The House Intelligence Committee will hold its first open hearings Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET and Raw Story will have a live stream on our website for those unable to watch on television. The second hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. ET on Friday.
Three key witnesses are slated to appear:
Top Ukraine diplomat Bill Taylor — he has already testified that the White House set up a parallel foreign policy channel that ultimately undermined the US national security interests, calling it a “snake pit.” His previous statements revealed how he and other diplomats “sat in astonishment” after hearing that aid was being withheld.
Deputy assistant secretary of state for European affairs George Kent — he revealed in his deposition that Rudy Giuliani was using Fox News to help attack the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine so President Donald Trump had an excuse to fire her. “It was primarily non-truths and non-sequiturs,” he explained.
Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch — one of the most startling statements given thus far came from Yovanovitch who couldn’t understand why Trump and his cronies came after her. Ukraine told her to “watch my back” because Giuliani and his associates were working to pursue their own business interests and knew her ethics would likely be an obstacle.
The key members to watch out for are Republicans looking to disrupt the hearings. Each side will get equal time, so it would behoove the GOP to keep their antics to a minimum, but transcripts of the depositions show they may not be capable of restraining themselves.
One key person to watch is Danny Goldman, who prosecuted organized crime at the Southern District of New York and now serves as the Intelligence Committee’s director of investigations. During the depositions, Goldman was the one behind the majority of the questioning, according to reports.
Daniel Noble is another lawyer from the U.S. Attorney’s office out of the SDNY. He currently serves as the senior counsel for the House Intelligence Committee Democrats.
The GOP’s lawyer will be a guy named Steve Castor.
3 Republicans to watch:
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) — ranking member of the committee has been mostly occupied this legislative session by a series of lawsuits against his hometown newspaper and an imaginary cow that trolls him on Twitter. The vast majority of his outbursts have been behind closed doors, so it’s expected he’ll bring that level of craziness out for the cameras as well.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) — Jordan told the House minority leader to put him on the Intelligence Committee to ensure there was someone prepared to take on the witnesses for President Donald Trump. It’s unclear why the GOP or the White House lost faith in Nunes’ ability to handle things, but the addition of Jordan almost guarantees fireworks. At the same time, Jordan is facing another round of questions about his role in a child molestation scandal at Ohio State University. A referee alleged Jordan knew it was happening and allowed it.
Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) — Hurd could be a wildcard in the hearings, because he’s been largely supportive of protecting the identity of the whistleblower. He’s an outgoing Congressman who has encouraged the GOP to be more diverse for their own self-preservation. He could be an outlier in the hearings.
4 Democrats to watch:
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) — the chairman of the committee is typically cool and collected. He isn’t known for raising his voice or shouting anyone down. But he has a grasp on how to prosecute a criminal and how to run a serious hearing. If Republicans go off with random outbursts it will serve as a stark contrast to Schiff.
Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) — among the most intelligent in Congress, Speier does her homework and is overwhelmingly prepared when taking on a witness in a hearing. Her questions will be important to watch.
Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT) — “chair emeritus” for the New Democrat coalition, the more moderate wing of the Democratic Party. His perspective will be a good barometer to gauge what centrists are paying attention to most.
Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) — Quigley was key in questioning Bill Taylor and George Kent in the depositions, according to the transcripts. Look for him to be one of the leading experts on their testimony during the hearings.
There are likely other Republican and Democratic members who will stand out and who have the opportunity to ask pointed questions that will likely cause murmurs or grumbles throughout cable news. Stay tuned to Raw Story and we’ll bring you the most important moments.
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‘I Am Not Yielding!’ Rep. Pramila Jayapal Shuts Down Jim Jordan’s Attempt to Hijack Impeachment Hearing
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) stood her ground at an impeachment hearing on Thursday after Republicans tried to derail her arguments in favor of removing President Donald Trump.
Jayapal began her remarks by pointing out that Florida Republican Matt Gaetz was wrong to suggest that President Donald Trump was invested in Ukraine’s fight against Russia.
