In the course of the impeachment hearings, many Democratic members repeatedly accused President Donald Trump of intimidating witnesses with tweets. Indeed, many of us have criticized Trump for his attacks on Ambassador Marie L. Yovanovitch. Yet, not a single Democratic member objected to the call of Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon) for a boycott of the hotels owned by Gordon Sondland to pressure him in testifying before Congress. The tweet by Blumenauer was wildly inappropriate, particularly in a process with pressure on witnesses is a central theme. Yet, when asked, members like Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) simply dismissed the criticism by saying that Trump does worse things. It was a signature moment in our age of rage. There is no self-evaluation or self-awareness in engaging in the very acts that you are objecting to by the other side. The reason is that you are right so any means is viewed as righteous.
In October, Blumenauer called for a boycott of Provenance Hotels, the chain that was once headed by Sondland as CEO. Blumenauer taunted in a tweet “Gordon Sondland, welcome to the resistance.” Blumenauer later dropped the call for retaliating against the hotels, a boycott that obviously impacts many employees in Oregon who became pawns in an effort to force Sondland to testify.
U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) called out Blumenauer for a boycott directed at a potential witness. The boycott could be read as saying that, if you do not testify and support the impeachment, you will be punished for your position.
It should have been easy for Chairman Adam Schiff and others to simply say that they strongly oppose such boycotts directed at witnesses as a form of intimidation. Instead, there was only a conspicuous silence.