It’s Friday, but Donald Trump’s corruption doesn’t break for the weekend, folks. So here’s a to-the-point roundup of the impeachment inquiry that’s nipping at Trump’s heels.
- Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch became the first brave soul still currently working within the Trump administration to defy State Department orders and do her patriotic duty by responding to a subpoena. Her testimony was a scathing rebuke of Trump, Rudy Giuliani, and the grift that appears to have led to her ouster.
- Gordon Sondland, major Trump donor and Ambassador to the E.U., appears to be taking a cue from Yovanovitch, agreeing to follow through next week with a deposition he had been ordered to skip by the State Department. Sondland is a central player in Trump’s efforts to extort Ukraine for his personal gain.
- Another U.S. diplomat who is central to Trump’s Ukraine scandal, Bill Taylor, has been called to testify in the impeachment inquiry by House investigators. Taylor held the top diplomatic post in Kiev, and famously called Trump’s insistence on investigations in exchange for military aid “crazy” in a text exchange with Gordon Sondland.
- Trump was a big loser in court Friday on multiple issues, including his border wall money grab and discriminatory green card rule. But a D.C. appeals court dropped an impeachment bomb on him, upholding a lower court ruling that Trump’s accounting firm must provide eight years of his tax returns to the House Oversight Committee.
- New reporting revealed that at least four national security officials began sounding the alarm bells about Trump’s effort to extort the Ukrainian president on the July 25 call “within minutes” of Trump hanging up the phone. They faced two immediate problems: who they should lodge a complaint with, and the fact there’s no equivalent whistleblower protections for people working within the White House.
- Confirmed: Rudy Giuliani is now a subject of the SDNY criminal probe that led to the arrest of two of his associates early Thursday, and implicated two other men in a scheme to evade campaign finance laws.
- And Finally: 17 Watergate prosecutors are urging House Democrats to move forward with impeaching “promptly,” arguing that plenty of “compelling prima facie evidence” already exists.
- Bonus round: Trump is prepping to run over Rudy G with his bus, telling reporters Friday “I don’t know” if Giuliani is still his attorney. “I haven’t spoken with Rudy,” Trump said. Next up from Trump: There may be pictures of me and Rudy but I don’t know him at all. (We didn’t have time to write that one up, but we like our readers to be in the know.)
Happy Friday! Stay sane out there. Hug your loved ones.