We roasted Turley and his coif on a spit yesterday for his disingenuous argument that the House was moving forward without sufficient evidence to impeach Trump. Deservedly so. Yet in my anger, I didn’t focus near enough on those portions of Turley’s testimony that – much to his chagrin – could be used aggressively against Trump. I am wondering how it is that the Democrats seem to be making the same mistake by leaving much of Turley’s testimony unaddressed.
First, as we see in Jennifer Rubin’s column, Turley did admit that Trump’s reference to Joe Biden in the call to Zelensky was not only not “perfect,” but also “highly inappropriate.” This must be a critical focus. It IS “highly inappropriate” to reference the Bidens specifically. Indeed, in the memo, Trump makes no mention whatsoever to Ukrainian corruption, and only mentions the Bidens. The Republicans cannot deal with questions about why Trump never mentions Ukrainian corruption on the call:
this answer is amazing https://t.co/K5aoBPPaM2
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) December 5, 2019
Collins had no answer because no good answer exists.
Turley’s admission allows Democrats to pound on the fact that Trump never talked about Ukrainian corruption. Trump focused solely upon the Bidens, which even Turley acknowledges to be utterly indefensible.
Turley’s thesis is that Democrats don’t have sufficient evidence yet to impeach Trump, and we vaporized that pinata yesterday. The flip side, though, is that withholding military aid for a favor, the quid pro quo, is an impeachable act (“could be”) if proven. according to Turley, the Republicans’ own witness. Democrats need to be shouting into microphones that even the Republican expert agreed that a financial quid pro quo for military aid is something worthy of possible impeachment. Schiff needs to have a press conference reminding people that we “prove” things at trial, which is in the senate, and have no doubt that they intend to prove that a quid pro quo existed. He can stand back from the microphone and say: “And when we do prove it beyond a doubt, even the Republicans’ witness admitted that such an act is worthy of possible impeachment.
Democrats must also do what we did yesterday, and that is use Turley’s argument about insufficient evidence as the justification for demanding testimony from Mulvaney, Giuliani and Bolton. We are sitting here acting as though no direct evidence exists, when it most certainly does exist. It is just that Trump has blocked everything.
Bear in mind, in U.S. v. Nixon the SCOTUS unanimously ruled that executive privilege doesn’t apply to secretely recorded tapes of people having intimate conversations with the president, tapes of people speaking who did not even know they were being recorded! Yet we’re acting as if Trump’s universal privilege blanket is in some way to be “respected.” Trump’s assertion of universal privilege or “absolute immunity,” especially in light of Nixon, is near impeachable in and of itself.
Why are Democrats not unified around one or two key points today, admitted by the Republicans’ own witness? To me, it appears Democrats lack aggression in their messaging. This might have been what caused some pullback in impeachment polling during the first week of testimony before Congressman Schiff.
It should not be allowed to happen again, and the Democrats have the Republicans’ own witness’s position to fall back upon. Yes, Turley is a self-satisfied, disingenuous, faux-intellectual. Yes it is just odd how in 1998 Turley cried that he even “voted for Clinton,” and yesterday lamented that he “didn’t vote for Trump,” nonetheless he seems to find himself always backing up the Republicans in impeachment proceedings. So odd. Yes that makes one rage. But today is a day to use the stuff he admitted, in order to blow-up the few points Republicans have.
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