Impeachment moving closer and closer as Republicans collapse under torrent of facts

The second day of public impeachment hearings featured some witness intimidation in real time. So that was fun. Republicans had previewed a strategy of not bullying Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, which was going to be difficult for them anyway, and then Donald Trump went ahead and attacked her in flagrant and notably stupid fashion, blowing up that whole strategy. Republicans tried to rally with a stunt to give Fox News a way to change the subject from witness intimidation to how mean it was of House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff to prevent Reps. Devin Nunes and Elise Stefanik from breaking hearing rules, but … that is not going to be the lead story of the day.

Following the hearing, the committee went to a closed-door deposition with David Holmes, the staffer who overheard Trump talking about “the investigations” in a phone call with Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland.

Here are some of the highlights—and lowlights—of Yovanovitch’s testimony.

Meanwhile, Trump’s associates weren’t having such a good day:

Friday, Nov 15, 2019 · 7:54:23 PM EST · Barbara Morrill

Breaking earlier on Friday evening:

David Holmes, a career foreign service officer serving in Ukraine, told a congressional panel behind closed doors that he was present when Donald Trump spoke on the phone with U.S. Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland about Sondland’s efforts to make Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky announce an investigation to Hunter Biden. Holmes opening statement, obtained by CNN, discloses that there are as many as three other witnesses to the call. […]

Trump responded “So, he’s gonna do the investigation?”

Sondland: “He’s gonna do it,” and added, according to Holmes testimony, President Zelensky will do  “anything you ask him to.”