The cascade of closed-door testimony transcripts from senior Trump administration officials confirm that President Donald Trump shook down Ukraine’s president. Trump demanded a public announcement of an investigation of his political opponents in exchange for a White House meeting and military assistance that Ukraine desperately needed.
When President Donald Trump first released the transcript of his July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, many were confused about Trump’s apparent belief that Ukraine had the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) “servers” as well as his references to CrowdStrike, the California-based cybersecurity firm that concluded the attack on the DNC came from Russia. Where did these conspiracy theories come from? According to documents released over the weekend, exactly where you’d expect: Russia.
President Donald Trump’s impeachment defenses continue to break down. After another week of testimony from top administration officials, the president’s alleged criminal behavior is becoming clearer than ever—and a historic vote in the House means the public will soon be learning all about it.
Attorney General Bill Barr and Rudy Giuliani are running parallel efforts to help Trump politically: one from inside the government and another from outside. While Giuliani’s schemes have drawn the ire of investigators in Congress and beyond, Barr’s line of attack doesn’t just benefit Trump—it also lends a huge helping hand to Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin.
Trump’s allies in Congress are lashing out against the impeachment process, and it’s easy to see why: The Trump administration’s top diplomat in Ukraine, acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor, brought the impeachment investigation to a new phase in his congressional deposition.
President Donald Trump’s shakedown of Ukraine was influenced by Russian President Vladimir Putin. This assessment comes from the people closest to the president—people in his own administration working on Russia and Ukraine. According to The Washington Post, Trump sought guidance from Putin and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (a Putin confidant) on how to approach the new reformist president of Ukraine, creating fear within the Trump administration that Trump would fall under their “malign influence.”
The Trump administration has given up on trying to pretend Trump’s extortion of Ukraine didn’t happen. Yesterday, two administration officials—Ambassador to the E.U. Gordon Sondland and Office of Management and Budget Director and Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney—explicitly confirmed that Trump dangled a White House meeting and military aid to Ukraine as leverage to strong-arm Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Trump’s political opponent and a long-debunked conspiracy theory about the 2016 election.