MSNBC’s ‘Hardball’: Impeachment Is Chance to Save Constitution from Russian Stooge Trump

Listen to the Article!

Despite repeated assertions that there was no “glee or joy” in the matter, the mood on Thursday’s Hardball was ebullient as host Chris Matthews and his parade of guests basked in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to have the House drop its charade and admit that they’re looking toward impeaching President Trump.

Along with claims that Russia elected Trump, other characters asserted that impeachment will be a chance to save the Constitution for this 21st century, that Democrats could still blow it, and that the President is still compromised by and colluding with Russia.

 

 

Host Chris Matthews fretted that “three years” had been spent “trying to connect the dots,” hoping for Trump-Russia collusion, but now there’s “one big, fat dot” regarding the President and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

A senior shoveler of the failed collusion conspiracy, NBCNews.com reporter Heidi Przybyla argued that this case against Hunter Biden was based on “bogus charges” (click “expand”):

[H]e was actually asking a foreign government to manufacture dirt on a political opponent because as we've reported on this network and other networks, the Ukrainians have already disputed these charges. These are bogus charges. The case had been dormant for at least a year, and so in this case he's — he’s admitting to it and asking this government to essentially manufacture something that — that doesn't exist and withholding U.S. taxpayer dollars, which are meant to guess what? Fight corruption. So leveraging taxpayer dollars then to benefit himself politically and so in both in her mind and in the mind of these nationally security-minded Democrats who frankly broke the dam last night, this did cross a new threshold. 

As Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) told Chuck Todd two hours prior, it’s doubtful Hunter Biden was hired to serve on the board of a foreign energy company based on things they liked on a Zip Recruiter profile. And perhaps there was a reason there were more than a few reporters who looked into Hunter.

Matthews swooned to NBC News presidential historian Jon Meacham that he was hosting the show from “the Hill tonight because” there was “history...being made” and so Meacham responded with an elitist screed about impeachment serving as a chance for the people to regain faith in the Constitution:

The Constitution works, the system works and I think for so many people who’ve lost faith in the system of checks and balances, Montesquieu through Madison to our own day, this is a day to say the system is showing signs of life and it's far, far, far from over, but ultimately, the checks and balances that have served us for 243 years have a chance now again of perhaps saving us from our worst instincts.

Later, Matthews declared it “unimaginable” in a previous life if President Eisenhower had demanded the Hungarians dish on Eisenhower’s adversaries in order to have support against the Soviets while Przybyla asserted what irony it would be “if the Russians tried to help get this President into office and a scandal over Ukraine helped to bring him down.”

To close out the segment, Meacham summarized previous impeachment inquiries in presidential history before summing up this one by smearing Trump voters in 2016 as having been part of “a populous spasm.”

“[W]hat we're going to see right now is whether the people that have supported this President for other reasons will in fact follow the facts to their logical conclusion. This is great test for the relevance and role of fact and truth in our politics in the 21st century,” he added.

A few segments later, deranged MSNBC legal analyst Frank Figliuzzi pleaded for Americans to collectively turn away from the President:

The problem here is that if we get all bogged down in the law, we miss what's staring us in the face which is that this President decided to solicit the aid of a foreign government to intervene against his adversary for a re-election. If the American people think that's acceptable, then we've back-stepped a long way in this country and quite frankly, our President has lost any sense of shame if he ever had one. The concept of soliciting a foreign power to aid your re-election is a disgrace to the office and he's going to flaunt it by saying “it's okay that I did it.”

 

 

But the kookiness ramped up when Matthews expressed fear that things could still unravel for the left (click “expand”):

The one thing that frustrates me about this Congress it's been getting into the weeds and you ought to be able to see it when you see it, like they used to say about pornography. If you can see it, you can see it. If you don't see it as corruption, this misuse of power by a President, if you don't get it, you don’t need to have more hearings on it, make more document demands but all the time — I'm hoping that they’re gonna — we're hearing they're going to move quickly on this. They’re going to act quickly based on the information to get this week in terms of acting whether to proceed toward articles of impeachment but my worry is they'll hire a bunch of lawyers again, hire a bunch of staff, do a lot more of whatever, whatever and put it off and off and by the time this thing cools down, nothing happens, not even a vote up or down.

