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Impeachment Inquiry into Trump 2019

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(David Bythewood) #1506

Dr. Wenstrup is taking that quote out of context. The version Trump is pushing, of the quote from the whistleblower’s lawyer, is doctored to remove the tweet it was responding to, and I’ve looked at his account; he has consistently called what Trump’s regime is doing “a coup.”

The original tweet that was doctored was calling what the Trump regime is doing a coup, in response to the removal of Sally Yates.


#1507

(David Bythewood) #1508

So the GOP has stopped asking questions period after consistently being taken apart by Dr. Hill, David Holmes, and Democrat rebuttals. They’re just pushing conspiracy theories and lies with their time. Not good for them.

Also, Rep. Stewart effectively just stated the GOP Senate will not convict no matter what. Also a bad, bad optic for them.

So, Rep. Stefanik just tried to push the “but nothing was exchanged” line, and then tried to push that a UN meeting between Trump and Zelensky fulfilled promises; Holmes noted it did not.

And now Rep. Swalwell drops the Devin Nunes - Lev Parnas bombshell.


#1509

:boom: Swalwell enters this article into the record


#1510

White House backs full Senate trial if House impeaches Trump

Top White House officials and Senate Republicans agreed that a full trial should be conducted if the House impeaches President Donald Trump, according to multiple people familiar with the matter.

A group of Republican senators met Thursday morning with White House counsel Pat Cipollone, counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner to discuss impeachment strategy.

Two attendees said that the White House wants the Senate to hold a trial of some length and not immediately dismiss any articles of impeachment with the GOP’s majority, as some Republicans have suggested. The White House and Trump’s GOP allies decided instead “they want some kind of factual affirmative defense on the merits," said one attendee.


(David Bythewood) #1511

#1512

White House and Republicans discuss limiting impeachment trial to two weeks

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/white-house-and-republicans-discuss-limiting-impeachment-trial-to-two-weeks/2019/11/21/3e02edf8-0c9a-11ea-a49f-9066f51640f6_story.html

No final decisions were made on strategy for a trial that, if it happens, would come in January at the earliest. But one prominent scenario discussed, according to officials, was a trial that would last for roughly two weeks, which several Senate Republicans view as the ideal option because they believe it would be long enough to have credence without dragging on too long.


#1513

We’ve heard it over and over…and it is glaringly staring back at us. We have a President who has engaged in corrupt practices and this may be the most obvious one that he got caught on, and we’ve known that there have been many others.

Now what…engage in the act of Impeachment…and hope that the country is thoroughly fed up (minus the stalwarts) enough to vote him out or kick him out.

And yes, Chairman Schiff is eloquent, forthright, compassionate about all those who have been besmirched by the President’s power grab.

Video of Chairman Schiff’s final words

And Chairman Schiff’s last line is an ode to the late Rep Elijah Cummings “We are better than that.”

Yes we are.


(David Bythewood) #1514

I think Schiff saved all of his built up anger over their lies and antics for that moment.



#1515

Here’s some insights into today’s testimony with an eye towards the R narrative, of conspiratorial threads throughout their questioning. Wasn’t it as if R’s just wanted to “razzle dazzle” the truthful testimonies of Hill and Holmes…and get off the already proven facts of quid pro quo.

WASHINGTON (CN) – President Donald Trump and some House Republicans have aired a theory that U.S. allies in Ukraine, rather than adversaries in Russia, interfered in the 2016 elections. Testifying before Congress on Thursday, former senior National Security Council official Fiona Hill cleared the air.

This is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves,” the Russia expert said.

A career national-security official, Hill also warned that Russia’s attacks on U.S. democracy have not ended.

The impact of the successful 2016 Russian campaign remains evident today,” Hill said. “Our nation is being torn apart. Truth is questioned. Our highly professional and expert career foreign service is being undermined.”

Testifying along with Hill is career diplomat David Holmes, who was at a restaurant in Kiev with Gordon Sondland on July 26 when he overheard the president’s handpicked ambassador place a call to Trump.

Holmes explained that his dining companion repeatedly made announcements along the lines of “Gordan Sondland holding for the president,” and that Sondland’s demeanor changed when Trump got on the line. Trump was speaking loudly enough that Holmes said he could hear the president even though the call was not on speaker. Indeed, during the call, Sondland “winced” and moved his ear away from the speaker — “presumably because of the loud volume,” Holmes said.

“I then heard President Trump ask, ‘So, he’s gonna do the investigation?’” Holmes recalled. “Ambassador Sondland replied that ‘he’s gonna do it,’ adding that President Zelensky will do ‘anything you ask him to.’”

Like several other impeachment witnesses, Holmes effusively praised ousted Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch and denounced the smear campaign against her from President Trump and his attorney Rudy Giuliani. Holmes emphasized that politics sidelined his anti-corruption work with Yovanovitch.

Specifically, the three priorities of security, economy and justice — and our support for Ukrainian democratic resistance to Russian aggression — became overshadowed by a political agenda being promoted by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and a cadre of officials operating with a direct channel to the White House,” Holmes testified.

