What Impeachment? America's First 'Show Trial' Begins Wednesday

elvis

But the actual "favor" (that was the word used) being asked for on the phone by Trump to Zelensky was about CrowdStrike, not about the Bidens, who were an afterthought. You may have heard of CS by now. It's the digital firm with roots in California and Ukraine that was hired by the Clinton-associated law firm Perkins Coie to investigate the break-in of the DNC server during election 2016. When CS reported it was the Russians, that was accepted at face value by the FBI. Why the FBI, with all their vaunted cyber facilities, did not do this themselves is open to question—and everybody in the Beltway cesspool knows it, all the despicable creeps wringing their hands over Trump. Omertà rules in Washington, especially among the Democrats and the media (of all places).


They all know that the real investigation is in progress—what happened early in 2016 and thereafter that instigated the two-plus years of phony national hysteria known as the Russia probe, the probe that did everything it could, but thankfully failed, to upend the Trump administration. The characters who engineered this shouldn't just be impeached—some have already lost their jobs—they should be sent to stir. We shall see how this plays out, hopefully soon.

https://pjmedia.com/rogerlsimon/what-impeachment-americas-first-show-trial-begins-wednesday/

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cattyles

Duly elected is a phrase that gets quite a workout. Clinton and Nixon were duly elected. That has nothing to do with impeachable offenses.

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Carro

To further decimate the Left's hopes, they should remember that Nixon resigned and Trump is not going to do that, and Clinton was impeached but not removed.

So, modern history has 2 examples of impeachment based on actual crimes, without removal.

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cattyles

The House is doing their job.

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Ann

"Pinning your hopes on this "trial" is just fine by me, because it only distracts from the Democrat race."

I think some Dems, right now, think distraction from the Dem race is a great thing. Jeez, the Dem race is an absolute mess presently!

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mudhouse

Good article, Ann, thanks for linking it here. Personally I'm really hoping the Dems are dumb enough to overlook the probable outcome of this entire impeachment scam:

During the Trump era, the time the GOP and conservatives in general have been most united and powerful was during the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings. Note, as discussed above, that was a process controlled by Senate Republicans, not House Democrats, and the picture that emerged was of a qualified man being hounded on the basis of politics, not evidence.

The Senate will try to recreate this energy in much the same way. As they puncture the one-sided story crafted by House Democrats, look for Trump’s support to solidify, just as Kavanaugh’s did. There could be no better outcome for the president, who relies almost solely on his base for electoral success.

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rob333 (zone 7a)

trump has obliterated the Constitution with his actions over and over, it's a crime!

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Carro

I think some Dems, right now, think distraction from the Dem race is a great thing. Jeez, the Dem race is an absolute mess presently!

I'd be pretty angry if my party was overshadowing my campaign with "The Impeachment Show". The "no" vote of confidence is deafening!

"Sorry, you all suck SO bad that we must try to destroy your opponent for you to have even a snowball's chance in hell to win."

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Carro

How does one "obliterate" the Constitution?


With a pen and a phone.

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Ann

"But the GOP would feel it was an impeachable offense if a Democrat President did it!"

IMO, no, and they wouldn't have started an impeachment process over it. It's important to pick your battles and Nancy was right all along when she said impeachment needed to be a bipartisan project. This one is simply not. I would like to think the GOP would not have been stupid enough to plunge into this kind of a mess - especially based on the lessons learned from the Clinton impeachment.

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Chi

This is nothing like the Clinton impeachment. Clinton had much higher approval ratings going into it and never had half (and growing) of Americans support impeachment like Trump does

Here's a good article about the differences. It would be foolish to assume Trump will have the same positive results as Clinton.

https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/10/03/clintons-impeachment-barely-dented-his-public-support-and-it-turned-off-many-americans/

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Ann

"I think part of the problem here is that neither of you agree that there's any question about whether or not Trump has done anything worthy of impeachment. If you can't even agree that there are people who disagree with you, nothing anybody types will sound like an answer to your question."

Yes!!!!!!! And, asking the same question 25 times doesn't seem to help the questioner recognize that not everyone agrees with their perspective (or even the basis of the question), and no matter how firmly you feel about your view, others may still have a very different perspective. It's like asking when did you stop robbing banks when that person has never robbed a bank - and then wondering why the person isn't answering the question as asked.

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jama7(6)

I read the first 3 comments and there it is again....the WB must testify!!

Have fun...this is just over and over and over the same 'ole jibber jabber.

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BetsyJ

"But the GOP would feel it was an impeachable offense if a Democrat President did it!"

IMO, no, and they wouldn't have started an impeachment process............

There were people in the GOP who wanted to impeach President Obama simply because he existed, for winning the election, for the ACA, etc

Now they are agitating to arrest and imprison Obama and the Clintons.

I would like to think the GOP would not have been stupid enough

The GOP is stupid enough, more than stupid enough. They demonstrate that day after day with their own corruption and immorality by their "defense" of Trump's indefensible, corrupt actions over the last three years.

All for some judges, most of whom are unqualified and incompetent. And I would guess that most of them will have to resign in the not too distant future or be impeached for their own crimes and bad acts.

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Ann

Betsy, yes, some people wanted Obama impeached for various reasons over his 8 years. But - they didn't (which was sensible IMO).

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Iris GW

But - they didn't (which was sensible IMO).

It's because they never had anything to pin on him. You can't impeach someone who didn't do anything impeachable. Even with all those Benghazi hearings ....

Unless you know of something that was worthy?

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Ann

"It's because they never had anything to pin on him. You can't impeach someone who didn't do anything impeachable."

Yup! That's the problem Dems have run themselves right smack into.

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BetsyJ

George Clooney, one note actor


George Conway, with his wife KellyAnne



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Iris GW

Yup! That's the problem Dems have run themselves right smack into.

Trump is being investigated for extortion. Highly impeachable behavior if found to be true.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

Nixon resigned because he was able to do simple math, and the result wasn't in his favor.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

George Clooney is also a trophy husband.


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jerzeegirl(9b)

This is not a criminal process, there are no broken laws, there are no cops, there are no bank robbers, there's no getaway car..

OK. A high crime as stated in the Constitution.

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mudhouse

OK. A high crime as stated in the Constitution.

Trump hasn't done anything that meets the definition of a high crime (from my reading, since I'm sure not an attorney.)

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Carro

This one is simply not. I would like to think the GOP would not have been stupid enough to plunge into this kind of a mess - especially based on the lessons learned from the Clinton impeachment.

The radical Democrats are too stupid and ignorant to abide by history.

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Carro

Ann

Betsy, yes, some people wanted Obama impeached for various reasons over his 8 years. But - they didn't (which was sensible IMO).

Fast and Furious.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

Trump hasn't done anything that meets the definition of a high crime

Bribery is mentioned in the US Constitution


Article II, Section 4 provides:The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

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Annie Deighnaugh

mudhouse: Annie, that's a terrible parallel. This isn't a criminal procedure, it's a political procedure.

Actually it is a very apt parallel as it *is* a criminal investigation. The only one open to the Congress, thanks to barr, is via impeachment. The crime is extortion, the crime is impoundment, the crime is federal election laws violations. Moreover, given trumps ban on turning over evidence and allowing witnesses to answer subpoenas, he's adding the crime of obstruction of justice.

Moreover, impeachment doesn't require *criminal* violations -- though trump has certainly handed them to us. Other impeachable offenses would include lying to the American people (see Nixon's impeachment), violating his oath of office and abuse of power.

So yeah, it's both a criminal and political procedure.

In either case, the WB's identity is irrelevant to the far better evidence and testimony provided by the witnesses who have already testified.

Someone has yet to explain to me *why* the WB's identity is so necessary other than to attack and discredit the messenger. I know it's a fox talking point, I know it's what the trumplicants want to believe, but I've yet to hear a concrete answer to the question, why?

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Carro

And yet bribery never occurred.

One could make an argument that Trump did that if he landed a plane full on money in Ukraine...

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Ziemia(6a)

The WB must testify because of the origins if the inquiry?

Maybe going to the oringes makes more sense.

If you really do mean origins - then at back to Trump's use of the Birther nonsense. Which set the stage for a segment of America believing in conspiracies.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

Attempted bribery occurred.

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Annie Deighnaugh

And yet bribery never occurred.

Yes the extortion occurred...he held up the cash for months and was coercing Z into speaking of the investigation. Z did get his WH meeting. Just because it was a federal authority who forced the WH to give Z the cash and the IG's revelation of the WB's claims that put an end to the extortion scheme instead of trump, doesn't mean he wasn't being extorted. He was.

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mudhouse

Bribery is mentioned in the US Constitution

Again, from my reading, to prove federal bribery the Dems would have to show a corrupt intent in the form of a quid pro quo. A "quid pro quo" is defined as an intent to give or receive something of value in exchange for an official act.

Also, just to be clear, quid pro quos in themselves are not illegal; they're present in most negotiations between world leaders, as Mulvaney said. The problematic part would be if Trump promised to give a foreign official something of value in return for something that benefited him personally (like assistance in an election.)

It's Trump's job to ask about corruption in relation to foreign aid; that's in the benefit of the United states, and not a personal benefit. To say the phone conversation with Zelensky dealt only with Trump's personal benefit, you have to disregard about 500 words after Trump used the word favor, and you have to completely pretend he didn't mention Crowdstrike, and the server, clear references to potential election meddling in 2016.

Also, there was no quid pro quo. Zelensky said he did not feel pressured; and the military aid was wasn't contingent on the opening of an investigation, because the investigation didn't happen, and the aid was still received by Ukraine.

Lastly, courts have looked at the issue of whether or not information is "a thing of value" but no court to date has found that to be true. This fact was even noted in the Mueller report.

People like to bandy that about "Trump is guilty of bribery," but it's just a talking point to keep the left excited. Schiff and the other Dems pushing this impeachment scam know full well the definition of federal bribery has not been met by the telephone call with Zelensky.

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Annie Deighnaugh


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Chi

Right, it was just a coincidence that Trump had to investigate "corruption" and it just happened to involve his top political rival.

We have numerous intelligence agencies that could have investigated this "corruption" with no issues. He chose to personally handle it, and, whoops, turns out people frown upon presidents blackmailing other countries for their own political gain.

If this phone call was so innocent and legal, why did his lawyers insist on hiding the memo before any of this ever came to light?

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chipotle

I'm confused. Is a post missing? Veda posted Twitter threads written by George Conway, not George Clooney. Did Stan just not read carefully - and jump to a wrong conclusion?

But Clooney is a great guy too - who I'm sure understands the law more than many here on HT given who his esteemed wife is (hint: not KAC).


Speaking of George Clooney ... the man is married to a powerhouse! Watched the 60 Minutes segment on the Philippines' version of Donald Trump last night.


Amal Clooney is defending journalist Maria Ressa in her fight against persecution for reporting the news and standing up to human rights abuses.


https://www.cbsnews.com/news/rappler-news-ceo-maria-ressa-60-minutes-interview-2019-11-10/

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Carro

It's Trump's job to ask about corruption in relation to foreign aid; that's in the benefit of the United states, and not a personal benefit. To say the phone conversation with Zelensky dealt only with Trump's personal benefit, you have to disregard about 500 words after Trump used the word favor, and you have to completely pretend he didn't mention Crowdstrike, and the server, clear references to potential election meddling in 2016.

The Leftist Trump haters scream about election interference and here's Trump, actually addressing it with Ukraine.

Trump put the call where he felt it was safe. That's all.

mudhouse, you've captured the heart of the matter when it comes to the Dems' doody show.

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Carro

Imagine if Trump's "perfect" call with Ukraine included, “This is my last election … After my election I have more flexibility,”

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Annie Deighnaugh

Yes, there *was* a quid pro quo...even trump's own ambassador said so...once he corrected the lies he told to congress.

