George Kent, the State Department’s foremost expert on Ukraine, seemed destined for a supporting role in Wednesday’s impeachment hearings — more memorable for his matching blue-and-yellow bow tie and pocket square than any newsworthy moments.
But after initial rounds of questions from Republican and Democratic counsels, which were mostly directed at William B. Taylor Jr., the senior U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, Kent emerged as a forceful debunker of some of the most frequently cited assertions and conspiracy theories among Trump’s allies.
Under questioning from Democrats, Kent said there was “no factual basis” of allegations that Ukraine intervened in the 2016 election, something that Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate when he brought up the computer security company CrowdStrike in the leaders’ July 25 phone call. ...
Kent’s rejection of the notion that Ukraine intervened in the U.S. election to oppose Trump appeared to frustrate the top lawyer for the Republicans, Stephen R. Castor, who eventually stopped asking Kent about it.

Nothing frustrates Trump loyalists more than the spectacle of public-spirited, empirically-grounded government professionals putting the facts and the good of the country before Trump’s corrupt political needs and demand for total fealty to his lies. Swamp! Deep State! -- gs

Ken Cuccinelli is expected to be placed in the number two post at the Department of Homeland Security by Chad Wolf, the incoming acting Homeland Security Secretary, after legal hurdles prevented Cuccinelli from serving in the top role, according to a source familiar with the plan.
The Senate is set to vote on Wolf to become undersecretary for the Office of Strategy, Policy and Plans at the Department of Homeland Security Wednesday morning, clearing the way for him to become acting Homeland Security secretary.
The expected move to elevate Cuccinelli, the acting US Citizenship and Immigration Services chief and an immigration hardliner, to a higher post within the department gives him greater latitude over President Donald Trump’s signature issue.

In a just world Cuccinelli would be working at a Gas ‘n Sip, bothering the customers with anti-immigrant rants. Instead he’ll be the No. 2 person at DHS.