Democrats opened public impeachment hearings on Wednesday promising to dramatically detail the case for the president’s impeachment, but there was little excitement in the first 93 minutes.
House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff began the proceedings with a solemn statement recounting the events that sparked the impeachment inquiry.
Ambassador Bill Taylor and Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent, the two bureaucrats selected by Schiff to kick off the public impeachment hearings also failed to deliver much drama.
Taylor and Kent began their statements recounting the history of diplomacy in the United States as well as the history of Ukraine and their lengthy careers of public service.
Both bureaucrats expressed their concerns about the president’s actions in Ukraine but proved that they were frequently alarmed and concerned but mostly did not have knowledge of the president’s motives.
Taylor read his 20-page opening statement, even admitting that although it was lengthy, he hoped Americans would recognize the importance of Ukraine in future diplomatic efforts.
Taylor said one of his staff claimed to overhear European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland discussing “the investigations” in a phone call with the president.
No members of Congress were allowed to interrupt the opening of the hearing with questions as the two diplomats droned on recounting their previously released public testimonies about the case.
Through a parliamentary inquiry, House Republicans successfully tripped up Rep. Adam Schiff to claim that he did not know the identity of the so-called “whistleblower,” despite reports that his committee had met with him prior to his claim.
President Trump shared a White House video on Twitter labeling the entire process as a “swamp” derived hoax.
New hoax. Same swamp. pic.twitter.com/6byw3BVxFR
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) November 13, 2019