Both of these narratives are hyperbolic — as, indeed, is the Democrats’ insistence that any Trump missteps in Ukraine amount not merely to poor judgment but to impeachable offenses. As we try to sort out truth and fiction, Marie Yovanovitch finds herself in the middle.
The Trump camp exhorted Republicans to confront the ambassador with Giuliani’s counter-narrative. But they demurred — even the Republicans best known for zealously defending the president. For now, it appears that they are not buying it.
I’ll end where I started before the Ukraine scandal began. The three-year Democratic campaign to impeach Trump has never been about impeaching Trump. That is, the president’s opponents realize they have never had proof of misconduct so egregious it would move the public to call for Trump’s removal, which is what it would take to move a supermajority of the Senate to oust him. Impeachment, then, has always been a political stratagem. The Democrats’ real objective is to render the president so battered and bruised that his reelection becomes inconceivable.
Those who say Yovanovitch’s testimony did not “move the needle” on impeachment are entirely correct. On that score, what will best be remembered was cut-to-the-chase questioning by Congressman Chris Stewart (R., Utah). He forced the ambassador’s concession that she had no information implicating President Trump in criminal activity, including any bribes. The Democrats remain in search of the elusive impeachable offense they need to effectuate their pre-ordained conclusion that Trump’s unfitness calls for him to be deposed.