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Instructive Hearings

Wed, 11/20/2019 - 12:16

In the House of Representatives impeachment hearings so far, a valuable lesson has stood out: the dignity of the members of the United States Foreign Service who have appeared as witnesses. Starting with George Kent, the senior State Department member in charge of Ukrainian relations, and William Taylor, the acting ambassador to Ukraine, American television viewers, as well as those listening on radio or live stream, were reminded of the professionalism and dedication that is the hallmark of public service at its best.

Next to appear before the House Intelligence Committee was Marie Yovanovitch, the immediate former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine who has weathered a series of personal attacks by the president and his surrogates. She appeared calm, organized, and knowledgeable, as did Mr. Kent and Mr. Taylor, presenting a dramatic contrast to the hot-dogging “three amigos” who ran their own Ukrainian policy at the president’s behest in order to damage Joe Biden, who remains Mr. Trump’s most threatening Democratic challenger in next year’s election.

They spoke in sharp contrast to the frothing of Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, and to Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee, who had little to offer other than attempts at character assassination. This continued on Tuesday, as they tried to paint Army Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, the top Ukrainian expert for the National Security Council, as disloyal to the United States because he was born in Ukraine, and is very good at his job.

If nothing else, the hearings have been great in promoting a public service career for young people. Running for Congress? Not so much.

 


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