Completely Unofficial Summary of Impeachment Hearings Day 1

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19 mins read
"Impeach Trump Rally Mt. Prospect Illinois 6-15-19" by Charles Edward Miller. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Summary of Impeachment Hearings Day 1 
Summary of Day 2 will be posted on Monday, November 18, so you have a chance to catch up before the next public hearings on Tuesday.

Full Transcript here

House Intelligence Committee Members:

  • Chair – Adam B. Schiff (D-CA28)
  • Jim Himes (D-CT4)
  • Terri Sewell (D-AL7)
  • André Carson (D-IN7)
  • Jackie Speier (D-CA14)
  • Mike Quigley (D-IL5)
  • Eric Swalwell (D-CA15)
  • Joaquin Castro (D-TX20)
  • Denny Heck (D-WA10)
  • Peter Welch (D-VT)
  • Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY18)
  • Val Butler Demings (D-FL10)
  • Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL8)
  • GOP Ranking Member – Devin Nunes (R-CA22)
  • Devin Nunes (R-CA22), Ranking Member
  • Michael Conaway (R-TX11)
  • Michael R. Turner (R-OH10)
  • Brad R. Wenstrup (R-OH2)
  • Chris Stewart (R-UT2)
  • Elise M. Stefanik (R-NY21)
  • Will Hurd (R-TX23)
  • John Ratcliffe (R-TX4)
  • Jim Jordan (R-OH4) 

Chairman Schiff opening statement: Interpretive Summary

The President tried to extort the Ukraine for his own political gain. And, we have the receipts.

Direct Quote:

Our answer to these questions will affect not only the future of this presidency, but the future of the presidency itself, and what kind of conduct or misconduct the American people may come to expect from their Commander-in-Chief.” “Without rancor if we can, without delay regardless, and without party favor or prejudice if we are true to our responsibilities. Benjamin Franklin was asked what kind of a country America was to become, “A Republic,” he answered, “if you can keep it.” The fundamental issue raised by the impeachment inquiry into Donald J. Trump is: Can we, keep it?

> Full Opening Statement here

[*Note: There were pointless points of order interruptions by GOPs Ratcliffe during Schiff’s opening Statement] 

[Note: Somewhere during this opening, Rep Mark Meadows (R-NC11) fled out into the lobby and spouted all kinds of “hoax & witch hunt” stuff to any press who would listen.] 

Ranking Member Nunes opening statement: Interpretive Summary:

Blah Blah Deep State Hoax Yada Yada Moo Moo*

(*Nunes is current suing someone on twitter who calls themselves “Devin Nunes’ Cow” for, I believe, hurt feelings. Which explains this video.)

> Full Opening Statement here

George Kent’s Opening Statement: Interpretive Summary

The President totally tried to bribe the Ukraine and cost lives and risked our national security in doing so.

Direct Quote:

Ukraine’s success is very much in our national interest in the way we have defined our national interest broadly in Europe for the past 75 years.” “Russia invaded Ukraine, occupying 7% of its territory, roughly equivalent to the size of Texas for the United States. At that time, Ukraine’s state institutions were on the verge of collapse. Ukrainian civil society answered the challenge. They formed volunteer battalions of citizens, including technology professionals and medics. They crowdsourced funding for their own weapons, body armor, and supplies. They were the 21st century Ukrainian equivalent of our own Minutemen of 1776, buying time for a regular army to reconstitute. Since then, more than 13,000 Ukrainians have died on Ukrainian soil, defending their territorial integrity and sovereignty from Russian aggression. America’s support in Ukraine’s own de facto war of independence has been critical in this regard. By analogy, the American colonies may not have prevailed against the British imperial might without the help of transatlantic friends after 1776.

Ambassador Taylor’s Opening Statement: Interpretive Summary

The President totally tried to bribe the Ukraine and cost lives and risked our national security in doing so.

Direct Quote

Ambassador Sondland called President Trump and told him of his meetings in Kyiv. A member of my staff could hear President Trump on the phone asking Ambassador Sondland about the investigations. Ambassador Sondland told President Trump the Ukrainians were ready to move forward. Following the call with President Trump, the member of my staff asked Ambassador Sondland what President Trump thought about Ukraine. Ambassador Sondland responded that President Trump cares more about the investigations of Biden, which Giuliani was pressing for.

Schiff then questioned Taylor and Kent to highlight some of the key damning points. Democratic Counsel Daniel Goldman then questioned Kent and Taylor 

Nunes then questioned Taylor to squeeze Hillary Clinton, former President Obama and the Bidens into the conversation. Then released the remainder of his time to Jim Jordan. [Note: Jim Jordan wasn’t even on the Intelligence Committee until last Friday when GOP Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy switched Rep Rick Crawford out and put Jordan in.] 

