This morning, William B. Taylor Jr., acting ambassador to Ukraine, and George Kent, deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, began a parade of professionals called to testify before the House Intelligence Committee on national TV.

The “Deep State” has a deep bench. This could take a while.

From the closed-door depositions each of these witnesses has already given, we know what they will say: That the President of the United States used his office to extort the President of Ukraine like a mob boss running a protection racket. Ukraine could have $400 million in defense funding and a meeting with President Trump at the White House in exchange for opening and publicly announcing an investigation Team Trump could use to smear former Vice President and Democratic front-runner Joe Biden.

This clear and brazen abuse of power went much deeper than a single “perfect” phone call. Rudy Giuliani was running a shadow State Department of his own, acting as the Don’s foreign policy fixer and enforcer. There won’t be many surprises during the public testimony, but broadcasting the hearings on live TV obviously extends the reach and influence of the expert witnesses.

For all the distraction, distortions and disinformation Trump and Company are spewing about the impeachment inquiry, they got one thing right: Trump is up against the Deep State. The Cult 45 faithful understand the Deep State as a global, infernal network of ultra-powerful elitists who will use any means to end Trump and his movement. Like most crackpot conspiracy theories, it contains tiny kernels of truth.

The Deep State is a network. It does have global reach, harbors some elitists and may end Trump and his movement. The Deep State is an army of career professionals (some actually in the military) who understand the mechanics of government and make it work. It also serves as an immune system against diseases that threaten democracy here and abroad.

The Deep State’s deadliest weapon is truth.

Trump’s army is Rudy Giuliani, Cult 45 and Congressional Republicans who would rather drown with the Don than acknowledge the flood rising around them. Trump’s most potent weapons are Fox “News” and right-wing media, a shallow bench chanting tired distractions, distortions and disinformation because truth is fatal to to a diseased presidency defined by lies.

The Don is about to learn just how deep the Deep State runs.

Also, Jeffery Epstein didn’t kill himself.