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The Impeachment of President Donald J. Trump

Here’s an ‘explainer’ graphic along with this article in Wapo today of the inside track Giuliani and Co tried to influence and usurp the Ukrainian officials. Good to see how and the 3 Amigos course tried to sidestep the usual protocols and how we got here.

“We’ve been tasked with sort of overseeing the Ukraine-U.S. relationship between our contacts at the highest levels of the U.S. government and now the highest levels of the Ukrainian government,” Sondland told an interviewer the day after Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. To House investigators, Sondland was more specific.

“President Trump was skeptical that Ukraine was serious about reforms and anti-corruption, and he directed those of us present at [a May 23] meeting to talk to Mr. Giuliani, his personal attorney, about his concerns,” Sondland said in a prepared statement. “It was apparent to all of us that the key to changing the President’s mind on Ukraine was Mr. Giuliani.”

Giuliani was a steady presence with administration officials, with Sondland testifying that Trump’s personal attorney “was always swirling around somewhere.” His requests of the “amigos” were specific, pressing Sondland and Volker in particular to get Ukrainian leaders to announce investigations — ostensibly because of corruption concerns — into former vice president Joe Biden and the circumstances of 2016 election interference.

What is less recognized is the world of connections that Giuliani was leveraging outside of the government. Over the past few weeks, that web of connections has become more clear, as have the ways in which Giuliani used external allies to guide his requests from the government team with whom Trump connected him.


Committees Release Laura Cooper’s Transcript 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 transcript from the joint deposition of Laura Cooper, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Department of Defense.

The three Chairs issued the following statement announcing today’s release:

“Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper testified that President Trump, through the Office of Management and Budget, directed the freeze on hundreds of millions of dollars of critical military aid for Ukraine, against the judgment of career officials in the Department of Defense, Department of State, and other relevant agencies. Cooper also told the Committees that she raised concerns, as did others on several occasions, to senior U.S. government officials about the legality of withholding the congressionally-authorized money, and the challenges that White House delays would put on spending it.

“Cooper also testified that, during a meeting on August 20, 2019, with Ambassador Kurt Volker, he strongly implied that the hold on assistance might be resolved if Ukraine was willing to issue a statement related to election interference.”

The testimony of Deputy Assistant Secretary Laura Cooper can be found here.

Key excerpts of Deputy Assistant Secretary Laura Cooper testimony can be found here.


I am looking forward this week to see how things turn in this country away from Trump. Then we’ll see what those polls say.


Committees Release Croft and Anderson 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 from joint depositions of two former assistants to Ambassador Volker: Catherine Croft and Christopher Anderson.

The three Chairs issued the following statement announcing today’s release:

“Catherine Croft and Christopher Anderson, both advisors to Ambassador Kurt Volker on Ukraine policy, testified before the Committees about concerns they had with efforts to press Ukraine into announcing specific investigations which would help President Trump politically. Ms. Croft also testified that Ukrainian officials approached her quietly about the hold on security assistance in the July or August timeframe, before the hold had been made public.”

The testimony of Catherine Croft can be found here.

Key excerpts of Catherine Croft’s testimony can be found here.

The testimony of Christopher Anderson can be found here.

Key excerpts of Christopher Anderson’s testimony can be found here.


Here come his next defense.

Just as Trump has long insisted everything should rely on the one doctored Ukraine Transcript (Memo) he released (perfect call!), now he is about to release another which he has already declared is clearly more important.

How can anybody this predictable cause so much chaos?



Cross-posting :pray:



The degree to which T gets infuriated with those who do not act in his favor is well - fire them. T disliked AG Michael Atkinson for all he did…and potentially wanted to fire him. Disloyalty will get you fired.

Mr. Trump first expressed his dismay about Mr. Atkinson around the time the whistle-blower’s complaint became public in September. In recent weeks, he has continued to raise with aides the possibility of firing him, one of the people said.

The president has said he does not understand why Mr. Atkinson shared the complaint, which outlined how Mr. Trump asked the Ukrainian president to investigate Mr. Trump’s political rivals at the same time he was withholding military aid from the country. He has said he believes Mr. Atkinson, whom he appointed in 2017, has been disloyal, one of the people said.

Mr. Trump’s private complaints about Mr. Atkinson have come as he has publicly questioned his integrity and accused him of working with the Democrats to sabotage his presidency.


