Last night came the news that, just days after Donald Trump had twisted himself into a pretzel to block U.S. Ambassador Gordon Sondland from testifying to the House impeachment inquiry, Sondland has decided to testify after all. This morning, despite reported huffing and puffing from Team Trump, former U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch testified as well.
Thus far the details that have leaked out from Marie Yovanovitch’s closed door testimony are about what you’d expect: Donald Trump yanked her from Ukraine based on fake stories that Rudy Giuliani made up about her, because Trump and Rudy didn’t like that she wasn’t corrupt. Rudy and his two recently arrested associates were running roughshod across U.S. foreign policy in Ukraine. We may have to wait a bit for more specifics to publicly surface from her testimony.
But the real story of the day so far is that Yovanovitch testified at all. Donald Trump couldn’t find a way, or couldn’t find the strength, to stop her. Nor will Trump apparently be able to stop Sondland from testifying. Trump’s former National Security Council member Fiona Hill is also set to testify next week.
This establishes a firm precedent that any current or former Trump regime employee can go ahead and testify against Donald Trump if they want. It means the floodgates are now officially open. Our guess is that we’ll soon see bigger names like Rex Tillerson and John Bolton giving cooperative testimony against Trump, and then we’ll see which of Trump’s current sidekicks (Mike Pompeo, Rick Perry, etc) decides to be the first to sell him out in the hope of future criminal leniency.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report