It is no wonder that Donald Trump was so out of it in Wisconsin Tuesday night that he didn’t even know what day it was, because the Lev Parnas document dump drove all thought of anything other than impeachment from his already beleaguered and overtaxed excuse for a mind. So while he was raving about Tom Cruise flying jets or broken toilets, what was really bothering him is that the jig was finally and inexorably up. He may get acquitted in the Senate, as conventional wisdom decrees, but he is not going to come out smelling like a rose. At least, not according to Obama’s former solicitor general, Neal Katyal, and his DOJ colleague Joshua Geltzer, who lay it all out succinctly in an op/ed in the Washington Post:
Quid pro quos were in abundance in Ukraine. Not only the “give me an announcement, I give you your aid” quid pro quo, but one a lot scarier was going on, “give me Joe Biden’s head on a platter, I’ll give you Marie Yovanovitch’s.” Two bit thugs were actually stalking Ambassador Marie Yovanovich. Trump implores us to “read the transcript.” Let’s do so: the transcript shows Trump saying about Yovanovich, “she’s going to go through some things.” Yeah, being told by the State Department to leave immediately because she was in danger is going through some things, I would venture to say.
Texts from Giuliani cronies, just released by House, are incredibly disturbing.
One text discusses unsavory characters in Ukraine willing to "help" with Yovanovitch for "a price"
A few weeks later Yovanovitch was told to leave immediately over concerns about her safety pic.twitter.com/kh00CMXFW0
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) January 14, 2020
Who knows how far these goons were willing to take the matter? i shudder to think that an assassination plot may have been hatched, but given what we know about the character of Yuri Lutsenko, the corrupt prosecutor who was deposed when Zelensky was elected, who detested Yovanovich and who got the ball rolling with Parnas to have the ambassador removed, it’s not out of the question. Yovanovich herself said that there were plans to “do things” to people, including herself. And of course Donald Trump had no problem whatsoever firing Yovanovich in exchange for Lutsenko’s agreement to give him non-existent “dirt” on Joe Biden. So, yes, Tuesday’s care package to Congress from Lev Parnas unscrewed the few hinges that Trump has left.
The Republicans are going to try their usual both sider bullshit to save the day. Rand Paul is already making noise about subpoenaing Joe Biden, but I suspect, after Black Tuesday, that that dog won’t hunt. There has been a seismic shift in the impeachment paradigm. The Republicans know it, and that’s why they’re trying to shut down press coverage at the trial and do damage control. It will be interesting to see what the polls for this week show. Last week they were showing 46% in favor of removing Trump from office. It’s hard to see that number going anywhere but up.