Impeachment

Impeachment Depositions Cast Light on a State Department Driven by Devotion to Trump

"Let me just say that I think that American elections should be for Americans to decide," said Marie Yovanovitch.

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On Monday, House Democrats made public the first two transcripts from their closed-door impeachment inquiry hearings, shedding light on the rank partisanship besieging the State Department—driven by the desire not to cross President Donald Trump.

Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, described an environment where she faced bogus criticisms from Trump allies, leading to her abrupt removal in May. She characterized accusations that she is disloyal to the president as "fictitious."

Yet those in the president's circle, including Rudy Giuliani, his personal lawyer, encouraged Trump to remove Yovanovitch for refusing to pressure leaders in Kyiv to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his family. Trump is now the subject of an impeachment probe amid allegations that he froze congressionally-authorized military aid to Ukraine in order to push President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to dig up dirt on Biden, who is a frontrunner in the 2020 presidential election.*

As conspiracies swirled that Yovanovitch was trash talking Trump, Gordon Sondland, a Trump donor who became the ambassador to the European Union, allegedly told her to "tweet out there that you support the President" so she could retain her post. "It was advice that I did not see how I could implement in my role as an Ambassador, and as a Foreign Service Officer."

But while Yovanovitch—who has served in four Republican and two Democratic administrations—attempted to maintain a sense of partisan neutrality, the State Department declined to show her support for fear of how Trump might respond.

Michael McKinley, a former aide to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, testified that he urged the secretary to come to Yovanovitch's defense as the president and his allies continued to publicly denigrate her.

Pompeo refused on three separate occasions, according to McKinley.

Yovanovitch says that, in February, a Ukrainian official told her that she should be wary of Giuliani and that she needed to "watch [her] back." In May, the ambassador received a phone call from Carol Perez, the director general of the Foreign Service, telling her that she "needed to be on the next plane home to Washington." It was "about [her] security," she said.

And on that much-discussed phone call two months later, Trump would go on to tell Zelenskiy that Yovanovitch is "going to go through some things." She informed investigators that she felt threatened by the remark, and that she is still "very concerned."

But beneath her partisan removal, both Yovanovitch and McKinley expressed some sense of incredulity that Giuliani and related Trump associates sought Ukraine's help in probing Biden and his family in the first place.

When asked if the move was "inconsistent with U.S. interests," Yovanovitch replied that the short answer was "probably yes," but that the entire thing was "unprecedented."

"Let me just say that I think that American elections should be for Americans to decide," she said.

McKinley gave a more full-throated response, chalking his resignation up to the overt partisanship that now cripples the federal government's operations. That was epitomized, he said, by the efforts to leverage foreign missions for political opposition research, as well as the State Department's unwillingness to help one of their own. "I think the combination was a pretty good reason to decide enough, that I had—I had no longer a useful role to play."

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story mischaracterized part of Trump's conversation with Zelenskiy. While the president alluded to the frozen aid package, he did not specifically mention it by name.

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    1. Democrats need to start doing what the constitution says is the job of the House of Representatives, they are in charge of investigating malfeasance within the government. Any obstruction of that mission, is illegal. Any more Republican shenanigans, they need to drop the hammer. Let America people know that they are upholding the rule of law. The corruption and abuse of power must end!

      1. Drop!

        The!

        Hammer!!!

        Lol.

        1. I don’t like the idea of hammers, but I would welcome temporary, 24-hour taxpayer housing for public employees who flout Congress, providing an opportunity for reflection concerning their duties and loyalties.

          Start with Vought, perhaps.

          1. Hammer time!!!

      2. “Republican shenanigans”

        Like spending the last three years with deep state coup plotters trying to overthrow a legitimately elected president? The Ukraine complaint seems to be the work of a group of people, supported by significant institutional power, not only in the intelligence community, but in the Democratic Party and the commercial press.

        1. These delusional right-wing rantings are going to work out for you much as birtherism did, you bigoted rube.

          1. Birtherism worked just fine for the Republicans. It provided a constant distraction for Obama despite being a complete fabrication. It’s the same strategy the Democrats have been employing for the past 3+ years, starting with their calls for Trump to release his tax returns and continuing with their endless, yet fruitless, witch hunts.

      3. “investigating malfeasance within the government.”

        That would literally have them chasing their tails.

      4. “The rule of law”? Now that’s laugh-worthy. How ’bout honor among thieves while we’re at it?

    2. Trump is now the subject of an impeachment probe amid allegations that he froze congressionally-authorized military aid to Ukraine in order to push President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to dig up dirt on Biden, who is a frontrunner in the 2020 presidential election.*

      Poor Billy Binon. He evidently believes that the goal in Ukraine was to “dig up dirt” but not investigate the previous wrongdoing by Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.

      It’s even funnier that Billy thinks the State Department is neutral simply because these bureaucrats have worked through 6 administrations.

      I could fill this comments section with a list of bureaucrat names that were acting against US interests and/or actively committing espionage for decades. I will include one to prove my point: Alger Hiss.

