT!
It’s time to stand together and condemn the LIES of the Radical Left, the Fake News Media, and the rogue bureaucrats of the Deep State.
That’s why I’m calling on YOU to step up during this critical time. As one of my most loyal supporters, I want you to be one of the first Patriots to get your very own, PERSONALIZED Impeachment Defense Membership Card.
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November 13, 2019, 01:13:34 PM
 #13

...
This inquiry is a big sham by the Democrats as they’re using pressure techniques to remove Trump from the White House....

So now the "Whistleblower" isn't going to be called to the stand?

Guess he had a lot to hide.

I don't think he's relevant anymore.  He didn't listen to phone call first hand, someone else told him about it so he reported it.  We have the "transcript" that confirms his claim and several witnesses who actually listened to the phone call.  What could he possibly add?  Even if he was totally discredited.....

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/congress/house-republicans-request-first-impeachment-witness-the-whistleblower

Republicans leading the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, and Oversight committees on Wednesday sent a letter to Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff requesting the whistleblower testify in an open session as well as “all individuals he or she relied upon in formulating the complaint.”

Republicans wrote to the California Democrat that the whistleblower’s accusations have been contradicted by information the three panels have since gathered in closed-door impeachment testimony from several witnesses this month.

“In light of these inconsistencies between facts as alleged by the employee and information obtained during the so-called impeachment inquiry, the Committee ought to fully access the sources and credibility of the employee,” Republican Reps. Jim Jordan, Devin Nunes, and Michael McCaul wrote to Schiff.
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November 13, 2019, 03:01:30 PM
 #14

It is ironic that Obama gave Pillows to Ukraine after Russia annexed Crimea. So democrats don’t actually care about Ukraine as an ally.

The impeachment rules passed by the house (on a partisan basis), gave Adam shift a defecto veto on any witnesses requests Republicans want to call. Shift has rejected all witness requests that Republicans have asked to call.

It is clear this is a sham process that has a predetermined outcome before any of the evidence even came out. The hearings should be moved to Salem, Mass.


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November 13, 2019, 03:11:43 PM
 #15

It is ironic that Obama gave Pillows to Ukraine after Russia annexed Crimea. So democrats don’t actually care about Ukraine as an ally.

This was just Trump being dramatic and then Gaetz straight up lying about US Ukraine relations under Obama  The US did not provide lethal aid to Ukraine under Obama, and the Republicans were not happy about that, but it's not like he just sent Pillows.

Quote
The United States has committed more than $120 million in security assistance for Ukraine to date, and has additionally promised 230 Humvees in total, as well as $75 million worth of equipment including UAVs, counter-mortar radars, night vision devices, and medical supplies.
source




First hearing just started. Live Stream

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November 13, 2019, 05:09:05 PM
 #16

It is ironic that Obama gave Pillows to Ukraine after Russia annexed Crimea. So democrats don’t actually care about Ukraine as an ally.

This was just Trump being dramatic and then Gaetz straight up lying about US Ukraine relations under Obama  The US did not provide lethal aid to Ukraine under Obama, and the Republicans were not happy about that, but it's not like he just sent Pillows.

Quote
The United States has committed more than $120 million in security assistance for Ukraine to date, and has additionally promised 230 Humvees in total, as well as $75 million worth of equipment including UAVs, counter-mortar radars, night vision devices, and medical supplies.
source




First hearing just started. Live Stream
In 2014, the then President of Ukraine said: "Blankets and night vision goggles are important, but one cannot win a war with a blanket." https://www.politifact.com/florida/statements/2019/oct/25/matt-gaetz/matt-gaetz-says-obama-permanently-stopped-military/

The fact remains that Obama did not send lethal weapons to Ukraine and what they received did not allow their military to fight back against Russia. I believe this proves my point, regardless if it was “pillows and blankets” that were actually sent, it is the lack of lethal weapons.


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November 13, 2019, 05:42:36 PM
 #17

Opening statements and first 45 minutes are over, a staff lawyer questioned Taylor and Kent for the Democrats for most of the time.  I think Kent did a good job of laying out the timeline of events since he became ambassador last Spring.  Apparently he took very detailed notes and was able to provide lots of direct quotes and details of every conversation.

