First public impeachment hearing starts today in Capitol Hill
As the first public impeachment inquiry kicks off on Capitol Hill. There are a lot of people outside still waiting to get in. Many are watching the proceedings from their phones outside the hearing room, but some don’t have head phones, so the House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff’s voice is all over the corridor outside the hearing room.
As it proceeds, the first two impeachment inquiry witnesses is diplomats Bill Taylor and George Kent who testify together publicly on Capitol Hill by Rep. Devin Nunes, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, he blast Democrats in his opening statements before questions start in the first hearing. He accused the democrats of organizing a ”smear campaign against President Trump”. He said Democrats went after Trump following the special counsel Robert Mueller’s report and now Ukraine. “We’re supposed to take these people at face value when they trot out a new batch of allegations, but anyone familiar with the Democrat’s scorched Earth war against President Trump would not be surprised to see all the typical signs that this is a carefully orchestrated media smear campaign”… “for example, after vowing publicly that impeachment requires bipartisan support, Democrats are pushing impeachment forward without the backing of a single Republican” He added.
GOP Rep. Devin Nunes addressed the first two witnesses — diplomats George Kent and Bill Taylor — who are testifying in a public impeachment hearing. In his statement, he calls the impeachment hearing a ‘’low rent Ukrainian sequel’’. “It seems you agreed witting or unwittingly to participate in a drama. But the main performance, the Russia hoax, has ended. And you have been cast in the low rent Ukrainian sequel” says Nunes.
On the other hand, according to Top GOP congressman, there shouldn’t be any hearing unless three questions are answered. House Intelligence Committee ranking member Devin Nunes, a Republican from California, insisted Congress must get answers to three questions before they hold impeachment inquiry hearings. He added that the Democrats “are determined to avoid asking” these questions.
- The questions according to Nunes are as follows;
- “First, what is the full extent of the Democrat’s prior coordination with the whistleblower? And who else did the whistleblower coordinate this effort with?”
- “Second, what is the full extent of Ukraine’s election meddling against the Trump campaign?
- “And third, why did Burisma hire Hunter Biden and what did he do for them?”
Republican Rep. Devin Nunes gives an opening statement before questioning starts in the first public hearing.
Rep. Adam Schiff, the Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, stuck to the script in his opening statement, as he uses direct quotes from important Trump officials who are involved in the Ukraine debate. He quoted key citations from President Trump’s July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. This method of approach however was different from his previous public hearing concerning the Ukraine scandal. This shows that he has learned valuable lesson and there is no room for error as the last approach did not work well for him.
After detailing the allegations against President Trump, House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff bluntly asked: “Is that what Americans should now expect from their president? If this is not impeachable conduct, what is? Schiff confronted the Republican talking point that aid to Ukraine was released eventually. While, “Some have argued in the President’s defense that the aid was ultimately released. That is true. But only after Congress began an investigation; only after the President’s lawyers learned of a whistleblower complaint; and only after Members of Congress began asking uncomfortable questions about quid pro quos,” he said
He also mention that Trump is scared of Vice president Biden and ”Giuliani also promoted a debunked conspiracy that it was Ukraine, not Russia that hacked the 2016 election.The nation’s intelligence agencies have stated unequivocally that it was Russia, not Ukraine that interfered in our election. But Giuliani believed this conspiracy theory, referred to as ”crowdstrike”, shorthand for the company that discovered the Russian hack,would aid his client’s reelection” he continued. Schiff also said Giuliani ”conducted a smear campaign against the US Ambassador to Ukraine”.
Ahead of today’s impeachment inquiry, George Conway, husband of top White House aide Kellyanne Conway, on MSNBC said Trump was “using the power of the presidency, its most unchecked area, foreign affairs, to advance his own personal interests as opposed to the country’s.” “Trump is all about Trump,” Conway added. “His duty as President was to stop what Russia was doing to the United States. He did not give a hoot about that. And that’s — that to my mind was also an impeachable offense. He also says he’s “horrified and “appalled” with Republicans.