Tag Archives: testimony

Trump, trying to head off testimony, says Bolton would have started 'World War Six'

Trump, trying to head off testimony, says Bolton would have started 'World War Six'As pressure mounts on senators to allow John Bolton’s testimony in President Trump’s impeachment trial, the president used Twitter to trash his former national security adviser.



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Cruz Claims Schiff’s Opening Argument Makes Hunter Biden’s Testimony ‘Critical’

Cruz Claims Schiff’s Opening Argument Makes Hunter Biden’s Testimony ‘Critical’Senator Ted Cruz (R., Texas) told reporters Wednesday that House impeachment manager's Adam Schiff's focus on the propriety of President Trump's request for an investigation into the Bidens made it “critical” that Hunter Biden testify about his role on the board of Burisma."I think the House managers made a very serious strategic error today," Cruz told ABC News. "Adam Schiff's arguments to open the day today directly drew into question Hunter Biden and made not only his testimony relevant, which it already was, but it is now critical."The Texas Republican explained that if Democrats argue that any allegations of corruption against Hunter Biden and former vice president Joe Biden are a “scam,” such claims are “directly relevant” and need to be explored.Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow later declined to comment on Cruz's argument.Cruz first floated the idea of “witness reciprocity” for testimony from Biden in exchange for the testimony of former national security adviser John Bolton on January 14.In an interview Tuesday with CBS News, Schiff said that Biden’s testimony would be immaterial to the case and “would not be appropriate,” implying that the testimony would amount to a continuation of “the same smear campaign that was foiled when his plot was discovered.""Hunter Biden, for example, can't tell us anything about whether the president withheld military aid, whether he withheld that aid to coerce Ukraine to conduct political investigations. Or why he wouldn't meet with the president of Ukraine," Schiff said. "That's an illegitimate abuse of the trial. And the chief justice, who may have an opportunity to rule on the materiality of witnesses, as well as the senators, should not permit that kind of abuse.”Speaking Wednesday after news that Democrats were allegedly weighing Cruz’s swap deal, Schiff again shot down any testimony from the Bidens.“They want to use this trial to smear the Bidens. That’s not the purpose of the trial and the senators should not allow it to be abused in that way,” Schiff told reporters.



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Report: Several Senate Democrats are talking about trading the testimony of Hunter Biden for John Bolton

Report: Several Senate Democrats are talking about trading the testimony of Hunter Biden for John BoltonSome Democratic senators are privately discussing what would happen if they told Republicans that former Vice President Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden should testify in President Trump's impeachment trial — so long as former National Security Adviser John Bolton does, too.Multiple Democratic officials told The Washington Post that lawmakers are discussing trading Bolton for Biden, as they feel having Bolton testify in the trial is that important. The impeachment charges allege that Trump froze approved military aid and withheld a meeting from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as a way to pressure Zelensky into announcing an investigation into the Bidens. Hunter Biden once served on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company, and Trump allies like Rudy Giuliani have pushed unfounded allegations that Joe Biden protected his son from a corruption probe. Hunter Biden was never accused of any wrongdoing during his time at Burisma.Democrats want Bolton and other witnesses who potentially have firsthand knowledge about Trump's Ukraine decisions to testify in the trial. Although Democrats believe Hunter Biden is irrelevant to the trial, Republicans like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) have said he should testify, and the Democrats see this as an opening to get Bolton in as well, the Post reports. Some Democrats worry this takes the spotlight off of Trump, who is actually the one on trial, but others think having Hunter or Joe Biden testify would backfire against Trump."If you want to give Joe Biden an opportunity to sit in the well of the Senate and answer the question, 'Do you think the president acted appropriately?' go right ahead," Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) told the Post. "I can't imagine a person more comfortable in the well of the Senate than a man who spent 36 years here as a United States senator." Read more at The Washington Post.More stories from theweek.com Saudis get dragged for requesting an investigation of 'absurd' claims crown prince hacked Jeff Bezos' phone White House counsel falsely claims Adam Schiff blocked Republicans from attending classified impeachment meetings The real problem with McConnell's impeachment rules



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Eddie Gallagher: Navy Seal reinstated by Trump described as 'freaking evil' by comrades, leaked testimony reveals

Eddie Gallagher: Navy Seal reinstated by Trump described as 'freaking evil' by comrades, leaked testimony revealsThe Navy SEAL commander accused of war crimes and recently hosted at Mar-a-Lago by Donald Trump who intervened on his behalf, was described by fellow fighters as “toxic” and “freaking evil”.Eddie Gallagher was acquitted after a war crimes prosecution in the murder of a 17-year-old of Isis prisoner, but convicted of posing with his corpse. He was demoted by military authorities until the intervention of Mr Trump, who invited him to his Florida estate.



