Tuesday, November 19, 2019

ICYMI: Here is the recording of the Prisons chief saying that FBI is investigating whether 'criminal enterprise' played role in Epstein death

Schiff to Volker: “Why didn’t you tell us about this" July 10 White House meeting where Bolton stormed out of after Sondland brought up what Trump really wanted. Volker says it slipped his mind during his deposition. He only recalled details after he heard other people testify.

Volker testified that narratives about the Bidens and Ukraine electoral interference in 2016 are "conspiracy theories" and "not things we should be pursuing as part of our national security strategy with Ukraine...I don't think pursuing these things serves our national interest."

Mike Pompeo Is Searching for a Safe Exit from State Ahead of Senate Run, GOP Sources Say

Key 20 second clip — Morrison testifies that there was a corrupt quid pro quo

New - Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson says she will rule on whether McGahn must testify in a House proceeding by Monday Nov 25

Republicans requested both Volker and Morrison as witnesses. Their testimony actually ended up hurting

Sorry @DevinNunes: Impeachment TV ratings aren’t down — they’re up and ‘the best all year’

Seems bad.

Even Volker doesn’t believe Trump This is the GOP’s hand-picked witness

WATCH: Former NSC official Tim Morrison testified that EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland informed him on Sept. 7 that a hold on Ukraine military aid would be released if Ukraine's president announced investigations into Joe Biden and the 2016 election

The defenders of ⁦@realDonaldTrump⁩ thought Kurt Volker would be a friendly witness, until Volker added new revelations to his testimony. Trump is toast.

Ambassador Volker—a GOP-requested witness—just testified: ➡️Allegations against Vice President Biden are not credible. ➡️He now recognizes that the investigations sought by the president were not because of legitimate concerns about corruption, but were for political purposes.

"Ukrainian gas executive cooperating in federal criminal investigation of Giuliani"

The same guy who sent this text message wants you to believe he's totally innocent

Sondland told Morrison he could talk to Trump any time he wanted to. Sondland told Morrison he briefed Trump ahead of the July 25 call. Morrison confirmed that the call in fact took place. So much for the notion the 3 amigos were rogue operators & Trump was not in the loop.

House Passes Funding Stopgap Bill to Avoid Government Shutdown

Biden’s clean.

BREAKING: Volker now says Sondland made a "a generic comment about investigations" in that key July 10 meeting with Ukrainians. Volker previously testified there was no mention of the investigations in that meeting.

Volker: Since I gave my testimony, a "great deal" of information has come to light. e. g qpq, other communications with Ukraine, Burisma....

KURT VOLKER: On July 19, Mayor Giuliani raised, and I rejected, the conspiracy theory that VP Biden would have been influenced in his duties as VP by money paid to his son ... I have known VP Biden for 24 years. He is an honorable man and I hold him in the highest regard.

Kurt Volker—a witness called by Republicans—says he drew a distinction between investigations into Burisma Group, which he says would be “appropriate and unremarkable,” and into the Bidens, which would be “unacceptable.” He says he should’ve realized the link earlier.

NEWS: Kurt Volker amends his closed-door testimony. He now does not dispute that military aid was linked to Ukraine announcing investigations, but he asserts he didn’t know that at the time and that it only became clear to him after his Oct. 3 deposition.

READ: Former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker's opening statement in the second public impeachment hearing of the day

We will now hear from Kurt Volker and Tim Morrison. Volker has testified no president should ever ask a foreign leader to interfere in a US election. Morrison will confirm Sondland told the Ukrainians they needed to do so to get vital aid. These are GOP-requested witnesses.

There is absolutely no evidence to support the theory that Ukraine, and not Russia, interfered in the 2016 US election. Lt. Col. Vindman: "This is a Russian narrative that Putin has promoted." In spreading these conspiracy theories, President Trump harms our national security.

Despite harassment, Vindman and Williams tell the facts

Also testifying: former White House Russia adviser Tim Morrison, the GOP's STAR WITNESS, who is no lawyer, but determined via his lack of a law school education that Trump committed no crimes. (Morrison confirms everybody else's testimony, though.

Trump to South Korea: "Pay me or defend yourself." Xi to South Korea: "No need to pay him. I'm here for you."

