Mike Pompeo Just FORGOT He Was On That Ukraine Shakedown Call. Yeah, That's The Ticket!
Mike Pompeo, you dumb sumbitch! Last night, the Wall Street Journal was first to report that the secretary of State was listening in on the infamous July 25 call where Trump tried to shake down Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate Joe Biden. Which is not what Ol' Mike said to Martha Raddatz when she asked him about it nine days ago.
RADDATZ: And I want to turn to this whistleblower complaint, Mr. Secretary. The complaint involving the president and a phone call with a foreign leader to the director of national intelligence inspector general. That's where the complaint was launched by the whistle-blower. "The Wall Street Journal" is reporting that President Trump pressed the president of Ukraine eight times to work with Rudy Giuliani to investigate Joe Biden's son. What do you know about those conversations?
POMPEO: So, you just gave me a report about a I.C. whistle-blower complaint, none of which I've seen.
And perhaps it's even true! It's entirely possible Pompeo never saw the whistleblower complaint with his own dead, soulless eyes, or even the "transcript" of the call before it was hustled off into the Bin Laden Vault never to be seen again. But a guy who was listening in on the phone line wouldn't need that, would he? And a guy who graduated first in his class at West Point and went on to Harvard Law would know goddamn well that asking a foreign government to investigate your political opponent is likely illegal. Or at the very least, REALLY BAD. Which is probably why he barfed out this non-denial denial to Fox's John Roberts.
ROBERTS: Was there a request to investigate Biden and/or his son, and was that linked to a promise of aid?
POMPEO: John, I've watched this president evaluate how and when and to the extent we should provide support to Ukraine for defensive systems and other foreign assistance. We've been at the center of that. Those conversations have always been 100 percent appropriate and 100 percent lawful. And 100 percent ensuring that the American taxpayers are protected, that we put those resources to good use, and we got good outcomes in Ukraine when we used American taxpayer dollars to support Ukrainian leadership.
Let the record reflect the witness is non-responsive. But speaking of taxpayer dollars, three congressional committees just subpoenaed Secretary Pompeo to find out exactly what State Department resources went to support Trump's efforts to frame Joe Biden for corruption. And they've made it clear that, if he doesn't pony up, "it shall constitute evidence of obstruction of the House's impeachment inquiry."
So if Pompeo was on the call -- which has now been confirmed by CNN and NBC -- the State Department's efforts to paint Rudy Giuliani as a rogue cowboy, wilding out in Ukraine trying to get them to frame Joe Biden, looks a whole lot less credible. Well, just Rudy and Fox news loons Joe DiGenova and Victoria Toensing, whom Fox News revealed are secretly colluding on the Ukraine thing with Giuliani while presenting themselves as impartial commentators on the air, because "only the president knows the details of their work." (Please, Lord, grant us one, single news cycle where we can write this kind of batshittery up as a stand-alone. PLEASE!)
Shortly after the July 25 call, the Ukrainians, as instructed by Trump, reached out to the State Department to set them up with Rudy. And then Rudy's State Department handlers, Special Representative to Ukraine Kurt Volker and EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland, helped the president's personal lawyer to make this stupid Ukrainium One smear happen.
Oh, look. Here's Counselor Crazypants showing Volker's messages on live television. Good luck claiming privilege over those, buddy!
And here's the list of witnesses scheduled to be deposed by the House Oversight, Foreign Affairs, and Intel Committees.
- October 2, 2019: Ambassador Marie "Masha" Yovanovitch
- October 3, 2019: Ambassador Kurt Volker
- October 7, 2019: Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent
- October 8, 2019: Counselor T. Ulrich Brechbuhl
- October 10, 2019: Ambassador Gordon Sondland
So, that would be: the ambassador forced out because Rudy's pals in Ukraine didn't like her anti-corruption advocacy; Rudy's main State Department handler; a long-term State Department professional with deep understanding of the former Soviet Union; Pompeo's business partner who somehow got a high-ranking job at State; and Rudy's other handler. COOL.
And while we're on the subject of Mike Pompeo's diminished credibility, let's point out that Pompeo knew perfectly well that the White House had put a hold on the congressionally allocated funding for Ukrainian defense, because he was getting hammered by the Senate Foreign Relations, Appropriations, and Armed Services committees over it throughout August. And, in a rare break with Trump, he actually went ahead and unilaterally authorized the release of the State Department's $140 million tranche in the first week of September when the whistleblower shit started to hit the fan. Politico reports, "Pompeo instructed the State Department to blow the hold and just send the money." Which is extremely out of character for a guy known as a "heat-seeking missile for Trump's ass."
Well, he must have had his reasons. But probably none of them were that whistleblower report. Which he never did see no how, and no man of his experience and education would ever lie about such a thing.
On the other hand, Pompeo just got on a plane bound for Europe with Sebastian Gorka, so maybe his judgement isn't all that great after all.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.