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U.S. House says McGahn testimony still 'critical' to impeachment case

U.S. House says McGahn testimony still 'critical' to impeachment caseA U.S. House of Representatives panel told an appeals court on Monday that despite having already voted to impeach President Donald Trump lawmakers still have an urgent need for testimony from former White House counsel Don McGahn. In a filing to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, lawyers for the House Judiciary Committee said the court should rule quickly on the validity of subpoena it issued to McGahn for testimony about Trump's efforts to impede former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.



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Ben Carson questions "fairness" of impeachment testimony

Ben Carson questions "fairness" of impeachment testimonyThe Housing and Urban Development Secretary also calls the concept of reparations for the descendants of slaves "unworkable"



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Senate Democrats Demand White House Testimony on Impeachment

Senate Democrats Demand White House Testimony on Impeachment(Bloomberg) — Democrats demanded that members of the Trump administration testify in the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, in a letter sent Sunday night from Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.Schumer laid out detailed proposals for the impeachment trial, which he said should start on Jan. 9 after “pre-trial housekeeping measures” are adopted Jan. 6, and follow a similar structure to the 1999 trial of President Bill Clinton.Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and former National Security Adviser John Bolton were among those named by Schumer.The letter comes as a top Democrat in the House, Representative Adam Schiff said the impeachment process won’t be a failure if Trump is acquitted by the Senate, as seems almost certain. Republicans control the 100-member body; some GOP members have declared their minds made up.“No, it isn’t a failure. At least it’s not a failure in the sense of our constitutional duty in the House,” Schiff, a California Democrat and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said on ABC’s “This Week.”On the same program, Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, continued to press the Democrats’ case, saying Trump “poses a continuing threat” to U.S. national security and democracy.“Do we have a constitutional democracy, or do we have a monarchy where the president is unaccountable? That’s what at stake here,” Nadler said.Here’s the Story on Trump, Ukraine and Impeachment: QuickTakeThe judiciary committee on Friday recommended Trump’s impeachment in a party-line vote. The panel acted on two counts, one charging Trump with abuse of power and the other with obstruction of Congress for his conduct around a July 25 phone call with Ukraine’s president.Bitter partisan disagreement continues over whether the ultimate constitutional punishment fits the nature of the president’s alleged misconduct. Across the country, polls show about half of Americans support impeaching Trump, with responses falling along party lines.Trump said again on Sunday that he’d done nothing wrong in his dealings with Ukraine, including a “PERFECT phone call” with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in which Trump urged the Ukrainian leader to “look into” allegations of wrongdoing by former Vice President Joe Biden, a potential 2020 competitor, and his son, Hunter.The votes to advance the articles of impeachment for consideration by the full House this week will almost inevitably lead to Trump becoming only the third president in U.S. history to be impeached.Schiff said he was “confident” there will be a majority in the House to impeach the president, even as Republicans target 31 Democratic lawmakers from districts that Trump won in 2016.The process would then move to a trial in the Senate, where Republicans hold a majority.A Guide to the Investigations and Lawsuits Plaguing the PresidentSenator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a top Trump ally, on Saturday rejected the idea that he must be a “fair juror” in the Senate. “I think impeachment is going to end quickly in the Senate,” Graham told CNN from Qatar, where he was attending the Doha Forum. “I want to end this matter quickly and move on to other things.”A handful of Democrats are likely to vote against impeachment in the House, Senator Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, predicted Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” He indicted that he would most likely vote to acquit Trump.By contrast, Senator Pat Toomey, a Pennsylvania Republican, indicated a more open mind. “We ought to hear what the House impeachment managers have to say, give the president‘s attorneys an opportunity to make the defense, and then make a decision about whether, and to what extent it will go forward from there,” he said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”Senator Sherrod Brown, Democrat of Ohio, said on CNN that he would withhold judgment “until I see the evidence and hear the prosecution.”Trump UnboundBrown and Nadler joined other Democrats in criticizing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for vowing, in an interview on Fox News on Thursday, “total coordination with the White House” on impeachment strategy.“The constitution prescribes a special oath for the senators when they sit as a trial in impeachment,” Nadler said. “They have to pledge to do impartial justice. And here you have the majority leader of the Senate, in effect the foreman of the jury, saying he’s going to work hand in glove with the defense attorney.”On “Meet the Press,” Democratic Senator Chris Coons of Delaware said that if Trump is exonerated, “he will be unbounded. I’m gravely concerned about what else he might do between now and the 2020 election, when there are no restrictions on his behavior.”Graham also told CBS on Sunday’s “Face the Nation” that he would welcome a meeting with Rudy Giuliani to discuss the Trump lawyer’s just-ended trip to Ukraine to dig up political dirt for Trump.“I don’t know what Rudy found. I don’t know what he was up to when he was in the Ukraine,” Graham said. “We can look at what Rudy’s got and Joe Biden, Hunter Biden and anything else you want to look at, after impeachment. But if Rudy wants to come to the Judiciary Committee and testify about what he found, he’s welcome to do so.”Guiliani issued a series of tweets on Sunday that he said were evidence “garnered through hundreds of hours of research” including the visit to Ukraine, where he traveled with a camera crew from the conservative One America News cable network.The impeachment process threatens to create peril for Democratic lawmakers in moderate districts, including several elected in November’s midterm election and others who serve in districts won by Trump in 2016.On Saturday, freshman Representative Jeff Van Drew reportedly was considering changing his party affiliation to Republican, a possible switch applauded by the president on Twitter.On ABC, Nadler said Van Drew’s falling approval ratings in his Southern New Jersey district were the real motivation. “What he’s reacting to is public polling that shows he can’t get renominated, his electorate in his district is 24% to renominate him and 60% to nominate someone else,” Nadler said.To contact the reporters on this story: Erik Wasson in Washington at ewasson@bloomberg.net;Hailey Waller in New York at hwaller@bloomberg.net;Jordan Yadoo in Washington at jyadoo@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: James Ludden at jludden@bloomberg.net, Ros Krasny, Ian FisherFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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Trump impeachment hearings: 4 takeaways from Day 6 of public testimony