  1. Government shows slavish devotion to government. Crazy people surprised.

    1. Devotion to government or fear of retribution by a vengeful chief executive? Sounds like the latter to me.

      1. And so seeing this, you are moving heaven and earth to get the power of the executive reduced, right?

  2. Trump should have fired her when he took office. Like a Roman Emperor, he should have sent letters to all appointed officials thanking them for their service and then appoint new people to the jobs. That’s how the Roman Emperors ensured loyalty in the their administrations.

    1. Thats also what democrats do but for some reason Repub’s don’t

      1. “Thats also what democrats do but for some reason Repub’s don’t”

        Looks like she worked under Reagan, Bush 1, Clinton, Bush 2, Obama, and Trump.

        So I guess Democrats don’t actually do that. Clinton and Obama didn’t anyway.

        1. Yes they did. Particularly Barack, and the NYT cheered him for it.

    2. Rag….You know, I wonder if people have thought through the consequences of this. From this point forward, I think you’re going to see wholesale displacement of bureaucrats when a new POTUS takes office. I mean, we have bureaucrats actually leaking transcripts of calls to foreign leaders, and then malignantly using bureaucratic processes to thwart policy direction changes. Making matters worse, they are attempting to facilitate the overturning of an election using the gravest constitutional tool available: impeachment. Look, this is just crazy. The federal bureaucracy needs to be broken, and brought to heel immediately.

      The very first thing POTUS Trump should do tomorrow morning is reassign all of the NSC bureaucratic staff who work in the White House. All of them. And appoint new ones, ASAP. I could care less about their loyalty – just do the job and don’t undermine the boss.

    3. Not sure if sarcastic, asking Trump to literally behave like an Emperor. Where goeth the pride of not living under a monarchy?

      1. Yeah, it’s not like we have an example in American history of a political spoils system or anything. Something like that would be completely unprecedented.

        1. Yeah, it’s not like we have an example in American history of a political spoils system or anything.

          And it was frowned upon enough that it was one of the key political issues of the late nineteenth century.

          Are we now advocating bringing it back?

          1. Sure, and now “merit” is measured by positive relation to capacity for corruption and loyalty to the bureaucracy rather than the people.
            It’s going swell

          2. Are you suggesting there is not already a modern version of the spoils system that has been in place well before the current president?

    4. I’ve been saying that for some time now: Most of Trump’s problems have stemmed from not firing enough people early enough. She should have whipped out a list right at the inauguration, while the Bible was still warm from his hand, and started the firing.

      Too many of these people just viewed their positions in the administration as opportunities to attack it from within.

      1. They started with the Mueller investigation right out of the gate.

        Remember Trump had trouble getting people to work for his Administration? I suspect, Trump needed to keep some experienced bureaucrats around for a while and then his plan was to fire thousands of the federal workers. See federal shutdown 2018.

        The Mueller witch hunt lasted to 2019. Before Trump can shut down the federal government again for FY 2020, the Democrats launch an “impeachment inquiry”.

        Some of these bureaucrats have decided that lying to get rid of Trump is far better than possibly losing their job in the next 5 years.

      2. Maybe he didn’t realize just how deep things went and how much they were going to ‘resist’.

    5. Would you have Trump be an emperor? He certainly wants to be.

  3. She works at the pleasure of the President. If she doesn’t like the President’s policies, she should resign. Who cares what this women thought of the policy? What a joke.

    1. It seems odd that the Swamp feels that the President isn’t the one in charge of foreign policy.

      Also, nice of them to release SOME of the testimony. Seems totally on the level and not, you know, cherry picked all to hell.

      Don’t support the policy? LEAVE THE FUCKING JOB.

      1. The fat bastard LTC who testified said in so many words that he felt “Trump was undermining US policy towards Ukraine”. Let that sink in for a moment. The fact that he apparently said it in such a casual way means it never dawned on him or struck him in any way odd that maybe him thinking there was some policy that the President couldn’t violate might be completely fucked up and contrary to the entire American system of government.

        1. Some people thought “Yes, Minister” was a comedy.

          1. that goes back a few years

          2. The comedy part is the bureaucrat is forgetting they not supposed to express that sentiment out loud in public.

        2. The president isn’t above criminal law John. He can’t use our public money or his public office to extort political favors from foreign govts.

          1. Undermining policy that he sets is not a crime. No one has alleged a single crime here or pointed to a statute that was violated. Not only is there no evidence that there was any quid quo pro, there would be nothing illegal if there were. That is what foreign policy is.

            It doesn’t matter how many times you repeat the same lie, it doesn’t make them true. It just makes you a lying sack of shit.

            1. Extortion has been alleged. Soliciting campaign aid from a foreign govt has been alleged. It looks like Giuliani’s mob friends were trying to take over the Ukrainian gas company. This shit is just getting started.

              1. Extortion is a term of art and has a meaning. You can’t extort someone by threatening something you have a right to do. And Trump never threatened anything. He told the guy to look into it. Please stop raping the language. it is offensive.

