Impeachment Inquiry Insights

Initial impeachment hearings came to a close on Nov. 21 with testimony from Fiona Hill. Hill, the former National Security Council staffer, criticized members of the Republican party for continuing to believe the fictional narrative that Ukraine was the one that interfered in the 2016 presidential election but continue to question Russian involvement. Her testimony seemed to encapsulate the atmosphere from the many days of the inquiry.

Hill served as the top Russia expert while she was on the National Security Council, but resigned last summer. She has served under three different presidents on the basis of her background in Russian studies. In her opening statement on Nov. 21, Hill showed her frustration with some Republican members of the committee who had been propagating an already debunked conspiracy theory. 

Hill said, “some of you on this committee appear to believe that Russia and its security services did not conduct a campaign against our country—and that perhaps, somehow, for some reason, Ukraine did. This is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves.”

The impeachment inquiry process was overwhelming to many given how much information was reported on every day, but Hill’s testimony serves as a pulse for how the hearings will continue once the House Judiciary Committee takes over questioning. 

Just like the lack of widespread Republican understanding of Russian election interference hindered the initial investigation, Republican partisanship looks to impede the Judiciary Committee’s continued efforts. The White House informed House Democrats that it would not participate in the committee’s first hearings on Wednesday. Their argument for not attending, according to an angry five page letter, is that the impeachment inquiry is “baseless” and “partisan.” 

It would seem that partisan Republican action looks to draw attention away from the fact that they support Trump without reason. After all, Republican members of the impeachment inquiry itself were using a conspiracy theory spread by far-right media that was debunked months ago, so it seems like their relationship with truth is a distant one.

Even if many Republicans are avoiding this impeachment process like their least favorite cousin at Thanksgiving and throwing out facts with the moldy leftovers, the committee will continue with the hearing on Wednesday regardless. 

The hearing will include an academic panel with discussion centered around constitutional issues and the impeachment process. The discussion will mostly be led by a panel of constitutional scholars and law professors, who will be providing context to allegations against Trump and answering whether his allegations are major enough to constitute as “high crimes and misdemeanors” as outlined in the Constitution.

With Trump deciding not to attend the hearings, he must rely on his staunch defenders on the panel, including Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH), John Ratcliffe (R-TX) and Matt Gaets (R-FL) to mount a defense for the president during the hearing.

With that in mind, be on the lookout for Republican patriots to skew reality in their favor as they scramble to defend a man who needs to take notes on why he should be innocent. If we learned anything from the testimony of Fiona Hill, it’s that we should expect the worst.