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Impeachment Inquiry into Trump 2019

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#1546

One caveat on Parnas…he is really ‘singing’ now to reduce his sentence and one does wonder hoe much he can believe. Parnas most likely has receipts…documents, emails etc.


(Pamela) #1547

The plot thickens…


(David Bythewood) #1548

BREAKING: State Department, per federal court ruling, releases over 100 pages that links Giuliani to Pompeo in his Ukraine investigation.

https://www.americanoversight.org/state-department-releases-ukraine-documents-to-american-oversight


(Pamela) #1549

The looks on the F&F crew, though, was amazing! It made my day.


(Pamela) #1550

Since Trump is proclaiming the 7/26 call from Sondland never happened, isn’t there at least a record of the call that can be pulled up?

What made my day: the look of the faces of the Fox &Friends crew when Trump was going on about Yovonovich and his picture in the Ukrainian Embassy.
Also, is there a discussion/compilation where we can add to the list of his debunked statements? Of course at this point, it would look like an old NYC phone book.


(Pamela) #1551

The CNN show on Trumps lies was just what I was looking for. Got the popcorn ready. Thanks!


(David Bythewood) #1552

I made this during the first time Trump went on an unhinged rant on Fox and Friends. It’s aged well.


(David Bythewood) #1553

Trump is being impeached for bribery.

This is bribery.

I also really hate to read the words “Trump” and “adult playground” in the same sentence.

Trump opens up Camp David as an ‘adult playground’ to woo GOP lawmakers during impeachment


(Pamela) #1554

And no pizza!


(David Bythewood) #1555

Ukrainian soldiers are dying in a hot war with Russia. Many just discovered how the Trump regime withheld aid.

Military Aid For Ukraine Is At The Heart Of The Impeachment Inquiry.

Here’s What That Looks Like From The Ukrainian Front Line.

Dying For Help


#1556

Working link


(David Bythewood) #1557

#1558

The Daily Beast has some highlights:

Trump’s Secretary Hooked Up Pompeo and Giuliani

President Donald Trump’s White House gatekeeper helped facilitate a phone conversation between Rudy Giuliani and Mike Pompeo right as the former New York City mayor was beginning to pursue political investigations in Ukraine, according to newly released emails.

On March 27, 2019, Madeleine Westerhout, who formerly served as Director of Oval Office Operations at the White House, reached out to an official at the State Department asking for a phone number for Pompeo. Westerhout was forwarding a request from Giuliani’s own assistant, Jo Ann Zafonte, who had relayed that she’d been trying to get in touch with Pompeo but had been “getting nowhere through regular channels.” The State official—whose identity is not revealed in the emails— said Zafonte was “welcome [to] coordinate with us.” By the next day, Giuliani’s name was on Pompeo’s “Schedule Card” for a 20-minute discussion between 8:15 and 8:35 a.m.

Around the time that Giuliani was leaning on the office of the president to get him a direct line to the Secretary of State, he was also whipping up a smear campaign against the then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch—one that involved a major disinformation operation. In late March, The Wall Street Journal reported, Giuliani gave Mr. Pompeo “a nine-page document dated March 28 that included a detailed timeline of the Bidens’ dealings in Ukraine and allegations of impropriety against Ms. Yovanovitch.” The dossier itself was included in the American Oversight FOIA results.

All told, Giuliani appears to have had three calls with Pompeo during this time period. In addition to the one on the 28th, his name also appears listed on the Secretary of State’s call logs for the 29th. There is also an email that says Giuliani spoke with Pompeo on the 26th. It is not entirely clear how the two could have spoken on that day, only for Giuliani to suddenly not be able to get through to Pompeo by “regular channels” on the next day.


(David Bythewood) #1559

NBC’s take.

Documents released to ethics group show Giuliani, Pompeo contacts before Ukraine ambassador ousted

Nearly 100 pages of documents, including emails, were released by the watchdog group American Oversight late Friday.


