The latest high crime and misdemeanor that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) wants the U. S. Senate to make into a federal case is this: In a phone call with his counterpart in Ukraine, President Trump conditioned the provision of foreign aid on rooting out that nation’s admitted corruption on behalf of the Obama Administration.
Trump denies that there was any kind of quid pro quo.
Let’s assume that during weeks of secret depositions in the basement of the Capitol, U.S. Representative Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) can produce at least one 20-second soundbite that sounds like, yes, there was some kind of reciprocal intent.
Then Trump was engaging in foreign policy on something Congress should celebrate, not prosecute. Here are the indisputable facts.
A Ukraine court has ruled that country illegally meddled against Trump in the 2016 election. That’s kind of big, isn’t it?
During the interference, Joe Biden was the Obama administration’s point man in the country; i.e., the proverbial fox guarding the henhouse.
Not content simply to look the other way as Ukraine assisted the Clinton campaign, Biden decided to wet his beak in the sleaze. His son raked in as much as $3 million in fees from one of the nation’s largest energy companies, Burisma Holdings.
Fired Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin has claimed in a sworn statement that he was thwarted in his attempts to put an end to the farce because the Obama administration conditioned $1 billion in foreign aid on his removal from office.
The truth is that I was forced out because I was leading a wide-ranging corruption probe into Burisma Holdings . . . a natural gas firm active in Ukraine. Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, was a member of the Board of Directors. I presume Burisma, which was connected with gas extraction, had the support of the US Vice President Joe Biden because his son was on the Board of Directors.
Footnote to The Washington Post: This statement is far more damning than anything Deep Throat peddled to Bob Woodward in that parking garage. You are preening, posing, fake-news hypocrites for not doing a five-part exposé on it.
NeverTrump and their little yeppers who pretend not to be are making “principled” arguments that while it was okay to ask Ukraine to investigate election interference, the request became an impeachable offense when Trump also asked about Biden’s role in the mess.
Which raises the question: How is it even possible to investigate Obama administration corruption without chasing down payoffs made to the family of its chief fixer? Maybe the NeverTrumpkins would have preferred a succinct letter:
Dear President Zelensky,
Please investigate the Obama Administration’s actions in your country re: election interference but steer clear of Joe Biden. He’s running for president and the rule is no candidate can ever be investigated by Ukraine, except me in 2016.
NeverTrump’s obstruction of justice for Joe notwithstanding, President Trump has an absolute constitutional prerogative to withhold payments to Ukraine. He ran for office as a staunch critic of foreign aid. Placing appropriate conditions on how taxpayer dollars are spent abroad is ipso facto part of his foreign policy.
Much of the cloak and dagger that would have been used to beguile stupid people was removed when the president released a transcript of the telephone call. In a sane world, that act would have ended any evidence gathering on what was said.
Not to be deterred, Schiff has invited low-level witnesses privy to the call to testify, but not about what was said—the transcript speaks for itself.
Instead, they are being called to express personal disagreement with any foreign policy that would require Ukraine to police itself.
This week’s star witness is a prime example. Lt. Colonel Alexander S. Vindman is the director for European affairs at the National Security Council. He has strong positions on Ukraine that he hopes will become U.S. policy.
There is no way to read his opening statement except to conclude that Trump’s phone call bothered him because he disagreed with it. He was concerned that if Ukraine investigated the Bidens, the country would lose “bipartisan support” which, he thinks, would undermine “national security.”
Maybe the 63 million citizens who voted for Trump believe that a foreign country fabricating dirt on a U.S. presidential candidate while the vice president’s son is paid off by an associated energy company compromises national security.
Haven’t we been told for three years that election interference is America’s greatest threat?
The mainstream media tried to make any criticism of Vindman off-limits because he is in the military and received a purple heart for injuries he sustained from a roadside bomb in Iraq. Among those who voted for Trump’s foreign policy are veterans who lost limbs in battle, veterans who fought Nazis, and veterans who have been awarded the highest military honors.
None of them would think to acquire a job in the White House and invoke their military service to insist that the president defer to them on matters of foreign policy.
To vault Vindman’s service over the military sacrifices of so many Trump voters is a kind of stolen valor.
This week it was revealed that the celebrated “whistleblower” is a John Brennan flunky who may have been up to his ears in the Obama Administration’s Ukraine contrivances that President Trump was asking about during his July phone call.
OK, this is getting out of hand. The national security apparatus exists to serve the president, and nobody cares if its unelected functionaries have different foreign policy objectives than him.
There have been many investigations aimed at impeaching President Trump. They’ve all been idiotic and baseless, but none more so than this one.