Throwing Things at the Wall and Hoping Something Discredits the Impeachment Inquiry

Screenshot of Tom Fitton's tweet.

On day two of the public impeachment hearings in the House of Representatives, Republicans appeared unsure of what to make of Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine who has served both Republican and Democratic administrations, which was further complicated by President Donald Trump’s tweet attacking her, delivered as she testified about feeling intimidated by his references to her in the read-out released by the White House of the president’s July 25 call with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky. The response among right-wing activists and groups was likewise disjointed.

Some congressional Republicans like Devin Nunes, who questioned Yovanovitch, and Andy Biggs, who was among the Republicans who stormed the secure hearing room ​last month during closed hearings, claimed Yovanovitch’s testimony was irrelevant.

Nunes also suggested that Yovanovitch should be testifying in front of a human resources subcommittee and painted her as a disgruntled employee, an idea right-wingers picked up on social media.

The anti-choice organization Concerned Women for America attacked perceived sympathy for Yovanovitch and claimed it was sexist.

The conservative news outlet The Daily Caller focused on Adam Schiff’s enforcement of House rules, which prevented Rep. Elise Stefanik from questioning Yovanovitch until her allotted time.

And others ignored Yovanovitch and continued to attack House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff for leading the investigation. Right-wing commentator and pastor Jesse Lee Peterson called Schiff a “beta male.” Peterson’s tweet was liked by the president’s adult son, Donald Trump Jr.

Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton continued his “​’Gossip Girl​’ impeachment​” line of attack, which he floated last week and ​on which he doubled down ​during the first day of public hearings. On that day, Republicans similarly suggested the testimonies of William B. Taylor Jr., acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, and George Kent, the deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, were based on hearsay.