To defend Trump, Republicans spew wacky, wild-eyed conspiracy theories

House Democrats appear to be moving forward with articles of impeachment that will focus on abuse of power, obstruction of justice, obstruction of Congress and bribery. CNN's Suzanne Malveaux reports how Democrats, the White House and GOP senators are preparing for a potential impeachment trial.

Posted: Nov 22, 2019 4:50 PM
Updated: Nov 22, 2019 4:50 PM

Two weeks of impeachment hearings have revealed as much about the Republican Party as they did about the President's actions toward Ukraine.

House Republicans barely twitched as one witness after another testified about Trump's efforts to withhold assistance and diplomatic meetings with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky in exchange for an investigation into his political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden.

Republican congressmen like California's Devin Nunes, the ranking member, and Ohio's Jim Jordan relentlessly shouted out conspiracy theories and questioned the veracity of witnesses as if they could hear nothing of the testimony the witnesses just given.

The Republican lawmakers spent as much time castigating the "fake media" and the "Russia hoax" as they did the matter at hand. They conducted a purely talking-point hearing with an intended audience of three: President Trump, Fox News hosts, and the Republican base.

Coming from a party that until relatively recently had been united on a tough national security posture toward countries such as Russia, there was a striking lack of outrage about the President's strong-arming of a key ally on the frontlines of the effort to contain Russian President Vladimir Putin's aggressive actions.

Republicans parroted the administration's efforts to paint Trump as an anti-corruption warrior when he has acted in the opposite fashion both overseas and at home, showing no interest in maintaining clear lines between the public interest and his own private interests.

His embrace of Putin, whose government is awash in corruption, is an obvious example of the big lie. Indeed, just one day after a hawkish former national security official, Fiona Hill, warned of the dangers of promoting the "fictional narrative" of the Crowdstrike conspiracy theory — that Ukraine, not Russia, sought to undermine the 2016 election — President Trump went on Fox & Friends to repeat the story: "They [the Democratic National Committee] gave the server to Crowdstrike," he said Friday.

Republicans remained silent.

If it is not yet clear to some, Republicans are all-in when it comes to President Trump. They are willing to defend him from being impeached and are committed to promoting what they say he has accomplished since 2017. But they are also happy to promote his most controversial rhetoric while endorsing, with their silence, his abuse of presidential power, his endangerment of our national security, and the global stability.

Even the House Republican who some have painted as somewhat moderate, Rep. Will Hurd of Texas, made clear yesterday that after two weeks of devastating testimony, he is nowhere closer to voting for any articles of impeachment against this president.

As I have argued before, President Trump did not change the Republican Party. He is a product of a new GOP. But what the President exposes is how much the GOP has changed: how the pursuit of partisan power now overwhelms almost any concern for norms, governance and, to some extent, national security.

If Democrats were hoping that the revelation of damaging information would rationally persuade congressional Republicans to take a second look at this administration, they were wrong.

If Democrats were hoping that straightforward questions — Is it legitimate for presidents to withhold foreign aid to help their reelection campaigns? Is President Trump concerned about corruption overseas? — would somehow pressure the GOP into giving honest answers, they were wrong.

This is now what the congressional Republicans are all about. Their focus is to protect their power in the Senate, do as much as possible to protect and expand their numbers in the House, and shore up the Republican electorate going into the presidential election. Everything else is secondary.

Of course, things can always change. As we learned with Watergate, every politician and party have a breaking point. But this week's hearings were instructive about where the Republican Party stands as of Thanksgiving 2019.

Rather than having a debate about whether the President's actions were impeachable, Republicans instead treated the nation to a week of wild-eyed accusations that simply pushed aside the alarming reality that credible witnesses — public servants all — laid before them.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 51079

Reported Deaths: 2756
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion12019693
Lake5588248
Elkhart353959
Allen2939134
St. Joseph210669
Hamilton1691101
Cass16449
Hendricks1454100
Johnson1340118
Porter82638
Tippecanoe7709
Vanderburgh7276
Clark69544
Madison67464
LaPorte61628
Howard59858
Bartholomew59745
Kosciusko5754
Marshall5449
Noble51328
LaGrange4849
Boone48244
Jackson4783
Delaware47152
Hancock46736
Shelby45425
Floyd40644
Morgan34231
Monroe34028
Grant31826
Dubois3046
Henry30018
Montgomery29720
Clinton2903
White27410
Dearborn25823
Decatur25632
Lawrence25225
Vigo2528
Warrick25029
Harrison21722
Greene19432
Miami1932
Jennings17912
Putnam1738
DeKalb1694
Scott1649
Wayne1546
Daviess15017
Perry14710
Orange13723
Steuben1362
Jasper1352
Ripley1307
Franklin1278
Gibson1202
Wabash1162
Carroll1142
Fayette1067
Whitley1066
Starke1043
Newton10010
Huntington942
Jefferson862
Wells821
Randolph794
Fulton731
Knox710
Jay700
Washington681
Pulaski661
Clay645
Rush613
Posey570
Spencer541
Owen521
Benton510
Sullivan501
Adams491
Brown431
Blackford402
Fountain352
Crawford330
Switzerland320
Tipton321
Parke270
Martin260
Ohio230
Vermillion200
Warren151
Union140
Pike110
Unassigned0193

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 64214

Reported Deaths: 3036
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin11724445
Cuyahoga8979393
Hamilton6781207
Lucas2952305
Marion274539
Montgomery244035
Summit2327209
Pickaway222241
Mahoning1928239
Butler182147
Columbiana137860
Stark1214114
Lorain112069
Trumbull104578
Warren97725
Clark80010
Delaware69815
Fairfield66717
Tuscarawas60410
Lake58923
Medina58232
Belmont56922
Licking56812
Miami50631
Portage49259
Wood48851
Clermont4737
Ashtabula44744
Geauga42543
Wayne37253
Richland3715
Allen35641
Greene3439
Mercer29910
Erie27122
Holmes2595
Darke25626
Huron2402
Madison2169
Ottawa17324
Sandusky16015
Washington14620
Ross1443
Coshocton1423
Athens1391
Crawford1385
Putnam13715
Hardin12312
Morrow1201
Auglaize1094
Jefferson1092
Muskingum1001
Union931
Preble901
Monroe8917
Hancock861
Lawrence830
Guernsey823
Clinton811
Hocking809
Williams762
Shelby744
Logan711
Ashland672
Carroll673
Fulton670
Scioto670
Wyandot635
Brown611
Fayette550
Defiance533
Knox531
Champaign511
Highland501
Van Wert471
Perry441
Seneca412
Henry330
Paulding300
Jackson280
Pike280
Adams261
Vinton232
Gallia201
Noble140
Harrison131
Meigs130
Morgan110
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 64°
Angola
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 64°
Huntington
Few Clouds
65° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 65°
Decatur
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 64°
Van Wert
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 64°
Dry start to the work week
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events