This article will fact check and expand on what is learned during the Democrat-run public impeachment hearing taking place on Wednesday, November 13, 2019. It will be updated repeatedly over the course of the day.
Rep. Turner hammering home that Amb. Taylor's testimony is entirely based on hearsay.
Rep. Jordan literally picked apart Amb. Taylor's testimony, proving that his hearsay allegations were wrong. Aid was disbursed without anything being required in return. When asked whether he admits his opinion that there was a quid pro quo was wrong, Amb. Taylor ended his response by saying that Trump's actions shook the trust that Ukraine has in the US. Again, it all boils down to a policy disagreement. Jordan pounced and shouted that policy disagreements have nothing to do with the impeachment matter at hand, and Schiff cut him off for time.
Ratcliffe makes a point that definitely puts the witnesses in a weird position. It is impossible to impeach Trump without also calling the Ukrainian President a liar, which would be disastrous to US foreign policy. No Democrat has so far accused the Ukrainian President of lying.
Rep. Ratcliffe's questioning is highlighting a hole in the Democrats' impeachment narrative: there is no victim. No one admits they were pressured or bribed, and the aid was disbursed without Ukraine having to do anything.
Rep. Ratcliffe hammering home that there cannot be a quid pro quo if the other side didn't know about it.
Rep. Himes just admitted it. He "thinks" that Trump had political motivations. Still no evidence of any of it.
Amb. Taylor admits to trying to undermine Donald Trump's foreign policy positions.
The GOP counsel did a very good job painting the picture that Burisma deserved to be investigated and that it was reasonable for Donald Trump to want that. Adam Schiff immediately tried to undermine that point to suggest that Trump only had political aims.
Adam Schiff now attempting to undermine the GOP's questions re: Ukraine.
We all know that Burisma is corrupt. We all know that Hunter Biden was purely on the board because of his last name. The only reason to try to undercut the GOP questioning is for partisan reasons.
Taylor admits that there is nothing outlandish about the President's unofficial channels with Ukraine.
GOP counsel is building the argument that Burisma deserves to be investigated. It is remarkable how Kent is trying to dance around admitting that Burisma deserves to be investigated. None of the witnesses want to admit what is plain as day: the company is crooked and should be investigated. The fact that they are choosing their words carefully for these questions specifically suggests they are making great effort to avoid supporting the GOP's claims.
Both Taylor and Kent admit they were not all that involved in the prep for the Ukraine call, or the call itself. Taylor did not receive a read out.
Amb. Taylor just admitted that it is appropriate for the Ukrainians to cooperate with the DOJ on ongoing investigations. Refused to say whether it is appropriate for the President to ask the Ukrainians to take actions that are appropriate.
Amb. Taylor had no problem insinuating that Trump withheld aid "for no good reason other than for help with a political campaign." When pressed, Taylor now says he has no way of knowing the President's intentions or true thinking.
Schiff intervenes and coaches Amb. Taylor not to answer questions that surround "facts not in evidence." After 45 minutes of the Democrats leading with nothing but pure insinuation. Unbelievable.
Very pointed question from the GOP counsel.
Amb. Taylor was asked whether Trump believed the Ukrainians were corrupt. Taylor refused to comment on Trump's state of mind. After being prodded a bit more, Taylor admitted that he was told Trump said during a White House meeting that Trump felt the Ukrainians were out to get him.
Taylor has no problem speaking to Trump's intentions when it fits the Left's narrative.
Devin Nunes is asking Amb. Taylor whether he stands by his previous closed-door testimony that he was unaware of the allegations against Ukraine meddling in the 2016 election.
Taylor is now responding that Ukraine may have been prompted to take action against Trump because Trump had made comments that were "inflammatory" to the Ukrainians.
Taylor is insinuating that Ukrainian election meddling could have been justified.
Devin Nunes is citing a Politico article shining light on the Ukrainian government's attempts to help the Clinton campaign in 2016.
The quotes are accurate. Nunes asked to the ability to question these sources, but Adam Schiff has refused to approve the witnesses.
Major mistake here. Instead of picking apart the witnesses, Devin Nunes is wasting valuable time reading a statement.
It would be far more convincing to make these points through cross-examination, not delivering a speech.
Republicans have a poster up saying that it has been 93 Days since Adam Schiff learned the identity of the Whistleblower.
This is factually accurate.
Republicans are huddling to plan out their questioning. Let's hope they put on a more united front than when they tried to push back against the Kavanaugh nonsense or the Mueller investigation. Less grandstanding and more picking apart the witnesses for their policy biases and attempts to substitute opinion for fact.
Schiff's time is up and the floor goes to Devin Nunes and the Republicans. The committee takes a quick break.
