Trump Tried To Grab John Bolton By The Mustache In MAY. F*cking MAY! Impeachment Liveblog, Day Whatever!
What's that you were saying, Lamar Alexander, my senator, about how you totally agree that Trump is guilty, but you are just sort of OK with that, because you've sold whatever was left of your shriveled soul to hide behind your obsession that impeachments shouldn't be "partisan," as if that matters when the president's party has devolved into a low-rent criminal operation, and as if Justin Amash hadn't indeed been the lone voice for patriotism on the GOP side in the House, who was then hounded out of the party forthwith for having the balls you don't, Lamar Alexander? Were you saying something?
Uh oh, we interrupt our regularly scheduled Lamar-ring for the latest John Bolton book bombshell from the New York Times! Turns out Trump tried to grab Bolton by the mustache and make him get Rudy Giuliani in a room with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in MAY, which is #calendartime LONG before he allegedly got pissed at the White House and said he didn't want to be involved in Trump's "drug deal" with Ukraine. May is also when Volodymyr Zelenskyy was inaugurated, and just after Giuliani finished his insane, immoral pressure campaign to remove Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, because she was in the way of letting Trump and Giuliani do corruption in Ukraine.
Let's just READ TEH TRANSDRAFDSUIPT!, as least as the Times reports on it:
More than two months before he asked Ukraine's president to investigate his political opponents, President Trump directed John R. Bolton, then his national security adviser, to help with his pressure campaign to extract damaging information on Democrats from Ukrainian officials, according to an unpublished manuscript by Mr. Bolton.
Mr. Trump gave the instruction, Mr. Bolton wrote, during an Oval Office conversation in early May that included the acting White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, the president's personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani and the White House counsel, Pat A. Cipollone, who is now leading the president's impeachment defense.
Mr. Trump told Mr. Bolton to call Volodymyr Zelensky, who had recently won election as president of Ukraine, to ensure Mr. Zelensky would meet with Mr. Giuliani, who was planning a trip to Ukraine to discuss the investigations that the president sought, in Mr. Bolton's account. Mr. Bolton never made the call, he wrote.
Emphasis ours! Because hey, Pat Cipollone, if this is true, and we have zero reason on earth, in Heaven or in hell where you fuckers are clearly from, to believe any of you over Bolton. Sounds like you were part of the "everyone" who was "in the loop," as Gordon Sondland put it. Shouldn't the Senate vote to call you, the White House counsel who has been improperly leading Trump's impeachment defense, as a witness?
Rudy Giuliani denied Bolton's account to the Times, and we are trying to decide who to believe on that one, because we just imagine Rudy's brain memory is in solid working order and that he tells the truth a lot, just kidding, still believe John Bolton.
Read the whole thing, but this is definitely another bombshell as we head into today's impeachment trial session, where senators will be voting on whether to allow additional witnesses and document subpoenas, like for instance, John Bolton. (For the record, we are pretty pissed at John Bolton, who could literally fix all this by stepping to a microphone and clearing his throat, which would release a cloud of mustache dander into the Washington DC air that would land on just about everyone. WALK TO A MICROPHONE, JOHNNY.)
The world is burning today. It is D-Day for Brexit, and the world's markets are responding accordingly. And over here on this side of the pond, Republicans very well may actually decide that, even in light of this bombshell, they don't want to hear from witnesses, because it's just fine with them, LAMAR, that Donald Trump is a fucking unhinged criminal who sold out America and extorted one of our vulnerable allies in service of getting an announcement of bullshit investigations into the Bidens, to help Trump steal the 2020 election.
Susan Collins is a yes on witnesses. Everybody is looking at Murk from Alaska (full name "Lisa Murkowski," ALLEGEDLY) to see whether she will cave to Mitch McConnell, or whether she'll vote for witnesses and bring it to a tie vote, at which point God Knows What will happen, but John Roberts might have to break it.
Guess we'll see.
Let's liveblog until we keel over from exhaustion.
Whoops, that was not a livestream of impeachment, that is "Chimps Go Outdoors for the First Time!" You should prob just watch that.
