Tim Morrison, former top national security adviser to President Donald Trump, arrives for a closed-door meeting to testify as part of the House impeachment inquiry on Thursday J. Scott Applewhite/AP
On Saturday, the House Intelligence Committee released the closed-door testimony of Timothy Morrison, a former Trump aide who has corroborated crucial elements of a US diplomat’s allegation that the president pushed for Ukraine to publicly announce a probe into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
Morrison, who recently resigned from his role on the National Security Council, says Gordon Sondland, the US Ambassador to the European Union, told him he had explained to a Ukrainian presidential adviser that it would be easier to release military aid to Ukraine if “the prosecutor general would go to the mike and announce that he was opening the Burisma investigation.”
Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence, testified in a closed-door session before the House Intelligence Committee on November 7. Reports claimed that she had expressed concern over President Donald Trump’s July 25 call with Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The House just released a transcript of that testimony.
On Friday, the drama was high in the nation’s capital as former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch testified as part of the second day of public impeachment hearings, giving evidence to the House Intelligence Committee that suggested that President Donald J. Trump (R-New York) might, you know, not be the best president. The moving account of the 33-year veteran of the United States diplomatic corps, detailing how it felt to be criticized and threatened by her commander in chief, provided the dramatic pizazz that some theater critics felt had been missing on Wednesday, when two other witnesses had told investigators substantively devastating facts about Trump’s scheme to extort the government of Ukraine into investigating Vice President Joe Biden—but had done so in a way that lacked razzmatazz and, as of press time, not been nominated for any Golden Globes.
But the week was still not over: Late Friday, CBS News obtained the opening statement of David Holmes’ closed-door testimony, which confirmed reports that the embassy staffer had in fact overheard a phone call in which Trump asked US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland for a progress report on the crimes.
As I was leaving the meeting with President Zelenskyy, I was told to join the meeting with Ambassador Sondland and Mr. Yermak as note-taker. I had not expected to join that meeting and was a flight of stairs behind Ambassador Sondland as he headed to meet with Mr. Yermak. When I reached Mr. Yermak’s office, Ambassador Sondland had already gone in. I explained to Mr. Yermak’s assistant that I was supposed to join the meeting as the Embassy’s representative and strongly urged her to let me in, but she told me that that Ambassador Sondland and Mr. Yermak had insisted that the meeting be one-on-one, with no note-taker. I then waited in the anteroom until the meeting ended, along with a member of Ambassador Sondland’s staff and a member of the U.S. Embassy Kyiv staff.
When the meeting ended, the two staffers and I accompanied Ambassador Sondland out of the Presidential Administration Building and to the embassy vehicle. Ambassador Sondland said that he wanted to go to lunch. I told Ambassador Sondland that I would be happy to join if he wanted to brief me on his meeting with Mr. Yermak or discuss other issues, and Ambassador Sondland said that I should join. The two staffers joined for lunch as well.
The four of us went to a nearby restaurant and sat on an outdoor terrace. I sat directly across from Ambassador Sondland and the two staffers sat off to our sides. At first, the lunch was largely social. Ambassador Sondland selected a bottle of wine that he shared among the four of us, and we discussed topics such as marketing strategies for his hotel business.
During the lunch, Ambassador Sondland said that he was going to call President Trump to give him an update. Ambassador Sondland placed a call on his mobile phone, and I heard him announce himself several times, along the lines of “Gordon Sondland holding for the President.” It appeared that he was being transferred through several layers of switchboards and assistants. I then noticed Ambassador Sondland’s demeanor change, and understood that he had been connected to President Trump. While Ambassador Sondland’s phone was not on speakerphone, I could hear the President’s voice through the earpiece of the phone. The President’s voice was very loud and recognizable, and Ambassador Sondland held the phone away from his ear for a period of time, presumably because of the loud volume.
I heard Ambassador Sondland greet the President and explain that he was calling from Kyiv. I heard President Trump then clarify that Ambassador Sondland was in Ukraine. Ambassador Sondland replied, yes, he was in Ukraine, and went on to state that President Zelenskyy “loves your ass.” I then heard President Trump ask, “So, he’s gonna do the investigation?” Ambassador Sondland replied that “he’s gonna do it,” adding that President Zelenskyy will do “anything you ask him to.” Even though I did not take notes of these statements, I have a clear recollection that these statements were made. I believe that my colleagues who were sitting at the table also knew that Ambassador Sondland was speaking with the President.
