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Patriots Impeachment Round-Up: Mulvaint’y

Virginia Kruta Associate Editor
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Empowered by an official House vote, Democrats have continued to push forward with their impeachment probe absent support from any Republicans.

Closed-door hearings continued, several key transcripts were released and President Donald Trump blasted the whole process from stages in Kentucky and Louisiana while he rallied to support Republicans running in those states.

The key players:

  • Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, whose testimony from mid-October was released to the public. While admitting concern over the role of President Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, she also said that she never “directed, suggested, or in any other way asked, for any government or government official in Ukraine or elsewhere to refrain from investigating or prosecuting actual corruption.”
  • The testimony of Michael McKinley, former senior aide to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, indicated that he had resigned over the treatment of Yovanovitch. “State Department officials, if not the State Department itself, were being drawn into the domestic political arena in some way,” he complained.
  • Lev Parnas, a Ukrainian-American businessman linked to Giuliani, agreed to cooperate with House Democrats. “We are willing to comply with the subpoena to the extent that it does not violate any appropriate privilege that Mr. Parnas may properly invoke,” his attorney said.
  • White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney defied requests to testify before the House Democrats, making good on Kellyanne Conway’s assertion earlier in the week that he would not testify.
  • House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff shared a tentative schedule for the first public hearings on impeachment.

The White House response:

The hot takes:

  • Fox News political analyst Brit Hume warning Democrats to “be careful what they wish for” with regard to a potential interview with former National Security advisor John Bolton.
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell effectively announced that continuing to push impeachment would be a waste of time. “I will say I’m pretty sure how it’s likely to end. If it were today I don’t think there’s any question — it would not lead to a removal. So the question is how long does the Senate want to take? How long do the presidential candidates want to be here on the floor of the Senate instead of in Iowa and New Hampshire?” he asked reporters.
  • Fiona Hill, the White House’s top expert on Russia, cast serious doubt on the Steele Dossier. “Because if you also think about it, the Russians would have an ax to grind against him given the job that he had previously. And if he started going back through his old contacts and asking about, that would be a perfect opportunity for people to feed some kind of misinformation,” she said.
  • House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy threw Schiff a curveball, appointing Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan to the Intelligence Committee specifically for the duration of the impeachment hearings.
  • Indiana Republican Rep. Jim Banks drew attention to everything that wasn’t getting done while impeachment loomed.
  • Ivanka Trump, while traveling in Morocco, voiced support for her father but broke with him on one point: she did not believe the identity of the whistleblower was important.

Public response: