As Republicans Push False Narrative that Helps Russia, Truth Comes Out: Trump Needs to Be Impeached to Save American Democracy

by on November 21, 2019 · 12 comments

in Civil Rights

Dr. Fiona Hill. Screen grab from CNN

As the House committee holding impeachment hearings wrapped up probably their last witness testimony this afternoon, several truths have emerged.

Trump’s Republican allies on the Intelligence Committee have repeatedly pushed the infuriating false narrative that Ukraine was responsible for interfering in the US Presidential 2016 election, and in the process tried to discredit and malign witnesses like Lt Col Vindland and David Holmes – a narrative that helps Putin. But then they ran into Dr. Fiona Hill.  Hill, the former National Security Council Russia expert, laid into them.

Up until then, the Devin Nunes and the Jim Jordans of the committee had been leading the GOP charge to distract from the central tenet of the impeachment hearings by continuing their efforts to undermine the witnesses’ credibility, their patriotism, their dedication to be non-partisan and fact-witnesses.

In her opening statement this morning and in answers to questions, Hill stated emphatically:

“Based on questions and statements I have heard, some of you on this committee appear to believe that Russia and its security services did not conduct a campaign against our country — and that perhaps, somehow, for some reason, Ukraine did. This is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves.”

She added:

“In the course of this investigation, I would ask that you please not promote politically driven falsehoods that so clearly advance Russian interests.”

The entire US Intelligence community has reported that Russia was responsible. Hill also warned Americans that it’s getting almost too late to stop Russian from interfering in our next presidential election in 2020. They’re doing it now, she implied.

The other truth that we Americans must now grapple with, is that Trump did it – the president did in fact attempt to extort concessions from the new president of Ukraine before Trump would allow $400 million in military assistance to be sent to that country – and for his own political and partisan benefit. Meanwhile, as we all know, Ukraine has been fighting a war with Russian-backed soldiers for 5 years, a war in which 14,000 Ukrainians have been killed on their own soil.

Extorting a foreign country for personal benefits – withholding monies already approved by Congress – is not only wrong, it’s criminal. It clearly undermines the rule of law. It’s definitely an abuse of power.

This is impeachable.

“It was all a question of timing,” Adam Schiff, chair of the Intelligence Committee, said this afternoon in explaining why he decided it was time to hold impeachment hearings. The very next day after Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller had testified before Congress, Donald Trump called Ukraine president Zelensky to push his bribery efforts. Trump thought that he gotten away with his earlier crimes – as nothing happened, Congress failed to act – so he could do it again. But then he ran into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Chair Adam Schiff.

The other truth: Donald J Trump’s continued stay in the White House is a dire threat to the rule of law, to the US Constitution – and ultimately to American democracy.

As Senator Kamala Harris said during last night’s Democratic presidential debates in Atlanta, “The greatest threat to American security is Donald Trump.”

So, now Americans, whether of the left or the center of even of the right must move to safeguard this democracy, or what’s left of it. Our very existence is on the table, on the chopping block. This nation of immigrants, as Hill reminded committee members, is great because of its immigrants. (She’s a naturalized US citizen, having grown up in the coal country of northern England.) As she looked around the hearing room, she said everybody here – except for a small group of people – have immigrants in their ancestral past.

The man in the white castle in DC, who operates “like a crime boss”, as former FBI head Comey had said, managed to create an team of operatives led by Rudy Giuliani to extort Ukraine’s leadership, and vice-president Pence, Secretary of State Pompeo, chief of staff Mulvany were all part of the scheme. They all had been “looped in” into Trump’s criminal enterprise. They were all part of it.

And no one on the Republican side cared. They’re defending Trump – not with facts, or truths, but by pushing the fake narrative which really only helps Putin and the Russian intelligence service. It was Putin, actually, who began the false narrative of Ukraine hacking American democracy.