Trump impeachment hearings: 4 takeaways from Day 6 of public testimonyThe first day of testimony in front of the Judiciary Committee included testimony from legal scholars Noah Feldman, Pamela Karlan, Michael Gerhardt and Jonathan Turley.



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Aide to Ukrainian President Addresses Bill Taylor Testimony

Aide to Ukrainian President Addresses Bill Taylor TestimonyTom Brenner/ReutersIn his testimony before the impeachment inquiry last month, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor described a conversation about a sensitive topic: whether or not Ukrainian law enforcement should investigate Petro Poroshenko, the former president of Ukraine who lost a re-election bid to Volodymyr Zelensky on April 21. Now, one of the Ukrainians in that conversation is indicating that Taylor’s testimony didn’t capture the full story. Taylor, America’s top diplomat in Kyiv, is a key witness in Democrats’ investigation of President Donald Trump and his policy toward Ukraine. In his testimony, Taylor said two Zelensky aides, Andriy Yermak and Igor Novikov, reacted strongly after Taylor and then-special envoy Ambassador Kurt Volker urged them not to scrutinize Poroshenko. Poroshenko faced criticism during the election for certain military decisions and had faced a bruising scandal when news broke in the weeks before Election Day about the alleged involvement of the son of one of his close business partners in a scheme to soak Ukraine’s defense sector for millions of dollars. One of Poroshenko’s top national security officials, Oleg Gladkovsky, resigned over the news and was reportedly detained last month as part of an investigation into the situation.  “Kurt said, you know, you should move forward, don’t prosecute Poroshenko,” Taylor said in his testimony, describing a conversation that happened on September 14. “And they responded, take a look at this.”Yermak and Novikov pulled out their phones, according to Taylor, and showed the two American diplomats “pictures of their relatives–one was a brother, and one was a cousin–who had been killed or wounded in the east.”Taylor apparently saw a connection between the military service of the aides’ family members and the Zelensky administration’s approach to Poroshenko. “[T]hey showed this to Kurt and me, and they said, Poroshenko is responsible for this,” Taylor said. “There was a deep-seated anger at Poroshenko at an emotional level. And that was one of the things motivating–one of the things motivating the attacks on, or the court cases on President Poroshenko.”Reached for comment about the exchange, Novikov offered a view of the issues they discussed at that dinner that differed from Taylor’s. “The fact that one of my close relatives is serving Ukraine, risking his life to protect our country from the Russian aggression makes me proud, not angry,” he told The Daily Beast. “The main issue with Mr. Poroshenko is corruption, especially within the defense sector. In my view, it is unacceptable to steal from the very people who are defending our freedom.” “I strongly believe that if Ukraine were to deoligarchize itself, there should not be two separate categories: ‘good oligarch’ and ‘bad oligarch,’” he added. “No one should be above the law. Is Mr. Poroshenko an oligarch? I have an opinion on that, but I’ll let everyone else also be the judge of that.” Volker and Taylor’s efforts to influence Ukrainian prosecutors’ investigation decisions made for a bit of discomfort, according to George Kent, the State Department’s deputy assistant secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs. Kent said that when Taylor and Volker urged Yermak not to investigate Poroshenko, Yermak pointed to American efforts to get Ukraine to open politically motivated investigations. “Andry Yermak said: What? You mean the type of investigations you’re pushing for us to do on Biden and Clinton? And at that point Kurt Volker did not respond,” Kent said. Taylor is set to testify publicly next week as part of Congressional Democrats’ impeachment inquiry. The inquiry focuses on efforts by members of the Trump administration to pressure Kyiv to announce investigations into alleged Ukrainian interference in the U.S. 2016 election and a company linked to former Vice President Joe Biden. Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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George Kent Testimony: State Dept. Brass Told Hannity to Stop Smearing Marie Yovanovitch

