Patterico's Pontifications

11/15/2019

Two Bad GOP Impeachment Arguments

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:29 am



The GOP is pushing a couple of really bad impeachment arguments.

Bad Argument #1: Everything these witnesses are saying is hearsay!!!1!

Oddly, the people with the greatest degree of firsthand knowledge are refusing to testify — at the direction of the President. When he tells Mulvaney, Pompeo, Giuliani, and Bolton to go ahead and tell Congress what they know, and the Democrats refuse, saying “we’ll stick with our hearsay witnesses” … that’s the day Jim Jordan and Stephanie Grisham will have a valid beef about hearsay (which is misunderstood by 99% of people on the Internet anyway). Until that day, which will never come, their point is dishonest chutzpah. Nothing more.

Bad Argument #2: The aid flowed, so obviously there was no condition placed on its flowing!

This is the Nikki Haley argument. “So, do I think it’s not good practice to talk to foreign governments about investigating Americans? Yes. Do I think the president did something that warrants impeachment? No, because the aid flowed. … And, in turn, the Ukrainians didn’t follow up with the investigation.”

The problem here is that the whistleblower’s complaint was already under investigation in Congress before the aid flowed. Allahpundit explained this yesterday so I don’t have to:

[H]ere’s a notable admission from Kent today that won’t come as a surprise to people who are following the Ukraine saga closely but will come as a *big* surprise to casual consumers. Various Republicans, Nikki Haley most recently among them, have made the point that there couldn’t have been a quid pro quo considering that Ukraine got its money before it had to actually do anything about Burisma. If Trump was using the military aid as leverage, why the hell would he have handed the money over before they gave him the very thing he had been demanding? Democrat Raja Krishnamoorthi drilled down on that in his questioning this afternoon. The reason the administration coughed up the money, he suggested, is because various congressional committees started investigating the delay in aid on September 9 — the very same day, coincidentally, that the State Department finally released the aid. (And just four days before Zelensky was set to make a statement on CNN finally announcing the revival of the Burisma probe.) In other words, Krishnamoorthi is saying, the administration didn’t willingly cough up the aid; Congress scared them into doing it before the quid pro quo could be performed by Ukraine, or at least that’s what the timeline suggests. Kent confirms that that was indeed the timeline.

An attempted bank robbery is not non-criminal simply because a whistleblower uncovers the plot and blows the whistle before the robbers get the loot.

And as for Ukraine not following up with the investigation … hmmm. From early October:

Has something changed that I don’t know about since that announcement?

P.S. Kent clarified that there really is reason to be investigating Burisma. Aha! you say — so Trump was right all along! Not hardly. Kent also clarified that the prosecutors Biden sought to have fired were the ones most likely taking bribes not to investigate Burisma — and that the corruption allegations against Burisma predated Hunter Biden’s time on the board and had nothing to do with him. So yes, perhaps Burisma took on Biden for political reasons — but it didn’t work. And Trump’s theory on this is all bollixed up.

None of this makes Trump’s alternate-channel Giuliani foreign policy anything but self dealing.

Republican National Committee To Hold Annual Meeting At Trump’s Doral Resort

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:11 am



[guest post by Dana]

Is anyone surprised? It looks like one way or the other, President Trump may see a financial turnaround at his underperforming hotel.

Last we heard, the President had selected Doral as the location for the 2020 G7 summit. After reasonable people concerned with the bad optics, and ethical and legal issues criticized the selection, the President reversed course. But not to worry, the RNC to the rescue!

The Republican National Committee will hold their annual winter meeting at President Donald Trump’s National Doral Miami resort in Florida, CNN has learned.

The move comes one month after Trump abruptly reversed his decision to host next year’s G7 summit at the same property in south Florida, following criticism from both parties. A spokesman for the RNC said the contract to hold the meeting at Doral was signed in March.

RNC staff sent an email to members Thursday with a link urging members to book rooms at the Trump National Doral for the late January summit.

Since Trump took office, the Trump Organization has profited nicely from Republicans. Clearly the RNC isn’t seriously concerned about conflicts of interest or bad optics:

The RNC has a history of hosting events and fundraisers at Trump-owned properties. When asked by CNN in 2018 about RNC spending at Trump properties, an RNC official said donors enjoy visiting Trump properties, and also pointed to security, convenience and price as factors in the committee’s decision-making. The official added that Trump properties are often cheaper to rent than other venues, noting that the Federal Election Commission demands the RNC receive market rates.

The RNC has spent more than $1.5 million at Trump-owned properties since 2015, according to a CNN analysis of FEC data, though an official said they typically do not hold RNC meetings and retreats at Trump properties, pointing to spending at Four Seasons hotels.

“The media is obsessed with our spending at Trump properties and has covered it ad nauseam. As we have stated multiple times, we continue to hold events at them because they have fantastic service and secure spaces that fit our needs,” Michael Ahrens, a spokesman for the RNC, said in a statement to CNN.

Trump has maintained ownership of his international business empire while ostensibly handing over control to his two sons. Nonetheless, it would appear that concerns about his profiting off of the presidency were well founded.

Remember when he boasted:

“I could actually run my business and run government at the same time. I don’t like the way that looks, but I would be able to do that if I wanted to,”

[Ed. Yes, we all know that Trump was not the President in 2015.]

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana


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