WTF Community

The Impeachment of President Donald J. Trump



So I realized I should probably be publishing the summary I create when I update the timeline. :woman_facepalming:t2:

This was everything from the last three days!



Oh shit!

A second intelligence official who was alarmed by President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine is weighing whether to file his own formal whistle-blower complaint and testify to Congress, according to two people briefed on the matter.

The official has more direct information about the events than the first whistle-blower, whose complaint that Mr. Trump was using his power to get Ukraine to investigate his political rivals touched off an impeachment inquiry. The second official is among those interviewed by the intelligence community inspector general to corroborate the allegations of the original whistle-blower, one of the people said.

The inspector general, Michael Atkinson, briefed lawmakers privately on Friday about how he substantiated the whistle-blower’s account. It was not clear whether he told lawmakers that the second official is considering filing a complaint.

A new complaint, particularly from someone closer to the events, would potentially add further credibility to the account of the first whistle-blower, a C.I.A. officer who was detailed to the National Security Council at one point. He said that he relied on information from more than half a dozen American officials to compile his allegations about Mr. Trump’s campaign to solicit foreign election interference that could benefit him politically.


Trump’s calls with foreign leaders have long worried aides, leaving some ‘genuinely horrified’

In one of his first calls with a head of state, President Trump fawned over Russian President Vladimir Putin, telling the man who ordered interference in America’s 2016 election that he was a great leader and apologizing profusely for not calling him sooner.

He pledged to Saudi officials in another call that he would help the monarchy enter the elite Group of Seven, an alliance of the world’s leading democratic economies.

He promised the president of Peru that he would deliver to his country a C-130 military cargo plane overnight, a logistical nightmare that set off a herculean scramble in the West Wing and Pentagon.

And in a later call with Putin, Trump asked the former KGB officer for his guidance in forging a friendship with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un — a fellow authoritarian hostile to the United States.

Starting long before revelations about Trump’s interactions with Ukraine’s president rocked Washington, Trump’s phone calls with foreign leaders were an anxiety-ridden set of events for his aides and members of the administration, according to former and current officials. They worried that Trump would make promises he shouldn’t keep, endorse policies the United States long opposed, commit a diplomatic blunder that jeopardized a critical alliance, or simply pressure a counterpart for a personal favor.

“There was a constant undercurrent in the Trump administration of [senior staff] who were genuinely horrified by the things they saw that were happening on these calls,” said one former White House official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the private conversations. “Phone calls that were embarrassing, huge mistakes he made, months and months of work that were upended by one impulsive tweet.”


Joel Willett, a former intelligence officer who worked at the National Security Council from 2014 to 2015, said he was concerned both by the descriptions of a president winging it, and the realization that the president’s behavior disturbs and frightens career civil servants.

“What a burden it must be to be stuck between your position of trust in the White House and another obligation you may feel to the American people to say something,” he said.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment Thursday or Friday.



(David Bythewood) #786

Could his own department go rogue? Members have already!


More polling are pointing to voters being waaay more interested in impeachment…especially college-educated men and especially women. A groundswell for sure…adding to @Keaton_James polling above. :boom:

In some cases, that shift has already begun.

Back-to-back polls this week found greater support for the impeachment proceedings than opposition among white voters with college degrees — a group that backed Trump over Hillary Clinton by a slightly greater margin in 2016, according to publicly available exit data. Fifty percent of college-educated whites in an NPR/Marist College survey said they approved of House Democrats’ decision to launch the formal impeachment inquiry into Trump. That compares to a narrower margin of support for the move, 45-43, in a POLITICO/Morning Consult poll released Wednesday.

If you look at college-educated whites, those are probably some of the most engaged voters. They are a big and important chunk of the electorate and they have shifted the most resolutely toward impeachment so far,” Roberts said.

Even more dangerous for the president and his allies is the apparent groundswell of support for impeachment among women — including self-described independents, white women with college degrees and women in suburban communities. Five polls conducted since last Tuesday have shown majorities of women endorsing Democratic efforts to remove Trump from office, ranging from 57 percent of registered female voters who strongly or somewhat approve of impeachment in a CBS survey released Sunday to 62 percent of women in a Quinnipiac University survey released Monday who said they think “Trump believes he is above the law.”