Holmes, who spent more than a decade in the foreign service, told Congress this was a new experience.

The barrage of allegations directed at Ambassador Yovanovitch, a career ambassador, is unlike anything I have seen in my professional career,” Holmes said.


The top Republican on the panel, California Representative Devin Nunes, insisted meanwhile that Trump has done nothing illegal. He said Thursday “marks the merciful end of this spectacle.”

As noted by the diplomat Holmes, Thursday also coincides with a solemn anniversary.

Today marks exactly six years since throngs of pro-Western Ukrainians spontaneously gathered on Kiev’s Independence Square to launch what became known as the Revolution of Dignity,” Holmes said.

A dozen witnesses have given testimony in the seven hearings so far, with many facing attacks on their character, reputation or patriotism from the Trump White House.

Hill emphasized in her opening statement that she does not have any political ax to grind.

"For the better part of three decades, I have built a career as a nonpartisan, nonpolitical national security professional focusing on Europe and Eurasia and specially the Soviet Union,” she noted.

This has not shielded her from attacks by the now-convicted felon Roger Stone, who described her as a “globalist leftist [George] Soros insider” on the internet radio show of pro-Trump conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

Hill told lawmakers in October that the anti-Semitic conspiracy tying her to a prominent Jewish financier made her the target of death threats.

The child of immigrants who joined the fight against fascist terror during War II, Hill became a U.S. citizen in 2002. She described her journey as an “American by choice” and balked at the accusations of dueling loyalties leveled Wednesday against a fellow immigrant to testify in the inquiry, the Soviet-born Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman.

Calling the criticisms “very unfortunate” and “deeply unfair,” Hill noted her pride in representing the United States as a “country of immigrants.”

“I can say with confidence that this country has offered me opportunities I never would have had in England,” Hill said

Hill voiced confidence in Vindman’s judgment on Ukraine policy, but said she nevertheless had concerns about how his resolve would hold amid increasing pressure by the White House on Ukraine policy.

And Hill’s only critique of Vindman was a protective one…

I did not feel that he had the political antennae” to handle the so-called Trump back channel on Ukraine, Hill said.


#1516

Graham launches probe into Bidens, Burisma and Ukraine

Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Thursday requesting documents related to former vice president Joe Biden and his communications with Ukrainian officials, a step seen as a GOP effort to counter the House impeachment investigation of President Trump.

Graham’s inquiry is focused on any calls Biden may have had with Petro Poroshenko, then the Ukrainian president, regarding the firing of the country’s top prosecutor as well as any that referenced an investigation into Burisma, the Ukrainian natural gas company that employed Biden’s son Hunter Biden.

Graham’s document request suggests he is seeking to legitimize Trump’s accusations that Biden, then vice president, put pressure on Ukraine to fire its lead prosecutor to protect his son, a claim without evidence that has been disputed by officials familiar with the investigation.

Graham, one of Trump’s fiercest defenders on Capitol Hill, had previously said he supported an investigation of Biden, a 2020 presidential candidate, and his son as it pertains to their dealings in Ukraine, but said he wouldn’t use the Judiciary panel to conduct one.

In Graham’s letter to Pompeo — seemingly timed to coincide with the conclusion of the public impeachment inquiry hearings in the House — he asks for communications between Biden and Poroshenko as well as any between Devon Archer, a business partner of Hunter Biden, and then Secretary of State John Kerry on March 2, 2016, based on reporting that the two were scheduled to meet that day.

Graham does not provide a deadline for the State Department to produce these documents.

The unfounded allegation that Biden acted nefariously in pushing for the removal of Ukraine’s prosecutor is at the center of the impeachment inquiry against Trump. Trump asked Ukrainian President Voldodmyr Zelensky in a July 25 phone call to look into the Bidens — an attempt, Democrats charge, to use his power to strongarm a foreign leader into digging up negative information about a potential political opponent.


#1517

Fiona Hill tells Devin Nunes to his face that his Ukraine conspiracy theory is ‘harmful’

In the opening statement she will offer at her public testimony on Thursday, Fiona Hill, a former member of Trump’s National Security Council, will draw attention to Russia’s efforts three years ago — and now.

“The impact of the successful 2016 Russian campaign remains evident today,” Hill’s statement reads. “Our nation is being torn apart. Truth is questioned. Our highly professional and expert career Foreign Service is being undermined.”

But Hill’s statement goes further than that.

“I refuse to be part of an effort to legitimize an alternate narrative that the Ukrainian government is a U.S. adversary, and that Ukraine — not Russia — attacked us in 2016,” the statement says. “These fictions are harmful even if they are deployed for purely domestic political purposes.”

Hill to warn of ‘fictional narrative’ on Ukraine interference

Her statement is a pointed response to one of the useful narratives being promoted by Republican members of the House impeachment inquiry — including and especially the House Intelligence Committee’s ranking Republican, Rep. Devin Nunes (Calif.), who will speak immediately before Hill offers that opening statement.


