As Trump’s stonewalling fails, he is adding co-conspirators to his obstruction. And unlike Trump, they don’t enjoy immunity from prosecution while in office.
- Trump got White House counsel Pat Cipollone to draft a letter purporting to provide a legal justification for defying Congress’ requests and subpoenas in the House impeachment inquiry. But lawyers know a White House press release — and obstruction — when they see it.
- Trump got Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to issue an edict barring State Department officials at the center of the Ukraine scandal from appearing before Congress. But several of them showed up to give damning testimony anyway.
- Trump keeps attacking the whistleblower. But evidence proving the truth of every claim in the whistleblower’s complaint has now become so overwhelming that the whistleblower’s testimony isn’t even necessary. Shooting the messenger was never a winning long-run strategy.
And two of Giuliani’s associates — Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman — have earned the newest name tab on the Trump-Russia Timeline. Last week, they were indicted on charges that go to a central issue in the Trump-Ukraine impeachment inquiry: Along with Giuliani, they were trying to get the US ambassador to Ukraine fired and, eventually, accomplished that mission: “Trump’s Newest Bagmen? Follow the Money.”
It’s not easy keeping up with the pace of key developments. But whenever you get lost in the Trump maze, apply this simple rule: “It Always Comes Back to Russia.” Then ask this question:
On what issue has Trump ever diverged from what Putin would have wanted — or done himself as President of the United States?
Good luck finding one.
Here is a list of the latest update to the Trump-Russia Timeline at Dan Rather’s News & Guts and Just Security:
LATE 1980s: Parnas Works For Fred Trump
APR. 20, 2012: Ivanka Trump Celebrates Opening Trump Tower-Istanbul
SOMETIME IN 2016: Parnas and Giuliani Meet
LATE OCTOBER 2016: Parnas Contributes to Trump Campaign
REVISED: NOV. 8, 2016: Sater and Parnas Reportedly Attend Trump VIP Election Celebration
MARCH 2018: Fruman Attends RNC Fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago
MAY 1, 2018: Parnas and Fruman Have Dinner With Trump; Donate Money to GOP Congressman in Effort to Get US Ambassador to Ukraine Removed
MAY 11, 2018: Sessions Sends Letter to Pompeo About Yovanovitch
MAY 17, 2018: Parnas and Fruman Make Allegedly Illegal Contributions to Trump Super PAC
MARCH 2019: Parnas, Fruman, and Guiliani Together in Washington
EARLY MARCH 2019: State Department Asks Yovanovitch to Remain Until 2020
EARLY MARCH 2019: Parnas and Fruman Pursue Naftogaz Plan, Say Trump Plans to Replace Yovanovitch
REVISED: APR. 21, 2019: Zelensky Wins Ukraine Presidential Election; Trump Urges Him to Work With Giuliani on ‘Corruption’
LATE APRIL 2019: Yovanovitch Summoned to Return to Washington “On The Next Plane”
REVISED: PRIOR TO JULY 18, 2019: Trump Orders Hold on Previously Authorized Military Aid to Ukraine
JULY 26, 2019: Future Whistleblower Writes Memo of July 25 Call
SEPT. 20, 2019: Parnas and Giuliani Together at Trump Hotel in DC
SEPT. 26, 2019: Two Giuliani Business Associates Claim to Have Alleged Wrongdoing on Biden That They Gave to Giuliani
OCT. 3-8, 2019: Dowd Represents Two Giuliani Associates; They Won’t Comply With House Request for Documents and Depositions
OCT. 6, 2019: Trump Orders US Withdrawal From Syria
OCT. 7, 2019: House Subpoenas Documents from Pentagon and OMB
OCT. 8-10, 2019: White House Blocks Sondland’s House Testimony; House Issues Subpoena
OCT. 8, 2019: Senate Intel Committee Issues Report on Russian Measures to Help Trump and Hurt Clinton
OCT. 8, 2019: White House Stonewalls
OCT. 9, 2019: Trump Has Attacked Whistleblower At Least 44 Times
OCT. 9-10, 2019: Two Giuliani Associates Arrested, Had Sought Removal of US Ambassador to Ukraine; House Issues Subpoenas
OCT. 10, 2019: House Subpoenas Perry
OCT. 10, 2019: Pompeo’s Senior Adviser Resigns
OCT. 10, 2019: Trump Says He Doesn’t Know Parnas and Fruman, Hopes Giuliani Doesn’t Get Indicted
OCT 11, 2019: Sondland Says He Will Testify
OCT. 11, 2019: Yovanovitch Testifies Before Congress
OCT. 11, 2019: Giuliani Under Federal Investigation