The POLITICO/Morning Consult poll found a 15-point gap between independent women who support impeachment (48 percent) and voters within the same demographic who oppose it (33 percent). A similar gap emerged in the NPR/Marist survey among suburban women, 57 percent of whom said they support the impeachment inquiry versus 39 percent who disapprove of the move.

I really don’t like where we are right now,” said one prominent Republican pollster.

To be sure, some of the same polls include evidence suggesting impeachment could become a political risk for Democrats as they head into a heated election year. And the rapid-pace environment in which the impeachment process has already unfolded, combined with varying levels of understanding of the process itself, mean a lot of voters are still in “wait-and-see mode,” according to Roberts.


What happened on impeachment on Friday

Love these impeachment live-blogs.


Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday failed to meet a subpoena deadline from the House to produce Ukraine-related documents.

A House Foreign Affairs Committee aide told CNN that "Secretary Pompeo has failed to meet the deadline to produce documents required by the subpoena. However, the State Department has contacted the Committees on this matter and we hope the Department will cooperate in full promptly. Apart from the outstanding subpoena, we look forward to hearing from Ambassadors Sondland and Yovanovitch next week."

(David Bythewood) #790

Does anybody here know who the hell Richard Ketay is? A search revealed nothing.


The Palmer Report…which is just one guy reporting, and a self-styled “Expert” says he can not figure it out…but thinks it is made up. We’ve heard more than 13,000 lies coming from this Prez…so we can add this to the pile 'o lies. :hear_no_evil:

Who is Richard Ketay? That’s the question everyone is left asking tonight, after Donald Trump tweeted a lengthy quote that sounded exactly like something Donald Trump would say, and then attributed it to a person no one has ever heard of – and we’re not even sure if the person really exists.

(David Bythewood) #792

Um… all of these are re-tweets by Donnie


They’re attacking the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community now.

Edit: I checked, there is no sign that anybody in actual media knows who the whistleblower is. This seems to be total conspiracy.


Actions speak louder than words…a breakdown of what can be done from the CrookedMedia friends.

The idea behind the push for impeachment was that forcing Republicans to vote on the propriety of President Trump’s conduct, after a sustained airing of his abuses of power, would be a political nightmare for them, and finally force a public reckoning with their complicity in Trump’s crimes. That theory has borne out exquisitely in the inquiry’s first full week, but it doesn’t mean people with no direct role to play in the impeachment process can’t strengthen it. House Democrats shouldn’t have to confront Trump alone; other prominent Democrats and anti-Trump forces have a role to play too.

It is true that the House alone has the power to subpoena documents and pressure people in the administration to come clean about wrongdoing, and that is how we’ve continued to learn more, increasingly sordid detailsabout Trump’s wholesale corruption of American foreign policy. But at some point House Republicans will have to vote on articles of impeachment; shortly thereafter, Senate Republicans will have to decide whether Trump should be removed from office; and when it’s all over, if Trump survives, they will all have to answer to the voting public for participating in a humiliating, criminal degradation of the country.


If you read one recap of how we got where we are today, read this one. It’s like reading a Clancy spy thriller. Really. It’s unbelievable that this was allowed to happen.


Perry pressed Ukraine on corruption, energy company changes

Energy Secretary Rick Perry urged Ukraine’s president to root out corruption and pushed the new government for changes at its state-run oil and gas company, people familiar with his work said Friday — indications that he was more deeply involved than previously known in President Donald Trump’s efforts to pressure officials in Kiev.

The people said they have no indication that Perry explicitly called on Ukrainian officials to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, the issue that has spawned a House impeachment inquiry into Trump. But at the very least, they said, Perry played an active role in the Trump administration’s efforts to shape decisions by the newly elected government of President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Oh, is this why he’s stepping down?


UPDATE: Looks like @Pet_Proletariat was posting this at the same time – but I’ll still post because I’ve highlighted a few more interesting points in the article and made some observations following it.


