So far, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff’s mock court sideshow has actually been nothing more than the staging of a real impeachment query. All the appearances of a real hearing exist, simply without the speed bumps of open hearings or stories inconsistent with Schiff’s narrative.
The California Democrat’s investigation has actually been carried out without offering Republicans power to summon witnesses nor allowing the White House legal counsel any ability to take part. No records are available, and leaks have clearly been hand selected to damage the President. Schiff even went as far as attempting to close down lines of questioning from GOP lawmakers, according to records.
While the policies transformed a little bit with House Democrats electing Thursday to expand the impeachment investigation and also recommending to make it public, the inequality has merely been alleviated a tiny amount.
The tight fisted control Schiff and Dems have leveraged over the impeachment narrative lapsed briefly on Thursday when National Security Council official Tim Morrison gave testimony on Capitol Hill.
The basic takeaway from Morrison’s testament was that he substantiated previous testimony which asserted U.S. army aide to Ukraine was frozen by the Trump admin subject to the Ukrainian government beginning specific investigations.
Take a look at this report from CNN:
“Tim Morrison, the top Russia and Europe adviser on the National Security Council, also told House impeachment investigators that he was advised by then-White House official Fiona Hill to stay away from the parallel Ukraine policy being pursued by Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, according to one of the sources.
“Morrison said in his closed-door testimony that he was concerned the July 25 call transcript between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky would leak and could have negative ramifications, according to multiple sources and a copy of his opening statement obtained by CNN. But he also made the point that he saw nothing wrong with the July call.” (Emphasis added.)
That’s the problem with Morrison’s opening declaration, at the very least the angle taken by Schiff along with the Democrats. The NSC authorities negated many of their stories, including that there was anything illegal en regards to the call upon which the initial whistleblower grievance was based.
Morrison discredited a number of various other talking points that have arisen from the hearings.
He testified that he believed the records of Trump’s phone call with Zelensky was exact– as opposed to Tuesday’s statement from NSC officer Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who claimed there were 2 essential parts of the transcript that were missing vital words and expressions.
He also stated that Trump was worried regarding corruption in Ukraine, increasing the likelihood that even if the head of state was pushing the Ukrainians to chase after examinations and even if they were suspicious in nature, they weren’t done especially for his political advantage.
Most notable for the head of state as well as his protectors: Morrison testified that he believed the Ukrainians were unaware that the aide was frozen till late August, much later than the timeline being reported in the media.
On the first 2 counts: During his deposition, Morrison affirmed that he “reviewed the Memorandum of Conversation [‘MemCon’] of the July 25 phone call that was released by the White House.
“I listened to the call as it occurred from the Situation Room. To the best of my recollection, the MemCon accurately and completely reflects the substance of the call. I also recall that I did not see anyone from the NSC Legal Advisor’s Office in the room during the call. After the call, I promptly asked the NSC Legal Advisor and his Deputy to review it.
“I had three concerns about a potential leak of the MemCon: first, how it would play out in Washington’s polarized environment; second, how a leak would affect the bipartisan support our Ukrainian partners currently experience in Congress; and third, how it would affect the Ukrainian perceptions of the U.S.-Ukraine relationship. I want to be clear, I was not concerned that anything illegal was discussed.”
It’s fairly obvious what the last sentence contradicts.
As for the remainder of that fragment of testament, it increases concerns regarding what Vindman affirmed on Tuesday relating to the authenticity of the telephone call transcript. While the edits that Vindman claims he recommended and was declined weren’t specifically substantive, they were still taken upon with a particular gusto on both Capitol Hill as well as in the media.
Morrison additionally mentions issues regarding a leakage of the records; once more, an usual story that’s arisen over the past couple of weeks has actually been that the records was transferred to a safe NSC server to hinder any kind of analysis of the call. NSC Legal Advisor John Eisenberg, the person Morrison is discussing in this part of his opening declaration, is additionally the one who relocated it there; if the management was worried concerning a leakage rather than protecting the head of state, this does not come to be a concern.
Morrison’s statement was also contradictory to reports that the Ukrainians were aware of the freeze by the start of August.
“I have no reason to believe the Ukrainians had any knowledge of the review until August 28, 2019. Ambassador [William] Taylor and I had no reason to believe that the release of the security sector assistance might be conditioned on a public statement reopening the Burisma investigation until my September 1, 2019 conversation with Ambassador [Gordon] Sondland,” Morrison said.
“Even then I hoped that Ambassador Sondland’s strategy was exclusively his own and would not be considered by leaders in the Administration and Congress, who understood the strategic importance of Ukraine to our national security.
“I am pleased our process gave the President the confidence he needed to approve the release of the security sector assistance. My regret is that Ukraine ever learned of the review and that, with this impeachment inquiry, Ukraine has become subsumed in the U.S. political process.”
Lastly, there was this little bit: “I was aware that the President thought Ukraine had a corruption problem, as did many others familiar with Ukraine. I was also aware that the President believed that Europe did not contribute enough assistance to Ukraine.”
Once more, if the help to Ukraine was frozen based upon the condition that Trump desired criminal investigations into possible Ukrainian corruption, that’s totally legitimate. If he did it to specifically harm his political opponent: Joe Biden — that isn’t.
It’s legitimate if he held up the help due to the fact that he assumed Europe had not been paying their fair share… But not as ammo against Uncle Joe & son.
Morrison’s statement leads towards the former conclusion in both translations.
This element of Morrison’s statement really did not obtain a great deal of press because it wasn’t good press for Adam Schiff or the Dems. That doesn’t get clicks. So what the media pushed instead, in serious tones, was exactly how this was yet another horrible and incriminating day for Donald Trump and team.
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