Impeachment Watch: Week 4

By: Liv George | Contributing Writer

This week was a very important one for the impeachment inquiry. Little by little, the House of Representatives has been releasing transcripts of closed-door testimony from various Federal officials and the consensus has been shocking. 

CNN found records of deposition from GOP members who were cross-examining witnesses called to be deposed by the House. This is in stark contrast to their claims up until this point that the inquiry was a shame to democracy as there is a lack of Due Process and transparency. However, it is very clear from these transcripts that members of the GOP were, in fact, very actively involved in the deposition process. 

President Trump, however, publicly claimed in Georgia this past week that there should not be public testimony for the inquiry, in direct contrast with what his supporters in Congress have been calling for, even refusing to comply with subpoenas because the testimony would not be publicly held. President Trump is claiming that the entirety of the inquiry is a hoax and no one should testify any further.

However, with each passing day of testimony, President Trump’s allies seem to be getting more and more nervous. Kurt Volker, the US Envoy to Ukraine, rescinded his previous testimony to confirm that a quid pro quo was offered. Testimony from William Taylor, top Ukrainian diplomat, and Tim Morrison, National Security Council Aide, corroborated the allegations laid out in the whistleblower complaint that Ukraine opening an investigation into the Biden family was tied to around $400 million in aid money from the United States to Ukraine. Fiona Hill, the former top Russia expert, called President Trump’s aim at a quid pro quo “pretty blatant,” as quoted by CNN. 

White House Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney, defied his subpoena by not showing up for his scheduled testimony last week. A few weeks ago, he made headlines for suggesting that quid pro quos between nations were just a part of foreign relations. His name is now back in the news, however, as Fiona Hill and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman both testified that it was Mulvaney who advocated for using military aid as leverage in relations with Ukraine. 

Senator Lindsey Grahm recently made very public remarks that without the public testimony of the whistleblower himself, there was no way the Senate would vote to impeach. Mark S. Zaid tweeted back at the Republican Congressman, alluding to witness intimidation. He stated that by revealing his identity, the whistleblower would be placing himself in unnecessary danger. The House Intelligence Committee agreed with this, releasing a statement that protecting the whistleblower, which is a protection offered by Federal Law, was at the top of their priority list. 

The House is publicizing more and more testimony and in tandem with that is the announcement that public testimony will start this upcoming week. Stay tuned for another update on the inquiry as more testimony rolls in this next week.