It looks pretty solid that the House will impeach Trump, probably by the end of this year. And the Senate will probably have their trial in January. The nay-sayers cry out that the Senate “will never vote for impeachment,” but many of them are up for re-election next year – and the most important court in the country – the court of public opinion – has not been heard from yet. We’ll get our chance very soon.

It is time for America to get off the couch. It’s time we support the calls for impeachment of the 45th president; we cannot wait for an election that won’t even occur for another year. Trump must be removed.

And he must be removed before he blows up the rest of the Constitution.

[Hill quotes from Washington Post]

 

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie November 21, 2019 at 5:10 pm

Geez! What happened to the Republican party of Reagan and Bush I and McCain? It comes down to the fact that it’s leftists and moderates who have become the Constitutionalists; we believe in the Constitution, flawed as it is, but it’s the only thing keeping the rule of law alive.

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Avatar Stu November 21, 2019 at 6:44 pm

I don’t think the senate will vote to remove. If they vote against donnie the cash tap will probably be cut off and for the $$$ alone they will not convict. Then trumpie will run for reelection and there is a good possibility he will win especially as I look at the shitshow of DEmocratic candidates. The Dems will be ranting about they should have nominated Bernie or Pete or Liz W. Similar to the not HIllary’s of 2016. If there is a 3rd party candidate. Then we are definitely screwed and if the economy continues to roll along like it is, 28+K DOW, people will vote their pocket book. As much as I hate the orange one he has done well by the economy whether it was Obama who brought it back or not. MOst folks can only see as far as their wallet

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Avatar thequeenisalizard November 22, 2019 at 4:50 am

No impeachment will happen. The Democrats now say they have to look at the election polling data before they decide to have the vote on impeachment. They are more concerned about getting re-elected than pursuing justice. This is exactly what they accuse the Republicans of. So if you’re a democrat it’s ok, but if you’re a republican it’s not. Both parties care more about themselves than truth, justice, the country, or you. Convince me otherwise.

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Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie November 22, 2019 at 11:37 am

There’s that false equivalency again, the Dems are as bad as the GOP, “both parties” are bad so we might as well just give up. In fact, the head of one party is a criminal, destroying our constitution right before our eyes. Are the dems as bad as that? Convince me.

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Avatar thequeenisalizard November 23, 2019 at 8:38 am

There is no false equivalency in my reply. I was referring to only the Impeachment hearings. No one said just give up, don’t read between the lines. If you believe that both parties don’t care about their own re-election more than truth, and will lie to get elected you haven’t been paying attention.

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Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie November 23, 2019 at 9:01 am

Your statement: “Both parties care more about themselves than truth, justice, the country, or you. ” If that’s not an asserted moral equivalency, don’t know what is. I don’t have to read between the lines, as it’s the strong implication of your statements.

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Avatar thequeenisalizard November 24, 2019 at 10:45 am

If you’re not reading between the lines please point out where I said to just give up. You can’t because I didn’t.
I think your blind hatred of Trump has somewhat distorted your views. Your defense of any criticism of Democrats is regressive. Do you not think members of both parties lie to voters? Do you honestly believe that Democrats never lie to voters? As for our democracy is in danger. Social scientists, economists, and others who study democracies worldwide consider the US an Oligarchy, not a democracy. Pushing the myth of our democracy is one job of the media, and they do it well.
Even the two best Democrats running for President, Warren, and Sanders consider it an Oligarchy and say so frequently. The US is not a democracy, so not to worry. It is a democratic republic, meaning the people elect someone to represent them in government, with no direct control over how those representatives vote on issues once they arrive in Washington. Having no direct control over vote outcome is how Trump got elected in the first place, isn’t it? True democracy is one person, one vote. But I know you know that, and I hope you can overcome your hatred for Trump to see more clearly.

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Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie November 25, 2019 at 11:31 am

Jeff, I’m not gonna respond except to say your broad brush strokes are killers. You lump all Democrats into one basket – so you group the right-wing Dems, like the Governor of Louisiana just elected, with more left-wing Dems, like AOL, Warren.

