Leave it to Ohio Congressman Michael Turner to cut through the noise and lay the impeachment inquiry out for the big nothing burger that it is.
In Wednesday’s hearing, which included witnesses David Holmes and Fiona Hill, Turner took a moment to let everybody know the “score” of the Democrats’ investigation into President Donald Trump allegedly engaging in quid pro quo with Ukraine in order to set off an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden.
“For those of you keeping score at home,” Turner said, “the effort to accuse our president of coercion, extortion or bribery with these witnesses … basically break down as follows: We have [George] Kent and Ambassador [William] Taylor who spoke of hearsay, their hearsay of these matters that they said that they had heard. [They] were all statements that they had heard from others who have also testified in front of us, so there’s no one that’s missing.”
“Kent and Taylor basically said they’d heard [of pressure on Ukraine to investigate] from [Tim] Morrison and [Gordon] Sondland,” Turner continued, “Morrison basically indicated he’d heard it from Sondland, and Sondland testified yesterday he’d heard it from ‘no one on the planet.'”
“[Alexander] Vindman and Morrison both have direct testimony of the phone call with the president of the United States. Beyond that, they only had contact with Sondland and, again, Sondland indicated that he had contact [about it] with ‘no one on the planet,'” he added.
Turner next turned to Kurt Volker who actually had direct contact with the Ukrainians and Trump, but whose testimony indicated Trump never set the condition of investigations in exchange for aid.
Turner then threw on top of all of this that no investigation into Biden actually took place, the Ukraine president has said there was no pressure to investigate, and the transcript of the call is available which shows no wrongdoing. Throw all of this together and it’s hard to see how Democrats think they have anything that will stick against the president.
Turner then turned to questioning, and lit Former National Security Council Director Fiona Hill‘s testimony on fire. He called out Hill’s testimony as all hearsay and said some of her hearsay could even be proven false. At one point she said Ambassador Sondland met with Rudy Giuliani as ambassador, but Sondland already testified that no such meeting ever took place.
“This is the problem … no matter how convinced we are, Dr. Hill, no matter how much we believe we know that what we’ve heard is true, it is still just what we’ve heard,” Turner said.
Turner continued his takedown of the entire impeachment inquiry by saying the only firsthand testimony belongs to Volker, who testified that there was no quid pro quo.
“[Do] you guys want to be the laughing stock of history to impeach a president of the United States because he didn’t take a meeting?” Turner asked the witnesses and House Democrats, referring to the fact that it has been alleged that Trump canceling a meeting with the Ukraine president ties into the supposed quid pro quo. “Oh, please, Dear God. Please undertake that.”
Turning his attention to Holmes, Turner eviscerated him for testifying that Sondland had said Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky “loves your a**” to President Trump.
“Mr. Holmes, that information had nothing whatsoever to do with the subject matter of any of these hearings. It was anecdotal. It was extraneous,” said Turner.
Turner said Holmes “embarrassed” President Zelensky by providing such irrelevant information.
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