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.

203 Responses to “Two Bad GOP Impeachment Arguments”

  1. Argument #1: Yeah, I agree with you about the chutzpah about that argument. Welcome to fugly politics.

    Re: Argument #2: I think this is the Democrat’s strongest argument for impeachment imo. However, its being shrouded as the “usual sausage-makings” in diplomatic deliberations. I’m not convinced that it’ll move the needle to garner bipartisan support for removal.

    whembly (c30c83)

  2. Next Nunes argument: “It can’t be bribery! It’s extortion!”

    John B Boddie (31ccf0)

  3. ”Until that day, which will never come, their point is dishonest chutzpah. Nothing more.“

    The accused is not obliged to lend credibility to the case against them.

    When prosecutors expect help from the defense, it usually means something about their case.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  4. Censure and be done w/this. He earned that the day after Helsinki. They’re wasting time and tax dollars on this. Pelosi had the goods w/t Mueller Report six months ago and did nothing but stall. Now it’s just to damage re-election potential. This guy’s not going to be removed because of a Trump-styled phone call.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  5. #4. The Dems have their own base to worry about. Backing away from impeachment/removal would kill them, and drive the party into the arms of the nutty left.

    Trump should be impeached and removed. He won’t be. He also won’t be meaningfully primaried, which is unfortunate.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  6. IMO, the best argument is, this is low-level corruption by a doofus president, but not worse than similar shenanigans in prior administrations. Under those circumstances, given that we are less than a year away from an election, leave it up to the voters.

    Impeachment, we are told, is a political, not judicial, process. Let politics decide.

    And were it up to me, I would prefer Archie Bunker with Orange Hair over Joseph Stalin in Drag. Though I don’t like the choice, that is what life gives you, sometimes.

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  7. As AOC and the rest of the far left admitted, this sham is about preventing the President from being reelected in 2020. Nothing more.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  8. #3, your argument assumes that the people whose testimony is being blocked do indeed have knowledge that’s damaging to Trump, i.e. further evidence of guilt.

    Radegunda (39c35f)

  9. #7, is that also the reason why so many people who have worked in the Trump administration have been making statements that do not reflect well on him?

    Radegunda (39c35f)

  10. #7, if it’s all a sham, why do Republicans keep changing their arguments to defend Trump?

    Radegunda (39c35f)

  11. Someone should tell Jim Jordan that Trump has muzzled all the first-hand witnesses. But he knows it and doesn’t care. This is about whose team wins, not law. (If it were about law, I think FRE 807 would make hearsay admissible under these circumstances.)

    It is interesting to see Republican officials and leaders support whatever Trump wants or does. They act like abused wives and Trump is their abuser. Trump has all the qualities and traits of an abuser: excuse-making, blaming, justifying, redefining, lying, impulsivity, making fools of others, building up himself as unique, ingratiation, and living a fragmented life. And we know why people stay in abusive relationships. Fear, mostly, and it is easy to see this in a political context where people fear losing their power, influence and livelihoods by standing up to an abuser.

    DRJ (15874d)

  12. @5. Pelosi purposely waited too long– she had the goods w/t Mueller Report. Even yesterday she cries ‘bribery’ yet says they haven’t decided to impeach. It’s all BS. She knows it’ll die in the Senate; McConnell isn’t going to crater his own party’s president in the first term; he wants the judges and needs to save the GOP majority. She wants the voters to do her dirty work for her and reap the bennies at the polls. IMO the day after Helsinki he should have had his political nads tied to a weather balloon and launched to justice in the stratosphere. But Ds and Rs did little but wring hands, wail outrage and reap as many bennies as they could on both sides.

    The personnel running both these major parties just plain suck.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  13. @11. Someone should tell him to ‘dress for success’ and at least wear a jacket.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  14. ”if it’s all a sham, why do Republicans keep changing their arguments to defend Trump?”
    Radegunda (39c35f) — 11/15/2019 @ 8:33 am

    Let us know first whether it’s collusion, obstruction, quid pro quo, extortion or bribery.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  15. 3. That’s true in criminal cases. Let me remind you Trumpsters yet again, this isn’t a criminal proceeding. It is an impeachment hearing. If it seems nakedly partisan, impeachment was always meant to be a political remedy. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Gryph (08c844)

  16. 14. You left out “all of the above.”

