Compared to last week, there was little development over the weekend on the impeachment inquiry, but for a lot of eyes on the Trump team’s defense, as well as GOP reaction in Congress.
From the talking heads on Sunday’s news shows, it looks like the Trump team defense is going to be… ineffective.
Mainly, it looks like the Trump team wants to attack not only the whistleblower complaint, but the whistleblower himself. HE’S BIASED, IT IS THIRD-HAND, etc.
18 USC 1512 makes it a federal felony to tamper or attempt to tamper with a witness. pic.twitter.com/nMAn1ubqE9— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) September 30, 2019
Of course, that does not mean that the complaint itself is inaccurate (it was chillingly accurate about the phone call to Ukrainian President Zelensky). The argument that the whistleblower didn’t hear things first hand isn’t exculpatory. And it is only a matter of time before Congress speaks to the FIRST HAND sources which the whistleblower will no doubt reveal.
This weekend was insane with Trump tweets and rants. Things like this:
“Civil war”? That caught a few eyes, and quite possibly, we might have a death toll to this impeachment process, thanks to Trump’s incitement of some grazed gun nut wanting to be the “shot heard round the world.”
Here’s the money quote from that thread. This is the truth. This is where we are. We ARE on the verge of a HOT civil war. Like in 1859. That’s where we are. And the Right has ZERO trust or respect for anything the left is doing. We see THEM as illegitimate too.@StewartRhodesOK https://t.co/DjB8TY0vCo— Oath Keepers (@Oathkeepers) September 30, 2019
I truly can think of few things less patriotic, more cowardly, and plainly pathetic + reckless than amplifying calls for civil war within your own country.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) September 30, 2019
This President has never been interested in leading. He‘s interested in consolidating power with a cult of personality. https://t.co/3hw5tr76x6
So, for some reason, today feels like a good time to rerun this item.https://t.co/AVxXliSO7A— David Neiwert (@DavidNeiwert) September 30, 2019
One Harvard law professor thinks that tweet alone is grounds for impeachment:
This tweet is itself an independent basis for impeachment – a sitting president threatening civil war if Congress exercises its constitutionally authorized power. https://t.co/JL9XzClGXf— John Coates⚽️ (@jciv) September 30, 2019
The attorney for the intelligence community whistleblower whose complaint fueled a House inquiry into impeaching President Donald Trump says he has “serious concerns” that Trump’s comments had put his client in danger.
Trump also tweeted:
This was in response to Schiff giving a “parody” account of Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky while speaking on the House floor on Thursday. Included in Schiff’s hyperbolic interruption of the president’s July 25 call, which can be viewed in the video below, was a comment that Trump asked Zelensky “to make up dirt on my political opponent.”
Hardly a smart move by Schiff, but TREASON??
Then, there is crazy Rudy… FRUITY-G as I call him… with bizarre conspiracy theories. On Sunday, former Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert was sharply critical of Trump personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who was also a guest on “This Week With George Stephanopoulos”. He expressed a combination of frustration and bewilderment that some members of the Trump team continue to spout debunked conspiracy theories about the hack of the Democratic National Committee [DNC] computer servers during the 2016 election campaign. Rudy Giuliani explained that he wants to know who in Ukraine provided information damning to Trump during the 2016 campaign.
GIULIANI: I have never peddled it. Have you ever hear me talk about Crowdstrike? I’ve never peddled it. Tom Bossert doesn’t know what he’s talking about. I have never engaged in any theory that the Ukrainians did the hacking. In fact, when this was first presented to me, I pretty clearly understood the Ukrainians didn’t do the hacking, but that doesn’t mean Ukraine didn’t do anything, and this is where Bossert…
STEPHANOPOULOS: So, why does the president keep repeating it?
GIULIANI: Let’s get on to the point…
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, this was in the phone call.
