Speed Reads

Late Night Tackles Trump and impeachment

Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, and Trevor Noah are pretty sure Trump can't just say no to impeachment

If you were wondering when America will arrive at a constitutional crisis, "it's here," Stephen Colbert said on Tuesday's Late Show. The White House sent House Democrats an "officially bitchy eight-page letter" Tuesday informing them President Trump won't cooperate with the impeachment inquiry, he said. "Don't get him wrong — Trump would like to help with their inquiry into his conversation with Ukraine, but tragically, he has developed phone spurs."

"You can't just not participate in your own impeachment," Colbert said. The White House letter "is full of absolutely bonkers arguments," like that House Democrats have "denied the president the right to cross-examine witnesses" — the main "witness," he noted, being "Trump's incriminating phone transcript, which he released." Also, he added, "obstruction of an impeachment inquiry is itself grounds for impeachment — this whole thing is like that MC Escher print 'Hands Cuffing Themselves.'" He laughed at Trump and his allies fixating on kangaroos and huffed helium to make a point.

It is "crazy" that the White House thinks it needn't cooperate with House investigators, Trevor Noah agreed at The Daily Show. "Trump can't just decline to participate — this isn't the Vietnam War." Trump also blocked U.S. Ambassador Gordon Sondland from testifying before three House committees Tuesday, he noted. "What a completely innocent thing to do! Yeah, I bet Trump was just scared that that ambassador would exonerate him too much." This is "a big deal," Noah added, because Sondland is at the middle of Trump's Ukraine efforts, and his text exchanges with fellow top diplomats "look hella suspicious."

Trump and his team are "also withholding text messages from Sondland's personal phone — because that's what innocent presidents do," Jimmy Kimmel said at Kimmel Live. "And while we absolutely should have the opportunity to hear his testimony, really we don't need to hear his testimony. We already have the White House's own transcript of the call with the Ukrainian president where Trump specifically asked him to investigate the Bidens, days after suddenly withholding their military aid" — something White House lawyers clearly identified as "a criminal act," according to a memo from the whistleblower. Watch Kimmel describe Trump's meltdown, and drag in Matt Damon, below. Peter Weber