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Nets Excited by Dems’ ‘Damning’ Report, ‘One Step Closer to Impeaching President Trump’

On Wednesday, all three network morning shows were completely enthralled with Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee releasing a partisan report calling for the impeachment of President Trump. Despite the obvious one-sided nature of the 300-page document, anchors on NBC, ABC, and CBS led their respective broadcasts by touting the report as “damning,” “blistering,” and representing “impeachment’s new phase.”

“Making the case….House Democrats unveiling a damming 300-page report saying the President tried to muscle a foreign country into helping his reelection,” co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaimed at the top of NBC’s Today show. A soundbite immediately followed of Democratic House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff arguing during a Tuesday press conference: “Putting his own personal political interest above the interest of the American people was exactly why they prescribed a remedy as extraordinary as the remedy of impeachment.”

 

 

Minutes later, Guthrie claimed “Major developments in the impeachment showdown,” despite the Democratic report not really having any new information. She emphasized:

The report says, “he personally, and acting through agents within the U.S. government, solicited the interference of a foreign government, Ukraine, to benefit his own re-election.” And added that, “The evidence of misconduct is overwhelming.”

Correspondent Peter Alexander followed: “Democrats accuse President Trump of abusing his power by pressuring Ukraine to help benefit him politically and then obstructing Congress’s efforts to investigate, saying President Trump ‘endangered U.S. national security’ by withholding military aid to Ukraine while pushing for investigations into the Bidens and the 2016 election.”

“As we join you this Wednesday morning, another historic day on Capitol Hill,” ABC’s Good Morning America co-host George Stephanopoulos announced as he led off the show, before excitedly adding: “The House one step closer to impeaching President Trump. A crucial new round of testimony about to begin just hours from now, on the heels of that have blistering 300-page report.”

In the full report that followed minutes later, correspondent Terry Moran tried to portray the day’s upcoming hearing as a sober event, rather than a political show: “This panel will begin the solemn task of weighing impeachment charges against President Donald Trump and they will base their debates on all the evidence gathered by the House Intelligence Committee over the past few weeks under Chairman Adam Schiff.”

“Impeachment’s new phase,” co-host Gayle King enthused as CBS This Morning began. “The House Judiciary Committee takes over after the 300-page Intelligence report claims President Trump put national security in danger by abusing his powers for political gain,” she told viewers.

While introducing the coverage moments later, King reiterated: “The House Judiciary Committee launches a new round of impeachment hearings in just a few hours, after Democratic lawmakers spelled out why they believe President Trump violated his oath of office.”

Correspondent Nancy Cordes explained that “The lawmakers and the witnesses will be relying on a new 300-page report that lays out all the evidence that has been gathered so far,” during the hearing. If only that evidence was actually presented in an objective and complete manner.

While all three networks certainly included objections from House Republicans and President Trump, those arguments only received brief coverage. In addition, those counter-arguments only came late in the reports, after the blaring headlines that accepted all of the Democrats’ impeachment conclusions.   

On Tuesday, fellow NewsBusters analyst Nick Fondacaro found that the network evening newscasts devoted 10 times the amount of coverage to the impeachment report put out by House Democrats compared to mentions of the report put out by House Republicans on the subject.

Here is a transcript of the December 4 coverage on NBC’s Today show:

7:00 AM ET

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Making the case. Hours away, the critical next hearing in the impeachment investigation against the President. House Democrats unveiling a damming 300-page report saying the President tried to muscle a foreign country into helping his reelection.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF [D-CA]: Putting his own personal political interest above the interest of the American people was exactly why they prescribed a remedy as extraordinary as the remedy of impeachment.

GUTHRIE: The next steps from Washington straight ahead.

(…)

7:02 AM ET

GUTHRIE: Major developments in the impeachment showdown. This is a key day with a hearing ahead and that 300-page report by House Democrats laying out the case that the President abused the power of his office. The report says, “he personally, and acting through agents within the U.S. government, solicited the interference of a foreign government, Ukraine, to benefit his own re-election.” And added that, “The evidence of misconduct is overwhelming.”

The report was approved by the Intelligence Committee overnight in a vote along party lines and it paves the way now for possible articles of impeachment. Those would be drafted by the House Judiciary Committee, which holds its first public hearing on the matter today.

(…)

7:04 AM ET

PETER ALEXANDER: The top takeaway from the House Democrats’s impeachment report, that President Trump tried to “use the powers of his office to solicit foreign interference on his behalf in the 2020 election.”

SCHIFF: This report chronicles a scheme by the President of the United States to coerce an ally, Ukraine, that is at war with an adversary, Russia, into doing the President’s political dirty work.