#1560

The 24 defenses Trump’s allies have floated on Ukraine and impeachment


#1561

Very damning evidence and links to WH…

But…

I have to wonder what the net effect of this release will be? What is the secondary gain from releasing this specific group of docs?..it highlights and makes known all stuff about the Bidens, which allows the Gym Jordans etc to yap about it.

It also isolates Rudy and Pompeo as the #1 and # 2 most deserving to get run over by the bus. They are expendible…and perhaps bypasses (for argument’s sake) T.

I realize there will be more…but Guiliani’s goose is already cooked…he is heading for indictments. Pompeo has virtually resigned…and he thought until now that he could easily segueway (sp?) To Kansas.

Just putting it out there…


(David Bythewood) #1562

There will always be an infinite succession of buses for Donnie. He’s raiding Evil Kenevil’s secret stash of “buses for jumping over”.

But that’s how it works in a mob take down.

You work your way up. Eventually, there’s nobody left to go under the bus. Remember that. And everybody he tosses under means others less likely to go quietly, others more likely to flip, fewer cronies to protect him. One of the reasons he IS going down is his revolving door of idiocy; the more competent actors (and that’s not saying much in some cases) were burned through or pushed out early in this regime, leaving him with an ever more shallow, and incompetent, pool to choose from.


(David Bythewood) #1563

The Impeachment Witnesses Not Heard

With its public hearings over, the House Intelligence Committee plans to move forward without testimony by some of the key players in the Ukraine drama.

In recent days, lawmakers were told that when President Trump ramped up his campaign to pressure Ukraine into helping him against his domestic political rivals, he directed advisers to his personal lawyer. “Talk with Rudy,” he instructed. But one thing lawmakers will not do is talk with Rudy.

Rudolph W. Giuliani was hardly the only offstage character during two weeks of impeachment hearings that ended on Thursday. Lawmakers also heard that Mike Pence and Mike Pompeo were in the loop, that Mick Mulvaney organized the political equivalent of a “drug deal” and that John R. Bolton was adamantly against it.

But among those missing from the House Intelligence Committee’s witness list, besides Mr. Giuliani, were Mr. Pence, Mr. Pompeo, Mr. Mulvaney and Mr. Bolton. Not that the panel’s Democratic majority was necessarily uninterested in talking with the vice president, secretary of state, acting White House chief of staff or former national security adviser. Democratic leaders have decided not to wage a drawn-out fight to force them to testify over White House objections.

Instead, as the committee wrapped up its public hearings on Thursday, House Democrats have opted for expeditious over comprehensive, electing to complete their investigation even without filling in major gaps in the story. It is a calculated gamble that they have enough evidence to impeach Mr. Trump on a party-line vote in the House and would risk losing momentum if they took the time to wage a court fight to compel reluctant witnesses to come forward.

But it leaves major questions unresolved. Was Mr. Pence told about a suspected link between security aid and investigations of Mr. Trump’s political opponents, as one witness testified? Did Mr. Pompeo sign off on it? Did Mr. Mulvaney facilitate the scheme? Did Mr. Bolton ever bring his objections directly to the president? Several current and former officials rushed out statements through aides or lawyers taking issue with testimony about them, but none of them volunteered to offer their own versions of the truth under oath.

ImageFiona Hill, the White House’s former top Europe and Russia expert, testified on Thursday.

Fiona Hill, the White House’s former top Europe and Russia expert, testified on Thursday.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Democrats have concluded that in the face of White House refusal to cooperate, it is better to press ahead and simply address the refusal of witnesses like Mr. Mulvaney to testify as a plank in a possible article of impeachment alleging obstruction of Congress.

“They should be coming before us,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday. “They keep taking it to court, and no, we’re not going to wait until the courts decide. That might be information that’s available to the Senate, in terms of how far we go and when we go. But we can’t wait for that because, again, it’s a technique. It’s obstruction of justice, obstruction of Congress.”

