Yesterday began with Trump holding a press conference with a Chinese delegation to announce phase one of a new “trade deal” with China. The deal–an affront to free markets and a loser for America–took back seat to Trump’s inane and rambling hour-long speech that included an attack on James Comey, more comments on the impeachment “hoax,” and an attack on China itself for its historical “pillage” of our economy.
Next, Speaker Pelosi addressed the House and called for a vote to affirm the impeachment managers and send the articles of impeachment to the Senate. The measure passed and the articles were officially submitted to Moscow Mitch for a Senate trial.
But the main event was last night’s absolutely stunning interview of Lev Parnas by Rachel Maddow on MSNBC. The interview apparently came together quickly so there wasn’t much advance notice–and it was devastating. A lawyer by his side, Parnas confirmed that Giuliani was on an errand by Trump to get rid of Ambassador Yovanovich and pressure Ukraine president Zelensky to announce an investigation into the Bidens: “There was no other motivation.” They didn’t care about corruption, they only cared about smearing the Bidens. Giuliani was working directly with Trump and Parnas overheard some of their conversations. After Zelensky hesitated on delivering an investigation, Parnas confirmed that Vice President Pence was scheduled to fly to Europe to give Zelensky an ultimatum but the trip was cancelled because the scheme was about to be exposed by a whistleblower. Also in the loop, claimed Parnas, was Attorney General Bill Barr. Which makes sense because Trump repeatedly told Zelensky in their infamous phone call to, “Talk to Barr.” Also in the loop was Congressman Devin Nunes, who was involved in “getting all this stuff on Biden,” as well as several Fox Network personalities like Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing.
Last night’s interview was only part one, with part two scheduled for broadcast tonight. So we may not have seen the end of damning new information. But it now seems clear that, as Gordon Sondland stated to Congress, “Everyone was in the loop.” This was devastating stuff for Pence, Barr and Nunes, not to mention Trump and Giuliani. Rumors have circulated for months about the involvement of Pence in the Ukraine scheme, but now we have direct testimony tying him to an effort to strong-arm president Zelensky. It’s also highly troubling that Bill Barr might have been aware of all of these activities and done nothing, or worse, been involved. “Talk to Barr.”
The Vichy Republicans in the Senate may not care that this explosive, damning testimony has just emerged. They may stick with their cult leader Trump to the bitter end. But it will become increasingly difficult for them to explain their inaction to voters, and it will become increasingly likely that their reputations will be permanently stained in the eyes of future generations. We only need a few thousand people in a few states to vote differently in 2020 than they did in 2016, OR we only need a few thousand people in a few states who didn’t vote in 2016 to come out and vote in 2020. And with every explosive revelation, with every crooked detail, more Americans are going to be disgusted and enraged by the conduct of Trump and his corrupt cabinet.
Keep resisting Trump and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”