Top line: Chairman Schiff’s carefully constructed narrative took it’s hardest hit today during testimony from Tim Morrison and Ambassador Kurt Volker.
Both Mr. Morrison and Ambassador Volker have extensive firsthand knowledge of the events in question. Mr. Morrison was on the July 25th phone call. Ambassador Volker was the top envoy for the United States in Ukraine.
Both men testified under oath that they witnessed no bribery, no quid pro quos, and no illegal actions by President Trump.
The most important takeaway from this afternoon’s hearing is that both Mr. Morrison and Ambassador Volker repeatedly, consistently, and in no uncertain terms dismantled the Democrats’ allegations that President Trump committed high crimes and misdemeanors on and around the July 25th phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky.
While Democrats run themselves ragged trying to find evidence of these alleged crimes, Republicans asked clear, concise questions, and received clear, concise answers.
Here are some highlights:
Rep. Elise Stefanik set the record straight as she questioned Mr. Morrison about the July 25th call, and Ambassador Volker about the readout from the call and the reaction from the Ukrainians.
Rep. Stefanik: There was no mention of withholding aid on the call, correct?
Mr. Morrison: That is correct, Congresswoman.
Q: And there was no quid pro quo, correct?
Q: No bribery?
Q: No extortion?
Rep. Mike Turner pointed out that many of the Democrats’ witnesses thought or felt President Trump meant something, but during an impeachment hearing for the President of the United States, all that matters is what the President said and did.
Rep. Turner: Did the President of the United States ever say to you that he was not going to allow aid with the United States to go to Ukraine unless there were investigations into Burisma, the Bidens, or the 2016 election?
Ambassador Volker: No he did not.
Q: Did the Ukrainians ever tell you that they understood that they would not get a meeting with the United States, a phone call with the United States, military aid, or foreign aid from the Untied States unless they undertook investigations of Burisma, the Bidens, or the 2016 elections?
A: No they did not.
Republican counsel Steve Castor simply and methodically destroyed the Democrats’ new “bribery and extortion” narrative, which they hoped would poll better with Americans andthe independents they are rapidly losing.
Mr. Castor: In no way, shape, or form in either read outs from the United States or Ukraine, did you receive any indication whatsoever, or anything, that resembled a quid pro quo. Is that correct?
Ambassador Volker: That’s correct.
Q: And the same would go for this new allegation of bribery?
A: I was never involved in anything that I considered to be bribery at all.
Q: Or extortion?
A: Or extortion.