Chuck Todd Urges Dems to Expand Impeachment Hearings: ‘Don’t Have a Closer Yet’

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Worried that Democrats have not yet made a successful case for the impeachment of President Trump, during NBC’s special coverage of the hearings on Thursday, Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd urged Democrats to expand the testimony and call more witnesses. He insisted that “there’s more bread crumb trails to follow” and that Democrats still need a “closer.”

Talking to his fellow anchors during a hearing break in the 11:00 a.m. ET hour, Todd cautioned: “It’s clear all of this testimony has built this very damning case. At the same time, there’s more bread crumb trails to follow and there’s more investigating to do.” He then mused: “...do you bring Volker back? Do you bring Sondland back?”

 

 

After Today show co-host Savannah Guthrie noted that Democrats were constrained by the 2020 “political calendar,” Todd fretted:

I know, and I’ll just say this. I think Democrats got to be careful here. If they short-circuit this....They’ve got to win a political argument. They can win the technical, but they got to win a political argument. And while plenty of people may be skeptical that more witnesses, even if they’re named John Bolton, isn’t going to penetrate anything. Okay, but do you need to get caught trying? Do they need to keep going down this road?

He continued to warn liberal lawmakers: “Democrats have to think long and hard about – about an appearance that they’re sort of short-circuiting this. That they’re cutting off leads when they should continue to go, only because they want to avoid the presidential race.”

Nightly News anchor Lester Holt chimed in: “Yeah, Chuck, you’re a sports fan here. Are either of these witnesses the closer? I mean, who is the closer that gets Democrats?” Todd again suggested former National Security Advisor John Bolton could fill that role.

Minutes later, he concluded: “But I’ll tell you this, if today is the last day of televised hearings, I don’t think they have their closer yet.”

Clearly the Democrats’ media cheering section is getting nervous that the impeachment agenda is faltering.

Here is a transcript of Todd’s November 21 commentary:

11:11 AM ET

(...)

CHUCK TODD: Look, I think this underscores the challenge Democrats have after today. And it’s this. It’s clear all of this testimony has built this very damning case. At the same time, there’s more bread crumb trails to follow and there’s more investigating to do. And I think it is – they’re gonna probably – I think they have enough information – do you bring Volker back? Do you bring Sondland back? Do you figure out how to do those things –

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Well, that goes to the question I was trying to ask you before we started, which is the calendar-calendar versus the political calendar.

TODD: I know, and I’ll just say this. I think Democrats got to be careful here. If they short-circuit this, right – you know, look, if this were a courtroom trial, they have the evidence, they’re done. They could rest their case, go to jury, fine. They’ve got to win a political argument. They can win the technical, but they got to win a political argument. And while plenty of people may be skeptical that more witnesses, even if they’re named John Bolton, isn’t going to penetrate anything. Okay, but do you need to get caught trying? Do they need to keep going down this road?

I mean, I – I think that they – the Democrats have to think long and hard about – about an appearance that they’re sort of short-circuiting this. That they’re cutting off leads when they should continue to go, only because they want to avoid the presidential race. I just – they gotta be careful.

LESTER HOLT: Yeah, Chuck, you’re a sports fan here. Are either of these witnesses the closer? I mean, who is the closer that gets Democrats?

TODD: I completely agree. Look, to me, we know who the closer is at this point, or at least the –  the – it would be John Bolton. I mean, you could say it could be a Mick Mulvaney or a Mike Pompeo, but neither one of them appear – they don’t appear eager to come. I’m not saying Bolton is eager, but Bolton has certainly indicated that under certain legal circumstances, he’s willing to share what he knows.

(...)

11:14 AM ET

TODD: But I’ll tell you this, if today is the last day of televised hearings, I don’t think they have their closer yet.

GUTHRIE: Well, it’s interesting, too, because Chuck raises the dilemma for Democrats. Do they say, “We’ve turned over every stone, we got every witness, we waited it out for the court fights,” and all of that, or do they try to do it on a faster track because of the political calendar and the elections? You know, they do have the argument that these witnesses who could be called, such as Mulvaney, such as Pompeo, such as Bolton, right now are resisting those calls to testify. So perhaps that helps there.

(...)

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