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Trumpdates: Roger Stone Found Guilty on All Counts

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | November 15, 2019 |

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | November 15, 2019 |


12:00 — A jury has actually found Roger Stone guilty on all seven counts, including obstruction, giving false statements, and witness tampering. The most severe charge would include 20 years in prison, though it’s unlikely he’ll get that much (and it is unknown whether Trump would pardon him).

Trump’s fury pleases me.

11:00 — If you have been watching the impeachment proceedings so far, you’ll note that Marie Yovanovitch has been a very sympathetic witness, who has described in detail the efforts of Trump, Giuliani, Fox News and their allies to have her removed because she stood in the way of their personal, political, and financial interests.

She was doing her job, she was doing it well, and she was subjected to a smear campaign, including vague mob-boss like threats from the President himself.

Yovanovitch even notes that she felt that Trump was making threats against her, and as she was testifying to this effect, Trump took to Twitter to threaten her again.

(Note that he never attacked the two men testifying on Wednesday).

Anyway, in another unprecedented moment during this Presidency, Adam Schiff read Trump’s tweets to Yovanovitch during the hearing and asked for comment.

In other words, the House can add “witness intimidation” to the list of impeachable offenses.

As Marie Yovanovitch is being sworn in this morning to testify during the impeachment hearings, Donald Trump has released the transcript for his first phone call with Volodymyr Zelensky, which came right after Zelesnky won his election.

Note: There is nothing wrong with this phone call, but holy shit, if this is what a typical phone call is like between Donald Trump and a world leader? Trump is Trump, but Zelensky sounds like he was briefed to blow as much smoke up Trump’s ass as possible.

I have no idea why Trump would wait to release the transcript of this call, except in order to step on Marie Yovanovitch’s testimony, but there’s also nothing here with which to step on the testimony, which is the point that Trump wants to make. His first phone call with Zelensky was fine, so his second phone call with Zelensky must have been, too!

And with his Fox News base, it’ll be exactly how they see it play out.

Meanwhile, I’m not going to be providing updates every 20 minutes today. If something significant breaks, I’ll cover it here in this post (and I’ll update the headline to reflect the change). But look: The Democrats are not “winning” this battle in the matter of public opinion. The Fox News narrative — that the hearings are boring, that it’s he-said, she-said, he-said is winning, because the mainstream media is playing into that narrative. None of what we are seeing is new to those who are engaged, and nothing has happened yet during the impeachment hearings to provoke those who aren’t engaged to get engaged. They’re too busy watching Disney+.

The Times interviewed a bunch of rando Americans in battleground states, and it was so dispiriting. When you have Democratic voters saying things like, “Well, I just want to wait until all the facts are out and see where this goes,” then, like, WTF? Where the hell have you been for the last two months. ALL THE FACTS ARE ALREADY OUT. He did it! He committed the crimes! It’s right there in front of your face! There is nothing else to wait for, and that’s the problem: People keep waiting for a bombshell to drop, when the bombshell dropped and exploded all over the place two months ago.

The Democratic base is locked in. The Republican base is locked in. But all those people in the middle who decide elections? They’re browsing family pictures on Facebook and watching NCIS, and I just don’t know how to penetrate through to them. I mean, who does, besides Brad Parscale, who is creating the narrative for millions of people on Facebook who otherwise do not keep up with the news?

Barring a major revelation that somehow pierces through the Fox News narrative, there’s just not going to be a big shift. Pelosi is doing a fine job with impeachment. Schiff is doing a fine job running the hearings. The Democrats are mostly doing everything right. Trump did a bunch of stuff that was wrong. But because of the silos and echo chambers that have been created, I don’t see how anything changes.

I still hope — and assume — that Democrats will file Articles of Impeachment, and I still want to see Republican Senators defend the substance of Trump’s actions during the impeachment hearings, but if there’s anything we’ve learned from the last three years, it’s that the Republicans (ironically) are incapable of Come to Jesus moments with this President. Some quit, but no one really challenges him. I don’t expect any of that will change.

The system is broken because the people in charge of it are broken, and they are in charge because too many American voters are too broken to care one way or another. We need to remove the man in charge of the system, and when and if the impeachment fails, we will have to fight this battle by fixing one goddamn voter at a time.

Header Image Source: Getty Images