Musical Bag-holding: Pence, Sondland, and others don't want to be the scapegoat

Coming home to roost, no one wants to be caught being the scapegoat for the obvious movement toward impeachment. The music will stop, and there aren’t enough chairs. Neal Katyal says the House committees “have the goods” to move forward. Even Steve Bannon thinks Nancy Pelosi “will impeach the President”.

Robert Costa and Philip Rucker write in today’s Washington Post about how nervous many Republicans are to defend President Trump’s actions on Ukraine.

But perhaps nobody is as nervous as Vice President Pence.

Pence appeared on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday — a day mostly reserved for the successful operation to take out Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. But toward the end of her time with Pence, CBS’s Margaret Brennan pressed him on the still-unfolding Ukraine scandal. And Pence’s answers were painfully telling.

Brennan noted that the top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine, William B. Taylor, last week became the fourth U.S. official to confirm a quid pro quo with Ukraine involving investigations that would be politically helpful to Trump. So she asked Pence whether those people, who testified under oath to the quid pro quo, were lying.

Pence had no real answers, much less good ones.

He repeatedly tried to steer the conversation to only what he could personally vouch for — his own conversations with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, along with the rough transcript of Trump’s July 25 call with Zelensky. There was no quid pro quo in either of them, Pence said, but he strained to avoid ruling out a quid pro quo in other communications.

www.washingtonpost.com/…

teven Bannon said on Sunday morning that he believes Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is “winning” the impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump and “will impeach the president.”

Bannon, who previously served as a top strategist and senior counselor for the president, made the remarks during an interview with radio talk show host and billionaire John Catsimatidis on The Answer in New York. The Trump official, who co-founded the alt-right website Breitbart News, went on the show to promote his news podcast called War Room: Impeachment, which intends to defend the president.

Pelosi, the top Democrat in Washington, “will impeach the president of the United States on two counts: one, abuse of power, the other obstruction of power,” Bannon told Catsimatidis. He classified her impeachment inquiry as the “most sophisticated political warfare” and “the most sophisticated political disinformation campaign.”

“They’re winning right now,” the former White House strategist asserted. He said his podcast was set up to provide the American public with “the facts and the details of the witnesses, the testimony, the legal arguments.” Bannon argued that he would defend Trump until he was “acquitted.”

www.newsweek.com/…