                1. What is with this thing progs do where they slowly ramp everything up to 11 because they know what they have is weak?

                  Do they think coming unglued and making preposterous allegations actually reflects well on them?

                  1. I find it hard to believe they don’t realize that they sound like lunatics. But, it appears they don’t.

                    1. I find it difficult to believe you claim to be a lawyer. Not even a Regent or Liberty would graduate someone operating at your level.

                    2. “I find it difficult to believe you claim to be a lawyer. Not even a Regent or Liberty would graduate someone operating at your level.”

                      I find it difficult to believe an asshole bigot like you can use a keyboard.

                    3. Open wider, Sevo. You’ll be swallowing more progress, arranged by your betters, soon enough.

                  2. the conceited don’t reflect.

              2. Soliciting campaign aid

                “Take a look at some corruption in your government.” ?

          2. Pod, Pod, Pod….Look, we know you are trying very hard. We get it. But I would like you to consider two different thoughts simultaneously.

            One: The POTUS can engage in quid pro quo in course of diplomacy. There is nothing wrong with this. We have been doing this since 1789. Pod, in the Congress, they even have a term for it. It is called ‘Horse trading’. There is no crime there.

            Two: The POTUS may, at his discretion, choose a course of foreign policy toward a country that advances US interests and that is politically beneficial to him. I hate to break this to you, but we’ve been doing this since 1789 too. Pod, in the Congress, they even have a term for it. It is called: Serving constituents. That is not a crime.

            The question Team D will eventually have to face: Is any of this truly impeachment worthy? The answer is: Not a chance. If Team D wants the support of the American people, the evidence has to be clear and unequivocal. Anonymous bureaucrats carping about policy and filing complaints is not clear and unequivocal. It looks and tastes like sour bureaucratic grapes.

            What we are witnessing is this country being torn apart, in slow motion.

            1. Pretty sure Team D has given up on the support of the American people, and is setting their sights firmly on crushing totalitarianism

              1. Plus, that window is closing. The Democrats have held a majority in the House for more than 10 months and have not been able to stop Trump.

                Lefties really believed that they would control the House and Senate.

    2. It was a criminal scheme to extort political favors for congressional approved defensive assistance. Are you aware that foreigner mob money was financing part of the scheme? I wonder why a Russian mob boss was working with Trump to axe the ambassador? The FBI is investigating it as we speak.

      1. It was a criminal scheme to extort political favors for congressional approved defensive assistance.

        LOL By that logic every dollar of aid ever given by this country is a crime. And if it was a “criminal scheme” name the statue it violated and explain why whatever you claim happened here meets the elements. You are just spewing buzzwords here. Go fuck yourself.

        1. The relevant law is known as the Hobbs Act, said Danya Perry, a former prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s office in New York City. Its definition of “extortion” includes obtaining property using “threatened force, violence, or fear, or under color of official right,” meaning using one’s official capacity. The crime is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

          “The statute is often applied to a demand or a threat made by a public official in order to obtain something of value in exchange for his or her performance of an official act.

          1. s definition of “extortion” includes obtaining property using “threatened force, violence, or fear, or under color of official right,” meaning using one’s official capacity. The crime is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

            Trump obtained no property hear. He never threatened any violence or fear. This is about cops shaking down hookers. It is not about US Presidents conducting diplomacy.

            Thanks for coming on here and showing the board just how idiotic this entire thing is.

            1. No John, if you read it the worst possible way one every case, and ignore that the investigation was into Hunter, not Joe, then it kind of sort of looks a little bit like a shady prosecutor could apply that long enough to get into a court where it would be thrown out.

            2. Trump and his minions were telling Ukraine they wouldn’t get the WH visit or the money unless they committed to the scheme to dirty up Trump’s political rival.

              1. Trump never said anything like that. We have the call. The Ukrainians say they never felt pressured to do anything. There isn’t even any proof Trump knew the aid was being held up. And the aid was eventually given anyway.

                So, your “extortion” case involves aid that was delivered to people who say they were never extorted. You can’t have an extortion case without a victim dipshit. No one here claims to have been extorted.

                1. Pod’s ‘extortion case’ involves Pod’ fantasies.

              2. What the hell, Pod. That’s not remotely what happened.
                This isn’t a WaPo circlejerk here. You can’t just blatantly lie without getting called on it.

            3. It wouldn’t matter if he did. Trump’s actions are use of a Constitutionally committed power. Statutes can’t override his discretion. That requires an Amendment.

          2. “property”

            You lose.

            1. Trump was using public money to trade for personal favors.

              1. A favor isn’t property. And assisting DOJ in an investigation is not a “personal favor”. You continue to brutally rape the English language.

                1. Trump and his criminal gang were trying to frame a political opponent with a bribery induced “investigation” using tax money and mob money. There couldn’t be a clearly case of abuse and corruption. Locking up political opponents to prevent them from running for political office is a textbook move in places like Russia. Framing Biden with this pay for investigation is about the same thing.

