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House inquiry is not admirable

To the editor:

Re: the House inquiry:

Being retired for over 20 years and getting a bit more averse to tackling the snow accumulations in the driveway, I find myself watching more television, specifically the House inquiry activity. When I first tuned in the other day, I, perhaps facetiously, mentally compared the chairman in his bigger chair to the old tale of the little king sitting on an oversized throne. … Shame on me, I suppose.

In my mind, one would be naive to not acknowledge that the chairman, the two inquisitors (paid counsels) and the representatives of both parties all have a predisposed bias to force an outcome in their favor. With that in mind, I’m curious why each witness bothers to make a lengthy opening statement. Presumably Hill and Holmes did the same this morning (Thursday), but I missed the start of today’s hearing due to motivating myself to get out and deal with the snow.

Seemingly every one of these statements, even words alone, are parsed to the point of trying to make them either suspect or more important than deserved, all to reinforce the interrogator’s or the party’s particular desired outcome. With the constant skewing the intent of witnesses’ words, the incessant repetitive questioning using variations of the same question, the demand for immediate response for confirmation of the questioner’s stating of supposedly factual information about who said what, where said, on what time and date, the witness is eventually treated as an accused, not a witness.

I’m trying to stay neutral on this matter, but I find the actions in these proceedings to be shameful attempts to get witnesses to make erroneous or unsubstantiated statements which, once made, are on the record and fodder for triumphant and gleeful A-HA moments; witness the chair’s counsel’s reaction to one of Ambassador Sondland’s responses. Call me cynical, but I view a lot of this as political showcasing driven by a specific dislike of the sitting president, who happened to get elected. I can’t imagine that most everyday folks are truly interested in or impressed with this House activity.

Gene Hibbard

Lake Placid

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