Democrats on the Home Intelligence Committee released the long-awaited transcript from senior National Security Council main Tim Morrison on Saturday, and immediately distorted it for the advantage of the anti-Trump media.
It was a typical example of how Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and his personnel have actually tried to skew the fact-finding process in an effort to pump up public assistance for impeachment, thinking couple of will read the lengthy transcripts for themselves.
Initially, the committee kept the records given that October 31, only releasing it after the very first public hearings began recently. Morrison’s testimony was reported to be really good for President Donald Trump’s defense– Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) had explained Democrats in the room during the closed-door hearing as “drawing lemons”– and Republicans would have made good use of it, had they had the records readily available. However it was not offered.
In the interim, Democrats had sole ownership of the document Schiff does not enable copies of the transcripts to be released to Republicans, either in paper or electronic form. If they desire to check out records, they should do so one by one, in the presence of a Democrat committee staffer. Not only is that rule humiliating, however it also permits Democrats to manage the flow of details and to prepare their public arguments with no fear of prompt Republican defense.
In the Morrison case, Democrats released “ key excerpts” that highlighted the couple of facts in his testimony that, they think, assist press the case for impeachment. Chief amongst these is that Morrison validated that he heard U.S. Ambassador to the E.U. Gordon Sondland claim that he informed a Ukrainian authorities, in a private “sidebar” conference, that help would be launched if the Ukrainian prosecutor general would openly reveal an examination into Burisma.
But that is just hearsay evidence, as is Morisson’s verification of Charge d’affairs William Taylor’s testament (repeated in public recently) that Sondland, after speaking with President Trump, “there was no quid professional quo, but President Zelensky must reveal the opening of the examinations and he ought to wish to do it.”
— Joel B. Pollak (@joelpollak) November 17, 2019
Sure enough, CNN and other networks highlighted these and other supposedly damaging sections of Morrison’s statement.
These are the top news results on Google for the search “Tim Morrison,” since Sunday early morning, November 17:
- CNN: “ Ex-NSC authorities proves Sondland stated he was directed by Trump on Ukraine“
- NPR: “ NSC Authorities Faults Sondland’s Role In ‘Shadow’ Ukraine Policy“
- USA Today: “ Morrison said he was ‘not comfortable’ with Ukraine President Zelensky being included in United States politics: the most recent“
- Day-to-day Monster: “ National Security Official Tim Morrison Feared Leaks of Trump’s Call to Ukraine President Would Be Destructive“
- Politico: “ Sondland stated he was acting on Trump’s orders, assistant informed private investigators“
But these reports downplay or omit the most vital parts of Morrison’s testament for Trump’s defense:
- Morrison affirmed “I was not concerned that anything prohibited was gone over” on the July 25 telephone call in between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, to which he himself listened. That declaration does not appear anywhere in the Democrats’ “crucial excerpts” file. He likewise testified that he “did not have a view” on whether President Trump’s comments to Zelensky on the call were “incorrect.”
- Morrison affirmed that he hesitated that the discussion would leakage– not because he believed the president had done anything incorrect, as Democrats’ “crucial excerpts” document suggests, however due to the fact that he understood about what would happen, given “Washington’s polarized environment.” The Democrats’ summary of the file omits this telling exchange between Morrison and chairman Adam Schiff– no doubt, because it harms their case:
THE CHAIRMAN: Okay. I just wished to follow up a bit on this.
One of the concerns, and there might be an overlap between the first two concerns you discussed about the caII, and if the call became public. Initially, you stated you wene worried how it would play out in Washington’s polarized environment and, second, how a leak would impact bipartisan suppont for our Ukrainian partners.
Were those issues nelated to the fact that the President asked his Ukrainian countenpant to check out on investigate the Bidens?
MR. MORRISON: No, not specifically.
THE CHAIRMAN: So you didn’t believe that the President of the United States asking his equivalent to conduct an investigation into a possible challenger in the 2020 election might influence bipartisan assistance in Congress?
MR. MORRISON: No.
THE CHAIRMAN: And you weren’t worried that the President raising one of his political challengers in the Presidential election and asking a favor with regard to the DNC server or 2016 theory, you weren’t worried that those things would trigger individuals to believe that the President was asking his equivalent to carry out an examination that might influence his reelection campaign?
MR. MORRISON: No.
THE CHAIRMAN: That never ever took place to you?
MR. MORRISON: No.
THE CHAIRMAN: Did you acknowledge during the– as you listened to the call that if Ukraine were to carry out these examinations, that it would inure to the President’s political interests?
MR. MORRISON: No.
- Morrison contradicted Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the Democrats’ star witness in the closed-door hearings, who reported to Morrison straight. Morrison testified that while he appreciated his subordinate’s patriotism, he was inflamed that Vindman failed to report concerns about the call straight to him. He said Vindman never ever raised issues that something illegal had happened. He also stated he accepted all of Vindman’s proposed edits to the call record, contrary to Vindman’s testament. And while he did not believe that Vindman was a leaker, he affirmed: “I had concerns that he did not work out appropriate judgment regarding whom he would say what.” He stated that Vindman’s sloppy practices were partially the result of his own predecessor at the NSC, Dr. Fiona Hill– another among the Democrats’ star witnesses, who, like Morrison, is due to testify publicly today.
- Morrison affirmed that other foreign help being provided by the U.S. at the time was apparently under evaluation– not just to Ukraine. And he verified earlier statement that the aid being held up did not include the important Javelin anti-tank missiles, which were being provided to Ukraine through a different procurement procedure.
- Morrison testified that he had no concerns that President Trump asked President Zelensky, during the July 25 telephone call, to consult with his personal attorney, previous New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
- Morrison kept NSC attorneys informed about what was going on– not because he was concerned Trump had done anything incorrect, however due to the fact that he wanted “to protect the president” from whatever Sondland was doing.
All of these truths are missing out on in the Democrats’ “essential excerpts.” The Democrats do acknowledge a couple of exculpatory moments, however minimize them.
For instance, the “crucial excerpts” file consists of Morrison’s statement that the records of the July 25 call was placed on a more safe and secure server by “mistake”– but concentrates on the truth that it was not eliminated from the more safe server after that.
Morrison likewise verified that the Ukrainians did not understand that the help was being held up until a Politico article appeared on August 28, and he said that Sondland’s side discussion with a Ukrainian authorities in September was “the very first time something like this [investigations] had been injected as a condition on the release of the help.” Democrats consist of that latter quote, however downplay it.
Similarly, Democrats misshaped the testament of Jennifer Williams, an assistant to Vice President Mike Pence, whose statement was likewise launched on Saturday. Democrats highlighted the reality that Williams affirmed that she was informed by another assistant that Trump informed Pence to skip Zelensky’s inauguration in May– though she did not hear that first-hand.
They estimate her as saying the July 25 call “for me shed some light on possible other motivations behind a secunity help hold.” But they neglect her stating she “didn’t have any direct understanding as to the reasoning.”
Both Morrison and Williams are arranged to testify in public hearings prior to the committee on Tuesday.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He made an A.B. in Social Researches and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Scoop of a Transformation, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak