This afternoon, the House Impeachment Committee, formerly known as the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), released more transcripts of Adam Schiff’s closed-door hearings intended to impeach President Trump. According to one of the transcripts, it says that former “U.S. envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, according to transcripts released Tuesday, pushed back on the claim that President Trump sought to withhold a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky until Kiev committed to investigate allegations concerning the 2016 election while also denying that Trump was seeking ‘dirt’ on former Vice President Joe Biden.”

That’s a major defeat for Democrats. At the time, Volker was the highest-ranking US diplomat in Ukraine. Here’s what the partial transcript said:

In a transcript of his closed-door deposition last month with lawmakers conducting the impeachment probe, Volker was asked if Trump withheld or delayed a meeting with Zelensky absent a pledge to probe concerns Ukraine had interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

“The answer to the question is no, if you want a yes-or-no answer. But the reason the answer is no is we did have difficulty scheduling a meeting, but there was no linkage like that,” he said.

To be fair, acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor testified that by “mid-July it was becoming clear to me that the meeting President Zelensky wanted was conditioned on the investigations of Burisma and alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections.” Still, it’s charitable to say that the conflicting testimony isn’t muddy. One diplomat said one thing. Another diplomat said the opposite. Will Americans agree to undo an election based on conflicting testimony? It’s impossible to picture that happening.

It’d be one thing if both diplomats said the same thing. Even then, it’d be difficult because linking a meeting with military aid isn’t that big of a deal. This video is worth watching:

Democrats won’t give up until they’ve voted to impeach President Trump but they should drop it right now. Democrats are playing a terrible hand poorly.

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