Nel's New Day

December 3, 2019

Impeachment Inquiry Report Has New Findings

Tomorrow, the House Judiciary Committee will hear testimony about impeachment from four constitutional academicians—three selected by the Democrats and one brought by the Republicans, Jonathan Turley, who has already come out against the impeachment of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT). Today, the House Intelligence Committee revealed more findings in the 300-page report that will be sent to the House Judiciary Committee. In a press release, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), chair of the Intelligence Committee, began with a succinct summary of the findings: 

“The evidence is clear that President Trump used the power of his office to pressure Ukraine into announcing investigations into his political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, and a debunked conspiracy theory that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that interfered in the 2016 election. These investigations were designed to benefit his 2020 presidential reelection campaign.”

The Intelligence Committee has 100 hours of depositions from 17 witnesses along with 30 hours of public testimony from 12 of those 17—belying the false GOP accusation of unfair secrecy. Other witnesses, unlike these 17, refused to comply with subpoenas or deliver documents to the House because DDT told everyone, those now employed and others gone from the government, to illegally deny their appearance in the impeachment inquiry. House Democrats will proceed with the case from the information that they have, sending the report to the House Judiciary Committee for review and crafting articles of impeachment. A vote on these articles may be taken before the end of the year.

The articles of impeachment will undoubtedly pursue “abuse of power.” “Obstruction” and the high crime of “bribery” are also being considered. Those who claim to be confused can easily understand the findings, especially with the executive report

“President Trump’s scheme subverted U.S. foreign policy toward Ukraine and undermined our national security in favor of two politically motivated investigations that would help his presidential reelection campaign. The President demanded that the newly-elected Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, publicly announce investigations into a political rival that he apparently feared the most, former Vice President Joe Biden, and into a discredited theory that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that interfered in the 2016 presidential election. To compel the Ukrainian President to do his political bidding, President Trump conditioned two official acts on the public announcement of the investigations: a coveted White House visit and critical U.S. military assistance Ukraine needed to fight its Russian adversary.”

The report further explains that DDT used multiple allies, both in and outside his administration, for the pressure that he put on Zelensky. The conclusion cites how DDT’s “scheme intentionally bypassed many career personnel [but] it was undertaken with the knowledge and approval of senior Administration officials, including the President’s Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Secretary of Energy Rick Perry.” These and “other senior White House and Executive Branch officials … facilitated and furthered the President’s scheme, and withheld information about the scheme from the Congress and the American public.” The report describes Mulvaney publicly acknowledgement that DDT “directly tied the hold on military aid to his desire to get Ukraine to conduct a political investigation.” Mulvaney told concerned people to “get over it.” After DDT was discovered to be withholding this aid and extorting Zelensky, DDT then released the aid.

The report has new revelations beyond news about witnesses’ testimony and documents, one of them the damning involvement of Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) in the scheme. As the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, Nunes played a large part in the questioning of witnesses and his insertion of baseless lies into the record. He was evidently highly complicit in the extortion and tried to cover up this complicity with the hearings.

From telephone records, the finding show phone calls connecting Nunes, DDT’s private lawyer Rudy Giuliani, indicted Giuliani associate and plot participant Lev Parnas, Nunes’s staff member Derek Harvey, and Nunes’s former staff member Kashyap “Kash” Patel. Phone contacts between Giuliani, Parnas, Nunes, and John Solomon indicated Nunes’ involvement in creating the false story of Ukraine meddling that now-discredited Solomon wrote for The Hill. Parnas was also instrumental in Parnas’ waging a smear campaign against then-Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch and claimed DDT sent him on a “mission” to pressure Ukraine to investigate the Bidens. Nunes is already suing CNN for reporting Parnas’ claims the Nunes met with former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Victor Shokin in Vienna and that Nunes talked about investigating the Bidens and the Ukraine meddling conspiracy theory.

