Todd Boasts Hearings Were ‘Very Successful,’ But Didn’t Move Needle

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Talk about grading on a curve. During an appearance on NBC’s Sunday Today, political director and Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd boasted that the Democratic-led impeachment hearings of President Trump were “very successful” and could “maybe” get him convicted in a court of law. But, he would admit that polling showed that Democrats were not successful in moving the needle of public support for impeachment.

After introducing Todd, host Willie Geist touted that “a long list of witnesses told a very similar story about what happened in Ukraine and the involvement of the Trump administration in that deal,” but lamented how there were “some witnesses we haven’t heard from: John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, [and] Mick Mulvaney…”

Todd explained that Democrats squeezed all the hearings into a “reasonable period of time” because “timeliness here matters too,” because holidays and the Democratic primaries and caucuses were coming up. He then boasted about how the hearings “were very successful both in revealing that there’s a lot more we don't know. They’ve proven quite a bit. And maybe in a court of law, they could win that case.

Oh, really? Todd would go on to admit that Democrats “still have a political bar that they haven’t met yet, and a political argument that they might be able to win if people like Bolton testify.” According to him, the Democratic Party was now facing a “dilemma” because the polls have not shown widespread support for impeachment. In fact, support had slumped as the hearings went on:

So, I think, it’s a dilemma that they’re facing here. They haven’t met the political bar yet. Right? We haven’t seen it in the polls. They may have met a legal bar. So, what do you do? Right now, I think, they decided to move forward with the process. It is an interesting political decision.

 

 

In addition to playing up the successfulness of Democratic impeachment efforts, Geist and Todd chided Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) for daring to look into the possible corruption between the Bidens and Ukraine. Geist huffed for a bit before finally getting around to asking Todd a question about it:

There was kind of a snapshot moment this week, I think, of this entire era but specifically about this impeachment inquiry which is that longtime friends Joe Biden and Lindsey Graham at odds this week; as Lindsey Graham, after the end of the public testimony announced he's helping to launch his own investigation into what happened in Ukraine with Biden. He asked the State Department for documents about Biden and Burisma. Joe Biden said on the campaign trail he is, quote, “embarrassed” for his old friend, Lindsey Graham. What's going on here?

Look, there’ve plenty of people in Washington have been trying to figure out what Lindsey Graham’s up to. Is this politics? Is this South Carolina conservatives,” Todd speculated, as if it was some kind of great mystery. “Whatever it is, bottom line is, I think that is a split now between Lindsey Graham and Joe Biden. Probably a rift that'll never get healed no matter where this heads going forward.”

One could sense the disdain in Geist’s voice as he wrapped up by suggesting: “Lindsey Graham clearly has chosen the President over his old friend, Joe Biden.” Tell us how you really feel.

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

NBC’s Sunday Today
November 24, 2019
8:05:31 a.m. Eastern

WILLIE GEIST: Chuck, good morning, good to see you. So, a deep breath here at the end of two long weeks of public testimony impeachment inquiry. A long list of witnesses told a very similar story about what happened in Ukraine and the involvement of the Trump administration in that deal. Some witnesses we haven’t heard from: John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, Mick Mulvaney on the list as well. What do you expect to happen from here, Chuck? For the American people watching this, taking it in. What are the next steps?

CHUCK TODD: Well, it looks that Democrats decided they’ve done as much in the public hearing aspect as they can do within a reasonable period of time. I guess is the way to put it. And you brought up all these witnesses that we haven’t heard from. And I think they would argue it’s going to take too long to hear from them and timeliness here matters too.

So, it means we would likely, after Thanksgiving, see about a week or two of hearings in the House Judiciary Committee, maybe one of them would be public then you would see the indictment, which is also known as an article of impeachment, setting up a trial in January.

But I think Democrats have to ask themselves, with all of the—On one hand, I think the hearings were very successful both in revealing that there’s a lot more we don't know. They’ve proven quite a bit. And maybe in a court of law, they could win that case. But they still have a political bar that they haven’t met yet, and a political argument that they might be able to win if people like Bolton testify.

So, I think, it’s a dilemma that they’re facing here. They haven’t met the political bar yet. Right? We haven’t seen it in the polls. They may have met a legal bar. So, what do you do? Right now, I think, they decided to move forward with the process. It is an interesting political decision.

GEIST: And you’ll have a lot of questions for chairman Schiff on Meet the Press coming up.

Chuck. There was kind of a snapshot moment this week, I think, of this entire era but specifically about this impeachment inquiry which is that longtime friends Joe Biden and Lindsey Graham at odds this week; as Lindsey Graham, after the end of the public testimony announced he's helping to launch his own investigation into what happened in Ukraine with Biden. He asked the State Department for documents about Biden and Burisma. Joe Biden said on the campaign trail he is, quote, “embarrassed” for his old friend, Lindsey Graham. What's going on here?

TODD: I don't know, it’s an interesting decision by Senator Lindsey Graham, who in November said, ‘I don't want to turn the Senate into a circus by investigating Hunter and Joe Biden.’ And now he's—this was at the beginning of the month. I think he said it on November 5. And now he is indeed, at least, threatening to do that.

It’s—Look, there’ve plenty of people in Washington have been trying to figure out what Lindsey Graham’s up to. Is this politics? Is this South Carolina conservatives? Is it-- Whatever it is bottom line is, I think that is a split now between Lindsey Graham and Joe Biden. Probably a rift that'll never get healed no matter where this heads going forward.

GEIST: Lindsey Graham clearly has chosen the President over his old friend, Joe Biden.

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