Quantcast
Connect with us

‘Hard to overstate’ how badly Taylor’s testimony damaged Trump: Ex-federal prosecutor

Published

on

On Wednesday, former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti wrote for Politico Magazine that the testimony of Ukraine envoy William Taylor was devastating for President Donald Trump — and that if he keeps trying to deny wrongdoing, it will only get worse and maybe even force Senate Republicans’ hand against him.

“It’s hard to overstate how much damage the testimony of Ukraine envoy William Taylor inflicted on President Donald Trump’s defense in the ongoing impeachment inquiry,” wrote Mariotti. “On its face, Taylor’s testimony Tuesday established the quid pro quo that Trump has denied for weeks. But more importantly, Taylor’s detailed notes of the ‘highly irregular’ policy-making that he witnessed over the summer provide a roadmap to future testimony that could be even more harmful. Republicans have already begun to retreat from their ‘no quid pro quo’ line, but they will have to keep retreating because Taylor has almost single-handedly decimated the few witnesses who have provided some testimony that is favorable to Trump.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“If I were one of the president’s lawyers, I would counsel him to admit the obvious — essentially to plead guilty and admit this was, in fact, a quid pro quo — and try and convince Congress and the public that it is not as bad as it looks,” added Mariotti. “In my experience, defendants who stubbornly try to deny the obvious in the face of overwhelming evidence rarely convince anyone.”

Taylor, noted Mariotti, was “crystal clear” that Trump’s Ukraine conduct was improper. “He testified that U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland — a hotel tycoon and major Trump donor — told him that Trump wanted to put Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky ‘in a public box’ by forcing him to make a public statement ordering investigations of Ukraine’s alleged role in the 2016 U.S. election as well as the gas company, Burisma, where Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, was a board member. ‘Everything,’ Taylor said he was told, was dependent on that public announcement.”

In addition to implicating Trump, Mariotti wrote, this testimony contradicts that of Sondland and former NATO Ambassador Kurt Volker, and also implicates Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, to whom Taylor wrote a cable warning of the Ukraine scheme on the advice of former National Security Adviser John Bolton.

“It is clear from Taylor’s testimony that more is to come,” wrote Mariotti. “A smart defense team would get ahead of this by admitting that there was a quid pro quo, falling back to the argument advanced by some on the right like Tucker Carlson — that the conduct was wrong but that impeachment is too severe of a remedy.”

“If Republicans quickly admitted what Trump did but insisted that they wanted the American people to decide Trump’s fate in December, they might reduce the damage and move past this episode, assuming they had the votes in the U.S. Senate to prevent conviction,” concluded Mariotti. “If Trump refuses to allow them to adopt that strategy, he becomes Republicans’ own worst enemy. Because if Taylor’s testimony is any guide, they will reach that point eventually, and the road getting there will be rocky for the administration.”

ADVERTISEMENT

You can read more here.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘A completely false narrative’: Defense secretary Epser snaps at CNN’s Tapper over firing of Navy captain and safety of sailors

Published

on

Defense Secretary Mark Esper was put on the hot seat on Sunday morning by CNN Jake Tapper over the firing of Captain Capt. Brett E. Crozier, who was relieved of duty helming the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt for writing a letter for expressing concern for his crew as the coronavirus began to spread.

Esper went out of his way to say that he backed acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly decision to relieve Crozier who was attempting to protect the 5,000 sailors under his command, saying, "First and foremost, we needed to take care of the sailors on the ship. Ensure their well-being and get that ship out to sea as soon as possible. I'm pleased to report, over half of the ship has been tested. 155 came up positive, those are mild to moderate, no hospitalization whatsoever. The crew is being taken care of. With regard to the relief of the captain, I think the acting secretary made a tough decision, a decision that I support. It was based on his view that he lost faith and confidence in the captain based on his actions. It's just another example of how we hold leaders accountable for actions."

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘A mockery of independence’: Trump to nominate White House lawyer to oversee $4.5 trillion coronavirus relief bill

Published

on

A late Friday announcement regarding President Donald Trump's nominee to oversee the implementation of the recently-passed $4.5 trillion coronavirus relief bill was regarded by government watchdogs as the president's latest attempt to protect the interests of powerful corporations while Americans are focused on the coronavirus pandemic.

The White House announced that Trump would nominate Brian D. Miller, a special assistant to the president and senior associate counsel in the White House Counsel office, to oversee the prevention of fraud and abuse in the relief program. The law includes minimal relief for the public and what progressives have derided as a $500 billion "slush fund" for corporations, allowing Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to "bail out any corporation he pleases, with almost no conditions," as Patriotic Millionaires chair Morris Pearl wrote last month.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Louisiana pastor grilled on CNN for plan to pack 27 buses full of worshipers and haul them to church during COVID-19 crisis

Published

on

A Louisiana pastor was put on the spot on Sunday morning by CNN's Victor Blackwell for his plan to load up his buses and haul worshipers to his planned Sunday service at a time when the highly-c0ntagious COVID-19 pandemic has claimed thousands of lives throughout the country.

Speaking with the CNN host, Life Tabernacle Church pastor Tony Spell said he was ignoring advice from local officials to not host the service because it would endanger the health of his followers.

Asked whether he planned to go forward despite warnings, the pastor replied, "This morning, yes, sir, 10:00 AM. We will actually run our buses. We have 27 buses that we cover in a 50-mile radius of our city. We bring people into the house of God, feed them natural food and spiritual food and then we go right back into our respective places. It takes us about eight hours to run into service on Sunday morning and then we come back in tonight."

Continue Reading
 
 
You need honest news coverage. Help us deliver it. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free.
close-image