Patterico's Pontifications

11/13/2019

Impeachment Hearings Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:39 pm



[guest post by Dana]

President Trump on the first day of public testimony:

“I hear it’s a joke. I haven’t watched. I haven’t watched for one minute because I’ve been with the president, which is much more important, as far as I am concerned,” Trump said, speaking to reporters at the White House alongside Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “This is a sham, and it shouldn’t be allowed.”

“I want to find out who is the whistleblower, and because the whistleblower gave a lot of very incorrect information, including my call with the president of Ukraine, which was a perfect call and highly appropriate,” Trump continued.

He also criticized Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community’s inspector general, or IG, for his decision to report the whistleblower’s complaint to Congress as credible. The New York Times reported on Tuesday that he had privately discussed firing Atkinson for sharing the information.

“I want to find out why the IG, why would he have presented that, when in fact, all he had to do is check the call itself and he would’ve seen it,” Trump said.

Trump said he had heard that the public testimony from Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent and the acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, William Taylor, was “all third-hand information,” echoing pushback from Hill Republicans.

Trump also said he could release the record of a previous call he had with Ukraine in the spring as early as Thursday. The call at the heart of the impeachment investigation occurred over the summer, on July 25.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

133 Responses to “Impeachment Hearings Open Thread”

  1. Have at it.

    Dana (cb74ca)

  2. “Democrats on this very committee negotiated with people they thought were Ukrainians in order to obtain nude pictures of Trump,” Mr. Nunes said.

    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/sep/26/devin-nunes-rips-adam-schiffs-hunt-naked-trump-pho/

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  3. “Democrats on this very committee negotiated with people they thought were Ukrainians in order to obtain nude pictures of Trump,” Mr. Nunes said.

    Sayeth the distinguished gentleman from California suing everyone over David Nunes Cow.

    Rip Murdock (98c6ca)

  4. I haven’t watched a minute of it. Patterico’s Pontifications is my source for interesting stuff happening in the world. Thank you, Dana, JVW, Patterico, and fellow commenters!

    nk (dbc370)

  5. Jury deliberations begin Thursday for another caporegime of the Trump crime organization.

    Dave (1bb933)

  6. NeverTrump, AlwaysSchiff

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  7. Best discription is horst wessel. Two pimps fighting over a ho!

    asset (34906b)

  8. It’s a pity they can’t all lose.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  9. I have awole discussion of a possible lie on the Bad Idea thread

    The only scheduled witness on Friday is former Ambassador Marie Yovanovivh, who is now working for the State Department as a teacher in some college.

    On Tuesday there will be Kurt Volker (the special envoy to Ukraine who was part of the irregular channel, who resigned and turned over a lot of text messages to the committee) Tim Morrison, a former Russia expert on the NSC, Jennifer Williams, a former national security aide for Vice President Pence and Alexander Vindman, who was on the call while working as a Ukraine expert for the NSC and was evidently not able to complete his corrections of the transcript. He actually probably caused it to be locked up by going with his identical twin brother to John Eisenberg, the chief lawyer for the NSC. His brother worked for Eisenberg and the had offices right across the hall from each other.

    On Wednesday we will hear from Gordon Sondland, the Ambassador to the European Union, who was the chief actor in the government who was pushing for investigations (possibly recruited for that job by Mick Nulvaney) and from David Hale, State Department official, and Laura Cooper, a Defense Department official

    Next Thursday, we will hear from Fiona Hill, a former deputy to John Bolton.

    And maybe we;ll here from David Holmes, the aide to Bill Tayor who todl him last Friday, November 8, that he overheard (even overheard the voice of Donald Trump on the other end of a cell phone ) Sondland talking wiith Donald Trump on a call he placed while n an nternet cafe (I think) in Kiev. The call supposedly took place on July 26.

    Mick Mulvaney reversed himself about filing a lawsuit as to whether he should abide by the subpoena and now will follow Whote House orders.

    The Committee has not received any documents from the State Department. George Kent said he turned over his notes to the State Department when the State Department got its subpoena and he didn’t retain them because they’re considered government records and not personal records.

    Sammy Finkelman (7b1b59)

  10. Munroe @2: “Democrats on this very committee negotiated with people they thought were Ukrainians in order to obtain nude pictures of Trump,” Mr. Nunes said.

    This is a well known story, published long ago.

    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2018/02/06/russian_comedians_prank_call_rep_adam_schiff_promise_him_naked_photos_of_trump_from_fsb.html

    Schiff didn’t want to lose the opportunity to get them if it was real.

    There are a number of interesting things that happened during the hearing. I knew about 75% or more of the facts but learned some new things.

    Bolton was in Ukraine when he gave the advice to Taylor to write a cable in he first person to the State Department. (as is obvious, he advice alone wasn’t enough)

    The total number of visits that Biden made as Vice President to Ukraine is six. George Kent knew when (at least the month) and where the speech Biden made was made and volunteered that when a committee member was vague. I suspect George Kent he might even know that the story Biden told was very inaccurate. But those who know, don’t tell, and others don’t guess.

    The long opening statement of Bill Taylor is probably better printed out and studied because I don’t think anybody not very familiar with all of this could follow it. ou have to know the significance of these dates and everything.

    He (and George Kent but especially Taylor) said he was there as a fact witness and was not there to offer any opinions as to whether or not Donald Trump should be impeached. (bit of a paraphrase) I think Taylor is the only one who said the second thing, and he said it more than once, but that might be wrong.

    Bill Taylor didn’t see Guiliani in 2019, but he did see him in 2007 or 2008 when he was ambassador to Ukraine. Even Volker only saw him once, although he spoke on the phone and texted with him maybe.

    Bill Taylor was 5th in his class of 800 at West Point in 1969 and volunteered for the infantry and served in Vietnam. That was not in his long opening statement but was extracted under questioning.

    George Kent gave some background on Burisma. He was dealing with anti-corruption since 2012. That and his clear familiarity with a lot of details, even getting right the name of the ministry that Mykola Zlochevsky headed from 2010 to 2012, and being able to give the total number of trips that Joe Biden took as vice president to Ukraine (6) leads me to believe that he could know if that Biden story about the cancelled announcement of a $1.5 billion loan guarantee at a press conference in Kiev was entirely made up – but to ask the question (if what Biden said was true) you first have to suspect it isn’t.

    It was so clear that there was a distinction between the period before the Aug 28 Politico article and afterwards that Chairman Schiff wove it into his narrative, but there was still some little attempts to link the aid freeze to investigations before.

    One Republican cited Obama’s saying that he could be more flexible. Schiff pointed out that that was in 2012, and could not refer to Ukraine

    Donald Trump wrote a letter to Zelensky on April 29 inviting him for a visit. No word on whether or why that was abandoned. In he July 25 call, Zelensky is looking forward to it. He also said they could meet in Poland (on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the start of World War II. Trump cancelled his visit to Poland at the last minute because he thought Hurricane Dorrian might have a strong impact on several states that voted for him in 2016. He didn’t want to seem to ignore it, so much so that he expressed his sympathy for Alabama.)

    I also learned from a newspaper article, I think, that aid was also frozen by Donald Trump for a period in 2017 or 2018.

    Sammy Finkelman (7b1b59)

  11. Trump also said he could release the record of a previous call he had with Ukraine in the spring

    This is the first call he made to Volodymyr Zelendky, on the occasion of his election as president of Ukraine in the runoff, which he had been expected to win. This call was very much pro forma.

    The July 25 call was to congratulate him on the victory of his party in the Parliamentary elections.

    Zelensky referenced the first call in the July 25 call, joking that he thinks he should run more often so that Trump can call him more often and they can speak on the phone more often.
    B

    Democrats tried to draw out the witnesses on how valuable a meeting between Zelensky and Trump could be.

    Sammy Finkelman (7b1b59)

  12. Trump:

    I haven’t watched for one minute

    Trump also said that he didn’t remember that call he supposedly had with Sondland on July 26 “not even a little bit” and that that’s the first he’s heard of it.

    I’m inclined to believe him here, both because of general doubts about that call, and because if it really happened, that’s not the kind of lie Trump would tell. There’d probably be a White House record of that call, and, even if not released, Trump would not contradict it. But Democrats know they probably won’t get White House logs and anyway can say that was on Trump’s private phone..