Biden literally admitted to taking an action that benefitted his son. The only evidence he did nothing wrong is the fact that he says he did nothing wrong. Why are Democrats refusing to allow Republicans to probe the Bidens if they are so squeaky clean? When Trump was investigated, the Left said he had nothing to fear if he had nothing to hide. But when it comes to the Bidens, notice how the Left sings a different tune...
There are over 500 words in the transcript between Trump asking for a favor and the discussion about Joe and Hunter Biden's actions. Democrats are playing the same unethical game as CNN, trying to connect two completely different topics of the conversation Trump had with the Ukrainian President.
Democrats are trying to paint "getting to the bottom of what happened in 2016" as criminal. But they have no qualms with spending tens of millions of dollars to investigate whether Donald Trump had Russian prostitutes urinate in his bed (which was alleged in the so-called "dossier")
The Democrats' text message graphics are slick, but hardly evidence. In a court of law, they would be thrown out for being manufactured.
Democrats are trying to set up a legal justification to force former-National Security Advisor John Bolton to testify. As a close Presidential advisor, Congress has no constitutional authority to compel a Presidential advisor to testify.
Democrat counsel again insinuates that Trump threatened to withhold aid and cancel a White House visit unless Ukraine took action that would help Trump's campaign. Again, there is no evidence that was the intent.
Presidents take actions all the time that benefit their re-election. Obama ran in 2012 on the motto, "Bin Laden is dead and GM is alive." No one has insinuated that the Bin Laden raid or auto bailouts were done for purely political reasons.
Again, all Trump needs to do to prove his innocence is to prove there were legitimate concerns re: Ukraine. Democrats are refusing to let them do that.
Amb Taylor says that he had a "feeling" about the President's true intentions. This is not evidence.
There is nothing illegal about predicating a White House meeting on the Ukrainians taking a particular action. President Trump, earlier this year, cancelled a meeting with Taliban officials because of a terror attack. That visit was predicated on the Taliban not murdering any more Americans.
Potential meetings always have strings attached.
Democrats are trying to paint Trump's use of Giuliani to conduct foreign policy as something unethical or illegal.
All Presidents have employed non-diplomats to help conduct foreign policy. President Obama infamously sent people to Iran to negotiate with the Iranians outside of the traditional state department channels.
Amb Taylor reiterates that he thinks it is "crazy" to withhold foreign aid "for no good reason other than for help with a political campaign."
This is not fact, this is his opinion. So far, there is no evidence proving this assertion.
Republicans have asked for the ability to question witnesses to prove that there were real concerns over corruption. Schiff has rejected the request. Democrats will not even let the President or Republicans prove that the request was legitimate.
Even if there were political implications, the assertion that the President cannot probe misconduct if the subject of the probe is running for political office is ludicrous, and was certainly not followed by the Obama administration when they were investigating Trump...
Schiff switches to have the Democrats' General Counsel ask questions
Amb. Taylor is again talking policy, that if Trump doesn't do x, y, or z, it will have worldwide consequences. This is not impeachable.
Adam Schiff is attempting to link Trump's actions with Ukrainian casualties. Ambassador Taylor is insinuating that Trump's decision to slow-walk the aid to Ukraine caused Ukrainian soldiers to die or suffer wounds in combat.
There is ZERO causal evidence being presented here. Taylor gives the example of anti-air craft radar technology as one of the technologies held up in the aid slow-walk. There is no reason to believe that this soldier was killed because of a lack of this technology, that this technology would have been implemented in time to do any good, or that the technology would have impacted these casualties.
It is also interesting that no one is mentioning the fact that the Trump administration is the one that authorized military aid. During the Obama administration, aid was limited to non-lethal aid. Where was the outrage then? If the lack of US military aid led to Ukrainian deaths, why does Obama not to blame for their deaths for limiting aid shipments to humanitarian items like blankets?
Ambassador Taylor is testifying that he raised his concern that there might be a quid pro quo attached to the Ukrainian aid package. After raising these concerns, the aid was released without any strings attached.
There was NO quid pro quo attached to the aid. He literally just admitted it.
Is this the Democrats' new strategy? Arguing that Trump should be removed from office for *considering* adding strings to the aid package?
What is clear from the witnesses is that they disagree with the Trump administration's policies. You will see this theme pop up throughout. President Trump's biggest mistakes since taking office have been appointing government officials who do not share his policy. positions.
What we have seen from these witnesses, and others, is that when they disagreed with the President's policy positions, they chose to undermine Trump instead of resigning. They all truly believe they know better than the President of the United States.
Watch the Democrats try to blur the line and use policy positions to support their impeachment arguments.