    Gryph (08c844)

  17. What’s SMHing to me is New York sewer scum being touted as “conservative”. Republican, yes, New York has tons (literally, whether by the pound or kilogram) of rich jerkoffs country-club plutocrats, but conservative?

    nk (dbc370)

  18. Let us know first whether it’s collusion, obstruction, quid pro quo, extortion or bribery.

    All of the above, plus graft and treason.

    nk (dbc370)

  19. 9. Personally, I’ve always felt like the Democratic efforts at impeachment are too smart by half. They are really hellbent on proving that Trump engaged in criminal conduct while in office. That may or may not be the case, but impeachment is merely a question of fitness for office. After that question is resolved, the constitution specifically states that impeachment doesn’t preclude criminal prosecution.

    Gryph (08c844)

  20. “treason”

    Really? Who is the enemy, and how did Trump give aid and comfort to same?

    Seriously, I think Trump is a corrupt doofus (albeit not more corrupt than many others), but this overreach is a mockery of the Constitution. It makes you sound like a raving lunatic. We don’t remove an elected president over the ravings of a lunatic.

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  21. When prosecutors expect help from the defense, it usually means something about their case.

    How many defendants have the luxury of ordering witnesses to ignore subpoenas?

    Dave (1bb933)

  22. We don’t remove an elected president over the ravings of a lunatic.

    The raving lunatic is the one demanding political favors from a foreign government in return for taxpayer money.

    Dave (1bb933)

  23. OT- Roger Stone found guilty on 7 counts.

    A Nixon tattoo will do more time than Donald Trump ever will, or Nixon himself ever did.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  24. ”How many defendants have the luxury of ordering witnesses to ignore subpoenas?”
    Dave (1bb933) — 11/15/2019 @ 8:49 am

    Any defendants with Article II powers.

    How many defendants are not allowed to call their own witnesses?

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  25. “How many defendants are not allowed to call their own witnesses?”

    Well, that actually is the case in grand jury proceedings. Impeachment is somewhat similar to that, while trial in the Senate is the equivalent of a trial in a criminal court.

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  26. 23, that’s whats referred to as an acceptable sacrifice

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  27. How many defendants are not allowed to call their own witnesses?

    Before being charged? All of them.

    Dave (1bb933)

  28. @26. Per Fox, Stone’s only the 6th Trump associate to get convicted [and he’s asked for a pardon already]. Trump has a long way to go: 70 Nixon ‘associates’ were nailed.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  29. We don’t remove an elected president over the ravings of a lunatic.

    Normally we don’t elect raving lunatics to the presidency.

    Radegunda (39c35f)

  30. It is interesting to see Republican officials and leaders support whatever Trump wants or does. They act like abused wives and Trump is their abuser.

    They’re afraid of the base — all those who view Trump as their savior from the “politicians” and bureaucrats, and who will always believe Trump over anyone else, and who cheered when he said he could shoot someone openly and not lose their support.

    Most GOP officials are apparently terrified of angering the cult.

    Radegunda (39c35f)

  31. “Normally we don’t elect raving lunatics to the presidency.”

    Yet another reason to leave the question to the next election. Or else invoke the 25th Amendment, if you can.

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  32. Yet another reason to leave the question to the next election.

    Except that he was caught trying to corruptly buy a foreign government’s influence in the next election with taxpayer money.

    Dave (1bb933)

  33. @32. So was you know who– Google the Chennault Affair for details. And he won twice- the second time a landslide.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  34. “Except that he was caught trying to corruptly buy a foreign government’s influence in the next election with taxpayer money.”

    Yet another silly exaggeration. He was caught trying to dig up some dirt on his then-likely opponent. (Remind you of anything — like the Steele Dossier?0 The notion that such would have more than a trivial effect on the presidential election is absurd. (Ditto the charge above that he was trying to “steal” the election. Please, as though the election of the U.S. president runs through the office of the Ukraine prosecution office.)

    The electorate knows he is a low-level scum bag. Those of us who knew him before knew that already.

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  35. @35. It is amazing how ignorant most of the country outside of the Tri-State area was about him given his visibility via his years w/t NBC gig.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  36. 30/Radegunda: You need to peel off not only some of these groups but also have your own NTND (neither Trump nor Dem) militia or goons. Some of these redpillers might be scared off because of the recent super-right static given them at several events (e.g the UCLA DJT-Junior event), Oath Keepers might be an option.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  37. The entire charge is based on hearsay, and even if it was true, it had no lasting impact on anything.
    Why even waste time discussing it? The D’s – and the never-trumpers – just want Trump removed BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY.