    Repeating roughly some of what I said on the other thread:

    What happened here – the big “revelation” – is that Ambassador Bill Taylor (this year in Ukraine charge de affairs) said that he had something to add to the chronology. He said learned about a (supposed) July 26 call between Gordon Sondland and Donald Trump on Friday (November 8) A person who worked for him, David Holmes told him last Friday about that.

    He (David Holmes) said he was in an Internet cafe (or restaurant) in Kiev when he overheard a cellphone call between Gordon Sondland and Donald Trump. He supposedly heard Donald Trump on the other end of the cellphone! asking about “investigations”

    The Democrats on the committee got Taylor, I think, to interpret that as 2016 and Biden/Burisma (that is, what Trump had mentioned on the July 25 call)

    Sondland supposedly told Trump that the Ukrainians were going to go ahead with them. In a way, that’s true, because Zelensky in the call had said:

    Since we have won the absolute majority in Parliament, the next Prosecutor General will be 100% my person, my candidate, who will be approved by the parliament and will start as a new prosecutor in September. He or she will look into the situation, specifically to the company that you mentioned in this issue…. [later]…
    I also want to thank you for your invitation to visit the United States, specifically Washington DC.
    On the other hand, I also want to ensure
    [sic should be assure] you that we will be very serious about the case and will work on the investigation.

    Note about what I quoted above from the call: The name Burisma is not in the transcript, but there are three gaps in it and Vindman says that Trump mentioned the name Burisma. Also, when Zelensky uses the phrase “on the other hand” he probably means to say something like “and on our hand” which means something like a quid pro quo, or an example of co-operation, and not a counterargument or a consideration that would argue the opposite, which is what “on the other hand” means.

    On the other hand, it is possible that Zelensky actually did not use the wrong idiom and did say “and on our hand” but the automated transcript got it wrong and was not corrected because actually “and on our hand” is probably an incorrect idiom and should be “and on our part” and so it was not in the software’s database which it probably uses to help it decide what was said…

    Taylor also reports that Holmes told him Friday that he (Holmes) asked Sondland something about what Trump thought about Ukraine and Sondland said (it was his evaluation – mistakenly reported as a supposed quote from Donald Trump but it is a supposed statement by Gordon Sondland) that Trump cares more about Biden than Ukraine.

    I think this has a good chance of being exposed as a lie. All they have to do is prove that Sondland and Trump did not have a call that day.

    Also, it’s incredible that Holmes would be able to overhear what was said on he other end of a cellphone call. A normal cell phone. Not a speaker phone. Not a landline with the receiver off the hook and the volume turned up. Not a conference call.

    Sammy Finkelman (7b1b59)

  13. You did not actually talk to the President, Mr. Taylor?

    Hearsay! That’s hearsay!

    Oh and by the way, we here at the White House will not allow anybody who did talk to the President directly, to testify. Nor will we release any relevant documents. Thank you for understanding.

    noel (f22371)

  14. Lindsay Graham: Hearsay cannot be the basis of an impeachment (FoxNews Headline)

    Well, then bring on the VP, Sec. of State, Sec. of Energy and Bolton.

    Oh? I suppose that wouldn’t be…. “fair”.

    noel (f22371)

  15. With the House of Representatives given sole impeachment authority by the Constitution, I would be surprised if even a conservative Supreme Court would allow the White House to generally refuse to cooperate.

    noel (f22371)

  16. R Congressman: Did TRump do anything to warrant impeachment?

    Taylor and Kent: Crickets

    I also love how Taylor knew what Trump thought because his “Staffer” told him he overhead Amb. Southand talk to Trump in restaurant. IOW, 3rd hand gossip.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  17. But y’know some people go to jail because of hearsay. Its a powerful evidence. Per the D’s.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  18. They can’t even get the details right.

    Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a main accuser in the Democrats’ impeachment drive, wrongly credited President Obama for sending advanced anti-tank weapons to Ukraine when President Trump was the first.

    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/nov/13/alexander-vindman-claims-obama-not-trump-gave-jave/

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  19. People do go to jail based on hearsay evidence. FRCP Rules 803, 804, and 807 set forth many exceptions to the general exclusion of hearsay evidence, and hearsay is admissible evidence under those exceptions.

    Given Trump’s claim of executive privilege and demand that his staff/Cabinet/etc. not testify, I believe Rule 807 would make virtually all of the current impeachment evidence admissible in court.

    DRJ (15874d)

  20. Hi, DRJ! Also

    Rule 805. Hearsay Within Hearsay
    Hearsay within hearsay is not excluded by the rule against hearsay if each part of the combined statements conforms with an exception to the rule.

    nk (dbc370)

  21. rcocean (1a839e) — 11/14/2019 @ 6:54 am

    I also love how Taylor knew what Trump thought because his “Staffer” told him he overhead Amb. Sondland talk to Trump in restaurant. IOW, 3rd hand gossip.

    Bill Taylor didn’t identify his aide in his testimony, describing him only as a “member of my staff” but reporters must have been told by the committee his name was David Holmes. He’ll be interviewed in secret on Friday.

    And it’s only Ambassador Sondlond (supposedly) answering a question about what Trump thought.

    David Holmes says he asked Sondland (after the call) what Trump thought about Ukraine, and Sondland answered that Trump cares more about the investigation of Biden. It sounds made up. Not that the answer isn’t what we would assume anyway, except that Trump was more interested in Crowdstrike than Biden (but Biden’s more impeachment worthy)

    Holmes also said that (during the call) he heard Trump say something about “the investigations” and Sondlond reply that the Ukrainians were “ready to move forward.” Which Trump would have known from what Zelensky said on the telephone call the previous day.

    The purpose of this all, or the benefit of this claim, to the Democrats, is that it excludes a defense that Trumps mention of the investigations was only a passing comment. But nobody believes that anyway.

    Sammy Finkelman (ff268d)

  22. Hi, nk, and thank you for adding that important point.

    DRJ (15874d)

  23. Waiting for the day a news person asks KAC “Why dont you just divorce him?”

    http://thehill.com/homenews/media/470433-kellyanne-conway-after-cnn-plays-george-conway-remarks-im-embarrassed-for-you

    urbanleftbehind (919a57)

  24. This has got to be the boringest impeachment ever. At least with the World Series we knew how it would end but we got a beautifully choreographed, written, and directed production. This isn’t any of those things. It’s a dull plodder. Can we maybe get Stormy to testify? Or a couple of Russian hookers?

    nk (dbc370)

  25. Breaking-
    AP source: 2nd US official heard Trump call with Sondland
    A second U.S. embassy staffer in Kyiv overheard a key cellphone call between President Donald Trump and his ambassador to the European Union discussing the need for Ukrainian officials to pursue “investigations,” The Associated Press has learned.

    The July 26 call between Trump and Gordon Sondland was first described during testimony Wednesday by William B. Taylor Jr., the acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. Taylor said one of his staffers overhead the call while Sondland was in a restaurant the day after Trump’s July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that triggered the House impeachment inquiry.

    The second diplomatic staffer also at the table was Suriya Jayanti, a foreign service officer based in Kyiv. A person briefed on what Jayanti overheard spoke to AP on condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive matter currently under investigation.

    Trump on Wednesday said he did not recall the July 26 call.

    “No, not at all, not even a little bit,” Trump said.

    The staffer Taylor testified about is David Holmes, the political counselor at the embassy in Kyiv, according to an official familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity.

    Holmes is scheduled to testify Friday before House investigators in a closed session……

    Rip Murdock (98c6ca)

  26. Now you can go into the question as why the investigations didn’t happen. In the July 25 call, Zelensky says that’s going to appoint a new prosecutor in September, and he’s going to look into he situation, and also that he will meet with Mr. Giuliani. This claim here by David Holmes wants Sondland to be saying suddenly that the Ukrainians are moving forward – but Zelensky already told that to Trump! Okay, Trump might ask again and wan some reassurance – but they can’t do any more anyway until September. This is an important point lost on whoever manufactured this claim.

    It’s virtually impossible for Trump to have asked that question and Sondland to have answered him that way. Unless Sondland was trying to pacify Trump.

    Most logically, if Trump wanted to know something on July 26, it would have been when are they going to meet with Giuliani again, and maybe has a meeting with Barr been scheduled, but Barr would be doing that on his own.