The conversation then shifted to Ambassador Sondland’s efforts, on behalf of the President, to assist a rapper who was jailed in Sweden, and I could only hear Ambassador Sondland’s side of that part of the conversation. Ambassador Sondland told the President that the rapper was “kind of f—-d there,” and “should have pled guilty.” He recommended that the President “wait until after the sentencing or it will make it worse,” adding that the President should “let him get sentenced, play the racism card, give him a ticker-tape when he comes home.” Ambassador Sondland further told the President that Sweden “should have released him on your word,” but that “you can tell the Kardashians you tried.”
After the call ended, Ambassador Sondland remarked that the President was in a bad mood, as Ambassador Sondland stated was often the case early in the morning. I then took the opportunity to ask Ambassador Sondland for his candid impression of the President’s views on Ukraine. In particular, I asked Ambassador Sondland if it was true that the President did not “give a s—t about Ukraine.” Ambassador Sondland agreed that the President did not “give a s—t about Ukraine.” I asked why not, and Ambassador Sondland stated that the President only cares about “big stuff.” I noted that there was “big stuff” going on in Ukraine, like a war with Russia, and Ambassador Sondland replied that he meant “big stuff” that benefits the President, like the “Biden investigation” that Mr. Giuliani was pushing. The conversation then moved on to other topics.
As of Saturday, Republicans had yet to come up with any excuses for why this is actually good news for Trump. But, rest assured, they’re working on it.
Attorney General Bill Barr during an appearance on Capitol Hill in April J. Scott Applewhite/AP
As the impeachment hearings continued, Attorney General Bill Barr on Friday trash-talked Democrats for attempting to “drown the executive branch with oversight demands,” saying they were working for political gain without thinking of the consequences.
“In waging a scorched-earth, no-holds-barred war against this administration, it is the left that is engaged in shredding norms and undermining the rule of law,” Barr told a room of attorneys at the annual gathering of the Federalist Society, a conservative legal group that has been influential in determining President Donald Trump’s nominees for federal judges.
The remarks about Democrats ignoring the rule of law were especially ironic because they came a mere hours after Roger Stone, one of Trump’s previous advisers, was convicted on all counts for lying to Congress during its probe into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. The attorney general’s speech also came on the second day of presidential impeachment hearings examining allegations that Trump attempted to interfere in the 2020 elections by asking Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
Barr criticized Democrats for launching a “holy war” and using “any means necessary to gain momentary advantage,” while he said conservatives “tend to have more scruple over their political tactics and rarely feel that the ends justify the means.” He said:
In any age, the so-called progressives treat politics as their religion. Their holy mission is to use the coercive power of the State to remake man and society in their own image, according to an abstract ideal of perfection. Whatever means they use are therefore justified because, by definition, they are a virtuous people pursing a deific end. They are willing to use any means necessary to gain momentary advantage in achieving their end, regardless of collateral consequences and the systemic implications. They never ask whether the actions they take could be justified as a general rule of conduct, equally applicable to all sides.
Conservatives, on the other hand, do not seek an earthly paradise. We are interested in preserving over the long run the proper balance of freedom and order necessary for healthy development of natural civil society and individual human flourishing. This means that we naturally test the propriety and wisdom of action under a “rule of law” standard. The essence of this standard is to ask what the overall impact on society over the long run if the action we are taking, or principle we are applying, in a given circumstance was universalized—that is, would it be good for society over the long haul if this was done in all like circumstances?
For these reasons, conservatives tend to have more scruple over their political tactics and rarely feel that the ends justify the means. And this is as it should be, but there is no getting around the fact that this puts conservatives at a disadvantage when facing progressive holy far, especially when doing so under the weight of a hyper-partisan media.
Barr reportedly received a standing ovation, but outside the halls of the Federalist Society, his remarks sparked outrage and intensified calls from the left to impeach not only the president, but the attorney general himself. Others were quick to roast Barr for his statements. “Bill Barr is the type of bare knuckles lawyer the Church would have hired thirty years ago to cover up sex abuse cases,” Richard Painter, a former White House ethics counsel, tweeted.
