Impeachment inquiry ill-conceived from the beginning

USA TODAY

Kellyanne Conway, White House counselor: “The hearings should have been public from the beginning. They can’t cure a bad process. The process has been ill-conceived from the beginning. ... Why would we try to be complicit in an impeachment inquiry when we don’t know what it’s about?”

Michael Conway, former counsel for the House Judiciary Committee,  NBC News: “The emerging strategy of House Republicans to argue that White House advisers went rogue — without the authorization of President Donald Trump ... puts Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, National Security Council legal adviser John Eisenberg, the president’s personal attorney and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and others in a precarious and even life-changing dilemma. ... They can stand mute while Republican members of Congress and television analysts accuse them of potential criminal conduct ... or they can defend themselves by testifying. ... In 1974, Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee argued that aides to President Richard Nixon engaged in the Watergate cover-up, while Nixon himself did nothing wrong. ... Mulvaney and Eisenberg, then, might want to learn from former White House counsel John Dean. Dean testified to the Senate Select Committee (that) ‘I decided that indeed I was being set up and that it was time that I let the word out that I would not be a scapegoat.’ ... He then began to cooperate with Congress.”

OUR VIEW:  President Trump is the one blocking firsthand witnesses

President Donald Trump on Oct. 28, 2019.

Jason ChaffetzFox News: "Americans had a front-row seat for Day One of impeachment inquiry hearings in the House on Wednesday. But missing from the testimony on Capitol Hill was the 'witness' who started it all. Six grueling hours of testimony by two hearsay witnesses shed little light on the allegations against President Trump."

President Donald Trump, Twitter: “This Impeachment Hoax is such a bad precedent and sooo bad for our Country! Where’s the Fake Whistleblower?”

Gail CollinsThe New York Times: "Many, many present and former Trump officials have refused to testify in public about the Ukraine story. Some of whom are scared, some of whom are under orders, and some of whom are saving it all for their multimillion dollar book deal. Looking at you, John Bolton. At the hearing, the Republican strategy involved pointing out that neither of the witnesses had heard anything from Trump’s own lips. It was their best argument, although not as interesting as Sen. Lindsey Graham’s contention that the administration was so inept, its members were 'incapable of forming a quid pro quo.' They’re going to need to get a lot more creative. Everybody knows you have to keep the president happy or he’ll drop you like a cold Big Mac. Just this week, Trump deleted his tweet encouraging people to vote for Sean Spicer on 'Dancing With the Stars' after Spicer was eliminated. Sean who? Never heard of the man."

Rudy Giuliani,  The Guardian (In response to a question about whether he was nervous that Trump might “throw him under a bus”): “I’m not, but I do have very, very good insurance, so if he does, all my hospital bills will be paid.”

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Impeachment inquiry ill-conceived from the beginning: Other views