I admit that I almost fell into the trap. I was so overjoyed at hearing unvarnished, near gleeful truth, I near made Sondland a hero in my mind, and envisioned Senators marching from Capitol Hill to the White House to tell Trump “It’s over, sir.”
Indeed, if one wants to wander over to alumni house at DKos, I believe my diary is still sitting on top of the rec-list, the one discussing how Kenneth Starr entertained that very possibility earlier today.
Fortunately, I thought on it a little deeper. Having given it significant more thought, I am convinced that not only will today’s testimony not lead to a quick and clean resignation and/or impeachment vote with a quick verdict (up or down), the result of today’s testimony should ensure that we are in this for the long haul. Sondland’s testimony should compel us to go much deeper, and we can be certain that what is uncovered will only get uglier.
Sondland provided us a biopsy, and the biopsy confirmed the existence of a cancer in the presidency. But Sondland also brought along MRI films. Sondland not only implicated Trump, he implicated Pompeo, Mulvaney, Volker, Pence and Perry. Everyone was “in” on it. There was not “an official” and “unofficial” tract when it came to Ukrainian policy. There was one Trump Ukrainian policy. It involved the shakedown and a go-around of the “good people.”
The entire executive branch is sick, and an urgent operation to “remove” the cancer will not help at this point. Only chemo will cure us at this point, long and thorough, and its the right thing to do despite the fact that it’ll make us want to throw up and pull our hair out.
Let's be clear on what happened today.
Sondland implicated multiple cabinet officials in this scandal, which has now become a whole lot bigger.
That means Dems cannot expect a quick impeachment any longer. The stakes are too high.
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) November 20, 2019
Just about every senior official in the White House has been implicated in a conspiracy to utilize American money, $400 million in aid, to leverage political power over the party not in the White House. This is the quintessential impeachable offense, and – according to Sondland – “everyone was in on it,” including the President, Vice President, Secretary of State, National Security Director and White House Chief of Staff.
Here's the thing.
Now that this scandal has wo gotten much bigger, it's no longer clear we can have a real reckoning if our efforts at accountability don't expand in kind:https://t.co/WeMxZCW3G6 pic.twitter.com/k0YRlGXRp3
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) November 20, 2019
We might be able to have a real reckoning with a quick impeachment if we could count upon Republicans in the senate being responsible, but I won’t insult you by even proferring that possibility.
Given that we cannot count upon Republicans, whatever will happen must happen now, while before the House, prior even to articles being drafted. It must happen now, in front of Adam Schiff, and it may take many more months.
We must have Rudy Giuliani and John Bolton’s testimony, among many others.
There is no other way to prepare this case for history. Without the testimony of those two men, we are “playing” at government. We are doing nothing more than throwing enough paint on the wall to call it a picture, then voting on what we “see.” We need to investigate and get to the bottom of matters, we have felons, co-conspirators, in the cabinet.
And Pompeo should probably be indicted for conspiracy to bribe, extort, and solicit foreign campaign assistance in an American election https://t.co/jnLoKwi9rI
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) November 20, 2019
Is it starting to register?
Sondland is no hero, but he did do the nation a huge service. Through Sondland, we had a reprieve. We got a brief unpolished view into the inner-workings of the White House. We had an opportunity to experience what it is like to hear the actual truth about Donald Trump, and it blew everyone away.
There is a lesson there.
Think of all we learned. Think of what it felt like to hear “the truth.”
Now imagine all we would learn if we had Rudy Giuliani on the witness stand, and he had to tell the truth. Imagine what we would learn if we had both Parnas and Fruman on the witness stand. What if Mulvaney had to testify, knowing that others would soon follow, and knew that he best testify truthfully?
It sounds like a fantasy, except that is only because we have allowed Donald Trump to gaslight us into decreased expectations. We now have the expectations of someone in Russia or some other banana republic. Some of these people, some of these facts, are “beyond our reach.” They are too powerful. Or so our thinking had gone.
See what I am saying? If we go forward with “half-ass” impeachment, given what we know, we have conceded defeat to the Republican gaslighting.
Republicans have had their shit scared out of their shorts because Sondland came and told the truth. (We noted last week that Sondland held Trump’s presidency in his hand). Sondland testified to enough disease within our government, that there is no point impeaching Trump and leaving Pence and Pompeo. New tumors will pop-up, democracy, self-government will die. They will also fix the next election.
The truth is worth pursuing, even if we lose our best “impeachment” case against Trump. The truth is powerful, in part because it feels so foreign!
Who wasn’t a bit freaked out hearing so much truth? We owe it to the nation, to each other, and our children and their nation to continue to pursue the truth. At this point, “truth” is more important than “impeachment.” We cannot have self-governance without truth. There is no point in going forward fast on half-truths.
I got just a brief taste of “truth,” and I recall how good it was when we presumed we’d never settle for anything less. Let’s not settle for less. Let’s go get the whole truth.
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