“What did Americans learn from the first day of open hearings in the impeachment inquiry?
They learned damaging new information, about another witness who reportedly overheard a telephone conversation in which President Trump pressed to find out if the Ukrainians had committed to investigating his top political rival.
They learned they are still served by people of integrity who are committed to advancing the national interest. The day’s two witnesses, George Kent and William Taylor, both deeply experienced diplomats, provided precise, scrupulously nonpartisan and damning testimony about the effort at the center of the inquiry: the secretive shakedown of Ukraine by Mr. Trump and his associates, for the president’s political gain.
And those Americans who tuned in also learned that the Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee have set themselves a degrading task. Rather than engage the facts about Mr. Trump’s Ukrainian escapade, they are twisting them and eliding them and inventing new ones they’d prefer. They spent most of Wednesday stuffing straw men and then ostentatiously knocking them down.”
David Lindsay: This editorial is an excellent summary of what I watched most of.
Here is one of many good comments I endorsed:
I came of age politically in 1972 by watching the Watergate impeachment hearings. I was 14 years old, and in my naivite, I believed what all the pundits said after Nixon’s resignation: “the Constitution works!” Although teens of the era were taught to distrust older Americans, we had watched in awe as Sam Ervin, John Sirica, and Peter Rodino led the effort to defend the rule of law. And we were grateful to the three senior Republicans–Sen. Barry Goldwater, House Minority Leader John Rhodes, and Senate Minority Leader Hugh Scott, for meeting with Nixon to advise him to resign, which he did the following day. I think the idealism which Watergate instilled in me led me into teaching. For 35 years I have taught my students about constitutionalism and the rule of law, and the Anglo-American tradition that no person–neither a king nor a president–is above the law. But where now are the Goldwaters and the Scotts, the men who put their loyalty to the Constitution above their loyalty to the Republican Party? I have watched in dismay during the past month as the Republicans have attacked the decent, heroic Americans who have come before the Judiciary Committee to testify: Bill Taylor, Fiona Hill, Lt. Col. Vindman, Marie Yovanovitch, George Kent, etc. Why do the Republicans besmirch their reputations? Because unlike the “Never Trumpers,” who upheld their own conservative values, the Republicans in Congress are “Trumpers-at-any-Price.” History will judge them very harshly.