Here’s who has and hasn’t cooperated with House Democrats in the Trump impeachment inquiry — and why it matters
House Democrats have made their case for impeaching President Donald Trump with a wealth of testimony — first in public hearings by the House Intelligence Committee, then on December 4 with their House Judicial Committee witnesses. But journalist Orion Rummler, in an article for Axios, outlines who House Democrats have and haven’t had as witnesses — stressing why the ones who haven’t testified are important to the impeachment inquiry.
“One of the main Republican criticisms of the inquiry has been that many of the witnesses do not have first-hand knowledge of Trump’s decision-making and have relied on ‘hearsay’ evidence,” Rummler explains. “Many of those who would have that knowledge, however, have been blocked by the administration from testifying.”
The diplomats who have testified during the impeachment inquiry have ranged from Ambassador William Taylor to Ambassador Gordon Sondland (U.S. ambassador to the EU) to Marie Yovanovitch, who was forced out. And those who haven’t testified, Rummler notes, include such Trump allies as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani.
Rummler explains why those Trump allies are important, noting that Mulvaney “said at a press conference in October that Trump froze military aid until Ukraine agreed to investigate a conspiracy theory about the DNC server hacked by Russia in 2016” — and that Giuliani “said he kept Trump apprised of his efforts in Ukraine, and multiple witnesses believe that he spoke for the president when it came to Ukraine matters.” And Pompeo, according to Sondland’s testimony, was “in the loop” about efforts to force Ukraine to “pressure Ukraine to announce the investigations.”
Another person who hasn’t testified is former National Security Adviser John Bolton — who, Rummler observes, “told former Russia adviser Fiona Hill to alert White House lawyers about a possible Ukraine quid pro quo, calling it a ‘drug deal’ cooked up by Mulvaney, Rudy Giuliani and EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland.”
“House Democrats won a major victory last month when a federal judge rejected the White House’s claims that its aides are ‘absolutely immune’ from congressional subpoenas,” Rummler notes. “The case is being appealed, however, and Democrats have stated that they have no intention of allowing the Trump Administration to delay the impeachment process for months in court.”