House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., questions Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire,as he testifies before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
I’m going to do a series of updates in this piece trying to keep RedState readers up to date on any major developments in the impeachment hearings. There will likely be a new piece started after they take their lunch break. There won’t be a lot of editorializing (I’ll save that for when it’s all over today), but more a sharing of what’s going on and what people are saying.
Today we’ll see George Kent and Bill Taylor testify (see Adam Schiff Calls His First Public Witnesses and It Tells Us Everything).
But first, we get opening statements from Adam Schiff and Devin Nunes. Schiff’s statement was exactly what you’d expect. A boilerplate of grave language and lies. For example, he lied about Trump asking for a “favor” dealing with investigations Biden.
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) November 13, 2019
That’s clearly not in the transcript and did not happen. Biden was not brought up until a full page and a half later in the transcripts and was not couched as a favor.
Then Devin Nunes unleashed. While the Congressman can sometimes overplay his hand in some of his statements, this one hit the nail on the head.
Transcript via the Republican Intel Committee site.
Rep. Devin Nunes
Opening Statement for Kent and Taylor Hearing on Impeachment
November 13, 2019
In a July open hearing of this committee following publication of the Mueller report, the Democrats engaged in a last-ditch effort to convince the American people that President Trump is a Russian agent. That hearing was the pitiful finale of a three-year-long operation by the Democrats, the corrupt media, and partisan bureaucrats to overturn the results of the 2016 presidential election.
After the spectacular implosion of their Russia hoax on July 24, in which they spent years denouncing any Republican who ever shook hands with a Russian, on July 25 they turned on a dime and now claim the real malfeasance is Republicans’ dealings with Ukraine.
In the blink of an eye, we’re asked to simply:
- forget about Democrats on this committee falsely claiming they had “more than circumstantial evidence” of collusion between President Trump and the Russians;
- forget about them reading fabrications of Trump-Russia collusion from the Steele dossier into the congressional record;
- forget about them trying to obtain nude pictures of Trump from Russian pranksters who pretended to be Ukrainian officials;
- forget about them leaking a false story to CNN, while he was testifying to our committee, claiming Donald Trump Jr. had colluded with Wikileaks;
- and forget about countless other deceptions, large and small, that make them the last people on earth with the credibility to hurl more preposterous accusations at their political opponents.
And yet now we’re supposed to take these people at face value when they trot out a new batch of allegations. But anyone familiar with the Democrats’ scorched-earth war against President Trump would not be surprised to see all the typical signs that this is just 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 House Republican.
- The witnesses deemed suitable for television by the Democrats were put through a closed-door audition process in a cult-like atmosphere in the basement of the Capitol, where the Democrats conducted secret depositions, released a flood of misleading and one-sided leaks, and later selectively released transcripts in a highly staged manner.
- Violating their own guidelines, the Democrats repeatedly redacted from the transcripts the name of Alexandra Chalupa, a contractor for the Democratic National Committee who worked with Ukrainian officials to collect dirt on the Trump campaign, which she provided to the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign.
- The Democrats rejected most of the Republicans’ witness requests, resulting in a horrifically one-sided process where crucial witnesses are denied a platform if their testimony doesn’t support the Democrats’ absurd accusations. Notably, they are trying to impeach the President for inquiring about Hunter Biden’s activities, yet they refused our request to hear from Biden himself.
- The whistleblower was acknowledged to have a bias against President Trump, and his attorney touted a “coup” against the President and called for his impeachment just weeks after his election.
- At a prior hearing, Democrats on this committee read out a purely fictitious rendition of the President’s phone call with President Zelensky. They clearly found the real conversation to be insufficient for their impeachment narrative, so they just made up a new one.
And most egregiously, the staff of Democrats on this committee had direct discussions with the whistleblower before his or her complaint was submitted to the Inspector General, and Republicans cannot get a full account of these contacts because the Democrats broke their promise to have the whistleblower testify to this committee. Democrat members hid these contacts from Republicans and lied about them to the American people on national television.
I’ve noted before that the Democrats have a long habit of accusing Republicans of offences they themselves are committing. Recall that:
- For years they accused the Trump campaign of colluding with Russia when they themselves were colluding with Russia by funding and spreading the Steele dossier, which relied on Russian sources.
- And now they accuse President Trump of malfeasance in Ukraine when they themselves are culpable. The Democrats cooperated in Ukrainian election meddling, and they defend Hunter Biden’s securing of a lavishly paid position with a corrupt Ukrainian company, all while his father served as vice president.
Despite this hypocrisy, the Democrats are advancing their impeachment sham. But we should not hold any hearings at all until we get answers to three crucial questions the Democrats are determined to avoid asking:
- First, what is the full extent of the Democrats’ 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, what did he do for them, and did his position affect any U.S. government actions under the Obama administration?
These questions will remain outstanding because Republicans were denied the right to call witnesses who know the answers.
What we will witness today is a televised theatrical performance staged by the Democrats. Ambassador Taylor and Mr. Kent—I’d like to welcome you here, and congratulate you for passing the Democrats’ Star Chamber auditions held for the last six weeks in the basement of the Capitol. It seems you agreed, wittingly or unwittingly, to participate in a drama. But the main performance—the Russia hoax—has ended, and you’ve been cast in the low-rent Ukrainian sequel.
