The impeachment hearings this week were a roaring success, and a complete sham. They were honest and transparent, and filled with falsehoods. The witnesses had decades of experience, and were completely untrustworthy.
And so it was that the first public hearings in the impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump played out. It depended on who you were; what you wanted to hear; the decision you had made when you walked in the room.
There was no meeting of minds between Democrats and Republicans, even when the future of the presidency is at stake. Their leaders in the room sat inches away from each other, fuming, and unwilling to compromise.
It is a tableau that is playing out across the nation. A cliché, yes, but these United States are extraordinarily divided. Political conversation in the age of Trump is polarised and partisan, but that seems never truer than in the last nine weeks, under the cloud of impeachment.
It is into that environment that we launch with our new weekly podcast, Divided States. Our team here in the US are living and breathing every moment of this impeachment inquiry, and we hope to answer your questions, explain where it might all lead, and take you to the heart of the story, in Congress and with voters across America.
Every Saturday we’ll bring you the latest news from the week, and give you a flavour of what it’s like reporting this story.
There can be no better week to start than this one. The case was laid out; the Democrats did everything they can to legitimise it. The Republicans, meanwhile, picked at every detail and every witness to try and push the testimony into fiction.
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In this episode, we take you to the Longworth building on Capitol Hill, where those long days of testimony have been taking place. In the studio, we break down how we got here and what we learnt from the hearings, and hear from Alan Barron, former special impeachment counsel to the House of Representatives, and Michael Carpenter, the former Director for Russia at the National Security Council, and friend of many of the witnesses we saw this week.
Subscribe to Divided States wherever you get your podcasts, and listen every Saturday.