"Absolutely Devastating' Testimony by Bill Taylor Recounts Direct Role Trump Took in Pressing Ukraine for Biden Probe

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  • #222698

    ravensong
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    @ravensong

    Acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor testified Wednesday during the first public House hearing on impeachment that a member of his staff overheard a phone call in which President Donald Trump personally demanded information about “the investigations” he pressured Ukraine’s leader to launch.

    Trump’s conversation with U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, according to Taylor, took place on July 26, the day after Trump urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to launch a probe into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

    The Ukraine ambassador’s account of the phone call between Sondland and Trump, which was not previously known to the public, was described as a “bombshell” that ties Trump directly to the efforts to investigate Biden.

    “In the presence of my staff at a restaurant, Ambassador Sondland called President Trump and told him of his meetings in Kyiv,” Taylor said during his opening remarks (pdf). “The member of my staff could hear President Trump on the phone, asking Ambassador Sondland about ‘the investigations.’ Ambassador Sondland told President Trump that the Ukrainians were ready to move forward.”

    Taylor said his staffer asked Sondland after the call “what President Trump thought about Ukraine.”

    “Ambassador Sondland responded that President Trump cares more about the investigations of Biden, which [Trump’s personal attorney Rudy] Giuliani was pressing for,” Taylor said.

    “Ambassador Taylor’s testimony leaves no doubt that President Trump was using official acts to pressure Ukraine for interference on our elections,” tweeted Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) in response to Taylor’s account of the July 26 phone call.

    In an op-ed Wednesday, the Washington Post‘s Paul Waldman wrote that Taylor’s testimony paints Trump “not as a disconnected figure, not as someone unaware of what is being done on his behalf, but as someone so intimately involved that he’s taking phone calls from Sondland to discuss the nuts and bolts of the whole plot.”

    “The big picture here is that what separates big, historic scandals from minor ones is the personal involvement of the president,” noted Waldman. “It’s what puts Watergate, Iran-contra and the Lewinsky scandal in one category, and every other mini-scandal in another.”

    Impeachment HQ, a joint project of progressive groups Stand Up America and Defend the Republic, said in an email to supporters that Taylor’s “testimony is absolutely devastating for Donald Trump and the Republicans attempting to defend him.”

    At least one Republican operative was reportedly alarmed by the first day of public impeachment hearings, during which House Republicans and GOP counsel Steve Castor peddled right-wing conspiracy theories in defense of Trump.

    “Not from me: but this is a massive fucking shitshow,” an unnamed GOP operative told Bloomberg reporter Sahil Kapur. “No one wants to be here.”

    https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/11/13/absolutely-devastating-testimony-bill-taylor-recounts-direct-role-trump-took

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  • #222711

    bazukhov
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    @bazukhov

    Tee-hee.

    Nixon wasn’t impeached because of the burglary.   It was the cover-up that brought him down.

    Deja-vu.

    Tell me, great captain, how do the angels sleep when the devil leaves his porch light on? Tom Waites

  • #222716

    elias39
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    @elias39

  • #222720

    Voltairine
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    @voltairine

    So? It’s already known from the transcript that Trump took interest and asked Ukraine to help in criminal investigation.

    Aloha!

    • #222789

      JonLP
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      @jonlp

      Which is why he is being impeached. Is there any other corruption investigations Trump asked to launch in regards to Ukraine corruption? It is the 2nd most corrupt country in Europe after Russia.

      Corruption is widespread in Ukrainian society.[1][2] Transparency International‘s 2018 Corruption Perception Index ranks the country in 120th place out of 180 countries.[3]

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corruption_in_Ukraine#Areas

       

      The fact that Ukraine is so corrupt that Trump asking their legal system to investigate a political opponent to investigate & make it public is corruption in of itself.

      Tulsi Gabbard - "Not only are they saying that about me, they are basically sending this message out to every veteran in this country, every service member, every American, anyone watching at home fighting for peace and who was calling for an end to these regime change wars ... they are saying that you are also a Russian asset, that you are also a traitor to this country,"

      • #223048

        Voltairine
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        @voltairine

        The never ending rainfall of Russiagate Ukrainegate nothingburger bombshels has not left heads unexploded out of their wits.

        As you must know, the favor that Trump asked during the phone call concerned Ukrainean meddling in 2016 US elections (DNC-Chaluba-Manafort direction and perhaps much that is not yet in public), when Poroshenko was head of state, as part of larger domestic and international criminal investigation into Brennan-Clapper CIA+ task force behind RussiaRussia and spying on Trump campaign, etc. They talked about generally fighting corruption and draining the swamp as something they both need to do domestically, and Bidens were mentioned in that context, as the former VP has already publicly bragged about extorting Ukraine to stop domestic corruption investigation related to his son.

        Aloha!

        • #223109

          sadoldgirl
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          @sadoldgirl

          @voltairine:

          Forget it.the TDS has taken over even here. They don’t

          want to realize that the Clinton/Ukraine agreement

          regarding cooperation in criminal matters still exists.

