Yesterday, Gordon Sondland, Ambassador to the European Union, testified that he followed Donald Trump’s orders to pressure Ukraine to announce an investigation into Joe and Hunter Biden and that other top officials knew.
There is no argument that Donald Trump wanted Ukraine to investigate the Bidens and promote the debunked conspiracy theory that it was that nation and not Russia that meddled in the 2016 presidential election. Trump’s request is in the so-called transcript of his call with Ukraine and he’s made public statements wanting China to investigate the Bidens. It’s also a fact that asking a foreign nation to help your political campaign is illegal, even before you get to a “quid pro quo,” bribery or extortion.
Trump’s supporters argue that he’s concerned about corruption in Ukraine and he was concerned about sending tax dollars to a corrupt nation. If he’s concerned about corruption in Ukraine, then why did he ask Ukraine to investigate his political opponent? Wouldn’t Ukraine be too corrupt for that? As for the money, he approved it. It was approved by a bipartisan vote in Congress and signed by Donald Trump. If he was concerned about Ukraine being too corrupt to receive American money, then why did he approve it? The fact is, he was withholding it as bribery. He never asked Ukraine about corruption. He only asked about the Bidens. As it was revealed yesterday, Ukraine knew they hadn’t received the money.
Sondland testified that he followed the directions of Rudy Giuliani. Republicans will now try to throw Giuliani under the bus. Unfortunately, Giuliani has been all over television stating how he was in Ukraine working for Donald Trump. Unfortunately, the so-called transcript has Trump asking Ukraine’s president to talk to Rudy Giuliani. The evidence is there that Trump sent Giuliani to run a “drug deal” in Ukraine.
Ambassador Sondland said Trump doesn’t care about Ukraine, and that he only cares about the “big stuff” in that nation. Not big stuff like war with Russia, but big stuff like investigating Joe Biden. Yesterday, Sondland said others were “in the loop.” He was talking about White House Chief-of-Staff Mick Mulvaney (who’s admitted there was a quid pro quo), Secretary of State Mike Pompeo )who’s too much of a coward to defend his staff from Donald Trump), Energy Secretary Rick Perry, and Vice-President Mike Pence.
Republicans like Jim Jordan argue that Ukraine got their money so there isn’t a crime. If you rob a bank then return the money, there is still a crime. The Trump administration gave Ukraine the money only AFTER Congress started looking into the whistleblower complaint. Ukraine also wanted an Oval Office meeting for Zelensky. He still hasn’t received that.
Trump has asked a foreign nation to assist his campaign. He used taxpayer money to extort Ukraine. He’s obstructed justice by not allowing his people, like Mulvaney, Perry, Pence, Pompeo, and John Bolton to testify. He’s intimidated and harassed witnesses, even while they’re testifying. Republicans don’t believe Trump’s offenses amount to being worthy of impeachment, yet they impeached Bill Clinton over a blowjob.
If election meddling, bribery, extortion, obstruction, and witness tampering aren’t impeachable offenses, then what is?
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