Impeachment Inquiry-Day Five

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Another tough day for the POTUS

We’re now on day five of the impeachment inquiry, and once again, the current President of the United States is having another tough day. His million-dollar donor, Ambassador Gordon Sondland, not only through him under the bus, but also just about anyone else who’s involved in this fiasco.

I guess when a few years in prison might await, the generous donation to the President for an Ambassadorship doesn’t seem all that important. In the end, instead of pleading the fifth as many in the media had speculated he might do, Sondland decided to come clean–kind of.

After his first deposition Sondland came to the realization that based on testimony from others such as Ambassador William Taylor, his recollection was a bit hazy, which led him to amend some of his original statements. Then today, the Ambassador decided that the President, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, former National Security Advisor John Bolton, and even Vice-President Mike Pence ought to share some of the pain.

According to Sondland, the policy employed in Ukraine was not some “highly irregular, informal channel,” as described by Taylor. On the contrary, today, Sondland proclaimed that basically everyone from the President on down was “in the loop.” And the President himself, according to Sondland, directed the whole thing, through his attorney Rudy Giuliani. At a meeting with the President back in May, when Sondland asked him how to proceed, the President replied, “Talk to Rudy.” Ouch.

Rather than break down a nearly six-hour testimony, however, there are a few things that stand out in my view. For one, Sondland deserves props for at least showing up. That’s more than can be said for many of the others who’ve refused to appear. The President and the State Department tried to stop him, but he came forward nevertheless. Good on him for that.

But it’s not as if Sondland was forthcoming either. There were many instances of “I do not recall,” especially when it seemed previous testimony from others made him look bad. For example, he claims he did not know that the Ukrainian energy company Burisma had anything to do with former Vice-President Joe Biden’s son Hunter. This claim, of course, is hard to believe, but others involved in the Ukraine matter have said the same thing.

However, an earlier deposition by the counselor for political affairs at the US Embassy in Ukraine, David Holmes, would seem to contradict Sondland’s account. According to Holmes, who was at an outdoor restaurant in Ukraine with Sondland the day after Trump’s infamous “perfect” phone call with the Ukrainian President, Sondland referred to the President as not “giving a shit” about Ukraine—only about “big stuff” such as “the Biden investigation that Giuliani is pushing.”

While Sondland corroborated much of what Holmes testified to, he said he had no recollection of ever mentioning Biden at all. Again, it strains credulity that he didn’t know that Biden and Burisma meant the same thing. If other witnesses can corroborate Holmes’ account, Sondland may have a perjury issue to deal with.

There’s something else, though, that stands out. If the President of the United States is innocent, why is he trying to prevent everyone from testifying? Where is Bolton, Pompeo, Mulvaney, and Giuliani? Others have come forward, why not them?

And why is The White House withholding documents and other records that could piece together some of the inconsistencies that witnesses say could help them clear up?

It’s all pretty straightforward. The administration is obstructing. We know the President cannot be trusted to tell the truth. The others will have to ask themselves if covering for this man is worth it. Sondland today answered that question emphatically. The rest of them, however? The jury is still out.

Finally, though, you have to also give props to the Republicans who sit on the Intelligence Committee. Day after day, through this whole inquiry, we’ve seen the same conspiracy theories and whining about the process. We’ve seen them continue to badger Chairman Adam Schiff about the whistleblower. For some reason, they want the person outed. I’ve still not determined why that is. But, they have their ideas, I suppose. However they can deflect and run interference for this President, they’ll do it. It’s been quite the spectacle, and today was no different.

Eventually, though, they’ll have to go on record. Impeachment is coming, my friends. Today’s testimony from Gordon Sondland only solidifies that fact. Slowly and methodically, Adam Schiff and the Democrats are weaving a compelling tale of corruption, bribery, abuse of power and obstruction of justice. If the Republicans decide these acts aren’t worthy of removal, so be it.

They managed to impeach a Democratic President for far less in 1998. Apparently, lying about a sex act with an intern is far worse than conditioning foreign aid on investigating a potential political rival for personal gain — my how things have changed.

