Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Blocking the witness

EU Ambassador Sondland -- who clearly was discussing some illegal shit with Ambassador Bill Taylor -- is being blocked from testifying.
On Tuesday morning, Mr. Trump attacked the impeachment inquiry.

“I would love to send Ambassador Sondland, a really good man and great American, to testify,” he wrote on Twitter, “but unfortunately he would be testifying before a totally compromised kangaroo court, where Republican’s rights have been taken away.”
As if he would not have the right to a lawyer! As if he would not be allowed to answer at length! As if he would not be questioned by many Republicans!

Many are now screaming that this act of defiance constitutes another impeachable offense, and so it does. Trump reminds me of Michael Crawford during the restaurant scene in Hello Dolly: If you belatedly discover that you haven't the funds to pay for dinner, why not order wine and dessert? Impeachment is coming anyways; what's another charge?

The important thing now is to avoid not impeachment but removal. It's also important -- to both Sondland and Trump -- that Sondland not be placed in a position where he must lie under oath. We don't know what kind of counter-testimony Bill Taylor will offer. We don't know if he recorded the call.

If not for Taylor, Bill Barr would probably have provided one of his famous "summaries" of the call.

Regarding that call, Trump offered an amusing tweet:
Importantly, Ambassador Sondland’s tweet, which few report, stated, “I believe you are incorrect about President Trump’s intentions. The President has been crystal clear: no quid pro quo’s of any kind.” That says it ALL!
Neal Katyal's response:
Sure does. Reminds me of the drug dealer who calls his accomplice back 5 hours later saying “I believe you misunderstood me. When I said 60 units of COKE I meant COCA—COLA”
If the call was so innocent, why block the witness? This situation reminds me of Trump's chat with Zelensky. If the chat was so beautiful and perfect, why was the actual transcript placed under lock and key, within the most secure computer Trump has available to him?
Off topic, but here's some Curt Weldon material which may be of interest to you. Cheers. 1 2 3 4 5
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