Rep Jim Jordan (R-OH4): Interpretive Summary:

THERE’S NO CORRUPTION TO SEE HERE, SO EVERYBODY JUST NEEDS TO QUIT LOOKING! AND ANYONE THAT IS LOOKING IS CORRUPT. YOU GUYS ARE BOTH LOUSY STAR WITNESSES!

Direct Quote:

We’ve got six people having four conversations in one sentence and you just told me this is where you got your clear understanding. Even though you had three opportunities with President Zelensky, for him to tell you, “You know what, we’re going to do these investigations to get the aid.” Didn’t tell you three different times. Never makes an announcement, never tweets about it. Never does a CNN interview.

[*After Jordan finished, Schiff asked Taylor if he had anything else to say – because Jordan kept interrupting him and speechifying. Taylor: “Let me just say that I don’t consider myself a star witness for anything.” “As I think I was clear about, I’m not here to take one side or the other or to advocate any particular outcomes. Let me just restate that.”] 

Republican Counsel Steve Castor then questioned Taylor and Kent.

(His heart really didn’t seem to be in it…) 

Representatives then questioned Ambassador Taylor and George Kent. 

Jim Himes (D-CT4) Interpretive Summary:

So, what Giuliani, Trump & company did was not in anyway trying to stop corruption in the Ukraine as they claim. 

John Ratcliffe (R-TX4) Interpretive Summary:

So, President Zelensky didn’t know he was being blackmailed at first, isn’t that right? And, even when he did realize he was being blackmailed, he totally told all the world press that he wasn’t being. So, I say, if they impeach Trump they have to impeach Zelensky, too!

[*Note: He accidentally called Trump a liar during one of his ramblings.]

Rep Terri Sewell (D-AL7) Interpretive Summary:

So, Ambassador Sondland (who keeps remembering things he forgot to mention or said the exact opposite of in his behind-closed-doors testimony) attended the inauguration of President Zelensky even though, as ambassador to the European Union he truly had no business being near anything to do with the Ukraine. (And he’s pals with Mick Mulvaney.) [Reminder, because it’s hard to keep up: Mulvaney is currently Director of the Office of Management and Budget AND acting White House Chief of Staff.] And for whatever off-the-wall reason, Secretary of Energy Perry was all up in their business, too. And, the only guy who actually had a right to be there was Ambassador Volker. And they were The Three Amigos. Oh, and Giuliani was just everywhere he had no business being 

Michael Turner (R-OH10) Interpretive Summary:

Hearsay. Hearsay. Hearsay. Everything everyone is saying is heresay. [*Note: Those with first-hand accounts are being blocked from Congress by the White House and State Department. #ObstructionOfJustice] Rep Turner turned the balance of his time over to Jim Jordan (R-OH4) who rambled about how unfair it was that they didn’t get to question the “one who started this all” – meaning the Whistleblower. (Whose identity is protected by law.) 

Andre Carson (D-IN7) Interpretive Summary:

Ambassador Yovanovitch, who Giuliani & company conspired in a smear campaign to drive out of office was, in fact, an honest, hard-working career diplomat who has been trying to help reduce corruption in the Ukraine, the platform that current President Zelensky ran on. 

Brad Wenstrup (R-OH2) Interpretive Summary:

Trump is doing Ukraine stuff better than Obama, right? Then he released the remainder of his time to Jim Jordan. Rep Jim Jordan: NOTHING HAS HAPPENED. YOU ARE ALL WRONG ABOUT EVERYTHING. WRONG! 

Jackie Speier (D-CA14) Interpretive Summary:

State Department is not releasing to Congress any of the documentation turned over to them by the two of you. Russia is emboldened by our weak (and probably criminal) Ukraine policies. And it looks like Ukraine has now, in fact, opened an investigation that Trump tried to extort them into doing. 

Chris Stewart (R-UT2) Interpretive Summary:

The transcript of the phone call says it all and there is no grounds for impeachment! None, I tell you! And everybody is corrupt – EVERYBODY – except Trump! [Note: The “transcript” of the July 25th call between Trump & Zelensky is not actually a direct transcript. In fact, it’s more of an Interpretive Summary] Stewart then releases the balance of his time to Rep Jordan. 

