As the push toward the public impeachment hearings continues, Democrats are trying to stack evidence against Trump administration officials.
By the end of Friday, witness testimony by Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman and Fiona Hill has now implicated Trump’s Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney, in the alleged quid pro quo allegations.
Leading the Charge
Mulvaney was not only implicated, but Vindman and Hill made it sound as though he was the point man for Trump on this issue.
At the heart of both of their testimonies was U.S. Ambassador Gordon Sondland, who recently flipped his entire testimony.
Sondland originally testified there was no quid pro quo at all.
After several other witnesses testified to the opposite, Sondland feared that because his testimony was different from those witnesses, he would be indicted for lying for false testimony to Congress.
Mind you, we have no idea who is telling the truth here, but Sondland simply caved out of fear.
According to Lt. Col. Vindman, a National Security Council expert on Ukraine, and Hill, a former White House Russian expect, Sondland specifically told Ukraine officials in early July that per Mulvaney, the Ukraine needed to open the investigation into the alleged corruption if they wanted to have their White House meeting with Trump.
Hill testified, “Ambassador Sondland, in front of the Ukrainians, as I came in, was talking about how he had an agreement with Chief of Staff Mulvaney for a meeting with the Ukrainians if they were going to go forward with investigations.”
According to Hill, Bolton was also in attendance and he “immediately stiffened” and ended the meeting.
Vindman gave a similar statement, saying, “On the 10th of July … it became completely apparent what the deliverable would be in order to get a White House meeting.
“That deliverable was reinforced by the President.
“The demand was, in order to get the White House meeting, they had to deliver an investigation.
“That became clear as time progressed from how this thing unfolded through the 10th all the way through the conclusion.”
What to Make of It All
There are a lot of moving pieces here and it is getting tougher and tougher to figure out exactly what happened.
This could have been a couple of rogue officials trying to gain points with Trump or we could have some blatant lying taking place.
Rudy Giuliani and Bolton appear to be the key to everything here.
It is quite possible there was some internal feud between these two that started this whole mess.
This picture should, however, become significantly clearer in upcoming days as we finally get to hear testimony from the “other” side.
It does, appear, however, that someone is going to end up taking a fall for this, but it is just a matter of it being Trump or a staffer that will ultimately be implicated.
Honestly, I would not be surprised in the least if Giuliani ends up being the one to fall on the sword.