Friday, October 25, 2019

Ukraine In The Membrane, Con't

The most damaging deposition yet against Trump's Ukraine perfidy is on the docket for Thursday and Halloween may be the day that the Trump regime is scared to death.

Tim Morrison, a National Security Council official who has been identified as a witness to one of the most explosive pieces of evidence unearthed by House impeachment investigators, plans to testify Thursday even if the White House attempts to block him.

“If subpoenaed, Mr. Morrison plans to appear for his deposition,” his attorney, Barbara Van Gelder, said.

A slew of high-profile witnesses have defied White House, State Department and Pentagon orders not to cooperate with the impeachment probe. In each case, lawmakers have issued a subpoena, which the officials have relied on to justify testifying over the administration’s objections.

Morrison, however, would be the first currently serving White House official to testify. He’s also the first official believed to be on a July 25 phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during which Trump pressed his counterpart to investigate former vice president Joe Biden.

Morrison was also a crucial figure identified Tuesday by Trump’s ambassador to Ukraine, William Taylor, as a witness to Trump’s effort to withhold military aid from Ukraine in order to bend Zelensky to his will.

Taylor testified that on Sept. 1, Morrison told him about a conversation he witnessed between Trump's E.U. ambassador Gordon Sondland and a senior Ukrainian government official. In that conversation, Taylor said Morrison told him, Sondland informed the official that hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. military aid to Ukraine were dependent on the opening of political investigations.

Taylor also said Morrison spoke to him on Sept. 7 about another conversation with Sondland. In that conversation, per Taylor's recounting, Sondland revealed he had spoken directly with Trump about Ukraine and that Trump insisted that Zelensky should publicly declare the political investigations himself, rather than leaving it to subordinates. According to Taylor, Morrison said he then relayed details of the call to then-national security adviser John Bolton as well as NSC lawyers.

Tim Morrison may be the man that brings down Donald Trump, guys. 

There's no "but it's hearsay/second-hand" defense, he was on the call.  There's no "Democrat working for Schiff" defense, he's a White House employee.  There's no "not qualified to comment" defense, he's on the National Security Council.  And he's coming forward despite White House threats.

Buckle up.  The shenanigans we saw this week from the GOP will pale to what we see next week in order to get Morrison off the front page on Thursday and next Friday.

It's All About Revenge Now, Con't

For more than two years, President Trump has repeatedly attacked the Russia investigation, portraying it as a hoax and illegal even months after the special counsel closed it. Now, Mr. Trump’s own Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation into how it all began.

Justice Department officials have shifted an administrative review of the Russia investigation closely overseen by Attorney General William P. Barr to a criminal inquiry, according to two people familiar with the matter. The move gives the prosecutor running it, John H. Durham, the power to subpoena for witness testimony and documents, to impanel a grand jury and to file criminal charges.

The opening of a criminal investigation is likely to raise alarms that Mr. Trump is using the Justice Department to go after his perceived enemies. Mr. Trump fired James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director under whose watch agents opened the Russia inquiry, and has long assailed other top former law enforcement and intelligence officials as partisans who sought to block his election.

Mr. Trump has made clear that he sees the typically independent Justice Department as a tool to be wielded against his political enemies. That view factors into the impeachment investigation against him, as does his long obsession with the origins of the Russia inquiry. House Democrats are examining in part whether his pressure on Ukraine to open investigations into theories about the 2016 election constituted an abuse of power.

The move also creates an unusual situation in which the Justice Department is conducting a criminal investigation into itself.

Mr. Barr’s reliance on Mr. Durham, a widely respected and veteran prosecutor who has investigated C.I.A. torture and broken up Mafia rings, could help insulate the attorney general from accusations that he is doing the president’s bidding and putting politics above justice.

It was not clear what potential crime Mr. Durham is investigating, nor when the criminal investigation was prompted. A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment.

Mr. Trump is certain to see the criminal investigation as a vindication of the years he and his allies have spent trying to discredit the Russia investigation. In May, Mr. Trump told the Fox News host Sean Hannity that the F.B.I. officials who opened the case — a counterintelligence investigation into whether his campaign conspired with Moscow’s election sabotage — had committed treason.

“We can never allow these treasonous acts to happen to another president,” Mr. Trump said. He has called the F.B.I. investigation one of the biggest political scandals in United States history.

Things have now gotten much scarier in the US.  We're on the verge of something very dark, where Bill Barr indicts and arrests Russia investigators, and Republicans use that as the excuse to block any impeachment proceedings.  The green light has been given by Donald Trump to Bill Barr to use the Justice Department to arrest political enemies.

And they will not stop at the Russia investigators.

The timing of this leak of course was to knock the Ukraine story and the GOP SCIF revolution off the front pages.  It will, and it is of sufficient import to do so, but you won't see a single Republican speak up about this monstrous abuse of power.  They will say of course that "Durham must be allowed to finish his investigation" and furthermore, I almost guarantee you that Republicans will throw around the notion that impeachment has to stop until the Durham investigation is done, which is 100% horseshit.

This is very grim, and America is in dire, dire straits today.


Related Posts with Thumbnails