That's how Jennifer Williams, an adviser to Vice President Mike Pence and a veteran of the State Department, chose to characterize the infamous July 25 phone call in which Trump asked Zelesnky to “do us a favor” and investigate the Bidens. “I guess for me it shed some light on possible other motivations behind a security assistance hold,” she added. “Tell Jennifer Williams, whoever that is, to read BOTH transcripts of the presidential calls, & see the just released ststement [sic] from Ukraine,” Trump tweeted.
But for all the men—in the Oval Office, the cabinet, Ukraine, Russia, the House of Representatives, the National Security Council, Trump’s ear, his Twitter feed—women continue to play a prominent role in the impeachment inquiry, providing crucial testimony, addictive commentary, and the political will to hold this president to account.
Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland; Energy Secretary Rick Perry; Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; Andrey Yermak, an aide to Zelensky; Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, a top Ukraine expert on the White House National Security Council; George Kent; William Taylor; Hunter Biden; former vice president Joe Biden. And on.
Sondland’s name has come up over and over in these testimonies, as someone who served as a go-between for the Ukranians, Giuliani, and Trump. “Gordon, you’re in over your head,” Hill testified she told him. “I don’t think you know who these people are. At 9 p. m. each night, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow unravels the day’s impeachment insanity, distilling hours of testimonies and dozens of the president’s tweets into cogent, straightforward, appropriately infuriating segments.
Or as Pelosi put it to reporters last week: “The devastating testimony corroborated evidence of bribery uncovered in the inquiry, and that the president abused his power and violated his oath by threatening to withhold military aid and a White House meeting in exchange for an investigation into his political rival—a clear attempt by the president to give himself an advantage in the 2020 election.
As the Wall Street Journal explained, “The temporary hold on the nearly $400 million in aid to Ukraine is a central issue in the House impeachment inquiry,” with investigators exploring whether Trump “conditioned the funding” on the demand that Zelensky authorize an investigation into the Bidens.
Ever since news broke that President Donald Trump had attempted to solicit foreign interference in the 2020 election, attempting to withhold crucial aid to Ukraine in order to extract an investigation into his political rival, the stories have been filled with men.
She explained how she came to learn of a plot to foil her efforts to fight corruption in Ukraine and what it meant to her to learn that Trump had disparaged her in a call with President Zelensky, telling him she was “bad news” and would “go through some things”—a statement she understandably interpreted as a vague threat.