    Traditions, historical understandings of what is impeachable, what’s good for the USA, fairness, and even evidence, is irrelevant. All that matters is using the power of the press and the votes in Congress to get rid of Trump. Its a sham and a farce and everyone knows it. The ability of the “resistance” to lie with a straight-face is amazing. BTW, we all know who the whistle-blower is, and he should be testifying but of course he won’t because of “His safety”. LOL.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  38. #31 — so, not disputing that Trump is a raving lunatic, then.

    Radegunda (39c35f)

  39. He was caught trying to dig up some dirt on his then-likely opponent.

    Right. Using taxpayer money as an incentive. Just as I said.

    (Remind you of anything — like the Steele Dossier?)

    I must have missed the parts where:

    1) The Steele dossier was purchased from a foreign head-of-state,
    2) with taxpayer money,
    3) by a sitting government official in the course of their official duties.

    The notion that such would have more than a trivial effect on the presidential election is absurd.

    The president of the United States seemed to think it was extremely important.

    Dave (1bb933)

  40. And when this impeachment farce is over, the DNC Media, the D Pol’s and the Never Trumpers will just move on to ANOTHER Fake Charge and keep hammering away. Because Trump can’t be President, because he’s not a globalist and disagrees with them.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  41. Yes, but that illustrates the liberal brand of “NBC” in that it can dull the edges of louts and scoundrels, especially in its news division. Target is just as ruthless with employees as Wal-Mart but guess which one is always the bad guy.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  42. Hey, Roger Stone convicted on all counts. The whatabout starts in…

    So they now convict Roger Stone of lying and want to jail him for many years to come. Well, what about Crooked Hillary, Comey, Strzok, Page, McCabe, Brennan, Clapper, Shifty Schiff, Ohr & Nellie, Steele & all of the others, including even Mueller himself? Didn’t they lie?….— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 15, 2019

    If only he knew someone that runs a department that could investigate them…

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  43. The media in this country should be called the DNC Media. They are completely in the tank for the Democrat Party and don’t even hide it. Where are all the “Brave” reporters telling the American people THE TRUTH about the whistleblower. LOL – they’re on the D’s side, PROTECTING his secret identity and upset that anyone would revel to the US Public who he is. Even Facebook and Youtube are censoring any mention of his name, like USSR apparatchiks.

    All with approval of the “principled” Never Trumpers. Who of course, still claim not to be Democrats or Liberals. Sure they’ve done everything since 2016, to help Liberals and Democrats take power and implement their liberal policies – but that’s because the bulwark boys, Jonah G, David French, Jennifer Rubin, Max Boot, Erickson, and Will are so CONSERVATIVE.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  44. Anotehr bad argument Jim Jordan had on Wednesday is that we’re on;y talking about 55 days. The aid actually was delayed much longer – it was just that on July 18 Mick Mulvaney felt he had to inform other people in the Executive Branch, but he didn’t tell [the truth] to members of Congress, and he didn’t tell the Ukrainians either, that the president had placed a hold on it. There was clearance needed but that was completed at the latest around May.

    Jim Jordan also came up with this defense that Zelinsky was anew guy so Trump wanted to know that he was okay (there is no sign of that) and then when anumber of officlas told him he was, he releaeed the money. Plausible if we knew absolutely nothing else but the bare fact of the hold and its lifting.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  45. No Haldeman, no Ehrlichman, no Dean nor Butterfield. No Ervin, no Baker, no Dash nor Thompson.

    This isn’t working for Dems on television w/this cast; even w/peanut gallery pundits spinning, they’re not going to move the needle w/this kind of paint-drying, grass growing programming.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  46. If only he knew someone that runs a department foreign country that could investigate them…

    Fixed.

    Dave (1bb933)

  47. Bas argument offerd by Nunes was that they needed to know 3 things:

    1) Any co-ordination that the whistleblower may have had with the committee or with anybody else

    2) The facts about Ukrainaian intervention in 2016

    3) the facts about Hunter Biden.