“Why then did he decide he was so concerned about ‘corruption’ that he was not going to release military aid?” Jayapal said, prompting Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio to demand that she yield the floor.
“I am not yielding!” Jayapal exclaimed. “I am not yielding. I am not yielding.”
“They got a new president!” Jordan shouted, referring to Ukraine.
“The gentlelady has the time!” Chairman Jerry Nadler said, bringing down the gavel. “People will not interrupt.”
“That argument has no weight whatsoever!” Jayapal fired back at Jordan. “No where between the time that Donald Trump withheld aid and the time that he released that aid was there an additional assessment [on Ukraine corruption] required or done.”
“Forget about President Trump,” she said. “Will any one of my colleagues on the other side say that it is an abuse of power to condition aid on official acts?”
“Not a single one of you has said that so far,” Jayapal noted.
Watch the video below from CNN.
MSNBC Legal Analyst Blows Up Jonathan Turley’s ‘Deeply Illogical’ Trump Defense Against Impeachment
MSNBC’s Chuck Rosenberg blew up the legal arguments put forth by Jonathan Turley to defend President Donald Trump from impeachment.
The former U.S. Attorney and head of the Drug Enforcement Agency told “Morning Joe” that Turley, also an MSNBC contributor, made no sense when he complained that the impeachment process was moving too fast.
“One of the complaints that professor Turley had yesterday, and I thought it was deeply illogical, is that this process is moving fast and too narrow,” Rosenberg said. “If something bad happens you move quickly. Law enforcement, if someone does something wrong, we arrest them and move quickly. This is ongoing so it’s a threat.”
“But the narrow part is what irked me,” he continued. “Here’s why: It’s narrow because the White House has blocked access to subpoenas and witnesses. It’s narrow by design, but not by the Democrats but by the White House.”
“So to criticize Democrats for being too narrow in their inquiry misses the entire point,” he added. “It’s narrow because they have been blocked from getting access to these people that … we would like to hear from.”
‘Literally Just Making Things Up Right Now’: Legal Analyst Wallops Turley’s Testimony Against Impeachment as ‘Nonsense’
“A tap dancing exercise in intellectual dishonesty”
George Washington University Law School Law professor Jonathan Turley was the GOP’s only witness during Wednesday’s Judiciary Committee impeachment hearings, and based on the reactions of legal experts, it did not go well for him or the Republicans.
Professor Turley made many claims, with MSNBC hosts at one point declaring what he was really doing was offering new amendments to the U.S. Constitution, suggesting his arguments against impeaching President Trump did not hold up.
CNN National Security and Legal Analyst Susan Hennessey is calling Turley’s claims “nonsense,” and says Democrats should turn their attention to him to “demolish” his arguments.
The Democrats should use a few rounds of their time just allowing the other witnesses to respond to Turley. Each one can and will thoroughly demolish it as nonsense.
— Susan Hennessey (@Susan_Hennessey) December 4, 2019
Hennessey, who is also the Executive Editor at the highly-respected Lawfare blog, goes on to say, “Turley is literally just making things up right now.”
Turley had argued that House Democrats were guilty of abuse of power for attempting to impeach Trump for using the courts as a shield to refuse to hand over any subpoenaed materials and to block key witnesses from testifying.
Hennessey clearly disagreed:
I cannot emphasis enough that Turley is literally just making things up right now. Claiming that impeaching on obstruction without waiting for the courts to weigh in is abuse, that’s literally just a thing he’s saying with no precedent or constitutional grounding whatsoever.
— Susan Hennessey (@Susan_Hennessey) December 4, 2019
She was not yet finished, accusing Turley of engaging in “a tap dancing exercise in intellectual dishonesty.”
To the extent he wants to now turn to obstruction of justice Turley fails by his own terms, because Mueller demonstrates all statutory elements are met. This is a tap dancing exercise in intellectual dishonesty
— Susan Hennessey (@Susan_Hennessey) December 4, 2019
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