1. The July 25 date conspicuously surfaces again.
- July 25 is the same day Trump talked with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on the phone and asked for “a favor,” to investigate a debunked notion about the 2016 election and the Bidens. It doesn’t seem like a coincidence that the Ukrainians reach out to the Pentagon, to Cooper and her staff, to get more information about why they hadn’t received the aid that same day. This is just days after officials in the State Department learned the aid had been held up. Cooper said the Ukrainians “likely” knew about the aid being held up then, too.
- It is the earliest date we’ve heard so far that Ukrainians may have known their military assistance had been withheld. Previously, U.S. diplomats testified Ukrainians became aware they weren’t getting their military aid in August, after a Politico article reported on it. But it changes the game if Ukrainians were concerned about their aid being withheld when their president was talking to Trump. If the Ukrainians knew Trump had the ability to give them $400 million in military help when Trump asked Zelensky “a favor, though,” it weakens a Republican defense that there couldn’t have been a quid pro quo evident in that request.
2. Republicans don’t catch a break on the witnesses.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.): Would you agree, though, that it would be very unusual to place a hold on military aid to leverage a foreign country to get them to investigate a political opponent?Hale: Yes.Schiff: And I take it you would agree that that would be completely inappropriate.Hale: That would be inconsistent with the conduct of our foreign policy in general.Schiff: And it’d be wrong, wouldn’t it?Hale: It’s certainly not what I would do.