If the gang at Morning Joe going over Gordon Sondland's opening statement is any guide, today's testimony is going to be bombshell. You can watch it here, after the jump. 5:30 PM Update: two more witnesses, Laura Cooper, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, and David Hale, undersecretary of state for political affairs at the State Department, are due to begin their testimony.
Share your thoughts and observations below. I'll be sharing mine as well.
(Sondland image via screen grab)
This will now down to whether the Dems can turn out their voters in the swing states or if the GOP will succeed in depressing the turnout again. Both sides will use this situation to rally their respective bases, just as both sides will use the Kavanaugh ram. I fully expect to see Pence’s childish spokesman gloating for much of next year at having headed off the whole thing the second it hit the Senate.
I’m wondering if they will adjourn the hearing for tomorrow.
The Fox News audience is lost to us. I’ve watched enough of their coverage to realize they’re pretty much all-in on apologizing for Trump. A few holdouts like Napolitano and Wallace are already hated by their core MAGA base. I see Twitter calls for their firing all the time.
The criticism is going to be no direct witness pointing to Trump but we haven’t heard (and never will) from Trump’s inner circle. However, Democrats now have enough to clearly pivot attention to Giuliani, Pompeo, Mulvaney (who already confessed), Bolton, the bean counters withholding funds, etc. Thoroughly embarrass them for refusing to testify under oath as proof of Trump’s guilt.
As for what Jordan is doing, he’s generating soundbites and great video clips for Fox News and AM Radio to endlessly repeat over the next 6 months. That was the whole point of having him there. It doesn’t matter if Adam Schiff or anyone else, even the witness at hand, debunks everything he says. They don’t care. The standard Right Wing approach is to cut off the clip right after the angry Right Wing congressman finishes shouting and before anyone can respond. Witness what happened when they were trying to throw out the gotcha question of “is any of this impeachable?” to witnesses who could not and will not answer that question. They only played the question and then cut the audio before the witnesses’ responses could be heard, with the lie that the question only received “crickets”.
At this point, the sad part of this process is that Jordan and Nunes have wildly succeeded in the campaign that the Pence White House fumbled here. They’ve managed to mainstream the nonsense conversation about Burisma and the Bidens, so that you actually have other media outlets discussing it as though it was a real crime, and discussing the debunked hysteria about the DNC and Ukraine as well. That was the whole point of this scam with Ukraine – to get someone to repeat the smears on major media outlets as though they were genuine. Yes, the Ukrainian president didn’t have to do it in the end – but now the GOP has made sure it’s been spread around anyway. It doesn’t matter that it isn’t true – it only matters that they have their spin out. Polls are showing that while the public is mostly upset that Pence’s childish spokesman took this course, they’re also confused enough that people are once again falling for the narrative of “Well, they’re ALL corrupt! What’s the use?” which is the direct route toward depressing voter turnout next year.
The most significant testimony that came from Sondland, obviously, is his direct implication of not only Trump but acting president Pence and everyone in the chain. But you won’t hear that from anyone on Fox News this evening, despite Chris Wallace’s early attempt to point that out. What you’ll hear will be the soundbite of Trump repeating that he insisted “I want nothing!” and some soundbites from Nunes and Jordan angrily dismissing everything else.
If anyone is thinking that there will be a resolution of the problem of the Pence White House before the 2020 election, I strongly recommend they think again. The answer to this problem lies in the need for EVERYONE to turn out to vote next year and particularly in the swing states. I would also recommend that everyone not take these hearings for granted as you gather with family this holiday season. Remember that these angry Right Wing lies can orbit the world 20 times before the truth finishes getting its boots on.
Though Gym was a bit reckless repeating his aid was delivered without condition nonsense after Shiff clearly debunked it.
So would I, although that’s not the only question I’d have. The fact that there’s so much to query increases the risk of dispersion.
The restrictions placed on the use of the javelin missiles make them useless to the country. Mind boggling.
“But while there is evidence that the Javelin sale has been a powerful gesture of support for Kyiv, the missiles’ military application has been far more limited. Under the conditions of the foreign military sale, the Trump administration stipulates that the Javelins must be stored in western Ukraine—hundreds of miles from the battlefield.
But as part of the agreement of the sale, the Javelins are not deployed on the battlefield but stored hundreds of miles away in western Ukraine—far from the front lines of the Donbass, which could radically diminish their deterrent effect, said Mike Carpenter, who served as the deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia and Eurasia under Obama."
Wallace’s commentary I was mentioning.
“Well, I think that Ken Starr and [Fox News contributor] Andy McCarthy are very good lawyers,” Wallace said. “And like any good lawyers they can parse this, phrase this any way they want, but as a reporter it seems to me that we have to go to what the headline is today, and the headline is that Gordon Sondland, one of the three amigos, perhaps the one who had the most direct contact with Donald Trump, says in his opening statement, ‘Was there a quid pro quo with regard to the requested White House call and White House meeting? The answer is yes.’”
In practically every other situation, an attempt is just as bad as a crime. An attempted robbery is tantamount to a real robbery, an attempted homicide is a homicide, an attempted bribery is a bribery.
I don’t believe that the Republicans are not fully aware of this.
President Zelensky probably heaved a huge sigh of relief when he realised that he was not going to have to initiate his new government with a corrupt action.
More likely, to my mind, is the fact that Sondland is a total novice, not a professional like Taylor and Yanukovitch. He was played like a fiddle by Giuliani because nobody else gave him the time of day. His motives may have been “noble” (wanting to support the “new” Ukraine) but he was totally out of his depth.