          They accept hearsay for evidence, and don’t want to

          read the transcript. Instead Biden is to them the first

          issue Trump mentioned, not the 2016 election. They

          don’t even want to remember the betraying words from

          Victoria Nuland: “5 Billion dollars well spent!”There is

          nothing to say but that the propaganda machine has or

          will have achieved its purpose. The TDS is too strong!

          • #223177

            Voltairine
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            @voltairine

            The whole thing is unraveling very fast. The oligarch who owns Zelensky just gave US and NATO finger and said to Putin “sorry for the trouble, please take us back”.

            https://www.rt.com/news/473355-ukraine-moscow-alliance-kolomoysky/

            And in US, for those not totally enclosed in the Neocon media bubble, it’s become perfectly clear that the US embassy in Ukraine has been rogue Clinton-Neocon cesspool which has been not only exposed, but also lost its total meaning and purpose in total defeat of the Obama gambit of allying with neonazies for his anti-Russian coup in Kiev.  The magnitude of this defeat will take some time to digest, but truth is coming out…

            Aloha!

        • #223249

          JonLP
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          @jonlp

          If you honestly believes a sociopath or malignant narcissist cares about draining the swamp then I can’t help you.

          Someone blamed it on TDS but people hate Democrats so much they end up liking Trump or defend him even though the evidence against him is clear. Trump is not going to help us improve the Democratic party. He is not on anyone’s side but his own and if he wanted to put “America First” he would resign.

           

          I hate Biden on top of with everything going on. Biden along with other Western nations wanted the prosecutor replaced because she was soft on corruption.

          Tulsi Gabbard - "Not only are they saying that about me, they are basically sending this message out to every veteran in this country, every service member, every American, anyone watching at home fighting for peace and who was calling for an end to these regime change wars ... they are saying that you are also a Russian asset, that you are also a traitor to this country,"

          • #223482

            Voltairine
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            @voltairine

            I believe the narcissist sociopath didn’t like to be called bad names and humiliated by Russiagaters and thirsts for personal revenge. Which leads to practical result of draining the swamp of Neocon dissidents (Brennan’s CIA+ task force etc.) to his foreign policy. If Barr DoJ manages to build solid case against Brennan, Clapper, etc., that quite likely leads to many other heads rolling too, Clinton and her minions and possibly also Obama. MSM “fake news” infiltrated by Brennan and Clapper and their loyalists is not safe from Trump’s wrath either. It is not hard to predict major turbulance ahead…

            Aloha!

            • #223484

              JonLP
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              @jonlp

              Trump goes around calling people bad names not me as I avoid it. I also don’t throw around sociopath lightly (politicians are more likely to be sociopaths than the general population which explains the GOP) but he is most likely a malignant narcissist He often accuses others of what he is guilty of.

              The importance of malignant narcissism and of projection as a defense mechanism has been confirmed in paranoia, as well as “the patient’s vulnerability to malignant narcissistic regression”.[3]

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malignant_narcissism

              I don’t expect much to come from this “Origins” investigation and I doubt it would even be happening without Barr. I’m mad at my own Senator Sinema for voting to confirm Barr among many other things. I will be voting for someone else in the 2024 Arizona Senate election.

              Tulsi Gabbard - "Not only are they saying that about me, they are basically sending this message out to every veteran in this country, every service member, every American, anyone watching at home fighting for peace and who was calling for an end to these regime change wars ... they are saying that you are also a Russian asset, that you are also a traitor to this country,"

              • #223488

                Voltairine
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                @voltairine

                I’m fairly confident that much more will come from Origins investigation than came from Mueller. How much more, time will tell, but my educated guess is Irangate and Watergate scale. Malignant narcissism, if correct diagnosis, tilts the prediction towards total lack of presidential pardons this time.

                Aloha!

                • #223493

                  JonLP
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                  @jonlp

                  Trump pardoned Arpaio where mostly retired people loved him. Even young Republicans hated Arpaio but didn’t have a choice as he was the only one on the primary ballot for the Republicans. He also abused his power and demanded investigations into his political opponents. ‘

                  Arpaio’s enemies list

                  That’s because under Rick Romley, the County Attorney’s Office served as a voice of reason to, and occasional brake on, Arpaio. Under Romley’s successor, Andrew Thomas, the office has become a willing partner in political shenanigans.

                  No potential rival is immune from the pair’s “investigations.” No conflict of interest is ever acknowledged.

                  And no case is too petty to pursue, so long as the TV cameras are rolling.


                  Longtime readers of this newspaper are familiar with Joe Arpaio’s history. Court records, signed affidavits, interviews, and archive searches reveal a long list of vengeful actions Arpaio has taken against political opponents:

                  • Sheriff’s Office employees who’ve spoken out have endured slanted investigations from the sheriff’s internal affairs unit, been transferred or fired, and sometimes been harassed at their new jobs.

