Earlier today, we got yet another piece of evidence that proves Donald Trump did indeed order the removal of the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch.
ABC News obtained a recording of President Trump telling a close associate that he wanted Yovanovitch fired immediately. On the tape, Trump declares:
“Get rid of her! Get her out tomorrow. I don’t care. Get her out tomorrow. Take her out. OK? Do it.”
Who was Trump speaking to? Lev Parnas, the close associate of Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani. The president has repeatedly denied he knows Parnas, but this tape proves that to be yet another lie.
The tape also raises troubling questions about what exactly the Department of Justice — specifically Attorney General William Barr — knew about the Ukraine extortion scandal and whether or not the attorney general is working behind the scenes to assure that the scandal doesn’t unfold any further.
But since Barr hasn’t spoken on the matter, we don’t know exactly what he may be doing to prevent further disclosures or protect others who were part of the scandal that has led to Trump’s impeachment.
Greg Sargent of the Washington Post notes that one sentence in the ABC report stood out to him. Here’s that passage:
“A copy of the recording is now in the custody of federal prosecutors in New York’s Southern District, who declined to comment to ABC News.”
Sounds promising, doesn’t it? SDNY is looking into the matter and now has additional evidence.
Though we have no idea what progress SDNY is making in the Ukraine case, Sargent goes on to add, there’s another more ominous bit of information that remains hidden and could well be why we’ve heard so little from AG Barr since the scandal broke in late 2019:
“All of which is a reminder that we still have only the foggiest understanding of the role Attorney General William P. Barr is playing. Is Barr allowing this investigation — whatever it’s examining — to proceed wherever the facts lead? We just don’t have any idea.”
As we saw with the Mueller report, Barr is only too happy to run interference for Trump and do whatever is necessary to protect the president. But if that includes impeding or shutting down the SDNY’s investigation, that would mean that Barr is the next member of this administration that needs to be impeached.