The Most Consequential Day of the Trump Presidency

Gordon Sodland State Department Photo

Ambassador Gordon Sondland gave the most damming testimony to date. He stated, in clear terms, that there was quid-pro-quo, something for something. This was about getting information on Joe and Hunter Biden.

Sondland also stated that the president did not care about Ukraine. He only wanted the dirt on the Biden’s. Sondland was clear that there were other people involved, meaning Secretary Rick Perry, Chief of Staff Nick Mulvaney, Rudy Giuliani, and others. The statement he used was “everybody was in the loop.”

He was also crystal clear, he followed the directions of the president. This link to Donald Trump is contrary to the storyline Republicans have tried to follow. This was a rogue operation, and the president is an innocent victim. This is now an ash pile. The testimony collapsed this fantasy.

He and the rest in the group knew it was wrong. But they did what was needed to keep the rest of the Ukraine agenda alive. After all, this is a country under attack by Russia (who continues to benefit from the bungling by this president.)

Many in the commentariat have said this day was comparable to John Dean’s statement about cancer on the presidency. History is always a good guide. However, it is not an exact copy. Dean’s moment was his. It was a turning point in Watergate. It was the moment many Americans finally paid attention.

There were several moments today that might be a turning point for this scandal. In the future history today will be seen as its own moment, or series of moments. The comparison to Dean will be used only as a reference, if at all.

We have evidence of wrongdoing. The question now is not whether it happened. It is whether this is maladministration or impeachable? For the moment Giuliani and Mulvaney are being set as the fall guys. This is a classic tactic used by mob bosses. This protects the boss, even if lieutenants are sacrificed. Sometimes people realize the danger and flip.

Will Democrats vote to impeach? They have enough. This is like a grand-jury referring the case for trial. Will the Republican-controlled Senate indict? It truly depends on the polls. If Republicans feel they are on a dangerous political ground they probably will. So far polls show minimal movement.

I suspect some of this movement will happen over Turkey during the Thanksgiving holiday. People will talk to each other…

Regardless, this will be the third American president impeached, and the-first during the first term. The president is correct that this is bad for his legacy. He will become even more unpredictable over twitter.

And add this. Secretary Mike Pompeo is expected to resign, and so is Secretary Perry. I suspect this is in direct relation to this impeachment. People are starting to run for the exits.

In grand terms, I believe this was a very important day. In time this could be a turning point. It certainly has that feeling, but we live in a very tribal society.

Republicans are still throwing spaghetti on the wall. The talking points shift day to day, almost hearing to hearing. The reason for that is that the fact witnesses are not helping the case.

Historian by training. Former day to day reporter. Sometimes a geek who enjoys a good miniatures game.

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