UPDATE: Former National Security Advisor John Bolton reportedly is willing to testify in the impeachment hearings if cleared by the court to do so, defying President Trump's order.
Like rats deserting a sinking ship, some of President Trump's once trusted allies and appointees are beginning to scurry away, some even standing up and telling him "No."
Even the guy who was rewarded with an ambassadorship after donating $1 million to Trump's 2018 presidential bid, Gordon Sondland, suddenly experienced a memory revelation after first saying there was no quid pro quo on that Ukranian deal.
This week, the Ambassador to the European Union told House impeachment investigators that, oh yea, I remember, I did tell the Ukrainians they wouldn't get any money from the U.S. if they didn't publicly announce an investigation into the Bidens.
Guess the thought of going down for perjury was not all that appealing to Ambassador Sondland.
Earlier today, House impeachment committee investigators released the October deposition of William B. Taylor, Jr., the U.S.' top diplomat to Ukraine. In it, Taylor told lawmakers that the White House had threatened to withdraw military aid unless they announced those investigations. He is scheduled to testify in a public hearing next week.
Chip by chip, Trump's claim that there was no quid pro quo in his "perfect" telephone call with the Ukrainian president is being whittled away. No longer can Republicans argue that Trump did not attempt to enlist the aid of a foreign government for his own political benefit.
But then this evening, there was the topper.
The Washington Post reported that Attorney General William P. Barr refused Trump's request to hold a news conference saying the president had broken no laws in his phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Uhh, no, I don't think so, apparently was Barr's reaction to Trump's request, which reportedly was relayed to him shortly after the transcript of the call had been released by the White House.
According to The Post, In recent weeks, the Justice Department has sought to distance itself from the White House, particularly on matters relating to Trump’s dealings on Ukraine and the resulting impeachment inquiry.
Now keep in mind this is the very same attorney general who successfully minimized the results of the Mueller Russia investigation and defended Trump as though he was his personal attorney rather than the chief law enforcement officer of the land. So the importance of his refusal to play ball on this one should not be minimized.
As this inquiry moves into the next phase with public hearings, how many Trump defenders in the Senate will continue to hold fast?. Will they stand by Trump for fear of retaliation? Or will they scurry away like those rats mentioned above?
We will see.