As I write this, we’re partway through the second episode of “Impeachment Theater,” where today’s star non-witness is former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, who like many daytime TV stars is most sought-after for her ability to cry on cue.
In testimony described by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer as “devastating” (I assume he wrote his commentary last night), Yovanovitch admitted that Presidents have the right to replace ambassadors at any time for any reason, and that she has no firsthand knowledge about Ukrainian aid being delayed (that may be devastating, but not to Trump.) She’s upset that both Trump and President Zelensky of Ukraine said bad things about her in their July 25th phone call (which some people might take as a clue to why she was replaced.) But again, she has no firsthand knowledge of that phone call or of Trump withholding aid, since she left the State Department two months before, in May. If you’re now asking, “Then why is she even testifying?”, rest assured you are not alone.
She also complained that efforts against her by the President’s allies such as Rudy Giuliani hindered her work, and “If our chief representative is kneecapped, it limits our effectiveness to safeguard the vital national security interests of the United States.”
Let me explain something to her: President Trump is our “chief representative” to other nations, not you. It’s up to him to decide whether the ambassadors working for him are effectively safeguarding the vital national interests of the United States as he defines them, and if he decides you’re not, you’re gone.
But wait: what about the most recent McGuffin, that earlier phone call between Trump and Zelinsky on April 21, where Ms Yovanovitch suspects bad things were said about her, and in which Democrats suggested that Trump demanded a Biden investigation in exchange for a White House visit?
With perfect timing, Trump released the transcript of that call shortly after the hearing started. It shows that he and Zelensky never even mentioned Yovanovich, Biden or corruption, and that Trump invited Zelensky to the White House, no strings attached.
The news-making move caused a frustrated Adam Schiff to implore Trump to “stop obstructing the impeachment inquiry” by, you know, contaminating it with actual evidence.
Just like the Democrats’ regard for the Constitution, the hearing is now in recess (although if this were an episode of “Perry Mason,” it would be the point at which the judge dismissed the case and ordered the accuser arrested.) While Democrats take five to try to figure out a way to declare Trump’s mean tweets to be “witness tampering” and therefore an IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE, here are a couple of points courtesy of Townhall.com that help make clear what a ridiculous, cobbled-together farce this whole thing is:
First, a reminder that before Obama even took office, he notified every politically-appointed ambassador to clean out his/her desk and get out. As was his right as President.
And Washington Post reporter Rachael Bade noted that the Democrats’ decision to stop saying “quid pro quo” and start saying “bribery” followed a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee study that found that the word “bribery” resonates more in battleground states. But of course, this impeachment push has nothing to do with politics. And if you believe that, Adam Schiff has a barely-used gavel he’d like to sell you.