Former National Security Council official Tim Morrison is headed to the ring for his testimony

What kind of country do we live in where even a military officer has to worry about the safety of his family because he told the truth?

HOLY CRAP! Trump raised costs for South Korea by 500% and then our delegation WALKED OUT on South Korean diplomats today .... AND CHINA GOT THEIR ALLIANCE. OMG

Rep. Jim Himes decries attacks on Lt. Col. Vindman. "It's what you stoop to when the indefensibility of your case requires that you attack a man who is wearing a Springfield rifle...above a Purple Heart. I, sir, thank you for your service."

Today's impeachment witnesses left the hearings in taxi cabs. Off to work to continue to serve their country. They didn't get into a caravan of SUV'S and head to their big media appearance, they got into cabs and went to work

There's a big question that's burning up the Capitol: Will Gordon Sondland plead the fifth at all tomorrow?

Wherein the WH uses taxpayer dollars to go after LTC Vindman, who remains on the National Security Council. Morrison, a political appointee, resigned last month.

GOP Counsel suggested Vindman had dual loyalty by noting he was offered the defense minister gig in Kiev. But the Ukraine pol who made the offer tells @ErinBanco that he and Vindman were just joking around and he had no authority to even make the offer

LT. COL. VINDMAN to JIM JORDAN (R): Let me just pull up the receipts.

China signs defense agreement with South Korea as U.S. angers Seoul with demand for $5 billion troop payment

Non-impeachment news story (NINS) of the day: BOP chief says “maybe” Jeffrey Epstein didn’t commit suicide.

“I didn’t give military aid to Ukraine because I was worried about corruption.” “Hey, Saudi Arabia, here are 200 troops, a surface-to-air missile battery, and several advanced radars.”

WOW....Lt Col #Vindman said that he wasn’t afraid to stand up to @POTUS, despite his father’s fears for his life because, "This is America. Here, right matters.” The onlookers in the committee room gave him an ovation

Rep. Jim Himes rails against the allegations of Republicans against Vindman including accusations that he is a spy, engaged in espionage and really only trying to help Ukraine because he is an immigrant.

I want to be clear that the Morrison deposition specifically said he does not believe Vindman is a leaker. Jim Jordan is scum.

Jim Jordan enabled the molestation and sexual assault of countless students under his care. Can’t be said enough.

Jordan, thinking he’s brilliant, sets up Vindman to reveal how Morrison is a hack for the GOP. Vindman responds to Morrison trashing him and claiming Hill agreed with him, by reading Hill’s performance evaluation of him, which is stunningly positive.

Gym is Trying to get Vindman to out the whistleblower.

Analysis: 4 early takeaways from Alexander Vindman’s and Jennifer Williams’s testimony

VINDMAN pushes back on questions about his abilities by reading his last evaluation from Fiona Hill: "Alex is a top 1% military officer and the best Army officer I've ever worked with in my 15 years of gov't service. He is brilliant, unflappable, & exercises excellent judgment."

Nunes torturing Lt Colonel Vindman right now is unbecoming. Nunes knows who the whistleblower is. Just say the name Congressman Nunes. Deal with the consequences. But stop trying to force Vindman to do it.

Rep. Devin Nunes refers to Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman as "Mr. Vindman." "Ranking member, it's lieutenant colonel Vindman, please," Vindman responds.

Castor: ...It’s probably hard for you to remember if he actually said all these things [concerning investigations, Biden and the 2016 election] since it was a long time ago Vindman: No, he definitely said all three of them.

Take that, Bish

Lt. Col. Vindman testified that, as in the military, when someone senior makes a request, it's to be taken as an order: "My impression is that, in order to get the White House meeting, President Zelensky would have to deliver these investigations."

Lt. Col. Vindman is a brave patriot. Speaking truth is a powerful thing. We owe him our gratitude—and we owe the country resolve to hold this lawless president accountable

By shaking down a foreign country to help his campaign and interfere in our elections, Trump abused the power of his office and put our national security in danger. When will Republicans in Washington stop sweeping the truth under the rug?

SCHIFF: That is one of the favors that you thought should be properly characterized as a demand? VINDMAN: That is correct. SCHIFF: And there's no ambiguity about that? VINDMAN: In my mind, there was none.

