I joined a panel for Al Jazeera’s Inside Story on Saturday about the launch of a formal impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump.

See EA Video Analysis: Will Trump Be Impeached? Will He Be Convicted?
EA on Monocle 24 and BBC: A Formal Impeachment Inquiry Into Donald Trump Over Ukraine and Biden Investigation
EA with EuroNews: “Trump Is Extremely Rattled About Impeachment”

The spiky discussion proved to be illuminating — not necessarily about the inquiry, but about the lengths to which Trump and his allies will go in misinformation and lies to hold off any investigation.

Richard Goodstein, a Democratic advisor and former consultant, tries to lay out the facts about the impeachment process, but former Rep. Jack Kingston — who is hoping to be named to a Senate seat in Georgia — puts out a series of false claims and then shouts over other panelists.

Among the lies: that Republicans have been shut out of secret hearings, that witnesses and documents have not established a link between Trump’s freeze on military aid to Ukraine and his demands for investigations of Presidential candidate Joe Biden and Democrats; and that the CIA official who lodged the formal complaint “worked for Obama and Biden” (as a career official, he worked for the Obama Administration as well as the Trump Administration).

Fortunately, the discussion closes with a summary of the stakes for the US in this Trumpian moment.

Elections are important but so is maintaining the American system, maintaining the American Constitution.

And if you don’t have a system of accountability, if you have lies and misinformation to prevent accountability, then you have damage that goes far beyond Donald Trump.

Because right now the American system is in its most parlous state since 1945.