Try and follow this, but Figliuzzi replied by insisting that Russia probably listened in on the call and thus the Russian collusion narrative is still alive since the President “could have compromised himself with Russia” and thus they still “own” him.

To see the relevant transcript from MSNBC’s Hardball on September 24, click “expand.”

MSNBC’s Hardball
September 24, 2019
7:04 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Heidi, it seems to me for three years the people trying to find out when the president and Russia, trying to connect the dots. A meeting at Donald Trump's hotel in June of — of 19 — or of 2016, they tried to connect the President's son with the President. They tried to connect Veselnitskaya, some lawyer from Russia with Putin. Here, it seems to be one big, fat dot. It’s a meeting between two presidents. Do you be a sense this story requires a lot of reporting at this point or even a lot of investigation at this point? 

HEIDI PRZYBYLA: I think the congressman is right that Thursday will be another inflection point because either we will see that whistle-blower complaint or we will see how this Congress is going to use new tools to come down on this administration or whether the obstruction itself becomes an article of impeachment. The members that I talked to said that this is a pretty clear-cut case and that Speaker Pelosi really did draw a distinction in that meeting, Chris, between the Russia situation where you had the President accepting dirt on a political opponent and this situation where he was actually asking a foreign government to manufacture dirt on a political opponent because as we've reported on this network and other networks, the Ukrainians have already disputed these charges. These are bogus charges. The case had been dormant for at least a year, and so in this case he's — he’s admitting to it and asking this government to essentially manufacture something that — that doesn't exist and withholding U.S. taxpayer dollars, which are meant to guess what? Fight corruption. So leveraging taxpayer dollars then to benefit himself politically and so in both in her mind and in the mind of these nationally security-minded Democrats who frankly broke the dam last night, this did cross a new threshold. 

MATTHEWS: Jon Meacham, sir, history here, it’s being made. We came to the Hill tonight because of it. You can feel it around here. Your thoughts. 

JON MEACHAM: You know, I was think about President Ford's inaugural address there in the East Room in August '74, not to run too far ahead here when he said we're a government of laws and not of men. The Constitution works, the system works and I think for so many people who’ve lost faith in the system of checks and balances, Montesquieu through Madison to our own day, this is a day to say the system is showing signs of life and it's far, far, far from over, but ultimately, the checks and balances that have served us for 243 years have a chance now again of perhaps saving us from our worst instincts. 

(....)

7:10 p.m. Eastern

MATTHEWS: That's the moral question, the historic question, Heidi, because I grew up with the captive nations of eastern Europe, and countries like Ukraine where I went to school with a lot of Ukrainians and, boy, the idea that a president would stake their freedom from Russia based upon whether we get dirt from a President is unimaginable. It’d be like Ike talking to the Hungarians, “if you give me some dirt, I’ll protect you from the Russians.” It's unimaginable historically. Your thoughts.

PRZYBYLA: Well, wouldn't it be ironic, Chris, if the Russians tried to help get this President into office and a scandal over Ukraine helped to bring him down? We're not there yet, but, yes, we've seen many unimaginable moments here, but I think that the congressmen really put their finger on it when they said he has been emboldened every step of the way here because there has not been a single incidence really of the Oversight and with all due respect to members of Congress and in the House where they've succeeded in getting a major document or witness other than Mueller to come up there and give them information and even that wound up being in the eyes of many, kind of a disappointment because he wouldn't go much beyond what was in his report and even then, it was kind of a stilted delivery and so, you know, next week, I think — by this time next week, we will have a very good answer, assuming that the DNI does come through with this whistle-blower complaint, the extent to which the President and now the reporting is eight times pressured the Ukrainians to — to collect dirt, we'll have a good sense of whether or not that all is true. 

(....)

