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Oct 6, 2019

Donald Trump. Ukraine. Joe Biden. A phone call. Election Interference. Impeachment!

What the hell is going on?

In this episode, an irritated Jen gives you the backstory that you need to know about the impeachment drama, including what the steps to impeachment are. Prepare yourself: Everyone devoted to the Republican or Democratic parties will be pissed off by this episode.

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Additional Resources

Sound Clip Sources

Interview with Mitch McConnell:, CNBC, September 30, 2019

  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

Sen. Mitch McConnell (KY): Yeah, it's a, it's a Senate rule related to impeachment that would take 67 votes to change. So I would have no choice but to take it up. How long you're on it is a whole different matter, but I would have no choice but to take it up.

President Trump Meeting with Ukrainian President, C-SPAN, 74th U.N. General Assembly at United Nations headquarters in New York City, September 25, 2019

  • Donald J. Trump
  • President Zelensky

1:45 Volodymyr Zelensky: It’s a great pleasure to me to be here, and it’s better to be on TV than by phone.

3:30 Volodymyr Zelensky: My priority to stop the war on Donbass and to get back our territories, –- thank you for your support in this case, thank you very much.

6:40 Volodymyr Zelensky: And to know when, I want world to know that now we have the new team, the new parliament, the new government. So now we – about 74 laws, new laws, which help for our new reforms, land reform, -- law about concessions, that we – general – and we launched the – secretary, and anti-corruption court. As we came, we launched the anti-corruption court, it began to work on the 5th of September. It was, you know, it was, after five days we had the new – So we are ready, we want to show that we just come, and if somebody, if you, you want to help us, so just let’s do business cases. We have many investment cases, we’re ready.

12:00 Reporter: Do you believe that the emaiIs from Hillary Clinton, do you believe that they are in Ukraine? Do you think this whole -- President Trump: I think they could be. You mean the 30,000 that she deleted? Reporter: Yes. President Trump: Yeah, I think they could very well, boy that was a nice question. I like, that's why, because frankly, I think that one of the great crimes committed is Hillary Clinton deleted 33,000 emails after Congress sends her a subpoena. Think of that. You can't even do that in a civil case. You can't get rid of evidence like that. She deleted 33,000 emails after, not before, after receiving the subpoena from the U.S. Congress.

16:00 Translator for Volodymyr Zelensky: During the investigation, actually, I want to underscore that Ukraine is an independent country. We have a new –- in Ukraine, a hired, professional man with a western education and history, to investigate any case he considers and deems --

Speaker Pelosi Announcement of Impeachment Inquiry, C-SPAN, September 24, 2019

  • Nancy Pelosi

0:40 Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA): Shortly thereafter, press reports began to break of a phone call by the President of the United States calling upon a foreign power to intervene in his election.

4:30 Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA): And this week, the President has admitted to asking the President of Ukraine to take actions which would benefit him politically. The action of the Trump, the actions of the Trump presidency revealed dishonorable fact of the President's betrayal of his oath of office, betrayal of our national security, and betrayal of the integrity of our elections. Therefore, today, I'm announcing the House of Representatives moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry. I'm directing our six committees to proceed with their investigations under that umbrella of impeachment inquiry. The president must be held accountable. No one is above the law.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) talks with CNN's Erin Burnett, CNN, August 8, 2019

  • Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY)

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (NY): This is formal impeachment proceedings. We are investigating all the evidence, we are gathering the evidence, and we will at the conclusion of this, hopefully by the end of the year, vote to, vote articles of impeachment to the House floor, or we won't. That's a decision that we'll have to make, but that, but that's exactly the process we're in right now.

Council of Foreign Relations: Foreign Affairs Issue Launch with Former Vice President Joe Biden, Tuesday, January 23, 2018

  • Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
  • Michael R. Carpenter
  • Presider, Richard N. Haass

6:00* Joe Biden: I think there's a basic decision that they cannot compete against a unified West. And I think that is Putin's judgment. And so everything he can do to dismantle the post world war two liberal world order, including NATO and the EU, I think is viewed as they're in their immediate self-interest.