When Vindman says he was concerned about Trump's discussion of "alternative, false narratives," he's talking about disinformation. That's the core issue here. Trump's effort to secure foreign backing for a disinformation campaign to influence the outcome of the 2020 election.

Please keep confessing

Democratic leaders are using a spending bill (CR) to sneak through a reauthorization of the Patriot Act. On Monday, I submitted an amendment to remove the Patriot Act provisions, and they blocked my amendment. The vote is this week. Tell your rep in Congress to oppose the CR!

The Trump 2020 campaign's rapid response account is attacking Col. Vindman while he testifies

Asking foreign countries to involve themselves in U.S. elections damages the Rule of Law. It hurts American national security, and it's downright un-American.

Goldman, counsel for the Democrats, asks both witnesses whether they are aware of any evidence to suggest misconduct by Joe Biden in Ukraine. Vindman: I am not. Williams: No, I am not.

GOLDMAN: Ultimately, which country did U.S. intelligence services determine to have interfered in the U.S. presidential election? VINDMAN: It is the consensus of the entire U.S. intelligence community that the Russians interfered in U.S. elections in 2016.

During his confirmation hearing Dan Brouillette admitted to being aware of meetings between Sec. Perry and individuals regarding Naftogaz, the energy company at the heart of the Ukraine scandal, but refused to say who. Too many questions remain. I'm voting no on his nomination.

Vindman on the 7/25 Trump-Zelensky call: "Without hesitation, I knew I had to report this…Had concerns….It was inappropriate, it was improper for the president…to demand an investigation into a political opponent."

"I was concerned by the call, what I heard was improper, and I reported my concerns... It is improper for the President of the U.S. to demand a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen and political opponent... When I reported my concerns I did so out of a sense of duty."

Proud to have served with Colonel Vindman in Moscow. He has devoted his entire professional career to defending the United States of America.

Vindman making clear that it’s consistent with U.S. policy to advise foreign countries NOT to get involved in American politics

First person. Check. Direct knowledge. Check. Reported concerns in real time. Check.

VINDMAN: "When I reported my concerns...I did so out of a sense of duty. I reported my concerns in official channels to the proper authority in the chain of command. My intent was to raise these concerns because they had significant national security implications for our country"

"Do not worry. I will be fine for telling the truth," Col. Vindman says to his dad.

Devin Nunes Billboard

Help if you can.

“I stated to Ambassador Sondland that this was inappropriate and had nothing to do with national security,” Vindman says of Sondland emphasizing “importance” in July meeting of Ukraine investigating the 2016 election, the Bidens and Burisma.

Vindman: "Dad, my sitting here today...talking to our elected officials is proof that you made the right decision forty yrs ago to leave the Soviet Union and come here to US of America in search of a better life for our family. Do not worry, I will be fine for telling the truth."

VINDMAN: "On July 25, 2019, the call occurred ... I was concerned by the call, what I heard was improper, and I reported my concerns to Mr. Eisenberg. It is improper for the President of the U.s. to demand a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen and political opponent."

BRK: Col Vindman’s opening statement

How is this the first we're hearing about these notes then, almost three years into the Trump presidency?

Recently retired top Gen. Dunford broke from his usual silence last week to defend Vindman, saying he "was one of my officers and it was an easy decision for me to speak about him after political figures and members of the media questioned his loyalty.”

Here is the opening statement from Jennifer Williams, advisor to Vice President Mike Pence, for today's hearing before Congress on the impeachment inquiry of Trump

JENNIFER WILLIAMS: "I found the July 25th phone call unusual because, in contrast to other presidential calls I had observed, it involved discussion of what appeared to be a domestic political matter."

Lt. Col. Vindman and Ms. Williams were both on the now infamous July 25th phone call and heard Trump ask Zelensky to investigate the Bidens. They also heard Zelensky mention Burisma, a fact left out of the call record. Vindman believed Trump’s “favor” was really a demand.

Jennifer Williams says her “personal hero” is Conoleezza Rice. This is not going to go well for the GOP

Adam Schiff actually had to make a statement before swearing the witnesses that Congress would not tolerate any attempt to threaten or retaliate against the witnesses. This is what it's come to...warning the President of the United States he better not lash out or tweet.

.@DevinNunes, the American people see through you. At this important moment in our country’s history, you have chosen to put your party over our country yet again, to the detriment of our Democracy. You will regret this decision.

