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More witnesses make the case for impeachment, even when they’re trying not to

Attorney Scott Pilutik wrestles with the news of the day, from a lawyerly perspective…

Catching up on impeachment stuff. I missed Vindman and Williams entirely this morning but have been watching Volker and Morrison, who are the first witnesses to appear that were requested by Republican Committee members. Each of them made the Democrats’ case, despite that they’re both trying to please everyone, splitting disingenuous hairs and playing dumb about what was obvious and wasn’t obvious at the time of key events in the timeline.

Republicans’ ‘theory of the case’ is now pretty clear, because Jim Jordan restates it every time he’s up. That is, Trump genuinely cared about corruption and because Ukraine has a history of corruption, Trump, through Volker and others, was testing Zelensky’s integrity by withholding the foreign aid until Zelesnky passed that test, after which the aid was released. Volker nodded repeatedly as Jordan made this dishonest argument.

It’s not possible to maintain that “Trump cares about corruption” except inasmuch as he’s personally benefiting from it, which is quite often. I’m not sure Volker realized where he was going with that, but it’s not as if he could’ve answered differently.


As for Vindman getting attacked for wearing his military uniform, I saw highlights of his testimony and it was all pretty moving stuff. The chicken-hawk-in-chief is vile for attacking him.

As to Volker playing dumb, he had to alter his testimony on multiple fronts, which instantly raises credibility issues, if not perjury issues. But today he wanted us to believe that as a seasoned professional he was both involved in every aspect of the process but somehow also caught off guard by what was really going on, as it turned out. Volker is still not fully clean on this.

But Volker also poked holes in the “conspiracy theories” at the heart of Devin Nunes’ theory of the case, and he disputed the idea that Joe Biden was corrupt.
As for Morrison, he was sleazy for casting aspersions on Vindman without firsthand knowledge on such a vague basis. The same Republicans that cared deeply about hearsay five minutes ago are creating memes questioning Vindman’s “judgment” based on exactly that.

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