Adam Schiff and the Black Knight

The Republicans are starting to remind me of Monty Python’s black knight.

No matter how much their arguments in support of Trump are shredded, Republicans still holler that no one has proved Trump did anything wrong. We all knew going in that no matter what was proved to have happened, it was unlikely the Republican Senate would remove Trump from office. That certainly hasn’t changed.

I confess I have a hard time watching because I seem to only check in when Republicans are asking questions. As soon as they start on the whistleblower, or Hunter Biden, or anything to do with the bleeping Steele Dossier, I turn it off again. This usually happens within seconds.

See Greg Sargent, The GOP defense of Trump is in slow-motion collapse. It’s about to get worse.

Republicans continue to insist there was no connection between the withheld aid and Trump’s corrupt demand that Ukraine carry out his political dirty deeds. Never mind that Sondland actually did convey that message to Ukraine, and that Sondland has now confirmed that overwhelming evidence persuaded him that this is what Trump intended.

The GOP defense is now this: Trump is exonerated, because it hasn’t yet been nailed down beyond any doubt that Trump directly commanded Sondland to tell Ukraine that the money was withheld for that corrupt purpose.

Like many other GOP defenses, this one is in slow-motion collapse. And it’s about to get worse.

And worse it got. Devin Nunes continues to push the fiction that Ukraine interfered with the 2016 election, which Fiona Hill pointedly shot down today.

“I refuse to be part of an effort to legitimize an alternate narrative that the Ukrainian government is a U.S. adversary, and that Ukraine — not Russia — attacked us in 2016,” the statement says. “These fictions are harmful even if they are deployed for purely domestic political purposes.”

Not that it will make any difference to Nunes. See also Alex Ward, Thursday’s impeachment testimony makes the Burisma-Biden connection undeniable.

I will say one thing for Gordon Sondland — the guy is no fool. Neither is he innocent; he went along willingly with the obvious corruption and tried to shield Trump as long as he could. But he knew when to fold. While he may be persona non grata in Republican circles for some time, he won’t face prosecutions. He’ll keep his money and his businesses and enjoy some celebrity for a while.

About last night’s debate — it was the best one so far, I thought. The questions were sensible. I don’t think any one candidate stood out, but most helped themselves. The exceptions were Joe Biden, who really isn’t as mentally sharp as he probably used to be, and Tulsi Gabbard, who appears to be auditioning for a Fox News gig. Tom Steyer still fails to provide any reason for his being there, other than his money. Everyone else did fine.