Roger Stone trial: Former top Trump official Rick Gates details campaign’s dealings on WikiLeaks, and suggests Trump was in the know

"“After Mr. Trump got off the phone with Mr. Stone, what did Mr. Trump say?” prosecutor Aaron Zelinsky asked Gates. “He indicated more information would be coming,” Gates responded, in testimony at Stone’s criminal trial in Washington.
Gates said two secret service agents also witnessed the call. The call happened days after WikiLeaks’ first release on July 22, 2016, of emails the Russian military hacked from the Democratic National Committee.

“For months, information had been talked about” in the campaign prior to the July 22 drop of emails, Gates said Tuesday. “The campaign was in a state of happiness” in the wake of the July release.

His testimony flies in the face of repeated denials by both Stone and Trump that they had ever discussed WikiLeaks. Trump said he did not “recall” any conversations in written answers to special counsel Robert Mueller, and also told Mueller that he first learned about the hacked emails “at or shortly after the time it became the subject of media reporting.”"

Rick Gates at Roger Stone Trial: Trump ‘Campaign Was in a State of Happiness’ After WikiLeaks Release


More and more reporting is focusing on why the Trump regime has worked so hard to placate Putin.

The impeachment inquiry has been all about Ukraine, but what about Russia?

Mick Mulvaney: A perfect conduit for Trump’s alleged Ukraine scheme

Mulvaney’s OMB Held Up Lethal Ukraine Aid for Fear of Russian Reaction


Somebody finally calls it what it is –

Rep. Adam Schiff: Trump’s Potentially Impeachable Offenses Include Bribery


The three parameters House Democrats established for their public impeachment hearings

The three questions are:

• Did the President request that a foreign leader and government initiate investigations to benefit the President’s personal political interests in the United States, including an investigation related to the President’s political rival and potential opponent in the 2020 U.S. presidential election?

• Did the President – directly or through agents – seek to use the power of the Office of the President and other instruments of the federal government in other ways to apply pressure on the head of state and government of Ukraine to advance the President’s personal political interests, including by leveraging an Oval Office meeting desired by the President of Ukraine or by withholding U.S. military assistance to Ukraine?

• Did the President and his Administration seek to obstruct, suppress or cover up information to conceal from the Congress and the American people evidence about the President’s actions and conduct?


Adrienne Cobb Strikes Again!

The brilliant and tireless collator of all things Trump has done it again. This time she has culled through all the impeachment transcripts and arranged the most damning quotations by category.

Adrienne Cobb

Impeachment Depositions by Topic


Here’s a sample from the “Trump extorting/bribing Ukraine” category:

  • SONDLAND: Sondland pulled Zelensky’s aide, Yermak, aside after Pence’s Poland meeting (Sept 1) with the Ukrainian president. “I now recall speaking individually with Mr. Yermak, where I said resumption of U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anti-corruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks.” (Addendum p 2)

  • SONDLAND: “…whatever the Ukrainians were going to promise in any context, he wanted it public.” (142-142)

  • VOLKER: In a text to Zelensky aide Yermak, Volker said that a meeting with Trump depended on a commitment to undermine Mueller’s investigation: “Good lunch — thanks. Heard from White House — assuming President Z convinces trump he will investigate / ‘get to the bottom of what happened’ in 2016, we will nail down date for visit to Washington. Good luck! See you tomorrow -kurt.”

  • KENT: “POTUS wanted nothing less than President Zelensky to go to microphone and say investigations, Biden, and Clinton… in shorthand 2016.” (268, 275)

  • TAYLOR: “Ambassador Sondland told me that President Trump had told him that he wants President Zelensky to state publicly that Ukraine will investigate Burisma and alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 U.S. election… Sondland said everything was dependent on such an announcement, including security assistance. He said that President Trump wanted President Zelensky in a box by making [a] public statement about ordering such investigations.” (36)

  • TAYLOR: “By mid-July, it was becoming clear to me that the meeting President Zelensky wanted was conditioned on investigations of Burisma and alleged Ukrainian influence in the 2016 elections. It was also clear that this condition was driven by the irregular policy channel I had come to understand was guided by Mr. Giuliani.” (26)

  • TAYLOR: “That was my clear understanding, security assistance money would not come until the President [of Ukraine] committed to pursue the investigation.” (189)

etc., etc.