52:00 Joe Biden: I’ll give you one concrete example. I was—not I, it just happened to be that was the assignment I got. I got all the good ones. And so I got Ukraine. And I remember going over, convincing our team and our leaders, that we should be providing for loan guarantees. And I went over, I guess, the 12th, 13th time to Kiev. I was supposed to announce that there was another billion-dollar loan guarantee. And I had gotten a commitment from Poroshenko and from Yatsenyuk that they would take action against the state prosecutor, and they didn’t. So they said they were walking out to a press conference. I said, nah, I’m not going to—or, we’re not going to give you the billion dollars. They said, you have no authority. You’re not the president. The president said—I said, call him. (Laughter.) I said, I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars. I said, you’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money. Well, son of a bitch. (Laughter) He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.

54:00 Joe Biden: But always worked in Kiev because, as I said, look, it's simple proposition. If in fact you do not continue to show progress in terms of corruption, we are not going to be able to hold the rest of Europe on these sanctions and Russia is not going to roll across the inner line here and take over the rest of the country with their tanks. What they're going to do is they're going to take your economy down. You're going to be absolutely buried and you're going to be done, and that's when it all goes to hell.

56:00 Joe Biden: It's a very difficult spot to be in now, when foreign leaders call me, and they do, because I never, ever, ever would say anything negative to a foreign leader, and I mean this sincerely, about a sitting president, no matter how fundamentally I disagree with them. And it is not my role, not my role to make foreign policy. But the questions across the board range from, what the hell is going on, Joe, to what advice do you have for me? And my advice always is to, I give them names of individuals in the administration who I think to be knowledgeable and, and, and, and, and committed, and I say, you should talk to so and so. You should, and what I do, and every one of those times, I first call the vice president and tell him I received the call, tell him, and ask him whether he has any objection to my returning the call. And then what is the administration's position, if any, they want me to communicate to that country.

Interview, ABC News, March 30, 2015

  • Mike Pence
  • George Stephanopoulos

8:00 George Stephanopoulos: One fix that people have talked about is simply adding sexual orientation as a protected class under the state civil rights laws. Will you push for that? Mike Pence: I will not push for that. That's not on my agenda. And that's not been an objective of the people of the state of Indiana.

Transcript of leaked Nuland-Pyatt call, BBC News, February 7, 2014

  • Victoria Nuland
  • Geoffrey Pyatt

Watch on YouTube

Victoria Nuland: Good. So, I don’t think Klitsch should go into the government. I don’t think it’s necessary, I don’t think it’s a good idea. Geoffrey Pyatt: Yeah, I mean, I guess. In terms of him not going into the government, just let him sort of stay out and do his political homework and stuff. I’m just thinking in terms of sort of the process moving ahead, we want to keep the moderate Democrats together. The problem is going to be Tyahnybok and his guys, and I’m sure that’s part of what Yanukovych is calculating on all of this. I kind of— Victoria Nuland: I think Yats is the guy who’s got the economic experience, the governing experience. What he needs is Klitsch and Tyahnybok on the outside. He needs to be talking to them four times a week, you know? I just think Klitsch going in—he’s going to be at that level working for Yatsenyuk; it’s just not going to work.

Victoria Nuland: So, on that piece, Geoff, when I wrote the note, Sullivan’s come back to me VFR, saying, you need Biden, and I said, probably tomorrow for an “atta-boy” and to get the deets to stick. Geoffrey Pyatt: Okay. Victoria Nuland: So, Biden’s willing. Geoffrey Pyatt: Okay, great. Thanks.

Senator John McCain on Ukraine, C-SPAN, Atlantic Council of the U.S., December 13, 2013

  • John S. McCain III

Watch on YouTube


16:45 Sen. John McCain: Finally, we must encourage the European Union and the IMF to keep their doors open to Ukraine. Ultimately, the support of both institutions is indispensible for Ukraine's future. And eventually, a Ukrainian President, either this one or a future one, will be prepared to accept the fundamental choice facing the country, which is this: While there are real short-term costs to the political and economic reforms required for IMF assistance and EU integration, and while President Putin will likely add to these costs by retaliating against Ukraine's economy, the long-term benefits for Ukraine in taking these tough steps are far greater and almost limitless. This decision cannot be borne by one person alone in Ukraine. Nor should it be. It must be shared—both the risks and the rewards—by all Ukrainians, especially the opposition and business elite. It must also be shared by the EU, the IMF and the United States. All of us in the West should be prepared to help Ukraine, financially and otherwise, to overcome the short-term pain that reforms will require and Russia may inflict.

Cover Art

Design by Only Child Imaginations

Music Presented in This Episode

Intro & Exit: Tired of Being Lied To by David Ippolito (found on Music Alley by mevio)