Archive for the ‘Foreign Policy’ Category

This weekend, John Bolton teamed with Sen. Schumer by saying that President Trump “told his national security adviser in August that he wanted to continue freezing $391 million in security assistance to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats including the Bidens.”

This isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. The overwhelming evidence disproves Ambassador Bolton’s accusation. First, the transcript shows that aid wasn’t discussed during the call. Next, President Trump and President Zelenskiy talked about investigating Hunter Biden. Third, Lt. Col. Vindman testified that the transcript of the July 25th phone call was “essentially accurate.” Fourth, Ambassador Sondland admitted under cross-examination from Rep. Mike Turner that he just presumed that there was a quid pro quo:

It’s understandable that Ambassador Bolton would make this statement. He wants to sell lots of books. Selling out President Trump is a great way of generating that interest. It’s understandable why Sen. Schumer believes, at least publicly, that Bolton is telling the truth. He wants to force the calling of witnesses.

Mostly, Sen. Schumer wants to force some Republican senators into a difficult vote. He wants to pressure them as much as possible because he wants to be the majority leader. Also, he wants to keep 3 of his senators — Klobuchar, Sanders and Warren — off the campaign trail, especially Sanders. If people can’t see that the DNC is trying to rig the election against Sen. Sanders, then they’re blind as a bat.

The NYTimes article reads mostly like a gossip column, which is what Bolton’s book is likely to be. That isn’t unique to Mr. Bolton. Books written by DC insiders frequently are about gossip. It’s usually portrayed as giving readers an inside look into an administration.

Sen. Schumer knows that the transcript is the most accurate information on what President Trump’s policies were. Multiple people on the call said it’s accurate. Nowhere did President Trump connect lethal military supplies with investigations. Ambassador Sondland verified that there wasn’t a connection. At what point does this information reach a tipping point?

At what point should common sense and verified proof overtake gossip? At what point should we tell Mr. Bolton to leave the stage and tell him he should peddle his gossip elsewhere?

UPDATE: President Trump has weighed in on the Bolton manuscript:

Julian Zelizer’s dishonesty is disgustingly displayed in this article when he writes “Dershowitz was repeating a line of argument that we’ve heard before from Trump’s staunchest defenders. Presidential power is so total and so complete, the argument goes, that there is almost nothing that Trump could do to warrant impeachment.” That isn’t the argument that Professor Dershowitz is making. In fact, it isn’t even close.

In the Trump legal team’s initial filing, which I wrote about here, Pat Cipollone and Jay Sekulow noted that “the Supreme Court has recognized, the President’s constitutional authority to protect the confidentiality of Executive Branch information is at its apex in the field of foreign relations and national security.

The Trump legal team’s initial filing is 7 pages long. It doesn’t take much time to read through that filing, especially compared with reading through the 111 pages of word salad in the House Democrats’ initial filing. It’s difficult to picture Zelizer not reading through both filings. Perhaps he didn’t but, if he didn’t, then that’s sloppy journalism.

The argument that Professor Dershowitz is making is that impeachable offenses must be “Treason, Bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” In this interview, Professor Dershowitz gives insight into what his responsibility will be:

This is sloppy, too:

To be sure, Dershowitz’s outlook is rooted in a growing body of work that took hold in conservative circles since the 1980s about expansive executive power. A number of prominent right-wing legal practitioners and scholars, including Attorney General William Barr, subscribed to the notion that the powers of the president are bold, almost total. They rejected the direction of Watergate-era congressional reforms, such as the War Powers Act, that sought to constrain the president.

According to the Constitution, Congress has the affirmative responsibility of declaring war. The Constitution also gives the Senate the responsibility of ratifying treaties. Ratification requires “two thirds of the Senators present concur” with treaties negotiated by the President. The other responsibility that Congress has with regards to foreign policy is the power of the purse.