Other resources produced by Cobb:


November 12, 2019
Debunked: Response to GOP Memo
Numerous witnesses told Congress that President Trump pressed Ukraine to intervene in the upcoming U.S. elections by initiating and public announcing investigations into (1) his political opponent (Biden); and (2) debunked conspiracy theories regarding foreign interference in the 2016 election.
The American people will hear first-hand from these witnesses beginning this week. In an internal memo released publicly today, the GOP makes four main arguments in support of the President. Below are facts that show their arguments are patently false.
FALSE: The July 25 call summary “shows no conditionality or evidence of pressure.”
FACT: The July 25 Call Shows Clear Evidence of Pressure and Conditionality

President Trump’s own words in the July 25 call record are the best evidence of the President applying pressure on Ukraine to benefit his own personal political interests at the expense of the national interest.

President Trump used his unrivaled power as the commander in chief of the most powerful country in the world to repeatedly press the leader of a foreign country to undertake politically-motivated investigations intended to benefit President Trump personally.

As one U.S. official made clear, the Ukrainian President – recently elected to lead a country that is heavily dependent on U.S. military, economic, and diplomatic support to fight of Russian aggression – could only view this as a “demand” by the American president.

President Trump, moreover, did not mention “corruption” once in the conversation, but instead repeatedly pressed Ukraine’s President to investigate “Biden.

Multiple U.S. officials have testified that the call, as well as meetings and discussions before and after the call, established a clear campaign of extortion: Ukraine’s President would not receive a White House meeting or vital military assistance until and unless Ukraine opened sham investigations that President Trump wanted.


The House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday announced it will hear publicly from eight witnesses over three days next week, in another sign Democrats are pushing to complete their impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump before the end of the year.

The Intelligence panel announced it would hold five impeachment hearings next week over three days, all for officials who have already appeared for closed-door depositions:

  • Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence, and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a National Security Council aide next Tuesday morning
  • Kurt Volker, the former US special envoy to Ukraine, and Tim Morrison, a National Security Council aide, next Tuesday afternoon
  • US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland on the morning of November 20
  • Laura Cooper, a deputy assistant secretary of defense and David Hale, the under secretary of State for political affairs, on the afternoon of November 20
  • Former White House Russia expert Fiona Hill on the morning of November 21

The hearing schedule released Tuesday shows that the House will hear publicly from at least 11 of the 15 witnesses who appeared for closed-door depositions over the past five weeks.

The hearing list includes three witnesses who were requested by Republicans: Volker, Morrison and Hale.


Live Stream if the First Public Hearing Starts at 9am ET

Impeachment Hearing with William Taylor and George Kent

The House Intelligence Committee holds its first open hearing of the impeachment inquiry against President Trump. Lawmakers will hear testimony from William Taylor, Acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent


At donor dinner, Giuliani associate said he discussed Ukraine with Trump, according to people familiar with his account

What Trump Is Hiding From the Impeachment Hearings

The president’s efforts to prevent the House from doing its job are just as worrisome as the Ukraine scandal.


Just a quick review of why we’re at Impeachment hearings…

Bring it on please Dems.


Some other News sources to look at while listening to the Impeachment hearings…

and watching via C-Span


During Ambassador Taylor’s testimony, some NYT’s commentary.

  • Annie Karni

White House Correspondent

This is literally the movie version of the book. So far, it seems like he is reading directly from the transcript that has already been released.
11:05 AM ET

  • Maggie Haberman

Maggie Haberman

White House Correspondent

This hearing has, as I said, not been good for Mulvaney so far.

  • Taylor describes the two channels as initially on the same track, and then diverging.
    11:05 AM ET

  • Charlie Savage

Charlie Savage

Washington Correspondent

But some movie goers didn’t read the book, Annie.
11:06 AM ET

  • Michael S. Schmidt

Michael S. Schmidt

Washington Correspondent

Taylor is describing something remarkable: two conflicting channels of American foreign policy being pursued toward one allied country.
11:06 AM ET

  • Nicholas Fandos

Nicholas Fandos

Congressional Correspondent

It is rare for a congressional hearing to include so much uninterrupted storytelling. This is helpful to hear Taylor’s full experience laid out.