Listened to The Daily: ‘We Followed the President’s Orders’ from New York Times

In highly anticipated testimony, a top envoy said the operation to extract a political favor from Ukraine was done at the direction of the president, vice president and secretary of state.

Gordon D. Sondland, the United States ambassador to the European Union, has evolved from a loyal Trump campaign donor to a witness central to the impeachment inquiry. But his testimony has been contradicted on multiple occasions.

Today, we look at how both Democrats and Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee handled their most complicated witness to date.

Listened to The Latest: The Irregular Channel from New York Times

Testimony from Fiona Hill, a former top White House adviser, showed that even the witnesses in the impeachment inquiry may only now be learning the full picture of the part they played in the Ukraine story.

Throughout the impeachment inquiry, an image has surfaced of the Trump administration’s two policymaking channels on Ukraine — one regular, one not. Today’s testimony from Fiona Hill, President Trump’s former top adviser on Russia and Europe, raised the question: Which was which?

Listened to The Latest: ‘Everyone Was in the Loop’ from New York Times

Ambassador Gordon Sondland testified that President Trump ordered a pressure campaign on Ukraine and that senior-most administration officials knew about it.

In explosive testimony, Gordon D. Sondland, the United States ambassador to the European Union, directly implicated President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other top administration officials in what he said was a push for a “clear quid pro quo” with the president of Ukraine. But during questioning, things got complicated.

Why is it that Sondland testified but others in the administration did not?
Read Kyiv not Kiev: US changes spelling of Ukrainian capital | KyivPost - Ukraine's Global Voice (KyivPost)
The United States Board on Geographic Names, or BGN, has changed its English spelling of Ukraine’s capital from Kiev to Kyiv, the Embassy of Ukraine in the U.S. announced in a statement on June 13. The U.S. BGN is a federal body under the U.S. Secretary of the Interior that is tasked with deciding on …
Interesting to see the date on this vis-a-vis the whole Ukraine and impeachment business.
Read Why Elizabeth Warren's question on John Roberts may have backfired by Ariane de Vogue, CNN Supreme Court Reporter (CNN)
In announcing that she would vote against the Senate calling witnesses, Sen. Lisa Murkowski suggested that her decision was made in part to spare Chief Justice John Roberts from having to face a 50-50 tie, allowing him to avoid a legal and political storm.
Watched PBS NewsHour, January 29, 2020 from PBS

Wednesday on the NewsHour, carefully scripted legal arguments give way to senator questions in President Trump’s impeachment trial. Plus: Legal experts analyze the latest from the impeachment trial, how China and the global health community are responding to the outbreak of novel coronavirus, understanding traumatic brain injury, saving Australian wildlife after bushfires and Now Read This.

Editor's Note: The first segment of tonight's show incorrectly identified the location of the bakery sending cakes to lawmakers in the Senate. The cakes did not come from a bakery in Washington, D.C., but rather from one in New York. The segment's transcript has been corrected. NewsHour regrets the error.

Listened to Optical Delusion from On the Media | WNYC Studios

Impeachment ennui, Virginia's Lobby Day, and accountability in Puerto Rico.

A gathering of thousands of armed protesters in Virginia last weekend prompted fears of mass violence. On this episode of On the Media, how some militia groups are spinning the lack of bloodshed as victory. Plus, fresh demands for accountability in Puerto Rico, and why the senate impeachment trial feels so predictable. 

1. Bob Garfield [@Bobosphere] on the present moment in the impeachment trial. Listen.

2. Lois Beckett [@loisbeckett], reporter at the Guardian, and OTM producer Micah Loewinger [@MicahLoewinger] on the efforts to shape the media narrative among gun rights activists at Virginia's Lobby Day. Listen.

3. OTM producer Alana Casanova-Burgess [@AlanaLlama] on the "double-bind" Puerto Rico faces as earthquakes shake the state. Listen here. 

Watched January 28, 2020 - PBS NewsHour from PBS NewsHour

Tuesday on the NewsHour, President Trump’s legal team concludes its defense, arguing that Trump’s impeachment was motivated by political differences and that conviction would set a dangerous precedent. Plus: Sen. Elizabeth Warren on the Senate impeachment trial, reaction to Trump’s long-awaited Middle East peace plan, the battle over Huawei and 5G technology and a conversation with Robert DeNiro.

  • Elizabeth Warren on Trump’s trial and why ‘women win’ elections
  • News Wrap: U.S. steps up screenings for novel coronavirus
  • 2 reactions to Trump’s long-awaited Middle East peace plan
  • Why the U.S. objects to Huawei’s involvement in building 5G networks
  • Robert De Niro on ‘The Irishman’ and his prolific career
Listened to The Latest: A Republican Strategy Revealed from New York Times

During testimony from the White House’s top Ukraine expert in the impeachment hearings today, Republican lawmakers displayed their plan of attack.