Perry pressed Ukraine on corruption, energy company changes

The energy secretary’s role in pushing the president’s message in Kiev was more extensive than publicly known


10/05/2019 10:03 AM EDT


Energy Secretary Rick Perry urged Ukraine’s president to root out corruption and pushed the new government for changes at its state-run oil and gas company, people familiar with his work said Friday — indications that he was more deeply involved than previously known in President Donald Trump’s efforts to pressure officials in Kiev.

The people said they have no indication that Perry explicitly called on Ukrainian officials to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, the issue that has spawned a House impeachment inquiry into Trump. But at the very least, they said, Perry played an active role in the Trump administration’s efforts to shape decisions by the newly elected government of President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Perry, who POLITICO reported is expected to resign next month, attended Zelensky’s May inauguration in Kiev in place of Vice President Mike Pence. In addition, he was one of the administration’s “three amigos” on Ukrainian policy, along with Kurt Volker, the U.S. special representative for the Ukraine conflict, and Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, as Sondland described their relationship in a July broadcast interview.

Among Perry’s numerous visits with Zelenksy and other Ukraine officials in the past year was a dinner with Zelensky, Trump’s son-law-Jared Kushner and other officials in June, according to a government photo taken by the U.S. of the event. The two met again the following month with Polish government officials to sign the energy cooperation agreement, according to news releases.

Perry also attended the bilateral meeting with Zelenksy and Trump in New York on Sept. 25, a DOE spokesperson confirmed.

The message from Perry to Zelensky, according to one person familiar with the discussions, was: "You’ve got to take steps on your anti-corruption efforts.”

Two clients of Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, Ukrainian-American Trump donors Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, had met with Naftogaz earlier this year to pitch themselves as suppliers of U.S. natural gas, according to media reports.

“I may or may not know anything about it,” Giuliani told POLITICO when asked if he knew about Perry’s efforts to install new people on the board.

Perry is scheduled to travel in Eastern Europe next week to follow up on a energy-cooperation agreement the U.S., Ukraine and Poland signed last month, according to an Energy Department news release. …

Lots to process here.

First, my favorite line: “I may or may not know anything about it.” – Rudy Giuliani :rofl: Classic.

It looks like Perry was much more deeply involved here than originally supposed. This is becoming a familiar pattern. Pompeo was supposedly not involved, then we found out he was on the infamous call even though he wouldn’t own up to that for ten days. At first, there was no mention of Pence, but now it looks like he may have been one of Trump’s strong men, leaning on Ukraine. And now Perry has become implicated. It’s very telling he’s resigning – just like Volker resigned.

Volker, Sunderland, and Perry were known as “the three amigos on Ukrainian policy.” From the text messages we have, we know that the first two amigos were very aware of the quid pro quo that Trump was pushing – it would be surprising if the third amigo wasn’t also aware.

Perry had numerous meetings with Zelensky (as listed above) so he would be well suited as an emissary for Trump’s mission to extort fabricated dirt on the Bidens from the Ukrainians.

And what was Kushner doing at that dinner with Perry and Zelensky?

Finally, there’s this – it’s mentioned almost as an aside, but it could be a real bombshell, taking on a whole new meaning with what we know now: “Two clients of Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, Ukrainian-American Trump donors Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, had met with Naftogaz earlier this year to pitch themselves as suppliers of U.S. natural gas.” Was Giuliani not only abetting Trump in his extortion of the Ukranians, but was he also working a deal on the side to profit from it?

(David Bythewood) #797

Read the interactive, annotated, highlighted version of the Ukraine Transcript (meme) here at CNN:

Ron Johnson says Sondland told him of possible Ukraine quid pro quo


I love it, this is a very clever interactive article. Thx for sharing. :+1:


Now Trump is trying to throw Rick Perry under the bus. :joy:

President Trump told House Republicans that he made his now infamous phone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the urging of Energy Secretary Rick Perry — a call Trump claimed he didn’t even want to make.

Behind the scenes: Trump made these comments during a conference call with House members on Friday, according to 3 sources on the call.

