Two witnesses gave powerful and important testimony beginning Tuesday morning as the impeachment hearings into President Donald Trump continued.
Republicans finally got what they’ve been asking for in the form of two firsthand witnesses to President Donald Trump’s conduct — National Security Council staffer Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence — but they weren’t happy with what they heard. Both Williams and Vindman were stunned and disturbed by Trump’s July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Here are seven remarkable moments from the hearing:
1. Vindman laid out why Trump’s “inappropriate” demand for Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden was so disturbing.
“The Ukrainian judiciary is imperfect at the moment,” he said. “And the reliance on US support could conceivably cause them to tip the scales of justice in favor of finding a U.S. citizen guilty if they felt they needed to do it.”
ALEXANDER VINDMAN on TRUMP call for Ukraine investigations:
“The Ukrainian judiciary is imperfect at the moment. And the reliance on US support could conceivably cause them to tip the scales of justice in favor of finding a U.S. citizen guilty if they felt they needed to do it.” pic.twitter.com/DANb6vq5T7
— JM Rieger (@RiegerReport) November 19, 2019
2. Vindman made clear that — despite Trump defenders’ claims that the president only cared about fighting corruption Ukraine, not his own re-election campaign — he never mentioned “corruption” in his two phone calls with President Zelensky.
Schiff: "Did talking points [prepared for POTUS for April 21 call] include rooting out corruption in Ukraine?"
Schiff: "Did Pres. Trump ever mention corruption in the April 21 call?"
Vindman: "To the best of my recollection, he did not." https://t.co/lmTBBmoYVV pic.twitter.com/cvmg1FVRCg
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) November 19, 2019
3. Williams reacted to the president’s attacks on her.
“I was not expecting to be called out by name,” she said.
"I was not expecting to be called out by name," Jennifer Williams said about President Trump's tweet attacking her loyalty before her testimony.
— The New York Times (@nytimes) November 19, 2019
4. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) spoke out against the attacks on Vindman suggesting he was insufficiently loyal to the United States.
“From one immigrant American to another immigrant American, I want to say to you that you and your family represent the very best of America,” he said.
Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi blasts commentators who have questioned Vindman because he is an immigrant:
— CBS News (@CBSNews) November 19, 2019
5. Vindman read Fiona Hill’s evaluation of him.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) tried to attack Vindman’s credibility, saying his supervisors had expressed concerns about him. But the witness was prepared for this line of questioning, and he responded by reading a glowing review of him from Hill.
— Brother Nyght (@wondermann5) November 19, 2019
6. “Lt. Col.”
Vindman corrected Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) for not calling him by his rank.
Rep. Devin Nunes refers to Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman as "Mr. Vindman."
— ABC News (@ABC) November 19, 2019
Republicans have been trying to use the proceedings to out the whistleblower, but Schiff has said he won’t let the hearings be used for that purpose.
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) November 19, 2019
Expert explains why ‘systemic conservatism’ continues to prevail in America
On the Sunday after the November 3rd presidential election, Utah Senator Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential candidate, congratulated President-elect Joe Biden but insisted that the overall election was an endorsement of conservative principles. He pointed to the gains Republicans made in the House, though they are still in the minority, and the failure of the Democrats to capture control of the Senate, at least so far. Romney found further evidence in the Democrats' inability to flip GOP-controlled statehouses.
Romney, however, is mistaken in his basic assertion. First of all, Biden won by more than 5 million popular votes, nearly 4 percent more than Trump's total. The president-elect obtained the highest number of popular votes in the nation's history. Biden's margin of victory, contrary to Romney's claim, is not a mandate for conservatism. Rather, at the very least, the election was a referendum on President Trump's leadership, which of course Trump used to promote conservative ideas concerning tax cuts for the wealthy and the relaxation of business and environmental regulations.
GOP congressman gets #StopTheStupid trending big-time against Donald Trump — but there’s a catch
The hashtag #stopthestupid was trending last night on Twitter thanks to -- of all people -- a conservative Republican congressman from Michigan named Paul Mitchell. But before anyone gets too excited that Republicans are discovering integrity, there’s an asterisk: Mitchell is retiring in January.
Here’s what the exasperated congressman tweeted Sunday night in response to Trump’s lunatic ranting about the election outcome:
Sunday night, there were more than 21,000 tweets featuring #stopthestupid, many of them wondering aloud why more Republicans cannot show the spine and integrity displayed by Mitchell. Most presumably don’t realize, however, that he’s leaving Congress after just two terms in office.
‘Tired of winning yet?’: Trump ridiculed for spending $3 million to get Biden more Wisconsin votes
President Donald Trump spent $3 million to pay for a recount in two Wisconsin counties that were heavily Democratic. Joe Biden is still the winner by more than 20,000 votes. Biden got 87 more votes, paid for by Trump, for a total of $34,000 each.
In Dane County Trump got just 45 more votes in a county where he lost by more than 181,000. Milwaukee County, Trump helped Biden's lead grow by 132 votes. It was a net gain for Biden by 87 votes once the counties finished.