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Politics A very bad impeachment hearings day for Donald Trump

12:37  20 november  2019
12:37  20 november  2019 Source:   nbcnews.com

Impeachment team releases transcript of defense official

  Impeachment team releases transcript of defense official WASHINGTON (AP) — House investigators are releasing another transcript in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump. The transcript being made public Monday is from the testimony of Laura Cooper, a deputy assistant secretary of defense, in a closed-door interview. House Democrats are moving forward with the first live, public hearings of the impeachment inquiry this week. The House is investigating whether Trump violated his oath of office by pushing Ukraine's president to investigate Democrats, including rival Joe Biden, while the administration was withholding military funds for the East European ally.

Analysis: Four witnesses delivered testimony that was deeply damaging to President Donald Trump 's remaining defenses in the impeachment inquiry. Had Vindman stood alone — under attack as he was from Trump , Donald Trump Jr. and other allies of the president — he would have made for a

In an impeachment hearing , Marie L. Yovanovitch expressed disbelief that an American president would call her “ bad news” in a call with a foreign leader. Marie L. Yovanovitch, the former American ambassador to Ukraine, during the impeachment inquiry hearing on Friday.Credit Doug Mills/The

Kurt Volker wearing a suit and tie: During the July 25 call, Trump asked Zelenskiy to carry out two investigations that would benefit him politically, including one targeting Joe Biden. The other involved a debunked conspiracy theory embraced by some Trump allies that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 U.S. election. Kurt Volker (L) said he believed those two concerns were © Provided by Reuters News & Media Inc. During the July 25 call, Trump asked Zelenskiy to carry out two investigations that would benefit him politically, including one targeting Joe Biden. The other involved a debunked conspiracy theory embraced by some Trump allies that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 U.S. election. Kurt Volker (L) said he believed those two concerns were "conspiracy theories." He added that allegations of corruption involving Biden and his son, who was a director of Ukrainian energy company Burisma, were "not credible." REUTERS/Erin Scott

WASHINGTON — They both wore the uniforms of their country during congressional testimony, but Alexander Vindman struck the reverse image of Oliver North

13.1 million TV viewers watch opening day of U.S. impeachment hearings

  13.1 million TV viewers watch opening day of U.S. impeachment hearings The first televised hearing of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump on Wednesday attracted 13.1 million viewers across six broadcast and cable networks, according to preliminary ratings data released by CNN on Thursday. © Getty Images Charge d'Affaires at the US embassy in Ukraine Bill Taylor (L) and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia George Kent (R) are sworn in to testify before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on the impeachment inquiry into US President Donald J. Trump, on Capitol Hill in Washington, on November, 13 November 2019.

On Friday, President Donald Trump (and the rest of us) got the most fulsome look into the inner Conway dismisses testimonies from impeachment hearing . Voters debate what impeachment That's important, so I'm going to say it again: People with very close personal and professional ties to

The third day of public impeachment hearings featured testimony from witnesses who listened to a key phone call in which Donald Trump asked for a 'favour' from Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

Thirty-two years ago, North — then a Marine lieutenant colonel on the National Security Council staff — testified before Congress about his role in defying Congress to deliver aid to Nicaraguan rebels. On Tuesday, Vindman, currently an Army lieutenant colonel on the National Security Council staff, told House impeachment investigators that it was "improper" for President Donald Trump to "demand a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen and political opponent."

Had Vindman stood alone — under attack as he was from Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and other allies of the president — he would have made for a compelling accuser.

But later in the day, his conclusion was supported by two witnesses — former special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker and former National Security Council staffer and longtime GOP Hill aide Tim Morrison — who said that it was not "appropriate" for a president to ask a foreign leader to investigate an American citizen, particularly one, former Vice President Joe Biden, who is a political rival of the president.

Trump campaign raises $3.1M on first day of impeachment hearings

  Trump campaign raises $3.1M on first day of impeachment hearings President Trump’s reelection campaign announced that on Wednesday it raised over $3.1 million in donations – the same day as the first public hearing of the House’s impeachment inquiry into Trump. © Provided by Fox News Network LLC“$3,144,257 RAISED YESTERDAY!” Brad Parscale, Trump’s 2020 campaign manager, tweeted Thursday. “’[Trump] loves these huge numbers. He knows that it isn’t enough to end this IMPEACHMENT SCAM.” Even before the public hearings began, Trump fundraisers reported seeing a surge in donations in response to impeachment talk.

Public hearings in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump continue Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. ET, with Jennifer Williams, senior adviser to Vice President Mike Pence, and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council

The framers of the U.S. Constitution had a very specific idea in mind when they added "bribery" as a ground for impeaching a president during the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. The dangers the framers were most concerned about came from outside U.S. borders -- the great powers.