  • Per the sources, Trump rattled off the same things he has been saying publicly — that his call with Zelensky was "perfect"and he did nothing wrong.
  • But he then threw Perry into the mix and said something to the effect of: “Not a lot of people know this but, I didn’t even want to make the call. The only reason I made the call was because Rick asked me to. Something about an LNG [liquified natural gas] plant,” one source said, recalling the president’s comments. 2 other sources confirmed the first source’s recollection.

Why it matters: The president’s remarks suggest he may be seeking to distance himself from responsibility or recast the pretext for the call. White House officials did not respond to requests for comment.

  • Another source on the call said Trump added that “more of this will be coming out in the next few days” — referring to Perry.

Worth noting: Text messages released this week between Trump administration officials and Andrey Yermak, a top aide to Zelensky, suggest that Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, was a primary advocate for arranging the call.

  • There is no mention in the text messages of Perry playing a role in making this call happen.
  • Zelensky talks about buying American oil and wanting to work with the U.S. on energy independence, but Perry and LNG are not discussed in the 5-page memo of the Trump-Zelensky call released by the White House.

Between the lines: Perry, who is reportedly resigning by the end of this year, has become increasingly embroiled in congressional Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.

  • In May, Perry led a U.S. delegation to Ukraine for Zelensky’s inauguration in place of Vice President Mike Pence, and Democrats have begun to press Perry for more information about the trip and his conversations with Ukrainian leaders.
  • The House subpoena of Rudy Giuliani also seeks documents related to Perry’s “involvement with Ukrainian leaders last spring.”
  • However, Perry told the Christian Broadcasting Network on Friday that, “as God is my witness,” neither Joe or Hunter Biden’s name ever came up.
  • And as The Washington Post recently reported, “no evidence has emerged that Perry participated in the effort to pressure Ukrainian officials to investigate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.”

Perry’s spokeswoman, Shaylyn Hynes, told Axios: “Secretary Perry absolutely supported and encouraged the president to speak to the new president of Ukraine to discuss matters related to their energy security and economic development."

  • "He continues to believe that there is significant need for improved regional energy security—which is exactly why he is heading to Lithuania tonight to meet with nearly 2 dozen European energy leaders (including Ukraine) on these issues,” Haynes added.

The White House acknowledged the conference call in a Friday readout that said participants included Minority Leader McCarthy, Whip Steve Scalise, Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney, and GOP leaders on key House committees — and that they discussed Friday’s jobs report, the economy and concerns about Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.

  • The readout makes no mention of Rick Perry.

Go deeper: Politico examines Perry’s ties to Ukraine.


Mounting evidence buttresses claims in whistleblower complaint

Since the revelation of an explosive whistleblower complaint that sparked an impeachment crisis for President Trump, he and his Republican allies have coalesced around a central defense: The document was based on secondhand information, mere hearsay riddled with inaccuracies.

But over the past two weeks, documents, firsthand witness accounts and even statements by Trump himself have emerged that bolster the facts outlined in the extraordinary abuse-of-power complaint.

The description of a July 25 phone call between Trump and the president of Ukraine, which formed the heart of the complaint and was still secret at the time the claim was filed in mid-August, matches a rough transcript of the call that the White House released a day before the complaint was made public.

The whistleblower’s assertion that records related to the phone call were transferred to a separate electronic system intended for highly classified material has since been confirmed by White House officials.

President Trumps said on Oct. 4 that he is “very proud” of his call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

And the whistleblower’s narrative of the events that led up to the call — including a shadow campaign undertaken by Trump’s personal attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani and the attempts of State Department officials to navigate his activities — have been largely confirmed by the text messages of three diplomats released Friday, as well as Giuliani himself in media interviews.

Independent evidence now supports the central elements laid out in the seven-page document. Even if they disregarded the complaint, legal experts said lawmakers have obtained dramatic testimony and documents that provide ammunition for the whistleblower’s core assertion: that the president of the United States used “the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election.”

“Everything we’ve found to date validates the information . . . . It’s brilliantly effective. It really does function almost as a one-stop shop, investigative road map,” said Harry P. Litman, a former U.S. attorney in Pennsylvania who has represented other government whistleblowers.

“It’s a success story, as whistleblower complaints go,” said Litman, also a contributing columnist for The Washington Post.


This about sums it up!!!