              2. And the sky is blue.

                Anyway we were talking about “property” and you losing.

      2. “”It was a criminal scheme to extort political favors for congressional approved defensive assistance””

        So now it’s gone from quid pro quo to extortion?

        1. Maybe he got it confused with Biden

  4. This whole thing reads like the latest episode of some retarded CW show where all of the characters are miserable assholes and the only possible happy ending would be for all of them to die.

    1. The whole thing does feel very Jr. High Clique bait.

    2. I’m sorry you watch CW.

      1. It’s my own fault for having a wife that loves to watch that garbage.

  5. Billy Binion; graduate of the Shikha Dalmia School of Not Libertarian ism, or how I learned to stop worrying and love the deep state?

    1. The State Department thinks it works for the elected President of the United States. Binion actually thinks that is a bad thing. Nothing says “freedom” and “Libertarian” like having the country’s foreign policy set by a bureaucracy that is in no way accountable to the public.

      Reason has disgraced itself in all of this more than even I thought it could

      1. Giuliani was working for Trump and a Russian mob boss at the same time pursuing the same scheme to extort the Ukrainian govt and to get rid of any honest public officials in the way of the conspiracy.

        1. Sorry dude but the voices inside your head do not count as evidence. You are not even coherent anymore. Take some of your meds and come back later. You are just spewing nonsense and are barking mad at this point.

          1. John, didn’t you know, when you refuse to give someone money because they’re corrupt, it’s extortion.

            No really I heard it today.

          2. I can’t learn it for you John. But here it is:

            Two Giuliani associates involved in Trump-Ukraine controversy arrested on campaign finance charges.

            Prosecutors allege that they “conspired to circumvent the federal laws against foreign influence by engaging in a scheme to funnel foreign money to candidates for federal and state office so that the defendants could buy potential influence with candidates, campaigns and the candidates’ governments.”

            They were lobbying to get the Ambassador to Ukraine removed. I wonder why mob money and Trump were working to advance the same scheme?

            1. “Prosecutors allege that they “conspired to circumvent the federal laws against foreign influence by engaging in a scheme to funnel foreign money to candidates for federal and state office so that the defendants could buy potential influence with candidates, campaigns and the candidates’ governments.””

              OK.

              ” They were lobbying to get the Ambassador to Ukraine removed”

              That’s not what your link free post literally just said.

              1. The two men allegedly lobbied an unnamed, then-sitting congressman to push for the removal of Marie Yovanovitch, who at the time was U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. The career diplomat was recalled from that post in May.

                The details outlined in the indictment of the two men’s contributions to the unnamed congressmen align with campaign finance records of their donations to now-former Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas).

                1. Right, but THAT’S NOT WHAT YOUR LINK FREE POST JUST SAID.

                  Do you understand English, bot?

            2. There is no evidence Guilliani had anything to do with that. he is not a witness in the case and is in no way associated with whatever it is those people have been indicted for.

              You are just lying here again.

              1. Two business associates of President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani have been charged with a scheme to route foreign money into U.S. elections, according to a newly unsealed indictment.

                The two men, who helped Giuliani investigate former vice president Joe Biden, were arrested Wednesday night in Virginia, according to a person familiar with the charges. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.

                Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman have been under investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan and are expected to appear in federal court in Virginia later on Thursday.

                1. There is no link there. So you are just making this up. Moreover, there is nothing linking Trump or Guilliani to any of this. That is assuming any of it is true, which you have no proof that it is. You are just shouting nonsense.

                    1. And you continue to lie and pretend the link says things it doesn’t. WE can all read. It has nothing to do with what we are talking about.

                    2. Guilt by association is not something done by counties that believe in fair judicial systems.

                    3. “Guilt by association is not something done by counties that believe in fair judicial systems.”

                      That bothers Pod and his co-victims not one bit, ’cause TRUMP!!!!!!

                    4. Since you clearly haven’t read your own cite, here’s the important bit.

                      The charges allege that the two men participated in a straw donor scheme to provide money to political candidates. It does not appear that the allegations are related to the controversy over Giuliani’s work in Ukraine.

                    5. The money was being used to buy influence with a Republican Congressman. The Republican was told to help get the Ukrainian ambassador fired. Their illegal money laundering and campaign finance scheming was directly related to Trump’s plot to use Ukraine to undermine Biden.

                2. Until they are convicted, they are entitled to a presumption of innocence. An indictment means squat.

                3. Two business associates of President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani have been charged with a scheme to route foreign money into U.S. elections, according to a newly unsealed indictment.

                  Nasty stuff apparently. Could you remind me as to why Al Gore — caught in a Buddhist temple playing DNC go-between bagman for the Chinese — didn’t face these charges? Could it be that the Justice Department is full of partisan hacks and, as a consequence, those charges should be viewed with extreme suspicion?

