Heather Co Richardson's letter of January 24 contained a few gems about the impeachment hearings:
"Now, the rest: this morning, news dropped that there are tapes. Reporters for ABC News have reviewed a recording, apparently made by Lev Parnas’s partner Igor Fruman at a private dinner at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. on April 30, 2018, that has Trump saying about US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, a prominent anti-corruption leader, “Get rid of her!... Get her out tomorrow. I don’t care. Get her out tomorrow. Take her out. Okay? Do it.”
Tonight, Lev Parnas’s lawyer went on the Rachel Maddow Show to say the entire tape is 1:24 minutes long and has been given to the House intelligence Committee.
For their part, Republicans are trying to pretend that the impeachment trial is so boring and unimportant that no one should bother watching. They are reading, chatting, playing with Fidget spinners. On Fox News Channel, Sean Hannity is assuring viewers he will protect them from the boring proceedings.
But it does not appear to be working. Americans are glued to the House managers’ telling of the Ukraine Scandal, which they have made a compelling story of intrigue and corruption at the highest levels of our government, calling Americans back to the higher meaning of American democracy. As of tonight, more than 6 million people had watched a single clip of Adam Schiff’s closing at last night’s session. Further, the Republicans’ strategy makes them seem disdainful not simply of the impeachment process, but of our government itself. It’s not playing well.
The Republicans will start their defense of Trump tomorrow, but will present for only three hours, from 10:00 to 1:00. This is a poor time for viewership, which is frustrating the president, who called Saturday morning TV "Death Valley".
McConnell still appears to have the votes to quash witnesses and documents, but senators are clearly feeling pressure, as 72% of Americans want those witnesses and documents.
Since executive privilege cannot be used to hide criminal activity, it is a wild card what Judge Roberts would actually permit the president to protect.
Also today, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo melted down at NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly, insisting that he had defended Yovanovitch (he has not), and then after the interview cursing her (he uttered several "F bombs") , asking “Do you think Americans care about Ukraine?,” and challenging her to find Ukraine on a map, going so far as actually getting aides to bring in an unlabeled map (on which she successfully identified Ukraine). “People will hear about this,” he told her.