    And from the Whistleblower, we hear that by July 25, Zelensky had already agreed:

    …multiple U.S. officials told me that the Ukrainian leadership was led to believe that a meeting of a phone call [emphasis mine] between the President and President Zelensky would depend on whether Zelensky showed willingness to “play ball” on the issues that had been publicly aired by Mr. Lutsenko and Mr. Giuliani. (Note: This was the general understanding of the state of affairs as conveyed to me by U.S. officials from late May into early July..

    July 25 is oast that date – so therefore, according to the whistleblower, Zelensky had already satisfied Trump by then – the phone call did take place – so why does Trump need anything more after that??

    Of course all this could just be further proof that the whistleblower didn’t really know what he was talking about. And another reason not to call him as a witness. For the Democrats. The Republicans could query him about his sources. ls if he was influenced in any way by the people he consulted.

    In the phone call, Zelensky indeed sounds like he willing to “play ball,” but also Trump doesn’t couch his investigative requests as anything other than “a favor” that he would like him to do “if you can.” And they seem to get along fine. But a lot of other facts he has are wrong.

    Sammy Finkelman (af3697)

  27. 25. What is this? The Kavanaugh hearings again?

    You can mutiply witnesses all you want, but it’s not going to make it any more credible – and each one though, might cause the whole story to collapse if cross examined. One problem is that the Republicans might not want to, because the claim isn’t really damaging to Trump, except that it involves him more personally.

    In the meantime let’s go back to how this does not jibe with what the whistleblower wrote.

    Sammy Finkelman (af3697)

  28. The whistleblower says, by the way:

    The Whistleblower says:

    On 26 July, a day after the call, U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker visited Kyiv and met with President Zelensky and a variety of other Ukrainian political figures. Ambassador Volker was accompanied in his meetings by U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland. Based on multiple readouts of these meetings recounted to me by various U.S. officials, Ambassadors Volker and Sondland reportedly provided advice to the Ukrainian leadership about how to navigate the demands that the President had made of Mr. Zelenskyy.

    He doesn’t say what the advice was! Or which way it went!

    Something else he says seems to sound like they – and the they includes Sondland – discouraged them from opening investigations.

    Because the Whistleblower says further:

    ..Starting out in mid-May, I heard from multiple U.S. officials… that State Department officials, including Ambassadors Volker and Sondland, had spoken with Mr. Giuliani in an attempt to “contain the damage” to U.S. national security; and

    that Ambassadors Volker and Sondland during this time period met with members of the new Ukrainian administration, and, in addition to discussing policy matters, sought to help the Ukrainian leaders understand and respond to the differing messages they were receiving from official U.S. channels on the one hand, and Mr. Giuliani on the other.

    I think this might be true of Taylor, who did not like the irregular channel, which he somehow seemed to also be part of, and in his testimony indicated that it would be not good for the Ukrainians to open an investigation into Biden and 2016 because this would anger the Democrats and they needed bi-partisan support. Taylor seems to have thought so anyway, but I don’t think he said what advice he might gave Ukrainian officials.

    And it could possibly be true of Volker, but it most definitely doesn’t seem to be true of Sondland!!

    Of course all this could just be further proof that the whistleblower didn’t really know the facts.
    Maybe the whistleblower received contradictory reports, and hes kind of covering that up.
    .
    Anyway here’s another good reason for the Democrats not to want the whistleblower to testify – he has a lot of things wrong and the next question is where did he get his information.

    Sammy Finkelman (af3697)

  29. * Errata @26 or a phone call.

    It should read like this:

    And from the Whistleblower, we hear that by July 25, Zelensky had already agreed: [to launch investigations, ad that;s also clear from the transcript of the phone call]

    …multiple U.S. officials told me that the Ukrainian leadership was led to believe that a meeting or a phone call [emphasis mine] between the President and President Zelensky would depend on whether Zelensky showed willingness to “play ball” on the issues that had been publicly aired by Mr. Lutsenko and Mr. Giuliani. (Note: This was the general understanding of the state of affairs as conveyed to me by U.S. officials from late May into early July..

    July 25 is past that date – so therefore, according to the whistleblower, Zelensky had already satisfied Trump by then – the phone call did take place – so why does Trump need anything more after that??

    And why does he need to ask Sondland about whats going on with investigations?

    With two witnesses that must have been a pretty loud cellphone, in a crowded Kiev restaurant, if he witnesses back up each other. You sure Sondland didn’t connect his phone to a loudspeaker?

    Sammy Finkelman (af3697)

  30. In 29 I should have closed the quotation after the words “early July”

    This is actually not very important except for the possibility of the Democrats, in league with civil servants, planting a lie, and that is very important.

    It’s not boring, but you have got to be into it, like any mystery story.

    Sammy Finkelman (af3697)

  31. OK, were left with: If Trump was satisfied about the investigations in July and on top of that, the aid was not conditional anyway on it, why was the aid withheld?

    A. Well, first it had nothing to with the investigations Trump wanted, but just with Trump thinking the Ukrainians were against him, perhaps for corrupt reasons, because why else would any country not like Trump.

    Mulvaney, acting mostly through Sondland, hoped that the Ukrainians satisfying Giuliani could unfreeze the hold because Giuliani would tell Trump the Ukrainians were good guys.

    Sammy Finkelman (af3697)

  32. Can we maybe get Stormy to testify? Or a couple of Russian hookers?

    We’ll be lucky to get Giuliani in drag. That’s how bad it is.

    P.S. Hey, it’s DRJ! *waves*

    Dave (87e139)

  33. 32. Why– you already have Grady Sutton as committee chairman for comedy relief.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  34. If it’s this bad for the Dems, they’ll pull up far short of a House vote and sacrifice Biden as the “instigator”. Either way McConnell received his down payment for robust Senate defense –
    http://news.yahoo.com/latest-bevin-concedes-kentucky-governor-192510007.html

    urbanleftbehind (6209ad)

  35. The core principles of the GOP are now:

    1. Anyone can be characterized as corrupt and dishonest and treacherous — except for Donald Trump.

    2. The only way to escape being tagged as corrupt and dishonest and treacherous is to defend Donald Trump without qualification.

    Radegunda (39c35f)

  36. Giant Step Back; the President as chief executive gets broad powers to conduct diplomacy. So far the takeaway is these State Department careerists…..did….not….like…how a duly-elected president conducted foreign affairs with Ukraine. Were it up to me, we’d pull up the gangplanks, close the bases, cancel all the foreign aide and bring the troops all home. That President Trump has not made my preferences into policy does not constitute “high crimes or misdemeanors” worthy of impeachment. Working at the State Department makes this crew’s preferences no more sway over a sitting president’s choices than mine.

    As to the Rudy Giuliani thing; we use back channels all the time. During the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1963, JFK used his brother the Ag as his with the Soviets. Nixon used NSA Kissinger all the time and numerous policies despite him not then being the SEcState. Those might have been questionable, they were not impeachable. Guiliani is a dolt(I’ve met him several times, not a nice guy, 9/11 saved his reputation for a time), and Trump’s use of him will come to no good end. But a mistake like this, again, not impeachable.

    And a country $22 trillion in debt with insane pointless wars going approaching their 3rd decade with a porous border adjoining a narco state…well, this is not government time nor money well spent.

    Long term criminalizing policy choices is not good for anybody.

    Bugg (ebf485)

  37. Long term criminalizing policy choices is not good for anybody.

    Using foreign aid to coerce another government into harassing your political opponents isn’t a “policy choice”.

    Dave (a5d134)

  38. #36
    1. When Congress has allocated money for a certain purpose, the president is not empowered to withhold it on condition that a personal/political favor be done for himself. The president’s power to make policy is not absolute and unlimited.

    2. Rudy Giuliani has said that his activity with respect to Ukraine was in the service of his client, and not a matter of foreign policy. IOW, he was pressuring the Ukrainian government to make a public announcement of an investigation into Hunter Biden in the interest of Donald Trump, which is not identical to the interest of the United States as Laura Ingraham believes.

    3. Donald Trump has not shown any noticeable concern about getting the debt under control. And his loudest defenders are saying “Ukraine got the aid! No problem then!” So trumpeting the virtue of saving money is hardly a persuasive line of argument.