Another lunatic authoritarian speech as Barr goes from attacking “radical secularists” at @NDLaw to one month later attacking the “resistance” at @FedSoc. Impeach Barr now!
“Yesterday AG Barr addressed a radical political group and gave one of the most vicious partisan screeds ever uttered by a US cabinet officer,” Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) tweeted Saturday morning. “Barr says trump should have king-like powers. Barr is a liar and a fanatic and should be impeached and stripped of his law licenses.”
This is so outrageously inappropriate for an AG to be saying. You are the head of the DOJ for all Americans not just the ones in the Federalist Society. Please start acting like it. https://t.co/OcaHZGi0ey
As the Ukraine scandal grows, Republican lawmakers continue searching for an effective way to defend the indefensible. They’ve said there was no quid pro quo. They’ve said quid pro quos are fine. They’ve latched onto conspiracy theories. They’ve smeared career public servants. And now they’re blaming Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani.
During a break in the impeachment hearing Friday morning, Mother Jones’ David Corn caught up with Rep. Doug Lamborn, a Republican from Colorado who serves on the House Armed Services Committee. “I have some questions about what Mr. Giuliani was doing” in Ukraine, Lamborn told reporters. “That’s a side issue. That’s got nothing to do with the president.”
Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) says he has "some questions about what Mr. Giuliani was doing" and may have been "off on his own mission doing things that people didn't know about, kind of like a loose cannon.” via @DavidCornDCpic.twitter.com/ie2mAcjt4D
That’s an odd statement, given that at every turn, Trump has instructed officials—both foreign and domestic—to speak directly with Giuliani about matters related to Ukraine policy. That was Trump’s response when Gordon Sondland, the US ambassador to the European Union, attempted to convince him to host Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the White House. Trump “just kept saying: ‘Talk to Rudy, talk to Rudy,'” Sondland testified. During his July 25 call with Zelensky, Trump asked the Ukrainian leader to speak over the phone with Giuliani and Attorney General Bill Barr about the politicized investigations that Trump wanted Ukraine to carry out. “Mr. Giuliani is a highly respected man,” Trump said during that conversation, according to the rough transcript released by the White House. “I will ask him to call you along with the Attorney General. Rudy very much knows what’s happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him that would be great.”
Corn asked Lamborn how he could reconcile these statements with his assertion that Giuliani’s activities had “nothing to do with the president.” Lamborn suggested that Giuliani may have been “off on his own mission doing things that people didn’t know about, kind of like a loose cannon.”
But, Corn asked, isn’t Trump responsible for Giuliani’s involvement?
“He may have been wrong to trust Rudy Giuliani if Giuliani was doing things on his own that were improper,” Lamborn said. “Maybe he was trusting him too much.”
Last week, Republicans telegraphed this strategy of throwing Giuliani under the bus, suggesting that he and others acted without Trump’s knowledge or approval when they attempted to coerce Ukrainian officials into launching investigations.
Lamborn appeared to be putting that strategy into practice Friday, but it’s a pretty tough case to make. Giuliani, after all, has insisted that his actions regarding Ukraine were on behalf of Trump, his client.
The investigation I conducted concerning 2016 Ukrainian collusion and corruption, was done solely as a defense attorney to defend my client against false charges, that kept changing as one after another were disproven.
Last month, Giuliani refused to comply with a congressional subpoena for documents related to the impeachment inquiry, citing, among other things, attorney-client privilege and executive privilege. That’s certainly not consistent with the claim that Giuliani was “off on his own mission” that had “nothing to do with the president.”
Former US ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch addresses lawmakers as part of the second public impeachment hearing conducted by the House Intelligence Committee.Win McNamee/Getty
When Mike Pompeo took over as secretary of state last year, he inherited a slimmed-down workforce still reeling from the impact of a 16-month hiring freeze. In his first address to State Department employees, he vowed to restore their “swagger” and rebuild the department’s flagging role in Donald Trump’s administration.
On Friday, roughly 16 months after Pompeo’s first day at State, former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch gave House impeachment investigators a far different portrait of his leadership. Far from “swaggering,” US diplomats had been subjected to smear campaigns, co-signed by Trump, “from individuals with questionable motives.”