It was *not* about ukraine corruption...there was no mention about what they've done with past aid or what they're planning on doing with the current aid. There was no mention of US policy toward Ukraine. There *was* mention about the ambassador who was removed from her position because she wouldn't go along with any quid pro quo.

In fact, trump's actions and shadow state dept were *corrupting* ukraine's govt, forcing the new president to manufacture evidence and investigations where there were none just to obtain nation-saving funding from the US and a signal that the US was still supporting ukraine against russia by having a WH meeting.

The fact that trump was running a shadow state dept in and of itself is proof that it was not to the benefit of the US. If it was, why would he need to send in rudy, who was never confirmed by the senate and AFAIK doesn't even have a security clearance, and was being paid by igor and lev, both arrested on funneling foreign funds into trump and RNC coffers, sondlund who was EU ambassador and didn't even have ukraine in his remit, and perry of all people to run a separate policy with ukraine? If it was for the benefit of the US and in coordination with long-accepted, bi-partisan, congress approved support of ukraine, why didn't he use *the state department*?

There is no requirement that the quid be right next to the quo in the same statement. There is no requirement that the quo be only one thing...it can be more than one....in this case, a) exonerating evidence for russia that it really was ukraine that interfered in the US election by pursuing some ridiculous russia-originated conspiracy that ukraine has a dnc server (benefits russia); b) pressure on Ukraine to cede control to russia by ending the war (benefits russia); and c) a scandal to denigrate biden (benefits trump).

The favor trump wanted was clear...he wanted dirt on biden and he wanted Z to say in public ... on air, like on CNN ... that an investigation against biden and burisma was started. There is only *one* person who would benefit by such a publicly broadcast admission...and that is trump as it provides a scandal against his primary political rival.

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Annie Deighnaugh

When zelensky said he was not pressured, he was sitting right next to the guy who was pressuring him. You tell me, if you're sitting next to your extortionist, are you going to say publicly that yes, he's extorting you? I think not. He is not in a position to provide best evidence, and he certainly wasn't under oath as so many of the witnesses were.

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Delilah66

"If Schiff's parade of preferred witnesses are shown to be motivated by their desire to remove Trump from office, because they disagree with his policies (as evidenced by Ciaramella's attorney's early 2017 tweets calling for a coup) their testimony will be correctly viewed by people as being politically biased, partisan, tainted, and potentially inaccurate."

I'll bet there are numerous pubs who would be motivated to remove trump by his policies of lying, hate and trying to avoid Constitutional restrictions.

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Kathy

Why is it Republicans cannot see Trump is doing Putin’s bidding by trying to pin 2016 election interference on Ukraine instead of Russia as has been proven by US intelligence. He cannot admit he had help winning the election and he wants to blame Ukraine for Putin.

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elvis

There were people in the GOP who wanted to impeach President Obama simply because he existed, for winning the election, for the ACA, etc

IOW some people didn't like him. Meh.

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Carro

There is no requirement that the quid be right next to the quo in the same statement.

There's no quid near any quo in the same town, zip code, continent or planet.


You do get that Trump will not be convicted in the Senate, right? He's not going to be removed, yeah?

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Annie Deighnaugh

As far as the value of a false scandal, just ask how many people didn't vote for hillary because the email scandal, which plagued her for 3 years all through her campaign and led trumplicants to chant "lock her up" at so many trump rallies, and which has finally been closed as "nothing to see here":

There was no persuasive evidence
of systemic, deliberate mishandling of classified information.

And then there was comey blowing up the email thing again just 10 days before the election and he let that run for a week before he said "nothing to see here."

So it's absolutely clear that, whether manufactured or not, feeding the flames of a potential scandal can tank a candidate in an election. *That* is a thing of value to the rival candidate without a doubt.

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Kathy

No President should be allowed to act unilaterally without regard to our Constitution and laws. It sets the precedent for future Presidents. Trump must be held accountable for his actions.

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Carro

Even Dems and the MSM (but I repeat myself) have moved past quid pro quo.

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Annie Deighnaugh

From your favorite publication The Hill:


A top diplomat appointed by President Trump revised his testimony in the House impeachment probe this week to say the president’s dealings with Ukraine likely amounted to a quid pro quo — the topic at the center of the fast-moving investigation into Trump’s dealings with Kiev.

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Iris GW

You do get that Trump will not be convicted in the Senate, right? He's not going to be removed, yeah?

Yep, but looking forward to having all those votes on record.

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Iris GW

Even Dems and the MSM (but I repeat myself) have moved past quid pro quo.

Agreed. The appropriate word is EXTORTION.

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chipotle

Extortion, bribery, quid pro quo. Many ways to describe Trump's criminal act.

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mudhouse

Annie, you didn't include a source for your excerpt from The Hill article, but it's here:

https://thehill.com/homenews/house/469155-sondland-changes-quid-pro-quo-story

So, let's look at Sondland's revised declaration:

“By the beginning of September 2019, and in the absence of any credible explanation for the suspension of aid, I presumed that the aid suspension had become linked to the proposed anti-corruption statement,” his revised declaration reads.

...“After a large meeting, I now recall speaking individually with Mr. Yermak, where I said that resumption of U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anti-corruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks,” Sondland said, referring to the aide, Andriy Yermak.

Anti-corruption.

As I posted above, the existence of a quid pro quo isn't news. In fact, it's so common that a negotiation between world leaders without some sort of quid pro quo (something offered in exchange for some act) might be more newsworthy. Trump offered to hold off on economic sanctions if Mexico stepped up their actions to stem the flow of asylum seekers flooding to our southern border. They did.

The only problematic quid pro quo would be one in which Trump promised something of value (military aid in this case) in exchange for some thing that benefited him personally, that was not part of his job to take actions that benefit the United States. Anti-corruption investigations benefit the US. In fact, the US has an anti-corruption legal-assistance treaty with Ukraine, pledging to cooperate with each other in criminal matters, signed in 1998.

The Justice Department is investigating Ukraine interference in the 2016 presidential election. It's now a criminal investigation. It was entirely legitimate for Trump to ask for cooperation from Zelensky, and he has the discretion to investigate crimes and corruption even if they involve political rivals. The Bidens are not "off limits" or immune from investigation simply because Joe Biden is a 2020 candidate.

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cattyles

Mm hm. Trump is known as a bastion of integrity and anti corruption. C’mon, are you pulling our leg? Why did he tell Zelensky to talk to Giuliani?

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foodonastump

Barncatz - yes you may but you may want to hurry up as they’re dropping like flies.

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mrskjun(9)

"Trump appears to be echoing a critique leveled at the Obama administration by the late Republican Sen. John McCain. "The Ukrainians are being slaughtered and we're sending blankets and meals," McCain said in 2015. "Blankets don't do well against Russian tanks."

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Carro

. The Bidens are not "off limits" or immune from investigation simply because Joe Biden is a 2020 candidate.

The question remains; what did Ukraine get, or expect to get, by paying Hunter Biden tens of thousands for his complete lack of expertise, but direct connections to the White House?

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

the existence of a quid pro quo isn't news. In fact, it's so common that a negotiation between world leaders without some sort of quid pro quo (something offered in exchange for some act) might be more newsworthy.

Not common at all when the benefit accrues personally to the president.

Foreign policy applies to the nation, not to Trump's personal benefit in having an arsenal ready to attack a politician who he fears.

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Carro

I'll juts bet that sending Putin the message that he would be more flexible and deals more workable after his next election made Obama personally benefit from Russia's regard in said election.

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Ann

"Trump is being investigated for extortion."

Yeah, I heard a story, yesterday, that this is the new word of the week since quid pro quo just wasn't getting the hoped for reaction:)

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Ann

"Bribery is mentioned in the US Constitution"

Ah, just a few comments after, the other word of the week mentioned in the story from yesterday. Again, quid pro quo just wasn't getting the hoped for reaction:)

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

Nice little territory you have in Donbass, Zelensky; what a shame if you didn't have any weapons there for defense.

Extortion.

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Carro


"Trump is being investigated for extortion."

Yeah, I heard a story, yesterday, that this is the new word of the week since quid pro quo just wasn't getting the hoped for reaction:)


Ann, "extortion" and "bribery". New buzz words.

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Ann

Yeah Carro, they won't go down without trying everything possible first. We watched the Russia collusion buzz words change to new buzz words as time passed during the previous "Mueller" witch hunt. The same process is underway here.

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Iris GW

Extortion is a perfectly valid word for what he was doing. Apparently some people don't know the meaning of the phrase quid pro quo; they thought it was elitist. Just trying to help out the little guys.

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mrskjun(9)

Let's see, Ukraine is not investigating the Bidens, Ukraine got the money. So where exactly is the word of the day.....extortion? Never heard anything like that in the transcript of the phone call. Oh wait, we have Shifty Schiffs imagination. The proof is in his pocket along with the evidence of collusion with Russia.

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Iris GW

Why the heck isn't Barr investigating the Bidens, mrskjun?

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Iris GW

And Ukraine got the money because Trump got caught with his hands in the cookie jar. Trump's administration released the money as soon as they realized they were being discovered.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

Ukraine got the money

Eventually . . . after pressure was put on Trump -- by his own team -- to release the funds because the hold was illegal.

.

GOP senator: Trump advisers had to 'convince' Trump to release Ukraine aid


https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry/gop-senator-trump-advisers-had-convince-trump-release-ukraine-aid-n1079416

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., said Sunday that "most" of President Donald Trump's advisers were trying to figure out "some way" to get him to release a hold on about $400 million in Ukrainian military aid, an effort at the center of Democrats' impeachment inquiry.

"I understand that most of President Trump's advisers wanted the military aid released," Johnson, who had pushed Trump to release the aid, said on CNN's "State of the Union."

"And they were trying to figure out some way, shape or form to convince President Trump to approve that release," he said. "It's certainly what I was trying to do in my phone call to him on August 31. So I don't have a problem with advisers trying to figure out some way shape or form to convince the boss to do this."

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Stan Areted

I wonder if Democrats just can't see how ridiculous their dead end witch hunts are appearing to reasonable people or they just don't care, or if they truly believe their lies based on hate and the inability to accept defeat.

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Chi

I wonder if Democrats just can't see how ridiculous their dead end witch hunts are appearing to reasonable people or they just don't care, or if they truly believe their lies based on hate and the inability to accept defeat.

Recent polls show that more than half of people support the impeachment inquiries into Trump, so I'd say plenty of reasonable people believe it to be valid exercise. Far more people approve than disapprove, and the rates keep on growing. Support has grown from 36% in September to 51% in November while disapproval has dropped from 53% in September to 42% in November. Not great news for Trump in the court of public opinion.

Unsurprisingly, the results heavily skew into Approval/Disapproval by Dem/Republican, but the Independents are the ones who will decide the election and they are 54% approval/41% disapproval.

I think it's the Trump supporters who are nervous. I've never seen so much hard work trying to convince us all that this means nothing. :) The numbers say otherwise.

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Iris GW

I wonder if Conservatives just can't see how ridiculously they have to twist their logic into knots in order to justify Trump's actions regarding Ukraine. Evidently they can't see what the majority of the world is seeing (and hearing).

Case in point: Let's see, Ukraine is not investigating the Bidens, Ukraine got the money. So where exactly is the .....extortion?

So because his scheme didn't go through (because he was stopped) then he must be guilt free!! Yeah, it doesn't work that way.

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elvis

A top diplomat appointed by President Trump revised his testimony in...

Ah, yes. He had some "memory assistance".

______________

Why the heck isn't Barr investigating the Bidens

Who says he is not?

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elvis

Stan Areted

I wonder if Democrats just can't see how ridiculous their dead end witch hunts are appearing to reasonable people or they just don't care, or if they truly believe their lies based on hate and the inability to accept defeat.

