Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., speaks during a news conference, with other House members, where they called for a second prosecutor to investigate the Dept. of Justice and FBI, Tuesday, May 22, 2018, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
If anyone happened to hear the mainstream media’s take on Saturday’s closed door testimony of Mark Sandy, the Deputy Associate Director for National Security Programs at the Office of Management and Budget, they would have thought it had been particularly damaging to President Trump. From CNN to the Washington Post, each account said Sandy found the Trump Administration’s decision to freeze aid to Ukraine to be both “highly unusual” and “political.”
According to the Washington Post, Sandy’s testimony “appeared to confirm Democrats’ assertion that the decision to withhold nearly $400 million in congressionally approved funds for Ukraine, including millions in lethal aid, was a political one.” Additionally, they reported that “senior political appointees in the Office of Management and Budget were unable to provide an explanation for the delay.”
CNN, citing sources familiar with his testimony, informed their readers that Sandy testified “about a budget process that went off the rails when nearly $400 million in US military aid to Ukraine was withheld earlier this year, and that he did not know for sure the reasoning behind the freeze in funds…He spoke about how unusual of a process it was that a political appointee came in, took over the apportionment process and placed a hold on the military aid.”
That’s why I was somewhat surprised, and very relieved, to hear Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) say the opposite to Maria Bartiromo on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.” Zeldin believes Sandy’s transcript should be made public immediately. He went so far as to say there should not be another hearing until everyone has heard Sandy’s testimony.
There was a lot of coverage, obviously, for the open hearing of Ambassador Yovanovitch on Friday. But once that was done, even though we thought we were in this new open public part of this impeachment inquiry, we went back into this SCIF in the basement of the United States capitol for two more depositions. On Friday, it was David Holmes who was an assistant for Ambassador Taylor, and then Saturday, yesterday, we were there for several hours for Mark Sandy, who is a dedicated career staffer at the Office of Management and Budget, who came in to answer the question on why there was a hold on aid to Ukraine. His answer was one that I don’t believe there should be another open hearing until that transcript is released because it’s going to change some of the answers that would be given by say Lt. Col. Vindman Tuesday morning.
So, let’s release all of the remaining transcripts including Mark Sandy and David Holmes because Mark Sandy’s answer that he gave yesterday to that question made for a very bad day for those who are pushing for this impeachment charade.
There’s a whole lot of daylight between the left’s version of events and Zeldin’s. If we’re supposedly in the “public phase” of the hearings, why would Schiff make the decision to keep selected depositions private? Was he worried Sandy or Holmes might say something that would hurt his case against the President? Was he right to be concerned?
Zeldin, of course, was unable to reveal what Sandy said that he feels needs to be heard by the American people. But, if Sandy’s testimony had been damaging to Trump, he would have said nothing. The fact that Zeldin, a vocal Trump supporter, openly advocates for the testimony to be released, and that it should happen immediately – before another hearing is held, speaks volumes. It’s very encouraging.
That said, reading the tea leaves has become very tiresome, hasn’t it?
Watch the clip below.
.@RepLeeZeldin said all public hearings need to be suspended until the release of Mark Sandy's private testimony, which Zeldin says includes an answer that could fundamentally impact other testimonies.
Says it was a "very bad day" for Democrats pushing for impeachment. pic.twitter.com/bEkKKs5eUd
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) November 18, 2019