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7 lessons from Jovanovic, Taylor, Kent: NPR



Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent and US High Representative in Ukraine William Taylor were sworn in before testifying before the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday.

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Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent and US High Representative in Ukraine William Taylor were sworn in before testifying before the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday.

Image / Pool / Getty Images

The first week of Trump's impeachment investigation hearings is in the books.

If you pay attention to the thousands of pages of closed doors, you will recognize some of the details that have emerged.

But there were some new and important wrinkles from public hearings with the acting US Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor; George Kent, a senior official with the State Department overseeing Ukraine's affairs; and Marie Jovanovich, a former US ambassador to Ukraine, who described a plot to remove her, led by President Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

Here are seven outcomes from this historic and potentially subsequent week:

1. It is clear that impeachment is shaping up to be guerrilla affairs.

The two sides are quite entrenched. Nothing that is said in public hearings seems to move anyone. In fact, one of the more surprising developments may be the rigor of New York's Alice Stefanyk's defense in support of President Trump.

"[N] everything in this room today, and nothing in this room earlier this week, nothing rises to the inaccessible level crimes "," Stefanik challenged after Jovanovic's hearing on Friday, dismissing a question about the president's tweet criticizing Jovanovic. "This is desirable political thinking from Democrats."

Stefanik – with Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Member of the arch-conservative Freedom Caucus – emerges as the most solid and clear defenders of the President during the two days of testimony, what made Stephanic's role so appealing is that Stephanic often criticized Trump as a candidate and as President.

2. President Trump continues to be his most Bad Enemy

Nothing sums up Trump's volatility more than an hour between 9:00 ET and 10:00 ET Friday, just after 9:00 ET, just as Friday's White Hearing begins. the House released a recording of an anodic April conversation between President Trump and President of Ukraine President Zelensky.

Intelligence Committee ranking member Devin Nunes read it on live TV, and it appears that Republicans from the White House and House have finally hit the same news page. It was an hour later when Trump fired his tweet hotly critical of Jovanovic as she gave evidence.

Trump claims that "everywhere" she went "turned bad". He even seems to accuse her of rioting in Somalia, a country where he serves as a junior foreign affairs officer who has a long history of political issues, violence and terrorism.

Some conservatives have criticized Trump for this. Ken Star, the independent lawyer whose investigation led to the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, said on Fox News that Trump's tweet showed "extremely poor judgment" and was "quite damaging."

Trump later defended himself by stating that there is “freedom of speech. "

Jovanovic, responding in near real time, said the president's attacks were" very scary. "House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff called it" intimidation of witnesses "- something he said" accepts a lot. very serious. "

3." Witness intimidation "and" bribery "are emerging as potential impeachment articles.

The President's tweet gives the Democrats another shot at the impeachment quiver. to add intimidation of witnesses or tampering with witnesses

Another word that came up this week was "bribe."

"What the president acknowledged and said was 'perfect,' I said that was completely wrong. . It's a bribe, "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said during a weekly news conference. She referred to the president, saying his now scandalous July 25 conversation with Zelensky was" perfect. "

During that call, Trump asks Zelensky for a "favor" to study conspiracy theory about Ukraine's participation in the 2016 election and former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who served on the board of the Ukrainian energy company, Burma

as a word as it happens in The Constitution cites reasons why the president may be removed from office.

4. A new witness says that Trump did not give "s ***" to Ukraine, but only to "big things." "such as the" Biden investigation "

Republicans rejected the proposed witnesses, unaware of first-hand presidential misconduct and that their testimony was only" heard ". This is not entirely true – Taylor noted, for example that he had witnessed the ambassador of the European Union, Gordon Sundland, who told y Zelensky's country aide that military funding is unlikely unless the country makes a public statement in support of investigations important to President Trump. [19659032] The State Department aide had "specific quotes" from Trump, the Democratic congressman says “/>

But a new witness, David Holmes, a political adviser to the US Embassy in Ukraine, appeared in Taylor's testimony. Holmes testified behind closed doors Friday. CNN received a copy of its opening statement, which NPR confirmed.

The statement said that Holmes heard Trump ask Sundland in a phone call to a Ukrainian restaurant: "So he [Zelenskiy] will do the investigation?" [19659008] Sundland replies that yes, Zelensky will do "everything. what you ask him to do. "

Holmes also testified that Sondland said Trump did not give "s ***" to Ukraine. It only cares about the "big things." And in Sondland, the big things are what "benefits the president" – like "the Biden investigation that Mr. Giuliani insists on."

5. These were very credible witnesses

It is not uncommon for cases of political strife to be contested. But that was hard to do with the three witnesses who came out this week.

They came across dedicated and serious public servants with deep experience – two US ambassadors to Ukraine, one of whom is a decorated Vietnam veteran and a West Point graduate, and a senior State Department supervisor who, for the past seven has overseen efforts to combat corruption in a multilateral manner for years.

Republicans are not trying to attack their character. Instead, they focused on the appropriateness of witnesses, provided they did not speak or know the president. But the inability to exhale their character gave more testimony to the witnesses.

6. Democrats and Republicans will think they have achieved their goals

Democrats can say that commissioners and witnesses are sober and serious. Witnesses also confirmed each other's complaints and showed that they had cause for concern about US official foreign policy toward Ukraine. And the testimony raised serious questions about the President's behavior.

Republicans were able to give their baselines to rally around. They were able to sow some doubt as to how many witnesses knew firsthand about Trump's role. GOP efforts have also sought to show that Trump may have reason to be skeptical of Ukrainians after some Ukrainian officials said negative things about him during the 2016 campaign and that corruption is widespread in Ukraine, including maybe especially in Burma. And Republicans repeatedly hammer home that the president can fire an ambassador at will.

7. This is the "beginning of history"

It was the first week of public hearings. Schiff emphasized that many more were to come.

"You are the beginning of this story," Schiff said at the end of Jovanovic's testimony. "You are not the end of it, but the beginning is important, though, because the beginning of history is an effort to get you out of the way … because they think you are an obstacle to these political investigations the president so desperately wanted."

And next week, seven more key officials are expected to testify publicly. On Tuesday, it will be Jennifer Williams, Assistant to Vice President Pence; Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Windman; US Special Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker; and former National Security Council official Tim Morrison. (Republicans asked Volker and Morrison to testify.)

On Wednesday, this is Sondland and GOP witness Laura Cooper, a Department of Defense official. And on Thursday, Fiona Hill, a former NSC officer close to former National Security Advisor John Bolton, will appear before the committee.


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