We previously discussed Tuesday morning’s witness testimony, and so now we turn our jaundiced eyes to Tuesday’s afternoon hearing featured the two witnesses Republicans requested:
- Kurt Volker, a former envoy to Ukraine
- Tim Morrison, a former senior National Security Council official.
Were they the star witnesses Republicans had hoped they’d be? Not so much!
Volker testified that he didn’t think discussions of the 2016 Goat Rodeo conspiracy theories or the Bidens should have been a part of the U.S.’s national security strategy with Ukraine, and that the allegations against Biden were false.
Of course, Volker was more concerned with self-preservation than being the fall guy for Prznint Stupid, so he said that he was out of the loop and totally unaware of any connection between the withheld security aid and investigations into the Bidens. “I know NOTHING!”
Volker said he should have seen the connection differently, and if he had, he “would have raised [his] own objections.” So it is the ol’ I’m too dumb to be a crook defense. Somewhere Junior Mints is dancing!
That said: text messages Volker turned over to House investigators show Ambassador Bill Taylor raising that exact concern to him. Whoopsie! Maybe he is dumb? Or maybe he’s a liar?
Then Morrison testified that E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland told him security assistance to Ukraine was conditioned on Ukraine making a public commitment to political investigations beneficial to Trump personally.
Morrison said that nobody had ever ordered him to bribe or extort Zelensky, but as we know that’s not the way the Mafia works, so while maybe accurate it is not necessarily true.
This exchange is key:
Swalwell: “How many times when you talked to your Ukrainian counterparts did you ask them to investigate the Bidens?”
Morrison: “Never, sir.”
Swalwell: “Why not?”
Morrison: “Sir, it was not a policy objective that I was aware of.”
Swalwell: “But with all due respect, Mr. Morrison, you’re not in the White House to carry out your policy objectives. You just testified that the President sets the foreign policy objectives for the United States and the one call that you listened to between the President of the United States and the president of Ukraine, the President of the United States priorities were to investigate the Bidens and I’m asking you, sir, why didn’t you follow up on the President’s priorities when you talked to the Ukrainians?”
Morrison: “Sir, I did not understand it as a policy objective.”
And that is the truth. Swalwell just quietly got a bit of whatever that fuzzy thing is on The Russian Usurper’s bean.