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Nov 20 2019

Impeachment: Day 4 Testimony

After yesterday’s marathon of the testimony of four witnesses, today should be a breeze with just three witnesses but the first one is a doozy, US European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland, and Trump millionaire buddy, who has boxed himself into a perjury corner.

Sondland was assigned by President Trump to coordinate Ukrainian policy outside the normal chain of command with Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Kurt Volker, who was a special envoy to Ukraine. He gave his initial deposition behind closed doors on October 17. Sondland revised his testimony on November 5 and may have to once again after NSC Russia expert Tim Morrison’s testimony yesterday, or take the fifth. His original November 5th deposition can be read here

Pentagon official for Ukraine and Russia Laura Cooper is the next witness who testified former US special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker told her Ukrainian officials were alarmed in August that US security aid was being held up. She said Volker told her in their meeting that he was attempting to lift the hold on the aid by having the Ukrainians deliver a public statement that they would launch the investigations being sought by President Donald Trump. Her deposition is here.

The final witness of the day will be David Hale, under secretary of state for political affairs. His public testimony was requested by House Republicans He testified in a closed hearing on November 6 that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Fox News host Sean Hannity last spring to ask about the smear campaign launched against former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. Hale noted that Pompeo spoke to Rudolph Giuliani twice in late March regarding the allegations. I have no idea Republicans would want him to appear in public. His deposition can be read here.

The hearing is scheduled to start at 9:30 AM ET.

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