Impeachment watch: State Department official details Rudy Giuliani's 'campaign of lies'

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The House Intelligence Committee released a transcript of its interview with State Department official George Kent, which is damaging to Trump.

The House Intelligence Committee on Thursday released yet another transcript from a closed-door deposition held as part of the impeachment inquiry, this time with George Kent, a deputy assistant secretary of state.

Kent described how Donald Trump "wanted nothing less than [Ukrainian] President [Volodomir] Zelensky to go to microphone and say investigations, Biden, and Clinton."

He also outlined Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani's "campaign of lies" against now former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, who Giuliani and Trump wanted to push out.

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Kent also said that acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney was a key figure in withholding security aid to Ukraine in an attempt to force the country to announce the politically motivated investigations Trump wanted.

Kent went on to say that he thought that request of the Ukrainian president was wrong because, "I don’t think that as a matter of policy the U.S. should do that period, because I have spent much of my career trying to improve the rule of law."

You can read the key portions of Kent's transcript here.

Here's what else is happening in impeachment news:

  • Two top Senate Republicans are trying to launch an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden in order to distract from the Trump impeachment inquiry. Their investigation, however, is baseless as the questions they are asking have already been answered and debunked.
  • Former national security adviser John Bolton did not show up for a closed-door deposition. Democrats refused to issue a subpoena, because Bolton said that he wouldn't honor it unless a federal judge told him he had to. Democrats said this will be added to the evidence that Trump is obstructing justice by preventing current and former government officials from testifying.
  • Democrats on Thursday released three questions they are using to determine whether a witness is relevant to the impeachment inquiry. Witnesses must have information pertaining to these questions, or else they will not be part of the hearings — an effort to keep Republicans from calling witnesses who do not pertain to the impeachment investigation in order to protect Trump. Lawmakers in the minority, a.k.a. Republicans, must submit their witness proposals by Saturday morning. The questions are, according to a letter from Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA):
    • "Did the President request that a foreign leader and government initiate investigations to benefit the President’s personal political interests in the United States, including an investigation related to the President’s political rival and potential opponent in the 2020 U.S. presidential election?"
    • "Did the President – directly or through agents – seek to use the power of the Office of the President and other instruments of the federal government in other ways to apply pressure on the head of state and government of Ukraine to advance the President’s personal political interests, including by leveraging an Oval Office meeting desired by the President of Ukraine or by withholding U.S. military assistance to Ukraine?"
    • And, "Did the President and his Administration seek to obstruct, suppress or cover up information to conceal from the Congress and the American people evidence about the President’s actions and conduct?"
  • Republicans want to call the whistleblower to testify in the public phase of the impeachment inquiry. Republicans have been trying to reveal the identity of the whistleblower in an effort to discredit the whistleblower's complaint. However, the complaint has been substantiated by multiple witnesses, to the point where the whistleblower is no longer even relevant to the investigation.
  • Republicans also want to install Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) — a top Trump defender on Capitol Hill who pushes debunked conspiracy theories to defend Trump — on the House Intelligence Committee, so that he can be a part of the public impeachment hearings.

Come back Monday for more impeachment news.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.