It’s clear the morning testimony didn’t go as well as Republicans had wanted. The concern was evident on the face of House Minority Leader Devin Nunes (R-CA), who exchanged glances with the GOP counsel.
Republican Scott Jennings is quick to defend the White House and the GOP, but Wednesday even he was forced to concede his party wasn’t prepared for what EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland testified.
CNN host John King noted that the Republican counsel brought up Rudy Giuliani and his business relationships in Ukraine, outside of his work for President Donald Trump.
“Watch that for the beginning of an effort to say, ‘This was Rudy Giuliani not the president,'” King predicted.
Jennings agreed, saying, “there’s nowhere else to go” with the president’s defense.
“I mean, Sondland is dropping him in. The president clearly won’t want to take responsibility for it,” Jennings continued. “Rudy’s not coming to the committee as I understand so he’s not going to show up and refute it.”
After the huge panel began talking over themselves, Jennings cut in again, saying the Republicans need “something here.”
“Obviously Sondland has come in — Nunes, by the way, was caught, totally flat-footed by his opening statement,” Jennings said.
CNN host Jake Tapper said that it was clear Nunes thought Sondland was there to help the GOP. Clearly, that did not turn out to be the case.
“They were caught flat-footed this morning,” Jennings agreed. “They need to have something now. And the only possible way to do this — do what they should have done a month ago; and that’s to say, ‘Having Giuliani in the middle of this at the beginning was galactically bad judgment and a dumb idea. That’s not impeachable.'”
Former federal prosecutor and legal analyst Laura Coates explained that even with Giuliani as the fall-guy, there is no way to refute that the president abused the power of his office.
Watch the full clip below:
Trump slammed for lawless obstruction of Congress: ‘He’s taken a sledgehammer to the Constitution’
On CNN Saturday, former Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman (D-NY), who voted for the articles of impeachment against President Richard Nixon, discussed the path forward for impeaching President Donald Trump.
"We know moderate Democrats are a bit frustrated with leadership over potentially expanding the scope of their consideration, maybe the Mueller report findings and drawing up these articles of impeachment," said anchor Victor Blackwell. "Do you think it's a mistake not to include anything beyond the Ukraine matter?"
"Yes," said Holtzman. "I think it would be a mistake, although, you know, I'm still at a distance, and the members of the committee really have to, who have been digging into this deeply have the best feel, but my sense is that the, what the president did is so egregious, not just with regard to Ukraine, but what part of what's bad about his activities in Ukraine, is that he's taken a sledgehammer to the Constitution by saying that Congress has no right to get information, and he's cut off his committee, his administration from, and ordered and directed them not to cooperate with the committee in any way."
Giuliani pummeled by ex-press secretary for ‘returning to the scene of the crime’ to create Ukraine chaos
On CNN Saturday, Rudy Giuliani's former mayoral press secretary Ken Frydman harshly criticized his former boss for his ongoing efforts in the Ukraine scheme.
"As you've watched the former mayor over the last several years, have you identified a point at which things shifted for the man who I guess still is for some known at America's Mayor?" asked anchor Victor Blackwell."
"Well, yeah. I think when he went into business with Donald Trump," said Frydman. "You saw a — a severe change in his personality. He had a zealous need to make money, to be relevant. To be part of the political process. And you know right now he's making, I think, ill-advised decisions, like returning to the scene of the crime, Ukraine, to make a propagandist documentary. Almost as if he's playing, he and the president, are playing, 'catch me if you can.' The president will not participate in the impeachment hearings, and Rudy is off in the Ukraine doubling down."
‘I haven’t had a personal cell phone for years’: Trump demands retraction from CNN — in tweet sent from his iPhone
On Thursday, The Washington Post reported that President Donald Trump had spoken to Rudy Giuliani over unsecured phone lines.
If he was using an unsecured phone to talk to Giuliani about Ukraine, Trump would effectively be allowing the Russians to listen in.
CNN confirmed the unsecured phone use, reporting "President Donald Trump has continued to use his personal cell phone to make calls, despite repeated warnings from his staff that the practice could leave him vulnerable to foreign surveillance, multiple officials told CNN."