Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) asked undersecretary of State for Political Affairs David Holmes about his statement that he told several people about his concerns with President Donald Trump’s call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. Ambassador Bill Taylor did not testify that he spoke to Holmes about the call.
Jordan then went on to cite all conversations that Taylor mentioned, to illustrate that Taylor never mentioned Holmes and question whether Holmes was lying.
“May I answer the question?” Holmes asked.
“I’ll get to you in a second,” Jordan said, and the audience laughed.
“He can’t remember a call he had with a guy he works with every single day!” Jordan screamed into the microphone. “Why?”
“Yes, sir, so, immediately when I went back to the embassy after this lunch on the 26th I told my direct supervisor I would have told Ambassador Taylor immediately except he was on the front lines that afternoon,” said Holmes. “I then went on as they testified my vacation on Saturday. I came back the following Monday and on Tuesday I was back in the ambassador’s office where I refer to the call in that week plus that I was away.”
He explained that he assumed the deputy chief would have informed other people about the specifics on the call while he was out of the office.
“So, my recollection is when I did refer to the call in that meeting that Ambassador Taylor nodded knowingly as though he had been briefed on it. So, I referred to the call and I mentioned some of my takeaways from the call,” Holmes continued. “And at the time, the main take away from the call was that the president doesn’t care about Ukraine. So, we’re going to have a tough road ahead to convince him that it’s important enough to schedule an Oval Office meeting for President Zelensky and ultimately to release this hold on security assistance.”
Jordan attempted to interject, but Holmes stressed he had one more key point.
“Throughout this time, as I testified, we were trying to find a formula — things we could do with Ukrainians that would convince the president that they were worth talking to,” Holmes went on.
Jordan cut in to say that the takeaway from Taylor could have been that it wasn’t a big deal and he didn’t remember because the summary of the call was already out.
“No, I had –” Holmes began to say but was interrupted by Jordan again.
“We had the Trump/Zelensky transcript had been out for two months,” Jordan went on, yelling.
“Sir, I believe that when I –” Holmes again attempted to clarify.
“If you’re repeatedly bringing this conversation up to everybody any time there is a talk about Ukraine, you recall this conversation, maybe it was the transcript, the call happened on the July 25th, that’s four months ago,” Jordan shouted. “The transcript had been out for two months. Maybe the ambassador thought there is nothing new here. But, shazam, last week you come forward with supposedly this new information and nothing different in there than what we had on the transcript. Maybe that’s the reason their star witness, their first witness didn’t bring it up. But you’re their closing witness because you overheard the president talking to Ambassador Sondland.”
“Sir, I see four seconds left on the clock,” Holmes said trying to speak quickly.
“You may take as long as you need,” Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) interjected.
“Thank you, sir. I believe that Ambassador Taylor did already knew when I briefed him when I returned from vacation on the 6th,” Holmes continued. “It was not news for him that the president was pressing for a Biden investigation.”
“That’s not what I asked!” Jordan cut in again. “I asked why he didn’t share with us.”
“Mr. Jordan, please do not interrupt the witness anymore,” Schiff admonished the Congressman. “Mr. Holmes, the gentleman’s time has expired but yours has not. You can answer the question.”
Holmes uncomfortable laughed along with some in the audience.
“OK, it’s exactly my point,” he continued. “I briefed the call in detail with the deputy chief, we waited a week, I come back, I referred to the call and everyone is nodding, ‘of course that’s what’s going on. Of course, the president is pressing for a Biden investigation before he’ll do these things the Ukrainians want.’ There was a nodding agreement. No, because everyone by that point agreed. It was obvious what the president was pressing for. And Ambassador Taylor, as you outlined –”
Jordan cut in again: “But he didn’t share it with us.”
“Mr. Jordan, please do not interrupt,” Schiff admonished again.
“But sir, my vivid recollection of an event that I was involved with was a touchstone experience to me, validated –”
“And,” Jordan tried to cut in again.
“Mr. Jordan, please,” Schiff said back.
“Validated what we believed,” Holmes closed.
Watch the full video of the exchange below:
BUSTED: Devin Nunes is hiding how he’s paying for all his frivolous lawsuits — which could land him in more trouble
On Saturday, the Fresno Bee dived into a lingering question: How does Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) pay for all the lawsuits he is filing against journalists, satirists, and political critics?
"Nunes, R-Tulare, has filed lawsuits against Twitter, anonymous social media users known as Devin Nunes' Cow and Devin Nunes' Mom, a Republican political strategist, media companies, journalists, progressive watchdog groups, a political research firm that worked for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign and a retired farmer in Nunes’ own district," noted the Bee.
These lawsuits were mainly filed in Virginia — a state with very loose laws against so-called "SLAPP suits," or meritless lawsuits intended to drown people in legal expenses in retaliation for expressing political opinions. Nunes was assisted in these suits by Steven Biss, a Virginia attorney, and yet except for the suit against the retired farmer, there is no clear record in Nunes' FEC reports of how he paid for the suits.
Trump brings up Brett Kavanaugh in rage tweet at Democrats about coming impeachment trial
On Saturday, President Donald Trump brought up Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in a bizarre rant against the "Radical Left, Do Nothing Dems" and his anger over the direction of the impeachment process:
After watching the disgraceful way that a wonderful man, @BrettKavanaugh, was treated by the Democrats, and now seeing first hand how these same Radical Left, Do Nothing Dems are treating the whole Impeachment Hoax, I understand why so many Dems are voting Republican!
McConnell’s impeachment collusion admission handed the Democrats a powerful new weapon to damage the president
Mitch McConnell's admission on Fox News that he is working behind the scenes with the White House to stack the Senate impeachment trial gives Democrats a potent weapon against the GOP, wrote Greg Sargent and Paul Waldman in the Washington Post.
"If Democrats play their procedural cards right, they can pressure Republicans to allow for a much fairer and more open trial that could actually produce new revelations — and if they refuse, extract a political price for it," they wrote.