If anyone has the authority to speak about smear campaigns, it’s Yovanovitch. A Foreign Service Officer with more than three decades of experience in government, she was abruptly ousted from her post in Kyiv after pushing an anti-corruption effort—in line with stated US policy at the time—that made her a target of Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, who convinced the president that she was disloyal. The campaign of disinformation is in line with several instances of Trump’s cronies, in cahoots with corrupt foreign oligarchs, pushing discredited attacks against career US officials, especially those with experience during the Obama administration. The smears frequently center around liberal billionaire George Soros, who Giuliani and his allies portray—with all the relevant anti-Semitic innuendo—as a puppet master controlling US diplomats and intelligence operatives.
In her testimony opening remarks, Yovanovitch detailed the impact of that right-wing conspiracy feedback loop on not just her, but the State Department writ large:
The attacks are leading to a crisis in the State Department as the policy process is visibly unravelling, leadership vacancies go unfilled, and senior and midlevel officers ponder an uncertain future and head for the doors. The crisis has moved from the impact on individuals to an impact on the institution. The State Department is being hollowed out from within at a competitive and complex time on the world stage. This is not a time to undercut our diplomats.
It’s a familiar, if dispiriting comment on Trump’s treatment of the State Department—and Pompeo’s complicity in the attacks on career bureaucrats within it. Since his election, Trump has appointed more inexperienced ambassadors than any president since World War II, leading to roughly 40 percent of ambassadors coming from outside the Foreign Service, the corps of highly-trained diplomatic professionals meant to serve apolitically across administrations, a sharp increase from 30 percent under Obama. Among the least qualified of Trump’s handpicked diplomats is as ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland. As I wrote this week, while career professionals like Yovanovitch were being pushed aside, Trump tasked personal cronies like Giuliani and Sondland, whose official portfolio does not include Ukraine, to pressure the Eastern European country’s leaders to investigate Trump’s political rivals.
The State Department’s rot goes far beyond Trump though. As Yovanovitch made clear in her testimony, senior department officials abandoned her even as no credible evidence emerged to even partially validate the accusations leveled against her. John Sullivan, then Pompeo’s No. 2, told lawmakers last month that he never sought to confirm the allegations of disloyalty against Yovanovitch or give credence to them. He acknowledged that she served “capably and admirably.” Michael McKinley, a former senior adviser to Pompeo, told House investigators in a private deposition last month that he spoke three separate times with Pompeo about issuing a statement in support of Yovanovitch, but the secretary “did not respond at all.”
“What I was told is that there was concern that the rug would be pulled out from underneath the State Department if they put out something publicly,” Yovanovitch said in her own closed-door testimony to House investigators last month. “You know, that perhaps there would be a tweet of disagreement or something else.” As a member of Congress before joining the Trump administration, Pompeo was one of the most vocal critics of Hillary Clinton’s handling of the attack on US diplomats in Benghazi, pushing several conspiracy theories and hammering the Obama administration for not providing relevant documents to Congress. Now overseeing the department he once pilloried, Pompeo has become, as Obi-Wan Kenobi, might say, the very thing he swore to destroy.
Assessing her own experience in the spotlight, Yovanovitch on Friday described a “hollowing out” of the State Department. Career ambassadors, scared off by Trump or unwilling to serve for a secretary who won’t protect them, have retired in droves. As if to prove her point, less than an hour into the public hearing Friday morning, Trump tweeted a series of attacks against Yovanovitch, writing, “Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad.” When Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), chair of the House Intelligence Committee, asked her to respond to the tweets Yovanovitch’s pained expression evinced an inability, at this point, to be shocked. “It’s very intimidating,” she said. “The effect is to be intimidating.”
Minutes before the start of the House’s second public impeachment hearing, the White House released the rough transcript of President Donald Trump’s April phone call with Volodymyr Zelensky, the newly elected president of Ukraine. The release of that conversation—which took place three months before the now infamous July 25 phone call in which Trump asked Zelensky to do him a “favor” by investigating Trump’s political enemies—appears to be intended by the White House to help Trump’s case. Instead, it raises new questions about Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine into aiding his personal political fortunes.
According to the newly released document, which isn’t a verbatim transcription, Trump used the April 21 call to congratulate Zelensky on his electoral victory. During the conversation, Zelensky repeatedly invited Trump to his inauguration—a key request from a US ally hoping to demonstrate that it had strong international support in its ongoing conflict with Russia. Trump responded that he would “look into it” but added that in any case, “we will have somebody, at a minimum, at a very, very high level, and they will be with you.”
