I’ve just been told the Volker and Sondland transcripts will be released tomorrow. This should be fun.
And Rep Jordan’s snitty tweet…when in fact it was determined Volker’s testimony would be released.
These RNCers are something else…
The Republican National Committee paid to generate thousands of calls to the congressional offices of nearly three dozen House Democrats in recent weeks, an effort that was aimed at both shaping opinion around the impeachment inquiry and tying up the phone lines of the elected officials, according to two people briefed on the effort.
The calls were part of a broader effort by Republicans to influence public opinion around the investigation into President Trump. The Trump campaign and the Republican committee have taken the lead on political messaging defending Mr. Trump at a moment of political vulnerability, using television and digital ads, as well as the phone calls.
Our Lawfare guy…gets the one page of reading on Yovonovich’s testimony that gets right to the crux of who did what to whom…
Who the fuck has testified?
Working on an update, took me hours to put this like together and I’m still not finished… help me out, who am I missing?
Closed Door Hearing:
- 10/04/19 Appeared - Michael Atkinson, the inspector general of the intelligence community
Closed Door Depositions:
- 10/03/19 Appeared - Kurt Volker, a former Trump administration envoy to Ukraine
- 10/07/19 Blocked - George P. Kent, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State
- 10/08/19 Blocked - Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union
- 10/08/19 Blocked - T. Ulrich Brechbuhl, State Department counselor
- 10/10/19 Requested more time - Lev Parnas, an associate of Trump lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani
- 10/11/19 Testified - Ambassador Marie “Masha” Yovanovitch, who was removed from Ukraine by the Trump administration.
- 10/11/19 Requested more time - Igor Fruman, an associate of Rudolph W. Giuliani
- 10/14/19 Cooperating - Semyon “Sam” Kislin, an associate of Trump attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani
- 10/14/19 Appeared - Fiona Hill, the former National Security Council Russia adviser
- 10/15/19 Appeared - George P. Kent, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State
- 10/16/19 Appeared - Michael McKinley, former senior adviser to Secretary of State Michael Pompeo
- 10/17/19 Appeared - Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union
- 10/18/19 Rescheduled - Laura Cooper, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense
- 10/22/19 Appeared - William “Bill” Taylor, State Department official
- 10/23/19 Appeared - Laura Cooper, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense
- 10/23/19 Postponed - Philip Reeker, the acting assistant secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs
- 10/23/19 Blocked - Michael Duffey, associate director for national security programs at the White House Office of Management and Budget
Note: All depositions for Oct. 24 and 25 have been postponed due to services for the late former House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.
- 10/24/19 Postponed - Alexander Vindman, the National Security Council director for European Affairs and an expert on Ukraine
- 10/24/19 Postponed - Kathryn Wheelbarger, the acting assistant secretary for international security affairs
- 10/25/19 Postponed - Suriya Jayanti, a foreign service officer stationed in Kyiv who specialized in energy issues
- 10/25/19 Refused - Russell Vought, White House Office of Management and Budget acting director
- 10/26/19 Appeared - Philip Reeker, the acting assistant secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs
- 10/28/19 Refused/filed a lawsuit - Charles Kupperman, former Deputy National Security Adviser to John Bolton
- 10/29/19 Appeared - Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, European affairs director at the National Security Council
- 10/30/19 Appeared - Catherine Croft, State Department Ukraine expert
- 10/30/19 Appeared - Christopher Anderson, State Department Ukraine expert
- 10/30/19 - Refused - Kathryn Wheelbarger, the acting assistant secretary for international security affairs
- 10/31/19 Appeared - Timothy Morrison, the former senior director for Russian affairs at the National Security Council
- 10/04/19 Refused - Robert Blair, a senior adviser to acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney
- 10/04/19 Refused - Brian McCormack, director of natural resources, energy and science at the White House Office of Management and Budget
- 10/04/19 Blocked - John Eisenberg, National Security Council lawyer
- 10/04/19 Refused - Michael Ellis, National Security Council lawyer
Watch Trump’s Secretary of State lie through his teeth to cover up Trump’s extortion scheme
Mike Pompeo lies with relaxed confidence as he tells CNN’s George Stephanopoulos that his senior adviser, Michael McKinley, never once spoke to him about his dissatisfaction with how ambassador Marie Yovanovitch was being treated. When in fact, McKinley did so on three separate occasions, as he testified under oath.
