Live coverage: Republican impeachment inquiry (part 2)

UPDATE: Thursday, Sep 28, 2023 · 7:19:19 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner

Rep. Rashida Tlaib contrasts the nonsense of this hearing with important hearings she’s been involved with in the past, and the damage done by a shut down—which Republicans are ignoring.

UPDATE: Thursday, Sep 28, 2023 · 7:16:47 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner

Democrats enter more documents into the record, some of it probably addressed what Gosar said. But I really can’t tell you what Gosar said.

UPDATE: Thursday, Sep 28, 2023 · 7:14:22 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner

Rep. Paul Gosar wins the award for being the worst at reading from his own notes. Honestly, Gosar is so monotone and is engaging in such a long string of … whatever, that even the most dedicated Republican Biden hater had to take this five minutes for a bathroom break. 

UPDATE: Thursday, Sep 28, 2023 · 7:09:28 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner

Moskowitz is joining some previous Democrats in showing statements that Republicans have made in the past, but these are not the same statements just being repeated, but new statements from Comer, Grassley, et. al.

It’s a good job of reinforcing and building on the statements previously cited.

“They’re all one upping one another in the Donald Trump friend Olympics, trying to get invited to the sleepover at Mar-a-Lago.” — Rep. Jared Moskowitz

UPDATE: Thursday, Sep 28, 2023 · 7:04:56 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner

Rep. Jared Moskowitz is thrilled with how this hearing is going “As a former director of emergency management, I know a disaster when I see one.”

UPDATE: Thursday, Sep 28, 2023 · 7:03:23 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner

Greene waves around a picture of something. She says its a bathing suit. What it proves outside of Q-anon circles is unknown. 

UPDATE: Thursday, Sep 28, 2023 · 6:59:39 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner

And Greene is finally up. She is shocked, shocked, by how the DOJ hasn’t acted on claims she sent about unsupported claims that she sent about human trafficking by Hunter Biden. And because it was done in 2020, by the Trump DOJ, it was election interference. By Trump-appointed officials against Trump. 

If you thought Greene was going to say or ask anything reasonable … no, sorry. You never thought that. Apologies.

UPDATE: Thursday, Sep 28, 2023 · 6:53:06 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner

Goldman, who has been doing some heavy lifting on documents to this point, finally gets his opportunity to talk. He points out that the first hearing against Donald Trump had a full dozen fact witnesses, as opposed to zero.

And that, in addition to blocking an appearance by Giuliani, Republicans also won’t allow Devon Archer to testify, even though they are cherry picking his past statements as some of the primary evidence.

UPDATE: Thursday, Sep 28, 2023 · 6:51:15 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner

Joe Biden is 80. Every tax form he’s written since the Stone Age is public record. All his homes and bank accounts are on record. Do the Republicans think Biden is waiting until he’s 88 to retire and live it up on all the secret money?

UPDATE: Thursday, Sep 28, 2023 · 6:50:02 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner

Rep. William Timmons says he’s going to “make it simple” for the American people by bringing it down to “What did Joe Biden know, and when.”

Now we’re down to “a Biden” as well “the Biden family.”

Now we’re in Kazakhstan. And Burisma. And the CCP. Because Hunter Biden is not only the smartest man in business, but able to predict the future actions of world leaders. Honestly, Hunter should be a billionaire if he was capable of half what the Republicans are accusing him of.

UPDATE: Thursday, Sep 28, 2023 · 6:44:45 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner

Crockett asks to enter into the record a fact sheet from Congressional Integrity Project, Comer and Jordan object. 

Crockett: “Of course y’all gonna object, but we gonna talk about it.” Crockett then proceeds to read a list of Trump activities in China that dwarf anything that Republicans have even tried to throw at Biden.

Crockett then goes to Gerhardt to see how many times Republicans have said “if” in regard to the claims against Biden. Gerhardt “has been keeping a tally.” The number is 35.

Crockett holds up a picture of classified documents being stored in the bathroom at Mar-a-Lago and delivers the quote of the day.

