As Democrats’ push to impeach President Trump moves along toward public hearings of government officials, the television ratings of their testimony will be key, according to Washington Times columnist Charlie Hurt.
Former U.S. Ambassadors to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and William Taylor are scheduled to testify publicly next week, along with U.S. diplomat George Kent.
Hurt said Thursday on “Special Report” the Democrats’ case for impeachment will take a hit in the public eye if few Americans tune in to see the trio testify.
“The most important thing next week will be watching the ratings of these hearings,” he said.
“If the hearings are a goose egg, and people turn away… if you cannot convince voters that this rises to an impeachable offense, then Democrats will lose the whole thing.”
Of recently uncovered tweets by the attorney for the yet-unnamed Ukraine whistleblower mentioning a “coup” and “impeachment,” Hurt predicted Trump will recite one tweet in particular at his campaign rallies again and again.
“It’s going to become part of his campaign schtick,” he remarked.
At a Louisiana rally on Wednesday, Trump read from Mark Zaid’s 2017 posting:
“Coup has started… impeachment will follow,” he read.
Zaid later defended the tweets — saying in a statement the posts referred to “a completely lawful process.”
Shortly after the publication of a Fox News article Wednesday highlighting the stream of anti-Trump tweets, Trump himself lambasted Zaid during a rally in Louisiana, calling the attorney “disgraceful.”
After tweeting lightheartedly about the controversy Wednesday night, Zaid sent Fox News a formal statement Thursday in which he said the social media posts were written with the belief that Trump would likely be “stepping over the line” at some point during his presidency.
“Those tweets were reflective and repeated the sentiments of millions of people,” Zaid said. “I was referring to a completely lawful process of what President Trump would likely face as a result of stepping over the line, and that particularly whatever would happen would come about as a result of lawyers. The coup comment referred to those working inside the Administration who were already, just a week into office, standing up to him to enforce recognized rules of law.”
Fox News’ Bret Baier and Gregg Re contributed to this report.