LOFL Nunes now citing conspiracist John Solomon as the source of all truth

Here’s the opening statement Jennifer Williams is expected to deliver shortly

Nunes trying to mainstream John Soloman's conspiracy whackadoodle nuttery.

#BREAKING Swedish prosecutor says has dropped Assange rape probe

Nunes leads with complaints about the press coverage of the #ImpeachmentHearings Only problem with this argument is that the hearings are being broadcast live on TV.

Prince Andrew is named in a cache of secret legal documents detailing explosive new allegations against Jeffrey Epstein that could be unsealed by a U.S. judge before the end of the year

Schiff: "Ms. Williams, we all saw the President's tweet about you on Sunday afternoon and the insults he hurled at Ambassador Yovanovich last Friday. You are here today, and the American people are grateful."

Pope Francis said politicians who rage against homosexuals, gypsies, and Jewish people remind him of Hitler.

Jeffrey Epstein Suicide: Two Jail Workers Arrested

Donnie is again locked in position, staring at the screens, his pudgy little fingerlike nubs twitching, eager to tweet. He's sweating and jittery, his mood racing from fury to despair. He's pinging his allies and sycophants, begging for validation and security.

Weird...I don’t recall that motto in 2016. What a striking lack of principle. Shame on Moscow Mitch

Yikes. Hale says the State Department wanted Yovanovitch to issue a public statement of loyalty to Trump - possibly on camera - in exchange for support from the department.

From testimony of State Department Official David Holmes: "President Putin, in my view, advances many things for which there's not a factual basis. But in this particular instance I would surmise... that he was trying to malign Ukraine and trying to divide Ukraine from the U.S."

WATCH LIVE: The House impeachment inquiry hearing with testimony from Lt. Cold. Alexander Vindman and Jennifer Williams is underway.

Today's hearing starts

LIVE: @HouseIntel Hearing with Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, Director for European Affairs at the National Security Council and Jennifer Williams, a senior adviser to VP Pence. Their testimony confirms key details of Trump's Ukraine pressure campaign:

Every American should be outraged that a serving United States Army officer is having to take these precautions because of the inflammatory rhetoric directed at him by Trump & his surrogates

The U.S. has broken a record. We now have over 100,000 children in immigrant-related custody, per a United Nations study. We're literally the top country in the world for locking up children.

Analysis: Alexander Vindman will testify today. Here's who he is and why his public testimony matters.

Breaking: Lt. Col. Alex Vindman arrives at Capitol Hill

"We generally assume that mobile communications in Ukraine are being monitored,"

The U.S. Army is monitoring Vindman’s security and is prepared to move him and his family to a local military base if necessary following his impeachment testimony.

Devin Nunes scorched by CNN’s Avlon for flood of ‘ridiculous’ lawsuits meant to silence his critics

Pompeo says illegal West Bank settlements are legal. Kids are put in cages on the U.S. border. Pompeo has a “Human Rights Commission” that ignores all of this and is headed by anti-abortion anti-LGBTQ zealot Mary Ann Glendon. That’s foreign policy?

It is quiet clear Netanyahu rides Trump like a pony. 1st, Trump moved US embassy to Jerusalem. Next he “recognized” Golan Heights as Israeli territory. And now, he further angers Palestinians by supporting illegal Israeli settlements.

Via ⁦@MJGerson⁩ — “Fox News is no longer content to spout pro-Trump propaganda. It must destroy Trump’s opponents, even if they are honorable people. Especially if they are honorable people. “

Worth a read. Too many governments are failing to expose Russian assassinations.

Trump's daughter works at the WH Her husband works at the WH Rudy's son works at the WH Barr's son in law works at the WH Barr's daughter works at Treasury Trumps sons do foreign business His daughter is getting Chinese patents and Saudi grants But sure let's talk about Biden

"I think Bolton is incredibly consequential... Bolton has a symbolic value that transcends the Trump administration, because basically who was left in the Trump administration? A bunch of nobodies and dead-enders... Bolton was a brand"

A Secretary of State with access to all of the intelligence gathered by the most sophisticated services on the planet is calling a wack job with a high school degree to ask for intelligence. This is like Dean Rusk calling Roy Cohn to find out how many missiles were in Cuba.

