This post was last updated on November 10th, 2019 at 07:19 am
US President Donald Trump is the man you will often find trending on Google. Lately, he has had a good enough reason to break headlines – the death of ISIS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a US-led mission headed by the president himself. However, despite the big victory, Trump couldn’t save himself from being embroiled in the bigger stories that followed – his impeachment.
In the latest developments, Marie Yovanovitch, who was fired as the US ambassador to Ukraine after clashing with the president’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said she was told to praise Trump in her tweet, in order to keep her job. A full transcript of the evidence she gave to the House committees leading the impeachment inquiry against Trump, has also been released.
Other than that, the US ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland also changed his claims in the House impeachment Inquiry into Donald Trump. In his latest testimony, he revealed that he told his Ukrainian counterpart that the president would not release $400 million in foreign aid until the country agrees to launch specific investigations sought by Trump.
“I said that resumption of the U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anticorruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks,” Sondland said Tuesday.
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In May, before Yovanovitch was released off her duties, an article published in The Hill claimed she had submitted a “do not prosecute” list to the officials in Kiev. Though the claim was vehemently denied by the former ambassador, it did hurt her reputation.
Following which, she turned to Sondland – who works with Rudy Giuliani – to find out the evidence of corruption linked to Joe Biden. So, as she showed up for the impeachment hearing, she was asked what Sondland had told her.
“He hadn’t been aware of it, that the story had shifted, and he said, you know, you need to go big or go home. You need to, you know, tweet out there that you support the president, and that all these are lies and everything else.”
“And, you know, so, you know, I mean, obviously, that was advice. It was advice that I did not see how I could implement in my role as an ambassador, and as a foreign service officer.”
The four pages of written and revised claims were submitted on Monday; a day before the entire testimony was made public. In explaining the reason for revising the testimony, the US ambassador to the EU affirmed that it was the testimony of the other current and former administration officials who spoke to the House investigators after he did. This contradicted his original claims that “refreshed my (his) recollection” and present the original story.
“There were demands, weren’t there, that an investigation take place of 2016 or Burisma? Ultimately those were demands, were they not?” one of the investigators asked Sondland, according to his October testimony, which was released Tuesday.”
“Ultimately, yes,” Sondland replied. And it’s fair to say that you had to navigate those demands, you had to accommodate what the president and his lawyer wanted, if you were going to set up this meeting you thought very important?” a questioner asked. “I think that’s fair,” said Sondland.
In reality, Giuliani and Trump wanted Ukraine to announce two investigations: The first into a Ukrainian company, Burisma, where former Vice President Joe Biden once sat. The second investigation, according to Sondland and others, was into the alleged interference by Ukraine in the 2016 presidential election.
The claims that would have severely damaged the image of Joe Biden, made Donald Trump great in the eyes of the public. Therefore, the House impeachment inquiry is now focusing on how the president pressed multiple parties and if those actions meet the standard for “high crimes and misdemeanors”, deserving his impeachment and removal from the office.