  6. after telling Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that he would withhold congressionally-authorized aid until”

    the Transcript did not mention withholding anything and the Ukrainian President say there was no threat either so where does Billy get this idea from, not from reality thats for sure

    1. Binion is just repeating the authorized lie. At this point, it could be that he knows that it is a lie or that he has forgotten that it is a lie and has convinced himself of it.

  7. It’s revealing that even as Dems prioritize their partisanship over their country to attack Trump – first soliciting and then paralyzing the country with Russian kompromat – some Reason writers continue to assert their nonsense defenses [But while Yovanovitch…attempted to maintain a sense of partisan neutrality] as fact. The blue culture wall is impenetrable.

    1. It really is. We have a “libertarian magazine” that is defending the bureaucracy and the IC from any accountability or oversight by elected officials. It is all culture war all the time. The culture war and Reason’s desire to fit into the blue culture bubble they live in determines their views on everything. “Libertarianism” is just the rationalization.

      1. Losing the culture war — being stomped by your betters, and compelled to comply obsequiously with their preferences — has made you cranky, John.

        1. “Losing the culture war…”

          Here’s some of your ‘winners’, asshole bigot:
          1) Lincoln Stephens
          2) Walter Duranty
          3) Joseph Davies
          4) Julian Huxley
          5) Upton Sinclair
          6) John Dewey
          7) Jean Paul Sarte
          8) Henry Wallace
          9) Alger Hiss
          10) Malcom Cowley
          11) Edmund Wilson
          12) G. B. Shaw
          13) Lillian Hellman
          14) C. Wright Mills
          15-20)Donald MacLean, Kim Philby, and the remainder of the Cambridge useful idiots
          21) Harold Lasky
          22) Jacques Derrida
          23) Harrison Salisbury
          24) Norman Mailer
          25) Graham Greene
          26) Harry Bridges

        2. being stomped by your betters

          You really are a detestable, totalitarian-enabling, piece of shit windbag.

          1. You get to whine all you want, clinger, but you will comply with the preferences of the liberal-libertarian mainstream. The culture war has consequences, especially for disaffected right-wingers.

        3. “Betters”, ha. They’re not superior to the lint in my navel.

          1. If his posts were all genuine he’d be rather insane, but mostly he is content with shitposting. He actually has a good point every few months.

  8. “Trump is now the subject of an impeachment probe, after telling Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that he would withhold congressionally-authorized aid until Zelenskiy agreed to dig up dirt on Biden, who is a frontrunner in the 2020 presidential election.”

    Did you run out ways to spin, and now you’re resorting to blatant lying? Whether you think his actions were appropriate or not, or amounted to an abuse of power or not, he did not tell Zelenskiy he would withhold aid unless he dug up dirt on Biden. The transcript has been available for weeks- any literate person can go read it for themselves and see that this conversation never happened.

    Also, I don’t care if Vindman has a Purple Heart. I know a guy who was awarded a purple heart for falling down while running away. Being decorated does not give a military officer the ability to question the CinC, unless his orders are illegal. He made his concerns known and was overruled, which means it’s time to shut the fuck up and execute the orders. Anything he has to say is no different from a specialist bitching in the motor pool because he doesn’t like today’s assignment.

    1. The same magazine that happily slimed Flynn, now decides having a Purple Heart is a really big deal and puts someone above reproach.

      The bottom line is the guy didn’t listen to the call and doesn’t know shit. All he has is his opinions about what he thinks happened. Yeah well, that is nice.

      1. This is what thoroughly blows my mind about this whole thing. Not only Reason, but the ENTIRE progressive sphere, are now defending the FBI, CIA, and career government lackeys, as paragons of virtue and true patriots. They’re defending the investigations and FISA abuses as if the FBI ISN’T infamous for its questionable investigative tactics. I am too lazy to go find it, but wasn’t there a story recently about how the FBI radicalized some poor, dumb rube and tricked him into joining a terrorist cell, and then arrested him for being a terrorist? And we’re supposed to accept that the FBI is on the up-and-up on this one? That they’re fine, patriotic public servants trying to save the world from corruption of Orange Hitler? Didn’t the CIA spy on Congressional staffers who were investigating torture, and didn’t the director of the CIA lie about it to Congress? But we’re supposed to accept that they’re totally not doing that now? We’re supposed to believe that THIS whistleblower deserve anonymity and protection from the IC, but Edward Snowden is a traitor who deserves exile?

        I have no emotional investment in Donald Trump one way or the other- he’s the president. He’s done some good things, some bad things, and some neutral things. What bothers me about this whole spectacle is what it represents. Donald Trump is the President, duly elected in a fair and free election. The people spoke in 2016, but what this whole impeachment charade says is that the WRONG PEOPLE spoke. Trump voters are too stupid, uneducated, bigoted, racist, sexist… whatever… to be allowed to select their government, so their Betters are now going to put them back in their place. I don’t think this message is lost on people.

        Trump’s election was a rejection of those “betters,” and it represents a loss of control to them. They’ve lost control of the people, and they are scrambling to get it back. If they’re allowed to get it back, it will be very ugly for all of us. I don’t like to think the worst, and I hope that it never comes to this, but if this bullshit is allowed to continue, there will be violence and that honestly scares the shit out of me.