“These are our national secrets. Looks like in the shitter to me” 

UPDATE: Thursday, Sep 28, 2023 · 6:37:37 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner

Rep. Jasmine Crockett points out that the form 1023 that Republicans keep citing has been “repeatedly debunked” including by the person who brought it to the FBI originally. The FBI investigated the claims and closed the investiation.

“Repeating the same lies will not turn them into truth. Kind of like the election that he lost.”

UPDATE: Thursday, Sep 28, 2023 · 6:35:49 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner

Raskin says that Perry used an email that was “purportedly obtained from Hunter Biden’s laptop” which hasn’t be verified.

Raskin makes it clear that there is no chain of custody on this information. Jordan seems to think it’s okay because Hunter Biden is suing for breach of privacy. How that makes it okay unverified information, is left to the imagination.

UPDATE: Thursday, Sep 28, 2023 · 6:32:44 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner

Rep. Scott Perry wants to hold Hunter Biden guilty for simply being Joe Biden’s son. Perry once again demonstrates, after some slide fumbling, that Republicans either have so little to go on, or so uncoordinated, that they keep hitting the same line in the same document. 

Perry gets in a claim that Hunter Biden was “frequenting prostitutes.” So if that was on your BINGO card, there you go.

Boy, a lot of people seem to send money to “The Biden Family.” Which would be … who? Perry is really big on “the Biden family.” 

And now it’s snooze along with Turley time.

UPDATE: Thursday, Sep 28, 2023 · 6:28:23 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner

Greene shouts out “what about the Jan. 6 defendants.” Presumably she means it was wrong to prosecute insurgents. 

UPDATE: Thursday, Sep 28, 2023 · 6:26:17 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner

Following Casar’s question, Democrats raise their hands. Republicans do not.

So much for equal justice under the law.

UPDATE: Thursday, Sep 28, 2023 · 6:24:30 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner

“I for one am grateful we have an independent judicial system where a president’s son, and a former president, can be investigated and prosecuted if they violate the law. It is my firm belief that hunter and Trump should both face trial and, if found guilty, face the consequence of the crimes they’ve been accused of. Can everyone on the Oversight Committee say the same thing?” — Rep. Greg Casar

UPDATE: Thursday, Sep 28, 2023 · 6:21:15 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner

Casar is doing a good job of explaining how a big factor behind the Republican inquiry is to just make everyone look corrupt. Because if everyone is corrupt, then Trump’s corruption, and theirs, is no big deal.

UPDATE: Thursday, Sep 28, 2023 · 6:19:48 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner

Rep. Greg Casar pulls up a quote from Jordan calling attempting to impeach Trump “political theater.”

“If you thought impeaching Trump was political theater, what would you call this? This, this is a disgrace.”

UPDATE: Thursday, Sep 28, 2023 · 6:17:40 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner

Goldman enters the letter that Fallon was talking about, which actually shows that Shokin was not investigating Burisma. It won’t make a dent in Republican’s claims.

UPDATE: Thursday, Sep 28, 2023 · 6:16:01 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner

Fallon halls out the 1023. The unverified 1023. The widely debunked 1023 that is based on the repeatedly debunked Burisma conspiracy theory.

And now we’re deep into Shokin territory. Really, that leaning on this five years later is kind of astounding. 

UPDATE: Thursday, Sep 28, 2023 · 6:13:27 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner

Fallon keeps saying “say it with me” like he leading a chant. No one is saying it with him.

UPDATE: Thursday, Sep 28, 2023 · 6:12:07 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner

And we’re back with Comer now sitting in the big chair.

Rep. Pat Fallon is first up with the big news that Hunter Biden spoke with his father. This may actually be shocking to some Republicans.

UPDATE: Thursday, Sep 28, 2023 · 6:09:29 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner

In general, Democrats regard these hearings as a team sport. They talk in advance, divide up topics, and use their statements to support each other and leverage a series of themes.

Republicans view them as a chance to promote themselves individually by showing that they are the cleverest, meanest, sneariest of all. Which is how you get someone shouting about China, and someone else talking about Romania, and a dozen people all using the same line because no one bothered to even notice that their colleagues already covered it.

UPDATE: Thursday, Sep 28, 2023 · 6:02:39 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner

Finally, Jordan hammers in a 10 minute break. Summing everything up so far.

