David Holmes, a senior political officer at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, testified that Ukrainian officials “came to understand what was required” in order to get military assistance and a meeting with President Trump, the Washington Post reports.
“Several Republican lawmakers were more ‘shaken’ than they publicly let on by the testimony of a US official in Kiev who overheard a phone conversation between the US ambassador to the European Union and President Trump,” CNN reports.
“David Holmes — who will testify publicly as part of the House impeachment inquiry — said in closed-door testimony last week that US Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland had told Trump that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky ‘loves your ass’ and that Ukraine was going to move forward with the investigation Trump had asked Zelensky for a day earlier.”
“According to the GOP congressional source, that testimony led several GOP lawmakers to express frustration that Sondland would place a call to the President in a public restaurant, and are concerned that Holmes’ testimony was the most convincing argument for Trump’s direct involvement in the campaign to pressure Ukraine.”
“President Trump’s impromptu weekend visit to a doctor remained shrouded in secrecy Monday as he stayed away from the public eye and the White House dodged questions about his health,” the Washington Post reports.
“President Trump’s aides have explored moving some impeachment witnesses on loan to the White House from other agencies, such as Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, back to their home departments ahead of schedule,” CNN reports.
“As public hearings bring the officials’ allegations to his television screen, Trump is asking anew how witnesses such as Vindman and Ambassador Bill Taylor came to work for him, people familiar with the matter said. He has suggested again they be dismissed, even as advisers warn him firing them could be viewed as retaliation.”
“Senior Trump administration official Mina Chang resigned from her job at the State Department two and a half hours after NBC News went to her spokesperson to ask about newly discovered false claims she had made about her charity work,” NBC News reports.
The DNC and Politico are locked in an argument over the ideological credentials of a proposed moderator for next month’s Democratic debate, NBC News reports.
“Politico’s decision to push for Tim Alberta has rankled officials at the DNC… The reason: Alberta previously wrote for National Review, a conservative magazine, and has spent the bulk of his recent career chronicling the Republican Party.”
David Holmes, a U.S. official in Kiev who overheard a phone conversation between U.S. ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland and President Trump will testify publicly on Thursday as part of the House impeachment inquiry, CNN reports.
The addition of Holmes means nine individuals will testify publicly as witnesses in the House impeachment probe this week.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) suggested that the start of a Senate trial in the impeachment of President Trump would be pushed up against the beginning of the Democratic presidential primary season, NBC News reports.
Said McConnell: “Well, all I can tell you at this particular point is it looks to me like the House is going to be on this until Christmas.”
He added: “Then it comes over to the Senate, it displaces all other business, the chief justice of the United States is in the chair, senators are not allowed to speak, they have to sit there and listen, and I’m not sure how long it will go on.”
Greg Sargent: “John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, won reelection as governor of deep-red Louisiana on Saturday by a comfortable 40,000 votes — after President Trump had repeatedly campaigned for his Republican opponent. Worse for Trump, this came after he positively begged voters to support the Republican, casting it as a referendum on himself by saying: ‘You got to give me a big win, please.'”
“Yet Edwards won, in large part, by also stressing his implementation of the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion in the state during his first term. Indeed, Edwards’s lead pollster, Zac McCrary, told me during an interview that no single issue was more important in driving the governor’s victory.”
“All of which underscores an important truism about the Trump era, one often neglected by pundits: A key reason Democrats have been racking up wins in Trump country may be the president’s embrace of conventional GOP plutocratic economics.”
“More than 234,000 voters in Wisconsin would be made unable to cast their ballot unless they register again before the next election under a lawsuit filed Wednesday that liberals fear could dampen turnout among Democrats in the 2020 presidential race,” the AP reports.
“The lawsuit could affect how many voters are able to cast ballots in both the April presidential primary and November 2020 general election in Wisconsin, a key swing state that both sides are targeting.”
Speaker Nancy Pelosi released a “Dear Colleague” letter defending the impeachment inquiry amid President Trump’s repeated attacks.
Key takeaway: “The facts are uncontested: that the President abused his power for his own personal, political benefit, at the expense of our national security interests.”
“There are also some who say that no serious wrongdoing was committed, because the military assistance to Ukraine was eventually released. The fact is, the aid was only released after the whistleblower exposed the truth of the President’s extortion and bribery, and the House launched a formal investigation.”
Also important: “The weak response to these hearings has been, ‘Let the election decide.’ That dangerous position only adds to the urgency of our action, because the President is jeopardizing the integrity of the 2020 elections.”
A new Quinnipiac poll in South Carolina finds Joe Biden leading Democrats with 33%, followed by Elizabeth Warren at 13%, Bernie Sanders at 11%, Pete Buttigieg at 6%, Tom Steyer at 5%, Andrew Yang at 4%, Kamala Harris at 3% and Cory Booker at 2%.
No other candidate tops 1%, and 18% of likely voters are undecided.
Echelon Insights looked at U.S. registered voter support in a hypothetical multi-party democracy.
Here’s what it might look like:
- 28% Labor (working class center-left)
- 21% Conservative (traditional-right, pre-Trump)
- 19% Nationalist (basically Trump)
- 12% “Acela Party” (socially liberal, globalist, fiscally centrist)
- 10% Green (basically AOC)
This poll is only open to Political Wire members.
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A new University of Northern Florida poll in South Carolina finds Joe Biden leading the Democratic field with 36%, followed by Bernie Sanders at 10%, Elizabeth Warren at 10%, Tom Steyer at 8%, Kamala Harris at 4%, Pete Buttigieg at 3% and Cory Booker at 2%.
“When President Trump’s advisers suggested that Beijing resume buying around $20 billion in American farm products as part of a trade deal, Mr. Trump wasn’t satisfied. In a dramatic public retelling in the Cabinet Room, he said he pressed his team to more than triple that figure, then trimmed that a little and asked for up to $50 billion in annual purchases,” the New York Times reports.
“Mr. Trump has brought his characteristic love of show business to trade talks with China, injecting public drama into typically staid proceedings.”
“But more than a year and a half into the biggest trade war in modern history, Mr. Trump’s approach has not yet produced the grand finale he hoped for. Instead, the president’s cliffhanger tactics appear to have made it even harder to bring complex trade talks to a close and exacerbated economic uncertainty across the globe.”
A progressive nonprofit funded mainly by Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer is investing $45 million as part of a youth voter turnout campaign ahead of the 2020 election, The Hill reports.
“The Supreme Court on Monday issued an administrative stay blocking House Democrats’ subpoena for President Trump’s tax returns until both sides can file the necessary legal papers,” Axios reports.
“The lower court order compelling Trump’s longtime accounting firm Mazars USA to turn over the president’s financial records will be delayed until the Supreme Court decides whether to take up Trump’s appeal.”