Trump: “If you lose, it sends a really bad message …you can’t let that happen to me.”
@eddluxe: THANK YOU KENTUCKY!
— Kentucky Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beshear leads Republican incumbent Matt Bevin by 5,300 votes; Trump’s comment was made at a Kentucky rally for Bevin.
By Dan Peak
The Commoner Call (11/7/19)
Is every election now a vote for/against Trump? If so, it was not a very good Tuesday for Trump, given results in Kentucky, Virginia and even Mississippi. It was also not a good Impeachment day for Trump.
Trump’s EU Ambassador Ed Sondland, one of Trump’s ‘3 Amigos’ extorting Ukraine for Trump political dirt on an opponent, has revised his Congressional testimony. Sondland’s amended testimony says he did deliver a quid pro quo to Ukraine for Trump – Sondland now with 20/20 hindsight recalls telling a Ukraine official that US aid would not happen until Ukraine provided the public anti-corruption statement that was discussed for weeks. Sondland earned his appointment as Ambassador after making a $1 million contribution to Trump’s inauguration fund. Poor investment. Bet he now wishes he had his money back.
House impeachment investigators released the testimony of Sondland and the former special envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker. Sondland claims he now suddenly ‘remembered’ his quid pro quo to Ukraine after reading the 15-page opening remarks released by former US Ukraine Ambassador William Taylor ahead of his Congressional testimony.
To be clear – based on what has already been made public, Trump is guilty of having used his position and US foreign policy and congressional approved taxpayer funds to get foreign governments to investigate ‘dirt’ on a political opponent. And that, dear readers, is an impeachable defense.
Sondland’s released testimony includes this:
“Two of the most striking passages in the transcripts . In one exchange, he describes how Giuliani’s demands of Ukraine “kept getting more insidious as [the] timeline went on.” In another, he expresses his view that the insistence that Ukraine investigate former vice president Joe Biden was “improper,” and possibly illegal.”
Rudy Giuliani is of course Trump’s clown-lawyer and the one Trump put in charge of the unofficial channel to bend Ukraine actions to Trump’s personal benefit. Sec. of State Mike Pompeo maneuvered the official mechanisms of the State Department to hide Giuliani’s actions. And acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney acted at Trump’s direction to hold back already approved $400 million is military aid to Ukraine, resources needed to confront Soviet aggression in eastern Ukraine, a conflict that has claimed the lives of 13,000 Ukrainians.
The release of Sondland’s and Volker’s testimony on Tuesday follows a release on Monday of the testimony of both former US Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, who Trump recalled abruptly in May, and former top advisor to Pompeo, Michael McKinley. Their combined testimony shows Pompeo’s State Department was being used for Trump’s domestic political purposes – ignoring the risk this could hurt American interests.
This is just scratching the surface, but even this small subset of the Sword-of-Damocles facts hanging over Trump’s head is sufficient confirmation of guilt ahead of the Congressional public hearings where we see the full picture – starting next week.
If you prefer video, here is MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell covering much of this but also citing the transcripts of testimony to show how, tough-guy Trumpsters like Rep. Jim ‘Gym’ Jordan are acting like ‘sheep’ outside the public view offering no defense of Trump.
Some of the Trumpster line of questioning reminds us this is all one story. Trump-Russia-Ukraine. Trumpsters are using part of their time to question 2016 discredited conspiracy theories of Ukraine election assistance to benefit Clinton. Pompeo himself has bent to Trump’s views morphing from his time as head of the CIA and supporting conclusions of Russian involvement in the US election to benefit Trump to now supporting investigation into Ukraine influence, not Russian influence – discredited conspiracy theories. The article is a great read about the extent of damage Pompeo is causing at State beyond Ukraine, including arms sales to Saudi Arabia, $4 billion cut to foreign aid, his willingness to throw then Ambassador Yovanovitch under the bus, and more. Trumpsters are a resilient bunch, even when confronted with Sondland’s own admission of delivering a quid pro quo Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) responds with, “It is Sonland’s opinion. These are all folks[sic] opinions.”
The 2019 Republican cry of “Alternative Facts” has now morphed into “Your admission of guilt is ‘just your opinion’.”
But here is the coup de grâce, a headline after my own heart:
The headline is for a short article by Esquire columnist Charles Pierce:
“The from Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian ratfcking that popped on Buzzfeed and CNN over the weekend is far too extensive to analyze thoroughly in one blog, but the overwhelming conclusion to which anyone reading the documents has to arrive is that there no longer is The Russian Story and The Ukraine Story, but only one story—the Russian Ratfcking and Volga Bagmen story—that leads directly to the president*’s 2016 campaign, to his administration*, and, ultimately, to his liability to impeachment and removal from office.
“It is plain that the whole enterprise by which the Russian ratfckers would be shielded from suspicion by having that suspicion instead cast upon Ukraine.”
In my last column I covered the CNN and Buzzfeed stories. In 2016 was convicted former Trump campaign manager Manafort and convicted deputy campaign manager Gates with their Russian agent former associate Kilimnik as the genesis of the Giuliani 2019 version of ‘Ukaine hacked the Dems, not Russia’. Manafort is still assisting Giuliani from federal prison. And Trumpsters are asking 2019 witnesses about these discredited conspiracy theories that Giuliani, the ‘3 Amigos’ and team are trying to advance.
It’s not just Trump that is guilty 2016-2019, it’s much of his 2019 gang that is ‘in it’ with him – Giuliani, Pompeo, Mulvaney, Trump lawyer and attorney general Barr, Trump Energy Sec. Rick Perry. A regular Trump administration team effort.
Trump’s foreign policy finds us abandoning our Kurdish allies, ignoring North Korean missile launches in pursuit of their nuclear program, Iran announcing big strides forward in uranium enrichment in pursuit of their nuclear program…and believe it or not, Russia confirming a US-Russia joint cooperation on cybersecurity already quietly underway.
Giuliani’s henchmen are indicted associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who are in turn linked to indicted Russian billionaire oligarch Dmitro Firtash (also linked to Russian mafia). Parnas and Fruman are as clown-like as Giuliani:
“All of a sudden they started going around Ukraine telling anybody who would listen, particularly with the government, that they have been advised by a high-level, mysterious unnamed source, that in fact the D.N.C. servers had been hidden in Ukraine, that Russia was not the origin,” he told me. This claim, which echoed Russian propaganda, contradicts the findings of the F.B.I., the C.I.A. and the . Nevertheless, it soon came to shape American foreign policy.”
One final Parnas–Fruman-Giuliani-Trump link is laid out in simple terms by MSNBC host Ari Melber relating the shared ties of their lawyers.
But here is the kicker; it will likely make you grin. Just the headline is enough….
The thing that might cause Parnas to flip – he resents being disavowed by Trump.
He did it, he’s guilty – Trump will be Impeached!