1:05: Here's a profile in courage, just kidding, it is Marco Rubio:
1:16: Here we go. The chaplain is praying for Republicans not to be unpatriotic morons, just kidding, but it would be funnier that way.
Today we start with four hours of debate on witnesses between the members, after which there will be a vote, and after that ... ???
1:18: FUCKING MURK just announced she is a "no" on witnesses. This is officially a fake Russian show trial.
1:19: Schiff begins by arguing for the resolution on witnesses, which wouldn't even be necessary if the Republicans were still real Americans. He's just going to read y'all that John Bolton story. Maybe he should read the Wonkette version above, with all the cusses, but that would be a treason paraphrase, and he gets in trouble when he does that.
1:21: SCHIFF: Cipollone said all the facts should come out! Sounds like Cipollone should come out! (As a witness, not a gay.)
1:30: Val Demings is arguing why we should have witnesses and documents even though the House already has proven its case, because of how John Bolton's dirt just KEEPS COMIN' OUT.
She should read Lamar Alexander's statement, or at least the part about how Trump is clearly guilty. But maybe that would remind Republicans of how awesome they think it is that their criminal president commits so many crimes.
1:33: DEMINGS: If there are no witnesses called, this will be a fake trial, and Americans will know it and (implied) beat the SHIT out of you at the polls in November.
1:39: GOOD POINT, ELIE MYSTAL.
Cipollone's privilege on this: gone.
1:43: Sylvia Garcia playing tape of Cip from the trial saying the House Managers were hiding information from the senators, you know, like information about Trump's criminal scheme he learned in May at an Oval Office meeting with John Bolton and Mick Mulvaney.
1:48: GARCIA: Sorry, fuckers, if you acquit him without calling witnesses, you don't get your obviously fake "exoneration." America knows.
1:50: Murk's statement is some hot garbage. She can't vote to make the trial fairer, because she just laments that this is all too #partisan and it can never be a fair trial anyway. Congress is bad and Congress should feel bad, says Murk, and she ... doesn't want to make that better.
Fuck off, Murk.
1:53: Jason Crow is going through various lies the Trump team has told on the stand, such as how they claim that nobody ever said Trump linked the military aid to the bullshit announcement of invesigations. You know, nobody like John Bolton.
1:58: Crow plays video of Trump idiot Jane Raskin lying and saying the House didn't present any "direct evidence" of Rudy Giuliani's role in this, which is not true, but know who has some evidence of that? JOHN BOLTON.
And then disbar Cipollone.
2:05: Oh look, John Kelly is talking again, and he says a trial without witnesses is "a job only half done." That's Donald Trump's former chief of staff, y'all.
2:07: Hakeem Jeffries now arguing for why we need all these other witnesses, but mostly Mick Mulvaney, who has confessed.
2:13: Playing Mulvaney's confession, we see Mulvaney say that yes, he was right in the middle of the "drug deal," and remember, what John Bolton exactly said was that he was not part of the "drug deal" that "Sondland and Mulvaney" were "cooking up."
2:21: Basically Jeffries is saying these two White House officials Michael Duffy and Robert Blair were on literally every email involved in the illegal aid hold, and they have the receipts, and fucking call them. These are the four witnesses they want: Bolton, Mulvaney, Blair, Duffy. Done and done.
2:24: Remember, Duffy, a political appointee of Trump's, was the one who stole oversight of the Ukraine aid from Mark Sandy, a career official, without offering any kind of explanation. Sandy testified he'd never seen anything like that in his career. Shouldn't we ask Duffy why?
2:26: Zoe Lofgren gonna remind everybody which documents they need, because documents don't lie. We know this is a supposedly formal Senate trial, but we wish they'd just start cussing at the Republicans and calling them traitors, and if they whine, then simply note that the Senate has stained itself, by throwing a sham trial.
2:28: Fuck you.
2:32: LOFGREN: "Please don't give up" on a fair trial. MURK, SHE'S TALKING TO YOU, MURK.
2:36: LOFGREN: Reminder: Trump has totally waived executive privilege on Bolton. People have testified about Bolton, Trump has called Bolton a liar on specific issues on Twitter, the calls with Zelenskyy have been declassified, fuck your "privilege," that's gone, baby.
