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Patriots Impeachment Weekly Wrap-Up: Stefan-nixed

Virginia Kruta Associate Editor
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After months of secrecy, House Democrats finally pulled the pin on the grenade that is the impeachment process, in an effort to remove President Donald Trump.

The first two full days of public hearings — Wednesday and Friday — featured the testimonies of acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor, Deputy Asst. Secretary of State George Kent and former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. They also served as the backdrop for a few heated exchanges between House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and Republican committee members who still felt that their access to certain witnesses and potential witnesses was being either limited or outright ignored.

As always, the Daily Caller wades through the most recent stories to break down the most important details and new information.

The key players:

  • Adam Schiff, who controlled the hearings with an iron gavel. The California Democrat, upon realizing that the president had tweeted about Yovanovitch during Friday’s hearing, read the tweets into the record and then promptly accused Trump of intimidating a witness.

  • New York Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik made great use of parliamentary rules in order to ensure that her comments got written into the record.

  • Texas Republican Rep. John Ratcliffe forced Schiff to clarify the rules under which he was governing the hearing when it appeared that he was only enforcing rules that penalized Republicans.

  • George Kent testified that, “I do not believe the United States should ask other countries to engage in selective politically associated investigations or prosecutions against opponents of those in power because such selective actions undermine the rule of law.” However, he could not testify that Trump had done that — only that what he had heard had concerned him.

  • Bill Taylor testified to having only second or third-hand knowledge of the call that kicked off the inquiry.

  • Marie Yovanovitch’s testimony centered primarily around her termination and whether or not the president had a good reason to remove her from her post. She conceded on a number of occasions that Trump was within his rights to remove her, but felt that he should not have done so as long as she was doing her job well and in good faith.

The White House response:

President Trump responded to the hearings in a televised statement Friday afternoon, saying, “Nobody’s ever had such horrible due process. There was no due process. I think it’s considered a joke all over Washington, and all over the world. The Republicans are given no due process whatsoever. We’re not allowed to do anything. It’s a disgrace what’s happening. But you know what? The American public understands it. And that’s why the poll numbers are so good and that’s why other things are so good,” he said from the Roosevelt Room.

The White House also responded to claims from Schiff and others suggesting that his tweets aimed at Yovanovitch constituted witness intimidation. “The tweet was not witness intimidation, it was simply the President’s opinion, which he is entitled to. This is not a trial, it is a partisan political process—or to put it more accurately, a totally illegitimate, charade stacked against the President. There is less due process in this hearing than any such event in the history of our country. It’s a true disgrace,” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham told MSNBC’s Haallie Jackson.

The hot takes:

  • Chuck Woolery made the case that the impeachment didn’t appear to be moving the needle in the financial world. “This impeachment inquiry has definitely rattled Wall Street. New highs on everything. DOW 28,000,” he tweeted.

  • President Trump declared the impeachment inquiry dead — hours before the second public hearing began.

  • Geraldo Rivera responded to the first two days of public testimony by calling the entire process a “sh*t show.”

  • Impeachment veteran Bill Clinton advised Trump to forget about the impeachment inquiry and focus on the business of running the country. “My message would be, look, you got hired to do a job. You don’t get the days back you blow off. Every day is an opportunity to make something good happen,” he said via phone on CNN.
  • Illinois Democratic Rep. Mike Quigley dismissed Republican concerns that all of the information being used to impeach the president was second- or third-hand rather than direct evidence. “I guess to close, a primer on hearsay, I think the American public needs to be reminded that countless people have been convicted on hearsay,” Quigley said. “Because the courts have routinely allowed and created, needed exceptions to hearsay. Hearsay can be much better evidence than direct as we have learned in painful instances and it’s certainly valid in this instance.”

Public response:

A Reuters/Ipsos poll taken Thursday evening and Friday morning, following the first full day of public hearings, indicated that support and opposition for impeachment have not changed even after the appearance of the first two witnesses.

In addition, over a dozen independent voter focus groups held by America First Policies concluded that the average American neither knows nor cares what the current impeachment inquiry is about. Some voters in the focus groups called it a waste of money.

Check back next week for the latest up-to-the-minute information, commentary and related content.

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