/With an impeachment trial looming, new evidence that Trump sought personal benefit in Ukraine

With an impeachment trial looming, new evidence that Trump sought personal benefit in Ukraine


Trump trial likely to begin next Tuesday: Senate chief


  Trump trial likely to begin next Tuesday: Senate chief
The Senate impeachment trial of US President Donald Trump is likely to begin in one week’s time while key players in the process could be sworn in later this week, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday. McConnell said he expected the House of Representatives to send the articles of impeachment through to the upper chamber on Wednesday.

“In my capacity as personal counsel to President Trump and with his knowledge and consent, I “I know that he was going to go to Ukraine and I think he canceled the trip. But Rudy has other clients But with Trump ’s impeachment trial expected to begin in the Senate next week, it’s worth noting that

U.S. President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi taunted each other Sunday as Trump ‘s Senate impeachment trial looms in the days The House last month approved two articles of impeachment against Trump linked to his efforts to get Ukraine to launch investigations to benefit

Video provided by MSNBC

If one were simply to read the transcript, as President Trump has insisted we do, the point made obvious in new documents released by the House Intelligence Committee would be apparent.

In that transcript — the rough transcript of the July 25 call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky — Trump cajoles his counterpart to start investigations focused on former vice president Joe Biden and an unfounded theory about Ukrainian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Zelensky agrees to the probes with alacrity, in part, no doubt, because it had already been made clear to his team that agreement was a necessary criterion for a much-sought meeting with Trump at the White House. To move the probes forward, Trump then suggests that Zelensky work with two people: Attorney General William P. Barr, head of the Justice Department — and Rudolph W. Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney.


No sign of end to standoff over Trump impeachment trial


  No sign of end to standoff over Trump impeachment trial
There is no sign of an end to the standoff over Trump’s impeachment trial.Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has this week declared there would be no haggling with the Democratic-led House of Representatives over the rules for US President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.

Media captionA beginner’s guide to impeachment and Trump . US President Donald Trump has been President Trump is accused of pressuring Ukraine to dig up damaging information on one of his This, Democrats say, amounts to an abuse of presidential power, using the office for personal

The evidence includes new text messages and phone records from Lev Parnas, a Ukrainian American business partner of Rudy Giuliani, Trump ‘s personal lawyer. Giuliani requested meeting with Ukraine president, new Trump impeachment evidence shows.

The inclusion of Giuliani in the conversation has long made it hard for Trump to argue that he was seeking Zelensky’s aid only insofar as it would benefit the United States generally. When he asked Zelensky to “do us a favour,” he has argued, he meant “us” as in the United States. That he then suggested Zelensky work with Giuliani, who is not an employee of the United States, and that his request in that specific case focused on his efforts to undermine the investigation into Russian interference that he saw as a cloud over his presidency make it particularly hard to take Trump’s claims at face value.

Giuliani has been central to the campaign to pressure Ukraine for some time. When a group of officials who’d attended Zelensky’s inauguration in May met with the president to brief him on the event, it was Giuliani whom Trump insisted they work with on Ukraine. It was Giuliani who then made explicit a quid pro quo related to Trump’s desired investigations, according to Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland. Giuliani pushed Trump’s team to get Zelensky’s administration to announce the same specific investigations that Trump raised on his call — all while working for Trump, not the United States.


Anticipation Building, Pelosi Says She Will Send Impeachment Articles ‘Soon’


  Anticipation Building, Pelosi Says She Will Send Impeachment Articles ‘Soon’
Speaker Nancy Pelosi quietly laid the groundwork on Thursday to send impeachment articles against President Trump to the Senate, indicating that the House would “soon” end a weekslong impasse and vote to bring the charges to trial. Though the speaker offered no specific timetable for her decision, lawmakers and aides said the House could move toward a vote next week before lawmakers decamp for a weeklong recess. They braced for an announcement from Ms. Pelosi about her plans as soon as Friday, as senators made final preparations for what would be the third presidential impeachment trial in American history.

While decades-old congressional rules will be dusted off as the Senate impeachment trial begins, other major decisions will be made on the fly.Credit 18, after a monthslong Democratic inquiry. The articles charged Mr. Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress in connection with a

President Donald Trump says the Senate should simply dismiss the impeachment case against him, an extraordinary suggestion as the House prepares to Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned Sunday that senators will “pay a price” if they block new witness testimony with a trial that Americans perceive as

a close up of a piece of paper: Document from Lev Parnas, a former associate of President Trump's personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, released by the House investigators. (House Intelligence Committee) Document from Lev Parnas, a former associate of President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, released by the House investigators. (House Intelligence Committee)

He made clear early in the process that his focus was his client and not his country. When he spoke with the New York Times before a planned trip to Ukraine in May, he told the paper that he was “asking them to do an investigation that they’re doing already and that other people are telling them to stop. And I’m going to give them reasons why they shouldn’t stop it because that information will be very, very helpful to my client, and may turn out to be helpful to my government.”

The “investigation they were already doing” was an investigation into a company for which Biden’s son worked. That inquiry is at the center of the impeachment allegations that Trump pressured Ukraine for information that might undercut the political viability of Biden, who then and now was the leading contender for his party’s presidential nomination this year. Giuliani’s presentation of the status of the purported investigation is itself questionable, but the point is how he characterised his work to the Times: of benefit to Trump and, who knows, maybe the country as well.


