Friday, October 25, 2019

About Those "Secret" Impeachment Hearings


OK, so far the House "impeachment probe" hearings are "closed." They take place behind closed doors, and only members of the committees conducting them are allowed in.

I prefer complete transparency, and would thus prefer to see each and every hearing held in public and televised on C-SPAN.

Republican politicians pretend that that's what they're all about too.  For example, on Wednesday, a bunch of them tried to achieve "desegregating the Woolworth's lunch counter" optics by crashing a House Intelligence Committe deposition of DoD official Laura Cooper.

I can sympathize, but only so far. They aren't really after transparency, they're after a circus. If the hearings were open, their tune would change to public yawning and urging everyone to move on -- "nothing to see here."

If I had to pick the biggest reason why the initial hearings are closed, it would be this:

If they're closed, the committee chairs and Nancy Pelosi maintain a certain amount of initial control over the narrative instead of handing it over to lunatics like, say, Maxine Waters. That lets them dial down expectations to a certain degree, and also increase suspense.

A secondary reason (one that Democrats have offered up) is that closed hearings make it a smidgen harder for the people being subpoenaed to coordinate their testimonies in advance. Just a smidgen (there's nothing to stop these people from talking to each other), but at least they can't hear what was actually said and prepare their own answers to match.

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