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Avatar retired botanist November 22, 2019 at 3:03 pm

I listened and watched all of the testimonies. While the constant recitals of when and when and when were tedious, and probably left many Americans tuning out, I understand that the ad nauseam timelines were important and critical to the storyboard.

But for those of us already more than convinced of Trump’s abuse of power and disregard for the Constitution and rule of law, the more interesting component of the inquiries was the behavior of our representatives. That was truly enlightening, and both horrifying and heartening. Ratcliffe, Stefanik, and the sorry excuse for a human Jordan; they were offensive, disruptive, disrespectful, and dismissive. They also consistently displayed their ignorance by chronically complaining about the process and procedure, as if Schiff and the rest of the committee pulled the rules out of thin air. Clearly an example of “If you can’t attack the substance, attack the individual or attack the process”.

Some of the Democrats, notably Schiff, Castro, Krishnamoorthi, and Demings were articulate and eloquent. The counsel for the Democrats, Goldman, was civil, fair, and even-handed.

And for those, like Trump’s son and Fox pundits, who kept saying “This is boring”, well, such a great example of the adage “Boredom is an insult to one’s own intelligence”.

It was a real-time, real-life (not reality show) view of the government, like it or not.
Imo, the Senate will never impeach. In some ways, they are in the same position as Zelensky: Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. As if Zelensky is going to jeopardize further assistance by revealing he feels pressured now, or felt pressured then, knowing he may be at the mercy of Trump for another 4 years. And from what I’ve seen and heard of the Republican senators, none are willing to risk their jobs, careers or reputations (unlike some of the upstanding people who testified) to support the larger interests and greater good. They simply don’t care.
Sadly, and frighteningly, regardless of voter mobilization, and thanks to the nullifying electoral college system, its very likely we will have this horrible, horrible man in office for another 4 years. It remains to be seen whether or not the planet can outlive his occupation of the white house… we are already limping badly.

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Avatar Frances O'Neill Zimmerman November 22, 2019 at 10:26 pm

Hearings were fascinating. Love Dems’ low-key lawyer Daniel Goldman who got all scary and steely-eyed interrogating vaccillating witness Ambassador Gordon Sondland. Trump and cabinet members Vice President Pence, Secretary of State Pompeo and Chief of Staff Mulvaney are all obstructing justice by refusing to produce relevant documents subpoenaed by the House Intelligence Subcommittee’s impeachment inquiry, brilliantly and even-handedly run by California Rep. Adam Schiff. We need to wait and see how things evolve. Hearings now move to House Judiciary Subcommittee run by New York Rep. Jerry Nadler where the inquiry may become a move to impeach Trump. These hearings are exercises in constitutionality. They represent the proper exercise of co-equal power of the Legislative branch of American government, along with and co-equal to the Executive and Judicial branches. If there is a Congressional vote to impeach, the trial will be juried in the Senate which is dominated by frightened Republicans. They are unlikely to approve any resolution to impeach Donald Trump, regardless of what he does or says. “Good” Republican Senators Mitt Romney and Susan Collins had lunch with Trump on Friday. Is it amazing? Is it heartening? Is it discouraging? Yes, yes and yes. But do we know what the American people will do when it comes time to cast a ballot in November 2020? No, we don’t. So let’s hang in there and not rush to judgement. There’s reason to keep hope alive.

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Avatar retired botanist November 23, 2019 at 2:54 pm

Yep, I agree, Zimm, Goldman was excellent. And Sondland treated the whole thing as a joke, which was offensive over and above his ambivalence…but then maybe that’s just how billionaires treat everything- what was it Sondland said (with a smirk)? “Easy come, easy go”. Once again, money in politics shows its true colors.

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Avatar Will November 23, 2019 at 9:17 am

I’m happy that congress is suffering brain freeze and not passing any legislation that would take away my freedoms or increase my taxes. I am all for gridlock!!

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