“Man is not what he thinks he is, he is what he hides.”
— André Malraux
I became riveted to the first two impeachment inquiry testimonials of three career U.S. foreign service agents held by the U.S. House’s Intelligence Committee. I found their testimonies compelling and reflective of their dedication to U.S. foreign policy and devoid of any political bias toward either major party. As a result, I found it disturbing how Republican sycophants on the committee seemed more interested in disruptive, hyperbolic commentary and attempts to disguise facts for fiction.
One repeated narrative was their offense to what they viewed as hearsay from these accredited State Department officials, yet neither they nor anyone else has provided any tangential evidence that supports a Trump/Giuliani corruption charge against Joe Biden. Why are they unable to produce a single plausible fact or hard evidence that gives any credibility to this conspiracy claim?
They seemed unconcerned that after Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch was released from her duties by Trump for no clear reason, this vital post lay barren for a solid month before her replacement, William Taylor, came in. During this time, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland and Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, were working unofficial back channels to apparently influence Ukrainian officials to open an investigation that as I mentioned earlier had no basis in fact.
They led listeners to believe that since no investigation was initiated by the Ukrainians and the funds that had been ordered held by Trump were eventually released, no one could claim a quid pro quo had occurred. The fact that a crime was not carried out doesn’t make it any less detestable. We all now know that those funds were only released after the Trump administration was made aware of the whistleblower complaint.
To suggest too, as some did, that military funds were held up to make sure that U.S. dollars were not going to corrupt officials in Ukraine makes one ask, why now? No such concern has ever been demonstrated by the Trump administration with known corrupt governments such as Egypt, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, whom we’ve given billions in aid to. To laser-focus on Ukraine, during this short time span with this singular concern related to a potential political rival of Trump, is laughably suspect.
To also characterize these hearings as a farce and prohibitively controlled by the Democratic majority is baseless and beyond comprehension. The rules that were being used under Adam Schiff’s chairmanship are the rules originally set up under Republican House Speaker John Boehner? And Republican representation was nowhere near absent during the closed-door sessions that included members of both parties.
Another tactic that was being employed here was the misinformation being used to muddy the different processes between an impeachment inquiry and a court of law. The right to face your accuser and cross-examine them is only allowed for criminal defendants in a court of law per the Constitution’s Sixth Amendment — not authorized inquiries into the wrongdoings of elected officials.
Can such confounding and clearly self-serving behavior be conceivably seen as a grounded strategy, and would such behavior be deemed appropriate if it were part of an Obama or Clinton administration? The double standard being played out here is unconscionable.
I understand the power of loyalty to party and ideology and its inverse — antipathy toward the opposition. But can such loyalty create a myopic view whose sole purpose is to misguide public opinion and thus diminish the Jeffersonian idea of an informed public?