A dovish impeachment hearing was given an electric charge on Tuesday when an important Trump government diplomat changed his testimony to criticize the government's dealings with Ukraine and vigorously defend Joe Biden.
Kurt Volker, former Special Representative for Kiev, is the second He testified that he revised his testimony to Gordon Sondland in a sort of gift to the Democrats.
He dropped his earlier insistence that at a crucial White House meeting on July 10, which broke John, Bolton was not talking about an investigation. Volker told the House hearing that Sondland had made a "general comment" on the investigation and that "we all considered this inappropriate". This put him on the side of several other witnesses expressing concern over President Trump's freeze on military aid to Ukraine.
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However, Volker said he must have left or been involved in an incidental conversation because he told Bolton his strong objections to what had just happened. did not hear express. And although he was a contact for Rudy Giuliani, he stated that he was "out of the loop" regarding the link between aid and Ukraine and promised to investigate the bidders or their role in the 201
Volker has also known Biden for many years, he regards the former vice president as an" honorable man "and the allegations that he has behaved incorrectly with regard to Ukraine" are simply not credible to me " Volker remained stubbornly reluctant and obviously trying to pull the needle between open break with Trump and the reluctance of US aid to Ukraine. He said that he should have realized that the Ukrainian investigation was actually targeted specifically at the investigation of Giant Burisma, where Hunter Biden was employed.
But he agreed to inconsistencies, especially as he just remembered the mention. According to other witnesses, Ukrainian investigations reported that at the meeting attended by Volker
the late afternoon recordings saved a sleepy third-day hearing for the Democrats had.
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Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman, who was sitting on the ramrod with a chest full of medals, said flatly, "It was inappropriate for the president to demand the investigation of a political opponent," especially by a foreign power.
Yet his testimony was strangely anticlimactic.
True to his military stance, Vindman was stiff, hesitant, and literal, answering questions at the hearing on the impeachment of Parliament in an unshakable monotone tone "via official channels," via the "chain of command," which acts only to "my duty fulfill". He resisted when Republican Devin Nunes called him "Mr." designated. Vindman "and asked to be addressed under his title.
Vindman's military service as a career officer, including a Purple Heart, after the flight of his family from the Soviet Union was admirable. His testimony, however, was far less convincing than that of William Taylor and Marie Yovanovitch.
More important, virtually everything Vindman had to say had already been leaked or released. He said John Bolton had abruptly ended a July 10 meeting after Gordon Sondland talked about the need for Ukraine to study the biden and every role that played in hacking in 2016. He told a White House lawyer that it was "inappropriate" and "having nothing to do with national security" when Trump was investigating the Ukrainian head of state.
Vindman was wary in his favor that when asked why the official announcement of the Trump Zelensky call cited anti-corruption efforts, if not mentioned, he said it was customary to include such news.
The lieutenant colonel had two notable moments. One was when he said he could not give such a testimony at his place of birth, the old Soviet Union. The other was when he said the last week's attacks on witnesses were "disgusting" and "reprehensible."
Jennifer Williams, an advisor to Vice President Pence, who listened to the July 25 appeal, said she felt it was "a domestic matter." "But she did not have much behind-the-scenes information – she included it in Pence's notebook but he does not know if he has read them – and no one has put a glove on them.
Williams said she was "surprised" when the President tweeted that she was a Never Trumper. She denied this by saying, "I did not expect to be called by name." Vindman said he was not a Never Trumper, that he was a "Never Partisan".
The Intel committee meeting caught a snag when Adam Schiff accused the GOP lawyer and later Jim Jordan trying to shut down the whistleblower by asking Vindman for his testimony that he was calling a secret service agent from the Trump call told. In the first place, Schiff's intervention caused Vindman to decline an answer.
At a Cabinet meeting, the President said he did not know who Vindman was and asked why he testified in military clothing.
Nevertheless, due to the unmistakably subdued tone of the morning hearing, some experts were delighted with the session.
MSNBC, which has opted out of a direct approach to the hearings, has been anchored by host Nicolle Wallace, a former Republican who abhors Trump (after Chris Matthews was the anchor on Friday). Wallace called the testimony "stunning." Another liberal host, Ari Melber, said it was "devastating." Former Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill said part of it was "powerful."
About CNN, whose reporting was anchored by journalists John, King said that Republicans "pick cherries," and their questioning of the character of the witnesses is "a minor matter." Jeffrey Toobin said Trump's guilt has been "proven again and again".
Fox, whose reporting was anchored by former journalists Special prosecutor Ken Starr said Vindman had "a great American history," but acknowledged that Trump's freezing of military aid was not illegal for Ukraine.
Earlier, Nunes addressed his direct target to the media and the whistleblower and even asked if this was the case. The CIA officer contacted journalists.
Nunes, who boasted that TV ratings had dropped sharply, repeatedly insisted that the testimony of three career diplomats over the past week was far lower than what I saw as important and dramatic in media coverage. He then turned to Russia and recited headlines from the investigation, which he considered wrong.
I'm not the one who believes the hearings need to be a loud TV show. When new information gets corrupted, it does not matter if it comes in a read tone from the phone book. But it was Kurt Volker, not Alexander Vindman, who made news on Tuesday by changing his story.