Here’s what you need to know about news affecting the impeachment inquiry.

1)  It was reported yesterday that two officials in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) resigned earlier this year over concern about aid being withheld from Ukraine.  This disclosure underscores the internal strife and confusion that Trump’s decision to withhold aid caused in his own administration.

2)  It was confirmed yesterday that when Trump finally decided to release the withheld aid to Ukraine, he had recently been made aware of the whistle-blower complaint. In other words, the timing looks like Trump released the aid only because he knew his Ukraine extortion scheme was about to be reported to Congress.

3)  Emails and other communications from Mick Mulvaney and others in the Trump White House were ordered by a Federal judge to be released to a watchdog group, and they show wide concern within the White House and Trump administration about Trump’s withholding aid to Ukraine. Officials were fearful that Trump’s actions might be illegal, and many were concerned that there was expressed rationale for the policy.  These communications reinforce the notion that Trump’s actions were widely known and debated, adding weight to the impeachment testimony by Gordon Sondland that “everybody was in the loop” in the Trump White House.

The evidence is clear that Trump violated his oath and the public trust by withholding aid to Ukraine in exchange for an investigation of Biden.  Many Republicans say his actions were bad but didn’t rise to the level of an impeachable offense.  But if so, what would rise to that level??  If we let Trump recruit foreign governments to interfere in our elections without penalty, will it ever end, and will it damage our democracy?  If we let Trump stonewall Congressional subpoenas without penalty, how will Congress ever be able to hold the Executive Branch accountable?  Republicans who allow this behavior are complicit in the lasting damage it causes, and can never again claim to care about law and order or the Constitution.

In local news, today is the day Dutchess County is supposed to have counted all the absentee ballots and certify the 2019 election.  Several close races hang in the balance, so watch the local news sources to see if the final results are ready to be published.

ITFIO wishes all in Dutchess County, NY-19, and New York State a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving.  We’re thankful for your readership and activism.

Keep resisting and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”

NOTE: I’ll be traveling and won’t post again until Monday, Dec 2.  Cheers…

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