Jeffrey Toobin on Vindman, Volker Impeachment Testimony: ‘Today Was a Graveyard for Republican Talking Points’


CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin summed up the third day of impeachment hearings, featuring the witnesses Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and Ukrainian special envoy Kurt Volker, as devastating for the defenders of President Donald Trump.

During a panel recap of the third day of impeachment hearings, Toobin ticked off three separate GOP arguments that were contradicted by the witnesses.

“Today was a graveyard for Republican talking points,” Toobin proclaimed. “Let’s start with three of them.”

“One, the idea that all of this information here was just second-hand. The morning was devoted almost entirely to the president’s phone call,” Toobin pointed out, referring to the testimony by Vindman, who was a first-hand witness to the infamous July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. “The detailed analysis of what the president said just established how clearly he was doing an exchange: aid, meeting, in return for investigation of Bidens.”

“Second point, the idea that this couldn’t be an exchange because Ukraine didn’t know that the aid and the meeting were being withheld because of the failure to investigate,” Toobin said.

“[Republican Congressman] Jim Jordan just said that,” Anderson Cooper noted, referring to a Republican post-hearing press conference.

“Not true,” Toobin pointed out, refuting Jordan’s claim. “Vindman said it wan’t true, Volker basically said it wasn’t true.”

“And third, the idea ‘What’s this big deal because Ukraine got the money anyway? Ukraine didn’t have to do an investigation.'”

“Which is what [GOP Congressman] Lee Zeldin just said,” Cooper noted.

“But the reason that the president had to give the aid is because he got caught,” Toobin pointed out. “The timing of the whistleblower complaint comes on September 9th, they get notice, that they’ve been busted. And it’s only then that the aid is released. So the idea that, out of the goodness of the hearts, they decided: ‘Well, you know, after all, we do want to send aid to protect [against] the Russians.’ It’s not true. The reason the aid was released is because they got caught.”

Watch the video above, via CNN.

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