Even some Republican strategists said she had a point. “As a political matter, the longer this goes, it is a real opportunity for Republicans to paint Democrats as unconcerned about the issues voters care more about, and I think Nancy Pelosi is well aware of that,” said Brendan Buck, who was counselor to former Speaker Paul D. Ryan.

But it leaves some frustrated about the missing pieces. “An impeachable offense should be compelling, overwhelmingly clear and unambiguous,” said Representative Will Hurd of Texas, one of the few Republicans willing to criticize the president and at one point seen as theoretically open to the possibility of impeachment. “And it’s not something to be rushed or taken lightly. I have not heard evidence proving the president committed bribery or extortion.”

With the White House defying the House, Mr. Mulvaney has refused to comply with a subpoena for his testimony while Mr. Giuliani, Mr. Pence and Mr. Pompeo have defied subpoenas for documents but not been asked for testimony. Mr. Bolton has declined an invitation to testify and has not been subpoenaed but is awaiting the result of a lawsuit filed by his former deputy, Charles M. Kupperman, asking a judge to decide whether he should listen to the House or the White House.

That case is due for oral arguments in a Federal District Court in Washington on Dec. 10, but even if the judge rules quickly it could be appealed all the way to the Supreme Court, which would take time.

Another lawsuit seeking to force Donald F. McGahn II, the former White House counsel, to testify in response to an earlier House subpoena in a previous matter may be decided by a judge on Monday. But it too could be appealed, and Mr. Bolton’s lawyer has suggested that it might not apply to his client since there are separate national security concerns at stake.

Representative Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio, and Representative Mark Meadows, Republican of North Carolina, after the testimony on Thursday.

Representative Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio, and Representative Mark Meadows, Republican of North Carolina, after the testimony on Thursday.Credit…T.J. Kirkpatrick for The New York Times

None of which would suit the fast-track timetable envisioned by House Democrats. Although more witnesses could still be called, the Intelligence Committee concluded its scheduled public hearings after 12 witnesses and will now focus on drafting a report on the matter. It could also use the coming days to renew its press for the administration to turn over long-sought documents that have become more significant in light of the testimony.

From there, the committee’s report will go to the House Judiciary Committee, which traditionally handles impeachment and will then hold hearings of its own, but generally on constitutional and legal issues rather than fact-finding of its own. After it drafts articles of impeachment, the committee would vote on them and send them to the House floor, where Democrats anticipate a vote by Christmas.

In theory, if witnesses like Mr. Bolton do agree to testify or are compelled by a court, they could still be called before the Judiciary Committee. And for that matter, if the House does impeach Mr. Trump and sends the case to the Senate for a trial that would open sometime after the new year, additional witnesses could still be called then, too.

But the two weeks of public hearings showed how much remains fluid. Gordon D. Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union and a key figure in the pressure campaign, amended his original closed-door testimony after other witnesses contradicted him. Others like William B. Taylor Jr., the acting ambassador to Ukraine; Kurt D. Volker, the special envoy for Ukraine; and Laura K. Cooper, a Defense Department official, offered new information after their original interviews when reminded by their staff or other witnesses.

Some of those who have not testified are aggrieved at their portrayals over the last two weeks. Mr. Mulvaney protested testimony on Thursday by Fiona Hill, a former Bolton deputy, that put him at the center of the pressure campaign.

“Fiona Hill’s testimony is riddled with speculation and guesses about any role that Mr. Mulvaney played with anything related to Ukraine,” his lawyer, Robert N. Driscoll, said in a statement. But the statement did not explain what role he did play, leaving the committee to guess.

In Mr. Mulvaney’s case, he has made statements that Democrats, at least, will consider evidence even if it was not under oath. During a briefing for reporters last month, Mr. Mulvaney admitted that Mr. Trump suspended $391 million in American security aid to Ukraine in part to force Ukraine to investigate a debunked conspiracy theory involving Democrats during the 2016 presidential campaign. Mr. Mulvaney later tried to take it back.