  9. When you boil all of this away, what exactly do we have here? The answer is not very much.

    Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, was reassigned in May 2019. In essence, she was fired, but continues to collect a check. Big whoop! Seriously, this is it? Basically, she is saying: I was reassigned because my Boss didn’t like me, and I continue to draw a check and retain all my benefits. Listen, I will simply assume everything she said is true. Impeachment worthy? Answer: No.

    Michael McKinley, an aide to Secretary Pompeo, resigned. Now Mikey didn’t like it when his boss did not just reflexively leap to the defense of a state department employee who had completely lost the confidence of Pompeo’s boss, POTUS Trump. Maybe it is a dumb journalist thing, or maybe even a government worker thing…..BUT…Newsflash to Billy Binion: When the bosses boss doesn’t like someone, it is decidedly bad to leap to that person’s defense when nothing wrong has been done. Some would actually call that smart career management. So is this impeachment worthy? Answer: No.

    The bottom line these bureaucrats at Foggy Bottom need to remember: The POTUS, regardless of party is the boss, and s/he decides policy. Period. Like others, my view is that if you disagree with the policy, and find yourself unable to carry it out…resign.

    1. I think this is the thing the Democrats don’t get. It isn’t enough to convince people that Trump is a big meanie or even that he did something reprehensible. They’re gonna have to convince the public that what he supposedly did means he has to go, right now. And I just don’t see them doing that effectively.

      This is what happened with the Clinton impeachment back in the ’90s. There aren’t too many people who dispute what Clinton did, but a lot of people didn’t buy the argument that it was worthy of impeachment. It’s important to remember that for many people in Middle America, Washington D.C. really is a swamp full of thoroughly corrupt creatures. I grew up in the Midwest and it was commonly said “the only thing worse than a politician is a child molester”. So to get people who aren’t partisan Dems motivated to demand impeachment you gotta have something really serious.

      1. They are not wrong = It’s important to remember that for many people in Middle America, Washington D.C. really is a swamp full of thoroughly corrupt creatures.

        1. Not just D.C., all 50 state capitals, every county seat, every city government.

          Everything touched by government at any level eventually becomes infested with corruption.

      2. With child molesters, there is the ‘arguable’ potential to reform them, hopefully make them understand what they’ve done is wrong, and of course punish them for basically the rest of their lives or longer. With politicians, none of that applies to them. They lie, steal, cheat with impunity and worse, and they get away with it nearly every time and they will never understand that they wronged anyone nor care if they have. I’m definitely not advocating for child molesters. I’m just putting politicians right next to them as equally monstrous in their own different ways and they are almost never held to account.

        1. I always thought the saying was a bit off simply because a politician can ruin millions of lives with one stroke of the pen; even the most prolific child molester can’t equal that.

          1. Yeah. I agree. And we haven’t even touched on sending men and women to war…

  10. “But while Yovanovitch—who has served in four Republican and two Democratic administrations—attempted to maintain a sense of partisan neutrality…”

    Since fucking when have ambassadors been chosen based on “partisan neutrality?” They are career politicians and major donors being rewarded for their political support.

    Christ almighty, do you seriously think Phil Murphy was named Ambassador to Germany because of his expertise in Bismarck-era foreign relations?

  11. What a breathtaking development.

  12. “amid allegations”

    I heard allegations the Billy Binion wanted all jews exterminated

  13. “”Impeachment Depositions Cast Light on a State Department Driven by Devotion to Trump “”

    Replace Trump with Obama and not only would no democrat give a damn, they would defend it.

  14. “”Yovanovitch says that, in February, a Ukrainian official told her that she should be wary of Giuliani and that she needed to “watch [her] back.” In May, the ambassador received a phone call from Carol Perez, the director general of the Foreign Service, telling her that she “needed to be on the next plane home to Washington.” It was “about [her] security,” she said.

    And on that much-discussed phone call two months later, Trump would go on to tell Zelenskiy that Yovanovitch is “going to go through some things.” She informed investigators that she felt threatened by the remark, and that she is still “very concerned.”
    “”

    But Benghazi!!!

    Funny how this supposed to be a big deal, but the murder of diplomat should not have been investigated.

  15. It’s almost like the President gets to set US foreign policy, absent a Congressional override. To listen to these idiot Obama appointees and career “diplomats” (i.e., agency costs) whine that Trump is undermining US policy makes me laugh, except the press is so biased that Americans are being misled. If you can’t execute your orders, resign. Ambassadors, particularly, are not career positions. You have no entitlement and you should expect to be fired when the party in power switches. Just like all the US attorneys.

    Trump’s biggest flaw is that he didn’t have the roster of people to appoint and allowed far too many holdovers to keep their jobs for far too long. He deserves a lot of discredit for how he has managed the agencies. Even the Bush era people, they’re still cold warriors and control freaks who want to intervene everywhere, even when we can’t defend Americans in Mexico. He needed hundreds of people lined up that he could reasonably trust. He had like 5.