George Kent Testimony: State Dept. Brass Told Hannity to Stop Smearing Marie YovanovitchCarlos Barria/ReutersTop U.S. diplomat George Kent said in his impeachment testimony released Thursday that the State Department’s counselor contacted Fox News host Sean Hannity this spring to ask him to stop spreading smears about Marie Yovanovitch, the then-U.S. ambassador to Ukraine who drew the ire of Trumpworld.Kent, who serves as the State Department’s deputy assistant secretary for European and Eurasian affairs, confirmed Yovanovitch’s testimony that the department reached out to the pro-Trump Fox star after Rudy Giuliani and other Trump allies began publicly attacking her following a report by John Solomon, a right-wing columnist and frequent Hannity guest.Asked if he was aware of anyone from State reaching out to Sean Hannity in late March or early-April, Kent answered, “Yes.”“I believe, to the best of my recollection, the counselor for the department, Ulrich Brechbuhl, reached out and suggested to Mr.Hannity that if there was no proof of the allegations, that he should stop covering them?” the diplomat added.He went on to note that while he wasn’t completely certain who informed him of that via email, Kent indicated that it may have been either Brechbuhl or Acting Assistant Secretary Phil Reeker.During her testimony, released earlier this week, Yovanovitch claimed that she was told that—following the ramp-up of conservative media attacks on her last March—Secretary of State Mike Pompeo or another state official would “place a call to Mr. Hannity” and find out “what is going on.”Following the release of Yovanovitch’s testimony, Hannity claimed he didn’t “know anything” about the ex-ambassador and called such reports “fake news.” The Fox News star did admit, however, that her “name came up a few times on the show” and that he “did ask one question about a news report if she was involved in something.” That “one question” was to Trump-supporting lawyer Joe diGenova, who has also found himself entangled in the Ukraine scandal in recent months.Mentioning that the pro-Trump media attacks on Yovanovitch ramped up following Solomon’s interview with former Ukraine prosecutor general Yuriy Lutsenko, Kent noted in his testimony that Solomon’s report was actually based on lies.“It was, if not entirely made up of full cloth, it was primarily non-truths and non-sequiturs,” Kent stated. In fact, one of the supposed bombshells of the interview—that Yovanovitch gave Lutsenko a do-not-prosecute list—was eventually retracted by the top prosecutor.During his broadcast on Thursday night, Hannity addressed Kent’s testimony by declaring that he was “going to spell it out for all of you one more time.”“I don’t know anything about that lady,” he reiterated. “I have no idea how to pronounce her last name, I never talked to Secretary Pompeo or anybody at the State Department about her or anything else, I don’t know anything about her.”Hannity went on to demand that the media, who is reporting a State Department official’s testimony under oath, “stop lying” about him because he’s personally telling them the truth. After asserting that Yovanovitch was only mentioned in passing on his show in the past, Hannity went on to play a clip of Lutsenko making his since-retracted “do-not-prosecute” claim about Yovanovitch to Solomon. Hannity, however, made no mention of the fact that Lutsenko later walked that back or that Kent said the former top prosecutor had made everything up.Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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