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 all distractions’: CNN panel obliterates GOP for totally refusing to discuss Trump’s conduct
A CNN panel on Thursday obliterated House Republicans for once again completely ignoring the substance of allegations against President Donald Trump and instead throwing out numerous distractions intended to deflect attention from the president's actions.
"It's been distractions about the Bidens, it's been distractions about conspiracy theories about Ukraine's involvement in the election," said CNN legal analyst Carrie Cordero. "Yesterday, it was distractions about FISA and FISA so-called abuse. It was distractions from Congressman Gohmert reading calls from 1943! It's been all distractions and they won't wrestle with the actual conduct."
CNN’s Jake Tapper does line-by-line fact check of Jim Jordan’s nonstop misleading statements during impeachment hearing
Host Jake Tapper did a special web fact-check for CNN.com where he looked line-by-line into Rep. Jim Jordan's (R-OH) claims about the impeachment proceedings.
He had four specific talking points that were disingenuous and outright false.
1. Jordan: "There was no quid pro quo in the transcript"
There absolutely was evidence in the summary of the transcript. Tapper began by explaining that Americans still haven't seen the full transcript or a recording of the July 25 phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.
"If you read the summary of the transcript it clearly shows that after a discussion of U.S. military support for Ukraine, President Trump said the relationship is not 'reciprocal' and he asks Zelensky for 'a favor,'" Tapper said. "The favor? To investigate a conspiracy theory into the 2016 election and later in the call he says, 'one other thing,' he wants Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter."
‘I am not yielding!’ Rep. Pramila Jayapal shuts down Jim Jordan’s attempt to hijack impeachment hearing
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) stood her ground at an impeachment hearing on Thursday after Republicans tried to derail her arguments in favor of removing President Donald Trump.
Jayapal began her remarks by pointing out that Florida Republican Matt Gaetz was wrong to suggest that President Donald Trump was invested in Ukraine's fight against Russia.
"Why then did he decide he was so concerned about 'corruption' that he was not going to release military aid?" Jayapal said, prompting Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio to demand that she yield the floor.
"I am not yielding!" Jayapal exclaimed. "I am not yielding. I am not yielding."