Neil Katyal, former DOJ Solicitor General, writes in the Washington Post this morning that Parnas’s evidence dump constitutes the exact type of evidence that Trump desperately wanted to avoid. It is surely the evidence that Trump and McConnell knew existed and thus tried to speed through a trial with a motion to dismiss or no witnesses. But with the evidence out, Trump may be left without a defense in the days prior to trial. As we discussed yesterday, and as this new reality sets across the country, the evidence is more damning than we had imagined.
Now, momentum will build and even more damning evidence will come out. Below is a picture of the key players – who knew that Robert Hyde was a key player in this scandal?
No no, it…. it can't be… Hyde with thumbs up and cigars with Giuliani, Parnas, Fruman…. can it?
I am shooketh!
— JΞSŦΞR ✪ ΔCŦUΔL³³º¹ (@th3j35t3r) January 15, 2020
Robert Hyde did himself no favors yesterday, and will prove to be a major problem for Trump. Hyde just authenticated each text, surely by accident:
So we’ve got confirmation the texts are authentic. That’s step one. https://t.co/o3FvS3Wlyi
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) January 15, 2020
We now know the answer as to why Trump went to such lengths to block every single document and witness from testifying. The release of anything would likely affirm that a massive operation was under way, one that seems to have spiraled out of Trump’s control, and yet one for which he bears all responsibility.
The new documents released Tuesday evening by the House Intelligence Committee were devastating to Trump’s continuing — if shifting — defense of his Ukraine extortion scandal, just days before his impeachment trial is likely to begin in the Senate,” the two lawyers wrote. “These new documents demolish at least three key defenses to which Trump and his allies have been clinging.”
They do a lot more than demolish all three defenses, they bring up an entirely new issue. What was the underlying purpose of surveilling Ambassador Yovanovitch? Why are there discussions about Ukraine associates wanting to know about the money coming or not, a price?
But we will go along with shattering three defenses for now.
For starters, they prove that Trump’s already-eyebrow-raising claim to have been fighting corruption in Ukraine was bogus. Notes taken by Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas — now facing federal criminal charges — show what his and Giuliani’s mission was when they got in touch with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky: ‘get Zalensky [sic] to Announce that the Biden case will Be Investigated.’”
True. And don’t think that this one doesn’t matter because we all knew it was contrived to suit Trump. Trump’s followers actually believed it, and still believe it, but they will have an increasingly difficult time especially as witnesses get called.
Second, Katyal states that the evidence shows just how critical it will be to have those witnesses, witnesses like Parnas and ultimately, perhaps even Rudy Giuliani, or Robert Hyde. I am not sure that this issue was ever in doubt, but the justification is far more compelling now. We need to get to the bottom of the surveillance and threats to Ambassador Yovanovitch.
Third, the documents prove that Trump blocked all evidence because it did nothing but prove his guilt. It had nothing to do with official U.S. policy, or protecting the office.
Every week, it becomes clearer why Trump has withheld documents from Congress, blocked executive branch officials and even private citizens from testifying before Congress, and overall, well, obstructed Congress, as the second article of impeachment rightly describes it. It’s because Trump is a man with something to hide. Let’s see what else he’s hiding — in front of the Senate next week, in a good, old-fashioned American trial for all to see.”
Yes, we knew all this, but it is far far more damning after this ugly evidence hit the surface. Moreover, all this evidence directly links Trump to the entire scheme. Trump at one point tried to dump it on Rudy, stating that Rudy had a lot of other clients, and Rudy might be participating in some business deal. Rudy might have been participating in some other deals but this was the deal driving the others and it is worse than we had thought.
I am increasingly convinced that Trump will not survive the impeachment process. This is not the end of the evidence dump. More will now come through relating to Parnas’s stuff for the sole reason that there are extremely ugly questions left hanging, and Republicans have no room to hide anymore in pushing a sham trial through.
I suspect more evidence will come out about the surveillance of Yovanovitch because the allegation is just so explosive. A president putting a fully empowered U.S. ambassador at such great risk that she had to rush out of a country because she was no longer safe? It would be the most serious political crime ever committed by a president. It is shocking, Trump at his most vile and most dangerous. It reveals Trump for who he is, a man who will stop at nothing to get what he wants, just like his friends Putin and MBS. If Democrats were smart, they would start tying Trump now to the criminals he calls friends on the world stage.
McConnell just now took questions. He looks noticeably smaller, and less confident. He stated that “both sides” will now likely want to call witnesses. He is backpedaling. He tried to avoid witnesses from day one, and now acts like it was his plan all along.
The problem for the White House and McConnell is that the witnesses Democrats will call will totally wipeout any accusations against the Bidens. Indeed, the Democrats would call witnesses proving that Trump wasn’t the least bit interested in Ukrainian corruption or Biden corruption, except to destroy Biden politically. Why threaten Yovanovitch if you simply want to fight Ukrainian corruption, or want a real investigation into the Bidens?
Keep a very close eye on the news breaking out. Sometime in the next two weeks, Trump’s fate will be set. At no point had I ever thought that Trump would be removed, unless there was an avalanche of new evidence. I always believed it was entirely possible that far more damaging evidence would surface, I just thought that it might well be after the trial. Now, it will be part of the accusations against Trump.
It appears that avalanche has arrived. It is burying Trump and his defenses.
As a total aside, this new evidence will do nothing but further assure that witnesses like Bolton cannot hide what happened. They will have one shot at getting it out accurately, or they will likely be charged themselves at some point.
firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @MiciakZoom