Mike Quigley (D-IL5) Interpretive Summary:

So, both of you were told by the State Department not to come testify. President Zelensky clearly was pressured to open an investigation into the Bidens in order to get a coveted meeting at The White House. And, while I’m here I’ll just mention that countless people have been convicted on hearsay, because the courts have routinely allowed and created needed exceptions to hearsay. 

Elise Stefanik (R-NY21) Interpretive Summary:

Trump is totally doing betterer things for the Ukraine than Obama did. Also Burisma & Obama & Biden & Burisma. 

Eric Swalwell (D-CA15) Interpretive Summary:

In case no one has mentioned it, the State Department is still withholding all the documents you two turned over to them. Mulvaney is crooked and really really wrong when he says the U.S. tries to extort other countries all the time. It’s crazy and it’s just really really wrong. 

Will Hurd (R-TX23) Interpretive Summary:

We’ve been giving Ukraine supportive money for years. And Ukraine is corrupt anyway. 

Joaquin Castro (D-TX20) Interpretive Summary:

President Zelensky was a newly-elected man desperate to save the lives of his people and stop Russian aggression – which he cannot do without help from the U.S. – when Trump was blackmailing him.

Direct Quote:

If this Congress clears President Trump, does it mean that he can go ask another foreign country to investigate another presidential candidate, a member of Congress, a governor, a Senator, or any private American citizen doing business overseas? If there’s no consequence for a president who does that, then it means there’s a green light, doesn’t it? 

Denny Heck (D-WA10) Interpretive Summary:

At no time did the President mention trying to root out corruption in the Ukraine. He was all about doing the corruption things. 

Then it was Jim Jordan’s actual turn. Interpretive Summary:

AID WAS NEVER WITHHELD FROM UKRAINE. WELL, OKAY AID WAS WITHHELD. BUT TRUMP ONLY WITHHELD AID UNTIL WE COULD MAKE SURE ZELENSKY WASN’T CORRUPT. BECAUSE UKRAINE IS CORRUPT. PLUS IT’S TOTALLY NOT FAIR THAT WE DON’T GET TO KNOW WHO THE WHISTLEBLOWER IS. IT’S JUST NOT FAIR CUZ HE’S THE ONE THAT STARTED THIS WHOLE THING AND HE SHOULD HAVE TO TESTIFY! 

Peter Welch (D-VT)

Direct Quote:

Thank you. I say to my colleague, I’d be glad to have the person who started it all come in and testify. President Trump is welcome to take a seat right there.

Watch the viral video of that here:

Also:

If the President wants to attack Joe Biden and his son, he’s free to do it. All fair and square in campaigns. He’s just not free to change our foreign policy unless he gets his way to assist him in that campaign. 

Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY18) Interpretive Summary:

Ambassador Taylor is a truly honorable person and also a total badass. [*He discussed how Taylor was 5th in his class at West Point, yet still signed up to be an infantryman in the height of the Vietnam War where he got medals for bravery and valor and all manner of things.] And, also, why did then NSC advisor John Bolton, against all protocol, insisted you be the one to bring up to the Secretary of State directly your concerns about the withholding of aid to Ukraine. Presumably because he was scared of what the President might say and you are a total badass.

Direct Quote:

On September 1st you would call a meeting between the vice president and the president of Ukraine, Mr. Zelensky, in which right off the bat, the president of Ukraine raises security assistance. And the vice president, according to your telling says, “I’ll talk to the president tonight about that. I’ll make a call.” Do you know whether the vice president made that call?

(They didn’t know.) 

Val Demings (D-FL10) Interpretive Summary:

The backroom deals that Giuliani and his cohorts were trying to do undermine national security. And the fact that it was insisted upon that the phone call of July 25th between Trump and Zelensky not be recorded was shady. Oh, and btw, the State Department is still refusing to provide your notes to Congress despite a duly authorized subpoena. 

Direct Quote:

The committee’s investigation has uncovered a web of shadow diplomacy, engaged in and executed by several State Department officials and the president’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, and ultimately directed by President Trump. We have heard several ways of describing this shady shadow operation, shadow diplomacy, rogue back channel.

Raja Krathnomoori Interpretive Summary:

Zelensky was a desperate person. The GOP are claiming that there was no holding up of aid. But, actually, aid was held up until it was revealed that aid was being held up and we started investigating and then aid was released 48 hours after that. Zelensky was already booked on CNN to make the statement about opening an investigation into the Biden’s that Trump had asked him to do in order for aid to stop being withheld. 

Mike Conaway (TX11) Interpretive Summary:

Interrupted Schiff to demand Whistleblower be called to testify. [Again, Whistleblower anonymity is protected by law.] 

Then Closing Statements from Schiff & Nunes. 


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