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Thomas Gallatin / November 5, 2019

Dems Trickle Out Impeachment Testimony Transcripts

Schiff releases transcripts from Yovanovitch and McKinley. Both are negative toward Trump.

On Monday, House Democrats, led by Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, released two transcripts from their closed-door impeachment hearings. The transcripts were from testimonies given by the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Maria Yovanovitch, and the former top aide to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Michael McKinley.

Neither of the witnesses had direct knowledge of the July 25 phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, which was the alleged impetus behind the “whistleblower” complaint. However, Democrats allege that Trump removed Yovanovitch in May 2019 because she was proving to be an obstacle to Rudy Giuliani’s investigation into Joe and Hunter Biden and Ukraine’s involvement in 2016 election interference.

Interestingly, Yovanovitch asserted, “It’s not like we had a policy that Ukraine should not become involved in our domestic politics or, you know, somehow become involved in 2020 elections, but clearly that is not in U.S. interests for Ukraine to start playing such a role.” This statement seems to effectively undercut the Democrats’ whole argument for claiming that Trump engaged in an impeachable offense. In other words, he had a legitimate interest in fighting Ukrainian corruption.

McKinley’s testimony was primarily focused on his frustration over Yovanovitch’s treatment and eventual removal. He was troubled by Pompeo’s refusal to push back against Donald Trump Jr.‘s negative comments against Yovanovitch and by Pompeo’s unwillingness to allow the State Department to issue statements in support of the ambassador. “In 37 years in the Foreign Service and different parts of the globe and working on many controversial issues, working 10 years back in Washington, I had never seen that,” McKinley stated regarding Ukrainian officials expressing concerns over Giuliani’s investigation into the 2016 election.

Cleary, Democrats are still trying to control the anti-Trump narrative as they selectively release these transcripts rather than releasing the entirety at once. Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan blasted Schiff and company for their obvious politicization, lamenting, “Democrats cherry-pick which transcripts they release and when. Why not release Ambassador Volker’s testimony? He was the very first witness to testify.” Schiff plans to release two more transcripts today.

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