House Moves Forward With Impeachment After Devastating Week For Donald Trump

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This week, following the release of the House Intel report and testimony from constitutional law experts, the House is moving forward with impeachment because of the overwhelming evidence that Donald Trump is guilty of an abuse of power, bribery, and obstruction.

 Meanwhile, Trump’s personal lawyer is back in Ukraine seeking foreign interference in our 2020 election, and Trump’s top defender is dodging questions about his involvement in the scandal.

 Here’s what you need to know: 

CONSTITUTIONAL SCHOLARS SAY TRUMP’S CONDUCT MEETS THE STANDARD OF IMPEACHMENT

The first House Judiciary Committee impeachment hearing on Wednesday was absolutely brutal for Donald Trump.

The country’s leading constitutional scholars testified under oath that Trump’s conduct meets the constitutional standard for impeachment, based on a mountain of evidence contained within the 300-page House Intel report.

These highly-respected constitutional experts testified that Trump engaged in impeachable conduct,meeting the standard of “bribery” and “high crimes and misdemeanors” as defined by the Constitution. In fact, one said that Trump’s behavior was “worse than the misconduct of any prior president.

That’s why the House Judiciary Committee is now moving forward with impeachment hearings and, ultimately, drawing up articles of impeachment.

DEVASTATING HOUSE INTEL REPORT CONFIRMS IMPEACHABLE CONDUCT BY DONALD TRUMP

 The 300-page report compiled by the House Intelligence Committee released on Tuesday is devastating for Trump and confirms impeachable conduct.

 The report contains mountains of evidence—including new phone records, witness testimony, text messages, and public statements—that show Trump engineered a bribery scheme to subvert America’s foreign policy for his own personal political gain.

Here are key lines from the report:

  • Trump Abused His Powers, Subverting U.S. Foreign Policy And Undermining National Security: “The impeachment inquiry into Donald J. Trump, the 45th President of the United States, uncovered a months-long effort by President Trump to use the powers of his office to solicit foreign interference on his behalf in the 2020 election.”
  • On The July 25 Call: “The call record alone is stark evidence of misconduct…”
  • White House Meeting Was Conditioned On Investigations: “Ambassador Sondland was unequivocal in […] testifying, ‘Was there a quid pro quo? As I testified previously with regard to the requested White House call and the White House meeting, the answer is yes.’”
  • Military Aid Was Conditioned On The Launch Of Investigations: “Ambassador Sondland pulled aside President Zelensky’s advisor, Mr. Yermak, to explain that the hold on security assistance was conditioned on the public announcement of the Burisma/Biden and the 2016 election interference investigations.”
  • Trump’s Chief Of Staff Confirmed Military Aid Was Conditioned On Investigations: “The President’s own Acting Chief of Staff […] admitted that he had discussed security assistance with the President and that his decision to withhold it was directly tied to his desire to get Ukraine to conduct a political investigation.”
  • The Ukrainians Knew The Aid Was Being Withheld On July 25: “By July 25 […] DOD was also receiving inquiries from Ukrainian officials about the status of the security assistance.Nevertheless, President Trump continued to withhold the funding to Ukraine without explanation…”
  • Implicates Vice President Pence: “[Sondland] told Vice President Pence that he was concerned that the security assistance ‘had become tied to the issue of investigations’ […] Vice President Pence nodded in response, apparently expressing neither surprise nor dismay at the linkage between the two.”
  • Trump Told Sondland That Aid Was Linked To Investigations: “Sondland stated to his colleagues that the President said, ‘there was no quid pro quo,’ but that President Zelensky would be required to announce the investigations in order for the hold on security assistance to be lifted…”
  • Trump Released Aid After Getting Caught: “On September 11, in the face of growing public and Congressional scrutiny, President Trump lifted the hold on security assistance to Ukraine. As with the implementation of the hold, no clear reason was given.”
  • An Unprecedented Obstruction Effort: “Not a single document has been produced by the White House, the Office of the Vice President, the Office of Management and Budget, the Department of State, the Department of Defense, or the Department of Energy in response to 71 specific, individualized requests or demands for records…”

GIULIANI CURRENTLY ABROAD SEEKING FOREIGN INTERFERENCE IN 2020 ELECTION

This week, Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani openly returned to Ukraine as part of his ongoing international effort to dig up dirt on the Bidens.