In the end, Vindman was just the most riveting of four witnesses who delivered testimony that was deeply damaging to Trump's remaining defenses against allegations that he was personally involved in pushing for an arms-for-investigations deal.

Taken together, over nearly a dozen hours, they testified to the direct access that Ambassador to the E.U. Gordon Sondland had to Trump as Sondland, Rudy Giuliani, the president's personal lawyer, Volker and others operated a special channel of Ukraine negotiations in which the investigations of Biden and his son were discussed.

They testified that chasing Biden for political advantage was neither consistent with established U.S. foreign policy goals nor consistent with appropriate conduct by the president. And Volker dismissed the probes sought as "conspiracy theories."

For Republicans, Vindman's willingness to contradict the president, the fact that he emigrated from Ukraine with his family as a toddler and the fact that Ukraine had sought to name him defense minister — an offer he had refused — were all reasons to question his loyalty to the United States. For Democrats, they were reasons to celebrate his patriotism.

Support for Trump's impeachment unchanged after hearings begin: Reuters/Ipsos poll

  Support for Trump's impeachment unchanged after hearings begin: Reuters/Ipsos poll The televised impeachment hearings that began this week in the U.S. House of Representatives do not appear to have changed many minds about President Donald Trump, with public support for his impeachment about the same before and after the first U.S. diplomats testified, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll. © Reuters/TOM BRENNER U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks on honesty and transparency in healthcare prices inside the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington The national online poll, which ran from Thursday to Friday morning, showed that 44% of U.S.

President Donald Trump expressed praise for House Republicans during the Democrat-led impeachment hearings on Tuesday. Trump commented that Vindman insisted during the hearing that he be addressed by Republicans by his military rank and questioned why Vindman was suddenly

Impeachment hearings : Trump says he will 'strongly consider' testifying – live. “ Trump could come right before the committee and talk, speak all the truth that he wants if he wants,” she said. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer echoed that suggestion.

"Lt. Col. Vindman brought receipts," Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., a member of the Intelligence Committee, wrote in a tweet directed at Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio. "You can keep smearing a decorated war hero, but he brought his performance review today."

The other witnesses — Volker, Morrison and Jennifer Williams — were expected to provide testimony helpful to the president.

They did not.

Slideshow by photo services

It was bad enough that the main question multiple Republican lawmakers had for witnesses was whether they had observed others committing acts of bribery, extortion or treason — questions that both called upon the witnesses to act as juries and could have exposed them to legal jeopardy had they answered in the affirmative.

Williams described the key July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy as "unusual," adding that Trump's request for Zelenskiy to investigate Joe Biden "struck me as political in nature given that the former vice president is a political opponent of the president."

Volker began his testimony by revising what he'd said to the lawmakers behind closed doors during an earlier session, and portraying himself as having been duped by his colleagues.

He said he did not understand originally that when they talked about investigating Burisma — the natural gas company on whose board Hunter Biden sat — that they intended for a probe to be launched into the former vice president.

"There's a way to thread that needle," he said he thought. But, after seeing the record of the president's July 25 call, he testified, he realized that "for them, it was synonymous."

"In hindsight, I now understand that others saw the idea of investigating possible corruption involving the Ukrainian company, 'Burisma,' as equivalent to investigating former Vice President Biden," he said. "In retrospect, I should have seen that connection differently, and had I done so, I would have raised my own objections."

Morrison said that he "was concerned" about Sondland connecting aid to investigations in a conversation with Ukrainians, that Sondland briefed Trump on the July 25 call and that Sondland repeatedly spoke to Trump directly.

Morrison also testified that he wanted to limit the number of people who had access to a record of Trump's call with Zelenskiy because he was was worried that if it leaked there would be political ramifications in the U.S. The fear: that it would threaten bipartisan support for Ukraine. At the time, though, Trump had frozen the money Congress had appropriated for Ukraine.

"I was interested in locking down the transcript," he said — but he also testified repeatedly that he saw nothing wrong with anything the president had said on the call.

That may be hard for Americans to square with Morrison's acknowledgment that it's not right for the president to seek an investigation into a political opponent.

So much for helping Trump. The takeaway from Morrison's testimony will be the same as Vindman's: Trump's conduct was inappropriate.

Poll: Majority of Republicans think Trump a better president than Lincoln .
A majority of Republicans believe President Trump is a better leader than Abraham Lincoln, who guided the nation through the Civil War. © Provided by Washington ExaminerThe Economist and YouGov conducted a poll from Nov. 24-26 of 1,500 American adults. In the wide-ranging poll, researchers asked Americans to compare Trump to past U.S. presidents.Fifty-three percent of Republicans said that Trump is a better president than Lincoln. For Democrats and Independents, Lincoln is considered to have been the better president with 94% and 78%, respectively.

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