Hey, don't tip 'em off!

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margaux

When are Mulvaney and Bolton going to testify under oath? That's all that's needed to clear Trump.

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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b(zone 9/10)

But if there's no chance the president will be convicted in the Senate, why all the rancorous opposition to the inquiry?

And it has been established the phone call took place, as well as what was said, and that efforts were made to cover it up as well, so demanding the head of the person who reported something wrong appears to be a deflecting/delaying tactic with the added bonus of spite.

Our president's self dealing jeopardized national security, which seems to rise to the level of a high crime, let alone a misdemeanor.

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Iris GW

Why isn't Barr investigating Joe Biden?

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cattyles


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Ann

Iris, to repeat what Elvis said.

"Who says he is not?"

Do you know who Barr is or isn't investigating? If yes, please share your knowledge or provide your source.

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mudhouse

Not common at all when the benefit accrues personally to the president.

Foreign policy applies to the nation, not to Trump's personal benefit in having an arsenal ready to attack a politician who he fears.

Lol, Trump isn't afraid of babbling Biden.

The problem for the Dems is they can't eliminate the fact that potential Ukraine meddling in the 2016 election is now part of a broadening criminal investigation. And that investigation into the important issue of foreign election meddling and possible corruption does benefit the nation.

That broadening investigation may or may not include the Bidens (I've asked Barr to clarify, but so far he's not returning my calls.) The Dems want Biden to be off limits, because he's a 2020 candidate running against Trump. That's not how criminal investigations work; Joe doesn't get immunity from investigation because of who he is.

The Dems declare, "Trump is not above the law!" I agree, he's not. And neither is Joe Biden.

The problem for the Dems is their apparent front runner is up to his eyeballs in Ukrainian corruption allegations. Trump didn't cause that, Biden did. Trump is doing his job, no matter how loud the Dems cry foul.

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Kathy

Trump is blocking more than a dozen witnesses from testifying. I’d say they might set him free, no? He is so innocent.

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Chi

"That's not how criminal investigations work; Joe doesn't get immunity from investigation because of who he is."

And that's fine - we have intelligence agencies that can handle that. For the President to decide he must personally handle it, considering it's his top political rival, is the problem, especially when he is asking a foreign country to look into his rival. Even without withholding aid, it's still a very stupid thing to do and a massive conflict of interest.

And his lawyers knew it too, which is why they hid it.

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margaux

Yep. ^ Why is Rudy handling this important investigation?

I notice Trump supporters have trouble answering the simplest questions about this.

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barncatz

The problem for the Dems is their apparent front runner is up to his eyeballs in Ukrainian corruption allegations.

This is NOT a partisan issue. NOT.

Fortuitously, the New York Times has a deeply reported look at what Biden really did in Ukraine during those years as vice president. Biden was carrying out U.S. foreign policy by prodding Ukraine — awash in civil unrest and corruption, getting plundered by oligarchs and under Russian assault — to undertake reforms to bring it in line with Western democratic ideals, as a bulwark against Russia.

This is the important subplot lurking beneath the scandal headlines — that in leaving Ukraine vulnerable to Russia in order to strong-arm Ukraine into carrying out his own self-interested corrupt designs, Trump retreated from the United States’ posture of siding with Ukraine in a broader battle between liberal democracy and illiberal authoritarian kleptocracy.

As Franklin Foer has shown, Biden was trying to pull Ukraine into a more democratic orbit, and Trump in effect pulled in the other direction, mingling his own corruption with Russian geopolitical interests.

Importantly, the diplomats horrified by Trump’s misconduct have also testified to this broader story.



https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/11/11/an-epic-on-air-rant-unmasks-real-goal-trumps-lies/#comments-wrapper


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Chi

It's getting interesting! The top Pentagon official overseeing US policy regarding Ukraine testified today that Trump directed freezing aid to Ukraine and failed to notify Congress. This is a violation of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Act.

She also testified that it couldn't be true that Ukraine was unaware of aid being withheld.

Republicans tried their best to intimidate her. Cooper's testimony was delayed by 5 hours after a group of House Republicans who don't sit on the committees that questioned her stormed the secure room where her deposition was taking place.

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry/pentagon-official-testifies-trump-directed-freeze-aid-ukraine-n1080256

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Kathy

Republicans are trying to turn impeachment into a circus. It’s all they have because there is no real defense for Trump.

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Kathy


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catkinZ8a





Extortion

The obtaining of property from another induced by wrongful use of actual or threatened force, violence, or fear

extortion

[ikˈstôrSH(ə)n]

NOUN

the practice of obtaining something, especially money, through force or threats.

Iris GW

Trump is being investigated for extortion. Highly impeachable behavior if found to be true.

Iris GW

Agreed. The appropriate word is EXTORTION.

Iris GW

Extortion is a perfectly valid word for what he was doing. Apparently some people don't know the meaning of the phrase quid pro quo; they thought it was elitist. Just trying to help out the little guys.

chipotle

Extortion, bribery, quid pro quo. Many ways to describe Trump's criminal act.


nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

Nice little territory you have in Donbass, Zelensky; what a shame if you didn't have any weapons there for defense.

Extortion


Iris GW

Extortion is a perfectly valid word for what he was doing. Apparently some people don't know the meaning of the phrase quid pro quo; they thought it was elitist. Just trying to help out the little guys.






Lee Zeldin‏Verified account @RepLeeZeldin Nov 10

More

Dems have a new word of the day: “extortion”. The shiny object of “quid pro quo” totally fell apart on them. Same problem though w/their new shiny object: Ukraine didn’t know there was a hold on aid until just before it was lifted. They didn’t have to do anything to get it lifted.



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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

Trump isn't afraid of babbling Biden.

Trump's actions indicate otherwise.


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Kathy


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Annie Deighnaugh

...“After a large meeting, I now recall speaking individually with Mr. Yermak, where I said that resumption of U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anti-corruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks,” Sondland said, referring to the aide, Andriy Yermak.

Anti-corruption.

-----------------

Oh please. Anti-corruption is just their cover term for investigating biden. When the gop talks about anti-corruption, it's about biden, not corruption in Ukraine. If they were so concerned about corruption in the ukraine...trump's excuse for not giving them the money...then why did he suggest that europe should give them more?

And if it wasn't all about biden, then why did trump publicly call for china to investigate him too?

And if he was so anti-corruption, why did he send perry there to strongarm the ukrainians to give this sweetheart energy deal to perry's buds who put in a bid that was millions less than the Ukraine bid for the mining rights?


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Annie Deighnaugh

From Bill Taylor's testimony:

Ambassador Sondland also told me that he now recognized
that he had made a mistake by earljer telling Ukrainian
officials to whom he spoke that a White House meeting with
President Zelensky was dependent on a public announcement of
investigations. In fact, Ambassador Sondland said everything
was dependent on such an announcement, including security
assistance. He said that President Trump wanted President
Zelensky in a box by making public statement about ordering
such i nvesti gati ons.

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catkinZ8a

Let's say democrats vote to impeach Trump...it then goes to the Republican controlled senate.

The first thing the Senate Republicans do is declare the hearings open to the public--televised.

Next, they subpoena Obama, Crooked, Schiff, Pelosi, Strzok, Page, Lynch, Christopher Steele, Bruce and Nellie Ohr, Comey, Clapper, Brennan, the first "whistleblower", the second "whistleblower", etc. ----ALL UNDER OATH!

Pay-Per-View indeed.


Do it democrats!

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Chi

Next, they subpoena Obama, Crooked, Schiff, Pelosi, Strzok, Page, Lynch, Christopher Steele, Bruce and Nellie Ohr, Comey, Clapper, Brennan, the first "whistleblower", the second "whistleblower", etc. ----ALL UNDER OATH!

For what?

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Kathy

And Dems subpoena Ivanka, Don Jr, Eric, all profiteers.

I actually think Joe Biden could give them an earful about the corruption Trump and his cabinet were pulling on Ukraine.

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catkinZ8a

"Thank God for the Deep State!" Former CIA Director John McLaughlin




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Annie Deighnaugh

Re the false conspiracy theory, whose genesis was russia, that somehow it was the ukrainians and not the russians who interfered in the US elections, I'm reposting what Fiona Hill, who served as a national intelligence officer on russia, said in her testimony:

Look, and I'm sorry to get testy about, you know, this back and forth, because I'm really worried about these conspiracy theories, and I'm worried that all of you are going to go down a rabbit hole, you know, looking for things that are not going to be at all helpful to the American people or to our future election in 2020. You just had the Senate report coming out informing us all yet again, a bipartisan, nonpartisan report from the Senate about the risk that there is to our elections. If we have people running around chasing rabbit holes because Rudy Giuliani or others have been feeding information to The Hill, Politico, we are not going to be prepared as a country to push back on this again. The Russians thrive on misinformation and disinformation . And I just want to say that that was the reason that I went into the administration when I was asked by General Flynn, K.T. MacFarland, and General Kellogg. We're in peril as a democracy because of other people interfering here. And it doesn't mean to say that other people haven't also been trying to do things, but the Russians were who attacked us in 2015, and they're now writing the script for others to do the same. And if we don't get our act together, they will continue to make fools of us internationally.

If you are supporting the disinformation campaign by buying into this ukraine fiction, then you are playing right into the hands of the russians and making America less safe.

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jama7(6)

If you are supporting the disinformation campaign by buying into this ukraine fiction, then you are playing right into the hands of the russians and making America less safe.

It seems that the right admires Putin too from many comments I've read; Trump is not alone. I actually think they'd prefer a Putin type regime since many it seems are quite taken with "strong men" types. How anyone sees Trump as one is beyond me; he's a thin skinned babyman who can't even let the mildest criticism roll off him.

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Iris GW

Ann

Iris, to repeat what Elvis said.

"Who says he is not?"

Do you know who Barr is or isn't investigating? If yes, please share your knowledge or provide your source

Because if he was, Trump would be shouting it from the rooftops.

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Annie Deighnaugh

And let's not forget that barr does have a gossamer-thin fiber of integrity left...he refused trump his ask:

President Trump wanted Attorney General William P. Barr to hold a news conference declaring that the commander in chief had broken no laws during a phone call in which he pressed his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate a political rival, though Barr ultimately declined to do so, people familiar with the matter said.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-wanted-barr-to-hold-news-conference-saying-the-president-broke-no-laws-in-call-with-ukrainian-leader/2019/11/06/16d541ec-ff55-11e9-8bab-0fc209e065a8_story.html

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Iris GW

The problem for the Dems is they can't eliminate the fact that potential Ukraine meddling in the 2016 election is now part of a broadening criminal investigation. And that investigation into the important issue of foreign election meddling and possible corruption does benefit the nation.

Oh, NOW the Trump supporters are concerned abut 2016 election meddling? Could they be any more transparent about why they care?

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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b(zone 9/10)

I can only imagine the whiplash some people must experience from their almost constant reversals...

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mrskjun(9)

90% of dems support impeachment and 90% of republicans don't. Bipartisan all the way.

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Stan Areted

I think the division will continue, and actually believe that even if this country were again seriously threatened, like WW II and 9-11, it would not be cohesive.

I think today's libs would likely crater to outside invaders to make their lives easier because they couldn't be bothered to fight, or would rather take potshots and an opportunity to destroy their fellow countrymen.

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Kitchenwitch111

90% of dems support impeachment and 90% of republicans don't. Bipartisan all the way.

But it's only the Dems who are wrong?

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Iris GW

Clean cut lines along Dem/Repub are fading. You also have to look at what Independents say because there are many liberals/conservatives behind that label.


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catspa_zone9sunset14(aka)

I think today's libs would likely crater to outside invaders to make their lives easier...

