Saturday, December 7, 2019

“A perfect summary
of this whole scheme”

Susan Glasser of The New Yorker asked Adam Schiff what he considered the most memorable moments of testimony from the House Intelligence Committee impeachment hearings:

One was from the former special envoy to Ukraine, Kurt Volker, who, in a conversation with one of Zelensky’s advisers, in September, urged the new Ukrainian administration not to enact victor’s justice and investigate his defeated predecessor. The Zelensky adviser responded, in effect, “Oh, you mean like you want us to do with the Bidens and the Clintons?” To Schiff, it was a moment “pointing out the utter hypocrisy” of Trump’s scheme, in which America was now “urging other countries not to engage in politically motivated investigations, while asking for politically motivated investigations.”

The other conversation that Schiff cited was Sondland’s memorable encounter with David Holmes, a diplomat in the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv. Holmes overheard Sondland talking on the phone with Trump, who asked if Zelensky would pursue the investigations he wanted. After the call, Holmes asked Sondland, “Does the President give a shit about Ukraine?” As Holmes testified, the answer was no, he only cares about “the big stuff.” Well, Holmes pointed out, there is big stuff happening in Ukraine, like a war with Russia, but Sondland said no, that was not what he meant. Trump only cared about matters that concerned him, like the investigations. “That says it all,” Schiff told me. “The President doesn’t give a shit about what’s good for our country, what’s good for Ukraine. It’s all about what’s in it for him personally and for his reëlection campaign.” In that small moment in an obscure diplomat’s testimony, Schiff reflected, was the impeachment case in all its brazen simplicity. “That is a perfect summary,” he said, “of this whole scheme.”
Post titles sometimes show up in other bloggers’ sidebars. If that weren’t the case, I would’ve titled this post “The President doesn’t give a shit about what’s good for our country.”

comments: 0