This post will be updated with relevant information on Wednesday November 13th 2019:
15:32 – Rep. Mike Quigley (D) claims hearsay evidence can be more reliable than direct evidence?!
Can you believe this insanity? “Heresay can be much better evidence than DIRECT EVIDENCE” according to Democrat Mike Quigley. Are you fricken kidding me? 3rd and 4th party info better than hearing it yourself? pic.twitter.com/K8WVcPhv7v
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) November 13, 2019
15:30 – The media is all in a tizzy about the “BOMBSHELL” news William Taylor dropped about someone on his staff who eavesdropped on a Trump-Sondland call. Read more here.
P.S. This is the apparent eavesdropper: David Holmes from the U.S. embassy in Kiev:
14:46 – Rep. Castro attempts to portray Ukrainian President Zelenskyy as “desperate”, and therefore create a narrative that President Trump somehow extorted or bribed him, or attempted to. Taylor said, “He was interested” [in obtaining U.S. support] and refused to use the word “desperate” to characterize Zelenskyy.
14:40 – Eric Swalwell attempted to get William Taylor to weigh in politically on the involvement of the President. Taylor backed off the question, simply stating that he was there to say what he knew. Swalwell, or “Salwell” as Taylor called him, looked neutered at not getting a hard response to implicate President Trump.
14:13 – WATCH Jim Jordan chop up Ambassador Taylor’s testimony:
Listen to @Jim_Jordan review the unbelievable amount of hearsay these allegations are based on. Spread it far and wide.
This is what Washington Democrats are impeaching on? Seriously? pic.twitter.com/4LS8r31lCj
— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) November 13, 2019
13:48 – Jim Jordan just tore Taylor’s reliability in half.
“You’re their star witness, but you weren’t on the call, everything you’ve said is second & third hand”, said Jordan.
Taylor responded: “I don’t consider my self a star witness”, to which Jordan quipped, “They do” while pointing at Democrats.
Chairman Adam Schiff looked very uncomfortable while Amb. Taylor couldn’t help but laugh.
13:32 – CNN calls Ukrainian involvement in anti-Trump meddling circa 2016 a “debunked theory” despite the then-Ukrainian ambassador openly writing an op-ed before the election calling candidate Trump’s foreign policy credentials into question.
As Raheem Kassam noted on the War Room: Impeachment podcast (Episode 24), “In August 2016 Valeriy Chaly, the Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States, authored an op-ed in The Hill newspaper – that’s a U.S. newspaper – talking about why President Trump shouldn’t become the President of the United States. That is a foreign country intervening in the 2016 election. This is very important.”
“Later that month, the Financial Times published an article saying that President Trump’s candidacy led ‘Kyiv’s wider political leadership to do something they would have never attempted before: intervene, however indirectly, in a U.S. election.’”
“In January 2017, a Politico article by current-New York Times reporter Ken Vogel detailed…: ‘Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton’s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisors, a Politico investigation found.‘”
“The Politico article detailed how a Democrat operative “traded information and leads” with staff at the Ukrainian embassy and how the Ukrainian embassy ‘worked directly with reporters researching Trump…’”
13:12 – Republican counsel Steve Castor is putting Kent and Taylor on the spot about Hunter Biden and Joe Biden’s links to Ukraine. The pair look incredibly uncomfortable and are repeatedly refusing to be drawn on specifics. They claim they have “no knowledge” of the Vice President’s son being involved in a major Ukrainian company despite claiming to be two of the leading experts on the country.
12:55PM – Chairman Schiff intervenes to lead the witness (Taylor) after a question by minority counsel. There followed a small spat involving rules between Rep. Nunes, Chairman Schiff, and Rep. Ratcliffe.
12:50PM – Amb. Taylor says he does not know if Ukrainians were alarmed by Obama telling then-Russian President Medvedev that he would have “more flexibility” on foreign policy matters after the 2012 election, but that he does know Ukrainians were alarmed by President Trump’s concerns over the status of Crimea ahead of the 2016 elections.
12:49PM – Rep Nunes is walking through the Ukrainian government intervention in the 2016 election, as spelled out in the GOP memo distributed on Tuesday morning.
12:40PM – After a brief recess the committee is returning. In the break, Rep. Mark Meadows chopped it up with reporters as livestreamed by CBS News. You can rewind and watch here.
12:20PM – Daniel Goldman, the Democrats’ impeachment counsel, is best known for his warm embrace of the Russia collusion hoax. The Federalist reports:
Last December, Goldman endorsed discredited conspiracy theories from Christopher Steele, a former British spy who was funded by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee to work with foreign governments to spread dirt about Trump in order to influence voters in the 2016 presidential elections. In December, Goldman claimed that a debunked allegation that former Trump attorney Michael Cohen had traveled to Prague in August of 2016 to secretly plot with Kremlin officials had been corroborated. He also claimed, long after the Steele dossier had been debunked, that “nothing had been undermined” in the dossier.
As an MSNBC contributor, Goldman also falsely claimed during the nomination and confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh that Christine Blasey Ford’s rape accusations against Kavanaugh had been corroborated.
“[S]ome corroboration already does exist,” Goldman wrote in October of 2018.
Prior to joining MSNBC, Goldman worked as an assistant U.S. attorney in New York under federal prosecutor Preet Bharara, an anti-Trump partisan and former Democratic Senate staffer who Trump fired in March of 2017.
12:19PM – Matt Gaetz has a point. These bureaucrats alongside the Democrats care more about Ukraine’s border than America’s:
Democrats want to impeach Trump for not securing Ukraine's border.
