So yeah, yesterday we learned that the White House lied about the Ukraine transcript and intentionally left out the part where Trump incriminated himself, because it's 1974 and Nixon erased the tapes again.
Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council, told House impeachment investigators on Tuesday that the White House transcript of a July call between President Trump and Ukraine’s president omitted crucial words and phrases, and that his attempts to include them failed, according to three people familiar with the testimony.
The omissions, Colonel Vindman said, included Mr. Trump’s assertion that there were recordings of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. discussing Ukraine corruption, and an explicit mention by Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, of Burisma Holdings, the energy company whose board employed Mr. Biden’s son Hunter.
Colonel Vindman, who appeared on Capitol Hill wearing his dark blue Army dress uniform and military medals, told House impeachment investigators that he tried to change the reconstructed transcript made by the White House staff to reflect the omissions. But while some of his edits appeared to have been successful, he said, those two corrections were not made.
Colonel Vindman did not testify to a motive behind the White House editing process. But his testimony is likely to drive investigators to ask further questions about how officials handled the call, including changes to the transcript and the decision to put it into the White House’s most classified computer system — and whether those moves were meant to conceal the conversation’s most controversial aspects.
The phrases do not fundamentally change lawmakers’ understanding of the call, which was first reported by the C.I.A. whistle-blower whose complaint set off the impeachment inquiry. There are plenty of other examples of Mr. Trump referring to Ukraine-related conspiracy theories and asking for investigations of the Biden family. But Colonel Vindman’s account offered a hint to solving a mystery surrounding the conversation: what Mr. Trump’s aides left out of the transcript in places where ellipses indicated dropped words.
We knew about the quid pro quo before. We knew about the plot to get Zelensky to announce an investigation of Hunter Biden to help Donald Trump's 2020 chances. What we didn't have before was the indication of what was missing in the call summary the White House put out saying the call was "perfect" and normal.
The idiots covered it up and here's a NSC Ukraine expert testifying under oath that yes, the White House omitted the incriminating parts on purpose.
The Wall Street Journal is backing up the NY Times story on this as well. The transcript that the Republicans have been yelling about for a month now is bogus. Greg Sargent explains what this means:
“This doesn’t change our understanding of the underlying betrayal,” Ned Price, a former senior director at the National Security Council, told me. “But it makes it much harder for Trump to argue that this was about ‘corruption.’ The omitted edits underscore the fact that Trump was singularly focused on the Bidens.”
Note that Trump’s claim that the “transcript” totally exonerates him is central to his demand that Republicans defend him on the substance. Trump wants Republicans to forcefully argue that he did nothing wrong by pointing to that transcript, as he is doing.
But not only do they know that the conduct it revealed was indefensible; and not only is the quid pro quo for military aid closer to getting nailed down; it’s now even harder to point to the “transcript,” because it has been overshadowed by the omissions from it. What’s more, these omissions will remind Republicans that they are flying blind about how bad this could get, making them still more skittish.
It's getting worse for the GOP here and they know it.