    As to Ukraine, this whole thing is a joke. Ukraine is not a serious US concern. It might be a German concern, as it is a buffer between Russia and the EU. But the Germans don’t seem that concerned. It is pretty obvious that Biden was involved in shenanigans while VP, related to his sun and payola, and there is no reason that can’t be investigated. That Biden is trying to be nominated right now doesn’t change anything. He isn’t immune.

  16. >>the rank partisanship besieging the State Department

    suggesting the State Department be comprised of Swiss?

  17. Trump won’t be impeached, definitely won’t be removed from office. Just a bunch of posturing and theater. I still can’t be bothered to have more of an opinion on any of this.

    1. Agree. Trump will be investigated, perhaps House will impeach. Senate will not convict. Trump gets to crow about it all.

      The hysterical Repubs stating that the house will “reverse the election” are just doing it to stir up their base. They know they wouldn’t vote to remove Trump and put Pence in even if the evidence he was corrupt was overwhelming.

    2. That about sums it up Zeb. Forget removing him from office, I don’t think they will ever draft actual articles much less vote them into the Senate.

      1. We shall see. Removal is a stretch, but as to articles of impeachment, it is just a question of how many.

        1. “” it is just a question of how many.””

          Quantity or quality? That’s why the dems are not really winning on impeachment.

          Any real article of impeachment will hit trial level scrutiny in the Senate trial. Inference about what Trump meant, innuendo, testimony without rigorous cross examination will not have a place there. The dems are having a hard time coming up with something that can withstand that level of scrutiny. They thought Mueller was going to bring the goods. Nope.

          To remove Trump from office all you need is one good charge that republicans in the Senate would find guilt. Just one. That’s all you need to remove him. One. They can’t seem to find it.

          In all this brewhaha, the dems can’t put forward one obvious crime?

          1. And yet, incompetent as Trump is portrayed to be, Congress has been unable to actually find and bring charges successfully against him.

      2. At some point, continuing the investigation will become so embarrassing, they may have to find a way to make it stop without taking a vote–but I’m not sure how that works.

        How do you go from claiming to have all this damning information only to decide to do nothing whatsoever with it?

        Rachel Madow is used to doing an about face on a dime, but if they leave Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, and the rest out there to twist in the wind? Thanks a lot, Nancy, no post-Oscars’ party invitation for you!

        1. Some Presidents might let bygones be bygones. They know this guy will take a victory lap at your expense in a heartbeat. They are backing themselves in a corner where they look like idiots, and Trump will reinforce it with tweets, if they can’t find something, anything.

          They are forcing themselves to double, triple down when perhaps they should fold. Trump isn’t playing chess. He’s playing poker.

          1. Trump is playing every game in the book.

            The Lefties are simply babbling with their mouths full of game pieces.

    3. “Trump won’t be impeached”

      Once Rudy is burned, resignation due to health reasons. Bone spurs relapse, perhaps.

    4. more reality tv and kinda fun.

  18. the overt partisanship that now cripples the federal government’s operations

    Democrats win, elections have consequences. Republicans win, the elected president is not allowed to set foreign policy objectives without being undermined by subordinates or it is “crippling partisanship”.

  19. Pod’s comments read like they are straight out of an advanced NPC comment generator.

    1. reason is taking longer and longer to retire their NPC socks to boost web traffic.

  20. One of the witnesses who testified last month that he had no memory of a conversation has now decided he remembers everything clearly. However, his own texts in the days afterwards show him denying there was a quid pro quo.

    “In a Monday addendum to his testimony that he gave last month, Mr. Sondland said his memory had been refreshed by the testimony of Messrs. Taylor and Morrison. “By the beginning of September 2019, and in the absence of any credible explanation for the suspension of aid, I presumed that the aid suspension had become linked to the proposed anti-corruption statement,” Mr. Sondland said.

    He said he told Mr. Yermak on Sept. 1 that “the resumption of U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anti-corruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks.”

    The statement that Mr. Sondland and other U.S. officials had been discussing was to specifically address Burisma Group, a Ukrainian gas company where Mr. Biden’s son, Hunter, had sat on the board, and alleged election interference, according to congressional testimony.

    In text messages in the following days, however, Mr. Sondland continued to deny that the delivery of aid was dependent on those investigations.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/impeachment-inquiry-to-release-transcripts-of-sondland-volker-testimony-11572955206?

    They still have nothing to show us but innuendo and bad vibes.

    1. “They still have nothing to show us but innuendo and bad vibes.”

      More than enough for any prosecutor hungry for a victim.

      1. “”More than enough for any prosecutor hungry for a victim.””

        The Central Park five would probably agree. Is that the kind of justice system we want?

