politics Rudy Giuliani Trump Whistle-Blower

Disaster Strikes: Gordon Sondland Revised Testimony To Include Quid Pro Quo Admission, Called Giuliani ‘Insidious’

Ultimately those were demands, were they not? A: Ultimately, yes.

Ultimately those were demands, were they not? A: Ultimately, yes.
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7 comments on “Disaster Strikes: Gordon Sondland Revised Testimony To Include Quid Pro Quo Admission, Called Giuliani ‘Insidious’

  1. We shouldn’t be surprised that Trump was in a bad mood when Sondland called him on September 9th, that’s the day that the IG informed Congress there was a ‘credible and urgent’ whistleblower report. Trump would have known he was in trouble for his quid pro quo at that time.

  2. vicissitude

    This is some insane stuff: that may actually provide evidence of collusion as it relates to Bribery, Embezzlement, corruption, abuse of powers, wire fraud, obstruction, etc., etc ….

    In June, both agencies informed OMB that they intended to spend this congressionally allotted money, but OMB put the money on hold until the White House approved the funds months later, on Sept. 11.

    Before the whistleblower complaint and the notes from Trump’s call with Zelensky were released, this timing perplexed Congress. Politico’s coverage of OMB’s delay suggests the Ukrainian funds were upheld as part of a larger White House initiative to review and cut “unnecessary” foreign assistance. This policy placed Trump in direct conflict with Senate Republicans, who saw the Ukrainian aid as vital to national security and thought the president was trying to circumvent Congress’s spending power.

    OMB might have had the ability to withhold this aid if the White House had provided Congress with a message meeting the ICA’s requirements. But no message appears to have been sent. Furthermore, the aid from both Defense and State was held long past the mandated 45-day period and in apparent contravention of his powers defined by 31 U.S.C § 1512. The president and OMB did ultimately release the $250 million in aid from the Defense Department (on Sept. 11) and the $141 million from the State Department (around the same date). Whether there is some good legal or other explanation for the long delay in releasing the money is a question that lacks a clear answer, and that might remain unanswered indefinitely if Congress cannot get its hands on the requested documents.

    https://www.lawfareblog.com/role-omb-withholding-ukrainian-aid

  3. vicissitude

    More background:

    Two months later, on July 18, OMB placed a verbal hold on that $250 million as well as $141.5 million in Foreign Military Financing funds. The hold was formalized a week later, the same day as the phone call between Trump and Zelenskiy that triggered the impeachment inquiry.

    A senior administration official, who agreed to speak candidly on the condition of anonymity, says OMB put the hold on the Ukraine aid on Trump’s order. A subsequent review by top White House officials including then-National Security Adviser John Bolton took longer than expected, and the hold was extended several times, according to the official.

    After money is appropriated by Congress, OMB provides agencies with direction on how quickly to spend it, in a process called apportionment.

    In a letter to OMB Sept. 27, House Budget Chairman John Yarmuth, D-Ky., and Appropriations Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey, D-N.Y., wrote they had “serious concerns that recent apportionment actions” by OMB “to withhold military aid for Ukraine and other foreign assistance constitute unlawful impoundments in violation of” the 1974 budget law. They wrote OMB “took the unusual and seemingly unprecedented step of delegating the authority to execute these apportionments to a political appointee.”

    https://www.rollcall.com/news/how-the-omb-used-its-powers-to-delay-ukraine-aid

  4. vicissitude

    Maybe this is 3-D chess, with trump as an insane comic book villain plotting to destroy anything he touches. Interestingly, one of the main trump goals in trump’s contract with morons was to grow the economy at 4% per year, cut taxes for the wealthy and MAGA — however, details on deficit matters lacked details and facts. Here we are now, with trump’s budget falling apart again and weeks away from more chaos, but isn’t it curious how spending was dialed back, specifically foreign aid — which fits nicely with trump’s Ukraine problem and OMB’s delays related to Congressional appropriations, i.e., withholding aid in order to reduce his exploding budget. Perhaps many of the problems associated with trump’s current decline are are basically the same character flaws that placed dumbo in bankruptcy at least 5 times. Perhaps abusing the powers of the purse backfired with the Ukraine — and maybe as trump paints himself into an increasingly smaller place in a dark corner, he’ll continue to held accountable. I think more people will be asking questions about where the money is going and why.

    See: “The White House’s discretion is granted and limited through the president’s “apportionment power” and “deferral power,” or the ability to limit spending for brief periods if the budget is at risk of not lasting the fiscal year. The president subsequently delegates both these responsibilities to OMB. Usually, plans or instructions for an agency’s budget are detailed by OMB Circular A-11, a standard White House document.”

    If you think about 2019, it’s easy to think about trump’s relationship with The Fed Boneheads, Treasury issuance problems and all these budget-related problems that seem to overlap in weird ways, as-if somebody is out of control.

    The following FRED offers clarity on the deficit and interest and shows the trump path forward is insane:

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=pqxA

  5. I wonder if Sondland’s memory may see other flashes of light bringing back other pertinent facts as the truth worms it’s way out?

  6. Unfortunately, none of this matters unless 20+ GOP senators jump ship. And the polling is not lopsided enough to compel any of them to do so. Just as OJ can get away with murder, Knucklehead can get away with this blatant abuse of power.

  7. The noose tightens

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