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Nate Jackson / November 27, 2019

‘Schiff Show’ Roundup: Thanksgiving News Dump

Aid was held the day of the call, and Trump released it after learning of the whistleblower.

Today is the most traveled day of the year, which is why so much news on impeachment dropped last night. It was the proverbial holiday news dump. Here’s a quick rundown.

Timeline updates:

We now have some key information on the timeline of events regarding Ukraine aid. Primarily these two things:

First, NBC News reports, “The White House Office of Management and Budget made its first official move to withhold military aid to Ukraine on July 25, the same day President Donald Trump spoke to Ukrainian President [Volodymyr Zelensky] by phone.”

Second, “President Trump was briefed about the whistleblower complaint prompted by his dealings with Kyiv before the White House lifted a hold on more than $391 million in aid to Ukraine,” according to The Wall Street Journal. That’s important because if Trump released the funds because of the whistleblower complaint, it looks more like a coverup. The Journal explains, “The White House has defended the president’s actions, in part by saying there was no link between suspending the aid and the president’s request for investigations because the hold on the money was lifted in September.” And, “Mr. Trump said at an Oct. 2 news conference that he lifted the aid after a request from Sen. Rob Portman (R., Ohio).”

Trump needs to do a better job of keeping the story straight.

Meanwhile, “The House committees released interviews with the acting assistant secretary of state in charge of European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Reeker and senior Office of Management and Budget official Mark Sandy,” reports The Daily Caller. “The committees also released several short transcripts of people who did not comply with subpoenas, including acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney.” Those transcripts shed light on the aforementioned timeline.

Whistleblower:

“The anonymous whistleblower reached out to the intelligence community watchdog on October 8 to clarify the nature of his or her contact with Democratic majority staff of the House Intelligence Committee before the complaint was filed,” CBS News reports. “The whistleblower acknowledged reaching out to the committee, but claimed that nothing substantial was discussed and that the staff member directed them to go through official channels.”

What else happened Oct. 8? We learned that the whistleblower had contact with a 2020 Democrat who turned out to be Joe Biden.

No wonder Adam Schiff changed his mind on having the whistleblower testify. That may change when impeachment reaches the upper chamber and Senate Republicans seek testimony from Eric Ciaramella, the CIA analyst widely believed to be the whistleblower.

Giuliani:

Did Trump send his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, to Ukraine or specifically direct him? “I didn’t direct him,” Trump said on Tuesday. “I don’t even know. I know he was going to go to Ukraine, and I think he canceled a trip, but you know Rudy has other clients other than me. He’s done a lot of work in Ukraine over the years.”

Does anyone believe Trump’s denials on this? Back in May, Giuliani said of his efforts in Ukraine, “He basically knows what I’m doing … as his lawyer.” And, oh, by the way, in the infamous July 25 phone call, Trump told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to … talk to Giuliani. “Rudy very much knows what’s happening and he is a very capable guy,” Trump said. “If you could speak to him that would be great.”

Trump needs to do a better job of keeping the story straight.

So what if Rudy is thrown under the bus? “I do have very, very good insurance,” Giuliani said earlier this month, “so if he does, all my hospital bills will be paid.”

Nadler hearings:

Next up are hearings before the House Judiciary Committee, which Chairman Jerry Nadler has set for Wednesday, Dec. 4.

Polls:

A final note of warning about pollaganda. Some polls show that support for impeachment — especially among independents — dropped during public hearings. Other polls say support has increased. Our advice is, as usual, don’t be swayed by polls that are meant to shape, rather than reflect, public opinion.

And forget all about impeachment over Thanksgiving.

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