    Radegunda (39c35f)

  39. #37
    Once again, Dave gets to the point more efficiently than I do.

    Radegunda (39c35f)

  40. Sammy,

    The whistleblower raised concerns that an IG thought credible and the Intelligence Committee worth investigating. Despite Trump’s routine stonewalling any oversight activity, a pattern of behavior that is frankly corrupt has been revealed.

    Much of what the whistleblower revealed was wrong. Why is that important? It’s equivalent to an anonymous tip that doesn’t entirely pan out, but does so in part.

    Let’s end the pettifoggery on this issue. The concentration on the whistleblower is a thuggish attempt to prevent any more whistleblowers. The identity of the whistleblower isn’t relevant to whether the charges are true.

    Appalled (e567de)

  41. What a horrifying sight that would be, Dave, but then it’s not like we haven’t seen it before.

    Giuliani is at the center of this mess, which apparently has been fomenting for a long, long time. His ties with corrupt oligarchs from Ukraine go back decades, all the way to contributions to his campaign for NYC mayor in the 1990s. Same with Trump–oligarchs laundering money through his failed casinos and sleazy real estate deals.

    Giuliani is the one who’s filled Trump’s mind (if it can be called that) with conspiracy theories. All while setting up his own secret deals and getting paid hundreds of thousands of dollars. His Ukrainian butt buddies have been indicted and arrested.

    What was he doing with this shadow diplomacy? Flying around as if he represented the US, as Trump’s personal attorney. If he didn’t register as a foreign agent, he’s in serious legal jeopardy. He’s not a diplomat or a representative. He’s coercing foreign governments–not just Ukraine, but Britain, Italy (?) and Australia as well–to launch investigations into his conspiracy theories.

    And then there’s Sondland, a man with no diplomatic experience whatsoever, but hey a $1 million donation to an inauguration will get you a post. He was ambassador to the EU, and Ukraine is not a member of the EU, so why would he get involved? Oh, that’s right, Trump recalled the ambassador to Ukraine.

    Then there’s Mulvaney, as incompetent a Chief of Staff as there ever was.

    Then there’s Perry, a competent Secretary of Energy. He did negotiate a coal export deal with Ukraine and a natural gas export deal with Poland through Ukraine. I seriously doubt he had any corrupt intent, but it just doesn’t look good.

    Giuliani, Sondland, Mulvaney, and Perry, these are the fall guys, being set up to fall on the sword for Trump.

    Withholding vital military aide, demanding a foreign investigation into political opponents, requiring confirmation of debunked conspiracy theories, this is how far we’ve fallen under Trump.

    From the beginning, I’ve said Trump is a total fraud, unfit for office and unrepresentative of the American people. All he cares about is promoting this false image of himself as a success.

    He’s been a failure his entire life! He only hires the best, yeah right. We live in a kakistocracy, rule by the worst amongst us. And we have no one to blame but ourselves. This is no way to run a democratic republic.

    I have to believe that America will survive Trump. The people are strong. The two parties I could care less about. What will come out of this impeachment is a more resolute America. Trump may or may not be removed from office, or he may or may not win reelection. Either way, it doesn’t matter.

    This is an identity crisis. We the people must decide what kind of people we are.

    What’s it going to be? Fraud and corruption, or freedom and liberty? Thievery or prosperity?

    I have to agree with Winston Churchill, who said, “The American people will always do the right thing, after they have exhausted all other options.”

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  42. The Senate voted to confirm Steven Menashi to the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday afternoon, making Menashi the 46th circuit judge appointed by President Trump, and flipping the Second Circuit to a 7-6 Republican-appointed majority.

    https://www.nationalreview.com/news/senate-confirms-steven-menashi-securing-second-circuit-conservative-majority/

    Awesome news by Cocaine Mitch…and Trump deserves a *head pat* for this as well.

    whembly (fd57f6)

  43. The testimony tomorrow of Marie Yoanovich will be interesting, although it won’t have too much to do with impeachment, except maybe for filling in people about the slander camapign that affected Donald Trump.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  44. ’Using foreign aid to coerce another government into harassing your political opponents isn’t a “policy choice”.‘
    Dave (a5d134) — 11/14/2019 @ 1:13 pm

    My young son disagrees but, like you, he lacks 270 electoral votes so it’s a standoff.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  45. #40

    Let’s end the pettifoggery on this issue. The concentration on the whistleblower is a thuggish attempt to prevent any more whistleblowers. The identity of the whistleblower isn’t relevant to whether the charges are true.

    Appalled (e567de) — 11/14/2019 @ 1:22 pm

    I think the identity is perfectly relevant as this individual was crafting a narrative on a literal hearsay. I think your point would be stronger if this whistleblower appeared squeaky clean. But, we find out, from the ICIG himself, that the whistleblower has known animus towards the President and if there were any unwarranted coordination with Trump’s political opponent.

    I get that you think there’s a there-there over this ordeal. But, so far, I don’t think it rises to the level that warrants impeachment.

    In any case… I think the shift of the Democrat’s talking point is interesting in using the verbiage in describing Trump’s sin here as attempted bribery. Attempted bribery, at least via federal statute, they’d have to argue the corrupt intent and PROVE ‘a thing of value’ here… which is a really high bar. Complicating this further, was Schiff’s public parody of the transcript call where he made up the whole Godfather extortion of Trump demanding “dirt on the Bidens”. Both sides have either purposely or stupidly muddied the waters here that it seems to be neigh impossible for Democrats to construct a narrative that would garner broad bipartisan support for impeachment/removal.

    So far, my sense of the non-political junkies of the world, this hearing is a snooze-fest.

    whembly (fd57f6)

  46. #44 — so in your view, as long as someone gets 270 electoral votes, that person can do pretty much anything he wants in office – such as embargo funds allocated by Congress in order to serve his personal interest.

    I sincerely doubt that you held that same view of presidential powers prior to January 20, 2017.

    Radegunda (39c35f)

  47. this individual was crafting a narrative on a literal hearsay.

    Is it irrelevant that numerous named witnesses have confirmed the content of that “narrative”?

    Is there a rule that one has to love and admire Donald Trump in order to have anything credible to say about him? Which basically means: nothing said about Trump is credible unless it’s positive — which of course is Trump’s own definition of truth.

    Radegunda (39c35f)

  48. #37; so we give foreign aid out of the goodness of our heart, such that foreign governments might abide their better angels? Sure.

    Bugg (ebf485)

  49. 47

    this individual was crafting a narrative on a literal hearsay.

    Is it irrelevant that numerous named witnesses have confirmed the content of that “narrative”?

    Nope. But the confirmation is still then gruel.

    Is there a rule that one has to love and admire Donald Trump in order to have anything credible to say about him? Which basically means: nothing said about Trump is credible unless it’s positive — which of course is Trump’s own definition of truth.

    Radegunda (39c35f) — 11/14/2019 @ 2:44 pm

    Of course not.

    For the record, based on the transcript I do see a political sin when Trump asked Zelensky to “look into” the prosecution of Burisma. He mentioned that “Biden went around bragging about that he stopped the prosecution” of Burisma, “so if you can look into it . . . it sounds horrible to me.” This isn’t asking for “dirt” on the Biden that’s the problem imo, as I don’t think anyone has argued that Joe Biden’s actions and his sons wasn’t shady as all hell. The issue, to me, is the obvious conflict of interest. Trump should’ve been more hands off and instructed the DOJ to use the proper channels to work with their Ukrainian colleagues on this investigation. In a way, he sorta did that by telling Zelenski to work with AG Barr… but still too close for comfort that looks very unsavory at the very least.

    To me, this is the ugly underside of politics. Akin to releasing something controversial on your opponent right before the election.

    However, I don’t believe this arises to impeachment, especially since we know that Ukraine said they weren’t aware of the hold up. Hell, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister said today that U.S. ambassador Sondland did not link military aid to Kiev with opening an investigation into the Bidens:
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-impeachment-ukraine/us-envoy-sondland-did-not-link-biden-probe-to-aid-ukraine-minister-idUSKBN1XO1HK

    But, Trump does deserve some criticism publicly and maybe even Congressional censure. But an impeachment less than a year from election? I think democrats will suffer consequences electorally and Trump would use it as a badge of honor, which gives him a perfect foil to deflect from his truly bad actions. So, in the back of my mind I have to ask… what were they thinking???

    whembly (fd57f6)

  50. 37. Dave (a5d134) — 11/14/2019 @ 1:13 pm

    Using foreign aid to coerce another government into harassing your political opponents isn’t a “policy choice”.‘

    That’s not wuite what happened – but at least you have it right that Trump was not asking for a criminal investigation, as seems to be commonly thought, but a counter-intelligence investigation (as happened to him.)