    With regard to #2 and #3 what would be useful was what Trump knew or had heard.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  48. ”I must have missed the parts where:
    1) The Steele dossier was purchased from a foreign head-of-state,
    2) with taxpayer money,
    3) by a sitting government official in the course of their official duties.”
    Dave (1bb933) — 11/15/2019 @ 9:40 am

    I missed the part where FISA courts were farmed out to private contractors.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  49. #33, I glanced through the comments on that piece, to stay current on the thinking of TrumpWorld. (Though it never changes: it’s always “Trump is right; anyone who criticizes him is evil.”)

    This line caught my eye: “Allahpuntit is mystified by anyone who displays any backbone,or personal morals.”
    So, in the alternative universe of Trumpism, faithful Trump-reverence shows backbone and personal morals !

    Which is odd, because the Trumpists have been regularly trashing anyone who says that personal morals might have some connection with good leadership.

    Radegunda (39c35f)

  50. There is an Ehrlichman – that’s Sondland.

    A Butterfield too – that’s Bolton.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  51. #43 — It’s hilarious to see Donald Trump suggesting that other people who lie should go to jail too.

    Radegunda (39c35f)

  52. @44. ??? Fox News, Fox Business, local Fox affiliates and NewsmaxTV infest my cable system. Hardly liberal.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  53. After Bolton testifies it will be:

    The picture’s now not so grainy,
    Although it may sound very zany,
    No One was told
    That the aid was on hold [No Ukrainians were told, that is]

    And the deal was cooked up by Mulvaney!

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  54. 31. 39. Well he governs in a very arbitrary and stupid manner, and all the people around him know it, and act accordingly. (not with regard to everything, though)

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  55. the Trumpists have been regularly trashing anyone who says that personal morals might have some connection with good leadership

    I don’t consider myself a Trumpist. And personal morals are certainly important. But so is ideology.

    Stalin was personally a very moral man. But I would not want him as president.

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  56. @54. The Walru$ want$ hi$ Gumbo up front.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  57. but not worse than similar shenanigans in prior administrations.

    Bored lawyer, do you have examples? Genuinely interested.

    Time123 (36651d)

  58. ”I must have missed the parts where:
    1) The Steele dossier was purchased from a foreign head-of-state,
    2) with taxpayer money,
    3) by a sitting government official in the course of their official duties.”
    Dave (1bb933) — 11/15/2019 @ 9:40 am

    I missed the part where FISA courts were farmed out to private contractors.

    Munroe (dd6b64) — 11/15/2019 @ 9:50 am

    You really do miss the point.
    Looking for dirt in other countries isn’t inherently wrong.
    Getting it from foreign governments is.
    Getting it for free is.

    Using the power of your office to make them manufacture the dirt is an abuse of power.

    Time123 (36651d)

  59. Kent also clarified that the prosecutors Biden sought to have fired were the ones most likely taking bribes not to investigate Burisma

    But you could say Biden exaggerated his efforts to fire Viktor Shokin, so maybe he didn’t really want him fired. And his successor was touted as good, possibly mainly because he had been in prison under a previous government, or because he had, while interior minister, launched an investigation into Mykola Zlochevsky, who indirectly controlled Burisma, but he was no better. So the question is: Who recommended Lutsenko?

    — and that the corruption allegations against Burisma predated Hunter Biden’s time on the board and had nothing to do with him.

    The live issue was whether or not Mykola Zlochevsky could maintain control of Burisma or at least retain assets that really didn’t belong to him. An unfriendly bosrd could create a lot of trouble for him. Or prevent looting of the company, or the use its Treasury to pay bribes. This is speculation, but you get the idea of the possibilities.

    https://www.economist.com/briefing/2019/10/12/from-paul-manafort-to-donald-trumps-fateful-phonecall

    Oliver Bullough’s book “Moneyland”, which deals with money laundering, records that during Mr Zlochevsky’s second stint in control Burisma, a company he had founded to consolidate his oil and gas interests, was granted nine production licences and saw its natural-gas production increase sevenfold. As Mr Bullough puts it, “There is a marked correlation between Zlochevsky’s period in office and Burisma expanding. He is a classic example of how politics in Ukraine has long been business by other means.”

    [Self dealing was illegal -SF]

    Burisma was owned through various holding companies in Cyprus, and Mr Zlochevsky’s lawyers have insisted that their client did not benefit from his own official decisions. But his experience after 2005 must have made him keenly aware that his fortunes might dip under another regime….