        1. Prosecutors are incentivized to get convictions, and are often guided by hunches and gut feelings.

          1. So that’s a yes?

            1. It may not be what we want but it’s what we have, as Trump is finding out.

  21. A lot of this just seems like he-said-she-said to me. Where’s the smoking gun? I saw a transcript, but it appears as though you have to have read it in a particular way to see it as a smoking gun.

    I haven’t really been following this very much. Every time I try to read a little bit about it, it just devolves into one side saying “they did the thing!” and the other saying “not really, this has been regular behavior since forever.”

    I inevitably throw my hands up, decide this is a waste of time and go read something else. The feeling I get is that this is a lot like the Muller investigation: extremely esoteric, very partisan, totally unclear and impossible to follow. I spent very little time reading about the Muller investigation, under the impression that it wouldn’t matter and I wouldn’t need to know anything about it in the long haul. I was right, and I kind of chuckle at the people on both sides that got so hung up about it.

    1. “I wouldn’t need to know anything about it in the long haul. I was right”

      I think you were wrong. The Mueller affair sent some of Trump’s hand picked, most trusted advisors to prison. They may still be there, but they are certainly not on Trump’s team any more, leaving him surrounded by fewer trusted advisors and more people like the ambassador who don’t respect or fear him, and will jump at the chance to damage him. This impeachment business seems ready to put Rudy out of commission for a start.

      1. What’s the longest prison term doled out?

      2. Why do I need to know about that?

        1. Well it’s fun to know the guy that got the longest sentence (Manafort) worked with the Podesta group in the Ukraine.

          Podesta got immunity. Manafort got about 4 years. The Podesta group worked with Hillary when she was SoS. So Manafort’s corruption is also a reflection of the Obama admin work.

          1. I’m not going to lie, I’ve heard of Paul Manafort and…. uh, ________ Podesta but I don’t know who either of them are.

        2. “Why do I need to know about that?”

          Because it’s not just he said she said, Some of Trump’s most trusted advisors have gone to jail.

          1. Doesn’t sound that important. I’d bet they went to jail for process crimes or some other ancillary bullshit that has nothing to do with whether Trump will be impeached or not.

            1. It’s not important to me, but Trump loses a trusted advisor every time one is sent to prison, to be replaced by an advisor who will probably betray him.

  22. Well at least the Inquisitors are releasing full documents as opposed to leaked version.

  23. So we have two career bureaucrats salty about their job loss. Next.

  24. At the end of the day, one thing is abundantly clear. The Democrats do not want to untangle the morass of disinformation, shifting allegiances, and corruption that makes Ukraine such an attractive place for politicians to do business.

    Burisma’s open channels to the highest echelons of the Obama administration are just now starting to come to the surface and you can bet the house on the fact that Hunter Biden’s stint on the board of directors is not even the tip of the iceberg as far as American complicity in Ukrainian corruption is concerned.

    If you want a clear link between 2016, Mueller, and the “Ukrainegate” impeachment effort unfolding before our eyes, look no further than Alexandra Chalupa and Serhiy Leshchenko:

    https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/andrew-mccarthy-manafort-obama-clinton-ukraine

    The same cast of characters that propped up the bullshit Mueller investigation are now the same cast of characters trying to shut down an investigation into their own conduct.

  25. Excellent video here of a defense attorney explaining the case the Dems are trying to build.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHzOOMdhAhE

  26. Republicans have complained for weeks about the secret House impeachment inquiry, accusing Democrats of rigging the process and interviewing witnesses behind closed doors — at one point storming the hearing room and chanting, “Let us in!”

    But inside the secure room in the Capitol basement where the proceedings are taking place, Republicans have used their time to complain that testimony has become public, going after their colleagues who were quoted in media reports commenting on witness appearances, and quizzing witnesses themselves on how their statements had been released.

  27. Well no wonder Democrats seem to be so concerned about politicians getting bought off by corporations.. All Democratic politicians are getting “bought off”. lol… 🙂

    Problem is; Your politicians – not the corporations.

  28. It’s “a State Department Driven by Devotion to Trump”? Oh, please.

    Its the attack of the Permanent State, plain and simple.

    1. “Its the attack of the Permanent State,”

      There is no Permanent State. Look at Bill Taylor, the man who provided damaging testimony on Trump a few days back. Taylor was promoted to the position of top diplomat in Ukraine by Trump at the recommendation of Pompeo. Trump has only himself to blame if he is unable to surround himself with loyal followers instead of people who hold him in contempt and long for his humiliating downfall. Trump is clearly out of his depth. It’s the Shallow state that’s attacking him, those who hang around the White House, listen in on his phone calls etc.

      1. I long you long time. Fifteen dollar.

    2. There is no Permanent State. These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.

  29. Impeachment depositions cast light on CIA trying to oust a president.

  30. Oh my… just as the left acknowledges the existence of the heroic patriots of the Deep State, we find some are loyal to Trump! Why can’t anything ever work as planned?

    1. Forget the left. What is truly rich here at reason.com is the “libertarians for deep state bureaucrats who spy on citizens and wage war against outsider politicians who dare to challenge them.”

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