#1518

Must see: Rep. Maloney wipes the smug smile off Sondland’s face

This is my favorite exchange from yesterday. Not just because Sondland gets the wind knocked out of him, but mostly because Maloney nails that Trump acted to benefit himself when he asked for the Biden investigations – Trump was using the power vested in him as President for personal gain. Period. Impeach and remove!


(David Bythewood) #1519

A breaking story to watch that could have disturbing implications, as the GOP is likely to use it to claim everything Russia has been a hoax:


#1520

:boom:


#1521

House Democrats move closer to impeaching Trump

Privately, Democrats are anticipating a busy December that will be filed with proceedings before the House Judiciary Committee, including public hearings and a markup, and a likely vote to impeach Trump on the House floor by Christmas Day, according to multiple Democratic sources, which would make him just the third President in history to be impeached.

The House Intelligence Committee, along with two other panels, are writing a report detailing their findings, which is expected to serve as the basis for articles of impeachment that the House Judiciary Committee will consider.

Democrats say they are still debating the size and scope of the articles, which are likely to focus on abuse of power, obstruction of justice, obstruction of Congress and bribery.

But despite speaking with 17 witnesses behind closed doors, including 12 witnesses in just a week of public testimony, Democrats have not obtained crucial documents or spoken with several key officials because the White House and State Department have refused to comply with subpoenas.

That has left top Democrats with a choice: They could fight in court to obtain potential smoking-gun documents and testimony from acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former national security adviser John Bolton. Or Democrats could move forward with the evidence they have.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has chosen the latter.

In some of her most direct comments to date, Pelosi said Thursday they wouldn’t delay their impeachment push to fight for those witnesses through court battles, saying instead that would be up for the Senate to decide in a potential trial about whether the President should be removed from office.


(David Bythewood) #1522

Adam Schiff’s closing statement:

Schiff says Trump’s actions go ‘beyond anything Nixon did’


(David Bythewood) #1523

In other news, the woke-unwoke Glenn Beck is re-embracing his inner anti-Semite:




#1524

:boom:

Parnas witnessed Giuliani pressure Ukrainians to investige Bidens

When Rudy Giuliani met with a senior Ukrainian official in Madrid earlier this year and urged him to investigate the Bidens, Lev Parnas was at the table, according to Andriy Yermak, the Ukrainian official.

Parnas’ presence at the meeting, which has not been previously reported, indicates that he may have significant visibility into Giuliani’s efforts to pressure Kyiv to investigate a company linked to one of President Donald Trump’s political rivals. That pressure campaign is a central focus of congressional Democrats’ impeachment inquiry. Parnas was charged with campaign finance violations last month.

“Giuliani introduced him as his associate/colleague, and probably said his name, but I didn’t remember it, and remembered again when I saw Lev Parnas’ face on TV and thought that this face looks familiar,” Yermak said in a statement provided to The Daily Beast. “But we didn’t have a conversation, I spoke only to Giuliani.”

Joseph Bondy, Parnas’ New York-based criminal defense attorney, confirmed that his client attended the meeting.

Mr. Parnas travelled to Madrid to meet Rudolph Giuliani, where he attended Rudolph’s meeting with Zelensky aide Andriy Yermak, and witnessed Rudolph pressuring Yermak on behalf of President Trump to compel Zelensky to announce that his administration was launching a corruption investigation into Joe and Hunter Biden and alleged Ukrainian meddling in the 2016 election,” he said in a statement.


#1525

Both the House Committees and NY DA Cy Vance are putting more pressure on Supreme Court not to put a ‘hold’ on releasing T’s tax records. As far as I know, the SC says it just puts a stay on any actions regarding this appeal and request. But both the House and NY DA Vance argue these financial statements can be released and are merited by law dependant on a subpoena from Congress.

The push continues against a stalling WH.

There is no need for this court to make definitive pronouncements on the scope of Congress’s power in a case in which its ruling will be so limited in application and consequence," the House said.

The House lawyers urged the court to lift the stay and let the subpoena take effect. But if the court is considering taking up the president’s appeal, they urged the justices to impose an unusually fast timetable, with all legal briefs to be due by Dec. 11. If that happened, the hold on the subpoena would remain in place until the court decided whether to hear and decide the case.

The court could also simply decline to take up the president’s appeal, allowing the House to enforce its subpoena.

The case is one of several legal challenges to Trump’s efforts to keep his financial records hidden.

The case is one of several legal challenges to Trump’s efforts to keep his financial records hidden.

In a separate filing on Thursday, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance also urged the Supreme Court not to take up an appeal from Trump’s legal team over access to his financial records.

Vance had obtained a grand jury subpoena for nearly a decade’s worth of Trump’s tax returns and other financial documents stemming from an investigation of hush money payments made to two women who claimed to have affairs with Mr. Trump, allegations that he has consistently denied.

But Vance said Thursday in his court filings that the issue is much narrower and urged the justices to reject the appeal and leave the lower court rulings intact because the grand jury isn’t seeking anything official at all from the president himself, only personal financial records from his accountants.

The case presents only a narrow question of whether a state can issue a subpoena to a third party – the accountants – when the only records sought have no relation to official actions taken by the president while in office.

"There is no real public interest at stake here at all," Vance said.