After Taylor And Kent Depositions, Trump Claims ‘Normal People’ Would End The Impeachment Inquiry
President Donald Trump on Thursday tweeted out his observations about the first day of public impeachment depositions, which featured State Department diplomats George Kent and Bill Taylor.
Trump stated in his tweet that the two witnesses didn’t appear, in his mind, capable of answering whether his actions, as had been described during Taylor’s and Kent’s testimonies, were impeachable offenses.
Republican Rep. John Ratcliffe “asked the two ‘star’ witnesses, ‘where is the impeachable event in that call?’ Both stared straight ahead with a blank look on their face, remained silent, & were unable to answer the question,” Trump wrote on Thursday morning.
In his opinion, Trump suggested that objective observers would see that as a sign to dismantle impeachment proceedings. “That would be the end of a case run by normal people!” Trump said.
.@RepRatcliffe asked the two “star” witnesses, “where is the impeachable event in that call?” Both stared straight ahead with a blank look on their face, remained silent, & were unable to answer the question. That would be the end of a case run by normal people! – but not Shifty!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 14, 2019
Trump’s depiction of the question-and-answer from Ratcliffe to Taylor and Kent, however, wasn’t entirely truthful, omitting a response from Taylor about whose job it is to determine what’s impeachable or not.
“In this impeachment hearing today where we impeach presidents for treason, bribery or other high crimes where is the impeachable offense in that call?” Ratcliffe had asked the witnesses, according to reporting from CNN. “Are either of you here today to assert there was an impeachable offense in that call. Shout it out. Anyone?”
In spite of asking for “anyone” to “shout it out,” when the witnesses tried to respond, Ratcliff interrupted them to complain that his time was expiring, limiting the ability of either Kent or Taylor to respond to his question. After it was agreed that they could respond without docking Ratcliffe’s time, Taylor stated that the issue of whether Trump’s words or actions were “impeachable” or not wasn’t up to him.
“I would like to say I’m not here to do anything having to do with — decide about impeachment,” Taylor said. “That is not what either of us are here for. This is your job.”
While Trump claims that “normal people” would end the inquiry, Americans are split on the question of impeachment, with slightly more in favor of the idea or in favor of the hearings being held than are against.
According to FiveThirtyEight’s aggregate average of polls, a plurality (47 percent) say they’re in favor of impeaching, or impeaching and removing, the president from office. Forty-four percent say they’re against impeaching Trump.
On whether the impeachment inquiry is something they support, a majority of Americans, 51.8 percent, say they want the hearings to happen, while 45.2 percent say they do not, according to the average of polls the site looks at, as of Thursday morning.