Trump's obstruction attempts fail as aides line up to testify in impeachment probe

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Current and former staffers have defied White House orders to ignore investigators, and have backed up the whistleblower's initial complaint and then some.

Donald Trump's intent to obstruct congressional investigators is failing spectacularly, as one by one both current and former aides are agreeing to testify in the House impeachment probe.

Each witness has backed up the initial whistleblower complaint about Trump's corrupt desire to force the Ukrainian government to investigate his potential 2020 Democratic rival Joe Biden. And they've provided context and other details that are damaging to Trump, including that Trump, along with his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, were trying to pressure Ukraine to investigate Biden and pushing aside staffers who tried to impede that corrupt effort.

Thursday brought even worse news for Trump, as Gordon Sondland — a major Trump donor turned ambassador to the European Union — plans to testify to House investigators that Trump was indeed demanding Ukrainian officials open an investigation into Biden if he wanted Trump to meet with them.

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"I knew that a public embrace of anti-corruption reforms by Ukraine was one of the pre-conditions for securing a White House meeting with President Zelenskiy," Sondland will tell investigators in prepared remarks.

Sondland's testimony gives congressional investigators evidence of a distinct quid pro quo, the red line some congressional Republicans drew in the sand to justify not impeaching Trump.

Of course, many Republicans have changed their spin in recent days to attack the process of impeachment rather than the details. Others, such as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, have just blatantly lied about the facts as they try and protect Trump.

Aside from Sondland, other current and former aides have also testified there were many people in the White House and other Cabinet agencies that were deeply disturbed by Trump's behavior and went so far as to go to White House lawyers to report the conduct.

Former national security adviser John Bolton, who recently resigned from the administration, called the effort to force Ukraine to investigate Biden a "drug deal."

Ultimately, it seems Republicans are resigned to the fact that Trump will be impeached.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is prepping to hold an impeachment trial in the Senate, though Republicans voting to convict and remove Trump is still unlikely.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.