    ….Mr Zlochevsky, out of office, found himself in a bind. The new government wanted to get back the money siphoned off by Mr Yanukovych and his cronies, and enlisted the help of international authorities to that end. After Mr Zlochevsky tried to move $23m to Cyprus from a London account held with BNP, a bank, in March 2015, Britain’s Serious Fraud Office froze his account. The SFO argued in court that there were reasonable grounds to believe Mr Zlochevsky made this money by breaking Ukrainian law. Of specific interest was $20m paid into the account by a company owned by Sergey Kurchenko, who handled money for Mr Yanukovych’s family.

    Hunter Biden thought he was on to a good thing. In 2014, Mr Biden was asked to join the board of Burisma, along with Devon Archer, his business partner, and Alexander Kwasniewski. Mr Biden is the son of Joe Biden, then vice president and Barack Obama’s point-man on Ukraine; Mr Archer is a friend of the stepson of John Kerry, then America’s secretary of state; Mr Kwasniewski used to be president of Poland. Mr Biden was reportedly paid $50,000 a month. [fragmentary info. He was paid more, and under a variety of guises – SF]

    The purpose of expanding Burisma’s board in this well connected way, it seems, was to buy Mr Zlochevsky protection; as well as the money-laundering case in London, he was also facing two investigations in Ukraine, one for tax evasion and one over conflicts of interest involving Burisma’s licences. Mr Zlochevsky, who had fled Ukraine, also wanted leverage in his dealings with Petro Poroshenko, the oligarch elected president in May 2015.

    If such protection was, indeed, Mr Zlochevsky’s plan, it apparently worked. The prosecutor general’s office failed to supply the SFO with the documents needed to keep his account frozen. At the end of the year someone there supplied Mr Zlochevsky’s lawyers with a letter stating that he was not suspected of any crime in Ukraine. The judge in London released the $23m on the grounds that Mr Zlochevsky “was never named as a suspect for embezzlement or indeed any other offence, let alone one related to the exercise of improper influence in the grant of…licences”.

    Butnone of that would explain why it was Hunter Biden who was hired. You couldn’t get pliable board members who never did anything etc any cheaper?

    All right, his brother was Attorney General of Delaware but what advice could he give that would help him maintain control of the board and his money?

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  60. So yes, perhaps Burisma took on Biden for political reasons — but it didn’t work.

    Unless we want tp say that Joe Biden was actually protecting Viktor Shokin or making sure he’d be succeeded by another corruptable prosecutor. Now we have heard nothng to dhow that. This was all perhaops on spec – like the advertiser who knows that half of his advertising budget is wasted but he doesn’t know what half.

    And Trump’s theory on this is all bollixed up.

    You can say that again.

    I think Trump was disposed to cut off the aid altogether. Something happened to turn him against it around May.

    (Slanders he adopted?

    Promises by Putin to stop the war if Ukraine got no military aid?)

    Whatever it was, almost nobody seems to know.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  61. I saw in the questioning this morning that the Democrats were not quite willing to let go of this idea contained in the whistleblower complaint, that Trump wanted Lutsenko to continue. The counsel was vague about what prosecutor Trump thought was good. It wasn’t Lutsenko.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  62. Some more stray thoughts:

    On Wednesday it came out that Bolton opposed the July 25 phone call, thiking it might be a disaster

    The Republicans said on;y one member knwos the identity of the whistleblower. Schiff said he didn’t know it either.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  63. Regarding Bad Argument #2, in other words it’s the Sideshow Bob Defense: “Attempted murder, what is that…”

    Paul Montagu (e7d63b)

  64. ”Using the power of your office to make them manufacture the dirt is an abuse of power.”
    Time123 (36651d) — 11/15/2019 @ 10:13 am

    Using manufactured dirt to undergird FISA warrants is definitely good governance. Frenzied unmaskings, too.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  65. Justin Amash agrees with Patterico. And Andrew Napolitano argues that Trump clearly committed bribery.

    https://reason.com/2019/11/15/justin-amash-to-trump-let-bolton-giuliani-and-mulvaney-testify/

    Bolton’s lawyer, in a letter to the congressional committee, writes Bolton wants to testify, has a lot to say, and will honor the subpoena, after a federal judge rules he has to comply. In other words, he doesn’t want to be seen as coming forward freely, but will if compelled.

