Former federal prosecutor Elie Honig on Wednesday succinctly laid out all the damning evidence that’s been piling up against President Donald Trump during the House impeachment inquiry, and how it all adds up to bad news for the White House.
At the start of the segment, Honig showed how Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in and of itself showed major abuse of power by the president.
“Donald Trump talks about the United States ‘has been very, very good to Ukraine, I wouldn’t say it’s reciprocal necessary,'” Honig began. “What he’s saying is we do a lot for you, you don’t really do a lot for us… then Trump explains what favors he wants. One is an investigation into this Crowdstrike, which is this wacky conspiracy theory about the DNC server. The second thing he wants, he says, ‘The other thing is there is a lot of talk about Biden’s son, Hunter Biden.”
While that alone may have been grounds for impeachment, Honig then added all the evidence piling up about the United States conditioning military aid on Ukraine’s willingness to launch investigations into the Bidens. In particular, he pointed to the testimonies of ambassador Bill Taylor and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who both allege the White House engaged in a quid-pro-quo to force the Ukrainian government’s hand.
“Vindman’s testimony is so important because he tells us the same two things were in play here, the president wanted an investigation of the 2016 election and the Bidens,” he said. “The thing that’s so important about Vindman is he is the first witness who actually listened to that July 25th call when it happened.”
Watch the video below.
Republicans have ‘very little ground to stand on’ to attack Taylor and Kent: Ex-FBI deputy director
On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time," former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe broke down why it was all but impossible for Republicans to attack the credibility of diplomats William Taylor and George Kent during their impeachment testimony before the House Intelligence Committee.
"They have very little ground to stand on to attack these gentlemen," said McCabe. "Particularly in the case of Taylor, he is backed up assiduously by a contemporaneous record. He's got his handwritten notes and he's got the texts messages that he sent the time. So when he tells you, I was shocked by what I heard on the phone call, you know that's true because at the time, he sent a contemporaneous text."
White House is happy GOP lawmakers said Trump is too incompetent to do a quid pro quo: CNN’s Jim Acosta
On Tuesday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta reported that the White House is happy with how Republicans defended President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill — even though their central talking point was that the president tried to engage in a quid pro quo with Ukraine but failed.
"The White House officials that responded back to the president said that they thought he had a great day when it comes to this hearing up on Capitol Hill," said Acosta. "They don't see any damage done to the president after this first day of testimony."
"I will tell you, though, Anderson, the talking points are shifting," added Acosta. "White House officials I spoke to this evening said that they were pleasantly surprised by the performance turned in by some of these GOP lawmakers who were essentially saying, well, this was an attempted quid pro quo, it wasn't a quid pro quo, so, therefore, it's not impeachable. So, Anderson, their talking points have shifted once again. They've gone from saying there was no quid pro quo to, well, an attempted quid pro quo isn't that bad after all."
Southern District prosecutors watched impeachment hearing to decide whether to charge Giuliani: CNN reporter
The first publicly televised impeachment hearing was aired to millions of people on Tuesday. But it wasn't just citizens who were watching, suggested justice correspondent Evan Perez on CNN's "The Situation Room" — it was federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York, who are currently investigating President Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
"Both of [the witnesses], Kent and Taylor, they weighed in on the role of Rudy Giuliani in all this diplomacy," said anchor Wolf Blitzer. "What do you think?"
"Look, I think that's the key part of his testimony," said Perez. "I think we want to hear more from some of the other witnesses, including Ambassador Yovanovitch, and certainly Gordon Sondland, this is part of the story, the story Democrats are laying out for the impeachment inquiry. There is also another part of this, Wolf. I think the prosecutors in the Southern District of New York ... are watching this testimony today, no doubt, and trying to see whether it fits into the criminal investigation still ongoing in which Giuliani is the center of."