Gordon D. Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union, amended his original closed-door testimony after other witnesses contradicted him.

Gordon D. Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union, amended his original closed-door testimony after other witnesses contradicted him.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Those comments as well as statements by the offices of officials like Mr. Pence and Energy Secretary Rick Perry raise the question of whether they have effectively waived any claim of immunity from testifying because they have publicly addressed the matter, according to lawyers. But Democrats may not take the time to litigate the question.

Representative Tom Malinowski, a New Jersey Democrat who serves on the Foreign Affairs Committee that was involved in the Ukraine investigation at an earlier stage, pointed to Mr. Mulvaney’s public acknowledgment about the link between aid and an investigation as well as other testimony about figures like Mr. Bolton and Mr. Pompeo.

“I very much want to hear from them,” he said. “But if they lack the courage of their colleagues to testify under oath, we can assume that what we’ve learned about their views and actions is true.”

An impeachment proceeding is not the same as a criminal court process, of course, and the standard of evidence is not the same. The House can move forward with whatever evidence a majority considers sufficient. And to the extent that the processes can be compared, an impeachment would be the political equivalent of an indictment, signaling that there is enough evidence to merit a trial in the Senate, though not necessarily enough to convict.

Still, even in the relatively quick investigation conducted in the two months since Ms. Pelosi formally opened the impeachment inquiry, the basic facts of what happened have been established and to a greater or lesser degree verified by different witnesses.

“The reality is there’s not much ambiguity about what took place here,” Mr. Buck said. “We know what happened, and now members and voters have to decide whether it rises to the level of removing him.”


#1564

New Documents Reveal Details of Pompeo’s Role in Ukraine Affair

Internal State Department emails and documents released late Fridayfurther implicate Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a campaign orchestrated this year by President Trump and his personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani to pressure Ukraine for political favors.

The emails indicate that Mr. Pompeo spoke at least twice by telephone with Mr. Giuliani in March as Mr. Giuliani was urging Ukraine to investigate Mr. Trump’s rivals, and trying to oust a respected American ambassador to Ukraine, Marie L. Yovanovitch, who had been promoting anticorruption efforts in the country. Mr. Pompeo ordered Ms. Yovanovitch’s removal the next month. The first call between Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Pompeowas arranged with guidance from Mr. Trump’s personal assistant, the documents suggest.

The documents also show that the State Department sent members of Congress a deliberately misleading reply about Ms. Yovanovitch’s departure after they asked about pressure on her. As part of the effort to oust her, Mr. Giuliani and his associates encouraged news outlets favorable to the president to publicize unsubstantiated claims about Ms. Yovanovitch’s disloyalty to Mr. Trump.

The documents, and recent congressional testimonies in the impeachment inquiry, tie Mr. Pompeo closely to efforts by Mr. Trump and Mr. Giuliani to persuade the Ukrainian government to announce investigations that could help Mr. Trump politically. Those include investigations into the family of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., a Democratic presidential candidate, and claims that Ukrainian officials worked to undermine Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign. As Mr. Trump sought those investigations, he and his team held up $391 million of military aid critical to Ukraine — which is in a grinding war against Russian-backed separatists — and a coveted White House meeting.


#1565

Top House Democrat says ethics probe of Nunes is likely over alleged meeting with Ukrainian about Bidens

A high-ranking House Democrat said Saturday it’s “quite likely” Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) will face an ethics investigation over allegations that he met with an ex-Ukrainian official to obtain information about former vice president Joe Biden and his son.

Rep. Adam Smith (Wash.), the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, appeared on MSNBC where he was asked whether Nunes could face a House inquiry. “Quite likely, without question,” Smith said.

The allegation that Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, met with a former Ukrainian prosecutor last year to discuss the Bidens came from the attorney for Lev Parnas, one of two Soviet-born associates of Rudolph W. Giuliani who were indicted on charges they broke campaign finance law.