To the contrary, Stan. It seems only the left is fighting against Putin's subversion of the U.S. through Trump, while the right does nothing but cheer him on.

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barncatz

It seems that the right admires Putin too from many comments I've read; Trump is not alone. I actually think they'd prefer a Putin type regime since many it seems are quite taken with "strong men" types

^^^^Totally agree. That's why I think we've passed a partisan analysis of this inpeachment. Those who can read this testimony and snark at the process or the need for impeachment and trial are not any Republicans I grew up knowing and discussing Watergate with. They are a new party that parrots fealty to America's principals while not really supporting any of them.

It is a new party because it is willing to eliminate the separation of Church and State, to appoint judges based not on their objective legal skills but solely on their party fealty, to withdraw from Nato and support new alliances with strongmen governments around the world.

At first, all of them might not accept a President for Life, although some would if it were Trump, but all of them would vote for Don Jr.

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vgkg Z-7 Va(Z-7)

What Impeachment? America's First 'Show Trial' Begins Wednesday

Show trial? First?

History elvis, History (all on TV too) ---

Altogether, there were seven days of public hearings: May 9, and July 24–27, 29–30. During the first phase of the hearings, May 9 – June 21, the committee's impeachment inquiry staff reported their evidence on Watergate and the other topics within the scope of their earlier research.

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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b(zone 9/10)

Notice there are no arguments from our GOP lawmakers with the evidence of this corruption, only protestations against the process, etc...

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

Were not HUAC and McCarthy's Senate hearing show trials?

Republicans were leading the charge.

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mrskjun(9)

Face it, the dems know that Trump will not be impeached. They only hope to damage him before 2020 because they know they don't have a candidate to beat him. Eventually most Americans will figure this out.

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Chi

"They only hope to damage him before 2020"

Democrats didn't make him withhold aid in exchange for dirt on his political opponents. Democrats didn't make his lawyers hide the incriminating phone memo. Democrats didn't make him decide not to tell Congress that he was withholding aid to Ukraine, which is illegal.

Trump damaged himself by being a corrupt criminal who thinks he is above the law. But he is not, and while the cowardly Senate Republicans won't impeach him, Trump supporters are kidding themselves to think the American public will be okay with Trump's actions if it's proven he violated the Constitution.

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Chi

"They only hope to damage him before 2020 because they know they don't have a candidate to beat him"

It's weird then that nearly all the polls consistently show Democrats beating Trump, regardless of source. And yes, many of the 2016 polls were incorrect but we also know far more about Trump now than we did then, and his approval rating does not indicate he has won over many more fans.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

Face it, the dems know that Trump will not be impeached.

No conviction became less likely today with the revelation in Stone's trial that Trump lied to Mueller. How much less likely remains to be seen.

Party before country will hold for how many d@mning revelations before the public is tired of the criminal cabal in the White House.

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Ann

"And yes, many of the 2016 polls were incorrect but we also know far more about Trump now than we did then, and his approval rating does not indicate he has won over many more fans. "

Yes true, not many more. He's only about 5 points higher than he was just prior to the 2016 election.

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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b(zone 9/10)

Democrats want to hold the president accountable for his actions. The party that only cares about re-election is the GOP, as they keep demonstrating.

Funny how the projection never seems to end.

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mudhouse

Funny how the projection never seems to end.

I've said the same thing, but from the opposite side of the fence.

What's really interesting (I think) is that both sides truly and honestly believe the other side is the one that's doing all the projecting.

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Kathy

One side has a lot of evidence and one side is refusing to testify.

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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b(zone 9/10)

So despite the fact that our president and his people have all admitted that this happened and released a (partial) transcript of the call, it's only no biggie to his supporters.

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catkinZ8a


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cattyles

They believe he was fighting corruption for the safety of the nation. Supertrump

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cattyles

But yet they don’t believe whistleblowers are entitled to protection.

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Chi

Apparently they don't believe in the crucial role that whistleblowers play in keeping our country as corruption-free as possible. That's why we have whistleblower protection laws.

Calling them leakers, operatives, deep state spy? It's like we learned nothing from Epstein's assisted suicide.

It's just deflection. They hope to villify the Dems enough that Trump gets elected again regardless of whether he's actually a traitor or not. They don't care about that.

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catkinZ8a


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Ann

"So despite the fact that our president and his people have all admitted that this happened and released a (partial) transcript of the call, it's only no biggie to his supporters."

Yes, that phone call was no biggie to me at all.

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Chi

So then why did the White House lawyers insist on hiding it?

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Kathy

The phone call had a lot of background. All leading to bribery and extortion for personal gain. Not only personal gain, but gain for Putin.

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catkinZ8a

Star witness---non-politician Vindman disagreed with POTUS' policy but found no legal issue with the Zelensky call.

Here's an idea Vindman--run for office and try to change policy! Otherwise--we have news for you---your opinion--what you think and feel matters not.

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Kathy

Too many GOP benefited from Russian money and interference. VIndman has worked for both parties for years. He knew treasonous actions when he saw it.

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catkinZ8a

What a joke Schiff and the Radical Dems are!

Your witnesses know nothing.

Everything's 4th 5th 6th hand knowledge.

No one can point to any demand in the transcript.

Vindman agrees the transcript is accurate.

They can't find a Ukrainian who thinks they were pressured.

They can't find any delay the Ukrainians actually knew about.

Vindman wants to run U.S. policy.





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Chi

It's not a transcript. It says right on it that it's not a transcript.

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Kathy

VIndman said important words and phrases were omitted from transcript.

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catkinZ8a

Kathy

VIndman said important words and phrases were omitted from transcript.

_____________________________



Chi

It's not a transcript. It says right on it that it's not a transcript.

_____________________________

From the lefty CNN.

https://www.cnn.com/politics/live-news/impeachment-inquiry-11-08-2019/h_cc5c97b8039572375737c07188ea6bf1

3:01 p.m. ET, November 8, 2019

Vindman testified there was no "malicious intent" to cover anything up in Trump's Ukraine call transcript

From CNN's Jeremy Herb and Zach Cohen



Lt. Col. Alexanader Vindman, the National Security Council's top Ukraine expert, downplayed the significance of his proposed edits that were not made to the rough transcript of the President’s July 25 call, which included adding a reference to Burisma and tapes of former Vice President Joe Biden that were not included in the transcript released by the White House.

Asked if the transcript was complete and “very accurate,” Vindman said it was. Vindman described the edits he proposed as “substantive,” but said he did not think there was any “malicious intent” or cover-up behind his proposed edits not being incorporated.

“I do not think there was malicious intent on anything of that nature to cover anything up,” Vindman said. “I don't know definitively, but I don't think that's the case. And I think, in general, the people I work with try to do the right thing.”

In addition to the two edits previously reported about Burisma and the Biden tapes, Vindman said that one of the ellipses in the transcript replaced President Trump saying of the Crowdstrike server: "They say you have it.” But Vindman he noted Trump also said in the next line: “They say Ukraine has it.”

Vindman explained that the ellipses sometimes — but not always — replaced words. “Like I said, in my notes, if it was a Ukrainian word on something that required some content and it was not in there, I'd replace it, but not every ellipses has something else with it,” he said.

Vindman told lawmakers that he reviewed the transcript of Trump’s July 25 call produced by the White House Situation Room, as is protocol at the NSC, and made “a couple of edits and suggestions.”

But while Vindman would typically see the final transcript of such calls after the review process is complete, he said he did not in the case of the July 25 conversation with Ukraine's president.

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cattyles

The tone of that piece changes dramatically after your edits. I recommend everyone read the article for yourself and note how it’s edited here. What is left out by the poster speaks volumes.

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catkinZ8a

Left out? Go to the link, lol.

We'll thank you not to accuse fellow members.

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catkinZ8a

ANALYSIS: Democrats have a Colonel Vindman problem

by Byron York

| November 11, 2019 08:29 PM

Print this article

House Democrats conducted their impeachment interviews in secret, but Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman still emerged as star of the show. Appearing at his Oct. 29 deposition in full dress uniform, the decorated Army officer, now a White House National Security Council Ukraine expert, was the first witness who had actually listened to the phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that is at the heart of the Democratic impeachment campaign. Even though lawmakers were forbidden to discuss his testimony in public, Vindman's leaked opening statement that "I did not think it was proper [for Trump] to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen" exploded on news reports.

Vindman has not yet been scheduled to appear before the Democrats' public impeachment hearings. When that happens, he will undoubtedly again play a prominent role. But there will be a difference. The public now has a transcript of Vindman's deposition. And those who have taken the trouble to read the 340-page document will have a different picture of Vindman's testimony than the one presented in early media reports.

Yes, Vindman testified repeatedly that he "thought it was wrong" for Trump, speaking with Zelensky, to bring up the 2016 election and allegations of Ukraine-related corruption on the part of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden. But the Vindman transcript also showed a witness whose testimony was filled with opinion, with impressions, who had little new to offer, who withheld important information from the committee, who was steeped in a bureaucracy that has often been hostile to the president, and whose lawyer, presumably with Vindman's approval, expressed unmistakable disdain, verging on contempt, for members of Congress who asked inconvenient questions. In short, Vindman's testimony was not the slam-dunk hit Democrats portrayed it to be. And that raises questions about how it will play when Vindman goes before the world in a public impeachment hearing.

Here are four problems with the Vindman testimony:

1) Beyond his opinions, he had few new facts to offer. Vindman seemed to be an important fact witness, the first who had actually been on the July 25 call when Trump talked to Zelensky. But the White House weeks ago released the rough transcript of that call, which meant everyone in the secure room in which Vindman testified, and everyone on the planet, for that matter, already knew what had been said.

Indeed, Vindman attested to the overall accuracy of the rough transcript, contrary to some impeachment supporters who have suggested the White House is hiding an exact transcript that would reveal everything Trump said to the Ukrainian president. As one of a half-dozen White House note-takers listening to the call, Vindman testified that he tried unsuccessfully to make a few edits to the rough transcript as it was being prepared. In particular, Vindman believed that Zelensky specifically said the word "Burisma," the corrupt Ukrainian energy company that hired Hunter Biden, when the rough transcript referred only to "the company." But beyond that, Vindman had no problems with the transcript, and he specifically said he did not believe any changes were made with ill intent.

"You don't think there was any malicious intent to specifically not add those edits?" asked Republican counsel Steve Castor.

"I don't think so."

"So otherwise, this record is complete and I think you used the term 'very accurate'?"

"Yes," said Vindman.

Once Vindman had vouched for the rough transcript, his testimony mostly concerned his own interpretation of Trump's words. And that interpretation, as Vindman discovered during questioning, was itself open to interpretation.

Vindman said he was "concerned" about Trump's statements to Zelensky, so concerned that he reported it to top National Security Council lawyer John Eisenberg. (Vindman had also reported concerns to Eisenberg two weeks before the Trump-Zelensky call, after a Ukraine-related meeting that included Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union.) Vindman said several times that he was not a lawyer and did not know if Trump's words amounted to a crime but that he felt they were "wrong." That was when Republican Rep. John Ratcliffe, a former U.S. attorney, tried to get to the root of Vindman's concerns. What was really bothering him?

"I'm trying to find out if you were reporting it because you thought there was something wrong with respect to policy or there was something wrong with respect to the law," Ratcliffe said to Vindman. "And what I understand you to say is that you weren't certain that there was anything improper with respect to the law, but you had concerns about U.S. policy. Is that a fair characterization?"

"So I would recharacterize it as I thought it was wrong and I was sharing those views," Vindman answered. "And I was deeply concerned about the implications for bilateral relations, U.S. national security interests, in that if this was exposed, it would be seen as a partisan play by Ukraine. It loses the bipartisan support. And then for — "

"I understand that," Ratcliffe said, "but that sounds like a policy reason, not a legal reason."

