Trump’s Defenses Against the Impeachment Inquiry Are Suddenly Crumbling
Why the White House is incapable of stopping key figures from the Ukraine scandal from testifying before Congress
The cage match between Donald Trump and Democrats in Congress is getting bloodier by the day — and as public opinion shifts in their favor, it’s starting to look more like Democrats might actually have a shot at finally landing some blows.
Things got particularly testy last week when Rep. Rashida Tlaib told reporters that House Democrats were discussing whether they could detain people who refused to cooperate with Congressional subpoenas related to Trump’s call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. The president was unsurprisingly irate over the suggestion, calling the Michigan congresswoman a “despicable human being” on Twitter.
Yet something appears to have changed recently. Yes, members of the president’s closest circles are refusing to comply with congressional subpoenas, such as Vice President Pence, three cabinet secretaries, and Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani — but others have not.
They have come forward at some risk to their professional careers, but so far their integrity has not been questioned.
Within the last week Congress has heard closed-door testimony from a slew of current and former officials wrapped up in the Ukraine scandal: the former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, and former White House Russia advisor, Fiona Hill. Both of these professionals are career federal servants and described by their peers as non-partisans. In other words, they were close enough to the president to observe what was happening, but not so close as to be part of his sycophantic circle of confidants. Also, after some negotiation and uncertainty, ambassador to the European Union and key figure in the scandal, Gordon Sondland, is scheduled to testify before Congress on Thursday.