The only thing that stood out as something I didn't expect was in Kents opening statement he testified that the the Prosecutor who Biden pressured Ukraine to fire had already closed the investigation into Burisma.

Will be interesting to see what Nunez and the GOP staffer focus on for the next 45 minutes.  They could attack the credibility of the witnesses some how, push their own narrative without actually questioning the witnesses much or focus on the actual process rather than substance.


It is ironic that Obama gave Pillows to Ukraine after Russia annexed Crimea. So democrats don’t actually care about Ukraine as an ally.

This was just Trump being dramatic and then Gaetz straight up lying about US Ukraine relations under Obama  The US did not provide lethal aid to Ukraine under Obama, and the Republicans were not happy about that, but it's not like he just sent Pillows.

Quote
The United States has committed more than $120 million in security assistance for Ukraine to date, and has additionally promised 230 Humvees in total, as well as $75 million worth of equipment including UAVs, counter-mortar radars, night vision devices, and medical supplies.
source




First hearing just started. Live Stream
In 2014, the then President of Ukraine said: "Blankets and night vision goggles are important, but one cannot win a war with a blanket." https://www.politifact.com/florida/statements/2019/oct/25/matt-gaetz/matt-gaetz-says-obama-permanently-stopped-military/

The fact remains that Obama did not send lethal weapons to Ukraine and what they received did not allow their military to fight back against Russia. I believe this proves my point, regardless if it was “pillows and blankets” that were actually sent, it is the lack of lethal weapons.
Totally fair to criticize Obamas decision to not supply lethal aid.  But in 2015 he approved ~$200m in aid to help Ukraine defend themselves against the Russians.  They also sanctioned Russia and kicked them out of the G8 for invading Crimea. So I don't think it's fair to conclude that "democrats don’t actually care about Ukraine as an ally".  I think it's pretty clear that general view by both Democrats and Republicans is that helping out Ukraine is in the best interest of American National Security.

Also worth noting Nunez has mentioned twice now in the hearing that all the Democrats did was "give them blankets".

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November 13, 2019, 05:51:21 PM
 #18

Now we are getting to the point where we need to impeach Congress. Go to the site and watch the video.


Watch Live: House Holds Public Impeachment Hearings



Having completed weeks of secretive closed-door testimony, House Democrats are taking their impeachment inquiry public on Wednesday with public testimony from various witnesses who can shed light on President Trump's interactions with Ukraine.

Overseeing the proceedings will be House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA), who has made abundantly clear that this is about whether Trump inappropriately pressured Ukraine to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden, and not about whether the Bidens engaged in corruption while Joe was the Obama administration's 'point man' on Ukraine.

Arguing for the GOP will be recent addition to the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-CA), who has a strong grasp of the situation and a reputation for asking tough questions.


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November 13, 2019, 06:50:36 PM
 #19

Opening statements and first 45 minutes are over, a staff lawyer questioned Taylor and Kent for the Democrats for most of the time.  I think Kent did a good job of laying out the timeline of events since he became ambassador last Spring.  ....

Taylor came across as an arrogant, frustrated mid level bureocrat. I thought it was quite interesting how he presumed that HE (and his ilk) should be the main forces in policy, not the POTUS.

Deep state, right there.
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November 13, 2019, 07:08:31 PM
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Opening statements and first 45 minutes are over, a staff lawyer questioned Taylor and Kent for the Democrats for most of the time.  I think Kent did a good job of laying out the timeline of events since he became ambassador last Spring.  ....

Taylor came across as an arrogant, frustrated mid level bureocrat. I thought it was quite interesting how he presumed that HE (and his ilk) should be the main forces in policy, not the POTUS.

Deep state, right there.

Trump appointed Taylor as acting US ambassador to Ukraine (at the recommendation of Pompeo).  Taylor agreed under the condition that the general US policy towards Ukraine, especially when it comes to helping them defend themselves from Russia, did not change. (I assume this was because Trump previously mentioned the possibility of recognizing Crimea as part of Russia).

The main force in foreign policy is not the presidents alone.  Congress is very involved. The Senate confirms Ambassadors* and the House decides where money should go based on information from the Ambassadors that the President appoints.

*Taylor hasn't been confirmed as he is officially the "Acting Ambassador to Ukraine" since the previous Ambassador (who is testifying on friday) was fired suddenly.

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