Homeland Security watchdog warns that a lack of permanent leadership hurts the agency

Trump bashed Nancy Pelosi for an impeachment quote. It actually came from a Fox News reporter.

A Manhattan judge has rejected a request by lawyers for Trump to delay trial proceedings in a defamation lawsuit brought by 'Apprentice' contestant Summer Zervos, who has alleged he sexually assaulted her in 2007

GOP plans to “discredit key witness by questioning his motives and loyalty to president.” Surreal (&sick) to see Republican Party join ⁦@realDonaldTrump⁩’s slander and attacks on even highly respected military officers & heroes. Will not end well.

Former CIA Officer Labels 'America First' Policy a 'Scam' As Russian Troops Take Control of Syrian Airbase

No foreign leader has taken more skilful advantage of Donald Trump’s soft spot for autocrats than Recep Tayyip Erdogan

NEW: The DOJ recently issued a legal opinion that exempts a Saudi Aramco lobbyists from registering under the FARA. This new loophole means that details of Saudi Arabia’s US influence efforts can remain hidden.

‘Don’t tweet about it!’ Fox & Friends hosts beg Trump not to commit more crimes during impeachment hearings

Today is the day: The third public impeachment hearing begins at 9am ET. Jennifer Williams, an aide to Pence, and Lt. Col. Alex Vindman will appear before the House Intel Committee at 9am. Amb. Kurt Volker and Tim Morrison, a W.H. aide with the NSC, will appear at 2:30pm.

Roger still thinks Trump will pardon him, even after a ringside seat for decades of Trump breaking every promise, business deal, and marriage vow. It's charming, really.

Comrade Cardillo @johncardillo! You know what’s sad? Out of respect for your former employer, I warned you to choose better friends. You didn’t listen. If you had shown a modicum of good sense, perhaps you wouldn’t be here. Alas, no. As before, tell Rudy I said hello. :-)

Impeachment Inquiry Hearing with Lt. Col. Vindman and Vice President Pence Aide Jennifer Williams – LIVE at 9am ET on C-SPAN3,

Russian web trolls boo Biden, often boost Gabbard, report finds

If President Trump and his Commerce Department agree that Huawei is a national security threat, they should start acting like it

Mike Pence is trying to distance himself from Trump’s Ukraine scandal

In a rare public display of disagreement in the alliance, US negotiators abruptly walked out of today's talks with South Korea after the 66-year ally balked at President Trump's price tag for funding 28,500 American troops in the country.

New statement on Trump’s health

Elizabeth Drew on the ‘honest people Trump cannot fathom’

Trump calls him his EU ambassador. Witnesses to Congress call him “comical,” “clueless” and a “counterintelligence risk”

Trump and Republicans are on the hunt for Real Crimes

While Jennifer Williams is on detail from the State Department, she is on the staff of the Vice President and works for him directly. Facts are stubborn.

the Holmes deposition is Not Great for Rick Perry.

Amazon will pay $0 in taxes on $11,200,000,000 in profit for 2018

We all know @ewarren was a Republican until 1996. But did you know that just a few years ago @PeteButtigieg spoke at Tea Party event and praised them for their concerns about the "direction" of the country?

Senior members of ISIS are plotting mass prison breaks and a resurgence of terror after taking refuge in Turkey, according to the head of Iraqi Military Intelligence.

Internally at The Hill, staff are very frustrated. "In revolt," as one source told me. Staff has mulled publicly disavowing Solomon as newsroom in open letter. The note from the editor-in-chief announcing review of Solomon's work hasn't quelled the anger.

Finkelstein keeps close tabs on The Hill's coverage, per sources. If he thinks a story portrays Trump in too harsh a light, he'll reach out to editors. "There was always this understanding in the newsroom that Jimmy was friendly with Trump..."

Very true about Pompeo’s bootlicking, at the price of his Department’s people and reputation. God bless the career people who kept the faith.

Aha...The bureau also investigates Poroshenko’s alleged treason, regarding the Kerch Strait incident in November 2018, during which Russia illegally seized 24 Ukrainian sailors near Russian-occupied Crimea

He's only 8 years old, but Tyler Stallings has donated close to 3,000 bags packed with a hat, gloves, blanket, lip balm, a sweater, toothbrushes and toothpaste, soap and more. He's helped many veterans and raised more than $50,000 in the past four years.