    Ukraine was maybe coerced into promising that they would follow up if you have additional information that you can provide to us which is what Zelensky said on the July 25 call, but they were coerced, if so, by a threat that they wouldn’t get a meeting or a phone call unless they co-operated.

    Foreign aid was not an issue, because they didn’t know that foreign aid was being withheld until a Politico article appeared revealing that on August 28, 2019 (although they were beginning to ask questions about the aid delay earlier) and even then it was not connected to the investigations until Gordon Sondland connected it about August 29, and definitely by Auguist 31 – but he was guessing.

    And he was acting on his own. Vice President Mike Pence knew nothing about this when Ukrainain presddent Volodymyr Zelensky asked him in Poland on September 1 about what was up with the aid.

    Mike Pence probably didn’t want to tell Selensky that Trup had placed ahold on the aid and nobody else in the United States government knew why.

    The Foreign aid was withheld by Trump because he just didn’t like Ukraine. Yes, he talked about why weren’t Europena countries contributing, or about Ukraine being corrupt, and even the possble (in his mind) 2016 election interference, but he just didn’t like Ukraine very much.

    And what I think happened is that Mulvaney and others, especially Sondland acting as his agent, thought they could get Trump to release the aid by making Rudolph Giuliani happy.

    A couple of things, including a cable sent to the State Department from the chief U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, William B. Taylor Jr, (written in the first person) on the advice of John Bolton that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hand carried into the White House and read from out loud to Donald Trump; activity in Congress including the taking up the whistleblower complaint; and possibly the resignation of National Security Adviser John Bolton on Sept 9, which Trump accepted on September 10, got Trump to reverse his decision on September 11.

    Nancy Pelosi now has what was going on, or what was attempted, as bribery, because granting or withholding military assistance “in return for a public statement of a fake investigation into the elections” constitutes bribery. I think that would be the wrong charge even if accurate.
    I don’t think Donald Trump wanted a fake investigation. Maybe Sondland did. He was the one who came up with this idea of a public announcement in early September. Theer was no attemot to tie this any announcement or anything until then, and Bill taylor’s iggest ear is that Sondland was guessing wrong and even that wouldn’t free the aid.

    Speaker Pelosi is not even mentioning Biden, because the evidence is that Trump was more concerned about the server story and the 2016 election. The charges are being corrected to fit the evidence, but not all of the evidence. And the legal theories are getting shakier, although anything can be an impeachable offense – even the withholding of the aid for no good reason all by itself.

    Right now they’re pushing a fiction. It was a policy choice. maybe an illegal oen as Trump wasn’t following the procedures of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974
    Impoundment was in fact, one of the grounds on which some Democrats wanted to impeach Nixon before the 1974 law was passed. And here Trump was doing this in secret on a matter which had 90% plus support in Congress.

    https://library.cqpress.com/cqalmanac/document.php?id=cqal74-1223105

    Six major categories were under investigation….Other misconduct—which included the bombing of Cambodia, the impoundment of funds and the dismantling of the Office of Economic Opportunity.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  51. 49. whembly (fd57f6) — 11/14/2019 @ 3:26 pm

    The issue, to me, is the obvious conflict of interest. Trump should’ve been more hands off and instructed the DOJ to use the proper channels to work with their Ukrainian colleagues on this investigation.

    That’s aa minor matter. The issue is that evrything Trump was all wrong. (So wrong it had no possibility of leading to any consequences) And this is the sort of thing to be more careful about.

    Theer may have ben something shady about Hunter Biden’s job but what didn’t happen is Joe Biden, on his won, or even as part of sapolicy he had some responsility for creating, getting a prosecutor fired who was investigating the company his son was connected with. It was a pretty clever accusation those Ukrainians (or their Russian controllers) who were talking to Giuliania came up with. Because Biden could never explain what he really did, since the whole scene he described here almost certainly never happened! (search for the first mention of “Donbas to find where Biden starts talking about this)

    However, I don’t believe this arises to impeachment, especially since we know that Ukraine said they weren’t aware of the hold up.

    They were aware during a 2-week period running from August 28 to September 11, and they were aware of a linkage during part of that.

    Hell, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister said today that U.S. ambassador Sondland did not link military aid to Kiev with opening an investigation into the Bidens:

    Sondland talked much more about the other things which interested Trump much more. Nancy Pelosi seems to have dropped the Biden matter today.

    But, Trump does deserve some criticism publicly and maybe even Congressional censure.

    It’s about time he admitted he was wrong. But nobody’s asking him to.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  52. Trump wants Supreme Court to block subpoena for his taxes

    President Donald Trump is asking the Supreme Court to block a subpoena for his tax returns, in a test of the president’s ability to defy investigations.

    The filing Thursday sets the stage for a high court showdown over the tax returns Trump has refused to release, unlike every other modern president. The justices also could weigh in more broadly on Trump’s claim that sitting presidents can’t be prosecuted or investigated for crimes.

    The subpoena from the Manhattan district attorney is seeking Trump’s tax returns back to 2011 from his accounting firm as part of a criminal investigation. Trump’s lawyers say a criminal probe of the president at the state or local level is unconstitutional and unprecedented in American history.

    “Allowing the sitting president to be targeted for criminal investigation — and to be subpoenaed on that basis— would, like an indictment itself, distract him from the numerous and important duties of his office, intrude on and impair Executive Branch operations, and stigmatize the presidency,” said the brief signed by Jay Sekulow.

    Lower courts have so far rejected Trump’s claims of immunity. …..

    A second, similar case is headed to the court over a House committee subpoena demanding Trump’s financial records from the same accounting firm. The president has lost both cases at each step of the judicial system so far.
    …….

    Rip Murdock (98c6ca)

  53. 40. Appalled (e567de) — 11/14/2019 @ 1:22 pm

    Sammy,

    The whistleblower raised concerns that an IG thought credible and the Intelligence Committee worth investigating.

    It as a technicality (hiding the transcript which coluld interfere with analysis of foeogn interference in U.S. elections ) that allowed him to claimwhistleblower status.

    But of course the matter was one of extreme interest.

    Much of what the whistleblower revealed was wrong. Why is that important? It’s equivalent to an anonymous tip that doesn’t entirely pan out, but does so in part.

    I think that’s exactly right. But it is important to note, when talking about the cintents of the tip, that the tip got a lot of things wrong.

    Let’s end the pettifoggery on this issue. The concentration on the whistleblower is a thuggish attempt to prevent any more whistleblowers. The identity of the whistleblower isn’t relevant to whether the charges are true.

    It could help alittle it toascertain the facts, but I dont think that’s why the Republicans are interested in that. If they do want to know something, it’s whether some partisans edited what was said.

    anyway of course it doesn’t undo more solid information.

    But protecting himwon’t make more whistleblowers. There really can’t be any more whistleblowers like this because he used a loophole really to come under this law. There needs to be a different procedure if someone wants to whistleblow against the president. I think it may even exist. Someone can go in confidence to a congressional committee. And if not, something can be enacted.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  54. 41. Gawain’s Ghost (b25cd1) — 11/14/2019 @ 1:30 pm

    Giuliani is the one who’s filled Trump’s mind (if it can be called that) with conspiracy theories.

    You know, I don;t think it was only Giuliani. Giuliaini never said that Joe Biden bragged about stoping an investigation His whole point is that Biden allegedly hid from the audience the fact that he was stopping an investigation of concern to him..

    I think Giuliani was not Trump’s only source of information disinformation. Now who else Trump was listenting to would be a very interesting thing to know.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  55. “Nothing says ‘I love you’ like a shakedown”

    Washington (CNN)Secretary of Defense Mark Esper landed in South Korea on Thursday to navigate renewed threats from an “enraged” North Korea and newly heightened strain in the alliance with Seoul that congressional aides, lawmakers and Korea experts say has been caused by President Donald Trump.