2:38: And now Schiff will take over for an impassioned speech and then yield and let Trump's lawyers lie a lot, like they do.
2:39: Schiff reminds senators that not calling witnesses will nullify the impeachment power pretty much forever. Basically that means that when Lindsey Graham tries to get Joe Biden impeached for "Hunter Biden went on a fishing trip one time" or when Ted Cruz tries to get Elizabeth Warren impeached for, we dunno, "aggravated Pocahontases," or when a super-bigot like Josh Hawley tries to get President Pete impeached for being gay, those presidents can just say go eat a fuck.
Enjoy powerlessness, Senate!
2:45: Schiff says John Kelly mathed bad when he said a trial without witnesses is only "half a trial." Schiff says it is ZERO PERCENT TRIAL.
2:51: Schiff closes by reminding senators that Americans are not stupid, know that trials have witnesses, and if you want America to do anything besides LOL at your "verdict," then get a fucking clue and call witnesses. Schiff also reminds them that all these secrets are going to come out, in future books and also congressional testimonies.
Break time! Good time for stepping toward a microphone, John Bolton!
2:56: While we are on a break, Stacey Abrams says she's gonna be president -- ONE DAY.
3:08: And here is Liz with a much deeper look at the newest Bolton news than we were able to scribble down at the beginning of this liveblog!
3:30: Wow, this is a very long 15-minute break! Wonder what is happening behind the scenes. Is Murk murking? Just havin' a real Murk-fest?
No, seriously, we are genuinely curious what is happening. Maybe Ted Cruz has the milk poots and he can't come back in the chamber and Moscow Mitch is worried about his quorum.
3:38: Today's news dump continues! Here is Joseph Bondy, Lev Parnas's lawyer, detailing in a letter to Mitch McConnell all the tea Lev would be willing to spill, were he to be called to testify.
Mitch McConnell is reportedly "holed up in his office," per MSNBC. For "15-minute break."
3:41: And on that note, we are back! We begin with Trump wedgie nerd loser lawyer Pat Philbin, because they hope you fall asleep during their lies, we guess.
Also obviously Cipollone and Sekulow are both fact witnesses, so maybe the optics of seeing Cip start this off would be bad.
3:45: PHILBIN: You don't need new witnesses when you have gotten to see 192 VIDEO CLIPS!!111! You already have LOTS of evidence, and also we don't want you to have more because NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OUR CLIENT IS SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO GUILTY!!11!11!
3:49: We are sorry, Pat Philbin's voice is physically painful to listen to, it is like Milhouse if Milhouse were less cool, and he is just lying anyway, so WTF, we cannot right now.
3:57: Oh thank God, he is done. Never have we ever been happy to hear the voice of Jay Sekulow, and we aren't now, but at least he queens out like WAAAAAAAH!
He says you HEARD Gordon Sondland and Bill Taylor and Fiona Hill and David Holmes and all these others testify, and BIG WARNING, if they called witnesses, Jay Sekulow would have to call those guys and "cross-examinate" them, OH NO! CROSS EXAMINED BY JAY SEKULOW! SPOOOOOOOOOOOOOKY!
What Jay Sekulow is describing here is known as a "trial."
4:11: Schiff back to rebut what the Trump idiots just said, because unlike the Trump idiots, he actually can do that.
4:13: Schiff notes that the Trump arguments have really devolved all the way down to the Dershowitz "So what?" Y'all all know we proved our case, y'all all know he's guilty as fuck, but as we've heard from Alexander and Rubio and others, that's just totally OK with y'all.
4:22: Shorter Schiff: LIE LIE LIE LIE LIE LIE LIE LIE LIE THESE FUCKERS LIE LIE LIE LIE LIE LIE LIE.
4:24: SCHIFF: Spooky Sekulow over there said you guys all heard from all the House witnesses we had, because you heard video clips. We know you are not that stupid, because you know you did not hear that testimony live. Pretty sure he's hoping Americans are dumb and think maybe they were on the can when those people testified in the Senate trial, which did not happen.
