This week, the House voted to move forward with the next phase of its impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump and lawmakers heard bombshell testimony from key witnesses that corroborates a mountain of damning evidence.
Here’s what you need to know:
Key Depositions Corroborate Bill Taylor’s Testimony, Confirm Quid Pro Quo
On Thursday, life-long Republican and former top adviser on Trump’s National Security Council Tim Morrison confirmed there’s evidence of a quid pro quo even beyond the July 25 call, including the following two meetings:
- Morrison confirmed that EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland told the Ukrainians that no military aid would be forthcoming until they announced an investigation into the Bidens. That’s a quid pro quo.
- He confirmed another conversation where Trump told Sondland that the Ukrainians had to publicly announce an investigation into Biden. That’s a quid pro quo.
Reports show just how damaging this is to Donald Trump:
The New York Times: White House Aide Confirms He Saw Signs of a Quid Pro Quo on Ukraine
On Tuesday, decorated Iraq War veteran Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman also provided testimony, which:
- Confirmed he was actually on the July 25 phone call and that Trump pressured the Ukrainian President to interfere in the 2020 election.
- Revealed that the call transcript is actually worse than what we’ve been led to believe, with the White House deleting key words and phrases.
- Testified that the call transcript was so bad that his superior, White House lawyer John Eisenberg, proposed hiding it on a secret, classified server and ordered Vindman not to discuss it.
- Testified that Trump was personally blocking $400 million in military aid to Ukraine to force that country to publicly announce an investigation into Joe Biden and his family.
White House Strategy Clear: Pretend Call Transcript Is Exonerating And The Only Piece of Evidence
The White House impeachment defense strategy is becoming more clear: Trump and his congressional allies are trying to gaslight the American people into believing that the objectively damning call transcript is both exonerating and the only piece of evidence. This is absolutely false on both accounts.
First, the call transcript is incriminating. Trump asks Ukraine President Zelensky to “do us a favor though” in response to a request for military assistance.
Second, there is enormous evidence of a quid pro quo that goes well beyond the July 25 call, as laid out here:
The Washington Post: Confirmation Of Ukraine Quid Pro Quo Allegations Keeps Piling Up
House Impeachment Vote Changes The Game, Destroys Main GOP Talking Point On Process
Thursday’s House impeachment vote was a game-changer.
Speaker Pelosi gave Republicans exactly what they’ve been asking for: An up-or-down vote on the next phase of the impeachment process, including:
- Public hearings
- Release of the deposition transcripts
- Due process for Donald Trump
- A full, House-wide vote
And just like during the Nixon and Clinton impeachment proceedings, the minority members on the committee were granted subpoena power.
Here’s a cheat sheet of what’s in the resolution.
GOP Senators Claim They Are Impartial Jurors But Are Taking Campaign Cash From And Holding Meetings With The Accused
GOP Senators are dodging reporters in the halls of Congress and ignoring constituents at town halls, saying that they can’t answer questions about the impeachment process because they’re “jurors.”
Yet, they’re taking campaign cash from Trump:
How can Republican senators claim to be impartial jurors if they’re taking campaign cash from and talking defense strategy with the man on trial?
Polling: Impeachment Has Broad Support Even In Battleground States, More Than 80 Percent Of Republicans Say Seeking Foreign Help In Elections Is Not OK
Additional Pushback On Republican Attacks
SPIN: Right-wing activists are claiming that Morrison contradicted Bill Taylor’s testimony.
TRUTH: Actually, Morrison said in his opening statement that he was confirming Bill Taylor’s testimony that Trump engaged in quid pro quo.
There were only two minor points of disagreement:
- Whether Sondland said the military aid was contingent on Zelensky himself or the top Ukrainian prosecutor announcing an investigation into the Bidens. Either way, it’s still a quid pro quo.
- The location of one of the conversations.
SPIN: The decision by Speaker Pelosi to hold a vote setting the rules for an impeachment inquiry is an admission that the previous work was illegitimate.
TRUTH: Federal courts have already ruled that the House impeachment process is legal, being conducted appropriately and doesn’t require a full House vote.
Pelosi’s decision to hold a vote anyway is a brilliant strategic move that pulls the rug out from under Republicans who have hid behind process to avoid talking about the substance of the allegations against Trump. In one move, she stole their top talking point and has put them on the defensive.
Originally posted at Impeachment HQ. Re-posted with permission.
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