But despite promising to send a “very high level” official, Trump reportedly blocked Vice President Mike Pence from attending the inauguration, sending Energy Secretary Rick Perry instead. Here’s how the Washington Post explained it in a story last month:
President Trump repeatedly involved Vice President Pence in efforts to exert pressure on the leader of Ukraine at a time when the president was using other channels to solicit information that he hoped would be damaging to a Democratic rival, current and former U.S. officials said.
Trump instructed Pence not to attend the inauguration of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in May—an event White House officials had pushed to put on the vice president’s calendar—when Ukraine’s new leader was seeking recognition and support from Washington, the officials said.
Pence’s staff was weighing whether the vice president should lead a delegation to attend Zelensky’s inauguration in May, an important vote of confidence for the new Ukrainian president whose nation has come to view the United States as a bulwark against Russian aggression. Russia has annexed Crimea, a part of Ukraine, and continues to foment a separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine.
The date of the inauguration had been in flux, the White House still had not dispatched advance staff and Secret Service to Ukraine, and no visit had been officially confirmed when the president instructed Pence not to attend, according to officials. A current and former official confirmed Trump’s instructions, which were also mentioned in the whistleblower report.
After the transcript’s release this morning, House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff addressed Trump directly during the hearing. “I hope you will explain to the country today why it was—after this call and while the vice president was making plans to attend the inauguration—that you instructed the vice president not to attend Zelensky’s inauguration,” said Schiff..
During the April call, Trump invited Zelensky to visit the White House, an invitation the Ukrainian eagerly accepted. The transcript of that conversation contains no indication of Trump demanding the investigations he asked for in the July call with Zelensky. But text messages between Kurt Volker, then the U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations, and Andrey Yermak, a key advisor to Zelensky—released by House investigators in early October—demonstrate that there was a clear understanding between the two countries: A date for a White House meeting between the two leaders would be set only after Zelensky convinced Trump that he would launch the investigations.
Marie Yovanovitch, the former US ambassador to Ukraine, testified on Friday to feeling threatened after learning that President Donald Trump had told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that she would be “going through some things” during a July 25 phone call. But as she detailed her trauma to lawmakers, Trump was on Twitter smearing her again, in a move that both Yovanovitch and House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff slammed as a form of intimidation.
Yovanovitch, testifying in the second day of impeachment hearings this week, said she was “devastated” after reading that Trump had described her as “bad news” on his call with Zelensky. “The color drained from my face,” she said. “I think I even had a physical reaction.”
Yovanovitch’s moving testimony laid bare the emotional and personal consequences of Trump’s efforts to coerce a foreign government into interfering in the 2020 election. But as Yovanovitch spoke, Trump took to Twitter to launch a stunning attack on the former diplomat:
Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad. She started off in Somalia, how did that go? Then fast forward to Ukraine, where the new Ukrainian President spoke unfavorably about her in my second phone call with him. It is a U.S. President’s absolute right to appoint ambassadors.
Schiff, a Democrat from California, interrupted the proceedings to inform Yovanovitch that the president was attacking her in real time. “Would you like to respond to the president’s attack that everywhere you went turned bad?” Schiff asked after reading the tweet.
Schiff asks Yovanovitch to respond to Trump's tweet, posted during her hearing, claiming that everywhere she worked "turned bad"
“I actually think that where I’ve served over the years, I, and others, have demonstrably made things better, for the US, as well as the countries that I’ve served in,” Yovanovitch said, describing the president’s new attack against her as “very intimidating.”
“Well, I want to let you know, ambassador, that some of us here take witness intimidation very, very seriously,” Schiff said.
The extraordinary moment was even recognized on Fox News, where Bret Baier suggested that it could add another article of impeachment to Democrats’ case against Trump. “This whole hearing turned on a dime when the president tweeted about her in real time,” he said.