Congress doesn’t have the authority to prosecute wars or execute foreign policy. That’s the Executive Branch’s responsibility. Period. Full stop. Imagine how utterly dysfunctional foreign policy would be if we had 536 commanders-in-chief.

Conservatives have also supported President Trump by employing the “unitary executive” theory, arguing that the President has broad powers over the executive branch. This was the argument Barr used before becoming attorney general to defend Trump’s firing of former FBI Director James Comey.

The current administration has taken these arguments even further to justify the brazen actions of Trump with regards to Ukraine and the obstruction of Congress. Defenders such as Dershowitz have gone so far in their arguments that they have tried to essentially nullify any constitutional provisions that we have to make certain that presidents are held accountable.

Instead of a system of checks and balances, the logic of their claims imply the founders wanted a chief executive without restraint. This country was founded on the revolt against a monarchy — now Trump’s defenders are trying to argue for more of the same.

That final paragraph is intellectually sloppy. The men who debated, then wrote the Constitution, wanted a congress that essentially passed the budget and set naturalization laws. These men understood the importance of a single commander-in-chief for prosecuting wars and a chief executive officer who negotiated treaties. That doesn’t mean that Congress is voiceless in these decisions.

That being said, Congress shouldn’t use the power of the purse to stop a war without a very good reason that’s supported by virtually the entire nation. Once war is declared, it should be controlled by the Executive Branch barring historic corruption.

Last night’s Democrat presidential debate got stupid fast when the moderators changed the subject to Iran. Democrats didn’t attempt to abandon the DNC’s talking points. From there, things went downhill fast.

Amy Klobuchar and Joe Biden stood out but not in a good way. Sen. Klobuchar said “Because of the actions of Donald Trump, we are in a situation where Iran is starting to enrich uranium again in violation of the original agreement. What I would do is negotiate. I would bring people together just as president Obama did years ago. And I think that we can get this done. But you have to have a president that sees this as a number one goal. I would not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon.”

First, it’s stupid to negotiate if the country you’re negotiating with isn’t feeling pain or is frightened of you. When John Kerry negotiated with Iran, Iran wasn’t worried about whether their people would overthrow the regime. The product was an agreement that was so weak that the Obama administration wouldn’t submit it as a treaty for ratification. The agreement was so terrible that most Democrats opposed it.

Next, President Trump’s taking out of Gen. Soleimani triggered an uprising against the Regime, with 5 straight nights of protests against the regime. With Iran’s economy collapsing, unemployment skyrocketing, inflation hitting 50% and students having lots of time to protest, there’s reason for Iran’s regime to worry about getting overthrown.

Third, Sen. Klobuchar should pay attention to events. Yesterday, Boris Johnson announced that the British, French and Germans had taken the first step in dragging Iran back into compliance with the JCPOA:

Britain, France and Germany on Tuesday formally accused Iran of breaking the 2015 agreement that limited its nuclear program, taking the first step toward re-imposing United Nations sanctions.

The European countries started the clock running on what could be some 60 days of negotiations with Iran about coming back into full compliance with the nuclear deal. Under the agreement, if they cannot resolve their dispute, that could revive United Nations sanctions on Iran that had been suspended under the deal, including an arms embargo.

Call me crazy but I’d argue that President Trump’s strategy is working beautifully. Biden sounded almost as incoherent:

“I was part of that deal. It was working,” he said. “It was being held tightly. There was no movement on the part of the Iranian government to get closer to a nuclear weapon. And look what’s happened. We’re now isolated,” he continued. “We’re in a situation where our allies in Europe are making a comparison between the United States and Iran saying both ought to stand down, making a moral equivalence. We have lost our standing in the region; we have lost the support of our allies.

“The next president has to be able to pull those folks back together, reestablish our alliances and insist that Iran go back into the agreement, which I believe with the pressure applied as we put on before we can get done. And quite frankly, I think he’s flat out lied about saying the reason he went after [Soleimani] was because our embassies were about to be bombed,” Biden added.

