It’s looking like another day in Washington where the public will get a look inside the impeachment inquiry with public testimony from William Taylor, the top diplomat in Ukraine, and George Kent, the deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs.
So who are these men and what can we expect to learn over the course of today’s proceedings? Detroit Today’s Stephen Henderson digs into that and discusses how these public elements of the inquiry fit into the impeachment process.
He’s joined by Congressman Dan Kildee, a Democrat from Flint Township, who represents Michigan’s 5th District.
“Chilling to think about these two career ambassadors, who have seen wrongdoing, have been called to testify in these depositions, told the truth and now are going to go before the committee to reveal for the American people for all to see just what they witnessed and, I think, paint a picture of a lawless president who is drunk with power,” says Kildee.
As far as why the majority of Americans haven’t stood up demanding action, Kildee says “public opinion is not just natural and organic, it is shaped by leaders and the way they characterize the events of the day and this is why I think as public leaders we have a responsibility not just to respond to public opinion but to inform public opinion.”
Click on the player above to hear Rep. Kildee talk about impeachment.
On his disappointment with Republican lawmakers: “I think history is going to treat Republicans in Congress very poorly if they continue down this path. Public opinion appears to be very much divided. [Republican politician’s] voices could be very important right now, and their voices are silent,” notes Kildee.
On whether these public hearings will shape public opinion: ”The fact that American people will have a chance to see with their own eyes, hear with their own ears, these career professionals describe the President’s behavior, describes the efforts of this administration more precisely to persuade a foreign government to investigate one of his political rivals, I think that will get public attention.
On methodology of questioning: ”I am very pleased because I have been pushing for this. The Republicans and Democrats each initially will each have a 45 minute period that the chairman or chair’s ranking members designee can use to dig deep, to get a consistent narrative to ask and have answered questions, and then follow up to really reveal facts. It is expected that in the case of the Democratic time, that much of that will be yielded to the attorneys for the committee so I think it will be a much more orderly and instructive process than what we typically see in a Congressional hearing.”
“This isn’t a misdemeanor, this isn’t a parking ticket, this isn’t some oversight, this isn’t some accident. This is by all appearances a coordinated effort by the President of the United States to violate the constitution by engaging a foreign power to investigate his political foes. This is something you expect from a totalitarian government, not from the greatest democracy on earth. It is my view that if those facts stand, the constitution gives us a single tool to deal with a president so willing to violate his oath and the constitution, and that is impeachment,” says Kildee.