Another House GOP staffer tells me “Comer and staff botched this bad.” Tells me the information presented by Republicans has been “confusing” and Democrats are “on message.” “How can you not be better prepared for this?”

— Stephen Neukam (@stephen_neukam) September 28, 2023

Yes, we are still here. And they are still there. And you are still better off just getting thing thing drip-fed to you at a safe distance.

Think of this as the layer of lead that stands between your brain and the kryptonite-level nonsense spewing from the House chambers. Considering the utterly disconnected from reality FUD that we’ve heard so far, we may have to increase the thickness.

Back to the fray…

Fox News ‘legal analyst’ forgets the United States jailed Martin Luther King Jr.—dozens of times

Fox News continues its attempts to generate chaos in the United States by reporting on the U.S.-anti-vaxxer-funded trucker protests in Canada. If that sentence sounds convoluted that’s because the concept it is trying to synthesize is hogwash. What has been a relatively small protest by right-wing extremists against public health mandates has been blown so far out of proportion by the Fox News propaganda machine that one wonders if Fox News has more than a little “investment” in it.

On Monday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced he would be invoking the powers granted to him under the country’s Emergencies Act to try and bring an end to the protests, saying, "The blockades are harming our economy and endangering public safety. We cannot and will not allow illegal and dangerous activities to continue." 

On Tuesday, during one of the hate orgies of make-believe Fox News calls a show, “legal analyst” Jonathan Turley was brought on to speak about Trudeau’s announcement. It was … something to hear.

Turley began by saying the move to use emergency powers was “quite excessive.” Then, without a smirk, without even a smidgen of self-conscious reflection on what a true sociopath he sounds like, Jonathan Turley said this: "By this rationale, they could have cracked down on the civil rights movement. They could have arrested Martin Luther King."

Fox News legal analyst Jonathan Turley, on Canada PM Justin Trudeau invoking emergency powers to deal with the "Freedom Convoy" blockade: "By this rationale, they could have cracked down on the Civil Rights movement. They could have arrested Martin Luther King."

— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) February 15, 2022

That’s an amazing statement coming from the media outlet that truly hates Black civil disobedience (see: Black Lives Matter protests). It’s also deeply offensive, since it is complete make-believe. 

For one, one of the most famous essays written in American history was written in a Birmingham, Alabama, jail on April 16, 1963—by Martin Luther King Jr. In fact, Martin Luther King Jr. was in jail for “demonstrating without a permit.” He had been in jail for four days before he wrote his essay. Unlike the Canadian trucker convoy, King’s law-breaking had to do with a racist judge, in a racist state, saying that Black people couldn’t hold a protest.

If Jonathan Turley wants to speak to the history of “excessive” use and abuse of state powers, Turley need only look to the at least 28 other times Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested and jailed. has some of America’s lowlights:

January 26, 1956 -- He was arrested in Montgomery, Alabama as part of a “Get Tough” campaign to intimidate the bus boycotters. Four days later, on January 30, his home was bombed.

March 22, 1956 -- King, Rosa Parks and more than 100 others were arrested on charges of organizing the Montgomery Bus Boycott in protest of Parks' treatment.

September 3, 1958 -- While attempting to attend the arraignment of a man accused of assaulting Abernathy, King is arrested outside Montgomery’s Recorder’s Court and charged with loitering. He is released a short time later on $100 bond.


October 19, 1960 -- He was arrested in Atlanta, Georgia during a sit-in while waiting to be served at a restaurant. He was sentenced to four months in jail, but after intervention by then presidential candidate John Kennedy and his brother Robert Kennedy, he was released.


July 27, 1962 -- He was arrested again and jailed for holding a prayer vigil in Albany, Georgia.


February 2, 1965 -- He was arrested in Selma, Alabama during a voting rights demonstration, but the demonstrations continued leading to demonstrators being beaten at the Pettus Bridge by state highway patrolmen and sheriff’s deputies.

Those ellipses above skip over other frivolous arrests of a man fighting for the right to be treated like a person, not a bunch of dunderheads who want the right to be shitheads because they’re afraid of medicine.

Here’s a fun response.

Fox News analysts already reaping the benefits of banning books, I see

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 15, 2022