The report describes DDT’s troubles beyond pressuring Ukraine:

DDT obstructed justice by blocking access to witnesses, documents and testimony. The report lists a dozen current or former administration officials, ten of them refusing subpoenas, declining to testify because of DDT’s orders. Despite subpoenas, the White House, Office of Management and Budget and the State, and Defense and Energy departments refused to produce documents to the House. [In a ruling mandating that former WH counsel Don McGahn testify before the House, U.S. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson stated that the House and the public will be harmed without McGahn’s live testimony. She wrote that “the DOJ has already harmed the Committee’s interests by successfully delaying its access to other materials.”]

DDT may have broken federal criminal laws by attacking and intimidating witnesses. The report cites four specific examples when DDT tweeted threats against people called to testify before the House committee and the whistleblower who was subjected to over 100 public statements from DDT during a two-month period.

DDT is described in the report as the first president ever “to seek to completely obstruct an impeachment inquiry undertaken by the House.” According to the report, “even President Richard Nixon—who obstructed Congress by refusing to turn over key evidence—accepted the authority of Congress to conduct an impeachment inquiry and permitted his aides and advisors to produce documents and testify to Congressional committees.”

DDT may fail in his attempts to use Ambassador Gordon Sondland’s testimony that first claimed DDT said he didn’t want a “quid pro quo” with Ukraine. Sondland later recanted his earlier testimony which is “at odds with the weight of the evidence and not backed up by any records the White House was willing to provide Ambassador Sondland.” The White House also has no record for the September 9 call which may have occurred two days earlier.

DDT’s July 25 phone call with Zelensky occurred the day after Robert Mueller testified to the House about the Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign. Mueller talked about Giuliani’s attempts to hurt the special counsel probe with his false conspiracy theory that Ukraine interfered in the election instead of Russia.

Phone calls between Solomon and Parnas cast doubt on his Solomon’s column from May 2018 referencing a letter from then-Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) Pompeo accusing Yovanovitch of disparaging the DDT administration, a smear campaign designed to undermine and then fire her as ambassador to Ukraine. Tweets and comments from DDT, Giuliani, and Donald Trump Jr in the days after Solomon’s publication article was published built on his allegations and added new “conspiracy theories” connected to Joe and Hunter Biden.

The report makes two important points: The impeachment inquiry is still investigating, and impeachment is necessary to avoid danger:

“Given the proximate threat of further presidential attempts to solicit foreign interference in our next election, we cannot wait to make a referral until our efforts to obtain additional testimony and documents wind their way through the courts. The damage to our system of checks and balances, and to the balance of power within our three branches of government, will be long-lasting and potentially irrevocable if the president’s ability to stonewall Congress goes unchecked. Any future president will feel empowered to resist an investigation into their own wrongdoing, malfeasance, or corruption, and the result will be a nation at far greater risk of all three.”

DDT won’t be taking part in the impeachment inquiry—at least for now. Pat A. Cipollone sent a five-page letter, much of it whining about unfairness, to tell Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) that Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) will not be participating in the Judiciary Committee hearings regarding the impeachment inquiry. Cipollone signed the letter “Counsel to the President,” although his position is not legally DDT’s personal lawyer.  DDT’s take on the current impeachment inquiry: It’s totally unfair that I can’t take part in the process, and no, I won’t take part in the process.

DDT followed up his refusal to participate in tomorrow’s hearing by wailing about the Democrats deliberately picking the time of his trip to NATO for the impeachment inquiry. He hates NATO, but he claimed that “this is one of the most important journeys that we make as president.” Last year, he threatened to pull out of the 70-year-old alliance. He grows more unhinged by the day.

The complete report is here.

1 Comment »

  1. Aloha from Kaua’i …First paragraph listed Rep. Adam Schiff as (R-CA) .. so I hopped online to verify that he indeed a Dem and was delighted to read his wife’s name is “Eve” … 

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPad

    Like

    Comment by Susan Oakley — December 4, 2019 @ 12:55 AM | Reply


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