Giuliani is meeting with Ukrainian officials who have served as key sources for his wacky, debunked theories about Ukrainian corruption in a desperate attempt to discredit the impeachment inquiry.

Giuliani is working to rig the 2020 election with foreign help—in plain sight.

NUNES DODGES QUESTIONS ON CONTACT WITH PARNAS

The House Intel report revealed that Rep. Devin Nunes spoke with indicted Giuliani associate Lev Parnas on April 12 as part of a succession of calls between Rudy Giuliani, Victoria Toensing, Parnas, John Solomon, and official government numbers.

Now, despite multiple call logs, Nunes is claiming he can’t “recall” talking to Parnas. That’s absolute malarkey.

Salon: Nunes Can’t “Recall” Talking To Indicted Giuliani Pal Lev Parnas Despite Multiple Call Logs

The Daily Beast: Devin Nunes Tries To Explain Away His Parnas And Giuliani Calls To Hannity

ADDITIONAL PUSHBACK TO REPUBLICANS’ ARGUMENTS

GOP SPIN: The call transcript shows no quid pro quo.

THE FACTS:Trump asked Ukraine for “a favor though” to investigate the Bidens while they knew the aid was being held. Two key witnesses also specifically said there was a quid pro quo.

  • During a press conference, Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney admitted that Ukraine aid had been contingent on Ukraine launching political investigations. When asked by a reporter if there was a “quid pro quo,” Mulvaney said, “We do that all the time […] I have news for everybody: Get over it. There’s going to be political influence on foreign policy. That is going to happen. Elections have consequences, and foreign policy is going to change…”
  • EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland said the answer is yes” when asked if there was a “quid pro quo.” He also testified that “everyone was in the loop” and was working at the “express direction of the President.”

GOP SPIN: President Zelensky and President Trump have both said there was “no pressure” on the call.

THE FACTS: While President Zelensky may have been putting on a brave face for the cameras, evidence shows that the Ukrainians knew aid was being withheld and were in an absolute panic. Zelensky recently told TIME Magazine, “If you’re our strategic partner, then you can’t go blocking anything for us.”

Evidence shows that Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials were well aware of the quid pro quo:

  • On May 7, 2019, Zelensky met with his advisors to discuss how to navigate the pressure from Trump and Rudy Giuliani to investigate the Bidens.
  • WhatsApp messages show that Ukrainian officials were so concerned about the military aid being withheld that they nearly caved to Trump’s demand right before Congress became aware of the whistleblower complaint. Additional independent reporting shows that Zelensky’s staff favored agreeing to Trump’s demands.
  • Before the whistleblower complaint was announced, Zelensky had even planned a CNN interview on September 13, where he was set to make the public statement announcing investigations into Trump’s political opponents.

GOP SPIN: The Ukrainians weren’t aware that the military aid was withheld, at the time of the July 25 call, so it can’t be extortion.

THE FACTS: The Ukrainians absolutely knew that military aid was being withheld. During her testimony, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper testified that Ukrainian officials were aware of the hold on July 25—the very same day as the Trump-Zelensky call.

GOP SPIN: Ukrainians never started or announced investigations into the Bidens before the aid was released—so there was no bribery.

THE FACTS: Again, this is absolutely false. Zelensky met with his advisors to figure out how to navigate Trump’s pressure campaign. Reporting from The New York Times shows that Ukrainian officials were even set to announce investigations into the Bidens during a planned CNN interview on September 13.

Originally posted on Impeachment HQ. Re-posted with permission.


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Impeachment HQ is a new rapid response project that serves as a resource to talkers, reporters, and activists on the impeachment proceedings.

The new project is a joint effort from Defend the Republic, a messaging and strategic communications project focused on holding the Trump Administration accountable, and Stand Up America, one of the country’s largest grassroots advocacy organizations and a key group driving grassroots action on impeachment.

The project is led by Zac Petkanas, who was previously the Director of Rapid Response for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, Communications Director to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Senior Adviser to the Democratic National Committee.

The project is also supported by communicators, campaigners, and researchers from both Defend the Republic and Stand Up America—including Ryan Thomas, the Press Secretary for Stand Up America, who leads the communications team.

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