I’ll conclude by noting the immense damage the politicized bureaucracy has done to Americans’ faith in government. Though executive branch employees are charged with implementing the policy set by our President, who is elected by and responsible to the American people, elements of the civil service have decided that they, not the President, are really in charge.
Thus, as we’ll learn in these hearings:
- After expressing skepticism of foreign aid and concern about foreign corruption on the campaign trail, President Trump outraged the bureaucracy by acting skeptically about foreign aid and expressing concerns about foreign corruption.
- Officials’ alarm at the President’s actions was typically based on second-hand, third-hand, and even fourth-hand rumors and innuendo.
- They believed it was an outrage for President Trump to fire an ambassador, even though the President has full authority to retain or remove diplomats for any reason at any time.
- Officials showed a surprising lack of interest in the indications of Ukrainian election meddling that deeply concerned the President at whose pleasure they serve.
- Despite all their dissatisfaction with President Trump’s Ukraine policy, the President approved the supply of weapons to Ukraine, unlike the previous administration, which provided blankets as defense against invading Russians.
By undermining the President who they are supposed to be serving, elements of the FBI, the Department of Justice, and now the State Department, have lost the confidence of millions of Americans who believe that their vote should count for something. It will take years, if not decades, to restore faith in these institutions.
This spectacle is doing great damage to our country. It’s nothing more than an impeachment process in search of a crime.
Compare the two men, and we see what Schiff’s game is going to be. His goal is to flood the hearings with as many unsubstantiated and assumed claims as possible. If he muddies the waters enough, it won’t matter what he can or can’t actually prove. At least that’s his plan.
We’ll keep you updated here at RedState as more noteworthy things come out of the hearings.
Schiff makes the outrageous claim that he doesn’t know the identity of the whistle-blower. There’s a zero percent chance that’s true.
— Evan McMurry (@evanmcmurry) November 13, 2019
It’s not plausible at all that Schiff doesn’t know who the whistleblower is, but he’s such an unethical liar that nobody in Congress or America really expects the truth from him anyway
— Buck Sexton (@BuckSexton) November 13, 2019
If you are wondering how Bill Taylor and George Kent are treating their opening statements…
Transcript so far:
Kent: We would all be better off if the constitution vested the executive power in me.
Taylor: We would all be better off if the constitution vested the executive power in me.
— Eddie Zipperer (@EddieZipperer) November 13, 2019
Kent spent ample time laying out his family’s supposed 200-year history of serving in government and both he and Taylor seem to be more concerned with Ukraine’s well-being than anything else.
Taylor spends time lauding the $1.5B we’ve sent to them in aid while decrying any attempts by the President to take control of our foreign policy. Taylor complains that Trump went “outside” normal channels when dealing with Ukraine, i.e. the channels Taylor controlled.
Taylor obviously had serious personal issues w/the direction US foreign policy was headed w/Ukraine.
— Shrek™ (@shreksshrek) November 13, 2019
Also, Taylor cleans up a claim from his original testimony some months back.
Investigations sought by @realDonaldTrump were for “investigations into Burisma and the 2016 elections” says Ambassador Taylor. This has been clear for weeks now, but MSM often allows reporting to suggest it was an attempt to cripple former VP Biden’s 2020 campaign.
— Hugh Hewitt (@hughhewitt) November 13, 2019
This was a point Taylor was nailed on in follow up questioning. He had originally claimed the investigations were to get Biden, but had to admit later he had no direct source for that.
Woah, this seems like a pretty big admission by Taylor. At least if you don’t subscribe to the idea that unelected bureaucrats should be able to run and subvert the President’s foreign policy decisions.
Amb. Taylor says he actively sought to keep Ukraine president from giving an interview to CNN promising investigations into 2016 election interference and Burima. Taylor says he personally sought assurances from Ukraine president that he would not give interview.
— Sharyl Attkisson🕵️♂️ (@SharylAttkisson) November 13, 2019
George Kent just outright lies about DNC/Hillary collusion with Ukraine in 2016. That it happened is simply not in question (see the Politico link in the tweet), but once again, Kent and Taylor seem more concerned about protecting Ukraine than anything else.
George Kent just testified that there is "no factual basis" to claims that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election.
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) November 13, 2019
lol…Biden and the Democrats aren’t going to like this answer to a Republican question.
George Kent: "To summarize, we thought the [CEO of Burisma] had stolen money. We thought a prosecutor had take an bribe to shut the case."
GOP counsel: "Are you in favor of that matter being fully investigated and prosecuted?" https://t.co/Tbcm4X2OaU pic.twitter.com/RybEdDQuZN
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) November 13, 2019
And there’s this.
Listen to @Jim_Jordan review the unbelievable amount of hearsay these allegations are based on. Spread it far and wide.
This is what Washington Democrats are impeaching on? Seriously? pic.twitter.com/4LS8r31lCj
— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) November 13, 2019
I’ll cover this more in my overall reaction piece this evening, what is the even the point of Bill Taylor when he readily admits he has no actual knowledge of anything, only his presumptions? And this is their star witness?
I’m assuming this guy is serious, but woo boy that’s some serious spin.
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) November 13, 2019
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