That’s breathtakingly uninformed, which is dangerous for us. Biden being this uninformed gives credence to his nickname of Sleepy Joe. We can’t afford a president who isn’t paying attention to the world around him.

It’s either that Biden is uninformed or he’s unwilling to admit that President Trump’s strategy is well thought out and working. This information about the British, French and Germans accusing Iran of breaking the JCPOA didn’t happen right before last night’s debate. It was announced during Tuesday morning’s BBC Breakfast Show. That should’ve been part of these candidates’ morning briefing.

In short, the Democrats’ presidential candidates couldn’t admit that a) President Trump’s strategy is working and b) US allies are joining us in increasing pressure on the Iranian regime. This is what the Democrats’ stupidity towards Iran looks like:

God help us if any of these idiots becomes our next commander-in-chief.

Let’s remember Democrat politicians and the Media Wing of the Democratic Party insisting that President Trump’s airstrike against Maj. Gen. Soleimani would provoke World War 3. Democrats like Speaker Pelosi and Sen. Schumer called the attack reckless, a rash decision and part of a pattern that proved President Trump wasn’t fit for office. The Democrat mouthpieces at CNN and MSNBC, along with John Kerry, insisted that Iran would strike back.

There was a missile strike a couple days after the US took out Maj. Gen. Soleimani, then the world’s most dangerous terrorist. Reportedly, 16 missiles were shot off from Iran, with 4 never making it out of Iran, another targeting Erbil and the rest falling short of the al-Asad military base. Since then, the Iranian military has been silent with the exception of taking out a civilian flight, killing 176 people.

What these politicians haven’t talked about is the fact talked about is the fact that President Trump’s maximum pressure campaign, composed mostly of crippling sanctions, is working. This article highlights what’s happening inside Iran:

Crippling sanctions imposed by the Trump administration have severed Iran’s access to international markets, decimating the economy, which is now contracting at an alarming 9.5 percent annual rate, the International Monetary Fund estimated. Oil exports were effectively zero in December, according to Oxford Economics, as the sanctions have prevented sales, even though smugglers have transported unknown volumes.

On Tuesday, pressure intensified as Britain, France and Germany served notice that they would formally trigger negotiations with Iran toward forcing it back into compliance with a 2015 nuclear deal, a step that could ultimately lead to the imposition of United Nations sanctions.

If France, Britain and Germany join with the US in the sanctions, that will hurt the mullahs even more. The maximum pressure strategy would bit into Iran’s already weakened economy. The worst part for Iran is that that’s just part of the mullahs’ problems. Here’s another pile of headaches for the regime:

Inflation is running near 40 percent, assailing consumers with sharply rising prices for food and other basic necessities. More than one in four young Iranians is jobless, with college graduates especially short of work, according to the World Bank.

The Iranian people aren’t stupid. They know that the government isn’t meeting their needs. The Iranian people can’t help but notice that they live in a nation of haves and have nots. That can’t last long. Iran’s situation will hit a tipping point, most likely sooner rather than later.

Last week, Democrats pointed to the huge crowds attending the Soleimani as proof that Iranians loved the mullahs. Since then, that narrative hasn’t just collapsed. It’s been shattered into tiny bits. This article highlights how repressive regimes control the media to the point of turning them into propaganda factories.

The article starts by saying “At least two Iranian journalists at a state-owned media outlet reportedly resigned from their jobs, and another left a while back, apologizing for ‘the 13 years I told you lies‘ to her supporters as Tehran grapples with the fallout from protests stemming from a cover-up of its accidental downing of a Ukrainian airliner.”

The article continues:

Gelare Jabbari posted an apology on an Instagram that appears to have been deleted. “It was very hard for me to believe that our people have been killed,” the post read, according to The Guardian. “Forgive me that I got to know this late. And forgive me for the 13 years I told you lies.”

Nazee Moinian joined in with the chorus:

“The Iranian protesters have had enough of this. They don’t want less. They don’t want more. They want out,” Moinian said. “They don’t want this regime to represent them. Actually, this regime doesn’t represent the people.