Indeed it did. Elsewhere in Vindman's testimony, he repeated that his greatest worry was that if the Trump-Zelensky conversation were made public, then Ukraine might lose the bipartisan support it currently has in Congress. That, to Ratcliffe and other Republicans, did not seem a sufficient reason to report the call to the NSC's top lawyer, nor did it seem the basis to begin a process leading to impeachment and a charge of presidential high crimes or misdemeanors.

At another point, Castor asked Vindman whether he was interpreting Trump's words in an overly alarmist way, especially when Vindman contended that Trump issued a "demand" to Zelensky.

"The president in the transcript uses some, you know, words of hedging from time to time," Castor said. "You know, on page 3, he says 'whatever you can do.' He ends the first paragraph on page 3, 'if that's possible.' At the top of page 4, 'if you could speak to him, that would be great.' 'So whatever you can do.' Again, at the top of page 4, 'if you can look into it.' Is it reasonable to conclude that those words hedging for some might, you know, lead people to conclude that the president wasn't trying to be demanding here?"

"I think people want to hear, you know, what they have as already preconceived notions," Vindman answered, in what may have been one of the more revealing moments of the deposition. "I'd also point your attention to 'whatever you can do, it's very important to do it if that's possible.'"

"'If that's possible,'" Castor stressed.

"Yeah," said Vindman. "So I guess you can interpret it in different ways."

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/analysis-democrats-have-a-col-vindman-problem

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catkinZ8a

2) Vindman withheld important information from investigators. Vindman ended his opening statement in the standard way, by saying, "Now, I would be happy to answer your questions." As it turned out, that cooperation did not extend to both parties.

The only news in Vindman's testimony was the fact that he had twice taken his concerns to Eisenberg. He also told his twin brother, Yevgeny Vindman, who is also an Army lieutenant colonel and serves as a National Security Council lawyer. He also told another NSC official, John Erath, and he gave what he characterized as a partial readout of the call to George Kent, a career State Department official who dealt with Ukraine. That led to an obvious question: Did Vindman take his concerns to anyone else? Did he discuss the Trump-Zelensky call with anyone else? It was a reasonable question and an important one. Republicans asked it time and time again. Vindman refused to answer, with his lawyer, Michael Volkov, sometimes belligerently joining in. Through it all, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff stood firm in favor of keeping his committee in the dark.

Vindman openly conceded that he told other people about the call. The obvious suspicion from Republicans was that Vindman told the person who became the whistleblower, who reported the call to the Intelligence Community inspector general, and who, in a carefully crafted legal document, framed the issue in a way that Democrats have adopted in their drive to remove the president from office.

Vindman addressed the suspicion before anyone raised it. In his opening statement, he said, "I am not the whistleblower ... I do not know who the whistleblower is and I would not feel comfortable to speculate as to the identity of the whistleblower."

Fine, said Republicans. We won't ask you who the whistleblower is. But if your story is that you were so concerned by the Trump-Zelensky issue that you reported it to Eisenberg, and also to others, well, who all did you tell? That is when the GOP hit a brick wall from Vindman, his lawyer Volkov, and, most importantly, Schiff. As chairman of the Intelligence Committee, charged with overseeing the intelligence community, Schiff might normally want to know about any intelligence community involvement in the matter under investigation. But in the Vindman deposition, Schiff strictly forbade any questions about it. "Can I just caution again," he said at one point, "not to go into names of people affiliated with the IC in any way." The purpose of it all was to protect the identity of the whistleblower, who Schiff incorrectly claimed has "a statutory right to anonymity."

That left Republicans struggling to figure out what happened. "I'm just trying to better understand who the universe of people the concerns were expressed to," said Castor.

"Look, the reason we're objecting is not — we don't want — my client does not want to be in the position of being used to identifying the whistleblower, okay?" said Volkov. "And based on the chair's ruling, as I understand it, [Vindman] is not required to answer any question that would tend to identify an intelligence officer."

"Okay," Castor said to Vindman. "Did you express concerns to anybody, you know, that doesn't fall under this category of someone who might be the whistleblower, or is Eisenberg the only — "

"No," said Vindman. "In my coordination role, as I actually said in the statement, in my opening ... in performing my coordination role as director on the National Security Council, I provide readouts of relevant meetings and communications to [redacted] properly cleared counterparts with a relevant need to know."

What did that mean, exactly? Vindman didn't tell anybody else, he just provided readouts? On a need-to-know basis? Republicans tried on several occasions to figure it out. "Some of the other people that you raised concerns to, did you ask any of those folks to do anything with the concerns?" asked Castor.

That only prompted more bureaucratese from the witness. "I don't think that's an accurate characterization, counsel," Vindman said. "I think what I did was I fulfilled my coordination role and spoke to other national security professionals about relevant substance in the call so that they could take appropriate action. And frankly, it's hard to — you know, without getting into, you know, sources and methods, it's hard to kind of talk about some of these things."

So, Vindman's basic answer was: I won't tell you because that's a secret. After several such exchanges, Volkov got tough with lawmakers, suggesting further inquiries might hurt Vindman's feelings.

"Look, he came here," Volkov said. "He came here. He tells you he's not the whistleblower, okay? He says he feels uncomfortable about it. Try to respect his feelings at this point."

An unidentified voice spoke up. "We're uncomfortable impeaching the president," it said.

"Excuse me. Excuse me," Volkov responded. "If you want to debate it, we can debate it, but what I'm telling you right now is you have to protect the identity of the whistleblower. I get that there may be political overtones. You guys go do what you got to do, but do not put this man in the middle of it."

Castor spoke up. "So how does it out anyone by saying that he had one other conversation other than the one he had with George Kent?"

"Okay," said Volkov. "What I'm telling you right now is we're not going to answer that question. If the chair wants to hold him in contempt for protecting the whistleblower, God be with you. ... You don't need this. You don't need to go down this. And look, you guys can — if you want to ask, you can ask — you can ask questions about his conversation with Mr. Kent. That's it. We're not answering any others."

"The only conversation that we can speak to Col. Vindman about is his conversation with Ambassador Kent?" asked Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin.

"Correct," said Volkov, "and you've already asked him questions about it."

"And any other conversation that he had with absolutely anyone else is off limits?"

"No," said Volkov. "He's told you about his conversations with people in the National Security Council. What you're asking him to do is talk about conversations outside the National Security Council. And he's not going to do that. I know where you're going."

"No, actually, you don't," said Zeldin.

"Oh, yes, sir," said Volkov.

"No, you really don't," said Zeldin.

"You know what?" said Volkov. "I know what you're going to say. I already know what you're going to do, okay? And I don't want to hear the FOX News questions, okay?"

Zeldin, perhaps seeking to cool Volkov down, said, "Listen, this transcript is going to be out at some point, okay?"

"I hope so," said Volkov.

Finally, Schiff stepped in to stop things. "The gentleman will suspend," he said. "Let's suspend. Counsel has made his position clear. I think his client has made his position clear. Let's move on."

It should be noted that Volkov was a lawyer, and members of Congress were members of Congress. The lawyer should not be treating the lawmakers as Volkov did. Volkov was able to tell Republicans to buzz off only because he had Schiff's full support. And Republicans never found out who else Vindman discussed the Trump-Zelensky call with.

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catkinZ8a

3) There were notable gaps in Vindman's knowledge. Vindman portrayed himself as the man to see on the National Security Council when it came to issues involving Ukraine. "I'm the director for Ukraine," he testified. "I'm responsible for Ukraine. I'm the most knowledgeable. I'm the authority for Ukraine for the National Security Council and the White House." Yet at times there were striking gaps in Vindman's knowledge of the subject matter. He seemed, for instance, distinctly incurious about the corruption issues in Ukraine that touched on Joe and Hunter Biden.

Vindman agreed with everyone that Ukraine has a serious corruption problem. But he knew little specifically about Burisma, the nation's second-largest privately owned energy company, and even less about Mykola Zlochevsky, the oligarch who runs the firm.

"What do you know about Zlochevsky, the oligarch that controls Burisma?" asked Castor.

"I frankly don't know a huge amount," Vindman said.

"Are you aware that he's a former Minister of Ecology"? Castor asked, referring to a position Zlochevsky allegedly used to steer valuable government licenses to Burisma.

"I'm not," said Vindman.

"Are you aware of any of the investigations the company has been involved with over the last several years?"

"I am aware that Burisma does have questionable business dealings," Vindman said. "That's part of the track record, yes."

"Okay. And what questionable business dealings are you aware of?" asked Castor. Vindman said he did not know beyond generalities. "The general answer is I think they have had questionable business dealings," Vindman said.

Castor then noted that in 2014 Burisma "undertook an initiative to bring in some additional folks for their board, are you aware of some of the folks they added to their board in 2014?"

"The only individual I'm aware of, again, after, you know, as it's been reported in the press is Mr. Hunter Biden," Vindman said.

"Okay," said Castor. "And did you check with any of your authoritative sources in government to learn a little bit more about these issues?"

"I did not," said Vindman. "I didn't think it was appropriate. He was a U.S. citizen, and I wasn't going to ask questions."

A short time later, Castor asked, "And do you have any knowledge as to why Hunter Biden was asked to join the board?"

"I do not."

"Did you check with any of your authoritative sources whether he was a corporate governance expert or — "

"Like I said, I didn't," Vindman answered. "He's an American citizen. Certainly there are domestic political overtones. I did not think that was appropriate for me to start looking into this particular ... I drew my conclusions on Burisma and I moved on."

Vindman had other blind spots, as well. One important example concerned U.S. provision of so-called lethal aid to Ukraine, specifically anti-tank missiles known as Javelins. The Obama administration famously refused to provide Javelins or other lethal aid to Ukraine, while the Trump administration reversed that policy, sending a shipment of missiles in 2018. On the Trump-Zelensky call, the two leaders discussed another shipment in the future.

"Both those parts of the call, the request for investigation of Crowd Strike and those issues, and the request for investigation of the Bidens, both of those discussions followed the Ukraine president saying they were ready to buy more Javelins. Is that right?" asked Schiff.

"Yes," said Vindman.

"There was a prior shipment of Javelins to Ukraine, wasn't there?" said Schiff.

"So that was, I believe — I apologize if the timing is incorrect — under the previous administration, there was a — I'm aware of the transfer of a fairly significant number of Javelins, yes," Vindman said.

Vindman's timing was incorrect. Part of the entire Trump-Ukraine story is the fact that Trump sent the missiles while Obama did not. The top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council did not seem to know that.

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catkinZ8a

4) Vindman was a creature of a bureaucracy that has often opposed Trump. In his testimony, Vindman's perspective could be mind-numbingly bureaucratic. One of his favorite words is "interagency," by which he means the National Security Council's role in coordinating policy among the State Department, Defense Department, the Intelligence Community, the Treasury Department, and the White House. His bible is something known as NSPM-4, or National Security Presidential Memorandum 4. He says things such as, "So I hold at my level sub-PCCs, Deputy Assistant Secretary level. PCCs are my boss, senior director with Assistant Secretaries. DCs are with the deputy of the National Security Council with his deputy counterparts within the interagency." He believes the interagency has set a clear U.S. policy toward Ukraine.

"You said in your opening statement, or you indicated at least, that there's a fairly consensus policy within the interagency towards Ukraine," Democratic counsel Daniel Goldman said to Vindman. "Could you just explain what that consensus policy is, in your own words?"

"What I can tell you is, over the course of certainly my tenure there, since July 2018, the interagency, as per normal procedures, assembles under the NSPM-4, the National Security Policy [sic] Memorandum 4, process to coordinate U.S. government policy," Vindman said. "We, over the course of this past year, probably assembled easily a dozen times, certainly at my level, which is called a subpolicy coordinating committee — and that's myself and my counterparts at the Deputy Assistant Secretary level — to discuss our views on Ukraine."

