The first public hearings in the ongoing impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump on Wednesday further strengthened the case that the President withheld crucial congressionally approved military aid from Ukraine in exchange for its President, Volodymyr Zelensky, announcing an investigation into Trump's political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden.
Since an explosive whistleblower complaint first brought Trump's dealings with Ukraine to the public conscious, Republicans have constantly adjusted their defenses to fit increasingly damning revelations.
Video editor for the Washington Post, JM Reiger, highlighted just how many times congressional Republicans have moved the goalposts since the original whistleblower complaint.
NEW Over the past two months, congressional Republicans have floated no fewer than 17 different defenses of Trump’… https://t.co/qFxpJ6yunh— JM Rieger (@JM Rieger) 1573610191.0
At first, the defense was that the whistleblower complained about a call he or she wasn't on, leading Republicans to claim it was hearsay. When a rough summary of the call released by the White House corroborated the whistleblower's claims, Republicans said the whistleblower was politically biased. Then, Republicans pivoted to claiming that the White House summary didn't match the complaint.
They went on to whine about the process despite its constitutionality, claimed there was no quid pro quo, blamed the deep state, and so on until they finally claimed Trump's Ukraine policy was too incoherent to form a quid pro quo.
Republican defenses of Trump’s Ukraine actions: 1) Call was appropriate 2) Call was inappropriate but not impeacha… https://t.co/S8QK2R6m2K— JM Rieger (@JM Rieger) 1573610354.0
cont. 12) The impeachment inquiry is a secret/unfair process 13) Trump isn’t getting due process 14) Ukraine said… https://t.co/JK8JjsDxID— JM Rieger (@JM Rieger) 1573610603.0
People are starting to notice that Republican defenses are losing credibility with every new development.
@RiegerReport @gtconway3d @thefix This has always been the Republican strategy. They cannot argue the merits. They… https://t.co/PM78Aje7ay— C. Jenni (@C. Jenni) 1573733652.0
@RiegerReport @gtconway3d @thefix 17 defenses= no defense at all— Barbe Levitan (@Barbe Levitan) 1573733371.0
@RiegerReport @gtconway3d @thefix Innocent people always change their story to fit the facts as they become known— Hamstercampster (@Hamstercampster) 1573733858.0
@RiegerReport @gtconway3d @thefix One is as insubstantial as the rest.— Kathleen Jordan (@Kathleen Jordan) 1573737648.0
Public hearings are far from over. It's likely there will be three new defenses by next week.