Last week, Democrats blamed President Trump for bringing down the Ukrainian jetliner:

Tulsi Gabbard is supposedly one of the sensible presidential candidates on the Democrats’ side. The above video disproves that foolishness. This foolishness isn’t just confined to the Democrats’ presidential candidates. It’s found in the Democrats serving on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, aka HPSCI. Jackie Speier is a member of that committee. Here’s what she told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer:

President Trump’s “provocative actions”? What the hell is she talking about? President Trump gave the order to kill the nastiest terrorist in the world. When the time was right, that order was fulfilled. The day that killing the world’s nastiest terrorist is considered a provocative action is a frightening day. That’s the day that Democrats will have shown that they’re utterly spineless.

There is a possibility that Iran will attack the US for killing Gen. Soleimani. It isn’t likely but it’s possible. Democrats apparently make military decisions based on what longshot possibilities might happen. They act like the US military isn’t the best in the world. Democrats apparently think that diplomacy that isn’t backed up by the legitimate possibility of military retribution is the right path to peace and harmony in the Middle East. We know that because that’s the path they’ve taken in the recent past.

Like most Americans, I don’t want the US military tied up in endless wars. That doesn’t mean, though, that I want the bad actors in the world to think that we’re a nation of pacifists, either. Coupling a devastating set of sanctions that’s brought Iran’s terrorist activities to a halt with a well-timed military strike against a man that Iran thought was untouchable has Iran on the brink of a tipping point. The previous administration never got close to this point with Iran.

When it comes to dovish presidential candidates, this year’s Democrats look more like 1972 than any other bunch of dovish Democrats. Kim Strassel’s article highlights just how leftist this year’s Democrat frontrunners are. Let’s start with Bernie Sanders’ dovishness.

Strassel writes “Voters now know that a President Bernie Sanders would not take action against Iran or other rogue regimes, no matter how many red lines they cross. Mr. Sanders will take no step that might bring us anywhere closer to ‘another disastrous war’ or cost ‘more dollars and more deaths.'” Honestly, I’m not certain Bernie would have any red lines. Thankfully, we won’t have to worry about that since he doesn’t stand a chance of winning the general election. That being said, he’s got a decent shot at winning the Democrats’ presidential nomination.

Then there’s Elizabeth Warren:

A President Elizabeth Warren would similarly offer a pass to leaders of U.S.-designated terrorist groups, at least if they have an official title. The Trump strike, she said, amounted to the “assassination” of “a government official, a high-ranking military official.”

Richard Nixon was right when he said that “the world is a terrible neighborhood to live in.” Anyone that thinks that these Democrats are prepared to be commander-in-chief is kidding themselves. People this dovish aren’t prepared for the harsh responsibilities of making difficult decisions on a moment’s notice. This interview is proof that Elizabeth Warren isn’t bright enough to be commander-in-chief:

Anyone that thinks that the US isn’t safer as a result of killing Maj. Gen. Soleimani doesn’t pass the commander-in-chief test. Sen. Warren thinks we aren’t safer now than we were 3 years ago. Right after 9/11, we were told that killing terrorists created more terrorists. After the US took out the Taliban and things settled down a little bit, we were told that the Arab street respected “the strong horse.” It’s time to stop thinking that these Democrats have a clue about national security/terrorism. They don’t. They’re idiots. The guy in the White House is the only person currently running that I’d trust with these matters. Trusting Bernie, Biden, Buttigieg or Warren with national security, terrorism or foreign policy is foolish.

John Kerry’s op-ed might get mistaken as the rantings of a lunatic. It wouldn’t get mistaken as the craftsmanship of a highly respected former US Secretary of State. Then again, Secretary Kerry wasn’t a highly respected secretary of state at any point in his life.

