The fear of President Donald Trump’s re-election is too much for the Democrats to handle. Rep. Adam Schiff, D‑Calif., and his party are clinging to their last-ditch effort with this impeachment hearing, despite any direct evidence of a high crime or misdemeanor.
Schiff’s star witnesses proved to have no firsthand knowledge of collusion, and instead spent their time speculating and complaining about the Trump administration.
The impeachment hearings began on Nov. 13, with Schiff’s first two witnesses: William Taylor, the acting ambassador to Ukraine, and George Kent, a deputy assistant secretary of state. Both discussed what they heard between the chatter of other diplomats and officials, yet neither were present for the July 25 phone call.
The testimonies sounded a lot like a child’s game of telephone. The Washington Post ran an article that said, “Kent didn’t hear this directly from Trump, but rather from other officials who talked to people who talked to Trump.”
On the second day of the hearing, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, spent her time discussing how she was fired by Trump. When asked if she had any knowledge of criminal activity committed by the Trump administration, however, she replied no.
During Yovanovitch’s opening statement, she admitted that she had no knowledge about the phone call between Trump and Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky and no knowledge about the withholding of military funds from Ukraine. Even Rep. Devin Nunes, R‑Calif., said he didn’t understand why Yovanovitch was called to testify.
On day two, Yovanovitch’s testimony was a desperate appeal to pathos. The former ambassador was given the national platform to share her emotional story about being fired after 33 years at the U.S. State Department.
The press, once again, couldn’t resist the opportunity to further divide and distract.
NBC News published an Op-Ed by Mimi Rocah and Karen Schwartz drawing comparisons to Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony during the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, claiming that “Yovanovitch seems to symbolize any woman who’s ever had a man try to undermine her, demote her or push her out.”
The liberal news media served up their testimonies on a silver platter. CNN said they were “damning,” and NBC called them “chilling.”
What’s truly chilling, however, is that neither Kent nor Taylor had ever even met or spoken to Trump, yet they are to be considered credible and key witnesses in the process to impeach the president.
Schiff has tried numerous tactics in an effort to mislead and distract the American people from the reality of the situation. When asked if he had spoken or heard from the whistleblower on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Schiff lied saying, “We have not spoken directly with the whistleblower.”
Before the start of the impeachment hearing Schiff mischaracterized the phone call transcript before the House Intelligence Committee claiming Trump said, “I want you to make up dirt on my political opponent, understand. Lots of it.”
Now Schiff is continuing his charade by introducing opinion witnesses that offer nothing more than speculation built on hearsay.
Trump released the transcript of his conversation with Zelensky long before the start of this impeachment sham.
During his phone call, Trump did not engage in a quid pro quo. The legal definition of a quid pro quo is “an item or a service that has been traded in return for something of value.” The Oxford Dictionary defines a quid pro quo as “a favor or advantage granted or expected in return for something.”
While President Trump did ask for Zelensky “to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine,” no favor was granted, no service was traded, and no transaction took place.
Zelensky himself explained that the phone call was “normal,” adding that if “you read it, that nobody pushed me.”
On day four of the impeachment hearing, U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland testified that “President Trump never told me directly that the aid was conditioned on the investigation.”
Sondland said that he “never heard those words from the president.” In fact, what Trump told Sondland was quite the opposite; “No Quid Pro Quo. I want nothing. I want nothing. I want President Zelensky to do the right thing. Do what he ran on.”
Americans can choose to believe Schiff and his opinion witnesses who are caught up in a game of telephone. Americans can fall for the emotional distractions perpetrated by the media that has no direct relationship to the impeachment hearing. Or, Americans can read the transcript for themselves and listen to those who were actually a part of the conversation.
Even if many choose not to believe that Trump’s phone call was “perfect” or “normal” as both leaders claim, then it’s important to examine what has happened since the phone call.
First, Ukraine received its military aid from the United States. Second, Ukraine never opened an investigation into Joe Biden and his corrupt business dealings that landed his son, Hunter Biden, on the board of a major oil production company. And third, Trump met with Zelensky in September at the United Nations and there was no announcement of any investigation.
It seems rather hard to prove that Trump engaged in a quid pro quo when the “quo” is non-existent. Zelensky got his military aid, and Trump received more malicious attacks by Congressional Democrats and the media.
Ryan Young is a freshman studying rhetoric and public address.