Wednesday was a big day in politics. Several key witnessed appeared before the House impeachment inquiry and gave important testimony, and the Democratic presidential contenders participated in a debate in Atlanta.
EU Ambassador Sondland, who bought his position with a million dollar donation to Trump’s inauguration committee, declined to invoke the Fifth Amendment and instead threw many of Trump’s top cabinet members under the bus regarding the Ukraine shakedown, stating confidently that “everyone was in the loop” including Pence, Mulvaney, Perry and Pompeo. In particular, Sondland made it clear that Secretary of State Pompeo knew that Trump was conditioning a meeting in the Oval Office by Ukraine announcing an open-ended investigation of Burisma, the company where Hunter Biden worked. He also stated that all of the Ukraine action, including Giuliani’s involvement, came directly from Trump. Sondland even stated that, YES, there was a quid pro quo and everybody knew it. Ukraine desperately wanted a meeting with Trump, who would give it to them if they opened an investigation. Sondland’s testimony took a wrecking ball to several of the GOP’s main defenses of Trump, including that “there was no quid pro quo” and that Giuliani was somehow a lone wolf. A glorious video surfaced last night of the moment Sondland finished his opening statement admitting a quid pro quo, showing Rep Devin Nunes and Republican Counsel Steve Castor furiously glaring at each other with clenched jaws, silently commiserating that Sundland had screwed the Republican position in a huge way.
In a later hearing with the No. 3 at the State Department, David Hale, and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Laura Cooper, we learned that early-on Ukraine was aware that their aid was being withheld by the Trump Administration, and both witnesses confirmed that while the entire national security community wanted the aid released, the hold was coming from Mick Mulvaney who runs the Office of Management and Budget and is also Trump’s Chief of Staff. Their testimony destroyed the GOP talking point that Ukraine didn’t even know that aid from the US was being held up–so how could they be extorted?? Ukraine clearly knew their aid was in jeopardy.
Trump tweeted several times during the hearings as he flew to Texas to tour an Apple plant and take credit for the existence of the facility–another of his ludicrous lies. Trump made the trip with his personal physician, which tells us that he’s still feeling fragile from whatever ailed him over the weekend. Too much pressure?
The Democratic presidential contenders held a debate last night, notable for relatively little fighting against each other while remaining united against Trump. You can watch a replay of the debate here:
Here’s a good recap of the debate by co-host Washington Post:
More testimony in front of the House impeachment inquiry will take place today, including NSC Russia specialist Fiona Hill who complained to her superiors about Giuliani, and State Department aide David Hale, who overheard the disputed restaurant phone conversation between Sondland and Trump. It should be a fascinating day that continues to corroborate Trump’s corruption.
Keep resisting Trump and keep working to “vote his ass out of office” if he isn’t removed first.