GIULIANI: I agree with Bossert on one thing, it’s clear: there’s no evidence the Ukrainians did it. I never pursued any evidence and he’s created a red herring. What the president is talking about is, however, there is a load of evidence that the Ukrainians created false information, that they were asked by the Obama White House to do it in January of 2016, information he’s never bothered to go read. There are affidavits that have been out there for five months that none of you have listened to about how there’s a Ukrainian court finding that a particular individual illegally gave the Clinton campaign information. No one wants to investigate that. Nobody cared about it. It’s a court opinion in the Ukraine. The Ukrainians came to me. I didn’t go to them. The Ukrainians came to me and said…
STEPHANOPOULOS: When did they first come to you?
GIULIANI: November of 2016, they first came to me. And they said, we have shocking evidence that the collusion that they claim happened in Russia, which didn’t happen, happened in the Ukraine, and it happened with Hillary Clinton. George Soros was behind it. George Soros’ company was funding it.
I just don’t get what Team Trump is trying to do.
Trump’s strategy, according to @davidfrum:
1. Talk MORE about impeachment
2. Show no contrition
3. Leave fingerprints everywhere
4. Make no attempt at persuasion
5. Read the stage directions aloud
There seems to be little co-ordination. Maybe that’s why Stephen Miller had to go on TV and get stumped:
"This is an exercise in obfuscation" — Stephen Miller has no response when Chris Wallace presses him about why Trump went against his own Pentagon & State Department and withheld Ukrainian aid pic.twitter.com/kP6ht7LwSJ— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 29, 2019
Where are Republicans politicians? Still quiet. House Minority Leader McCarthy went on 60 Minutes, and by all accounts, did a horrible job of it.
Oh, and a 6th Republican Congressman from Texas just threw in the towel in the 2020 election.
But at least McConnell said this:
Here’s Mitch McConnell on CNBC saying that if the House passes articles of impeachment, “under the Senate rules we’re required to take it up … I would have no choice but to take it up. How long we’re on it is a whole different matter.” pic.twitter.com/lTVQHZrGxS— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 30, 2019
And the people… they are swinging for impeachment, according to a YouGov/CBS poll. Still the expected differences along party lines, but on the whole, the numbers are bad for Trump.
New Quinnipiac poll— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) September 30, 2019
47% of Americans say YES
47% of Americans say NO
That’s a net 20-point swing in one week
Last week: 37% impeach, 57% don’thttps://t.co/UpfqM8pTYo
President Trump’s approval is 41% 👍 to 53% 👎 in the new Quinnipiac poll.— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) September 30, 2019
White college grads: 39%
White non-college: 59%
New CNN poll finds 47% favor impeaching and removing Trump from office, growth among Republicans, independents, those under age 35. Story here: https://t.co/ApXWX9KVsA— Jennifer Agiesta (@jennagiesta) September 30, 2019
Also… there is a lot of this:
St. Louis Post-Dispatch has also called on Trump to resign from office, writing, “The time has come for Republicans to stand up for the Constitution, stand up for America, and tell Trump to step down.” https://t.co/nmeCrqWokL— Matt McDermott (@mattmfm) September 30, 2019
And in a related note, Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) was the first member of Congress to endorse Donald Trump. Tomorrow he pleads guilty to insider trading. Corruption has rotted the Republican Party from top down.
JUST IN: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took part in the Trump phone call with Ukraine's leader, a disclosure that ties the State Department more closely to the House impeachment inquiry – WSJ— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) September 30, 2019
3:53pm Giuliani subpoenaed by House in impeachment inquiry— Bloomberg (@business) September 30, 2019
4:04pm Pompeo took part in Trump-Zelensky phone call: DJ
4:17pm Trump pressed Australian leader to help investigate Mueller inquiry's origins: NYT
Follow along for LIVE updates: https://t.co/2UPhw41VrK
basically what's happening here is the President putting the full force of the United States, in its foreign policy, and the resources of the Dept of Justice, towards validating a bunch of RT/Infowars nonsense.— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) September 30, 2019