Secretary Kerry’s op-ed starts with “President Trump says that on his watch, Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon. But if he had wanted to keep that promise, he should have left the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement in place. Instead, he pulled the United States out of the deal and pursued a reckless foreign policy that has put us on a path to armed conflict with Iran.”

The JCPOA, which stands for Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action, never would’ve prevented Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. The best possible outcome was to delay Iran’s legal acquisition of a nuclear weapon. What’s worse is that Secretary Kerry agreed to sanctions relief for the Iranian theocracy without them even signing the JCPOA. That’s a fact because Iran still hasn’t signed the document.

Another fatal flaw of the negotiations is that it was such a worthless agreement that President Obama refused to submit it as a treaty. Some of President Obama’s staunchest supporters in the Senate refused to approve the deal.

Further, Kerry lied when he said that President Trump “pursued a reckless foreign policy that has put us on a path to armed conflict with Iran.” Killing Gen. Soleimani took the US off a path to war with Iran. Iran has been making one provocative action after another to provoke the US into war. President Trump hasn’t taken Iran’s bait.

This moment was nothing if not foreseeable the moment Mr. Trump abandoned the 2015 agreement, which was working, and chose instead to isolate us from our allies, narrow our options in the region and slam shut the door to tackling additional issues with Iran through constructive diplomacy.

By putting new, tough, sanctions in place against the theocracy, President Trump is drying up the funds Iran has traditionally used to fund its proxies like Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthis in Yemen. The predictable thing is Kerry lying about the JCPOA. It’s one of the worst agreements in US diplomatic history. Here’s where Kerry gives it away that the JCPOA is worthless:

Diplomacy had achieved what sanctions alone had not: Iran couldn’t have a nuclear weapon during the life span of the agreement; and if it cheated, the world was resolved to stop it.

Then there’s this:

In 2013, I sat down with Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, for the first meeting between our countries’ top diplomats since the 1979 revolution and hostage crisis. Iran at the time had enough enriched material for eight to 10 nuclear bombs and was two to three months from being able to build one.

In other words, Kerry negotiated a deal that gave Iran immediate sanctions relief, pallets that contained $1.7 billion in cash and time to build, then test, nuclear weapons and the delivery systems to use them. Other than that, Iran was neutralized.

What did we turn over to President-elect Trump in 2017? Iran was in compliance with the nuclear agreement. Our allies were united with the United States.

What Mr. Kerry omits is that Iran had sanctions relief that poured $150,000,000,000 (that’s $150 billion> dollars) into revitalizing Iran’s terrorist proxies around the region and around the globe. Thinking that nuclear weapons is all that Iran is interested in is foolish.

That’s what a fool looks like.

Newt Gingrich’s op-ed studies the differences between President Trump and Joe Biden. Speaker Gingrich opens the op-ed by saying “I recently received a fundraising email from former Vice President Joe Biden that captured the profound difference in the approach to foreign policy between Democrats and President Trump. Biden wrote: ‘Did you see the video of our friends and allies in London this week? World leaders were LAUGHING at the President of the United States, after he once again embarrassed himself and tarnished the reputation of the United States at a summit.'”

These world leaders were laughing at the fact that President Trump is the most transparent world leader. Trudeau apparently isn’t aware of President Trump’s habit of answering reporters’ questions, whether it’s on his way to Marine One, during Cabinet meetings, wherever he happens to be. But I digress.

In this setting, the untold story is how successful President Trump has been at getting NATO members to increase their defense spending. That this is a major achievement can be seen from the fact that Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama tried to get NATO members to increase their defense spending and both presidents failed. Trump has succeeded.

Biden is essentially a pacifist. He didn’t speak out when John Kerry negotiated the worst nuclear treaty in history. Biden think twice about negotiating a path to nuclear weapons for Iran. That France, Germany and other pacifist countries approve of the US behavior during the Obama administration isn’t an accomplishment. Remember that the Obama administration gained approval for shipping blankets and MREs to Ukraine during their hot war with Russia.

