Here are some of the conservative political stories making headlines today: Former Ukraine Ambassador Yovanovitch to testify in impeachment hearing; Ethics panel extends probe of Rep. Tlaib; Pelosi says Trump guilty of Ukraine bribery; Report on FBI surveillance abuse of Trump in 2016;
Former Ukraine Ambassador Yovanovitch is testifying in the impeachment hearing today
The former US Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, is testifying at the House impeachment inquiry today. Yovanovitch was ousted by the Trump administration and Democrats are looking for her to testify against Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, accusing him and other associates of a smear campaign, as well as to show that the President’s personal interests were at the heart of her ouster.
Last week, House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff tweeted: “Yovanovitch is a dedicated American diplomat who was forced from her position after a vicious smear campaign orchestrated by the president’s allies.”
Yovanovitch has previously spoken to House investigators, alleging Giuliani had smeared her reputation by seizing on Ukrainian disinformation in saying she had bad-mouthed the president. She also claims Giuliani accused her of circulating a “do not prosecute” list, had blocked corruption investigations and that she was hindering his efforts to investigate the Bidens.
Ethics panel extends probe of Rep. Tlaib
The House Ethics Committee released a report that recommends further investigation in the ethics probe of Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), a member of the so-called “squad” of freshman Democratic congresswomen, citing it had found “substantial reason to believe” that she misused campaign funds.
Federal campaign finance guidelines determine that payments candidates receive from their campaigns must be for work performed prior to the election – not after. However, the report says Tlaib received payments totaling $28,000 prior to the election, but also received funds after the election that she used, including $2,000 on November 16 and $15,500 on December 1.
In a statement, Tlaib has said she has done nothing wrong, adding: “I look forward to the Ethics Committee’s prompt resolution of this matter in my favor.”
Pelosi says Trump admitted to Ukraine “bribery”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi claims the testimony given on Wednesday by two witnesses, acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor and State Department official George Kent, was “devastating,” and says it “corroborated evidence of bribery” that even President Trump himself admitted to.
Pelosi claims that “quid pro quo” is just another word for “bribery” and that Trump’s withholding of military assistance from Ukraine in return for investigating the Bidens is the evidence.
Justice Dept. report on 2016 FBI surveillance abuse of Trump campaign
A report from the Justice Department looking into allegations of surveillance abuse by the FBI on the Trump campaign during the 2016 election is on the verge of being released, according to Attorney General William Barr and other Republican senators involved in the issue, and the process of de-classifying certain information within a matter of weeks.
Leading the pack for the Republicans: Sen. Chuck Grassley, (R-Iowa), Chairman of the Finance Committee and a member of the Judiciary Committee; and Ron Jonson, (R-Wis.), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
The report should reveal information on the inspector general’s report on the FISA applications that might indicate whether any legal procedures were bypassed.