4:30: SCHIFF: Y'all whinin' about me saying the Senate is on trial too right now, HOW DARE YE! CALUMNY MOST FOUL!
Yeah well here is a statement from your former GOP colleague John Warner:
So to review: on record for witnesses, are John Bolton, who's offering to testify, John Kelly, 75 percent of Americans, and here's your boy John Warner. Against witnesses are the guilty president, and his dipshit complicit lawyers, the fact witnesses Cipollone and Sekulow The Spooky, and also Milhouse von Dorkenhousen IV.
Which group is right, WHICH GROUP IS RIIIIIIIIIIGHT?
4:34: And the voting begins! To be clear, this is a quorum call (like a roll call), not the actual vote. We will liveblog that one in a bit.
5:09: OK, so here is what is happening, per Claire McCaskill, as senators mull around on the floor and talk, etc. APPARENTLY Mitch McConnell is having a fight with the WHITE HOUSE, because WHITE HOUSE is mad and wants them to stay all night and acquit Trump, and Mitch is like "fuck off, Senate is where I am the boss of" and the White House is like "NOOOOOOOOOO, YOU ACQUIT TRUMP, HE IS KING OF AMERICA" and Mitch is like "NOOOOOO, I KNOW WE ARE ABDICATING POWER AS SENATE BY ACQUITTING YOUR CRIMINAL ASS, BUT I AM STILL BOSS!"
Basically, the White House is fucking obsessed with this being over before Super Bowl and SOTU address, and maybe Mitch is like fuck off. Has been suggesting maybe vote will not even be until Wednesday.
McCaskill got this info from a text from a senator, which she read on air.
Also, THIS may be happening.
Omigod, if that's true, Schumer could do like 194 amendments, omigod, LOL.
5:22: NPR reporting Marie Yovanovitch just quit foreign service. Another good one bites the dust in the Trump era.
5:33: Claire McCaskill gets new text! It says this is the same fight the moderate Republicans and the Trump Republicans have been having all day, whatever is happening on the Senate floor.
5:35: OK, we finally go. They are going to vote on witnesses and documents, Republicans are going to abdicate their constitutional responsibility, and then they will stand in recess. We will have to wait for more reports on what really happens next as they come!
5:42: Motion for witnesses fails 51-49, the trial is a sham, what a sad day for America.
IT WAS A BIPARTISAN VOTE FOR WITNESSES THOUGH!11!111!!!!
The Senate stands in recess, and so does Wonkette. Please give us money if you love us and love our liveblogs, we are 100 percent funded by YOU.
Time to walk to a TV camera, John Bolton.
7:16: Oh hi! We will liveblog a couple things while the Senate is back in session. Proceed to final arguments on Monday, with TOTAL EXONERATION on Wednesday.
Schumer raises parliamentary inquiry on chief justice doing tie-breaking votes, and he is like fuck off, it would be "inappropriate" for him to break a tie, like shut up you guys.
Another amendment to subpoena Bolton, Mulvaney, Duffy and Blair, and also documents, McConnell says TABLE THE FUCKER, and they are voting on it now, guess what, it will lose.
7:27: Next amendment is JUST to call Bolton under certain circumstances. If there are any surprises, it would be now, but LOL, Republicans aren't Americans anymore and there will not be surprises. McConnell moves to table and Alexander votes "aye" to table and that's over now.
7:33: And another amendment to call Bolton under a DIFFERENT set of circumstances. The last amendment was tabled 51-49, which means Romney and Collins still do want to hear from Bolton, but oh well, doesn't matter, because the rest of the Republicans are basically Russian pawns at this point. This amendment will probably go the same way.
7:42: Same result. Another amendment from Chris Van Hollen for chief justice to rule on witnesses and documents "if presiding officer determines" they are relevant. McConnell votes to table, and John Roberts will say AW SHUCKS I COULDN'T POSSIBLY, what am I, a judge?
7:52: It's all party-line at this point. Also Chris Matthews just said Mitch McConnell is "bigoted in favor of this president."
7:57: Annnnnnd they're out. Bye y'all, shitty day for America, shitty day for the whole world.
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