7:13 p.m. Eastern

MATTHEWS: We've had Andrew Johnson impeached, saved in the Senate. Close, one vote difference. We've had Bill Clinton impeached. That didn't go anywhere in the senate, basically. That was a partisan issue in many ways. Nixon was forced to resign after the House Judiciary Committee acted. Here we are, back again somewhere in that vicinity. Your thoughts on how this fits in history. 

MEACHAM: Well, all three of those impeachments unfolded at a time there was a deep fracturing of the country and a fundamental, almost existential question confronting us. It was the nature of the Union after the Civil War and whether the verdict of the war would actually be implemented. Johnson stood in the way of that. He tried to undo the work of Lincoln in many ways. President Nixon was impeached at a time of Cold War and cultural upheaval. The Clinton impeachment unfolds at a moment of generational shift, World War II generation to the Baby Boomer generation and a continuation of the shifting nature of the parties after segregation and integration and now we have this question of are we in fact going to have a coherent answer to globalization and the questions that confront us. In 2016, we had a populous spasm and what we're going to see right now is whether the people that have supported this President for other reasons will in fact follow the facts to their logical conclusion. This is great test for the relevance and role of fact and truth in our politics in the 21st century. 

MATTHEWS: And of course, the strength of our Constitution in this 21st century. Does it still matter what the limits of power are?

(....)

7:36 p.m. Eastern

FRANK FIGLIUZZI: Well, Chris, we're already seeing the defense starting to play out, right? And I've seen this before with corrupt public officials throughout my FBI career. I call it the I-did-it-so-what defense. I was the mayor, I was the county commissioner, I was the governor, I am the president and you don't understand my authority and how I operate. But here's the problem with that. He can release all of the things he wants to release, but the law says the moment you, a public official, solicit a thing of value for personal benefit in return for an official act like releasing a quarter billion dollars in aid, you have violated the law and you can do it directly with a — with a stated quid pro quo or you could do it indirectly. The problem here is that if we get all bogged down in the law, we miss what's staring us in the face which is that this President decided to solicit the aid of a foreign government to intervene against his adversary for a re-election. If the American people think that's acceptable, then we've back-stepped a long way in this country and quite frankly, our President has lost any sense of shame if he ever had one. The concept of soliciting a foreign power to aid your re-election is a disgrace to the office and he's going to flaunt it by saying “it's okay that I did it.”


(....)

7:39 p.m. Eastern

MATTHEWS: The one thing that frustrates me about this Congress it's been getting into the weeds and you ought to be able to see it when you see it, like they used to say about pornography. If you can see it, you can see it. If you don't see it as corruption, this misuse of power by a President, if you don't get it, you don’t need to have more hearings on it, make more document demands but all the time — I'm hoping that they’re gonna — we're hearing they're going to move quickly on this. They’re going to act quickly based on the information to get this week in terms of acting whether to proceed toward articles of impeachment but my worry is they'll hire a bunch of lawyers again, hire a bunch of staff, do a lot more of whatever, whatever and put it off and off and by the time this thing cools down, nothing happens, not even a vote up or down. Your thoughts. 

FIGLIUZZI: And while that time — time runs, let's understand the national security risk here. The President has conceded that he reaches out to foreign leaders for help for personal benefit. This goes right back to the Russia allegation. We can now easily see how he could have compromised himself with Russia. We don't know what transpired there, but he's very willing to do this for personal benefit. How much longer will we allow this to go on where he can compromise himself and someone else holds the key to his compromise? Don't forget it's not just Ukraine that was a part to that conversation. You know who else is listening to that conversation? Russia. Russia is intercepting the Ukrainian president's conversations. They know exactly what transpired. There's another adversary who now comes in and says “I own this President.”

MATTHEWS: And you wonder if it’s the same one we’ve always thought owned him, which is Vladimir Putin and whether that's the same thing we're watching here, just another chapter in this story. Helping out Russia by screwing Ukraine.

NB Daily Congress Trump Impeachment Ukraine Russia Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats MSNBC Hardball Video Chris Matthews Heidi Przybyla Jon Meacham Joe Biden Donald Trump
Curtis Houck's picture


Sponsored Links