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Following the member rounds as best I can.

Here we go.

Per my prior post this one will likely drop off and have gaps.

Anyway, let’s do this.

Schiff opens by pointing out that the top two decision-makers under Mulvaney - the people with insight into the withholding of aid - have refused to testify.
Schiff picks up on what I was talking about during Goldman’s second block.

Reiterates the strong circumstantial evidence that aid was withheld as leverage in pushing for investigations.

Picks up Sondland’s “2+2=4” language around drawing the obvious conclusion.
Nunes yields time to Rep. Ratcliffe.

I find him, like many of his colleagues, to be insufferably tedious.

Unsurprisingly, he is using his time to cherry-pick independent moments from the overall timeline of events as if benign moments somehow prove all moments were benign.
They don’t have a lot to work with but after a witness so clearly implicates the party on trial, picking out moments that don’t accrue to their guilt does little to diminish the testimony.

In smaller matters, Rs could pull this off. There is too much fire to obscure with smoke.
Rep. Homes now up.

Dives in to further ratify the testimony that Sondland had been told, believed and had no reason to doubt that Giuliani was speaking on behalf of Trump.

No one believes the capo freelances without permission of the mob boss.
Ooooh, Rep. Himes suggests that an intelligence service - whether ours or another country’s - likely has or can produce a transcript of Sondland’s call with Trump on 7/26 from a restaurant in Ukraine.

Suggests we may see that transcript.

Well, that’s something.
Jim Jordan now up.

Immediately starts shouting.

One-trick ponying again about there could have been no extortion because it didn’t succeed.

An attempted murder suspect with Jordan as their attorney would die in prison.
That was brief for Jordan.

Yielded back time.

That’s a harbinger.

R’s know this hearing has gotten away from them and the best they can do is say little, yell a lot and call it a day.
Side note: this pic so completely sums up the Sondland vibe today.

Welcome to the Sondy-Dome, B******.
Whomever was just up at the mic for the Rs browbeat Sondland for five minutes over whether he was explicitly told aid was being traded for investigations.

Then insisted the crime could not exist without overt and explicit statement of the crime among the co-conspirators.
Yeah, that’s the strategy every mobster in every mob trial ever has tried to use to spin their way out of trouble.

When myriad witnesses involved and acting in concert testify otherwise, there ain’t much there there.
Schiff just picked up on this and said “My colleagues seem to be under the impression unless President Trump said ‘Mr. Sondland, I am bribing Ukraine...’ [...] he didn’t commit a crime.”

Repeats the “He got caught!” refrain from yesterday.
Have to drop off for a half hour.

Back when I can be.

Walked back in as Rep. Maloney dropped the absolute hammer on Sondland.

Sondland tries to evade admitting Trump would benefit from his scheme. Tells Maloney he has been forthcoming and doesn’t appreciate the pushing.

Maloney: The third time. This is your third swing.
That’s a paraphrase.

You will be seeing that clip.

It was scorching.
Glad Sondy took a high fastball to the earhole.

Like Volker, he has been too cute by half and honest-ish when forced.

The dude is by no means a hero and deserves no real accolades for riding dirty until caught.
Rep Krishnamoorthi up now. He usually goes last.

If we follow the trend, next up will be closing statements from Nunes and Schiff.
Schiff: “This is a seminal moment in this investigation.”

Hell, yes, it is.

Schiff then reads back the crisp, damning takeaways:

Trump gave orders

Others followed them

Giuliani spoke for him

And what he asked for was the quid pro quo

And the Ukrainians knew
Schiff is turning on the Big Ass Fan and blowing clear the weak obfuscations of today’s Republican flailing

Left in the minds of all but the cloistered Fox News crowd will be the memory that the central player indicted Trump and every one of his key allies.
Schiff spends time calling out one of the most salacious nuggets from today’s atomic bomb of testimony.

Sondland told Pence. And Pence stared back without confusion or alarm.

An ally was being held in limbo as a president shook them down.

The Vice President said nothing.
And Schiff brings it in for a landing with essentially:

I have said much about Trump over the years but I will say this about him now: He is not the type to be led around by the nose by Rudy Giuliani.

“Who had the decision to release the aid? It was Donald J. Trump.”
If this was the closing argument in a jury trial, the jury would be back in three hours with a conviction.
Schiff is dissecting Trump like a Christmas ham.

Slicing away layers of bullshit. Paring back the lies and denials. Excising the bone. Cutting right through tendon and tissue to the very marrow:

The President of the United States committed a crime.

And we all know it.
Like yesterdays, this was a rousing, impassioned and stirring.

“For the past year, I have resisted going down this road. It was made necessary not by the whistleblower but by the conduct.”

That was another virtuoso performance by Chairman Schiff.
And we are adjourned.

Sorry for missing the middle section. There was a pickup to make and then a run for soul food.

My son stubbornly insists on eating and such.

Phew. Quite the hearing.
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