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Sat Nov 16, 2019, 05:00 PM

A day that underscored the corruption swamping the Trump presidency

A day that underscored the corruption swamping the Trump presidency


Updated 10:21 AM ET, Sat November 16, 2019

(CNN)A fateful convergence of events Friday reflected a culture of corruption and intimidation endemic to the circle of a President who vowed to drain the swamp but instead became its incarnation.


First, a US ambassador told how her reputation was shredded and she was hounded out of her job by President Donald Trump's rogue associates after a faultless 30-year career advancing America's interests.

"Ukrainians who prefer to play by the old corrupt rules sought to remove me," former US envoy to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch said at the House impeachment hearings. "What continues to amaze me is that they found Americans willing to partner with them."

Incredibly, her testimony was interrupted by a Trump attack tweet that visibly exacerbated her anguish over his bullying tactics, lent credibility to her testimony and could now be folded into articles of impeachment.

As she spoke, and less than a mile away across Washington's mall, Roger Stone became the latest associate who will pay for his loyalty to the President.

The Nixon-era political trickster was found guilty of lying to Congress and witness tampering, apparently motivated by a desire to protect Trump from embarrassment over the Russia scandal.

"Truth matters. Truth still matters, OK?" prosecutor Michael Marando had told the jury on Wednesday. "In our institutions of self-governance, committee hearings, courts of law ... truth still matters."

All this came during a week in which the President made a new last-ditch appeal to the Supreme Court to shield his tax returns from public scrutiny.
And on Friday evening, things took another turn for the worse for Trump.

Diplomatic aide David Holmes testified that he had heard Trump on a telephone call ask US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland whether the Ukrainians were going to open investigations he had asked for into former Vice President Joe Biden and a conspiracy theory surrounding the 2016 election.


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