Donald Trump thinks that his stonewalling will slow down the pace of his impeachment inquiry. Instead, the hearings have begun to accelerate as more career government employees and former employees testify. He has not handled it well, spiraling into a conspiracy theory.
Former envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volke testified before the House Intelligence Committee for over eight hours, and he returned to the Capitol Hill for a second time Wednesday. According to The New York Times, Volker came back to go over the transcript of his first deposition.
Congressional investigation witnesses often come back to review what was in the official transcript of their testimony. However, that information was not made public.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=le0V_gLCYxAVolker testified before the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, and the Oversight Committees. He said that he did not have information about the White House trying to get the Ukrainians an opening to investigate the former vice president, Joe Biden (D)
Facts that have been revealed during the House’s hearings included that POTUS held nearly $400 million for direly-needed military aid from Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky. Russia invaded the country, took Crimea, and have been attacking along the eastern border.
Trump was coercing Zelensky to “find” dirt on former vice president Joe Biden (D) and his son Hunter. The younger Biden sat on the board of a Ukrainian energy company while his father was in office. They were both found innocent.
These House hearings on Ukraine were set off when a CIA officer “once detailed to the White House” filed a formal whistleblower complaint. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) had been holding back on the impeachment investigation, but she saw this as significant enough to start hearings and name them as an “impeachment inquiry.”
Trump and a number of his administration members, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, were on his phone conversation to Zelensky. The president later released a partial transcript of that call. It had been hidden in a stand-alone server reserved for the highest security operation.
Volker released a series of texts to the committee. They involved the U.S. diplomat to the European Union (EU) Ambassador Gordon Sondland communications about Ukraine. There were also texts regarding Trump’s TV attorney Rudy Giuliani and a top aide to President Zelenzky, Andrey Yermak.
AXIOS hit the top five points that came out of the Volker testimony:
- ‘[M]y efforts were entirely focused on advancing U.S. foreign policy goals with respect to Ukraine.”
- “I became concerned that a negative narrative about Ukraine, fueled by assertions made by Ukraine’s departing Prosecutor General, was reaching the President of the United States, and impeding our ability to support the new Ukrainian government as robustly as I believed we should.”
- “[A]t no time was I aware of or took part in an effort to urge Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Biden.”
- “[W]hile executing my duties, I kept my colleagues at the State Department and National Security Council informed, and also briefed Congress, about my actions.”
- “I strongly supported the provision of U.S. security assistance, including lethal defensive weapons, to Ukraine throughout my tenure.’
Many do not realize Trump has long had an affection for conspiracy theories, which fit neatly into his paranoia. As Italian President Sergio Mattarella sat by his side, reporters peppered Trump with questions. They asked about his recently retired former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s plan to testify before the House impeachment inquiry.
Instead of answering, Trump began ranting about the 2016 presidential election’s corruption. It appeared that the president either believed the conspiracy or he was inventing an excuse for his Ukrainian troubles, as seen on MSNBC:
‘Giuliani was seeking out corruption in the 2016 election. There was tremendous corruption in that 2016 election. It was disgraceful what happened and what happened to me and what happened to the Republicans.’
Trump continued ranting about an investigation into former FBI director James Comey and possibly “Obama himself:”
‘The election I won but it was corrupted by things that took place in government. Now we’ll see what happens,” Trump remarked as he explained that he anticipates an upcoming Inspector General report to name former FBI Director James Comey and, perhaps, “Obama himself.’
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo continued to defend the president. His top aide Michael McKinley resigned last week and has been giving testimony. Sondland is on the House committees’ schedules for Thursday.
The Mueller Report Adventures: In Bite-Sizes on this Facebook page. These quick, two-minute reads interpret the report in normal English for busy people. Mueller Bite-Sizes uncovers what is essentially a compelling spy mystery. Interestingly enough, Mueller Bite-Sizes can be read in any order