                  • At least two men, Tom Bearup and Ernest Hancock, were tailed after they announced their interest in Arpaio’s job. Arpaio’s second-in-command, David Hendershott, targeted Bearup as a threat to the sheriff. Hendershott even ordered an underling to write a memo that painted Bearup, the sheriff’s former top deputy, as a security risk.

                  Deputies tapped the phone of Bearup’s campaign aide, Jim Cozzolino. Deputies also rifled through his trash. Cozzolino was later arrested under dubious circumstances and served four months in jail. Cozzolino sued, claiming that Arpaio violated his constitutional rights. The sheriff was forced to settle.

                  • Republican activists say they’ve been penalized for backing candidates other than Arpaio. After Lee Watkins backed another candidate, deputies raided his business and home and launched a public investigation. Three years later, no charges have been filed.

                  • Arpaio’s most recent foe, Dan Saban, was painted as a sexual deviant when Arpaio’s people slipped a damaging report from a questionable source to a TV reporter. After Saban sued, the sheriff’s lawyer wrote letters attempting to get Saban fired from his current job.

                  • Dan Pochoda, the Arizona ACLU’s legal director, publicly fought with Arpaio about immigration and Arpaio’s treatment of a jailed tuberculosis patient. At an immigration rally, sheriff’s deputies hauled Pochoda to jail rather than issue him a citation. They claimed that Pochoda refused to leave the rally, held on private property.

                  Justice in Maricopa County has gotten only more warped since Arpaio and County Attorney Andrew Thomas formed an alliance.

                  They even formed a task force created to fight corruption, called Operation MACE. The task force has had questionable results:

                  • Its first indictment was of Russ Jones, a state legislator from Yuma. The charges were petty, at best, and were quickly dismissed by a judge.

                  • Seven months ago, the pair made much ado about their investigation of Attorney General Terry Goddard — one of Thomas’ top political rivals. Thomas and Arpaio have issued numerous press releases, but the investigation has yet to yield a single indictment.

                  • A top Thomas aide worked closely with sheriff’s deputies to investigate a campaign mailer from Democrat Jackie Thrasher, who was running for the Arizona House. Despite three search warrants, and the seizure of four computers belonging to a Democratic operative just weeks before the 2006 election, the case boiled down to a questionable decal shown in a photo on a campaign brochure. No charges have been filed. Thrasher’s opponent, Jim Weiers, is the father of a Maricopa County sheriff’s deputy.

                  https://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/enemies-list-6445731

                  Tulsi Gabbard - "Not only are they saying that about me, they are basically sending this message out to every veteran in this country, every service member, every American, anyone watching at home fighting for peace and who was calling for an end to these regime change wars ... they are saying that you are also a Russian asset, that you are also a traitor to this country,"

  • #223026

    bazukhov
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    @bazukhov

    AOC agrees.

    Tell me, great captain, how do the angels sleep when the devil leaves his porch light on? Tom Waites

    • #223250

      JonLP
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      @jonlp

      Thank God for common sense people like AOC.

      Tulsi Gabbard - "Not only are they saying that about me, they are basically sending this message out to every veteran in this country, every service member, every American, anyone watching at home fighting for peace and who was calling for an end to these regime change wars ... they are saying that you are also a Russian asset, that you are also a traitor to this country,"

  • #223627

    GloriaMundi
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    @gloriamundi

    “Acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor testified Wednesday during the first public House hearing on impeachment that a member of his staff overheard a phone call…”

    So, hearsay then.  In what way can hearsay evidence be described in a shrieking headline as “Absolutely Devastating”?

    Puhleeze.  As others point out, we already knew that Trump asked for an investigation of Biden.  We know it from the transcript that Trump himself provided.  Where’s the bombshell?

    My own amusement at the whole thing began when I realized that the Dems had pivoted from Russiagate (“Trump is a Putin puppet!”) to Ukrainegate (“Trump is in league with Ukraine officials!”) without blinking.  I mean, I understand Trump derangement syndrome, I really do:  I loathed the man long before he ran for and attained the Presidency.  But seriously, folks, this has gotten ridiculous.

    In fact, I too would like some further investigation into Biden’s dealings with Ukraine (the coup, Hunter’s appointment to the lucrative seat on Burisma’s board…), not to mention the Clintons and their dealings with Russia (Bill’s $500,000 speaking fee from a Russian bank, the uranium deal, how Hillary’s tenure at State fits into it all…).

    • #223728

      Yanath
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      @yanath

      @gloriamundi

      Adam Schiff: “In 2014, Russia invaded a United States ally, Ukraine, to reverse that nation’s embrace of the West, and to fulfill Vladimir Putin’s desire to rebuild a Russian empire…”

      No one capable of rational thought will be following that moron down the rabbit hole.

  • #223718

    Earthartist
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    @earthartist

    Oh but that would be whataboutism can’t go back to the source of corruption you know

    Earthartist

  • #223785

    ronRonnie1
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    @ronronnie1

    Second hand hearsay is considered “absolutely devastating?”  Maybe in CNN/MSDNC land.

    Y.A.W.N.

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