    Trump is demanding that South Korea pay roughly 500% more in 2020 to cover the cost of keeping US troops on the peninsula, a congressional aide and an administration official confirmed to CNN.

    Do they get a discount if they can dig up some dirt on Biden or Warren?

    Dave (a5d134)

  56. 48 so we give foreign aid out of the goodness of our heart, such that foreign governments might abide their better angels? Sure.

    We give aid for reasons that were agreed upon by the president and Congress. The president doesn’t have a free hand to block that aid as a way of pressuring an ally to serve his personal interests.

    Radegunda (39c35f)

  57. Giuliani is at the center of this mess, which apparently has been fomenting for a long, long time. His ties with corrupt oligarchs from Ukraine go back decades, all the way to contributions to his campaign for NYC mayor in the 1990s.

    taht’s news to me. How could they contribute?

    Same with Trump–oligarchs laundering money through his failed casinos and sleazy real estate deals.

    I think Giuliani has gotten into making money without caring about what he’s doing. Who is paying him and also whether he’s delivering anything of value.

    He was working for Trump pro bono. But not for his informants. He was getting money from them. And they, it turs out, according to am indictment, were spending money not their own, but probably of Russian origin, to make campaign and PAC contributions. Which is what first brought them to the attention of Giuliani.

    Which means really that much of the disinformation Giuliani got was probably co-ordinated with Russia – with Putin (if we didn’t have any other reason to think so) And the disformation, agains Marie Yoanovich for instance, was not just “revenge” as George Kent had it at the hearing yesterday.

    And then there’s Sondland, a man with no diplomatic experience whatsoever, but hey a $1 million donation to an inauguration

    The inuaguration because he was a Never Trumper Republican.

    will get you a post.

    Not any post.

    He was the son of refugees from Nazi Germany, I think from Austria after March 1938, who first fled to Uruguay and who came to the United States in 1953. He has a sister 18 years older than himself – he himself was born in 1957.

    He wanted to be appointed ambassador to a German speaking country (maybe because he knew the language and thihught the language wuld be aqualification) but didn’t get it, but then they gave him this job as Ambassador to the European Union. A kind of like a half-nothing post. He obviosuly could take a lot of time off from his job.

    He was ambassador to the EU, and Ukraine is not a member of the EU,

    Well, it wanted to be, and Putin stopping the first steps n that direction brought about the Maiden Revolution in February 2014.

    so why would he get involved? Oh, that’s right, Trump recalled the ambassador to Ukraine.

    No that’s what got Taylor involved. Pompeo wanted a good person there. He’s still only acting ambassador.

    Then there’s Kurt Volker, special envoy for Ukraine negotiatons (with Russia, to end the war)

    I don’t know who recruited Sondland for this, but I suspect Mulvaney. Sondland could at times, talk to Trump because he was from the world of politics. This remains to be found out.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  58. 48: Do you believe that the president’s personal lawyer should be running a shadow foreign policy — and when caught, to say it wasn’t done for the nation, but for his client?
    Rudy admitted that the pressure on Ukraine was done to serve his client. The Trumpist faithful insist on sprucing it up into something nobler — just as they habitually insist that Trump is really a better person than he appears to be.

    Radegunda (39c35f)

  59. 58. None of it matters. This isn’t a question of criminality. It’s naked partisan politics, as impeachment is always political. I believe the Dems will manage to advance articles of impeachment out of the house because they have the votes to do so. I believe that the effort will fall flat in the Senate because they do not have the 2/3 majority required to remove Trump from office (and I won’t use the word “convict). It’s just that simple. Any analysis beyond that is too smart by half.

    Gryph (08c844)

  60. but didn’t get it, but then they gave him this job as Ambassador to the European Union. A kind of like a half-nothing post

    Given what Trump thinks of the EU, it’s really a lump of coal in Sondland’s stocking.

    Kishnevi (5b662e)

  61. Ambassador’s cellphone call to Trump from Kyiv restaurant was a stunning breach of security, former officials say

    A U.S. ambassador’s cellphone call to President Trump from a restaurant in the capital of Ukraine this summer was a stunning breach of security, exposing the conversation to surveillance by foreign intelligence services, including Russia’s, former U.S. officials said.

    The call — in which Trump’s remarks were overheard by a U.S. Embassy staffer in Kyiv — was disclosed Wednesday by the acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, William B. Taylor Jr., on the dramatic opening day of public impeachment hearings into alleged abuse of power by the president. ….

    The U.S. Embassy staffer who overheard the call, political counselor David Holmes, is scheduled to testify Friday before House impeachment investigators in a closed session.

    “The security ramifications are insane — using an open cellphone to communicate with the president of the United States,” said Larry Pfeiffer, a former senior director of the White House Situation Room and a former chief of staff to the CIA director. “In a country that is so wired with Russian intelligence, you can almost take it to the bank that the Russians were listening in on the call.”

    It was also noteworthy in that ambassadors typically don’t just pick up the phone and call presidents. “They never do so to discuss Ukraine policy,” former U.S. ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul said in a tweet. “Doing so on a cellphone from Kyiv means [the] whole world was listening in.”

    Russia already has shown its ability to monitor U.S. diplomats’ calls in Kyiv, and the Kremlin has no hesi­ta­tion in leaking them when it suits its interests. In early 2014, an intercepted phone conversation between then-Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland and then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt appeared on YouTube. On the call, Nuland was heard referring dismissively to slow-moving European Union efforts to address a looming political and economic crisis in Ukraine. “F— the E.U.,’’ she said. ……

    Since President Trump doesn’t recall receiving Amb. Sondland’s call, I guess he can ask his friend Putin for a recording.

    Rip Murdock (98c6ca)

  62. I just realized something…
    When did they stop calling Kiev Kiev?

    Kishnevi (5b662e)

  63. ”Since President Trump doesn’t recall receiving Amb. Sondland’s call, I guess he can ask his friend Putin for a recording.”
    Rip Murdock (98c6ca) — 11/14/2019 @ 5:02 pm

    Yeah, but if that recording were stored on a hackable private bathroom server, or a pedophile’s laptop, it would suddenly acquire “meh” status.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  64. 59 — You’re probably right as to the outcome, because the GOP has decided that nothing matters except circling the wagons around Trump no matter what.

    Back in 1973, Republicans saw things differently. They thought a president — even one of their one party — should be held accountable for abusing power. It’s a sorry sight to see most of the party now defiantly unconcerned about it.

    Radegunda (39c35f)

  65. 63-
    Meh

    Rip Murdock (98c6ca)

  66. From election rigging to collusion to obstruction to quid pro quo to bribery…….they keep throwing accusations against the wall hoping to see what nullifies an election.

    Don’t be surprised if this is how Team Impeachment will be viewed next year:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/SteveGuest/status/1195144815920459776
    _

    harkin (337580)

  67. Harkin, you are in effect arguing that no President should ever be impeached because that “nullifies his election”. No matter what that President ever does.

    Kishnevi (5b662e)

  68. Impeachment is not “nullifying an election.” It’s a constitutional process to hold presidents accountable for abuse of power.

    If the president is removed, his own handpicked vice president steps in. Not the other party.

    Radegunda (39c35f)

  69. Breaking –
    Giuliani Faces U.S. Probe on Campaign Finance, Lobbying Breaches

    Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, is being investigated by federal prosecutors for possible campaign finance violations and a failure to register as a foreign agent as part of an active investigation into his financial dealings, according to three U.S. officials.

    The probe of Giuliani, which one official said could also include possible charges on violating laws against bribing foreign officials or conspiracy, presents a serious threat to Trump’s presidency from a man that former national security adviser John Bolton has called a “hand grenade.” …

    “I would not be surprised if he gets indicted,” said Mimi Rocah, a former federal prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. “It’s clear Giuliani is up to his ears in shady stuff and there’s tons of smoke.” ….

    Giuliani is under investigation by the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan, which he once led. The office began to scrutinize his activities in Ukraine as prosecutors investigated two of his associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman. The two were subsequently charged in the U.S. with illegally funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars to U.S. officials and a political action committee that backed Trump. …..