That is a classic bureaucrat's view of government and the world. Needless to say, Trump does not do that sort of thing. The president is remarkably freewheeling, unbureaucratic, and certainly not always consistent when it comes to making policy. But he generally has a big goal in mind, and in any event, he is the president of the United States. He, not the interagency, sets U.S. foreign policy.

Still, Vindman was deeply upset when Trump, relying on Rudy Giuliani and others, turned his attention to Ukraine. "In the spring of 2019, I became aware of outside influencers promoting a false narrative of Ukraine inconsistent with the consensus views of the interagency," Vindman said in his opening statement. The outside influencers, he suggested, were undermining the work of his "interagency colleagues." In the words of the Washington Post, Vindman was "deeply troubled by what he interpreted as an attempt by the president to subvert U.S. foreign policy."

Vindman's discussion of the interagency, while dry as dust, might contain the key to his role in the Trump-Ukraine affair. In the last few years, the bureaucracy with which he so clearly identified has often been at odds, sometimes privately and sometimes publicly, with the president. Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, writing in a new book, said two top officials, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and White House chief of staff John Kelly, sought to undermine Trump to "save the country."

"It was their decisions, not the president's, that were in the best interest of America, they said," Haley wrote. "The president didn't know what he was doing."

That view extended deep into some areas of the government. Now, parts of the foreign policy bureaucracy are in open war with the president, channeling their grievances through the House Democrats' drive toward impeachment. When he testifies in public, Vindman will be the living embodiment of that bureaucratic war.

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cattyles

Who’s “we”? Back to the Washington Examiner, I see. And an opinion piece from the WE, no less. Pure propaganda and not based on fact.




Detailed Report

Factual Reporting: MIXED

Country: USA
World Press Freedom Rank: USA 48/180

History

Founded in 2005, The Washington Examiner is an American political journalism website and weekly magazine based in Washington, D.C. that covers politics and policy in the United States and internationally. The current editor is Hugo Gordon.

Funded by / Ownership

The Washington Examiner is owned by Clarity Media Group, which is in turn owned by Philip Anschutz, who is an American billionaire entrepreneur who describes himself as a “conservative Christian.” Anschutz is also the owner of the right leaning Weekly Standard and has donated millions of dollars to right leaning causes, including anti-LGBT groups, such as the Family Research Council, which has been labeled a hate group. The Washington Examiner is funded through an advertising and subscription model.

Analysis / Bias

In review, the format and content of the Washington Examiner has been compared to The Hill, albeit with a right leaning tilt. They generally report political news as well as local Washington DC news stories. The Washington Examiner frequently utilizes loaded wording in sensationalized headlines such as: Trump’s manic Monday amid the Kavanaugh storm. While the headlines may be sensational, the content of articles are written with less bias and tend to be properly sourced to credible media outlets. Editorially, the Washington Examiner is 100% right. It is virtually impossible to find a single editorial that offers some form of balance. Most editorials have anti-left loaded headlines such as this: Obama, the Great Divider when in office, lacks the credibility to lecture America.

A factual search reveals several failed fact checks by IFCN fact checkers.

Overall, we rate the Washington Examiner Right Biased based on editorial positions that almost exclusively favor the right and Mixed for factual reporting due to several failed fact checks. (7/18/2016) Updated (D. Van Zandt 7/26/2019)

Source: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/

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catkinZ8a

Right on cue :wink wink:

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Linda

I was just trying to read all this, but two posters were confusing George Clooney with George Conway and I figured this must be a parallel universe and didn't read any more.

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jama7(6)

That is a classic bureaucrat's view of government and the world. Needless to say, Trump does not do that sort of thing. The president is remarkably freewheeling, unbureaucratic, and certainly not always consistent when it comes to making policy. But he generally has a big goal in mind, and in any event, he is the president of the United States. He, not the interagency, sets U.S. foreign policy.

Oh boy. Even the WE can't hide the truth....lol. The above statement does nothing but certify Trump's ignorance, lack of any consistent strategies, impulsiveness and his refusal to listen to seasoned advisors cuz "No one is the boss of HIM!"

Trump has what we might call a toddler world view.


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Annie Deighnaugh

Going after vindman for not being familiar with the inner workings of the board of burisma and hunter biden is like going after einstein for not knowing the details of the chemtrails conspiracy. It's a conspiracy, it's nonsense, it makes no sense, and has *nothing* to do with the illegal and criminal behavior of the president.

Going after vindman for being a 'bureaucrat' is discounting and denying the fact that we have a state department, et. al., full of very bright people who understand the details of the people, the culture, the politics, the economics the history, and the international interactions in the region. People who have *for decades*, in line with America's objective of fostering freedoms and economic well-being throughout the world thereby ensuring America's national security, have worked to execute policies to achieve those ends. He is relying on their expertise as well as his own to demonstrate a broad consensus among these professionals as to what's best. He is testifying that it is *not* what the president is doing, digging up dirt on a political rival to help his reelection campaign, and pushing policies that benefit his russian puppet masters.

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jama7(6)


The GOP's final defense of Trump when they've exhausted their ridiculous, unprovable conspiracy theories will be..... "So what? "

Congressman Sean Maloney: "So what" = "Where democracy goes to die."

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Kathy

Why are McConnell, Graham and other GOP who refuse to listen to testimony afraid they will hear? They are abdicating their responsibility instead of listening and making a rational decision.

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Iris GW

I expect a lot of senior citizens will be parked into their armchairs during this very cold weather, watching this go down.

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Stan Areted

I expect a lot of senior citizens will be parked into their armchairs during this very cold weather, watching this go down.

Then they don't have much of a life.

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margaux

Maybe one of those seniors without much of a life will be tweeting his impressions for the entire eight hours.

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Stan Areted

HAHAHA, I guess I did that!

What's the difference between George Conway and George Clooney?

Not much. Both spend a lot of time talking trash about President Trump.

Clooney is smoother, Conway angrier, neither are relevant to our President.


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margaux

Unless George is Kellyanne's ghost writer.

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lurker111

Shiff's opening statements are nothing but lies. What planet is he on? Good grief, that man is insane.

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Chi

It took Republicans approximately 10 seconds to start interrupting and disrupting. I expect we will see far more temper tantrums from them.

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catkinZ8a

No quid pro quo.



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mudhouse

Thanks for posting the article by Byron York, Catkin. I read it yesterday too, after reading most of Vindman's testimony. I agree with York.

Vindman only has opinions and interpretations, like everyone else. Guess what? I do too. He disagreed with Trump's policy. Disagreements on policy aren't justification for impeachment.

When pressed, he couldn't point to anything in the memcon that backed up his use of the word "demand", even when given time to do so (he finally went back to the part of the call we've all debated endlessly, here in HT.)

Hethought Javelin missiles were sold to Ukraine while Obama was president (completely wrong.)

Vindman has partisan opinions. Fine, this is America. But opinions aren't justification for impeachment, and his testimony to date has been a nothing burger.

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lurker111

A bunch of delusional fantasies never helped anyone. Schiffophernic maniac.

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Kathy

Javelins sold to Ukraine came with conditions so ridiculous they wouldn’t help if needed. They are not near the border and were sold as more of a political maneuver than a real solution. VIndman is vastly credible having worked for Reps and Dems for many years. What Trump did was concerning so he spoke up and as a result Trump retaliated by removing him from his position.

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Chi

I think he's doing a great job laying out the facts nice and calmly. I expect drama soon.

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lurker111

I'll just record it fast forward through the crazy crats. I'm not a shrink, so there is no reason for me to listen to them.

I think he's doing a great job laying out the facts

Those aren't facts. Nothing more than his imagination. No longer watching it.

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catkinZ8a


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vgkg Z-7 Va(Z-7)

The truth will set you free.....but not in trump's case.

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Chi

Lol as expected. Schiff spends his time outlining what he believes Trump has done and Nunes doesn't talk about Trump's innocence but starts immediately attacking Democrats.

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Chi

Republicans know they don't have facts or the law on their side so they are just going to attack, attack, attack and hope they convince enough Americans to get Trump re-elected.

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lurker111

The reps aren't afraid of anything. They have no patience for treasonous...Fill in the blank.

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Chi

Trump? Agreed

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Iris GW

No longer watching it.

Not really surprised. Trump and his supporters in general seem to prefer that this whole thing go away. Don't worry, won't be long until it's over.

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lurker111

We're witnessing a crime against all Americans.

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catkinZ8a


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Iris GW

^^ that meme reminds me of the Benghazi hearings.

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Chi

Nunes just wasted his entire speech attacking Democrats. I wonder why the Republicans don't lay out the facts of Trump's innocence instead.

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lurker111

Trump already released the proof. The left is operating on fantasy.

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vgkg Z-7 Va(Z-7)

The reps aren't afraid of anything.

nyuk, being primaried by a trump tweet/decree is scary enough for them, a sniveling bunch of cowards who only want to save their hides and party. They're all stuck between trump and a hard place.

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Iris GW

I wonder why the Republicans don't lay out the facts of Trump's innocence instead.

Would they get more points from Trump by attacking Democrats or by demonstrating his innocence? How to choose, how to choose ...

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lurker111

lol^^^

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lurker111

I wonder why the Republicans don't lay out the facts of Trump's innocence instead.

Innocent until PROVEN guilty. Welcome to the USA.

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Chi

Republicans are making fools of themselves

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vgkg Z-7 Va(Z-7)

They were already fools long ago with the emails and Benghazi hearings.

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lurker111

Republicans are making fools of the crats.

Fixed it for you.

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Ziemia(6a)

Playing music while watching c-span3.

(Learned a new way to call for music yesterday - so I asked Alexa for 1976 music. Great mix so far.)

So far, it seems the future of our country depends on the Independents.

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Iris GW

Of course he is innocent until proven guilty. But in the meantime, Democrats have held investigations and now have some facts that show he did something. Time for Republicans to show demonstrate his innocence. Instead, they are attacking the process, not the facts of what he did.

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Chi

So much interrupting and whining about wanting to know who the whistleblower is. Schiff comes off as the adult in the room.

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vgkg Z-7 Va(Z-7)

Innocent until PROVEN guilty. Welcome to the USA.

Ageed, the repubs should at least call up some character witnesses for trump....oh that's right, he lack any character, any Good character. trump-U, trump foundation, trump grabbing, etc etc etc etc etc etc......

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lurker111

Democrats have held investigations and now have some facts that show he did something.

lol!

Remember how schiffo had the proof of Trump colluding with Russia? Remember how the left believed every word he said? LOL! :)

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Iris GW

lurker, do you think Nixon did anything wrong? Just curious.

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vgkg Z-7 Va(Z-7)

trump colludes with russia daily, where have you been?

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lurker111

lurker, do you think Nixon did anything wrong? Just curious.

I think Clinton did. :)

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Kathy

The difference between Dems and Trumpers is the Dems are taking steps against Russian aggression while Trump is working to allow it.

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lurker111

Nonsense.

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mudhouse

What Trump did was concerning so he spoke up and as a result Trump retaliated by removing him from his position.

This was proven to be false reporting, Kathy. Vindman's attorney has stated that Vindman is still detailed to the NSC, and that they are unaware of any changes to his status. His detail ends in July 2020, and some jumped on an unclear statement from Robert O'Brien in the Face the Nation interview, incorrectly tweeting that Vindman had been fired or removed.

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vgkg Z-7 Va(Z-7)

trump would gladly give putin Ukraine in exchange for a tower in moscow, you wanted a businessman to run things, you got one.

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catkinZ8a

Kent's buddies with evil George Soros.



