That old sinking feeling is back.
There have occasionally been stretches of time that are good for the Trump administration. There have more often been stretches that are bad, though there is a baseline of chaos that has come to feel almost normal. And occasionally, there have been truly hellacious stretches: May 2017, when Donald Trump fired then–FBI Director James Comey; August 2017, around the white-supremacist march in Charlottesville, Virginia; January 2018, around the release of Fire and Fury; December 2018–January 2019, when Defense Secretary James Mattis quit and Trump forced and then blinked on a government shutdown.
Now the administration is experiencing another one of those stretches. Even by the strained standards of the Trump presidency, the past couple of weeks have brought an astonishing raft of bad news for the White House.
On Capitol Hill, a parade of impeachment witnesses continues to deliver damaging revelations about his handling of Ukraine. First, testimony from embassy staff in Kyiv has demolished the (latest) Republican defense of Trump, that although his aides may have pressured Ukraine to start investigations into the Biden family and the 2016 election, the president was not involved and unaware. In truth, that excuse was always a fallback and always implausible—Trump demanded the investigations in his July 25 call with President Volodymyr Zelensky—but news of an overheard call between Trump and Ambassador Gordon Sondland shows the president’s personal connection. The reported substance of that call also waves away the claim that Trump was earnestly concerned about corruption in Ukraine.