The Trump administration’s “blockade” of potential witnesses from testifying in the House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry is crumbling, The New York Times reports, as more and more witnesses are defying the administration’s orders and cooperating with the inquiry.
The administration has been nothing short of adamantly clear in its belief that the impeachment inquiry is a “kangaroo court,” according to the Times report.
Indeed, as previously reported by The Inquisitr, Trump has officially vowed to not cooperate with the inquiry, which he calls “unconstitutional,” and has instructed certain individuals not to testify before the House Judiciary Committee or otherwise cooperate with the inquiry.
One such individual is Gordon Sondland, the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union. Trump allegedly spoke directly with Sondland several times during and around the time when Trump made the phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, asking him to launch an investigation into Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, and his business dealings in the country.
Further, Sondland and another diplomat, William B. Taylor Jr., are believed to have exchanged text messages, during which Taylor expressed concerns about the matter, and to which Sondland allegedly responded that there were “no quid pro quos” of any kind. Sondland then allegedly told Taylor that they shouldn’t discuss things over text message any more.
Sondland has since defied that order. He is expected to testify that he learned that Trump did not intend to invite Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to the Oval Office until Zelensky pledged to open the investigation into Hunter Biden.
Similarly, Michael McKinley, formerly an aide to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, testified Wednesday that the State Department is “demoralized” over the administration’s lack of support of European diplomats, who were apparently pressured to use their jobs “to advance domestic political objectives.”
Also expected to testify, next Tuesday, is William Taylor, who allegedly exchanged the above-referenced text messages with Sondland.
Representative Tom Malinowski, a New Jersey Democrat, suggested that the officials, current and former, who are testifying are doing so out of resentment of the administration’s efforts to stymie the impeachment inquiry.
“It’s partly because this shadow foreign policy that the president was running was so deeply offensive to people in his own administration who took pride in overseeing a professionally run and arguably exemplary policy in support of Ukraine,” Malinowski said.
That’s not to say that everyone the House Judiciary Committee wants to hear from is likely to jump ship from the administration’s gag orders. Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, for example, has refused to answer a subpoena from the Committee.