For the second time since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced her caucus was launching an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, the White House has mistakenly sent talking points about its handling of the matter to House Democrats — the very people trying to take Trump down.
According to the Washington Examiner, the White House inadvertently sent an email to congressional Democrats with Republican talking points on ex-Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch ahead of her Capitol Hill testimony on Friday.
The email was meant to communicate to allies in Congress about how they could respond to her testimony.
“The president did nothing wrong”
“We are not concerned with any information Yovanovitch might share, because the president did nothing wrong,” the White House memo said. “But we are concerned that [Rep. Adam] Schiff [D-CA] is putting her in a precarious position by having her testify in secret without State Department lawyers present.”
The White House also expressed concern in the memo that State Department lawyers weren’t able to meet with Yovanovitch ahead of time.
“Only State Department lawyers would be able to provide Yovanovitch with the correct counsel on what is classified or privileged,” the memo read, “and without that counsel there is serious danger that she could breach her obligations as a current employee not to reveal such information without authorization.”
A leaker in the White House?
The memo does not reveal any real secret information, it seems, but the circumstances surrounding how Democrats got it have sparked speculation that there could be a leaker in Trump’s ranks.
The White House also mistakenly sent talking points to House Democrats on Sept. 25 about the transcript of a phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Were these just careless mistakes, or could someone be trying to sabotage Trump’s efforts to fight off impeachment?
No harm, no foul
While there doesn’t appear to have been much harm done by the two emails, such accidents can only hurt the president’s case. Indeed, Democrats possessing the administration’s response plan could lead them to be able to counter it better, which could be damaging to Trump.
But in the meantime, it seems the president’s supporters aren’t wavering. Trump’s approval rating was at its highest of 2019 in late September, just days after Democrats launched their inquiry, according to The Hill.
It looks like he won’t be going anywhere any time soon.