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) November 13, 2019
12:11PM – William Taylor admits all he can give as testimony is what he has “heard” from others. He had no direct involvement or knowledge of any of the things the Democrats are claiming he is an expert about:
11:56AM – The committee has reportedly scheduled two new depositions this morning. One for David Holmes, the Taylor aide (presumably the one who “overheard” the alleged Sondland-Trump call (for Friday) and then also Mark Sandy, an official at the Office of Management and Budget, on Saturday.
11:50AM – This clip will likely form the basis of a Republican push back against the “quid pro quo” narrative. George Kent admits here that “there are and always have been conditionality placed on our sovereign loan guarantees for Ukraine. Conditions include anti-corruption reforms, as well as meeting larger stability goals and social safety nets.”
— Gregg Jarrett (@GreggJarrett) November 13, 2019
11:35AM – The sum total of William Taylor’s new evidence is that he learned last Friday that a staff member of his “overheard” a phone call between Ambassador Sondland and President Trump, wherein President Trump discussed the “investigations” with Ambassador Sondland.
It perhaps stretches credulity that a phone call like that – on a cell phone – could be overheard with such clarity. It also stretches credulity that said staffer would not have let William Taylor know of this before his private testimony two weeks ago.
Furthermore, what is the protocol behind the President and an Ambassador having a phone conversation about foreign policy on a cell phone in front of State Department staffers?
Doesn’t stack up…
11:34AM – George Kent says he raised concerns about Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden’s involvement with Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company which was paying up to $80,000 a month to the then-Vice President’s son:
Not good for the Democrats' narrative:
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) November 13, 2019
11:31AM – Wait, how does this work?
Schiff says he doesn't know the identity of the whistleblower, despite his staff being in contact with the whistleblower.
Ok, but if he doesn't know the identity, how can he as the Intel Chairman stop the whistleblower being named?
And how is the name being redacted in docs?
— Raheem Kassam (@RaheemKassam) November 13, 2019
11:30AM – Pseudo-conservative talking head Rick Wilson wants the bureaucratic class to run U.S. foreign policy, rather than the people’s elected officials:
It's almost as if…and bear with me…that guys like George Kent know more about our interests in Ukraine than a bunch of conspiracy-addled clown show opportunists allied with mobbed-up gangsters desperate to cover Trump's ample ass.
— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) November 13, 2019
11:28AM – Rep. Stefanik (R-NY) puts the boot into Chairman Schiff:
Adam Schiff was initially adamant about the whistleblower testifying – until it became public that he and his staff coordinated with the whistleblower. Now he refuses to answer any questions about this coordination. https://t.co/vFDskw4OlA
— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) November 13, 2019
11:20AM – One new piece of information from Bill Taylor’s testimony. More “hearsay” or rather, “overheard” conversations:
NEW from Taylor’s opening testimony: He says he heard from his staff that on July 26, Sondland called Trump in front of Taylor’s staff, who could hear Trump asking Sondland about “the investigations.” Sondland told Trump the Ukrainians were ready to move forward. pic.twitter.com/ypxuhAp51A
— Rebecca Ballhaus (@rebeccaballhaus) November 13, 2019
11:16AM – Taylor admitted during his private testimony that his source of information regarding Rudy Giuliani and Ukraine was the New York Times, not official channels:
As Taylor testifies about the goal of requesting investigations into 2016 election interference and Burisma, keep in mind that Taylor admitted to me during his deposition that his ONLY basis of that information is that he read it in The NY Times. pic.twitter.com/V5n2H6NaYd
— Lee Zeldin (@RepLeeZeldin) November 13, 2019
11:15AM – Opening statements from Taylor and Kent are disseminated in print in the room in the U.S. Capitol:
11:14AM – Neither Ambassador Taylor nor George Kent were on the “infamous” call between Trump and Zelenskyy:
Friendly reminder that neither Taylor nor Kent were on the call.
— Jason Miller (@JasonMillerinDC) November 13, 2019
11:03AM – The two witnesses are outlining how the problems they had with the Trump administration appear to be nothing more than a policy dispute:
“The United States has clear national interests at stake in Ukraine. Ukraine’s success is very much in our national interest,” said George Kent.
“Ukraine is a strategic partner of the United States, important for the security of our country as well as Europe. Ukraine is on the front line in the conflict with a newly aggressive Russia,” said Bill Taylor.
11:02AM – Rep. Andy Biggs reminds his followers that Bill Taylor’s testimony is opinion, not fact:
🚨🚨🚨 Bill Taylor: "I am appearing today to give my perspective…."
Definition of perspective: "a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view."
The American people are hearing OPINIONS today.
🚨🚨🚨 Do. Not. Be. Fooled. pic.twitter.com/yP1d98Ifjy
— Rep Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) November 13, 2019
11:01AM – Rep. Matt Gaetz chimes in:
This “impeachment” is sounding a lot more like a proxy war with Russia than an abuse of power by the President.
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) November 13, 2019
11:00AM – Amb Bill Taylor is reiterating points from his private testimony about how he was reluctant to take up the position of Charges d’Affairs in Ukraine especially if U.S. policy would change from what he considered the best course of action.
10:48AM – CNN reports that diplomat George Kent said that “over the course of 2018 and 2019” he became “increasingly aware” of an effort by Rudy Giuliani and his associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman to “smear” Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch.
10:45AM – George Kent’s opening statement establishes clear foreign policy differences between career bureaucrats and the Trump administration