History may not repeat itself, but these impeachment hearings have some weird freakin' echoes. Today, diplomat Catherine Croft testified to House impeachment investigators that, "During my time at the NSC, I received multiple calls from lobbyist Robert Livingston, who told me that Ambassador Yovanovitch should be fired. He characterized Ambassador Yovanovitch as an 'Obama holdover' and associated with George Soros."

Forget the Obama/Soros bullshit for a second. Does she mean THAT Bob Livingston? The former Louisiana congressman who resigned in 1998, just hours before the hearings to impeach Bill Clinton for high blow job crimes, after Hustler magazine outed Livingston for multiple affairs while in office? The same Bob Livingston who successfully spearheaded Turkey's lobbying efforts in 2008 to stop Congress from recognizing the Armenian genocide? He can't possibly be about to play a role in Donald Trump's impeachment, too, can he?


Turns out, Rudy and the chucklefucks weren't the only ones back channeling to get our long-serving Ukrainian ambassador booted. And while Croft wasn't able to work out "at whose direction or at whose expense Mr. Livingston was seeking the removal of Ambassador Yovanovitch," the Wall Street Journal suggests that he was working for then-Ukrainian presidential candidate Yuliya Tymoshenko. Speaking of echoes, you may remember her as the former Ukrainian president thrown in jail by her successor, Putin's buddy Viktor Yanukovych. Which was just fine according to the fancy American law firm Paul Manafort paid to "investigate" her for the benefit of his Ukrainian patrons in 2012.

But in 2018, Tymoshenko was running for another term, and she hired Livingston to get her in to see high-ranking American officials. The Journal reports:

In June 2018, Justice Department records show, Mr. Livingston registered to represent a firm linked to Yulia Tymoshenko—the former Ukrainian prime minister who at the time was running for president against Volodymyr Zelensky, the current president—and Mr. Poroshenko. Over the following months, Mr. Livingston contacted dozens of government officials in an effort to arrange meetings for Ms. Tymoshenko in Washington, among them Messrs. Trump, Bolton and Volker as well as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, according to public records.

Ms. Tymoshenko met with Messrs. Volker and Anderson in December 2018, accompanied by Mr. Livingston, the records show. The following day, another lobbyist at Mr. Livingston's firm introduced her to Mr. Giuliani. They discussed, among other matters, "the provision of US assistance to Ukraine," according to her website.

So let's see if we've got this straight. The guy who was supposed to take over as House speaker from noted philanderer Newt Gingrich, but wound up instead passing the gavel to child molester Denny Hastert, is mixed up in Trump's impeachment because he got involved with Rudy Giuliani's conspiracy theory back channel to the State Department to get rid of the US Ambassador for her anti-corruption efforts. Because in Ukraine, Soros's foundation funds good government, anti-corruption groups, and that's why Tymoshenko and the chucklefucks' patron Dmitry Firtash hate him.

It's not what you would call A GOOD LOOK for Bob Livingston.

(And if you are wondering to yourself, "Self, wait. Wait, self. If Tymoshenko is the one Paul Manafort and his Ukrainians ran a smear operation on because she ran for president in 2010 to fight corruption in Ukraine, and they didn't like that because they wanted to do a lot of corruption, how does it make sense that she's gunning for actual anti-corruption ambassador Marie Yovanovitch?", you are not wrong. Maybe Tymoshenko isn't squeaky clean either. Or maybe we just need more information.)

The rest of today's testimony is not any better for Donald Trump and his demented personal attorney. Today's witnesses served as advisors to Ukraine special envoy Kurt Volker, with Croft taking over from Christopher Anderson in July 2019. In Anderson's opening statement, he testified that the White House put the kibosh on State Department condemnation of a Russian attack on Ukrainian military ships.

On November 25, 2018, Russia escalated the conflict further when its forces openly attacked and seized Ukrainian military vessels heading to a Ukrainian port in the Sea of Azov. While my colleagues at the State Department quickly prepared a statement condemning Russia for its escalation, senior officials in the White House blocked it from being issued.

Why would Trump oppose condemning Putin's aggressive action toward his neighbor? Yeah, that's a mystery! Hey, remember that time Trump "canceled" his G20 meeting with Putin to give him a hard slap on the wrist for that attack, but then secretly met with Putin anyway? Good times.

Anderson also testified that NSA John Bolton "cautioned that Mr. Giuliani was a key voice with the President on Ukraine which could be an obstacle to increased White House engagement." Could be!

When Croft took over the position, she "became aware" of Volker's side discussions with the president's personal lawyer, but says she was not included in their cahootsing. But she does confirm Bill Taylor's testimony that an unnamed Office of Management and Budget official said the order to withhold congressionally allocated funds from Ukraine "came at the direction of the President" on a July 18 phone call.

So far, all the witnesses are telling the exact same story. And it's not a story that looks good for Donald Trump. Or the unflushable Bob Livingston.

[WSJ / Croft Opening Statement / Anderson Opening Statement]

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Liz Dye

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.


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