Despite President Donald Trump’s best efforts to ensure otherwise, House Democrats keep scoring major victories in their formal impeachment inquiry into him. After recent wins including an appeals court ruling upholding a subpoena for Trump’s tax returns and a week packed with testimony from high-profile officials across the Trump administration, Congressional investigators apparently have more powerful testimony coming their way. Reporter Josh Gerstein discussed recently on MSNBC that apparently, an array of officials on the National Security Council are preparing to testify despite Trump declaring what’s essentially a lockdown on any and all White House cooperation with House Dems.
Some of those testifying in coming days include acting Ukraine Ambassador Bill Taylor, acting Assistant Secretary of State Philip Reeker, the National Security Council’s top Russia adviser Timothy Morrison, and others. Gerstein explained:
‘One thing to look forward to later in the week, a couple of NSC national security officials are to be interviewed this week as well. The NSC is the White House, it’s part of the White House, right there in the West Wing and the Eisenhower Executive Office building. So I’ll be looking to see do those people… take that… approach and go in and give their testimony despite basically a direct marching order not to do that — that would be an amazing rebuke.’
‘The other question will be will any of these people face any kind of sanction for having gone against what the president or his counsel said to do here. I guess they are rolling the dice and saying at the end of the day they don’t think they really will, that there is no bite behind the president’s letters that he sends to Capitol Hill.’
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Their approach would mirror that of other figures like the Trump donor turned E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland, who testified to Congress recently and directly rebuked Trump’s behavior. Although Sondland himself participated in the administration’s Ukraine policy including the scheme to get the country to cough up dirt on the Bidens, even he gave up any semblance of legitimacy to the operation and blamed Trump’s personal direction — which he said he disagreed with — for the Ukraine plot.
Besides Sondland, other recent figures to testify include former top Russia adviser Fiona Hill and former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch. Hill shared — among other things — that the since-resigned (or fired?) national security John Bolton was so concerned by the Ukraine plot that he asked her to alert White House lawyers to what was going on.
Meanwhile, Yovanovitch confirmed that she was fired at the direction of Donald Trump personally, who apparently believed that she harbored some kind of political conspiracy against him. She did not.
The facts remain — Trump has again been revealed to have attempted to bend the U.S. government apparatus to his personal agenda. Now, he’s facing consequences for that, or at least the beginning of them. He can keep railing about the supposed illegitimacy of the whole thing all he wants, but it’s not sticking!