35 comments

  1. I have my doubts about impeachment. The republicans are corrupt and remaining in power by being immoral and kissing trump’s ass, is how they’ll do it. They care nothing for what’s decent and the “right ” thing to do.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m 99% certain that ultimately the House will impeach Trump. What is much less certain is that the Senate will find their conscience and vote to convict him and remove him from office, for Mitch McConnell has already made clear that he will do everything in his power to prevent that happening. However, there is still some hope, if at least 3 republican senators call for a secret vote, then others may find their consciences somewhere in their nether regions.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh I believe it will pass in the house, for sure….just not the senate.

        I think it will all rest of the minority undecideds out there. And the deciding points will probably be the hearings and if they believe the facts presented that we all know to be true, by watching them.
        The game plan, to me, is not impeachment, but getting the facts and dirt out there for the undecideds to make an informed choice.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. The primary goal, of course, is to remove him from office via the impeachment, but it that fails, then yes, to present the facts to the public in such a way that they cannot possibly, in good conscience (those who have one, anyway) vote for him again. Sigh.

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      3. I’d heard that about the secret vote. Didn’t even know that was possible. Oh well, it’s a glimmer, right Jill? At this point, I’ll take any sign of a possibility, never mind how remote is really is.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yep, it’s something to hope for. I keep thinking that surely some of those republican senators must be very uncomfortable having to defend the indefensible, having to sacrifice whatever values they have just to keep their position. Seems to me it wouldn’t be worth it.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I see where our wonderful president(UGHH) had a few of them over for a visit. Mitt Romney, Susan Collins etc..Gee, I wonder why? Because he’s trying to get legislation passed? Because he wants to get to know them better? B.S.!
        We know what he’s doing, and the fact they went over there tells us all we need to know about these Senators. When push comes to shove, they’re going to let him get away with this. How pathetic is that?

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I’ve been disgusted by Romney since his 47% comment back in 2012, and he hasn’t done much to raise himself in my esteem. I am chuffed by the fact that he doesn’t seem to much like Trump, but yet … he met with him TWICE in one day, and said it was a “lovely lunch”? Pah!

        Liked by 1 person

      7. And who can forget the incredibly demoralizing dinner with Trump when he thought he might get the Sec. of State gig? Talk about humiliation……I’ve had it with him.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. You’re right Mary. We’re in a really bad place right now. They will defend him till the end. The sooner he’s impeached, the sooner we can get on with 2020. Unless a miracle occurs, he’ll survive. Sigh

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  2. Great summation, Jeff! And now today … more drama! An aside … I was pleased with this morning’s news that Trump’s buddy Netanyahu has been indicted for fraud and bribery! Fingers crossed that Trump ultimately gets the same.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank You Jill. For the reblog as well! Agree wholeheartedly with you on Netanyahu. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy! He and Trump deserve each other. Maybe they can have a nice mail correspondence while in jail? LOL…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    There is so much to write about that I simply cannot keep up … I need more than 24 hours in a day! Thankfully, our friend Jeff over at On the Fence Voters has written about yesterday’s testimony in the impeachment hearings by Gordon Sondland. I would only add that somebody needs to take Devin Nunes and Jim Jordan back to pre-school and let the adults get on with the business at hand! Thank you, Jeff, for this great summary of yesterday’s events!

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  4. Of course your last line sums it up perfectly!

    Couple of thoughts — If the President of the United States is innocent, then why? I think you know the answer to that. 😈

    Impeachment? Like others, I feel quite sure the House will carry through on that action. The Senate? Highly doubtful … UNLESS they allow the secret vote, as Jill mentions. But judging from their actions thus far, I think they’ll resist it since it just might work and they’ll lose their patsy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not optimistic with this crowd of butt kissers and sycophants. Oh, did I mention cowards too? The only ones who say anything at all are retiring. That speaks volumes as to who they are.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Jeff, tay with Fiona Hill and David Holmes, two very credible witnesses again testified. Gordon Sondland did huge damage, but he has some culpability in this. Holmes is not only capable, he is took notes and remember such. Each of the witnesses that have testified have concerned themselves with how important Ukraine is to America. We are not hearing this from the president – he is more concerned with himself, as per his modus operandi.

