Another Donald Trump-GOP impeachment defense was reduced to a smoldering pile of ash on Monday as a top diplomat testified that the president’s Ukraine shakedown was in direct conflict with American interests.
According to Christopher Anderson, a former assistant to ex-Ukraine envoy Kurt Volker, Trump’s attempt to squeeze political dirt out of Ukraine in exchange for military aid was not in line with America’s official policy at the time.
“I understood policy at the time, it was contrary, yes,” Anderson said in his testimony, which was released on Monday, according to The Hill.
“Long-standing U.S. government policy, as I understood it, was that we did not interfere in individual cases,” he added.
In other words, when Trump and his Republican defenders in Congress make the argument that the president was acting in the country’s best interest, they are – surprise, surprise – lying through their teeth.
Anderson’s testimony – and that of Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper – removes any remaining doubt about whether Trump was acting against American interests to help his presidential campaign.
MSNBC’s Chris Hayes explained more on Monday night.
Another impeachment defense bites the dust: “The president withholding [military aid for Ukraine] was definitely not done in the best interest of the U.S,” Chris Hayes says. #ctl #p2 pic.twitter.com/YCgM4RwU8d
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) November 12, 2019
It doesn’t really matter what the president’s motivations were. We learned from the most recent impeachment transcript of a Department of Defense official released today that it was, according to multiple entities within the U.S. government itself, within Trump’s government itself, in the interest of U.S. National security to provide military aid to Ukraine. So the president withholding that money was definitely not done in the best interest of the U.S.
The GOP impeachment strategy is failing miserably
Just based on the facts alone, the arguments being pushed by Trump and his GOP loyalists are laughable. Talking point after talking point is debunked almost instantly as more bombshell testimony transcripts are released.
But perhaps an even simpler way of determining who is losing the impeachment fight is to look at which side changes its argument the most – clearly the Republicans.
Since day one, Democrats have stuck to one impeachment argument because it happens to be the truth: Trump illegally shook down a foreign power – against American interests – for political dirt on Joe Biden.
Republicans, meanwhile, have gone through a revolving door of impeachment defenses – attacking the process; claiming there wasn’t a quid pro quo; admitting there was a quid pro quo but that it isn’t impeachable – and they still haven’t found one to stick.
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham alone has gone through at least half a dozen different arguments in defense of Trump.
Therein lies the problem for Republicans: It’s hard to mount a solid defense when you’re operating in a fact-free universe.