Wednesday's impeachment inquiry looks at the only voice Trump actually heard on Ukraine: Rudy Giuliani
If the day goes as planned—meaning Matt Gaetz doesn’t stage a Brooks Brothers riot and Jim Jordan doesn’t feel this would be an excellent time to reduce the depositions to a shouting match—Wednesday will bring testimony in the impeach inquiry from two officials. The first of those is former special adviser for Ukraine Christopher Anderson. And the top of Anderson’s testimony is expected to be the one point on which everyone who has testified so far really, genuinely agrees: Rudy Giuliani’s involvement in Ukraine generated endless problems.
Kurt Volker, Gordon Sondland, William Taylor, Fiona Hill, Alexander Vindman—it doesn’t matter whether they were in the State Department or on the National Security Council, a Trump appointee or a career official, no one, but no one, has good things to say about Giuliani. In fact, just about the only person who hasn’t spent time in testimony complaining about Trump’s personal attorney is the one who directly lost her job because of Giuliani’s actions—former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. Yovanovitch doesn’t have a complaint because Giuliani never bothered to actually talk to her.
As CNN notes, Giuliani was presenting himself to Ukraine as “filling the role once occupied by former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort” in acting as a bridge between Ukrainian officials and Trump. The price for Giuliani’s services was either providing Trump with political dirt he could throw at Democrats or providing Giuliani with business he could take to the bank.
In a sense, every day of the impeachment inquiry has been Giuliani Day, because there’s yet to be a hearing in which someone didn’t have something to say about how his interference was warping foreign policy. But Wednesday seems to be even more Giuliani-focused, as Anderson, who helped prepare three “deliverables” that the White House wanted to see from Ukraine that were phrased in unassailable, high-level terms like a "commitment to reform” and “pursuing anti-corruption,” talks about how Giuliani continued to undercut diplomatic efforts, pass along negative information about Ukraine to Trump, and generally make progress impossible.
Anderson is expected to testify that Giuliani was a key roadblock to improving the relationship between the U.S. and Ukraine and that Trump listened to Giuliani even when experts were contradicting the information coming from his personal attorney. And that Giuliani was “persistent in his calls for Ukraine to open an investigation into the Bidens,” despite Ukraine’s desperate need for strategic assistance.
Following Anderson’s appearance, Catherine Croft, who replaced him as special adviser in 2019, is expected to pick up the story.