    To me it also shows three major points:

    – Trump cannot govern by what he hears on these asinine talk shows he watches. He has the best intelligence group in the world, but he would rather believe people like Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham et al. Ukraine is hugely important, but he believes they, not the Russian influenced election.
    – What happened to Rudy Guiliani? How did he go from America’s mayor to being acting so unethically and illegally?
    – Trump is the most corrupt and untruthful president in my lifetime and that includes Richard Nixon? There are too many why questions that go unanswered. Why shadow diplomacy with the unvetted Guiliani? Why the obstruction? Why the masking of the phone call? Why not support Ukraine at such a key time rather than throw it all away?

    This is a national security issue. Do not let anyone say it is not. Trump is endangering America around the globe and feeding right in to Putin’s desires. And, we must say this, whether intended or not, Putin has a convenient stooge in the White House.

    Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Keith. Perhaps one of the most tragic things in all of this, and it’s down the list of so many, is the decline and meltdown of Rudy. What in the hell has happened to him? I’m not sure, but maybe it simply comes down to money. Clearly he and his two wild and crazy friends who were just indicted were up to know good. Dollars flowing all over the place. But, he’s Trump’s personal attorney. We see what happened to the last guy who served in that capacity. I think Rudy is on the same path. Hard to believe.

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      1. Jeff, what people who turned down offers to work for the president realize is people who fly to close to Trump’s sun get burned. The loyalty he wants is not reciprocated and it must be constant. Rudy, Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen are just recent examples. Devin Nunes should have learned, but chooses not to. He has little credibility and it is of his own making. Keith

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Who can forget his little jaunt over to the White House during the Mueller investigation? He keeps winning his seat in California though, although I think 2018 was a little closer than usual. I’m hoping his constituents finally do the right thing and throw him out in 2020, if he’s not indicted by then of course.

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      3. Jeff, I sent the following to my Congressman and select Senators. Feel free to adapt and use. Keith

        We are not asking enough why questions.
        – why is the president running a shadow diplomacy with Rudy Guiliani, who has not been vetted by the Senate?
        – why does the president ignore the seasoned diplomats and intelligence officials to chase conspiracy theories postulated by entertainers on Fox?
        – why are diligent, experienced, courageous and honorable public servants focusing on helping Ukraine gain better footing, when the president is so focused on his campaign?
        – why is there obstruction of documents and witnesses? The president cries foul, but he is blocking witnesses. He can’t have it both ways.

        As an independent and former Republican voter, I am deeply concerned by what has transpired in the White House with Ukraine. I am also concerned by an over zealous protection of someone who needs greater scrutiny, not less. I fully support the impeachment hearings. What witnesses are testifying under oath at great risk is very troubling.

        It is also troubling that Devin Nunes is leading the GOP efforts. He cited today a partisan report that our own GOP Senator Richard Burr asked Speaker Paul Ryan not to release this report as his Senate committee did not agree with its conclusions. Plus, we cannot forget that he had to step down as Chair of this committee as he informed the White House what they were investigating. So, I must confess a lack of credibility in his veracity.

        We Americans need your help to get to the bottom of this.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Thanks for this Keith. All pertinent and required questions for the Republicans to answer. I wish I was more optimistic that they actually care to get to the bottom of all this. Keeping their jobs seems to be the most important for all of them. I was more than disappointed at Texas Rep. Will Hurd, whom I actually have some respect for, who got in line with the rest of his buddies yesterday. The man is retiring, yet, he still didn’t see the urgent need for impeachment. I guess if that’s how he feels deep down, then so be it. But, he’s always been a pretty fair guy. I must say, it surprised me. If not him, who else will step up?

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      5. I sometimes think politics is not unlike religion in that too often politicians simply “go with the flow.” If the party (bible) says this, then so be it. “God” forbid that something should be questioned!

        And unfortunately, BOTH parties are guilty … although one (IMO) is worse than the other. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I watched quite a bit of them. After a while, when it was their turn, I pulled out my ipad. I’ve had enough of them. I’m glad it’s over. For now, anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

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