Wow. Fox News’ Bret Baier says that Trump’s tweets attacking Yovanovitch could be construed as witness intimidation and hence “adding essentially an article of impeachment in real time as this hearing is going on.” pic.twitter.com/7IiDQ1xriP
In spite of all the incriminating evidence presented at the first day of impeachment hearings on Wednesday—the testimony of two seasoned diplomats about President Donald Trump’s efforts to pressure a foreign government to interfere in the 2020 election, the bombshell revelation of a phone conversation implicating Trump—some of the media were unimpressed.
“The first two witnesses called Wednesday testified to President Trump’s scheme, but lacked the pizzazz necessary to capture public attention,” an NBC analysis claimed. A Reuters correspondent dismissed the hearing as “consequential, but dull.”
Enter Nancy Pelosi.
Speaking to reporters at her weekly press conference on Thursday, the House speaker delivered a withering verdict on Wednesday’s hearing and its implications for the president.
“The devastating testimony corroborated evidence of bribery uncovered in the inquiry and that the president abused power and violated his oath,” she said, a significant escalation in her language to allege Trump’s abuse of power.
.@SpeakerPelosi: "We haven't made a decision to impeach… But I am saying, that what the president has admitted to and says it's 'perfect,'—I said it's perfectly wrong. It's bribery." pic.twitter.com/YTe90kjNXH
This moment, in particular, is sure to infuriate Trump:
.@SpeakerPelosi just threw some shade at Donald Trump: "All this milieu is a seeking of the truth. It's called an inquiry. If the president has something that is exculpatory—Mr. President that means you have anything that shows your innocence—then he should make that known." pic.twitter.com/EwU8l1i6hK
Whether the thought of listening to an impeachment podcast fills you with dismay or delight, we’ve pulled together a handy rundown of what’s out there so far. These podcasts run the gamut of formats, from daily to serial, scripted to call-in. (The only thing that’s missing is some impeachment fanfic, though perhaps someone will read this and immediately rectify that.)
The gist: An upbeat, highly produced podcast that treats the impeachment debacle like the political circus it is. Hosted by BuzzFeed News senior reporter and editor Hayes Brown, it features many interviews with BuzzFeed reporters.
Who is it for: People who want an impeachment update every day, but also feel like laughing. Expect segments like the “Nixometer,” which ranks the daily news on a 10-point scale, with zero being “a normal day in a normal White House” and 10 being “President Richard Nixon resigning and flying away in Marine 1.”
The gist: With excerpts from Brian Lehrer’s daily radio show, the Brian Lehrer Show, the pod features interviews with key lawyers and politicians, call-ins from guests, and appearances from the reporters behind WNYC’s podcast Trump, Inc.
Who is it for: People who love public radio and want to hear Lehrer’s dulcet tones and informed takes on impeachment, not to mention those who want more of the great investigative reporting on Trump, Inc.
The gist: A straightforward, end-of-day show to summarize the impeachment news of the day. It’s hosted by CNN’s political director David Chalian. A slew of CNN correspondents and contributors make frequent appearances.
Who is it for: People who want a newsy, concise recap of impeachment news to close out the day.
The gist: An antidote to the frenetic pace of news in the Twitter era, this podcast embraces deep conversations and nerdy digressions. It’s hosted by Vox founder Ezra Klein and features interviews with policy experts, historians, and Vox reporters.
Who is it for: People who enjoy long, fact-filleddiscussions about the Federalist Papers on a lazy weekend morning.
The gist: Crooked Media’s editor-in-chief Brian Beutleris obsessed with the impeachment proceedings. He gets on the microphone and gives his thoughts on what’s going on, interspersed with news clips and interviews with guests like former Justice Department official Matt Miller.
Who is it for: People who like a dose of personality with their news. Beutler is careful to lay out the chronology of events, but he also offer his personal opinions and fears. It is very much in line with Crooked Media’s other shows, though less conversational.
The gist: Over two seasons in 2017 and 2018, now-former Slate reporter Leon Neyfakh returned to Watergate and then the Clinton impeachment, breaking down the history and interviewing the key players of the time. This one is scripted, highly researched, and writerly.
Who is it for: People who want to know more about the history of impeachment without ever hearing Donald Trump’s name. (Well, maybe you hear it a few times.) It’s a highly-acclaimed, non-news podcast that dives into history to deliver that impeachment fix.
When it comes out: The two seasons about impeachment are all out and available. There is a third season on now, with a new host, reporter Joel Anderson, about the murders of Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G.