CBS on Impeachment Hearing: ‘Devastating,’ ‘Devastating’ ‘Bombshell’

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After a day of live impeachment coverage, CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell on Wednesday breathlessly hyped the information as, respectively, “devastating,” “devastating” and potentially a coming “bombshell.”

Seconds after the hearing ended, O’Donnell described, “There we have it. Day one of the first public hearing, in terms of impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, are now in the history books. Some devastating testimony today from two of America's most respected diplomats who have served both Republican and democratic presidents.” 

Then she lectured the audience, “If you were bored, you weren't paying close attention enough because there were lots of it is nuggets here to follow.” 

Introducing Margaret Brennan, O’Donnell again used the “devastating” line: “One of the most devastating new details we heard today, Margaret, was from Ambassador Taylor who revealed new information that wasn't in his previous deposition about a specific phone call from President Trump was involved.” 

 

 

Brennan then explained how William Taylor discussed hearing from a staffer that another individual had a phone conversation with Donald Trump about Ukraine. O’Donnell wondered, “Doesn't this raise the stakes, for next week's hearings to hear from Ambassador Sondland, if it is in fact true that he was directly communicating with the President?” 

Preemptively, O’Donnell suggested that another “bombshell” could be coming, this one from John Bolton:  

This Bolton bombshell that could be looming, the president former National Security Advisor, who left not on good terms from the white house, is a well respected conservative. Well liked, a former Fox News contributor, his own attorney now saying that he has information about certain events and conversation that have not yet been made public. 

George Washington University Professor and frequent media guest Jonathan Turley cautioned O’Donnell about just how the day went: 

 

 

I do think we have to be cautious talk about what the standard is. I think there is lot to be outraged about. You certainly don't need a crime for impeachment but you  do need clarity. They're proceeding on the narrowest basis for impeachment in the history of this country. We’ve never gone up on impeachment just based on an abuse of power linked to a single controversy like this. That is a very slender basis. And I’m not too sure they gained a lot on impeachment. 

A partial transcript is below: 

CBS impeachment coverage
11/13/19
3:37

NORAH O’DONNELL: There we have it. Day one of the first public hearing, in terms of impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, are now in the history books. Some devastating testimony today from two of America's most respected diplomats who have served both Republican and Democratic presidents. Our whole team has been watching all morning and all afternoon and now we get the chance to break it all down for everyone and highlight many of the key things that we heard today. If you were bored, you weren't paying close attention enough [sic] because there were lots of it is nuggets here to follow. We'll layout the bread crumbs for everybody. Go first to Margaret Brennan of course who is moderator of Face the Nation and joins us here. One of the most devastating new details we heard today, Margaret, was from Ambassador Taylor, who revealed new information that wasn't in his previous deposition about a specific phone call from President Trump was involved. Explain.  

MARGARET BRENNAN: This was key, it was new information, it indicates a new witness who has firsthand accounts and Ambassador Taylor said that he, when he wept back to Ukraine after first deposition learned from a staffer that this staffer on July the 26th, that date is key, the day after President Donald Trump and President Zelensky had their phone call, the very next day this individual you see on your screen, David Holmes, who is a career foreign service officer, CBS News learned his name. He is a foreign service officer who former boss told me is “sharp, honest experienced,” one of the very best foreign service officers he's ever worked with. Holmes told Taylor that he heard a phone call between the President of the United States and the Ambassador, Gordon Sondland ,in a restaurant overheard him having a phone call when the phone call ended he said to the ambassador, “Well, what does President Trump think of Ukraine?” And acknowledgment that who was indeed on the phone. And Ambassador Sondland said, “Actually, he cares more about the investigation into the Bidens.” 

...

O’DONNELL: Doesn't this raise the stakes, for next week's hearings to hear from ambassador Sondland, if it is in fact true that he was directly communicating with the president? 


...

JONATHAN TURLEY: I do think we have to be cautious talk about what the standard is. I think there is lot to be outraged about. You certainly don't need a crime for impeachment but you  do need clarity. They're proceeding on the narrowest basis for impeachment in the history of this country. We’ve never gone up on impeachment just based on an abuse of power linked to a single controversy like this. That is a very slender basis. And I’m not too sure they gained a lot on impeachment. 

...

O’DONNELL: That interesting point right there, this Bolton bombshell that could be looming, the president former National Security Advisor, who left not on good terms from the white house, is a well respected conservative. Well liked, a former Fox News contributor, his own attorney now saying that he has information about certain events and conversation that have not yet been made public. 

 

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