Early on in the impeachment probe, it was clear that Republicans’ insistence on Nancy Pelosi holding a full House vote and also on the relevant committees releasing deposition transcripts to the public were nothing more than desperate attempts to undermine the legitimacy of the proceedings in the eyes of the public.
The GOP never wanted the full vote, they certainly didn’t want to the transcripts released and the last thing they need is public hearings from the parade of officials who delivered closed-door testimony. (Those hearings begin this week.)
You’ll note, for example, that many of the GOP lawmakers who “stormed” the closed briefing room last month as part of Matt Gaetz’s absurd publicity stunt were in fact members of the committees conducting the inquiry and thus had no need to “storm” anything. They could have just walked in and participated. Literally.
Well, Democrats finally gave Republicans what they asked for but didn’t want. Pelosi held a full vote and, starting last week, transcripts from multiple former and current officials were released, including the accounts of Gordon Sondland, George Kent, Kurt Volker, Marie Yovanovitch, Bill Taylor, Fiona Hill and Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman.
Every, single one of those transcripts was bad for the White House. Shockingly, the most damaging bit came from Sondland, who revised his own account to include an admission of a quid pro quo tied to the stalled military aid. (Sondland was expected to be a “good” witness for Trump, given that he donated $1 million to the campaign and was a staunch supporter).
Not surprisingly, Republicans quickly moved the goal posts. For instance, on October 9, Lindsey Graham claimed that if Democrats refused to release the transcripts it would amount to “abuse of power”. Fast forward to last week and Graham quite literally said he refuses to review the evidence, despite having demanded to see it less than a month previous.
Well, on Monday morning, Donald Trump took things to their (il)logical extreme – he told America that the transcripts are fake.
“Shifty Adam Schiff will only release doctored transcripts”, the president said, without providing any evidence. “We haven’t even seen the documents and are restricted from (get this) having a lawyer”.
He went on to say that “Republicans should put out their own transcripts!”
Obviously, that is completely ridiculous. The transcripts are just the transcripts.
And do you know who knows it? Jim Jordan, that’s who. Here, just ask him:
“Yeah, they’re gonna release the real transcripts”, Jim said, on November 4. He even laughed at the suggestion that the accounts of the proceedings might be altered by Schiff.
One wonders if he’ll now be compelled to claim otherwise in order to pacify Trump.