President Trump has started fixing Europe’s corruption issues while strengthening NATO. Obama-Biden weakened the Middle East by ignoring ISIS, letting Syria use chemical weapons and giving Iran a path to nuclear weapons. If Biden thinks that’s a legacy to be proud of, then he’s an idiot.

You don’t have to take my word for the scale of the Trump impact on NATO. Here is what NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg (a Norwegian) said about the American impact at a news conference with President Trump:

“Let me thank you for the leadership you show on the issue of defense spending because it is very important that we all contribute more to our shared security, and it is really having an impact because, as you said, allies are now spending more on defense,” Stoltenberg told Trump. “So we see some real money and some real results. And we see that the clear message from President Donald Trump is having an impact.”

The Obama-Biden administration didn’t force this type of positive change. Their trademark was pacifism. Strategic patience was their byword. That’s code for ‘let’s do nothing.’ They were foreign policy failures.

Democrats aren’t interested in bipartisanship when it comes to impeachment. Democrats don’t even care if their hearings take pot shots at teenage kids. Democrats don’t even care if they don’t have evidence that proves their charges. In the Democrats’ minds, they know that President Trump is evil and must be impeached and convicted. In the Democrats’ minds, they don’t need proof to impeach. They just need fanciful theories that support the Democrats’ bloodlust to impeach and convict President Trump. In this case, the fanciful theories that Democrats are relying on are found in the Findings of Facts section of the Schiff Report.

For instance, Finding of Fact #IV says “President Trump ordered the suspension of $391 million in vital military assistance urgently needed by Ukraine, a strategic partner, to resist Russian aggression. Because the aid was appropriated by Congress, on a bipartisan basis, and signed into law by the President, its expenditure was required by law. Acting directly and through his subordinates within the U.S. government, the President withheld from Ukraine this military assistance without any legitimate foreign policy, national security, or anti-corruption justification. The President did so despite the longstanding bipartisan support of Congress, uniform support across federal departments and agencies for the provision to Ukraine of the military assistance, and his obligations under the Impoundment Control Act.”

Saying that “the President withheld from Ukraine this military assistance without any legitimate foreign policy, national security or anti-corruption justification” isn’t proof. That’s opinion. The Constitution gives the President the authority to conduct foreign policy. Monies appropriated by Congress and signed by the President must be spent by the end of the fiscal year. In the case of the Ukraine appropriation, the money was sent to Ukraine with time to spare.

Saying that President Trump withheld aid from Ukraine without legitimate “anti-corruption justification” requires Democrats to look past the fact that, at the time, Ukraine was rated the third-most corrupt nation on the planet. Further, the NDAA required certification that Ukraine had met the anti-corruption standards.

Chairman Schiff didn’t mention that this happened with Pakistan, the Northern Triangle countries of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador and from the nation of Lebanon. Why? Here’s Representative John Ratcliffe inquiring with State Department Undersecretary David Hale how often aid was withheld within the past year:

There goes that Schiff theory. Here’s another example of Democrat theory dressed up as proof:

In furtherance of this scheme, President Trump—directly and acting through his agents within and outside the U.S. government—sought to pressure and induce Ukraine’s newly-elected president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to publicly announce unfounded investigations that would benefit President Trump’s personal political interests and reelection effort. To advance his personal political objectives, President Trump encouraged the President of Ukraine to work with his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani.

Schiff’s Democrats don’t have proof of this accusation. In fact, the only proof in either direction comes from President Zelenskiy. He’s said twice that he was never pressured. This is third-hand testimony presented by Bill Taylor. It’s from one of the participants in the call. It isn’t surprising that Democrats have ignored President Zelenskiy’s statements that contradict their impeachment storyline. That’s what Democrats consistently do with exculpatory evidence. Either that or these Democrats insist that it’s just another discredited conspiracy theory.

