Several opening statements leaked to the media Thursday before more closed-door testimony in the ongoing House “impeachment inquiry” point to policy disagreements on Russia and Ukraine — not evidence of any wrongdoing.
The Washington Post reports that “career diplomats” will tell a yet another hidden session of the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, and Oversight committees of their complaints about President Donald Trump’s approach to foreign affairs — specifically, his supposedly “deeply pessimistic view of Ukraine,” which they will claim “was out of step with officials at the White House and State Department who saw support for the European country as critical.”
Neither of the two State Department officials testifying — Catherine Croft and Christopher Anderson — have any evidence to offer about any laws that the president might have broken in his July phone call with newly elected Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky or at any other time. They are merely part of the parade of witnesses that Democrats have assembled in a pantomime apparently aimed at convincing the public Trump did something wrong.
According to NPR, Croft in particular will testify about her “belief in the importance of Ukraine’s future to U.S. national interests” and her concern at attempts to fire Obama holdovers. She did not hear the Ukraine call first-hand.
The closed-door sessions are proceeding in spite of the fact that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has scheduled a full House vote on whether to authorize the hearings as an “impeachment inquiry,” and providing the rules to guide it going forward. Republicans have called her capitulation on that point a tacit admission that the process, until now, has been unauthorized and arbitrary. Yet it continues nonetheless, with ongoing one-sided leaks.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.