House impeachment investigators continue to close in on the full extent of the Trump team’s plot to exchange military aid and a summit in D.C. for dirt from Ukraine on the Bidens. Now, the Daily Beast is reporting that the quid pro quo scheme extended so far that after a July 10 meeting at the White House with Ukrainian counterparts, officials on the National Security Council, which was then under the leadership of then-national security adviser John Bolton, privately reached out to Ukrainian officials to try and establish communication separate from Trump’s “three amigos.” Those figures had been working to implement the quid pro quo.
‘Charles Kupperman, President Donald Trump’s former deputy national security adviser, contacted Ukrainian officials close to President Volodymyr Zelensky via telephone in mid-July after a tumultuous meeting at the White House in which Sondland told the Kyiv representatives that they would need to launch certain domestic investigations in exchange for a presidential meet in Washington, according to three officials familiar with the matter. Kupperman was not the only official to reach out, the sources said.’
Kupperman left his post around the same time that Bolton did this fall. The “amigos” that Trump’s inner circle had tasked with seeing the quid pro quo through included the still-serving E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland, now former U.S. Special Envoy Kurt Volker, and outgoing Energy Secretary Rick Perry. Kupperman and others’ attempts to get around those figures indicate that the inner workings of the White House were in a state of desperation over Trump and his cronies’ scheme — but it’s still come out anyway. Their clean-up operation did not work.
The Daily Beast says that Sondland’s July 10 “emotional” demands for Ukraine to investigate the Bidens and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in exchange for aid and a D.C. summit left the country’s officials “uncomfortable and confused about Washington’s messaging.” According to accounts of what happened, Sondland essentially took over the meeting and had those there head to the White House’s Ward Room, where he made his investigation demands.
Although Bolton himself did not follow the group, then-Trump adviser and current impeachment inquiry witness Fiona Hill did. She told Congress that she challenged the situation right then and there, explaining:
‘I pointed out that this wasn’t an appropriate place to be having a discussion about what was going to be a deliberative process about how one goes about setting up a meeting and the timing of it and the content of it. It’s completely inappropriate to have, you know, the ambassador to the EU take the Ukrainians down to the Ward Room to have a huddle on next steps about getting a meeting with the president of the United States.’
Trump and his closest associates didn’t seem to care.
Although they have attempted to muster some kind of fact-based defense against impeachment investigators, the facts — that include documentation from the president and White House themselves! — condemn the president. He directed a scheme to pressure Ukraine to come up with potentially politically helpful intel on the basis of completely hollow investigations.