New evidence is surfacing which further suggests the impeachment trial is just an effort to pressure President Trump to go to war with Iran.
From Salon, "Trump privately admits he killed Soleimani 'under pressure' from upcoming impeachment trial: report":
President Donald Trump privately told associates that his upcoming impeachment trial factored heavily into his decision to kill top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, The Wall Street Journal reports.
"Trump, after the strike, told associates he was under pressure to deal with Gen. Soleimani from GOP senators he views as important supporters in his coming impeachment trial in the Senate," associates of the president told the outlet.
The revelation, buried deep into a lengthy piece about the strike, follows a similar report from The New York Times.
"Trump pointed out to one person who spoke to him on the phone last week that he had been pressured to take a harder line on Iran by some Republican senators whose support he needs now more than ever amid an impeachment battle," The Times reported Tuesday.
The two GOP senators he allegedly sought to appease according to reports were Tom Cotton and Lindsey Graham -- two of the most fanatical pro-Israel war hawks on Iran.
Senator Tom Cotton Received Nearly $1 Mil To Oppose Iran Deal https://t.co/RF3M9QPKdE— Peter R. Quinones (@PeterRQuinones) August 26, 2019
The president was initially upbeat, expecting the operation to be greeted with applause much like the raid in October that killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State. Indeed, Mr. Trump opened his first statement to reporters on the mission that Friday by describing General Suleimani as the "No. 1 terrorist anywhere in the world," much as he had opened his statement a couple of months ago calling Mr. al-Baghdadi the "world's No. 1 terrorist leader."
But as the president watched television over the weekend, he grew angry that critics were accusing him of reckless escalation. He sought validation from guests at his Florida clubs, recounting details of the Baghdad Embassy protests and drinking in their praise for his decisiveness. He told some associates that he wanted to preserve the support of Republican hawks in the Senate in the coming impeachment trial, naming Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas as an example, even though they had not spoken about Iran since before Christmas.
While Mr. Trump tipped off another hawk, Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, who was visiting in Florida, his administration gave no advance warning to its European allies or Persian Gulf partners in advance of the strike. The only foreign leader who appeared in the know was Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, who had spoken with Mr. Pompeo before the attack and later offered a cryptic public hint hours before it took place.
"We know that our region is stormy; very, very dramatic things are happening in it," Mr. Netanyahu told reporters, unprompted, on the tarmac in Tel Aviv before departing for a visit to Athens. He went on to offer support for the United States "and to its full right to defend itself and its citizens."
Israeli leaders were later pleased by the death of General Suleimani, one of their deadliest enemies, but remained silent lest they provoke retaliation, even as shelter supplies were checked and a ski resort near the Syrian frontier was briefly closed.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Security Cabinet ministers Monday that the killing of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani was carried out solely by the U.S. and that Israel was not involved in any way and must not be dragged into the escalating conflict, two ministers who attended the meeting told me.
I guess that was a lie.
Graham has been out defending the questionable "intelligence" used to justify the strike:
Do you believe the Chairman and CIA Director are incompetent?— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) January 11, 2020
I’m beyond disgusted by the suggestion the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and CIA Director got it wrong when it comes to the actions of General Soleimani.
In this instance, Democrat’s unending efforts to trash President Trump are instead trashing the professional assessment of the CIA Director and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) January 11, 2020
It's beyond disgusting.
As I’ve been saying for a while now, I suspect Israel/Jeffrey Epstein got blackmail on Trump just like they got blackmail on Bill Clinton.
It was revealed in September that Israel got caught spying on the White House with expensive, high tech Stingray devices and yet he did nothing in response other than deny it even happened.
Trump on reports that Israel tried to spy on him: "I don't believe that. No, I don't think the Israelis were spying on us. I really would find that hard to believe. My relationship with Israel has been great." pic.twitter.com/lmgQzfxbYW— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 12, 2019
Read this story from 2014 about Israel blackmailing Bill Clinton and tell me it doesn't sound plausible similar is happening today.
From The Times of Israel, 23 July 2014, "Netanyahu said to have offered Lewinsky tapes for Pollard," subheadline, "New critical book on the Clinton family claims that Israel tapped White House phones, blackmailed president with recordings of intern":
Israel attempted to use tapes of former US president Bill Clinton's steamy conversations with intern Monica Lewinsky to leverage the release of Jonathan Pollard, a new book on the Clinton family's political enterprises has claimed. In the book, titled "Clinton Inc: The Audacious Rebuilding of a Political Machine," author Daniel Halper relies on on-the-record interviews with former officials together with a close analysis of documents termed "the Monica Files" to paint a salacious – and uncomplimentary – picture of one of the most prominent political families in the United States.
Halper reviewed hundreds of pages of documents compiled as a contingency to use in case the former intern ever was involved in legal action against Clinton.
According to the author, the documents indicate that during the Wye Plantation talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, held in Maryland in 1998, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pulled Bill Clinton aside to press for Pollard's release.
Halper said that Israel had found new leverage to push for Pollard's release.
"The Israelis present at Wye River had a new tactic for their negotiations–they'd overheard Clinton and Monica and had it on tape. Not wanting to directly threaten the powerful American president, a crucial Israeli ally, Clinton was told that the Israeli government had thrown the tapes away. But the very mention of them was enough to constitute a form of blackmail," Halper wrote, adding that "according to information provided by a CIA source, a stricken Clinton appeared to buckle."
Halper noted that "intelligence officials in the United States or Israel will of course not confirm on the record the extent or substance of Israeli eavesdropping," but also cited an article published in 2000 by the magazine Insight, that claimed that Israel had "penetrated four White House telephone lines and was able to relay real-time conversations on those lines from a remote site outside the White House directly to Israel for listening and recording."
Israel has denied such claims in the past as "outrageous."
Pollard, a former US naval analyst, was found guilty of passing sensitive documents to Israel, and sentenced to a life sentence in prison for the offense. He remains a cause celebre in Israel, and there have been repeated efforts throughout the past twenty years to secure his release.
Halper cites seemingly corroborating information, including a contemporary New York Times article from November 1998 which reported that the two leaders had discussed Pollard's release during the ill-fated conference and that "the Israelis had told the president something that opened up the possibility of Pollard's release, something Clinton had explicitly ruled out during the first six years of his presidency." The Times article noted that a White House spokesman told a reporter that Clinton was simply "newly impressed by the force of Mr. Netanyahu's arguments."
[...] Netanyahu's threat, according to Halper, spurred Clinton to consider action. Halper claims that Clinton brought the request before CIA director George Tenet. Tenet, however, threatened to resign his position if Pollard was released, and Clinton backpedalled on the idea.
Halper is not the first to claim that Israel illicitly taped the steamy conversations between Clinton and Lewinsky and tried to leverage it to its advantage. In 1999, UK author Gordon Thomas claimed that the Mossad had collected some 30 hours' worth of phone sex conversations between Lewinsky and Clinton and was using them to blackmail the US or to protect a deeply-embedded mole in the White House.