Volker First to Testify in Trump Impeachment Inquiry

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We ran the numbers: There are 2106 news articles covering this topic. 57% (1197) are left leaning, 33% (703) center, 10% (206) right leaning.

On Thursday, Kurt Volker, Former U.S. Special Envoy to Ukraine, became the first testimony heard by the Trump impeachment inquiry

Volker’s testimony -- taking place behind closed doors -- dealt specifically with the whistleblower complaint that alleges that President Trump abused the power of his office in a July 25 phone call with the Ukrainian president. Volker appeared before three congressional committees on Thursday and many analysts suspect Volker’s comments were “damaging to the President and his allies.”

According to the President of the Eurasia Group Ian Bremmer, Volker is a “well-respected straight shooter” whose testimony will likely be harmful to the President and his allies.  Volker appeared before the committees on Intelligence, Oversight, and Reform and Foreign Affairs. 

On Wednesday, dozens of documents were given, on Volker’s behalf, to those committees. What’s unknown at this time is whether the State Department granted permission for that transfer of information, or if Volker acted on his own accord. Volker resigned from the State Department hours after the announcement of his testimony before the three congressional committees. 

Similar to many of the news pieces regarding the impeachment inquiry on Trump, the majority of the news coverage originated from the left. Left-leaning articles like The Washington Post’s focused on texts messages given to House officials by Volker during his deposition on Thursday. The texts reveal that officials felt Trump “would not agree to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky unless Zelensky promised to launch the investigations.” However, the Post reports that House Republicans left the deposition saying that none of Volker’s testimony was damaging to the President and that there was “no proof Trump had sought a quid pro quo.” 

A centrist article from The Hill highlighted Volker’s assertion in his testimony that he warned Rudy Guiliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, that the information given to him from his Ukrainian sources regarding any wrongdoing by former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter was “not credible.” The Hill also reported that Volker stated that he and other State Department officials warned Ukraine against any involvement with U.S. politics, understanding that allegations of election interference may follow. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), one of Trump’s most staunch defenders, said none of Volker’s testimony “supports the narrative you’ve been hearing from [House Intelligence Committee Chairman] Schiff [D-Calif.] and the Democrats.”

A right-leaning article from Fox News labeled the impeachment inquiry as a political attack launched by the Democrats toward President Trump. Fox News reported that, in the past, the FBI has launched investigations into the President “without any evidence of wrongdoing, …but let Hillary Clinton off-the-hook in the face of overwhelming criminal evidence.” According to Fox News, the astute eyes of the American people are “wide open.” Further deflecting from Trump’s impeachment inquiry, Fox News says “the media are ignoring the quid pro quo involving former Vice President Joe Biden that did happen – in plain view.”