It’s nothing of the sort. It’s an oft-repeated statement from Ukraine’s president. He was one of 2 people on the call. He knows what was said. He knows whether lethal military aid was tied to anything. That’s proof that would be admitted into any court in the United States. The Democrats’ hearsay testimony (like we heard from Bill Taylor) isn’t admissible anywhere in the United States.

The Democrats apparently want to become the first politicians to impeach a sitting president while using hearsay testimony. That isn’t just an abuse of political power. It’s corruption personified. If the same 232 Democrats vote to impeach President Trump who voted to open the inquiry, the American people will administer a punishment that will be studied for decades.

Jonathan Allen’s article is either proof of his stupidity or his corruption. After 5 days of hearings and 5 days of biased headlines, it’s difficult not to chalk it up to outright corruption. For the foreseeable future, the MSM won’t get the benefit of the doubt from conservatives.

According to Allen’s article, “a string of current and former administration officials collectively described for the House Intelligence Committee over the last two weeks how the president directed a concerted effort to aid his own re-election efforts at the expense of U.S. national security interests.” What Allen omits is the fact that these testifiers got demolished on cross-examination. This is a perfect example of the Democrats’ star witness getting demolished:

Jim Jordan grilled Ambassador Taylor without being nasty. He simply got Taylor to admit that Taylor testified as to what he’d heard. Jordan replied that that’s what the problem was. Taylor testified as to what he’d heard. In this instance, it’s what Taylor heard third-hand. That’s what happened to the Democrats’ star witness on the first day of public testimony.

Mike Turner’s cross-examination of Gordon Sondland was pretty aggressive:

Rep. Turner questioned Ambassador Sondland:

Turner: No one on this planet told you that this aid was tied to investigations. Yes or no?”
Sondland: “Yes.”

Turner, who called Sondland’s testimony “somewhat circular,” questioned the ambassador’s assertion that “everyone was in the loop.” “If Giuliani didn’t give you any expressed statement, then it can’t be that you believed this [about the connection between investigations and aid] from Giuliani,” Turner said. “Is that your testimony today, Amb. Sondland? That you have evidence that Donald Trump tied the investigations to aid because I don’t think you’re saying that.”

Sondland said he was “presuming” that is what Trump meant.

“The way it was expressed to me was that the Ukrainians had a long history of committing to things privately and then never following through, so President Trump presumably, again communicated through Mr. Giuliani, wanted the Ukrainians on record publicly that they were going to do these investigations. That’s the reason that was given to me,” Sondland said.

In Taylor’s instance, he’d spoken 3 times with President Zelenskiy in a short period of time. In none of those instances did attach conditionality to the lethal military aid. In Sondland’s instance, he called President Trump directly to ask what he wanted with regard to the aid. President Trump said “I don’t want anything. No quid pro quo. I just want him to do what he campaigned on.”

Yesterday, David Holmes testified that it was his “clear impression” that the lethal military aid was tied to President Zelenskiy starting an investigation of Burisma. Burisma is the corrupt natural gas company that Hunter Biden got a no-show job with that paid him $50,000-$83,000 a month. That investigation didn’t happen. So much for clear impressions.

Gregg Jarrett’s article highlights the fatal flaw with the testifiers’ testimony:

These hearings have revealed a common and consistent thread. None of the witnesses have provided any direct evidence that President Trump committed an impeachable act. Instead, they have offered an endless stream of hearsay, opinion and speculation.

Of all of the people who testified, only Sondland had talked directly with President Trump.

Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, who testified on Day Two of the hearings, was fired months before the July 25th Trump-Zelenskiy phone call. That caused Devin Nunes to question why she was even there. Lt. Col. Vindman “testified that he felt ‘concerned’ about Trump’s conversation with Zelenskiy.”

The American people aren’t fooled. The TV viewership started off mediocre, then went downhill after that. President Trump’s approval rating went up. He’s now ahead of the Democrats’ top 4 candidates in Wisconsin. The momentum has switched.

If Democrats were smart, they’d put down their shovels and stop digging. That isn’t what’s likely to happen, though.