ALEXANDER: Democrats accuse President Trump of abusing his power by pressuring Ukraine to help benefit him politically and then obstructing Congress’s efforts to investigate, saying President Trump “endangered U.S. national security” by withholding military aid to Ukraine while pushing for investigations into the Bidens and the 2016 election. And that “the President placed his own personal and political interests above the national interests.”

The report also highlights the President’s own more recent comments, publicly calling on Ukraine and China to investigate the Bidens.

DONALD TRUMP: If they were honest about it, they would start a major investigation into the Bidens.

ALEXANDER: Democrats warn that “continued solicitation of foreign interference in a U.S. election presents a clear and present danger.”

SCHIFF: Indeed, he’s never stopped inviting foreign interference in our election and for that reason we really cannot delay.

(…)

Here is a transcript of the coverage on ABC’s GMA:

7:00 AM ET

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: As we join you this Wednesday morning, another historic day on Capitol Hill. The House one step closer to impeaching President Trump. A crucial new round of testimony about to begin just hours from now, on the heels of that have blistering 300-page report. House Democrats find President Trump abused his office, put his interests above the nation’s, pressured Ukraine to influence our election, and blocked Congress from investigating his actions. The President blasting it all as a hoax as he wraps up his contentious trip overseas.

(…)

7:02 AM ET

ROBIN ROBERTS: A big day on Capitol Hill.

STEPHANOPOULOS: It certainly is, a new round of impeachment hearings set to begin, this time led by the House Judiciary Committee. They have just received that 300-page report from the Intelligence Committee making the case that President Trump has abused the powers of the presidency by pressuring Ukraine to investigate his political opponents and by conducting an unprecedented campaign of obstruction to prevent Congress from investigating his actions.

Our senior national correspondent Terry Moran starts us off from the hearing room on Capitol Hill. Good morning, Terry.

TERRY MORAN: Good morning, George. Well, this morning in just a few hours, with a bang of a gavel right up there, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler will begin that next phase of the impeachment process. This panel will begin the solemn task of weighing impeachment charges against President Donald Trump and they will base their debates on all the evidence gathered by the House Intelligence Committee over the past few weeks under Chairman Adam Schiff.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF [D-CA]: This is not about Ukraine. This is about our democracy. This is about our national security.

MORAN: Democrats are laying out their case against Donald Trump in a 300-page report approved by the House Intelligence Committee by a party-line vote last night.

(…)

7:04 AM ET

MORAN: The report concludes, “The evidence of the President’s misconduct is overwhelming, and so too is the evidence of his obstruction of Congress.

SCHIFF: The President instructed witnesses not to appear. The President used his office and his bully pulpit to try to intimidate witnesses.

(…)

Here is a transcript of the coverage on CBS This Morning:

7:00 AM ET

GAYLE KING: Impeachment’s new phase. The House Judiciary Committee takes over after the 300-page Intelligence report claims President Trump put national security in danger by abusing his powers for political gain. What to expect from this morning’s hearing.

(…)

7:03 AM ET

KING: The House Judiciary Committee launches a new round of impeachment hearings in just a few hours, after Democratic lawmakers spelled out why they believe President Trump violated his oath of office. The House Intelligence Committee report yesterday concluded the President, quote, “sought to pressure and induce Ukraine to announce politically-motivated investigations” of his rivals.

ANTHONY MASON: This morning, the Judiciary Committee will ask four law professors if they believe the evidence against the President meets the standard for impeachment. In London yesterday, the President called the inquiry “unpatriotic.” Nancy Cordes is in the room where this morning’s hearings will be held. Nancy, what can we expect?

NANCY CORDES: Well, this morning’s hearing is meant to answer some basic but very important questions. What is impeachment? When is it justified? Should it apply here? The lawmakers and the witnesses will be relying on a new 300-page report that lays out all the evidence that has been gathered so far.

REP. ERIC SWALWELL [D-CA] The evidence is overwhelming that he abused his office to leverage your taxpayer dollars to have a foreign government try and cheat an election.

CORDES: In a party-line vote last night, the House Intelligence Committee released all its findings to the House Judiciary Committee. The report’s key finding, that “President Trump used the power of his office to apply increasing pressure on the president of Ukraine” to announce an investigation into his campaign rival, Joe Biden.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF [D-CA]: He was willing to sacrifice the national security of the United States by withholding military aid and diplomatic recognition in the form of that White House meeting.

CORDES: The report describes a months-long campaign where senior U.S. officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, were “either knowledgeable of or active participants in an effort to extract personal political benefits sought by the President.”

(…)

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