House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler opened Wednesday’s impeachment hearing by claiming that the “facts” found by previous impeachment hearings against President Donald Trump were “undisputed.”
“The facts before us are undisputed,” Nadler said, just prior to rattling off a handful of claims, made primarily by indirect witnesses and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, which have been in dispute throughout the impeachment proceedings.
“The facts before us are undisputed,” Nadler said, and although he correctly identified the date and time of the phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, he then claimed, “That call was part of a concerted effort by the president and his men to solicit a personal advantage in the next election — this time in the form of an investigation of his political adversaries by a foreign government.”
The chairman went on to say that Trump had withheld military aid and an official White House meeting in order to keep leverage against Ukraine until officials there complied with his alleged demands.
Nadler made no note of the fact that both of the people directly involved — President Trump and President Zelensky — have said on multiple occasions that there was no pressure applied and that no meeting or aid was never contingent on any investigation. He also made no note of the fact that even the primary witnesses to the July 25 phone call testified that any connection between the withheld aid and the desired investigations was based solely on “assumptions” rather than direct evidence. (RELATED: Sondland Testifies That No One Said Trump Was Tying Ukraine Aid To Investigation Into Bidens)
The chairman then claimed that the “career professionals” who had come forward to testify against Trump before the House Intelligence Committee had “told the truth” – in spite of the fact that many were giving second- or third-hand information and had admitted that it was again rooted almost entirely in their assumptions. (RELATED: Sondland Says Tying Trump To Ukraine Scheme Is Based On His Own ‘Presumption’)
“This is not the first time President Trump has engaged in this pattern of conduct. In 2o16, the Russian government engaged in a sweeping campaign of interference in our elections,” Nadler said, then quoted special counsel Robert Mueller as saying that “the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome,” and claimed without evidence that Trump had “welcomed that interference.”
“We saw this in real time when President Trump asked Russia to hack his political opponents,” Nadler explained, apparently using Trump’s campaign rally joke as evidence of a nefarious plot to secure election assistance from the Russians.
“This administration’s level of obstruction is without precedent,” Nadler continued, citing the cooperation of former Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton and claiming that President Trump’s promise to fight the process in court was proof that he was continuing to obstruct the process.
What Nadler did not concede was that fighting the process in court is not only the president’s legal right but actually constitutes the manner in which the process is supposed to work.