The last segment of Friday’s televised impeachment inquiry drama on Capitol Hill saw the Republicans casting off earlier self-imposed shackles — and taking on former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, the Democrats’ key witness of the day.
The Dems relied on a saccharine treatment of their Friday witness and reduced themselves at the end of the day to engineering an obviously staged standing ovation for their embattled former ambassador.
However, as this week’s process was about as inside D.C. baseball as it can get, all the Democrat indignation and fury was likely for naught.
Why? Because average Americans couldn’t care less about vague and unsubstantiated Democrat charges, liberal pieties, and leftist goose chases.
Nevertheless, it was obvious something was different in the afternoon when the GOP stopped paying for any perception of the controversial tweet by President Donald Trump in the morning (the president strongly hit Yovanovitch on her record).
That’s when Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) asked the sole witness plainly, “Do you know of any bribe ever taken by the president?”
She answered no.
He homed in, “Do you know of any crime committed by the president?”
She said no again.
These bitterly admitted denials ripped the heart out of the Democrat charade — and with it, the halo left the head of Marie Yovanovitch.
The GOP then hit the witness, and by extension the Dems, with guns blazing.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) wondered: If the White House was engaged in a plot against the ambassador, then why would it send (as her replacement, in Bill Taylor) a fellow diplomat of similar ideological beliefs?
He also maneuvered Yovanovitch into stating that diplomatic interference in the politics of a host nation was wrong.
Jordan then listed statements by Ukrainian government officials, both in Kiev and D.C. in 2016 — on her watch as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine — that were massively critical of Donald Trump.
The unstated question as Jordan ran out of allotted time was this: Given her statement on that specific kind of diplomatic interference, why didn’t she do something about it in Kiev?
The probable answer? Because she thinks interference is fine if it targets those she does not support — as it did when she ignored it in 2016.
With confidence restored after the morning’s timidity, other GOP lawmakers then focused on the personnel management aspect of the ambassador’s story. It brought up the query: Wouldn’t the entire question of her recall by Trump have been better dealt with by the State Department’s human resources office, rather than by an entire congressional committee — in front of live TV cameras and the American public, no less?
Was this nothing more than career sour grapes-turned-major political controversy by a well-paid diplomat who landed on her feet as a professor at Georgetown University — a cushy post she admittedly picked for herself when she left Ukraine?
There was also an interesting phenomenon as Yovanovitch, more than once, referenced the emotional toll the alleged campaign against her had taken.
At one point, tears even welled in her eyes when a Democrat asked her about the toll all of this might have taken on her and her family. Democrats, throughout the day, seemed to encourage this line of questioning, continually referencing her emotional state on the matter of her recall from Ukraine.
The close-to-tearful show put on by the ambassador and the Democrats on Friday calls to mind Oscar Wilde’s line that “one must have a heart of stone to read the death of Little Nell (a Dickens character in ‘The Curiosity Shop’) without dissolving into tears of laughter.”
So one wonders: Would the Democrats have treated a male witness with such solicitude about emotions?
If not, what does that say about the real Democrat attitude toward the ability of a professional woman — a career diplomat — to withstand the rigors of public pressure?
But all was not sugar and spice in the way those on the Left treated women at the hearing.
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Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) was repeatedly gaveled quiet, not recognized and asked to “suspend” by Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.).
This happened to the point that she had to use her allotted witness questioning time to ask questions on procedure.
This was not a handicap endured by male or Democrat members of the committee.
The sham investigation closed the day with a groveling statement toward Yovanovitch by Schiff and a blatantly rehearsed standing ovation by Dem shills stationed in the audience, in my opinion.
The media will no doubt play the clip of the rousing applause time and time again as proof of the “power” of Yovanovitch’s testimony.
However, everyday Americans who watched the hearings in their entirety on Friday saw something else: a cynical Democratic attempt to use what is in essence a human resources complaint by a D.C. bureaucrat to unfairly pummel the president of the United States.
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