Leon Panetta, who served as Secretary of Defense under former President Barack Obama, said on Tuesday that the actions described by Trump European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland were clearly impeachable offenses.
Shortly after CNN’s Manu Raju read excerpts from Sondland’s congressional testimony — in which he agreed it was “fair” to say that a face-to-face meeting between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was conditioned upon agreeing to investigate the company formerly employed the son of former Vice President Joe Biden — Panetta tore into the Trump White House for extorting a foreign government.
“That is the clear definition of bribery,” he said. “And it’s a clear definition of what constitutes a violation of the president’s oath. So this is just additional evidence that when you look at the testimony, when you look at the facts here, it basically supports a charge against the president that he was deliberately misusing his office of the presidency.”
Panetta went on to say that this behavior is serious enough that every American should be concerned about it.
“My hope is that both Democrats and Republicans recognize the seriousness of what they’re involved with,” he said.
Watch the video below.
‘It’s just a lie’: CNN’s Tapper nails Trump for blatant falsehood about John Bolton testimony
CNN's Jake Tapper on Monday nailed President Donald Trump for blatantly lying about the potential impeachment trial testimony of former national security adviser John Bolton.
Tapper specifically rebutted an earlier tweet from Trump in which he falsely claimed the House Democrats never even bothered asking Bolton to testify during their impeachment inquiry last year.
"The idea that the house of representatives never even asked John Bolton to testify is just a lie," he said. "It's false."
Tapper then displayed the exact letter that House Democrats sent to Bolton requesting his testimony at their hearings.
Adam Schiff: GOP senators should allow Bolton to testify or face the music when his book comes out
Appearing on CNN's "New Day," Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) -- who is leading the impeachment prosecution of Donald Trump on the Senate floor -- said Republicans can now either agree to let former national security adviser John Bolton to testify about the president's Ukraine scandal or face the wrath of voters when the former White House aide's book comes out.
Late Sunday the New York Times reported, "President Trump directly tied the withholding of almost $400 million in American security aid to investigations that he sought from Ukrainian officials, according to an unpublished manuscript of a book that John R. Bolton, Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, wrote about his time in the White House."
CNN’s Avlon mocks Republicans after their victory lap talking points were ‘shredded’ by Bolton’s book
On Monday, CNN fact-checker John Avlon noted that former National Security Adviser John Bolton's book has blown up the talking points Republicans in Congress were using to paint the arguments in the Senate trial as a victory for President Donald Trump.
"After the defense team's arguments opened on Saturday, Republicans greeted cameras with talking points at the ready," said Avlon, playing clips of Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) both saying that White House lawyers "shredded" the case made by impeachment managers, as well as displaying a tweet from Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) that also used the word "shredded."