Gazette-Mail editorial: Transparency on impeachment?

It wasn’t that long ago that Rep. Alex Mooney, R-W.Va., was filming himself bursting in and out of doors somewhere on Capitol grounds in Washington, D.C., decrying the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump as “Soviet-style” and lacking transparency.

Let’s not forget fellow Rep. Carol Miller, R-W.Va., who attended a door-crashing protest, even though she was perfectly welcome to sit in on bipartisan inquiries that were happening behind closed doors because of her committee position.

This gives some perspective on what’s happening now as it pertains to impeachment.

Since the House brought its inquiry on impeachment into the open, the testimony stacking up against the president looks bad. Those who have pledged blind fealty to the president don’t have anywhere else to navigate, so they attack witness credibility, process and try to get the American public to believe none of this is important, using words like “boring” over and over again. They want to see the “whistleblower,” even though they have public witness after public witness essentially confirming everything that was alleged regarding Trump’s withholding military aid from Ukraine in exchange for an investigation into a potential political rival.

Things have gotten to the point that, during a “Meet the Press” interview last Sunday, Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., claimed that what is being publicly discussed is “damaging” and should have “been worked out behind closed doors.”

That’s right, those who were clamoring for transparency are now regretting it, and, without shame nor any shred of self-awareness as it pertains to hypocrisy, attacking the process in reverse.

So what do they want? Transparency or closed hearings? Maybe neither?

Here’s the thing, though: Impeachment is a serious issue, and serious allegations are being corroborated by testimony as each day progresses. It’s not “boring,” it’s not a conspiracy and it’s not unconstitutional. It’s out in the open, and the American people need to pay attention, because it’s important, not just as it pertains to what is acceptable behavior in the executive branch and where lawmakers come down on that, but how it affects the United States going forward.

The process is where it needs to be, and, if it goes forward, the Senate will conduct a trial. Until then, viewers should watch proceedings carefully and disregard the spin that would move the goalposts back to where they were a month ago.

Funerals for Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Adkins, Dorsel - 11 a.m., Casto Funeral Home, Evans.

Anderson, William - 1 p.m., Foglesong-Casto Funeral Home, Mason.

Kalinoski, Peggy - 3 p.m., Goshen Baptist Church Cemetery, Kenna.

Pyles, Jack - 1 p.m., Wilcoxen Funeral Home, Point Pleasant.