Teresa Hanafin, who writes “Fast Forward” for the Boston Globe, offers some new information:

 

Tim Morrison, who works in the White House on the National Security staff as a top adviser on Russia, is scheduled to give a deposition to House impeachment investigators next week, and is expected to corroborate much of what Ukraine diplomat William Taylor told lawmakers earlier this week.

Taylor testified that Trump refused to release $400 million in desperately needed military aid to help Ukraine fend off Russian incursions unless Ukraine’s president publicly announced that his country was investigating the Bidens. Trump also refused to invite the new Ukraine president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to the White House.

Morrison is significant for a few reasons: He’s the first White House employee to testify. He listened in on that infamous phone call in which Trump told Zelensky he wanted him to investigate Joe Bidenand his son Hunter, who sat on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company, while his father was VP. He also was mentioned in Taylor’s testimony several times.

> Trump’s former national security adviser (which one, you may ask), John Bolton, reportedly is in negotiations with Democrats to testify as well. Bolton, ousted in September, supposedly raised alarms repeatedly about the shadow diplomacy in Ukraine being carried out by Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and others.

> Trump and his bootlickers are focusing on the quid pro quo aspect of the Ukraine affair, even though it’s kind of irrelevant: The simple fact that Trump asked a foreign leader to investigate one of his political rivals is the problem. Adding pressure by withholding military funds is just icing on the cake.

Nonetheless, the Trumpsters have been claiming that no quid pro quo could have existed with Ukraine because Ukrainian officials had no idea that Trump was withholding the military aid that Congress had allocated. (That’s a little like saying that attempted murder isn’t wrong because the victim didn’t die.) But The New York Times reports that Ukraine knew about the aid block as early as the first week of August. Time for another excuse!