U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland never linked military aid to Ukraine on whether the foreign government launched investigations into the energy company Burisma, according to a top Ukraine official.
Ukraine Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko told reporters on Thursday that Sondland never asked him for investigations into Joe Biden’s son’s role with the energy company while Biden was vice president, according to Interfax-Ukraine.
“Ambassador Sondland did not tell us, and did not tell me exactly, about the relation between the [military] assistance and the investigations. You should ask him,” Prystaiko said. “I do not recall any conversation with me as with foreign minister. It was not we, the Ukrainian officials [who were told this].”
“I have never seen a direct link between investigations and security assistance. Yes, investigations were mentioned, you know, in a presidential conversation. But there was no clear connection between these events,” Prystaiko added.
Former Independent Counsel Ken Starr, whose work was the basis for the impeachment of Bill Clinton, said that Wednesday’s House impeachment hearings demonstrated no crime — unlike in the cases of Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon. Therefore, the Senate will not vote too convict.
Now, I know what everyone says, that this is a political process and the Constitution does not require a crime to be committed for conviction on impeachment.
But in fact, if a crime has not been convicted, the bar is very high to remove a president. If it’s going to be for bad behavior, it has to be very bad behavior. And denying a corrupt regime its missiles is just not going to be viewed as egregious enough to reverse an election right — and right before the next election.
Lindsey Graham said the Senate would not seriously consider impeachment unless the whistleblower testifies.
Graham, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, told Fox’s Sunday Morning Futures that his committee would not even consider the House’s impeachment unless the whistleblower speaks.
“I consider any impeachment in the House that doesn’t allow us to know who the whistleblower is to be invalid because, without the whistleblower complaint, we wouldn’t be talking about any of this,” Graham said.
The whistleblower was named in a report by RealClearInvestigationsas Eric Ciaramella, a 33-year-old career CIA analyst who worked as Ukraine director on the National Security Council under Obama and briefly as acting senior director for European and Russian affairs under Trump.
The Washington Examiner reported that Ciaramella currently works as a deputy national intelligence officer for Russia and Eurasia on the National Intelligence Council under the director of national intelligence. It has not been confirmed that Ciaramella is the whistleblower.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters the closed-door impeachment proceedings in the House have not produced evidence that would sway enough Republican senators to convict President Trump if he is impeached.
“How long it goes on just depends on how long the Senate wants to spend on it,” McConnell said Tuesday when asked about the length of a potential Senate trial. “I will say I’m pretty sure how it is likely to end. If it were today, I don’t think there is any question it would not lead to a removal.”
A defiant President Trump signaled he will not cooperate with the Democratic Party’s impeachment proceedings, insisting his telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was “a good call” and that he might read it aloud to Americans so they can see his point.
“This is over a phone call that is a good call,” Trump, sitting behind the Resolute Desk, said in an interview with the Washington Examiner. “At some point, I’m going to sit down, perhaps as a fireside chat on live television, and I will read the transcript of the call, because people have to hear it. When you read it, it’s a straight call.”
Trump spoke at a key moment in his presidency, with the Democrats preparing for a new, public phase in their effort to impeach Trump. Hours earlier, a bitterly divided House of Representatives had endorsed the impeachment inquiry, setting out rules for a process that is almost certain to overshadow much of the 2020 election.
But even after the vote, the president said he had no intention of taking part in the proceedings. Asked whether he would cooperate with the impeachment proceedings by honoring document requests and subpoenas, Trump responded: “You are setting a terrible precedent for other presidents,” he said.
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Trump said he was pleased with the Thursday testimony of a former White House official who said he saw nothing illegal in the telephone call at the heart of the controversy. He outlined a strategy for fighting back that would rely on the White House account of his phone call with the Ukrainian president, including T-shirts with the slogan, “Read the transcript.”
Well, he called it a witch hunt. I think he needs some new lines. The White House released a statement saying things remain unfair: With today’s vote, Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats have done nothing more than enshrine unacceptable violations of due process into House rules. Speaker Pelosi, Chairman Schiff and the Democrats conducted secret,… Continue Reading
According to the Washington Examiner: House Democrats took a step toward impeaching President Trump by voting Thursday to barrel ahead with an investigation aimed at showing Trump abused his office for political gain. The House voted 232-196, mostly along party lines, on a resolution that affirms its closed-door impeachment proceedings and defines its plans to… Continue Reading
It’s true. When you consider whether this was so serious that it merits removing a president, you have to consider a few immovable facts. Ukraine got its money. As far as I know, there was no serious effort by the Ukrainians to investigate what President Trump wanted to have investigated. And it’s not even clear… Continue Reading
Nice of them. Although apparently, this mirrors what the Republicans did during the Clinton impeachment. According to the Washington Examiner: The House Rules Committee will debate a resolution tomorrow to provide a “pathway forward,” for impeachment of President Trump, lawmakers announced Tuesday. “The House impeachment inquiry has collected extensive evidence and testimony, and soon the… Continue Reading