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Impeachment watch: Trump didn't 'give a sh*t about Ukraine,' per witness testimony

David Holmes’ testimony knocked down the GOP argument that Trump was deeply concerned about corruption in Ukraine.

By Emily Singer - November 19, 2019
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Donald Trump

The House Intelligence Committee released transcripts of two more closed-door depositions it held as part of the impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump, both of which held yet more bombshells that raise the odds Trump will be impeached.

David Holmes, a counselor in the American embassy in Ukraine, described a phone call he overheard between Trump and Gordon Sondland, the United States ambassador to the European Union.

Holmes said he overheard Sondland telling Trump that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy “loves your ass” and “will do anything you ask him to” — referring to the investigations Trump was demanding into his political rivals.

Holmes also testified that Sondland told him Trump “doesn’t give a shit about Ukraine” and only cared about the investigations — directly contradicting the Republican argument that Trump was deeply concerned about corruption in Ukraine.

The committee also released a transcript of an interview with David Hale, the undersecretary of state for political affairs, who spoke to the effort by Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani to oust now-former United States Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.

Here’s what else is happening in impeachment news:

  • It’s going to be a busy Tuesday, as four key witnesses are set to testify in the impeachment probe. The day begins at 9 a.m. with testimony from Jennifer Williams, a national security aid to Mike Pence, and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the Purple Heart recipient who voiced concerns with Trump’s hold on military aid to Ukraine. In the afternoon, former Ukraine envoy Kurt Volker and Tim Morrison, a former National Security Council aide focused on Russia, will testify.
  • Sen. Ron Johnson, the Wisconsin Republican who now finds himself caught up in Trump’s Ukraine scandal, sent a letter on Monday to two Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee to try to help them defend Trump from impeachment. The letter is filled with debunked conspiracy theories and baseless accusations, including that Vindman was trying to “sabotage” Trump’s policies and “remove him from office.” Johnson’s attack on Vindman echoes the smears right-wing Fox News anchors made against Vindman.
  • Meanwhile, the Army is monitoring Vindman’s safety, and has preparations to move him and his family to a military base if needed to ensure he is protected following his testimony in the impeachment inquiry, the Wall Street Journal reported.
  • Trump tweeted on Monday that he is considering testifying in the House impeachment probe. However, Trump said multiple times he was open to testifying in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, and after a ton of back and forth, only consented to written testimony. And now, Democrats are investigating whether Trump lied to Mueller in that written testimony, which could earn Trump yet more articles of impeachment.
  • Kash Patel, a former aid to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) who misrepresented himself as a Ukraine expert, filed a lawsuit against Politico reporter Natasha Bertrand accusing her of libel. Politico dismissed Patel’s lawsuit as being “high on bombast and low on merit.”

Come back tomorrow for more impeachment news.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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