(This link will drop you at 14:37, then watch for 1 min.)
Here’s what really happened (from WaPo live feed):
5:30 p.m.: McKinley said he pushed three times for a statement supporting Yovanovitch, contrary to Pompeo’s claim to ABC News
McKinley testified that he asked Pompeo on three separate occasions to issue a public statement of support for Yovanovitch. But in an interview on ABC News’s “This Week” last month, Pompeo claimed that he had “never heard” McKinley say anything about his concerns.
“You know, from the time that Ambassador Yovanovitch departed Ukraine until the time that [McKinley] came to tell me that he was departing, I never heard him say a single thing about his concerns with respect to the decision that was made,” Pompeo told host George Stephanopoulos during the Oct. 20 appearance. “Not once, George, did Ambassador McKinley say something to me during that entire time period.”
Asked whether he had ever been urged to issue a statement in support of Yovanovitch, Pompeo declined to say.
“I’m not going to talk about private conversations that I had with my most trusted advisers,” he said.
In his testimony, McKinley said he called Pompeo at one point and suggested that the State Department release a short statement of support for Yovanovitch, to praise her “professionalism and courage.” Pompeo, he said, listened without response.
McKinley also told Pompeo on Sept. 30 that he was resigning in part due to the “lack of public support for Department employees.” Pompeo again did not respond, he said.
These clowns taunt…and tamper because it represents their #BullySpirit
The GOP and its propaganda outlets are playing a dangerous game of chicken with how they’re treating the whistleblower.
Republicans consider moving Jim Jordan to House Intelligence Committee
As the impeachment inquiryenters its public phase, top Republicans in the House are weighing whether to temporarily assign Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the panel that will conduct the initial public hearings. Discussions about adding Jordan to the committee are “active and serious,” a senior Republican involved in the process told CBS News.
Jordan, currently the ranking member on the House Oversight Committee and an outspoken defender of President Trump, has essentially led Republican efforts in the closed-door impeachment proceedings thus far, where three committees have been able to participate. His top investigator, Steve Castor, has conducted the bulk of witness questioning.
If Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy were to temporarily assign Jordan to the Intelligence Committee, he would have to make room for him by removing a current member. The move would also undermine Devin Nunes, the committee’s top Republican. McCarthy has sole discretion over Intelligence Committee assignments.
"Democrats have turned the Intelligence Committee into an impeachment committee," said the senior Republican aide, who was granted anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. "We are interested in putting together the best team."
Imagine thinking Jim Jordan is the best.
I was just reminded that the attacks on Lt. Col. Vindman are the dual loyalty canard raising its ugly head again.
Here’s my thread on that, updated:
And some related posts and articles:
Trumpworld’s New Impeachment Defense: Smear Iraq War Hero As a Spy
Trumpists Hurl Desperate, Despicable Dual Loyalty Charges
Yes, all eyes on Sec of State Mike Pompeo as he can not cough up the truth as to his conversations with Ambassador McKinley, and Pompeo’s denying denial - sort of “I can not divulge private conversations.”
WASHINGTON — As President Trump’s first C.I.A. director, Mike Pompeo was briefed by agency officials on the extensive evidence — including American intercepts of conversations between participants — showing that Russian hackers working for the government of Vladimir V. Putin had interfered in the 2016 American presidential campaign. In May 2017, Mr. Pompeo testified in a Senate hearing that he stood by that conclusion.
Two and a half years later, Mr. Pompeo seems to have changed his mind. As Mr. Trump’s second secretary of state, he now supports an investigation into a discredited, partisan theory that Ukraine, not Russia, attacked the Democratic National Committee, which Mr. Trump wants to use to make the case that he was elected without Moscow’s help. “Inquiries with respect to that are completely important,” Mr. Pompeo said last month. “I think everyone recognizes that governments have an obligation — indeed, a duty — to ensure that elections happen with integrity, without interference from any government, whether that’s the Ukrainian government or any other.”
