A Complete Analysis Of Trump’s 147th Unpresidented Week As POTUS

President Trump's compulsion for corruption is only strengthening the case for impeachment as more witnesses tie him directly to the Ukraine extortion plot.
President Donald J. Trump talks to members of the press on the South Lawn of the White House Saturday, November 2, 2019, prior to boarding Marine One to begin his trip to New York City. (Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)

President Donald J. Trump talks to members of the press on the South Lawn of the White House Saturday, November 2, 2019, prior to boarding Marine One to begin his trip to New York City. (Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)

Trump’s first major typo after winning the election was spelling Unprecedented incorrectly. He infamously tweeted “Unpresidented.” This typo is emblematic of his administration: An impulsive, frantically thrown together group of characters with virtually no oversight. After Trump was sworn in, I started writing the weekly “Unpresidented” column, analyzing every day of his presidency. This is week 147.

Each passing week carries with it increasing historical significance. The President of the United States is embroiled in an international extortion plot of his own making and the Republican Party is standing by him even as the case for impeachment steadily grows. This week saw the first public impeachment hearings. They were a sight to behold as respected foreign service officials depicted the story of a president putting his own personal interests above the nation he swore to protect.

On Wednesday, Ambassador Bill Taylor and Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent testified before the House Intelligence Committee. Taylor testified how he slowly became aware of the extortion plot and that Ambassador Gordon Sondland explicitly relayed the “quid pro quo” to Ukrainian officials. Taylor also revealed a new phone call between Sondland and President Trump the day after the July 25th phone call, and Trump asked Sondland directly about the investigations. It was later corroborated by a State Department aide in closed-door testimony on Friday evening.

On Friday morning, former Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch gave showstopping testimony, humanizing the effects of President Trump and his allies’ smear campaign against her. Not only did she give compelling testimony highlighting Rudy Giuliani, Lev Parnas, Igor Fruman, and former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko’s effort to get her out of the way of Trump’s extortion plot, her remarks garnered a real-time reaction from the President. Trump smeared Yovanovitch mid-testimony and committed what many called witness intimidation, right as Trump’s longtime adviser Roger Stone was convicted of counts that include witness tampering.

The House impeachment inquiry led by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) has been a very competent, fact-finding probe. Meanwhile, House Republicans continued to contort themselves into a phalanx of disinformation as they mounted their defense of Trump’s indefensible actions. Rather than debate the substance of the mountain of evidence against him President Trump, they have chosen a strategy of political stunts, denial, and deflection.

Let’s dive into a historic Unpresidented week.

We’re building a community and want you to be part of it.

A New Deposition Transcript And A Reminder Of The Kurdish Betrayal

Day 1,026: Monday, November 11

President Donald Trump pauses during the State of the Union address in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol to a joint session of Congress Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018 in Washington. (Win McNamee/Pool via AP)

Monday’s top stories:

Looking to make a difference? Consider signing one of these sponsored petitions:

Sign To Keep Guns Out Of Schools Sign Now
Tell Congress To Protect Whistleblowers Sign Now
Tell Congress To Stop Giving Tax Dollars To Government-Owned Chinese Companies Sign Now
*Rantt Media may receive compensation from the partners we feature on our site. However, this in no way affects our news coverage, analysis, or political 101's.

DACA’s Future Uncertain

Day 1,027: Tuesday, November 12

Carlos Esteban, 31, of Woodbridge, Va., a nursing student and recipient of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA, rallies with others in support of DACA outside of the White House, in Washington - Sept. 5, 2017 (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Carlos Esteban, 31, of Woodbridge, Va., a nursing student and recipient of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA, rallies with others in support of DACA outside of the White House, in Washington – Sept. 5, 2017 (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Tuesday’s top stories:

The First Public Impeachment Hearing

Day 1,028: Wednesday, November 13

Acting Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor (Official Photos) and President Donald Trump (AP)

Acting Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor (Official Photos) and President Donald Trump (AP)

The first impeachment hearing has come and gone and laid out some damning evidence. There’s one new detail that paints President Trump’s July 25th phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky in an even more corrupt light.

Today, Ambassador Bill Taylor and Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent delivered powerful testimony. Taylor’s testimony, which was largely based on his closed-door deposition, methodically detailed the Trump Administration’s effort to withhold military aid and a White House meeting from Ukraine in pursuit of investigations into Trump’s political targets. It also had this new detail involving one of his staffers, who is now scheduled to testify:

“Last Friday, a member of my staff told me of events that occurred on July 26. While Ambassador Volker and I visited the front, this member of my staff accompanied Ambassador Sondland. Ambassador Sondland met with Mr Yermak. Following that meeting, in the presence of my staff at a restaurant, Ambassador Sondland called President Trump and told him of his meetings in Kyiv. The member of my staff could hear President Trump on the phone, asking Ambassador Sondland about ‘the investigations’. Ambassador Sondland told President Trump that the Ukrainians were ready to move forward.”

