Dear Congressman Schiff,
I was surprised to hear your opening statement today at the Impeachment hearings that just commenced. You opened with the following words:
In 2014, Russia invaded a United States ally, Ukraine, to reverse that nation’s embrace of the West, and to fulfill Vladimir Putin’s desire to rebuild a Russian empire. In the following years, thirteen thousand Ukrainians died as they battled superior Russian forces.
Congressman Schiff, if your impeachment hearing are intended to seek the truth, then why open with statements that can be deemed by many as outright falsities?
The first two sentences in your opening statement constitute what many would consider as defamatory statement about Russia. You speak about “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine”, and the desire by “Vladimir Putin to rebuild a Russian empire”. And then, by inference, you attribute the thirteen thousand deaths to “superior Russian forces”.
Congressman Schiff, was it not at the Maidan in February 2014 that the United States helped overthrow a democratic elected government in Ukraine and put in its place its own preferred candidate? Did not the US government, with the active participation of Victoria Nuland and others in the State Department participate in this ‘coup’? Is the death of 13,000 Ukrainians entirely attributable to Russia, or perhaps in part to the lethal weapons that we have supplied to Ukraine to keep that country out of the Russian orbit? Do we not have any responsibility for what is happening in Eastern Ukraine? And is it Russia that is building an empire, with just a few bases in other countries, when America has more than 800 bases in over 70 countries?
For you to open with the statement that you did was a sad commentary on our democracy, and your own search for truth. The hope that I had of your Committee being able to investigate successfully the truth through these impeachment hearings was lost in some respects.
As a US citizen who has just returned from Russia and seen conditions on the ground that are very different from the political and media narrative that we see in this country, it saddened me to see the start of the hearings today with an unwarranted attack and demonization of Russia. I would urge you to reflect on positions such as these as the haarings go forward.