“George Kent has got a problem of his own. George Kent wrote a letter in which he asked that a case be dismissed by [Ukrainian prosecutor] Lutsenko, and it was the case against Soros’s NGO AntAC. And that company AntAC was right in the middle of gathering a lot of the dirty material on Trump and Donald Trump Jr. [AntAC] also worked with Fusion GPS.

Kent was “Marie Yovanovitch’s deputy and also the guy that helped set up the 2 so-called anti-corruption bureaus in Ukraine that turned out to be Soros protection bureaus.”


https://warroom.org/2019/11/13/giuliani-george-kent-is-a-soros-ally/

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lurker111

Ukraine had a civil war. Crats want to fund one side of the civil war like they did with the Kurds, and in Libya. It's none of their business. We need to stay out of it.

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Iris GW

Clinton lied. We all agree, I believe, on that.

I asked about Nixon.

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Chi

"Swamp rats opening statements---blah blah blah."

Are you calling Kent a swamp rat?

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catkinZ8a

When will Schiff call Greta Thunberg and blow the doors off of this thing?

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lurker111

I asked about Nixon.

Nixon was never impeached. That's like asking me if I think Biden is guilty of a QPQ.

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olliesmom


When will Schiff call Greta Thunberg and blow the doors off of this thing?

^^^^

LOL!

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Iris GW

I didn't ask about Nixon's impeachment.

do you think Nixon did anything wrong?

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catkinZ8a

Swamp rat--bureaucrat, Democrat, they all fit.

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vgkg Z-7 Va(Z-7)

Nixon was never impeached.

Yeah, he resigned because he was innocent, trump should do the same.

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lurker111

do you think Nixon did anything wrong?

Okay then. Yes, I think Biden is guilty of a QPQ.

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catkinZ8a

The Dem clown-world on display for the world to see.


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Chi

These are two of the most credible witnesses I've ever seen. Republicans are going to try (and fail) to discredit them.

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catkinZ8a

Imagine being a lefty that thinks this hearing means anything and that 'Drumpf' is finally finished.

"Ignore the past 4 years, this time we're gonna finally get him!"

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catkinZ8a

So this country's foreign policy decisions are now hinging on some guy's nagging wife?

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Stan Areted

ROTF!

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catkinZ8a

Wow, these witnesses are bought snd paid for..

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Chi

I'm so glad these hearings are being broadcast to the public. Americans deserve to know the truth about what Trump is doing. Thank you 2018 voters!

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lurker111

I watched another minute and some idiot was telling them what he heard from someone who heard it from someone else. This garbage wouldn't be allowed in a court of law. Congress writes the laws, they should have to follow their own laws.

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catkinZ8a

"With those two opening statements complete I motion we break to give the American people time for a nap."

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Kathy

Lurker, you seem to think Russian aggression against Ukraine should be allowed?

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catkinZ8a

He is essentially complaining that the President considered making a decision he -- a bureaucratic rat -- disagreed with, and this is supposed to be some kind of scandal, lol.

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catkinZ8a

Kathy

Lurker, you seem to think Russian aggression against Ukraine should be allowed?

____________________

We'll thank you NOT to put words in other member's mouths.

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lurker111

Lurker, you seem to think Russian aggression against Ukraine should be allowed?

Oh, no. I think Russia is acting like the USA and funding one side of the conflict.

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catkinZ8a

How many times have these witnesses admitted that they went against the President's foreign policy agenda?

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catkinZ8a

This guy has been rambling for 30 minutes now! In that time he has not ONCE said anything that would be considered an impeachable offense. He has however admitted to personally committing acts of sedition in multiple instances.

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lurker111

We seem to be missing a few people. They must not be able to watch it in their countries. :)

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Chi

Anyone who thinks Taylor's testimony isn't bad news for Trump isn't paying attention.

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Ziemia(6a)

How many times do they have to tell America they work for the American Constitution, to which they swore an oath?

The crap became obvious to them the end of July. It's trek to Congress and us was slow walked.

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Ziemia(6a)

They swear oaths to the US Constitution.

Ukraine is considered by many to be a strategic ally. To the US and Europe. Along the lines of the Monroe Doctrine. Of course, not all Americans agree. Seeking personal gain in exchange for federal aid - some say it's wrong and some don't.

Some Constitutional scholars say it's wrong, some don't. Etc.

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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b(zone 9/10)

How many times have witnesses said that the president's 'foreign policy agenda' violates the constitution?

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socks(10a)

His base isn't tuned in today. They'll wait for the fox "take" on it tonight.

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Ziemia(6a)

Watching closely vs. chatting online?

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Kathy

Catkin, I am trying to clarify what lurker is saying. I asked lurker.

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Kathy

Freezing aid to Ukraine allows Russian aggression. That is what Trump was threatening and Ukrainians were getting killed as he was withholding aid.

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lurker111

Trump didn't withhold aid. That's all propaganda. They actually got the aid early, before the deadline. You're spreading propaganda.

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Ziemia(6a)

Smart move - having the Counsel asking the questions.

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Nana H

Trump's attempt to extort the Ukraine to benefit him politically failed so it doesn't count.

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Ziemia(6a)

Freezing aid to Ukraine for info on political opponent supports Trump personally and Putin.

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lurker111

lol Pure fiction. ^^^ However, Joe succeeded.

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Ziemia(6a)

Failed attempts don't exonerate.

If anyone's attempt to overthrow a government fails - they don't become innocent.

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cattyles

Althea gold, we have another poster that goes by Althea, too. Welcome. I’ll be careful not to confuse the ‘two Altheas’. ;-)

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lurker111

If anyone's attempt to overthrow a government fails - they don't become innocent.

Good thing. :)

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Ziemia(6a)

Would be seen as pure fiction by someone preferring anarchy (Wild Wild West) over a well regulated society. (And there is a healthy tension in how to define 'well regulated' - why a healthy two party system is important.)

(Unsure but it seems our Constitution supports a two party system more than it supports a multi-party system.)

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lurker111

The left has been pushing one lie after another. No credence, whatsoever. They are dysfunctional as politicians. Completely insane.

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sjerin

That’s all you’ve got, Lurker? I can only picture many pubs with their fingers in their ears right now.

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Carro


Iris GW

^^ that meme reminds me of the Benghazi hearin

When 4 Americans dies during a coordinate, 9-11, radical Islamic terrorist attack?

Really?

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Carro


catkinZ8a

He is essentially complaining that the President considered making a decision he -- a bureaucratic rat -- disagreed with, and this is supposed to be some kind of scandal, lol.

Essentially, yes.

Overall, mind-numbingly boring and not delivering for Dems, with second-hand hearsay, suppositions, inferences and personal opinions.

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Chi

You guys must be watching a different hearing. These are very, very credible witnesses.

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Iris GW

Carro

^^ that meme reminds me of the Benghazi hearin

When 4 Americans dies during a coordinate, 9-11, radical Islamic terrorist attack?

Really?

Yes, really. Those hearings were a circus and a disgrace to those who died.

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Wants to Grow

Dang! Such a looong thread. So was Taylors's first testimony a dress rehearsal for this show trial?

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Carro

OK, Iris, you go ahead and think 4 dead Americans are comparable to Ukraine not being given a quid pro quo.

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Carro

The witnesses are credible. That's not the Democrats' problem.

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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b(zone 9/10)


Pretty easy to dismiss statements and testimony you're ignoring, isn't it?

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Stan Areted

The democrats problem is they can't accept defeat.


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Iris GW

Carro

OK, Iris, you go ahead and think 4 dead Americans are comparable to Ukraine not being given a quid pro quo

Not what I said. Don't put words in my mouth.

The topic was whether the trial is a circus.

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Iris GW

The democrats problem is they can't accept defeat.

No, the problem is that Trump [and his supporters] can't accept responsibility for what Trump did.

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catkinZ8a

Bill Taylor:


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Wants to Grow

Hi Iris, As of yet, Trump hasn't been charged with a single impeachable offense. What are supporters supposed to accept responsibility for?

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Stan Areted

Trump didn't do anything wrong, Iris.

We already know democrats can't get the "impeachment" word off their lips since before Donald Trump took the oath of office as President of the United States.

Schiff's absolute proof of "obstruction?"

HE's got nothing.

Democrats have got nothing.

They pretty much have nothing in the way of candidates.

What a sad state of affairs for the left to wake to each day when President Trump continues to Make America Great AGAIN.

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Chi

They pretty much have nothing in the way of candidates.

It must be pretty embarrassing then if these "nothing" candidates continually outperform Trump in poll after poll after poll.

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Carro

The topic was whether the trial is a circus.

What trial?

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Carro

Chi

They pretty much have nothing in the way of candidates.

It must be pretty embarrassing then if these "nothing" candidates continually outperform Trump in poll after poll after poll.

Is that how HIllary won in 2016?

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Stan Areted

Is that how HIllary won in 2016?

APPARENTLY, Carro.


THOSE polls must be to good to ignore when they're going their way.

We see how Hillary won, excuse me, LOST BIGLY.

Polls Schmolls.

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Wants to Grow

Hi Chi, Since those polls didn't accurately depict the results of the 2016 election, what makes you more confident of their accuracy this time around?

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Chi

Is that how HIllary won in 2016?

Trump was still unknown in terms of what kind of president he would be in 2016. We now know, and his approval numbers don't make me think we will see more polling surprises like we did in 2016. He has barely gained any support since then. And I think many of the Dem candidates are more likeable than Hillary was.

Generally, polls have been fairly reflective/accurate except for that single election, which makes me believe Trump was the wildcard there. But he is no longer a wildcard, and I believe the vast majority of people have already made up their mind, very decisively, about whether they will vote for him or not. I don't believe that was true in 2016 as many people have discussed their hesitancy before voting back then.

I also think a lot of people didn't actually vote, assuming from the polls that Hillary would easily win and they didn't need to. I think next year we are going to see record-breaking turnout.

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Stan Areted

But how is Hillary's incorrect "WIN" accounted for?

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Chi

But how is Hillary's incorrect "WIN" accounted for?

I think a lot of people were willing to say how they were leaning for polls, but didn't actually vote, thinking they didn't need to. Getting Dems to vote has always been an issue.

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lily316

It's probably difficult for republicans to understand an impeccable man like Bill Taylor, a smart educated man of service to this country compared to the TV reality host, con man, inarticulate babbler they worship

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Wants to Grow

Hi Chi, Like you say, Trump was an unknown wildcard in 2016. Many of us, myself included, were not nearly as enthusiastic about Trump in 2016, as we will be in 2020. I agree with you, there will be a record-breaking turnout.

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Wants to Grow

Hi lily316, When impeccable men, like Bill Taylor, work to undermine the foreign policies of the President, they are left looking like crybabies and do not appear to be so impeccable.

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Stan Areted

Well, Trump hasn't told me he loved me, but he gets my vote a second time because he GETS RESULTS, not because of common flattery.

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chipotle





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Kathy

When a President’s foreign policy is being used to benefit himself personally impeccable men stand up and speak truth to power.

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lurker111

Game over. lol! Oh, that was so good. :)

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catkinZ8a

So Taylor said he got his "clear understanding" from Sondland...and Sondland denies that...and then Taylor suggests Sondland may have forgotten what he 'originally' said. Have we got any of this right?

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mudhouse

Not looking very good for Schiff's trained star witnesses, at this point, lol.

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lurker111

"He said she said he said...I think, not sure."

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catkinZ8a



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paprikash

Another democrat swing.......and a miss. Bless their hearts.

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catkinZ8a


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Carro

Kathy

When a President’s foreign policy is being used to benefit himself personally impeccable men stand up and speak truth to power.

THIS IS MY LAST ELECTION. AFTER I'M ELECTED, I'LL BE MORE FLEXIBLE.

Ya think that would make Russia more apt to act on behalf of a President who said that, than say perhaps, his opponent?

I'm thinking Russia would be apt to act on behalf of the flexible guy.