A Step-by-Step Guide to Trump’s Impeachment Trial


  A Step-by-Step Guide to Trump’s Impeachment Trial
The House intends to vote this week to send its articles of impeachment against President Trump to the Senate, prompting only the third impeachment trial of a president in American history. The vote will put to rest nearly a month of uncertainty over when a trial might begin and quickly turn over to the Senate a historic debate over whether Mr. Trump committed what the Constitution describes as “high crimes and misdemeanors.

When the trial of President Trump begins, perhaps as soon as this week, the Senate will formally confront only the two questions posed by the articles of impeachment passed in the House of Representatives. Did Mr. Trump abuse the powers of his office in his interactions with Ukraine ?

The president injected new instability into his looming impeachment trial as Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned that nothing could “erase” the stain on his presidency. Speaker Nancy Pelosi is preparing to transmit the impeachment articles to the Senate this week.Credit Erin Schaff/The New York Times.

Enter Lev Parnas.

Parnas worked for Giuliani for years, helping Trump’s attorney in Ukraine, including by doing translations. Parnas was asked for documents by House investigators as they began to dig into Trump’s interactions with Ukraine last year but he refused to comply. When he was subsequently arrested and charged with campaign finance violations, Parnas became more amenable to offering assistance and turned over material to House Democrats. On Tuesday evening, some of that material was made public by the House Intelligence Committee.

The material included the letter below, sent by Giuliani to Zelensky shortly before the Ukrainian president’s inauguration — and shortly before Giuliani’s planned trip to Ukraine. In the letter, Giuliani is explicit about the role he plays.

a screenshot of a cell phone: Document from Lev Parnas, a former associate of President Trump's personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, released by the House investigators. (House Intelligence Committee) Document from Lev Parnas, a former associate of President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, released by the House investigators. (House Intelligence Committee)

“I am private counsel to President Donald J. Trump,” he writes. “Just to be precise, I represent him as a private citizen, not as President of the United States.” He goes on to explain that this seemingly unusual situation in fact isn’t unusual at all — clarifying for readers in the present moment just how odd Zelensky might have found the letter.


Explosive new report says Russia hacked the Ukrainian company Burisma — most likely to get dirt on the Bidens


  Explosive new report says Russia hacked the Ukrainian company Burisma — most likely to get dirt on the Bidens
Russia has repeatedly tried to hack into the Ukrainian natural-gas company Burisma Holdings in what appears to be an effort to obtain dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, The New York Times found in a bombshell new report. Specifically, the report said Russian intelligence operatives were searching for financial documents, emails, and legal records. US President Donald Trump and his allies engaged in a months-long effort to force Ukraine to dig up or manufacture dirt on the Bidens, specifically related to Hunter Biden’s work for Burisma Holdings.

For weeks, President Trump ’s advisers have been preparing for the eventuality of an impeachment trial in the Senate, a process that could begin as soon The congressman helped lead the Republican defense in the House and has told people he is familiar with all the evidence that was presented.

Trump lawyers: Mr. Trump ’s defense team will most likely be led by Pat Cipollone, the White House counsel, and Jay Sekulow, one of the president’s personal lawyers. The case can actually be dismissed altogether with a majority vote — Mr. Trump this week said he wanted that outcome — but

“I have a more specific request,” Giuliani writes later, echoing Trump’s language two months later in his phone call. “In my capacity as personal counsel to President Trump and with his knowledge and consent, I request a meeting with you” during his planned visit. (After the Times reported on his planned trip, he canceled it.)

Asked about Giuliani’s planned trip in an interview with Bill O’Reilly in November, the president denied awareness of what his lawyer was up to.

Pictures: Trump’s most hair-raising quotes

“I know that he was going to go to Ukraine and I think he canceled the trip. But Rudy has other clients, other than me,” Trump said. Asked if Giuliani was going to Ukraine on his behalf to try to find negative information about Biden, Trump said, “No, I didn’t direct him, but he is a warrior, he is a warrior.”

Giuliani told the Times he was going for Trump. He told Zelensky he was going for Trump. But in November, once the impeachment inquiry was well underway, Trump dismissed the idea.

As for the part about focusing on Biden, there’s a note written on a Vienna Ritz-Carlton notepad that was included in the material Parnas gave to House investigators.

“Get Zalensky to Annouce that the Biden case will be Investigated,” it reads — suggesting that Parnas, the presumed author of the note, understood one key goal of interactions with the Ukrainian president.

Who gave Parnas that direction? He worked with Giuliani as well as a husband-wife team of lawyers — Victoria Toensing and Joe diGenova. Later notes on the same pad mention Toensing and diGenova in a way that suggests they weren’t the ones offering instruction. (The documents turned over to investigators include another interesting attorney-related message: authorization from the president, through his attorney Jay Sekulow, for Parnas to be represented by one of Trump’s former attorneys, John Dowd.)

There are a lot of questions about those notes. When were they written? What was the context? What did Parnas actually do?

But there aren’t many questions about the letter from Giuliani to Zelensky. In that letter, Giuliani is explicit about whom he works for and the extent to which Trump was aware of his efforts. While he didn’t tell Zelensky what the purpose of the meeting was, he did tell the Times: the investigation that Parnas’s note refers to as the “Biden case.”

It’s right there in the rough transcript, too, of course. But with Trump’s impeachment trial expected to begin in the Senate next week, it’s worth noting that the transcript isn’t the only evidence that undercuts Trump’s assertions.

Trump says he thinks ‘something very terrible happened’ to Ukraine jet that crashed in Iran .
President Donald Trump doesn’t believe mechanical failure caused a Ukrainian jet to crash after takeoff in Tehran.“I personally don’t even think that’s even a question” as to whether the crash was caused by mechanical failure, Trump told reporters at the White House.

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