President Trump and his team “feel really great” about the Democrats’ first public impeachment hearing because it totally imploded, White House sources told Axios’ Jonathan Swan.
Swan — a frequent Trump critic — made the revelation on the Fox News program, “Special Report with Bret Baier.”
“They feel really great about today,” Swan said. “The White House was pretty disorganized and dysfunctional until recently. They’ve only just started to assemble a team. But they are in a strong position. They know that Republicans are in lockstep [because] that vote in the House [had] zero Republicans defecting.”
Bret Baier interjected, “That was the big moment. There were two Democrats who voted against the inquiry.”
Swan agreed. “Correct, that was the big moment. That’s when [the Trump team] breathed a big sigh of relief because they had been watching a few of these House Republicans saying things. And they were quite nervous that there was going to be a substantial defection in the Senate. All signs they have at the moment are that’s not going to happen.”
(Source: Special Report with Bret Baier)
Swan said House Democrats had told him before the hearing that “we need a blockbuster opening hearing.”
However, he noted that the hearing was underwhelming and a total failure for Democrats, who need to convince the American public that President Trump must be removed.
“No, they did not get [a blockbuster hearing],” Swan lamented. “There was tiny slivers of new information, but no new major piece. Democrats are hoping this is going to be riveting enough that it’s going to move public opinion such that Senate Democrats will convict him. We saw nothing today that would do that.”
Republicans Jim Jordan and Devin Nunes annihilated impeachment “witnesses” Bill Taylor and George Kent for their anti-Trump testimonies at yesterday’s impeachment hearing.
Jordan, Nunes and other Republicans pointed out that Taylor and Kent’s testimonies were based on second- or third-hand hearsay rather than direct knowledge of the July phone call between President Trump and Ukraine’s president.
In everyday parlance, that’s called “gossip.”
Both the Ukrainian president and Ukraine’s foreign minister said Trump did nothing wrong or improper on the call (that’s direct testimony from principals who were on the call).
It’s odd to call Bill Taylor and George Kent “witnesses” since technically, they didn’t witness anything. They based their statements on third-hand hearsay.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy tweeted his disbelief at the inane testimony of “star witness” William Taylor, who thinks President Trump committed an impeachable offense when:
- Taylor was not on the July 25 Ukraine phone call.
- Taylor has never even met President Trump.
.@Jim_Jordan: You didn’t listen in on President Trump & Zelensky’s call?
Taylor: I did not.
Jordan: You’ve never talked with Chief of Staff Mulvaney?
Taylor: I never did.
Jordan: You’ve never met the President?
Taylor: That’s correct.
Jordan: And you’re their star witness. pic.twitter.com/ebZ6jsEjeB
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) November 13, 2019
1) The transcript is public—it shows NO conditionality or quid pro quo
2) Presidents Trump and Zelensky have both confirmed—NO pressure
3) Ukraine didn't know that aid was being withheld at the time of the call
4) The aid was released without any action from Ukraine
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) November 13, 2019
Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale called the sham hearing a total “waste of time.” He tweeted:
- Taylor never met President Trump or talked to his Chief of Staff.
- Ukrainian president Zelensky never mentioned anything improper to Taylor.
- Taylor’s testimony is hearsay of six people having four conversations.
Republican Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner told Fox News that Democrat Adam Schiff — the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee — is conducting a sham, Stalinesque impeachment against Trump that gives the president fewer rights than accused serial killers and rapists.
“This is kind of the way Stalin ran his courts,” Sensenbrenner said. “Adam Schiff has completely ignored any sense of fair play. He has not allowed the President to defend himself or even call witnesses. People who are accused of serial murder or serial rape [have] more rights than the president of the United States does.”
In 1999, Sensenbrenner gave the opening statement in the impeachment of then-President Bill Clinton, so he can speak from experience about how legitimate impeachment hearings should be conducted.
Sensenbrenner pointed out that unlike yesterday’s impeachment hearings against President Trump, both Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon had due process rights and were allowed to defend themselves.
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