TRUMP SAID WHAT? Democrats Hit Road Block In Sondland Questioning
Republicans sounded a celebratory note as House Democrats' impeachment inquiry wrapped up another day of public hearings Tuesday evening, saying the day's witnesses had served only to highlight fundamental problems in the case against President Trump.
“Did anyone ever ask you to bribe or extort anyone at any time during your time in the White House?" House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes, R-Calif., asked at one point in Tuesday's afternoon hearing.
Former National Security Council (NSC) aide Tim Morrison: "No."
Former U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker: “No."
Later, Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., covered similar ground in asking the witnesses about Trump's fateful July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky: "Mr. Morrison, you were on that call, and there was no quid pro quo, correct? No bribery? No extortion?"
"Correct," Morrison replied in response to each question.
"And, Ambassador Volker, I presume you got a readout of the call. ... Was there any reference to withholding aid? Any reference to bribery? Any reference to quid pro quo? Any reference to extortion?"
"No, there was not," Volker replied, again and again.
The answers underscored a problem facing House Democrats as their impeachment inquiry continued into its second week of public hearings: With more witnesses testifying, more soundbites have emerged that may help Republicans and the Trump campaign argue that the proceedings were politically motivated theater, long in the works and foreshadowed openly by Democrats for months, if not years.