Earlier this week, Mike Pence aide Jennifer Williams testified behind closed doors to the House impeachment inquiry. Based on what little leaked out at the time, it appeared that her testimony was bad for Donald Trump. Her testimony transcript has been released this evening, and it’s worse for Trump than we were expecting.
Jennifer Williams was one of several people who listened in on Donald Trump’s infamous phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky. When she first agreed to give impeachment testimony, we were all left wondering what her motivations were. Would she try to protect Trump, in the hope of scoring Mike Pence some points with Trump? Would she try to protect Pence by selling Trump out? Was she merely testifying because she was subpoenaed and didn’t want to face legal repercussions?
Based on her testimony, it appears Williams has indeed decided to sell Donald Trump out. When she was asked how she viewed Trump’s Ukraine phone call, she characterized it as “unusual and inappropriate.” To be clear, she didn’t have to say this; she could have just said that she had no opinion. She then took things even further by saying “I guess for me it shed some light on possible other motivations behind a security assistance hold.”
In other words, Williams just subtly but unmistakably made a point of saying that she thinks Donald Trump is guilty. Maybe she’s doing this because she’s trying to take the heat off Mike Pence. Or maybe she simply thinks Trump is guilty and deserves to go down for it. You’d have to ask her about her motivations. But the upshot is that Pence’s aide just gave impeachment testimony that totally screws Donald Trump – and that’s no small thing, particularly when you consider that she’ll likely be called back to testify in front of the television cameras for all to see.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report