First up, Seth Meyers brings us up to speed on the testimony by Gordon Sondland, Donald Trump’s ambassador to the European Union, who was at the center of Trump’s effort to extort an investigation of Hunter Biden by the Ukrainian president in return for releasing military aid.
In listening to bits of the impeachment inquiry, the Republican strategy seems to be to say that the hold on the military aid was released, so where is the extortion? They constantly omit the fact that the hold was released after the whistleblower’s complaint became public. They also are suggesting that much of the evidence in the investigations is hearsay when in fact numerous witnesses with direct knowledge of the process have testified in support of the extortion effort. When all that fails, they then try to downplay the significance of the extortion effort, saying it is no big deal.
Another curious demand is that the anonymous whistleblower must publicly testify though why is not clear since other witnesses with direct knowledge have confirmed the account multiple times such as, for example, in testimony today by David Holmes, a career foreign service officer who serves as political counselor at the U.S. embassy in Ukraine, who overheard a phone call between Sondland and Trump that directly showed extortion.
Also, the whistleblower had got their information from others so, given the Republican disdain for ‘hearsay’, that testimony in their eyes would have no value. So why demand that the whistleblower’s identity be revealed?
The identity of the whistleblower has become somewhat of an open secret and even I have seen reports that identify the whistleblower by name and provide something about their background. So why are Republicans demanding a public revelation of the identity? Apparently they have compiled a dossier on the whistleblower’s political leanings and are itching to release it so as to buttress their narrative that this is a partisan attack, but they cannot do so until some major public figure or news organization releases the name. But no one, not even Fox News, seems to want to risk the opprobrium that would come with revealing the whistleblower whose identity is protected by statute. But at some point, you can expect the identity will be released.