Foreign service officer David Holmes testified in his opening statement in Thursday's impeachment hearing that Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani's efforts undermined the U.S. State Department's efforts to support Ukraine. "Beginning in March 2019, the situation at the Embassy and in Ukraine changed dramatically," he testified in his opening statement.
"Specifically, the three priorities of security, economy and justice and our support for Ukrainian democratic resistance to Russian aggression became overshadowed by a political agenda promoted by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and a cadre of officials working with the White House." That change began, he said, "with the emergence of press reports critical of Ambassador Yovanovitch and others to discredit her" and a concerted effort on the part of Giuliani and team to suggest that "Yovanovitch improperly used the embassy to advance the political interests of the Democratic Party." He said that the "allegations directed at Ambassador Yovanovitch, a career Ambassador, is unlike anything I have seen in my professional career."
He said it became clear that the "Three Amigos," consisting of Ambassador Gordon Sondland, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, and Ambassador Kurt Volker, would "take the lead on coordinating our policy and engagement" with the new administration of Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. He said that Sondland "made clear that he had direct and frequent access to President Trump and Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, and portrayed himself as the conduit to the President and Mr. Mulvaney for the group."
He goes on to relate how it became clear that the Trump political team, which included ambassadors, was pushing the Burisma/Biden investigation as a "precondition for an Oval Office meeting" and security assistance. He testified that he learned from an Office of Management and Budget official that the order to withhold military aid "had come from the President and had been conveyed to OMB by Mr. Mulvaney."
In this opening statement, which included the infamous overheard phone conversation between Sondland and Trump on July 26, Holmes lays out the entire impeachment case against Trump. Watch the video below.x x YouTube Video
Ed MacMahon, the attorney for Lev Parnas—the indicted pal of Rudy Giuliani—says Parnas helped Rep. Devin Nunes in his "investigations" in 2018 intended to undermine Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian election-meddling. Parnas helped Nunes, the ranking member on the Intelligence Committee now conducting impeachment hearings, arrange meetings and calls in Europe.
That includes a four-day trip Nunes and three of his aides—Derek Harvey, Scott Glabe, and George Pappas—took at the end of November 2018. A four-day trip that cost the American taxpayers just over $63,000. This trip, and Nunes’ work, has been focused on trying to kick up enough dirt to suggest that the Mueller investigation wasn't spurred by Russia's interference in the 2016 election and the Trump campaign, but by some nefarious global Deep State effort to make nude photos of Donald Trump public. Or something. MacMahon did not tell the Daily Beast, which broke the story, what precisely Nunes was after and what the "investigation" entailed.
Parnas has been a busy guy on behalf of Trump. You'll remember he's the one, along with colleague and other friend of Rudy Igor Fruman, who was given a secret "James Bond mission" from Trump at last year's White House Hanukkah party, designed to pressure Ukraine into an investigation of Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
If Nunes or his Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy had a single shred of integrity, Nunes would be recused from the impeachment proceedings. Instead, he is there on behalf of Trump to try to derail the process.
A photo has emerged showing alleged Ukraine whistleblower Eric Ciaramella shaking hands with President Obama in the Oval Office.
The image, obtained by the Washington Examiner, was posted on a close friend’s wedding website one year after Ciaramella left President Trump’s White House.
In the photo, the then-Ukraine director on the National Security Council at the White House is shown smiling as he shakes the hand of Barack Obama in front of a portrait of Abraham Lincoln.
A person described by the Examiner as “a Republican close to the White House” cites the exchange as proof of Ciaramella’s deep state bias.
“This photo confirms that career intelligence and foreign service officials serving at the highest ranks of the Trump White House have their own agenda and their own policy viewpoints,” the source claimed.
A picture of the alleged Ukraine whistleblower shaking hands with @BarackObama has been unearthed.
“This picture raises serious questions about how this sham impeachment process started,” a senior Trump administration official said. https://t.co/5PwJbzzL62
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) November 20, 2019
Eric Ciaramella Whistleblower Motivation
“This picture raises serious questions about how this sham impeachment process started,” a senior Trump administration told the Examiner. “It’s no surprise that [Adam] Schiff has now changed his story about letting the falsely labeled whistleblower testify.”
While the image itself doesn’t specifically speak to Ciaramella’s motivation – the report notes that aides often got a “prized” photo with Obama he left office – his resume combined with the image certainly tells a story.
Ciaramella isn’t just a politically neutral, concerned citizen.
He is a career CIA officer and a registered Democrat who worked with former Vice President Joe Biden and former CIA Director John Brennan. He was Biden’s guest at a State Department banquet in October 2016.
A report by RealClearInvestigations notes that Ciaramella is “a vocal critic of Trump who helped initiate the Russia ‘collusion’ investigation of the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.”
JIM JORDAN NUKES SCHIFF ON LIVE TV
Jordan was asking about who was leaking national security information.
Schiff stops him to “protect the whistleblower”
Jordan to Schiff:
“You have said you don’t know who the whistleblower is – even though no one believes you.”
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) November 19, 2019
Why They’re Hiding Him
Since the impeachment inquiry got underway, Democrats led by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff have done everything in their power to conceal Ciaramella’s identity from the public.
This image is one example of why.
He is everything the resistance party is – melodramatic over mundane exchanges with foreign leaders, willing to promote obvious collusion hoaxes, unhinged and determined to undo an election, and now a clear Obama fanboy.
That is why they’ve tried hiding him from the public.
“The whistleblower statute protects the whistleblower from having his name revealed by the inspector general,” Senator Rand Paul recently explained. “Even The New York Times admits that no one else is under any legal obligation.”
Question: “The whistleblower laws protect the whistleblower. You know it’s illegal to out a whistleblower?”
— The Hill (@thehill) November 5, 2019
Thus, there is no legal obligation to protect Ciaramella. Making it clear that the only reason Schiff and the Democrats are trying to hide him is because a partisan anti-Trumper as your main impeachment witness is not a good look.
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