QUICK NOTE: Hello from the future! It has taken me a while to actually get around to writing these posts (for reasons we’ll talk about in a mental health post soon). When I finally sat down to start writing about these hearings, trying to write about them in the past tense just felt weird. So, I’m going to write what I would have written had I been able to write up each hearing on the day it happened and then backdate them here on the blog. I realize that I probably could have just done that anyway without telling you but that felt like a shady thing to do. Just thought you should know! Onward!
After weeks of closed-door depositions, the House Permanent Select Committee for Intelligence (House Intel Committee) held it’s first public Impeachment Inquiry hearing today. First up at the table were Bill Taylor and George Kent.
Bill Taylor was obviously the main “get” for today. He’s currently serving as the Acting US Ambassador to Ukraine. He was brought in to replace Marie Yovanovitch (whose hearing is tomorrow). Yovanovitch, you probably already know, was ousted because she wouldn’t roll over when Trump wanted to, well, be Trump.
It’s important to understand that, though Taylor is technically currently serving as a political appointee, he has served his country for literally his entire adult life. He started in the military in 1969, served in Vietnam, has held a variety of important federal positions and served as the as an Ambassador in NATO and was originally appointed to be US Ambassador to Ukraine by George W Bush in 2006 and served in that role until May of 2009. In other words? Dude is not a Trump toady by, like, a loooooong shot.
Taylor is the star of today’s hearing because he was the one who not only realized that Trump was up to no good but communicated about the shenaniganry via text and email. He made sure that there was a paper trail to back up every claim he made to his superiors and, eventually, to the Committee.
George Kent is also important (though he was clearly the sidekick in today’s hearing). He started serving in the State Department in 1992 and is currently the official Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasian Affairs. TL;DR? Also not a Trump toady.
What makes Kent an important witness is his long history of dealing with and rooting out corruption in Eastern Europe, particularly in Ukraine. He’s the person who raised the alarm about Rudy Giuliani running “shadow” foreign policy for Trump.
As for the hearing itself? It wasn’t super eventful. Since the cameras were on, the GOP members of the committee did their best to compete for first place in the Best Stooge Olympics. Today’s heat was won by Rep John Ratcliffe, which left Jim Jordan feeling very pouty, I’m sure.
Anyway, here’s the tweet thread!