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Ross: Who’s really being impeached?

William Taylor, charge d'affaires for the State Department in the Ukraine, testifies during the House Select Intelligence Committee hearing on the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

The Republicans had a pretty strong impeachment defense at Wednesday’s hearing — that even if the president did try to attach political strings, Ukraine did get its military aid on schedule. And it was more than Obama provided.

In fact, acting Ukraine Ambassador William Taylor testified that back in 2015 he was so upset at Obama’s reluctance to send weapons that he wrote a New York Times Op-Ed.

“Urging the Obama Administration Officials at the State Department, Defense Department and other agencies to provide LETHAL defensive weapons,” Taylor wrote.

So then what’s the problem? Ukraine got the weapons that the Democrats’ own witness wanted them to have.

But what wasn’t mentioned at the hearing is that many of the president’s core supporters don’t think Ukraine should get anything. They’re tired of weak nations looking for a handout from the bleeding hearts at the State Department. Just before the hearing, Republican Representative Mark Meadows said this on Steve Bannon’s impeachment podcast:

“You’re talking about the State Department. Here’s what they believe: If you’re just nice to people long enough and you give ’em millions or billions of dollars, that eventually they may think like you do and they’re not going to be your enemy,” Meadows said. “That hasn’t worked.”

“That’s why Trump’s President of the United States,” Bannon replied.

“That’s what drives him crazy,” Meadows said.

The impeachment of the president could become the impeachment of the State Department.

You can hear Dave’s commentary every morning on Seattle’s Morning News. Listen to Seattle’s Morning News weekday mornings from 5-9 a.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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