    Rip Murdock (98c6ca)

  70. federal prosecutors are so sleazy they literally use fake evidence just to make people look bad

    they have no compunction about doing this cause they’re what we call “sociopaths”

    happyfeet (17e0f0)

  71. “you are in effect arguing that no President should ever be impeached because that “nullifies his election”.

    Gosh darn it, I thought I was saying that they’ll keep making accusations and using deep dem sources to make stuff up until they find something to nullify an election.

    harkin (337580)


  72. Rachael Bade
    @rachaelmbade
    NUGGET: The Dem decision 2 retire “quid pro quo” & embrace “bribery” followed a DCCC study showing the word resonates more in battlegrounds

    It’s also clearly stated in the Constitution as grounds 4 removing POTUS. Could we see it in impeachment articles?
    __ _

    Josh Jordan
    @NumbersMuncher
    ·
    Democrats: The impeachment hearings are not about politics.

    Also Democrats: We are polling different terms to describe what Trump did in order to best persuade swing state voters.
    _

    harkin (337580)

  73. Professional Mexican Politician Midget Wrestling! Tonight’s Main Event: The San Francisco Frother vs. The Fifth Avenue Groper!

    nk (dbc370)

  74. Aloha happyfeet,
    70 – copy that

    mg (ebf6c2)

  75. We’ve got Speaker of the House ZaSu Pitts; committee chairman Grady Sutton and President W.C. Fields.

    How can you not be entertained?!

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  76. And soon we will all be billionaires. Every one of us. Just like Zimbabwe.

    nk (dbc370)

  77. Gosh darn it, I thought I was saying that they’ll keep making accusations and using deep dem sources to make stuff up until they find something to nullify an election.

    “Nullify an election” is a stupid, ultimately meaningless phrase. Unless you actually think that if Trump is impeached and convicted by the Senate, Hillary Clinton becomes POTUS, and every single appointment and decision Trump made will vanish into the Void.

    Kishnevi (e266d6)

  78. Kishinev i (e266d6) — 11/14/2019 @ 8:05 pm

    In TrumpWorld, they never let the facts get in the way of the narrative du jour.

    Dave (f4c7ce)

  79. I wish they would disqualify the corrupt criminal traitor to “hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States” nunc pro tunc to January 20, 2017, if not to birth, and under the Constitution his ass-wipe would “act as President” not Hillary, but can you imagine the DC jerkoffs of any and every stripe and persuasion daring to even consider opening such a can of worms?

    nk (dbc370)

  80. The other breath-takingly moronic thing about the “Let the voters decide!” mantra is this: Trump was caught red-handed trying to corruptly buy personal political favors from a foreign government with taxpayer money for the express purpose of tilting the election in his favor.

    It’s laughable to suggest that after you are caught trying to steal the election once, the proper response is let you try again.

    It’s like if I caught a student cheating on an exam, and they demanded “Don’t fail me for cheating – let me finish the exam, and determine my grade based on that!”

    Uh, no, sorry, you don’t get to try again and maybe get away with it next time.

    Dave (f4c7ce)

  81. You people have gerbalitis

    mg (ebf6c2)

  82. 64. But back then, Dems had control of Congress in its entirety and would for another 20 years. Nothing the Republicans have done in the last 25 years makes me think they’re any different than the Dems now.

    Gryph (08c844)

  83. It don’t matter nohow, mg. Ain’t nothing gonna happen. The California cuckoos (that would be Pelosi and Schiff) and the New York sewer scum (that would be Trump) will fake-wrestle to a draw and the flyover country (that would be America) will continue to slowly compost.

    nk (dbc370)

  84. Breaking –
    Giuliani Faces U.S. Probe on Campaign Finance, Lobbying Breaches

    Not a war consigliere.

    Trump needs Michael Avenatti for his personal attorney.

    And since Avenatti is already under multiple indictments, he’ll have that box on the list of job responsibilities checked off on the day he’s hired.

    Dave (1bb933)

  85. So, who on the committee gets the Charles Wiggens Prize for most complete tool of the administration?

    Kevin M (19357e)

  86. Trump finally got the yes-man Chief of Staff that he wanted. And yes, yes, yes…. as expected, he is going to be impeached.

    noel (f22371)

  87. CNN is reporting that Trump, out of thin air, is demanding that South Korea pay four times the amount it has been to defend itself. A 400% increase?

    All you have to do to predict our next foreign policy move is to ask yourself…. what would Putin want??

    noel (f22371)

  88. nk (dbc370) — 11/14/2019 @ 9:22 pm

    Yep. It’s all theater to those guys.

    felipe (023cc9)

  89. I think Putin like most democrats and no trumpers want they’re sex slaves transgendered.

    mg (ebf6c2)

  90. The Trump Administration is claiming in court cases that the President is immune from both investigations and charges of criminality. He is above the law as long as he is President.

    Oh, I know what’s next. Think about it. He can invent a conspiracy theory, refuse to abide by the 2020 election results and then claim that nobody can do anything about it. As long as he claims to be President, he is immune from prosecution. Is this Attorney General going to stop him?

    A stable genius move…. right?

    Think it is a crazy notion? I do. But that doesn’t mean he won’t attempt to pull it off. You know it’s possible.

    noel (f22371)

  91. Trump on impeachment.. “This is a sham, and it shouldn’t be allowed.”

    Shouldn’t be allowed? Shouldn’t be allowed?

    noel (f22371)

  92. “I think Putin like most democrats and no trumpers want they’re sex slaves transgendered.”
    mg

    If I were a Russian bot, that is exactly the kind of stuff that I would aim toward the less educated voter.

    noel (f22371)

  93. “I think Putin like most democrats and no trumpers want they’re sex slaves transgendered.”

    Is nobody look more like trannychik than corrupt criminal traitor Trump, comrade mg.

    nk (dbc370)

  94. ”If I were a Russian bot, that is exactly the kind of stuff that I would aim toward the less educated voter.”
    noel (f22371) — 11/15/2019 @ 5:48 am

    If I were a Schiff bot, voters wouldn’t matter.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  95. Madame Ambassador thinks she had a lifetime appointment rather being subject to serving at the pleasure of the President. Again that’s

    If President Trump wanted to do himself a HUGE favor, he could stop associating with Rudy Giuliani. Today.

    Bugg (ebf485)

  96. As long as he claims to be President, he is immune from prosecution

    “Immune from prosecution” isn’t the same thing as “immune from bullets”. Or, less violently, “immune from physical removal from the premises”.

    He can claim he’s still President all he wants, the rest of the country won’t comply.

    Chuck Bartowski (bc1c71)

  97. Ever hear a hammer criticize the architect? Yovanovich appears to do just that in her opening statement. She actually mentioned moving 13 times in her opening statement, too. A tell. BFD. So did we and not on the taxpayer’s dime. As a ‘diplomat’ she doesn’t project strength nor stability; certainly not on television. ‘Shocked’…’devastated’… it seems her feelings were hurt. The emotionalism alone is a reason to have pulled her, especially from a region simmering w/corruption and back channellers. Foggy Bottom careerists never like it when you initiate end runs around their established bureaucracies.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  98. My impression, solely from what Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelensky, the President of Ukraine, said about her (I wouldn’t believe anything Trump or his butt-gerbils say), is that she behaved like a viceroy and not like an ambassador, and she was lucky to have been recalled and not expelled as persona non grata.

    nk (dbc370)

  99. The Schiff is hitting the fan already; Grady Sutton reads selective parts of realtime Trump tweets. Adam, ‘dude’– you’re no Sam Ervin.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  100. @99. She’s pitched out; had her 7 innings. 30 years; hit the showers.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  101. “All you have to do to predict our next foreign policy move is to ask yourself…. what would Putin want??”

    Putin and/or Xi.

    JRH (52aed3)

  102. Memo to Chris Wallace; I must be dead; no pulse: not moved by a whining bureaucrat.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  103. @100. He’s kinda Sam Ervin.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcMXi24QE7Y

    JRH (52aed3)

  104. Music starts around 1:50 if you want to be tortured.

    JRH (52aed3)

  105. Witness tampering???? Absurd; nobody would know what Trump tweeted during these proceedings until Grady Sutton himself introduced selected comments into the dialogue- and record- of the hearing and solicited a reaction from the witness. Seems Schiffty was doing the witness tampering.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  106. @100. He’s pure Og Oggilby. Still, remember when that LP was released. Might be out in the garage along with my Spiro Agnew watch and ‘Impooch With Honor’ pet food bowl.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  107. #99 My impression, solely from what Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelensky, the President of Ukraine, said about her (I wouldn’t believe anything Trump or his butt-gerbils say), is that she behaved like a viceroy and not like an ambassador, and she was lucky to have been recalled and not expelled as persona non grata.

    nk (dbc370) — 11/15/2019 @ 7:29 am

    I couldn’t figure out what was it that bothered me about Yovanovich’s alleged actions in Ukraine over the multiple reports. I think your term “viceroys” hits the mark.

