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Nov 14, 2019 08:37AM
There will be a lot said by both sides. The R's according to some reports feel they didn't lose ground yesterday. I can't quite see that when the now rather famous conspiracy theorist Devin Nunes made his opening statement. What a hideous recitation. On the other hand to me this article just puts a whole lot in place.
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What We Learned
Acting Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent gave testimony to the House Intelligence Committee yesterday, on the first day of public hearings in the impeachment inquiry of President Trump. The two career diplomats stressed the importance of a strong U.S. partnership with Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression and the harm caused by undermining that partnership—not just harm to Ukraine but also to the United States and to the rule of law the world over.
Here are three important takeaways from the hearing:
- President Trump was directly involved in trying to quarterback the investigations into Ukraine.
AMB. TAYLOR: "[I]n the presence of my staff at a restaurant, Ambassador Sondland called President Trump and told him of his meetings in Kyiv. The member of my staff could hear President Trump on the phone, asking Ambassador Sondland about 'the investigations.' Ambassador Sondland told President Trump the Ukrainians were ready to move forward. Following the call with President Trump, the member of my staff asked Ambassador Sondland what President Trump thought about Ukraine. Ambassador Sondland responded that President Trump cares more about the investigations of Biden, which Giuliani was pressing for." [Watch the clip]
- Contrary to what Mick Mulvaney stated in the White House briefing room, it is virtually unheard of for the president's political interests to have an effect on foreign aid.
COUNSEL DANIEL GOLDMAN: "[H]ave you ever seen another example of foreign aid conditioned on the personal or political interests of the president of the United States?"
AMB. BILL TAYLOR: "No, Mr. Goldman, I have not." [Watch the clip]
- Interfering in aid to Ukraine may have put Ukrainian lives at risk and strengthened Russia's hand in the region.
CHAIRMAN SCHIFF: "During your testimony, Ambassador Taylor, you also said that more Ukrainians would undoubtedly die without U.S. assistance. Why is that?"
AMB. TAYLOR: "Mr. Chairman, the security assistance that we provide takes many forms.... These weapons and this assistance allows the Ukrainian military to deter further incursions by the Russians against Ukrainian territory. If that further incursion, further aggression, were to take place, more Ukrainians would die. So it is a deterrent effect that these weapons provide."
CHAIRMAN SCHIFF: "I take it if the provision of U.S. military assistance would save Ukrainian lives, that any delay in that assistance may also cost Ukrainian lives. Is that true?"
AMB. TAYLOR: "Mr. Chairman, of course, it is hard to draw any direct lines between any particular element of security assistance and any particular death on the battlefield. But it is certainly true that that assistance had enabled Ukrainian armed forces to be effective and deter and to be able to take countermeasures to the attacks that the Russians had." [Watch the clip]
Read CAP's full coverage of the November 13 hearings »
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Friday, November 15
Marie Yovanovitch, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine
Testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
Estimated start time: 9:00 a.m. | Watch live »
Tuesday, November 19
Jennifer Williams, aide to Vice President Mike Pence
Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, director for European Affairs for the U.S. National Security Council
Tim Morrison, former Russia official on the U.S. National Security Council
Wednesday, November 20
Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union
Laura Cooper, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine, Eurasia
David Hale, under secretary of state for political affairs
Thursday, November 21
Fiona Hill, former senior director for European and Russian affairs for the U.S. National Security Council
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The two men, Kent and Taylor were testifying about the 'truths' they knew about, and the Republicans were asking based on their half baked ideas and conspiracy theories. A lot of their questions could not be answered or answered well because they needed to come from people the WH isn't allowing to testify. If you are innocent these would be the first people you'd want on the front line for you -- and if they R's and Trump are going to keep that up.....whether the Senate takes it seriously or not -- I think the whole bunch could be doomed. It seems having/allowing a fool to attempt to be a president is going to go pretty sour and distasteful in the end. Just my opinion.
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