    However, Schiff and Pelosi don’t want to have this inquiry tangled up in courts, which could take weeks if not months, maybe years. That would drag the proceedings on well into the primaries. They want to have the proceeding wrapped up before the Christmas break, then hold a vote on whether to pass articles of impeachment.

    Giuliani, who is under investigation in the SDNY for lobbying and probably campaign finance violations (his two butt buddies have already been indicted), will certainly fight the subpoena in court. So will Mulvaney, Pompeo, and the rest. Sondland appeared, then changed his testimony, on the advice of counsel.

    The purpose of these hearings is to expose as much as possible and build a case. Participants and/or witnesses who defy subpoenas and refuse to come forward only add weight to charges of obstruction, on top of those outlined in the Mueller report.

    Not that any of that matters to blind butt gerbils.

    The House will probably pass articles of impeachment along strict party lines. The Senate will most likely hold a mock trial in a moot court and decline to convict and remove, along strict party lines. Then it’s on to the election.

    Whether any of this hurts or helps Trump remains to be seen. But then he has other things to worry about in his campaign for reelection, like losing support among farmers and business leaders because of his idiotic trade war.

    https://reason.com/2019/11/14/trade-war-cost-republicans-in-2018-midterms-especially-in-rural-swing-counties/

    Trump very narrowly won the electoral college in 2016, by some 80,000 votes in certain counties in three states, and lost the popular vote by 3,000,000 to the worst candidate the Democrats could have nominated. His popularity has not increased. His cult base has not expanded. In fact, it’s contracted. The Democrats will come out in full force in 2020. They make up a slightly larger percentage of the electorate than Republicans, 27% to 26%. So, 90% support among Republicans won’t matter much, since they’re outnumbered. It’s the Independents that will decide the election, and the more of them he loses, the least likely he can win.

    So, impeach him, convict or acquit him, it doesn’t really matter.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  66. #56 Stalin was personally a very moral man.

    I would define “personally moral” a bit differently.

    But my point was the weirdness of seeing a Trump defender huffing that a Trump critic has too little regard for “personal morals.”

    Radegunda (39c35f)

  67. #56: To elaborate further: That Trump defender suggested that Sessions is demonstrating personal morals by being loyal to Trump, and that Allahpundit doesn’t appreciate such a quality.

    Apparently, Trump’s trashing of Sessions doesn’t matter a whit.

    Trump defenders for the most part don’t care about Trump’s lack of loyalty to anyone, his meanness, his dishonesty — but they purport to be morally offended by any hint of such qualities in a Trump critic.

    Radegunda (39c35f)

  68. @64. ROFLMAO. Yes, the answer to everything can be found on television.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  69. ”Using the power of your office to make them manufacture the dirt is an abuse of power.”
    Time123 (36651d) — 11/15/2019 @ 10:13 am

    Using manufactured dirt to undergird FISA warrants is definitely good governance. Frenzied unmaskings, too.

    Munroe (dd6b64) — 11/15/2019 @

    Going on 3 years. Ever going to produce evidence of impropriety? Or, if the rules were followed, reforms to the system to make it more just?

    Or do you just plan to keep mumbling ‘whatabout’ over and over again.

    Time123 (36651d)

  70. #59

    ”I must have missed the parts where:
    1) The Steele dossier was purchased from a foreign head-of-state,
    2) with taxpayer money,
    3) by a sitting government official in the course of their official duties.”
    Dave (1bb933) — 11/15/2019 @ 9:40 am

    I missed the part where FISA courts were farmed out to private contractors.

    Munroe (dd6b64) — 11/15/2019 @ 9:50 am

    You really do miss the point.
    Looking for dirt in other countries isn’t inherently wrong.
    Getting it from foreign governments is.
    Getting it for free is.

    Using the power of your office to make them manufacture the dirt is an abuse of power.

    Time123 (36651d) — 11/15/2019 @ 10:13 am

    Are you really arguing that the ask was to have Ukraine manufacture dirt?

    whembly (c30c83)

  71. the corruption allegations against Burisma predated Hunter Biden’s time on the board and had nothing to do with him.

    Maybe Hunter can testify about his board meetings and how he tried to get them to stop bribing people.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  72. ”Or do you just plan to keep mumbling ‘whatabout’ over and over again.”
    Time123 (36651d) — 11/15/2019 @ 11:23 am

    Rather than pretending to argue that it wasn’t an abuse of power, as you did @59, why not just cluck “whaddabout!” and save everyone’s time.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  73. Are you really arguing that the ask was to have Ukraine manufacture dirt?

    whembly (c30c83) — 11/15/2019 @ 11:38 am

    I think that very much is one of the issues.

