Misinformation about impeachment


Individuals and media have spread so much misinformation about the ongoing impeachment inquiry that people are confused about fact-based evidence. Here is some clarification for these misunderstandings:

  • Impeachment is not conviction; it’s an indictment. The House is responsible for investigating actions before determining whether charges should be made. Only the Senate determines a conviction. The House has voted only for an impeachment inquiry.
  • Sources for the impeachment inquiry aren’t “questionable:” Alexander Vindman, Bill Taylor, Marie Yovanovitch, Laura Cooper, Kurt Volker, Tim Morrison, Gordon Sondland, etc. Even Trump’s acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney described Trump’s “quid pro quo.”
  • Lawmakers discussed impeachment early in Trump’s term because he consistently broke the law, starting with the constitution’s emolument clause.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not call for an impeachment inquiry (note difference between impeachment inquiry and impeachment) until reports emerged that Trump asked Ukraine to find damaging information on his political opponent, Joe Biden, in exchange for releasing military aid.
  • A judge ruled that, according to the U.S. Constitution, the House does not need to vote to open an impeachment inquiry. The House has now passed inquiry rules, 232-196, and hearings will be televised.
  • The GOP-controlled House under Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) passed rules for closed-door hearings in 2015. Impeachment inquiries are comparable to grand juries, also held behind closed doors, and 47 House Republicans, members of inquiry committees, are part of the process. That number includes 12 of the GOP representatives forcing themselves into a closed hearing.
  • Evidence shows that the impeachment inquiry is not “fake;” the primary GOP defense to witnesses’ testimony is “we don’t see any crime.”

In our “post-truth” world of today, people struggle with the cognitive dissonance between facts and unsubstantiated beliefs, sometimes clinging to emotional reactions instead of accurate information.

Nel Ward

Newport

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