Republican members of Congress are still failing to come up with any kind of systematic defense for President Donald Trump against House Democrats who have sounded alarms and started an impeachment inquiry over his plot to get Ukraine to produce dirt on the Bidens. This weekend, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wi.) went on Meet the Press to try and drum up some kind of attempt at a defense, and he failed miserably. Host Chuck Todd left Johnson almost entirely speechless at one point after he asked for an answer for Johnson’s own partisan advocacy that he’s so concerned that the Ukraine whistleblower’s lawyer supposedly engaged in.
In the wake of that whistleblower’s complaint, Trump and many of his closest allies have repeatedly denigrated their character and the character of those involved with their case, including their legal team. This Sunday morning on NBC, a frenzied Johnson read off an apparent print-out of a tweet whistleblower lawyer Mark Zaid posted in which he quipped that a “coup” against Trump had begun via the “resistance.” Todd subsequently pointed out that before the 2016 presidential election even took place, Johnson himself was already accusing Hillary Clinton of “high crimes and misdemeanors,” which, of course, is the Constitutionally-mandated basis for — you guessed it — impeachment.
‘A quick little quote from the lawyer for the whistleblower. This is ten days after [Trump’s] inauguration: Coup has started. First of many steps. Rebellion, impeachment will follow ultimately. Now, if this whistleblower was to be lionized by The Washington Post, maybe we ought to take a look at who he hired. He could have hired an unbiased officer of the court… There’s something going on here, Chuck. That’s my point.’
‘Let me ask you this. You’re the one that brought up this idea that impeachment was something that the left wanted to do immediately. I’m going to quote from you, sir, November 1, 2016. You’re asked about Hillary Clinton, and you said this — before the election! She purposefully circumvented the law… I would say yes, high crime or misdemeanor. You were talking about impeachment before that election with Hillary Clinton! How should viewers not look at what you’re doing here as just reacting as a partisan and if Trump were a Democrat, you’d be ready to convict him?’
Incredible. After @SenRonJohnson attacks whistleblower’s lawyer for posting tweet saying “coup has started” after Trump’s inauguration, Chuck Todd reminds him of his Nov 1, 2016 claim that Hillary Clinton had committed “high crimes.”
Johnson has no explanation for his hypocrisy pic.twitter.com/lSKTacZBIh
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) November 17, 2019
Johnson had no answer. He even suggested that he wasn’t really talking about impeachment, as if the phrase “high crimes and misdemeanors” has any national political relevance whatsoever outside the single, solitary context of impeachment.
‘First of all, understand — that’s before the election. I’m trying to hammer out the political differences before the election. And by the way, I completely agree with that… You’d have to listen to what the question was. I don’t think I said impeachment right there.’
No matter Republicans’ endless self-righteous posturing, House Democrats are continuing with their impeachment inquiry. After hosting three witnesses for public testimony this past week and getting plenty of crucial details in the process, they have eight more witnesses scheduled to testify publicly this week.