The White House wages war on transparency: impeachment edition

Yesterday, at 12:30am, Gordon Sondland—the US ambassador to the European Union who has emerged as a key character in the ongoing Trump/Ukraine scandal—received a voicemail from an administration official telling him not to appear at a House hearing scheduled for yesterday morning. Sondland duly failed to show. (His lawyer said Sondland was “disappointed,” but obligated to follow State Department orders.) That drama, it turned out, was only an appetizer. Later in the day, Pat Cipollone, the White House counsel, wrote House Democrats to let them know that, henceforth, the administration will refuse to provide witnesses, documents—anything, really—that they request during their “impeachment inquiry.” (The quote marks there are Cipollone’s.) All day long, Trump’s boosters buttressed the stone wall. The official White House Twitter account—an underappreciated vector of Trumpian propaganda—echoed Cipollone’s claim that the inquiry is unconstitutional. (The Constitution: “The House of Representatives shall choose their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.”) Rudy Giuliani compared Democrats’ efforts to the Salem witch trials and Joe McCarthy (who Giuliani seems to think was *checks notes* a Russian communist). Lowering the bar further still, Matt Gaetz, the Trump-friendly Florida Congressman, called the inquiry “a kangaroo court” and Adam Schiff, the House Intelligence Committee chair, “a malicious Captain Kangaroo.” ICYMI: CNN public editor:... Continue reading at 'Columbia Journalism Review'

[ Columbia Journalism Review | 2019-10-09 12:04:38 UTC ]
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