    Let’s take this seriously. The whatabouts and “AOC wants Republicans to lose elections, QED Trump is a victim” and “Trump forced them to use hearsay, QED he wins because he’s smart!” are all efforts to muddy the waters.

    The is a very serious accusation about Trump’s pattern of abusing our elections with disinformation and collusion with foreign governments. There is a completely separate issue of his obstruction that appears to be absolutely beyond any shadow of a doubt proven. Trump has even demanded subpeonas be ignored in an investigation of his misconduct. Imagine a cop telling his subordinates to do that. Imagine Hillary telling her staff to do that. Imagine a school teacher telling her class to do it, if your kid was in the class. That alone is clear misconduct enough to impeach.

    The GOP recognizes Trump will skate in the Senate and the only recourse will be the very election process Trump has corrupted.

    On the one hand, they have their political survival and Thomas and Ginsburg’s Court seats. On the other hand, they have the truth and their duty.

    Over time (years), fear of Trump will dissipate. This ethical issue will be well understood. Movie after movie, textbook after textbook, tell-all after tell-all. The GOP’s only hope is that the left is so silly they win as the not-socialist option. And when we get more hard left leaders, it’s going to be Trump’s fault. It’s going to be the fault of all his sychophants. By riding the binary choice this hard, they are enabling the hard left.

    Because a lot of people are going to look at this corruption and say universal healthcare isn’t nearly as big a problem.

    The other side of this is that the democrats are totally corrupt and seem to get away with it. Hunter Biden, Hillary, come on. They are crooks. The left does need to own that their side’s misconduct has served the right’s misconduct quite a bit. Can’t blame the rest of us for not being very motivated by politics anymore.

    Dustin (9bb042)

  74. “The Democrats will come out in full force in 2020. They make up a slightly larger percentage of the electorate than Republicans, 27% to 26%. So, 90% support among Republicans won’t matter much, since they’re outnumbered. It’s the Independents that will decide the election, and the more of them he loses, the least likely he can win.”

    Sounds like they should be doing whatever they can to field the best candidate possible instead of staging yet another sh*tshow of double standards and H-Bomb-turning-into-a-firecracker public spectacles……you know, kinda like they did in 2016 that earned the sufficient FU on election night to prevent a crime family matriarch from sitting in the Oval Office.

    harkin (337580)

  75. The democrats are being smarter than I think Trump’s fans are realizing.

    The very players that colluded with Russia to cheat last year are going to be under a microscope during the run up to the next election. They will still cheat, sure, but it’s going to be a much funnier situation when they do. The benefits of colluding with Trump in the open are much less than doing it covertly.

    I don’t see Roger Stone and Rudy Giuliani being as effective this round.

    To Team D, that alone makes this whole spectacle 100% worth it. I doubt any of them are expecting Team R to suddenly develop a spine or a conscience about Trump.

    Dustin (9bb042)

  76. Michael Cohen
    Michael Flynn
    Rick Gates
    Paul Manafort
    George Papadopolous
    And, today, Roger Stone
    All the very best people.

    Paul Montagu (e7d63b)

  77. @78.He’s got a long way to go to catch up with the list of Nixon ‘best people.’

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  78. Hope you never trumpers don’t get to upset with this. Nancy pelosi’s son paul was also pulling a hunter biden in the ukraine! While nancy was visiting the ukraine to help her son’s financial activities. paul was put on the board of viscoil and nrg labs for $$$ dinero! You can read the gory details at jackpineradicals.com (it’s a leftist site but they hate clintons and pelosi too! They have more dirt on establishment dnc democrats then any place else.

    asset (0e1e42)

  79. Hope you never trumpers don’t get to upset with this. Nancy pelosi’s son paul was also pulling a hunter biden in the ukraine! While nancy was visiting the ukraine to help her son’s financial activities. paul was put on the board of viscoil and nrg labs for $$$ dinero! You can read the gory details at jackpineradicals.com (it’s a leftist site but they hate clintons and pelosi too! They have more dirt on establishment dnc democrats then any place else.

    asset (0e1e42) — 11/15/2019 @ 12:38 pm

    So that’s bad, right?
    Except with the one guy doing the most of it, because he’s on your side. That’s totally cool.

