Politically Speaking November 27, 2019
Last Wednesday, November 20 was to be the BIG DAY in the House impeachment hearings AND the fifth Democratic Debate (I think it’s number 5, I’m losing count) which would talk about the impeachment proceedings, attack Trump and maybe even whittle down the Presidential candidates.
First up, Wednesday’s hearing of witness Gordon Sondland, the Ambassador to the European Union. Presumably this was “Trump’s Guy,” an ambassador chosen by Trump that would now flip on the President.
After opening remarks by Chairman Adam Schiff (D–CA) and totally opposite remarks by ranking member Devin Nunes (R–CA), then a long prepared statement by Sondland and his lawyers read by the witness Sondland, the questioning of Sondland began. At the end of the first break, it appeared the witness at times was throwing President Trump “under the bus.” But after the first “intermission” of the show, the tide began to change. Much of Sondland’s testimony was supposition on his part, his conclusions, or second and third hand information, like many of the other impeachment witnesses. Finally, Sondland tells what happened in a firsthand conversation with President Trump. Sondland explained things had stalled in the Ukraine discussion with President Volodymyr Zelensky and he was unclear how President Trump wanted him to proceed. On September 9, Sondland basically asks President Trump, “What do you want Zelensky to do?” And then Sondland says President Trump responded with, “I want nothing. I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo. Tell Zelensky to do the right thing.”
And with that, the star firsthand witness for the total impeachment hearing technically was finished, even though additional questions were asked.
The other big event for Wednesday, November 20, the fifth Democratic debate, had some fireworks, but was mostly boring, especially for those who were “TV impeachment tired.” It consisted of a “cat fight” begun by Kamala Harris verbally attacking Tulsi Gabbard, who came right back at Harris. Next, Gabbard and others attacked Pete Buttigieg for his lack of international knowledge and experience. Joe Biden damaged himself, as usual, with an incorrect statement about women senators. Other candidates realized it might be best to let Biden speak and disqualify himself. By the way, has the national front-runner Biden won a debate yet? And somehow, again, Elizabeth Warren gets the trophy for getting the most minutes in the debate. And, of course, the first segments did include the impeachment proceedings and all the attacks on President Trump. I wonder if anyone would notice if for the sixth debate next month, they just do a TV re-run of the fifth debate?
And finally, quietly in the news, Senator Lindsey Graham announced that Inspector General Michael Horowitz will be testifying Dec. 11, on the DOJ and FISA abuse report. Could be another BIG DAY. And the Attorney General’s report could be occurring about the same time.
The timing on these reports could possibly coincide with the time frame for articles of impeachment. Sounds like a busy December in Washington! Or does their Christmas break start on the 13th? I think we all could use a Christmas break!
Until next week.