If true, this would mean that one day after President Trump’s phone call with Zelensky, Trump followed up on his request for the probes into the Bidens and the Ukrainian election meddling conspiracy theory. Why should Trump worry about this? It’s yet another piece of evidence that links President Trump directly to the extortion campaign. Bill Taylor also highlighted a portion of his previous testimony for the first time on live TV that further ties Trump to the extortion campaign:

Sondland, who already revised his testimony to corroborate Bill Taylor’s previous testimony about how Sondland relayed the “quid pro quo” directly to Ukrainian officials, may need to update it again ahead of his public testimony next week. Taylor also testified that he was told by a staffer of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that “the directive [to withhold aid] had come from the President to the Chief of Staff to OMB.”

As I wrote in an op-ed today in The Independentthis new allegation adds further evidence to the fact Zelensky was prepared to move on the request:

Taylor also said that he knew the Ukrainians were very concerned about the security assistance and that they were prepared to make a statement announcing the probes on CNN, which corroborates a New York Times report alleging the same. Zelensky was allegedly prepared to make the public announcement on September 13th, but the White House released the aid after House Democrats were made aware of the whistleblower complaint.

That undermines the Republican argument that the extortion campaign wasn’t completed, so, therefore, it’s not a crime. I went on to write in The Independent about how Republicans failed to counter the narrative House Democrats outlined:

Rather than try and defend the substance of the extortion allegations against President Trump, House Intelligence Ranking Member Devin Nunes (R-CA) began what would become a baseless line of questioning into the Ukraine meddling conspiracy theory. This defense of President Trump is laser-targeted to the GOP echo chamber and will do nothing to swing Independents.

The bottom line here is this: if this testimony had happened under any other presidency, and in a world without right-wing media absolutely loyal to that president, it would have brought that administration to a screeching halt. Not only is it illegal to solicit something of value from a foreign power in connection with an election, but the extortion/bribery plot showcases an even larger abuse of power.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) asked after the hearing: “If this is not impeachable conduct, what is?”

In other news…

This Is America

Day 1,029: Thursday, November 14

United states guns

(Michael Murphy)

Thursday’s top stories:

Yovanovitch Hearing: A Day For The History Books

Day 1,030 Friday, November 15

President Trump (AP), Former Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch (Official Photo), and Roger Stone (AP)

President Trump (AP), Former Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch (Official Photo), and Roger Stone (AP)

President Trump just had a terrible day. First, former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch gave testimony about the smear campaign that ousted her so she wouldn’t get in the way of Trump’s extortion plot. Then, President Trump smeared her in real-time, likely committing witness intimidation. Then, longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone was convicted on 7 counts, including witness tampering and lying to Congress. This all happened by noon.

Roger Stone was convicted on one count of obstruction of justice, five counts of making false statements to investigators, and one count of witness tampering. Stone joins Manafort, Gates, Flynn, Papadopoulos, and Cohen as Trump associates and former officials who are convicted felons.

Although the lying to Congress counts should strike fear into the likes of Ambassador Gordon Sondland ahead of his testimony next week, it’s that final count that is getting the most attention today. Why? Because President Trump committed the very same crime during Yovanovitch’s testimony.

I wrote about how this all played out in my latest analysis for The Independent:

This is where Yovanovitch’s testimony turned into an unprecedented spectacle. Yovanovitch began speaking about how she was recalled from Ukraine without explanation after being told that there were concerns about her safety. In the very moment she was discussing this smear campaign and its effects, at 10:01 am ET, President Trump sent out a tweet:

Minutes later, Yovanovitch was asked about a previous attack on her from President Trump. In his July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky, Trump called Yovanovitch “bad news” and told Zelensky that the former ambassador would be “going to go through some things.” Yovanovitch said that the color drained from her face when she read that in the transcript memo. House Intelligence Committee counsel Daniel Goldman asked her about this. Yovanovitch replied: “‘She’s going to go through some things.’ It didn’t sound good. It sounded like — a threat.” Goldman asked, “Did you feel threatened?”Yovanovitch said: “I did.”

It was in this context that House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) read Trump’s tweet to Yovanovitch and asked what effect that would have on other witnesses. She responded by saying, “It’s very intimidating… The effect is to be intimidating.” Schiff replied, “Some of us here take witness intimidation very, very seriously.” They went to break, where even Fox News hosts expressed concern about what had just happened. Then, in a moment straight out of a political drama, Trump’s longtime adviser Roger Stone was convicted on all seven counts against him — including witness tampering.

Needless to say, by committing additional impeachable offenses in real-time, President Trump is making his already indefensible position even more indefensible for the Republican Party.

In other news…

Unpresidented // Donald Trump / Impeachment / Ukraine