According to a new report from the Associated Press Thursday morning, a second “U.S. embassy staffer in Kyiv” is now known to have overheard President Trump’s phone call with ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland, where he discussed the need for Ukraine to move forward with “investigations.”
In the call, Sondland told Trump that the Ukrainians were ready to move forward on the investigations — that’s according to testimony this Wednesday from the acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, William B. Taylor Jr.
According to experts, the call was a clear breach of security.
“The security ramifications are insane — using an open cellphone to communicate with the president of the United States,” Larry Pfeiffer, a former senior director of the White House Situation Room and a former chief of staff to the CIA director, told The Washington Post. “In a country that is so wired with Russian intelligence, you can almost take it to the bank that the Russians were listening in on the call.”
In a tweet this Thursday, former Department of Defense special counsel and Harvard law professor Ryan Goodman said the implications don’t look good for Sondland.
"A second US embassy staffer in Kyiv overheard a key cellphone call" between Trump and Sondland "discussing the need for Ukrainian officials to pursue 'investigations.'"
Both staff named.
Difficult for Sondland to get out of this.https://t.co/RVbZ27SQZu
— Ryan Goodman (@rgoodlaw) November 14, 2019
“Difficult for Sondland to get out of this,” Goodman wrote.
Other weighed in as well:
2 State officials now saying they heard Sondland/Trump call about investigations on July 26. https://t.co/j0vrxIzgb1
Sondland testified he recalled a "brief discussion" with Trump before this visit, but said it was nonsubstantive and not about investigations pic.twitter.com/FG1LVsEtxY
— Andrew Prokop (@awprokop) November 14, 2019
FYI to Gordon Sondland, yes Bill Barr is currently AG, but the statute of limitations on false statements is five years. https://t.co/GCIl3IFI6c
— Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) November 14, 2019
The GOP is a suicide cult
Welcome to another edition of What Fresh Hell?, Raw Story’s roundup of news items that might have become controversies under another regime, but got buried – or were at least under-appreciated – due to the daily firehose of political pratfalls, unhinged tweet storms and other sundry embarrassments coming out of the current White House.
Back in March, we argued that Donald Trump had become the charismatic leader of the dumbest suicide cult ever. There were fewer than 500 confirmed cases of Covid-19 at the time, but it wasn't difficult to see the trajectory we were on at even that early date. At the time, we were commenting on the President's* repeated claims that the whole thing was a big hoax and polls showing that Democrats were twice as likely as Republicans to say they were taking steps to avoid becoming infected.
Trump has committed at least 11 disgraceful acts just since April: conservative
On Saturday, writing for The Washington Post, conservative columnist Max Boot outlined all of the chaos President Donald Trump has caused just in the last three months — arguing that "he has disgraced the nation’s highest office as no previous occupant has come close to doing."
"Think about all that has happened since April 5," wrote Boot. "That was before security forces attacked peaceful protesters in Lafayette Square so that Trump could stage a bizarre photo-op. Before he pushed to send the armed forces into the streets. Before he embraced 'white power' and called Black Lives Matter 'a symbol of hate.' Before he vowed to veto the defense authorization bill to prevent the renaming of military bases named after Confederate generals. Before he used the novel coronavirus as an excuse to shut down immigration and threatened to revoke the visas of college students unable to attend classes in the fall."
Republicans will ‘be punished harshly in November’ for ignoring Trump’s latest impeachable offense: columnist
In a column for Bloomberg, longtime political observer Jonathan Bernstein said there is not much more Donald Trump could do as president that would be more impeachable than his commutation of associate Roger Stone's sentence for lying for him -- and that Republicans who are either staying silent or cheering on the president will face the wrath of voters in November.
With only Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) taking the president to task for the commutation of the convicted felon's sentence in a tweet, labeling it, "Unprecedented, historic corruption: an American president commutes the sentence of a person convicted by a jury of lying to shield that very president,” Bernstein said other Republicans should expect to be judged by their silence on such flagrant corruption.