The Jury Talks Back

10/8/2019

Trump Blocks Interview of Ambassador Sondland

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 7:05 am

The Failing New York Times (which is actually doing quite well):

The Trump administration directed a top American diplomat involved in its pressure campaign on Ukraine not to appear Tuesday morning for a scheduled interview in the House’s impeachment inquiry.

The decision to block Gordon D. Sondland, the United States ambassador to the European Union, from speaking with investigators for three House committees is certain to provoke an immediate conflict with potentially profound consequences for the White House and President Trump. House Democrats have repeatedly warned that if the administration tries to interfere with their investigation, it will be construed as obstruction, a charge they see as potentially worthy of impeachment.

As a Twitter friend points out, in his tweets explaining the decision, Trump is not even bothering to claim privilege. He’s just saying Sondland doesn’t have to testify because the impeachment is being run by Democrats:

T̶h̶e̶ ̶w̶a̶l̶l̶ ̶j̶u̶s̶t̶ ̶g̶o̶t̶ ̶1̶0̶ ̶f̶e̶e̶t̶ ̶h̶i̶g̶h̶e̶r̶ The articles of impeachment just got 10 sentences longer.

Why is Sondland important? He talked to Trump before sending the “to be clear we are totally not committing any crimes here” text:

Apparently inquiry into how that text got written is not to be allowed.

Okay then.

1 Comment »

  1. I am scratching my head. Is this the strategy? Just… not comply?

    They know (or should know) that this makes them look bad, and public sentiment will turn against them more.

    They know (or should know) that the House committees will go to court.

    Are they trying to force a legal showdown? Do they actually think the Supreme Court will agree with them on non-compliance? Will they just not comply with a court order, if it comes to that?

    Historically, Trump’s strategy in lawsuits is to delay delay delay (I know from first hand experience), and sap the resources of the other side. That way, the case goes away or can be settled (and then he still delays payment). That has worked well for him — I guess.

    But this isn’t a vendor suing him in NY State Court. This is the U.S. Congress conducting a serious constitutional duty. The inquiry isn’t just going to go away, no matter how “political” it is, or that he tries to mnake it.

    Who on Trump’s team — the lawyers I mean — thinks this is a good strategy? Why drag this out when going into an election season?

    It boggles the mind. I keep thinking of the line that Hal Holbrook said in All The President’s Men: “Look, forget the myths the media’s created about the White House–the truth is, these are not very bright guys, and things got out of hand.”

    Comment by Kman — 10/8/2019 @ 7:57 am

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