Impeachment Hearings – Day 3
The hearings started as expected, Schiff made statements on how damning all the testimony was, then Nunes came in and spoke of all the conflicts that were shown, how the press has colluded with the Democrats to remove Trump.
Ms. Williams, who works for V.P. Mike Pence was the first to give an opening statement. She stated she recalled that on April 21 president-elect Volodymyr Zelenskyy had won, she went over to Ukraine when she found out that aid to Ukrain was put on hold, how the military had pushed to have the aid released.
On July 25 she heard the call between Trump and Volodymyr Zelenskyy but stated she did not hear more then what was claimed. But she did say she heard about questions about an investigation.
Col. Alexander Vindman, top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council gave his statement. After this while under questions from the Majority counsel asked if Trump went off the talking points that he had presented for Trump to speak about. He seemed concerned that Trump did this, but then it is the right of the president to follow or not follow the speaking script.
Col. Vindman claimed that he thought that what Trump was asking for somehow affected the security of this nation. He then went on about his outrage over people daring to question the witnesses.
Schiff asked if either of these two witnesses were told why aid was withheld, both said they were only told it was withheld to make sure goals were met. Col. Vindman talking about a “deliverable,” but it was he, not the others that made the connection to an investigation. He said they were not clear then, but then connected the dots later.
Schiff then tried to say when he asked a favor. It was a demand, attempted to push the Lt. Colonel to announce that due to the power disparity, the request was a demand.
The council then tried to summarize, said Trump asked for a favor, to investigate what he requested, the reward would be a White House visit.
The question then came up over the transcript, that it should be delegated to a smaller group then what currently was accessing it.
Under question from the majority counsel, Ms. Williams said that the Ukrainians said that the question of giving aid was just not necessarily financially, but that sign of this was needed to let Russia know of our backing them.
Nunes asked if Willians knew of the $3 million that Burisma sent to Hunter Biden’s account? Or that the ex-President of Ukraine called Biden multiple times when his house was raided?
Nunes then went on to share what the Democrats were refusing to declare by asking if either of the two witnesses had any knowledge of the ties to Burisma that the Biden’s had.
Nunes then set up asking both if they shared the knowledge or knew of any individual that shared the contents of the call. They said no if they are found to know later, they will be held and charged with contempt.
When asked about the whistleblower, Schiff first stated that neither had to answer any question that could release the name of the whistleblower. Lt. Col. Vindman then refused to answer any question. Nunes had him at a point, Schiff claimed that the whistleblower had a right to anonymity; the problem with this claim is the witness is not given this right under the law.
It is of note that the Lt. Col. was asked by the president of Ukraine to be the Minister Of Defense, did so three times.
What is of note, when asked the Lt. Col., like all the other witnesses had never talked with or met the President.
In questioning Rep. Jordan started to question who the Lt. Col. who had spoken to, but then when asked, every person in the room could tell us who they talked to, yet the Lt. Col. would not give any response to who he spoke with.
Rep. Ratcliffe then asked both witnesses if they ever said that Trump demanded a bribe, both of them said no, then went on to say that no one, not one witness ever accused the President of demanding a bribe. Yet, the Democrats are saying the impeachable offense is Bribery. He finished by asking, “What does what the Democrats claim the president has done keep changing?”
Ms. Sewell tried to paint this as a political attack, the Lt. Col. agreed with her.
We then have questioners on both sides of the political aisle try to push their narrative, the problem with these narratives is they both have many holes in them.
What is of note is that Rep. Jordan while questioning the Lt. Col. got him to acknowledge that he was the one that spoke of what he had heard.
The third day is done; from people on both sides of the political spectrum, I see no change, the ones that believe impeachment is the only answer. They want an impeachment, the ones that say they saw nothing worth impeaching over, and they still see nothing.
Congress came back in the afternoon to interview Mr. Morrison and Ambassador Volker, to listen to their take on the Ukraine incident.
Ambassador Volker, in his opening speech, spoke of his workings with the State Department in aiding Ukraine as they went through the elections. Then went into how Trump felt betrayed by the former Ukraine government, and their assisting the Clinton Team against Trump.
In the interview, he spoke of trying to get a meeting with the president of Ukraine and Trump togather to make him seem more legitimate to the people but stated that the meeting he did not feel was dependent on setting up an investigation.
The majority council tried to get the ambassador to admit that a promise was needed; he could not get that confirmed by the ambassador.
The understanding by the Ambassador was that there was no quid pro quo, but said he thought the aid was being withheld until an investigation was started.
Schiff tried in his cross-examination to force words onto Mr. Morrison, he would not agree to what Schiff had tried to get him to agree with.
Ambassador Volker when asked if Trump ever told him that there had to be an agreement for an investigation or there would be no aid, he said he was never told this by the president, it came from Giuliani.
Rep. Hurd asked both of the witnesses if any of them ever heard Trump or any of his emissaries ask for a investigation into the Biden’s for personal gain, both replied to the negative.
After listening to this for the last 11 1/2 hours, I must say, I am still no more convinced then I was before watching this. In all, this was just another wasted day for me and our legislators, people more focused on this nonsense than actually doing what they were elected to do.