Impeachment Hearing thread starts now.
Mute this one if you’d rather not get pounded with updates.
Adam Schiff calls the meeting to order.
Devin Nunes looks somewhere between lost, drunk and afraid.
Adam Schiff opens with a prepared statement.
He is so very much the right face of the moment. Dignified and professional. Upright and direct.
We are in good hands.
While necessary, I suppose, it is too detailed and content-rich to be compelling as television material.
Let’s get to the hearing.
My morning was poorly planned.
I’ll redouble my efforts when re-caffeinated.
The man is an animate turd.
I will transcribe none of his horseshit.
He is so profoundly inane yet speaks with such a fake-ass play at seriousness, it is hard not to laugh.
He is a cornfield scarecrow who thinks he’s Socrates.
Key takeaway: Each is a career public servant trusted by both Democratic and Republican presidents.
None of these silly attempts will make even a ripple in the newscycle.
“Today, I appear before you again, under subpoena, as a fact witness.”
His motive for appearing:
“Principled public service in pursuit of our national interest.”
Kent goes on to define the proper foreign policy mission in Ukraine and contrasts it with the inappropriateness of a demand that Ukraine investigate American citizens.
Infecting. Like a parasitic weakening its host.
Ambassador Taylor begins his.
Gravelly and stoic, Taylor is a man of gravity.
Republicans going after him will likely go badly and play even worse.
Taylor laying out Russia’s unlawful aggression under the direction of Putin.
“14,000 Ukrainians have died and more die each week.”
“If your country asks you to serve, you do it if you can be effective.”
That dude has a great voiceover voice.
“It is with great regret that I inform you, Hoarse is unable to attend to your inquiry at this moment in our history. Please state that nature of your matter.”
Taylor just laid the direct responsibility for the withholding of aid in Mick’s lap.
Mulvaney serves as both the head of the Office of Management and Budget - and - as Trump’s acting Chief of Staff.
Mulvaney abused his power at the OMB to serve Trump’s personal political goals.
Describes conversations with Pence where Pence assured him he would speak to Trump directly about the release of aid - which, as we know was withheld as political leverage - which therefore ensures Pence heard the same directly.
Detailed, specific, clear and readily corroborated.
Taylor is naming names and laying bare the full conspiracy.
His testimony will be impossible to discredit on the merits.
R’s are in for a long day.
He has sooooo much gravitas.
He is everything that Nunes, Jordan, et al, are not.
He has more gravitas than Mueller had in his appearance.
The man is towering.
Ambassador Taylor relating members of his staff overhearing a Trump phone call to Sondland where he directly inquired about the investigations he had demanded.
The gun, she smokes.
You must find the video of his closing about a young Ukraine fighting for a promising future.
That’s the first major soundbite of the day.
The smoking gun of Taylor’s staffer directly overhearing Trump asking Sondland about the “investigations” he had demanded as a predicate for releasing aid.
Per Schiff, this is new - and it’s major.
Counsel Goldman takes all of three minutes to get Taylor on record re: the clear political nature of the demand for investigations as evidenced by Giuliani stating as much on TV.
It is the polar opposite of the charade of the Corey Lewandowski hearing.
The excerpts will be so damning, they will be inescapably damaging to Trump.
Ambassador Taylor: I took detailed notes.
Atty Goldman: The State Department has those notes but hasn’t turned them over, correct?
Sondy is what experts call “seriously fucked”.
Somewhere in the world, the bumbling Sondland is likely defecating profusely.
He is a stellar witness. Stellar.
He is a prosecutor’s dream.
Republicans are going to be left with no choice but to attempt to change the subject or erect smokescreens.
They’re in such a bad spot here. Unarmed. It will be embarrassing.
It links together the State Department here in the United States with the ambassador corp serving abroad - and it joins them in condemnation of Trump’s conduct.
Republican questioning will begin shortly.
That is going to be a clown car Thelma and Louise’ing off a cliff.
Redouble your popcorn supplies.
I’ll do my best to cover this up until 2:00 pm at which point today’s sobering affairs will take a backseat to picking up my 12-year old.
In the meantime, I will toil away lunchless while dreaming of a Guinness.
Direct knowledge of Trump personally drawing a line between his investigation demands and the release of aid.
Told ya that was a blockbuster.
I now deeply regret my ill-considered decision to eschew an egg and cheese sandwich this morning.
I can think of little else.
People don’t plan to fail; they fail to plan.
I’m old enough to remember when cell phone usage was considered a criminal matter by Republicans.
Devin Nunes now opening with an insipid filibuster so idiotic, a person would have to have been kicked repeatedly in the head by a malicious burro or other mean-spirited beast of burden for it to seem somehow intelligent.
I have now procured two Pop Tarts. Brown Sugar Cinnamon. That is unequivocally the best flavor of Pop Tart.
I will not be accepting rebuttals at this time.
The man is such a fucking clown. An absurd, asinine fuckwit.
The man is dumber than an effing stool sample.
So far, the gambit appears to be to deliver long filibustering rambles and then ask an insipid question.
Delivery of speeches as a proxy for testimony.
This isn’t going to work well.
Translation: ignore shit they make up.
He appears to be attempting to position the call as ordinary when its handling was clearly not - either before, during or after.
Counsel: Ukraine has always been super corrupt, right?
Kent: Until Zelensky
The guy Trump tried to corrupt.
Counsel: Burisma is super corrupt though, right?
Kent: They’re a huge company. Their reputation is mixed.
Counsel: Didn’t they put people on the board?
Kent: Yeah, like the President of Poland
Counsel: Doh. Not him. Rhymes with Bunter Hiden.
Totally quashed his follow-up questions about whether Hunter Biden relocated to Ukraine.
The President of Poland probably didn’t move there either.
It was muddled and a bit clumsy.
If that was his most potent vector, this is going to end with a whimper not a bang.
A lawyer talking for three paragraphs and a witness answering in five words just doesn’t play well as soundbites.
Haven’t heard an extractable clip here yet.
Speaks fast. Ends every statement with “correct?”
It becomes earwash. Even for careful listeners, it is fundamentally weak. It won’t resonate.
It’s in the weeds.
Lots of Americans turning off their TVs and getting a sandwich.
As a matter of public persuasion, this is a zero so far.
Circles back to Burisma.
Clearly the strategy is to impugn Burisma and therefore rationalize a demand for an investigation.
I’d give it a C-.
Could have gotten there. Didn’t quite.
A swing and miss.
I don’t know. I’m just taking people’s word for it.
He was unimpressive. I see little reason to commit his name to long term memory.
My understanding was that respective counsel would be given as many 45-minute blocks as necessary before proceeding to this portion.
I may have that wrong... if not though, it suggests Dems are happy.
Expect a bunch of grandstanding fillibusters with little substance from Repubs on the committee.
Their ship has largely sailed.
Trump has claimed Zelensky didn’t mind any of this.
Not really even asking a question.
Just yelling like the brainless shitbird he is.
Fuck that asshole.
Anyone have anything good for lunch?
The Pop Tarts were wildly insufficient.
Took the air right out of the balloon of that shirtsleeved tool.
Will do my best to rejoin later if poss.
On balance, I’d say the testimony thus far has been a solid B+ for Democrats.
Credible witnesses: ✅
New damning info: ✅
Corroborated by future witnesses: ✅
Solid foundation: ✅
Boy, I could use a beer.
Visit my Soundcloud or whatever it is the kids say at the end of these things.