Mr. Pompeo’s spreading of a false narrative at the heart of the Ukraine scandal is the most striking example of how he has fallen off the tightrope he has traversed for the past 18 months: demonstrating loyalty to the president while insisting to others he was pursuing a traditional, conservative foreign policy. Mr. Pompeo, 55, now finds himself at the most perilous moment of his political life as veteran diplomats testify to Congress that Mr. Trump and his allies hijacked Ukraine policy for political gain — and as congressional investigators look into what Mr. Pompeo knew of the machinations of Mr. Trump and Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer.
Have been watching a lot of the pundits say Mike Pompeo is readying himself for a Senate seat in Kansas and seems to be spending a lot of time there…trying to escape this huge imbroglio. The State Department has been gutted, and Pompeo’s staff are resigning - see McKinley because Pompeo is not keeping up a strong institutional front, and is essentially weakening State.
Looks like Pompeo could just walk away.
What has Mike Pompeo got to swagger about and why is he doing it in Kansas?
The under-fire secretary of state claims to have brought ‘swagger’ to his department but some suspect he is eyeing a Senate run in his home state
Mike Pompeo has a new badge he has been handing out to students and aspiring diplomats in the midwest. “United States Department of State” it says around the outside, with the word SWAGGER stamped in red capitals diagonally across the middle.
In the background, printed in pale blue like subliminal messages are a list of attributes, such as “patriotic”, “confident”, “respected” as well as “cool vibe”.
In the state department right now the vibe is anything but cool, and Pompeo’s dogged insistence on making “swagger” a catchphrase has become the punchline to a thousand wry jokes in Foggy Bottom.
It was Mr. Pompeo who helped Mr. Trump and Mr. Giuliani oust the respected American ambassador to Ukraine, Marie L. Yovanovitch, in April. Both Michael McKinley, a senior adviser to Mr. Pompeo and a four-time ambassador, and Philip T. Reeker, the acting assistant secretary for Europe, testified that they asked State Department leadership to defend Ms. Yovanovitch from false accusations, only to be rejected. Mr. McKinley said he personally urged Mr. Pompeo three times to issue a defense; the revelation of that detail in a transcript released on Monday undercut a declaration Mr. Pompeo made in an interview last month that he “never heard” Mr. McKinley “say a single thing” about Ms. Yovanovitch’s ouster.
R’s blame the process…never the facts. And they can not get the facts right.
RE: Whistleblower -
- Rep Schiff did not have face-to-face contact with Whistleblower, but his staff learned of the Whistleblower’s complaint. No need to put Rep Schiff on the stand to testify.
- Whistleblower’s identity needs to be kept secret…that is the way it is done. None of these bullying techniques need to happen, but that’s the path the R’s and Rand Paul need to go down. Such flagrant disregard for personal safety…and just plain a misconstruing of the facts.
But that is the R’s only defense…attack the process.
And turn us into a Banana Republic…with their savage retorts.
As the late and honorable Rep Elijah Cummings would say - “Com’mon, we’re better than this.”
House impeachment investigators ask John Bolton to testify next week
Former national security adviser John Bolton has been formally asked to testify before House investigators in the ongoing impeachment inquiry, a person familiar with the matter confirmed to ABC News on Wednesday.
Bolton, whose name has surfaced repeatedly as being opposed to President Donald Trump’s pressure campaign with Ukraine, has been asked to appear on Capitol Hill next week, on Nov. 7.
His legal team, however, told ABC News that Bolton is not willing to appear voluntarily.
"I stand ready at all times to accept service of a subpoena on his behalf," Bolton’s attorney Chuck Cooper told ABC News.
The Democrats are also calling John Eisenberg, the lawyer for the NSC who fielded an Army officer’s concerns over Trump’s phone call with the Ukraine president, and Michael Ellis, another security council official, according to a person familiar with the invitation and granted anonymity to discuss it.
New DOJ memo says executive branch witnesses must be allowed to bring lawyers to testimony
The Justice Department said attempts by impeachment investigatorsto compel testimony from executive branch witnesses about President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine are “legally invalid” unless they allow for the witnesses to bring a government lawyer.