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chipotle

Ambassador Taylor staffer who overheard Sondland's call with Trump is David Holmes, who was just added to the calendar to testify in closed session Friday.

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Carro

Super. More hearsay.

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catkinZ8a

'PEOPLE MAKE MISTAKES'. Swamp Rat Bill Taylor

Taylor HEARD something.

You don't know anything. You are reciting thirdhand hearsay!

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lily316

Does that hack Jordan even own a coat?

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catkinZ8a

Dems should've stayed in the basement, lol!

Professionals in the field of FEELINGS LOL!

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lily316

Gee, Fox's Chris Wallace said Taylor's testimony was very damaging to trump. Imagine those words said on Fox.

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paprikash

The dems should be ashamed of themselves — so far, they’re pathetic

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Stan Areted

I think a lot of people were willing to say how they were leaning for polls, but didn't actually vote, thinking they didn't need to. Getting Dems to vote has always been an issue.

Not really. Used to a $5 or cigarettes will do the trick, if they're driven to the polls.


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lily316

And Kellyann's husband George said today...I'm horrified. I'm appalled. A respected Republican lawyer.

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Kathy

Carro, working with Russia to achieve US goals is much different than working for Russia to achieve Russia’s goals. False analogy.

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paprikash

Stan Areted

I think a lot of people were willing to say how they were leaning for polls, but didn't actually vote, thinking they didn't need to. Getting Dems to vote has always been an issue.

Not really. Usually a $5 or cigarettes will do the trick, if they're driven to the polls.

————-

McDonald’s gift certificates work, too.

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Chi

Not really. Usually a $5 or cigarettes will do the trick, if they're driven to the polls.

————-

McDonald’s gift certificates work, too.

Hmm, not sure if Democrats are the ones more likely to smoke and eat McDonalds.

Top smoking states: West Virginia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Indiana, Ohio, Alaska, Alabama, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and so on.

Most obese states: North Dakota, Iowa, Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, West Virginia, etc.

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paprikash

I think you’re wrong Chi. I lived in Cuyahoga County, OH

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Stan Areted

Apparently not familiar with the democrats that are told they are victims from the non smoking non eating McDonalds democrats that are practically perfect in every way in their eyes?

They depend on those people for votes to keep them in power.

President Trump may be changing that.

Sometimes people realize a job is a good thing, and victimhood and handouts are not.

President Trump has presided over removing over FOUR AND A HALF MILLION people off of food stamps. Feeling good about yourself having a job and caring for yourself and family is a good thing, former democrat voters are finding out.

Not all of them yet, but it's a great start.

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Chi

I think you’re wrong Chi. I lived in Cuyahoga County, OH

Wrong about what?

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Stan Areted

Right paprikash, we cross posted.


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Chi

Alright, well I gave statistics on red states ranking far higher than blue states in both smoking and obesity. Feel free to provide additional statistics showing that Democrats are more likely to smoke and eat McDonalds. I would be interested in seeing that.

Oh, here's another statistic - the states with the highest concentration of McDonalds per 100,000 residents: West Virginia (68% Rep/26% Dem), Arkansas (60% Rep/33% Dem), Kentucky (62% Rep, 32% Dem), and Oklahoma (65% Rep, 28% Dem). I added in the percentages from the 2016 election but safe to say, these are all very, very solidly Republican states.

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paprikash


Hmm, not sure if Democrats are the ones more likely to smoke and eat McDonalds.

^ wrong about that Chi

eta I’m not interested in researching statistics for you but you may certainly enjoy your research if you wish

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Kathy

Stan the biggest recipients of government help are the red states. You are preaching to the choir. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. “You” being Republicans in general, not you personally.

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lurker111

Hmm, not sure if Democrats are the ones more likely to smoke and eat McDonalds.

They work there. ^^^

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Stan Areted

Kathy

Stan the biggest recipients of government help are the red states. You are preaching to the choir. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. “You” being Republicans in general, not you personally.

What makes you think I live in a red state?

I'm not a Republican, Kathy.

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catkinZ8a

Quigley: "Hearsay is better evidence!!!" Who ARE these people?

They just admitted this is ALL HEARSAY, lol!

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Chi

^ wrong about that Chi

eta I’m not interested in researching statistics for you but you may certainly enjoy your research if you wish

Lol, yep, that's about what I expected. Saying I'm wrong but not willing to prove it.

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catkinZ8a

lurker111

Hmm, not sure if Democrats are the ones more likely to smoke and eat McDonalds.

They work there. ^^^

Because their degree in Interpretive Dance doesn't afford them a job?

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catkinZ8a

Swallwell - the baby clown in the circus.

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Stan Areted

catkin, we must not forget degrees in "women's studies."

But since gender is fluid, that's no longer woke.


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Iris GW

Carro

The topic was whether the trial is a circus.

What trial?

The one mentioned in the meme that I commented on that started with whole sub-conversation. Hard to follow, I know.

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Carro

Looking at the direction of this conversation, I think it's clear that this bloop show isn't delivering any silver bullets.

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catkinZ8a

Crystal ball time again for Castro---what was in Zelensky's mind?

The Russians may have done this or that, correct?

What a dolt!

Trying to get the witness to speculate on what might have happened?

This idiot was running for president? LOL!

That was painful.

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Iris GW

I think it's clear that this bloop show isn't delivering any silver bullets.

We are how many hours into these hearings? I think you judge prematurely. But I understand that talking points must be used. Let me guess, you're "bored?"

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Carro

This idiot was running for president? LOL!

Castro the doxxer. Still in the race. What a disgrace.

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lurker111

Got your talking points from Fox?

Fox is showing the hearing.

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Nana H

Always about the people never about the substance. Lets call Mulvaney, Perry and Rudy to explain what really happened. Exonerating Trump is easy ,or at least it should be.

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lurker111

I guess this clown show isn't working for you, either?

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Kathy

Where’s all the people Trump forbid to testify. More than 12 of them could add some substance. All taking the fifth? Yep.

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Nana H

Carro / Catkin, wrong Castro.

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Wants to Grow

Hi lily316, considering this is Taylor's second time up for testimony, it was expected he would be delivering something new. If this is the best Schiffty has to offer the public, we are in for a snoozefest.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

Jim Jordan is such an embarrassment to the House.

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Wants to Grow

Hi Kathy, Why are you asking for substance from Trump's team? Is it because Schiffty has no substance to provide in this show trial?

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lurker111

LOL! Welch just called Syria "Kurdistan". Oh my! They are all crazy!

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Carro

althea gold

Carro / Catkin, wrong Castro.


Same cloth ;-)

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Kathy

Wants to grow,

Career professionals are patriotic enough to put their jobs on the line by testifying what they saw and heard while Trump has forbidden over 12 subpoenaed people to testify because they might incriminate him or themselves. That says a lot for transparency and confidence in his own innocence. It could be obstruction.

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Delilah66

“ No longer watching it.”


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lurker111

Schiff is tripping.

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Kathy

Nunes is Trump’s toadie. Asking for the same things Trump was extorting from Zelensky. What a joke!.

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Delilah66

“I think Clinton did. :)”

Is that when you became disillusioned with the Democratic Party?

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Delilah66

“Nixon was never impeached.”

”I am not a crook.” Textbook example of how NOT to answer a question. They never learn.

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Delilah66

“ Okay then. Yes, I think Biden is guilty of a QPQ. ”

The republican’t world: absurd.

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Wants to Grow

Hi Kathy, So far we have a bunch of NSC and State Dept. officials testifying with their panties in a wad over their disagreements about foreign policy, which is established by the President. So what they saw or heard hasn't yet been shown to be an impeachable offense. Instead it looks like a tantrum because Trump isn't following their "guidance" on foreign policy.

As for calling Executive Privilege "obstruction", where do you see the President is obligated to submit to the subpoena demands of Congress?

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chipotle

Has any GOP member explained why, if as Jim Jordan says Ukraine is “one of the three most corrupt countries on the planet”, that Trump trusted them to investigate two U.S. citizens for corruption?

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chipotle



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maddie260

Sondland will soon file ANOTHER addendum: the new one has a direct link to dt. Did he suddenly ‘remember’ this phone call, also?

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maddie260

Welch was brilliant:)

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Carro

Trump did start all of this: he won the 2016 election and Hillary lost.

This bloop show was a foregone conclusion from that moment on.

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Carro

This sums today's waste of time and money rather succinctly.


CNN’s Toobin: neither witness “had direct contact with the president…that’s a problem”




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maddie260

^Sondland has not appeared yet

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Nana H

Trump could have saved the country all of this had he shared his "foreign policy" with his Ambassador to the Ukraine. Seems he missed that step.

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chipotle

chipotle

Ambassador Taylor staffer who overheard Sondland's call with Trump is David Holmes, who was just added to the calendar to testify in closed session Friday.


Carro

Super. More hearsay.




Not hearsay. First hand information.

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Carro

How does one "overhear" such a call? Looking forward to the questioning.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

Has any GOP member explained why, if as Jim Jordan says Ukraine is “one of the three most corrupt countries on the planet”, that Trump had Manafort working on his campaign and didn't expect his dear friend Paul to be up to his eyeballs in corruption?

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Chi

How does one "overhear" such a call? Looking forward to the questioning.

You've never heard someone else's conversation while they were on a cell phone? The staffer was at a restaurant with Sondland and heard him talking to Trump.

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Carro

Pelosi has committed them to voting to impeach when she started all this, so Dems can't afford to hand him a win in an election year - now they're trying to justify it with specious claims of extortion and bribery which have as much chance of being prosecuted as the Democrats have of being committed to a mental institution for delusional paranoia.

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Chi

Sorry but Dems are not willing to let Trump break any laws he wants because the Senate is too cowardly to impeach him. The American people deserve to know what kind of President Trump really is before voting next year, so it's crucial to get to the bottom of this. If he's innocent, it will be good for him. If he's not innocent, it will be good for America.

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Iris GW

carro, we all know perfectly well that the GOP members of the Senate have declared even before hearing all the evidence that they plan to acquit him. Is that acceptable?

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Iris GW

You know his answers are rehearsed because he doesn’t even know how to answer the republicans questions.

What's an example of what they asked that he didn't know?

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ubro(2a)

This sums today's waste of time and money rather succinctly.


CNN’s Toobin: neither witness “had direct contact with the president…that’s a problem”

No it is not even relevant to Trumps actions, I can be a witness to a crime and not have ever met the criminal, I can also tell police I believe a crime happened and not have met the criminal. Neither scenario devalues my testimony if the subsequent facts support my testimony.

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Carro

How can one determine Trump's actions when they are twice and thrice removed?

Look, it's great if Americans want to watch and decide or themselves, and then they can vote. Democrats aren't going to take that away.

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Iris GW

How can one determine Trump's actions when they are twice and thrice removed?

We read the transcript of his call.

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vgkg Z-7 Va(Z-7)

CNN’s Toobin: neither witness “had direct contact with the president…that’s a problem”

Then have rudy, mulvaney, pompeo, and bolton testify, they all have first hand direct contact with the horse's mouth......but alas, not being allowed, keep first hand accounts out of view so as to cast doubts on anyone else. Trump should allow his Haldemans and Ehrlichmans to testify, along with his rudy.

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ubro(2a)

How can one determine Trump's actions when they are twice and thrice removed?

Chain of command, Trump directs Sondland et al and they direct others, there is no need to actually speak to Trump, when you are the POTUS you work thru your representatives and they are directed to speak/act for you.

Do you honestly think Trump personally directs every US diplomat around the world? I would bet there are many that have not actually met with him but still know how the WH expects them to act, and what policies they need to further.

If Trump was so innocent he would release the papers of both Kent and Taylor and he would let others testify. One that has nothing to hide, hides nothing.

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