House Judiciary chair: Yesterday’s testimony was “pretty damning”
House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler said yesterday’s testimony was “pretty damning.”
Democrats are making clear this morning that Bill Taylor’s testimony – discussing Gordon Sondland’s conversations with Trump about investigations — shows that Sondland appears to have misled Congress in his closed deposition since he did not disclose those talks and often didn’t recall key details.
Rep. Jackie Speier, who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, said Sondland is going to have to “pay” for his lack of candor and said he wasn’t truthful, adding he’s on “thin ice” and will have to clarify next week.
Rep. Harley Rouda, who also took part in the depositions, said Sondland was “not fully truthful.”
GOP plans to argue that tomorrow’s witness had no knowledge of matters central to impeachment inquiry
Ahead of tomorrow’s public hearing, Republicans plan to argue that President Trump was within his rights to recall Marie Yovanovitch from her post, saying he has the power to appoint and remove ambassadors as he wishes.
They also plan to make clear that after she left her position in May, she had no direct knowledge of the central issues at stake in the impeachment inquiry, according to a GOP source involved in the planning.
Remember: Yovanovitch, the former top US diplomat in Ukraine, was called “bad news” by President Trump and unexpectedly removed from her post in Kyiv in May.
She was accused without evidence by Rudy Giuliani — a former New York mayor and Trump’s personal attorney — and others of trying to undermine the President and blocking efforts to investigate Democrats like former Vice President Joe Biden.
About tomorrow: At her public hearing in the House, Yovanovitch is expected to detail the efforts by Rudy Giuliani to smear her as well as to knock down the conspiracy theories he was pushing.
Kellyanne Conway says “nothing new” came out of yesterday’s hearing.
She said that Trump did not watch the televised hearing, but when asked about how he reacted to news from it, Conway answered, “Pretty well.”
“I’ll tell you why. There was nothing new yesterday,” she said,
Some background: Yesterday, Bill Taylor, top US diplomat in Ukraine told Congress of a previously unknown conversation President Trump had the day after his phone call with the Ukrainian President, in which Trump asked the US ambassador to the European Unionabout Ukraine opening investigations that would help him politically.
Taylor testified that Gordon Sondland, the EU ambassador, told an aide that Trump’s interest in Ukraine was the “investigations of Biden,” and that he cared more about an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden than he did about Ukraine.
Today, Conway said that testimony should not be considered evidence:
“You’re calling that evidence, respectfully. In a real court of law we’d not be referring to something as evidence that is, oh, someone on my staff recalled overhearing a conversation between someone else and the President where they think they heard the president use the word investigations. This is not what due process and the rule of law in our great democracy allows,” she said.