    I’m curious if that’s a normal attitude of US ambassadors or the exception.

    whembly (c30c83)

  108. Did you check out the body language in the meeting between the corrupt criminal traitor and Erdogan? The way Erdogan is sitting in particular? It’s called “sitting like a pasha” where I come from. The orange is sitting like a job applicant.

    nk (dbc370)

  109. @108. It’s an arrogance that sets in over time w/t diplomatic corps when they’re out in the field so long. Similar to the attitude MacArthur adopted. Got him fired.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  110. Did you check out the body language in the meeting between the corrupt criminal traitor and Erdogan? The way Erdogan is sitting in particular? It’s called “sitting like a pasha” where I come from. The orange is sitting like a job applicant.

    nk (dbc370) — 11/15/2019 @ 8:03 am

    I have not. Do you have citation? Although, I’m an armature in reading body language….

    whembly (c30c83)

  111. #107

    So we are in a remake of The Bank Dick?

    I don’t think you can do that successfully without drinking scenes, and the bar name in that movie is a PC no no of the highest order.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  112. Trump is no WC Fields. He juggles badly.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  113. @113. Jugging wives and mistresses aside, Trump is Larson E. Whipsnade in spades.

    But Schiff is 100% Grady Sutton.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  114. It works. Look at Erdogan’s left hand. He’s missing his worry beads. 😉

    nk (dbc370)

  115. Heh… interesting. Looks like Trump is oblivious to all of that too. (in my non-expert body language opinion!)

    whembly (c30c83)

  116. The left hand looks like its yanking a chain or back-of-head patting.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  117. Breaking-
    Roger Stone Is Found Guilty in Trial That Revived Trump-Russia Saga
    Roger J. Stone Jr., a former aide and longtime friend of President Trump, was found guilty on Friday of obstructing a congressional investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election in what prosecutors said was an effort to protect Mr. Trump.

    Mr. Stone, 67, was charged with lying to the House Intelligence Committee, trying to block the testimony of another potential witness and concealing reams of evidence from investigators. Prosecutors claimed he tried to thwart the committee’s work because the truth would have “looked terrible” for both the president and his campaign. In all, he faced seven felony counts and was found guilty on all. …..

    In one of the trial’s most revealing moments, Rick Gates, Mr. Trump’s deputy campaign chairman, recounted a July 31, 2016, phone call between Mr. Stone and Mr. Trump, just days after WikiLeaks had released a trove of emails embarrassing the Clinton campaign. As soon as he hung up with Mr. Stone, Mr. Gates testified, Mr. Trump declared that “more information” was coming, an apparent reference to future releases from WikiLeaks that would rattle his political rival.

    Mr. Gates’s testimony called into question Mr. Trump’s answers to queries from the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, who conducted a criminal inquiry into Russia’s election interference. Mr. Trump, who agreed to respond to questions only in writing rather than sit for an interview, said he could not recall the specifics of any of 21 conversations he had with Mr. Stone in the six months before the election. Mr. Stone told House investigators that he never discussed his conversations with an intermediary to WikiLeaks with anyone involved in the Trump campaign. …..

    Rip Murdock (98c6ca)

  118. 106. DCSCA (797bc0) — 11/15/2019 @ 7:50 am

    Witness tampering???? Absurd;

    A stretch. Arguing the law because the facts are not on your side (as far as this being impeachment worthy) Trup’s purpose anyway probably was to justify his firing of her.

    I think she was in danger maybe of an attempt to remove her from the Foreign Service, but they didn’t want to tell her. Getting her out of Ukraine quickly assuaged and diverted the attention of the king.

    nobody would know what Trump tweeted during these proceedings until Grady Sutton himself introduced selected comments into the dialogue- and record- of the hearing and solicited a reaction from the witness.

    Well, people in the Foreign Service would have heard. I don’t think this added anything to what you would naturally expect. Trump was just justifying (badly) the fact that he recalled her.

    Seems Schiffty was doing the witness tampering.

    Not tampering exactly, but leading the witness.

    He skipped over Zelensky chiming in that he agreed with Trump 100%. I don’t know if anything he said was true, or if he thought it was true but it wasn’t, which would be interesting but he said she was for the previous president. She should be asked to explain that – deny or confirm. (Trump on;y notices the bottom line when anyone says something)

    The thing about Somalia – she had the right response “I didn’t know I had such power” (to wreck Somalia) and she had a low position there. All the problems of Somalia stem from the assassination of its president in 1969.

    Interesting that Yovanovich allowed for the possibility that Giuliani believed the stuff he was saying.

    Sammy Finkelman (8cd742)

  119. Stone was convicted for lying about his contacts with Wikileaks, and not that he concealed them but that he claimed someone who wasn’t a conduit was. I don’t believe that Putin had any intention of turning over hacked emails to Wikileaks until the hack was discovered and stopped.

    Sammy Finkelman (8cd742)

  120. In all, he faced seven felony counts and was found guilty on all.

    Another rebuke to the Trump crime syndicate.

    Dave (1bb933)

  121. Stone will pay a price for pissing off the judge. My guess-5 years (out of a possible 20).

    Rip Murdock (98c6ca)

  122. Flynn, Cohen, Manafort, Papadopoulos and Stone. Lev and Igor. Rudy.

    A good start.

    noel (f22371)

  123. 121-
    He also was convicted of witness tampering. Where have I heard that today?

    Rip Murdock (98c6ca)

  124. $400 million to the Ukraine but the TV screen doesn’t work in the committee room today so the D’s give the ambassador’s team paper copies of the slides ahead of time.

    Unreal.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  125. The Trump Administration is claiming in court cases that the President is immune from both investigations and charges of criminality. He is above the law as long as he is President.

    Not sure about “investigation” but the Founders thought that impeachment was the only alternative to assassination in the case of a criminal Executive.

    Separately, if there is an immunity (and there are many civil immunities the system for other officers) due to interference with his duties, it is hard to see how “investigation” is much different than “prosecution.” Especially as the “investigations” now occurring are EXACTLY the kind of dirt-digging that would argue for immunity.

    It is somewhat ironic that the NYC DA is using his office in much the same way that Trump wanted the Ukrainians to use theirs.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  126. Time for Trump to start passing out the get out of jail free cards. Ya baby, shove it up the never trumpers gerbil packed backside.

    mg (ebf6c2)

  127. Who did you want to slap more during today’s impeachment hearing?

    Jim Jordan, Elise Stefanik or the Republican Counsel

    noel (f22371)

  128. Snotty, demanding and childish. This is the way Republican Congressman want to go down in history?

    noel (f22371)

  129. Point of order! Point of order!

    I have more meaningless sh!t to put into the public record. How dare you not listen to ten more of these demands, Mr. Schiff.

    Point of order!

    noel (f22371)

  130. “I ask unanimous consent” to place page 132 of the phone book from 1973 into the record? I also ask unanimous consent to place page 136….

    noel (f22371)

  131. 129. Elise Stefanik wanted to place into the record a list of times when Schiff had said they were going to hear from the whistleblower. Schiff had refused to agree to that. So she used most of her question time to read it into the record. Everything she read was dated September 29. I listened carefully – she never left September 29. Now she didn’t read her entire list of citations, so maybe she had examples from later dates.

    If she had, you’d think she’d want to show that Schiff that on different dates. You don’t need what must have been more than a dozen example of him saying that on September 29.

    Whoever compiled that list must have been very impressed by his work, but it was unnecessary. Was anyone going to dispute that Schiff had said that on September 29? Three examples, from different types of sources, would have been enough, at least when reading it out loud. MAyne for wrtten work you can justify completeness.

    Maybe the problem was that he had said it only (or mostly) on that date.

    Sammy Finkelman (b38f8c)

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