ABC Laments Impeachment Strategy as Botched

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With witnesses in the House impeachment trial looking questionable, ABC on Tuesday lamented the Democratic strategy, lashing out at Nancy Pelosi and the House for botching the effort to remove Donald Trump. During a live interview, Senator Richard Blumenthal said of the move to not have witnesses: “They may have the votes at this moment.” 

An alert George Stephanopoulos noticed this and remarked that the Democrat “may have buried the lede,” adding, “He said about six sentences in they may have the votes at the moment.” Reporter Terry Moran, no conservative, chided: “They may have the votes to block the calling of witnesses. Once again, it does raise questions about the Democratic strategy to fast track an impeachment before Christmas.” 

 

 

Moran critiqued the Democratic effort to move impeachment so fast, especially in light of the new John Bolton book: 

That book was on its way to the White House. Slow and steady, even maybe taking cases to court. That would be out in the House of Representatives now and may be building public support. Right now, the trial is heading towards a conclusion. That vote on witnesses, which as Richard Blumenthal says does not look at this point like it will go the way that the House managers and Democrat want and will not lay down a record in the Senate trial of what we know to be the facts. That is coming our way. 

He warned of the judgment of history, should there be no witnesses: “It will raise questions, I think, with historians and perhaps with voters about how the House of Representatives, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi handled this impeachment.” 

Moran has been consistently unimpressed in the way the Democrats handled the impeachment efforts. In December, he chided Pelosi, saying, “I cannot figure out what the strategy Nancy Pelosi has.... I don’t get what her leverage is here.” 

Last week, he cheered the “senatorial eloquence” of “meticulous,” “classic” Adam Schiff. 

A few minutes later, Jon Karl cheered Senator Lamar Alexander, pushing him to be like the late Republican Howard Baker. Karl even forgot that Baker was dead, saying of Alexander: “If the other three voted for witnesses, you would need Howard Baker to be the fourth vote. I'm sorry. You need Lamar Alexander to be the fourth vote.” 


A transcript is below: 

ABC Live Impeachment coverage
1/28/2020
2:33 PM ET

SENATOR RICHARD BLUMENTHAL: We need the witnesses and documents. They may have the votes at this moment. But I hope my colleagues will look themselves in the mirror and look at how they'll be viewed by history and by the public. 

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Terry Moran, some strong words there from Richard Blumenthal. But he may have buried the lede. He said about six sentences in they may have the votes at the moment. 

TERRY MORAN: They may have the votes to block the calling of witnesses. Once again, it does raise questions about the Democratic strategy to fast track an impeachment before Christmas. That book was on its way to the White House. Slow and steady, even maybe taking cases to court. That would be out in the House of Representatives now and may be building public support. Right now the trial is heading towards a conclusion. That vote on witnesses, which as Richard Blumenthal says doesn't look like it's going to go that the House managers and Democrat want and will not lay down a record in the Senate trial of what we know to be the facts. That  is coming our way. It will raise questions, I think, with historians and perhaps with voters about how the House of Representatives, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi handled this impeachment. 

STEPHANOPOULOS: Jon Karl, let's talk about that fourth Republican Senator, Lamar Alexander. He is described as somewhat cross-pressured. Of course, he is retiring from the Senate. He’s also a close colleague of Mitch McConnell, one of the closest allies in the Senate. Yet, he is consistently reminded that he holds the seat of Howard Baker, Republican of Tennessee who famously in the end took on Richard Nixon during the Watergate proceedings. Describe a little bit the position he's in and what we should know about him. 

JON KARL: Well, first of all, he's a guy with an incredible biography. He was president of the University of Tennessee. He was the governor of Tennessee, of course senator. Ran for president. He was a protégé of Howard Baker. He doesn’t simply sit in his seat. He also has the office that was once held and used by Howard Baker. He worked for Howard Baker. He revered Howard Baker. And Howard Baker ultimately showed independence during the Nixon impeachment process. That is his role model. That alone leads to speculation that he sees himself in this process as somebody who is going to be truly independent and looks at it outside of the political context. As you mentioned, he's not running for re-election. It doesn't matter in terms of the politics to him. He has said nothing that really indicates that he is ready to vote for witnesses. He's kept his cards very close to his chest. Really hasn't said much of anything about it. He is clearly one of those —  maybe even the decisive vote on this. If the other three voted for witnesses, you would need Howard Baker to be the fourth vote. I'm sorry. You need Lamar Alexander to be the fourth vote. 

 

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