The guidance, from the DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel, amounts to a new legal reasoning that the White House and other agencies can use to stymie House depositions after Democrats curtailed the previous legal argument that the House wasn’t in a formal impeachment inquiry with a vote last week. The memo is certain to anger Democrats as it furthers a strategy of non-cooperation from the White House in the inquiry, and once again puts the Justice Department in the position of blocking the President from further scrutiny.
Impeachment investigators had so far benefited from several depositions from current and former national security officials about the Ukraine saga, but in recent days, a number of current and former government witnesses, including former national security adviser John Bolton and a top national security aide to Vice President Mike Pence, have all skipped out on scheduled depositions.
In the memo, OLC lawyers write that the President, who has not been asked or subpoenaed to testify, must be allowed to have a representative present in depositions to be able to protect privileged information from disclosure. The House Intelligence Committee, which is leading the ongoing investigation, has so far only allowed witnesses to appear for depositions with personal counsel.
The five-page memo appears limited in scope but potentially sets up a future fight over the impeachment investigators’ ability to pierce the administration’s shield of executive privilege, which could block witnesses from providing valuable information about Trump’s direct involvement in the case.
OLC attorneys cite a DC Circuit court opinion comparing an impeachment inquiry with a grand jury investigation in a criminal probe, setting up the need to meet a high threshold to overcome the protections of the privilege.
The administration’s new legal memo is untested in court. Witnesses are not permitted to bring lawyers into criminal grand juries, and federal courts have generally not allowed administration blocking attempts to stand in the way of criminal investigators or of Congress’ needs during impeachment proceedings. As recently as last month, a federal judge told the administration it couldn’t block the House’s pursuit of confidential grand jury information sought for the impeachment proceedings, for example.
Interesting article about this all.
We knew this was coming, right?
Trump floats new defense: The quid pro quo didn’t happen, but if it did, so what?
Committees Release Sondland and Volker Transcripts as Part of Impeachment Inquiry
Today, Rep. Adam B. Schiff, the Chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Rep. Eliot L. Engel, the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, the Acting Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, released the transcripts of Gordon Sondland, the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, and Kurt Volker, the former United States Representative for Ukraine Negotiations.
The Committees also released additional text messages previously produced by Ambassador Volker that provide context to the transcripts and new information relevant to the inquiry.
The three Chairs issued the following statement announcing today’s releases:
“The testimony of Ambassadors Volker and Sondland shows the progression of efforts by the President and his agent, Rudy Giuliani, to use the State Department to press Ukraine to announce investigations beneficial to the President’s personal and political interests.
“As early as May 2019, President Trump directed the Ambassadors to work with Giuliani on Ukraine policy, and over the course of the summer, an effort was made to extract a public statement from the new Ukrainian president that the Ukrainian government was investigating Burisma or the Biden family and a debunked conspiracy theory about the 2016 U.S. elections.
“It is clear from their testimony that, in exchange for the statement, President Trump would award the Ukrainian president with a highly coveted White House meeting and, later, with millions of dollars in critical military aid being withheld. Ambassador Sondland called this changing U.S. policy toward Ukraine a ‘continuum’ that became ever more ‘insidious’ over time.
“Finally, with the release of the full production of text messages provided to the Committees by Ambassador Volker, and an additional declaration by Ambassador Sondland, the President’s scheme comes into clearer focus.
“In an effort to prevent further incriminating information from coming to light, the State Department is continuing to obstruct our investigation by refusing to provide subpoenaed records, including additional text messages provided to the Department by Ambassador Sondland. This blanket stonewalling will only continue to build the case against the President for obstruction of Congress, especially in light of the damning evidentiary record the Committees have already gathered.”
The testimony of Ambassador Sondland can be found here, including an addendum he filed on November 4, 2019.
Key excerpts from Ambassador Sondland’s testimony can be found here.
The testimony of Ambassador Volker can be found here.
Key excerpts from Ambassador Volker’s testimony can be found here.
In addition, the Committees released all additional Volker text messages received by the Committees, which can be found here.
Key excerpts from these additional text messages can be found here.
The Committees first released excerpts of text messages produced by Ambassador Volker on October 2, 2019, which can be found here.