    Dustin (9bb042)

  80. Are you really arguing that the ask was to have Ukraine manufacture dirt?

    Trump asked Ukraine to announce the investigation. Not to run an investigation and see what they found. Not to cooperate with a US investigation that was already under way, but to announce it.

    There is nothing in Trumps public statements or behavior that indicates he cares about fighting corruption in general.

    There has been no evidence submitted that his request was based on a reasonable suspicion a crime was committed and that he was trying to fight corruption in this specific case. He’s made public statements, but none of those are backed up by sworn statements or documentary evidence.

    Given the above I think a public statement about an investigation that is not based on a reasonable suspicion is manufactured dirt.

    Time123 (353edd)

  81. @65,

    I ignored your whatabout because we’ve discussed it at length before.

    To re-cap: If there’s evidence that the things you say were done improperly that would be an abuse of power. The administration has not yet produced that evidence. If they do, people who broke the law / violated process should be held accountable. Even if it happened as you think, it doesn’t excuse this.

    Time123 (353edd)

  82. @80, that sucks. I wish someone in power would try to do something meaningful about these types of ethical lapses.

    Time123 (353edd)

  83. 75

    Are you really arguing that the ask was to have Ukraine manufacture dirt?

    whembly (c30c83) — 11/15/2019 @ 11:38 am

    I think that very much is one of the issues.

    Let’s take this seriously. The whatabouts and “AOC wants Republicans to lose elections, QED Trump is a victim” and “Trump forced them to use hearsay, QED he wins because he’s smart!” are all efforts to muddy the waters.

    The is a very serious accusation about Trump’s pattern of abusing our elections with disinformation and collusion with foreign governments. There is a completely separate issue of his obstruction that appears to be absolutely beyond any shadow of a doubt proven. Trump has even demanded subpeonas be ignored in an investigation of his misconduct. Imagine a cop telling his subordinates to do that. Imagine Hillary telling her staff to do that. Imagine a school teacher telling her class to do it, if your kid was in the class. That alone is clear misconduct enough to impeach.

    The GOP recognizes Trump will skate in the Senate and the only recourse will be the very election process Trump has corrupted.

    On the one hand, they have their political survival and Thomas and Ginsburg’s Court seats. On the other hand, they have the truth and their duty.

    Over time (years), fear of Trump will dissipate. This ethical issue will be well understood. Movie after movie, textbook after textbook, tell-all after tell-all. The GOP’s only hope is that the left is so silly they win as the not-socialist option. And when we get more hard left leaders, it’s going to be Trump’s fault. It’s going to be the fault of all his sychophants. By riding the binary choice this hard, they are enabling the hard left.

    Because a lot of people are going to look at this corruption and say universal healthcare isn’t nearly as big a problem.

    The other side of this is that the democrats are totally corrupt and seem to get away with it. Hunter Biden, Hillary, come on. They are crooks. The left does need to own that their side’s misconduct has served the right’s misconduct quite a bit. Can’t blame the rest of us for not being very motivated by politics anymore.

    Dustin (9bb042) — 11/15/2019 @ 12:00 pm

    I don’t disagree too much with your overall premise Dustin, however I have a few quibbles.

    I think we need to make the distinction that Trump asked for an investigation. That’s not the same thing as Trump asking Ukraine to manufacture some ‘dirt’.

    The former is in the context of blatant conflict of interests between Burisma and the Bidens. The latter is asking a foriegn government to make something damaging up in thin air for Trump’s benefit.

    See what I mean?

    As for the obstruction part, I’m not convinced it’s impeachment/removal worthy as it appears to be the normal tug-o-war between Congress and Executive branch.

    whembly (c30c83)

  84. The former is in the context of blatant conflict of interests between Burisma and the Bidens. The latter is asking a foriegn government to make something damaging up in thin air for Trump’s benefit.

    See what I mean?

    Definitely. I think the fact that the timing doesn’t match Trump’s claims at all with Burisma is strong evidence his quid pro quo was for actual results. But this is exactly what should be presented in this investigation.

    As for the obstruction part, I’m not convinced it’s impeachment/removal worthy as it appears to be the normal tug-o-war between Congress and Executive branch.

    I don’t think you’ll find a more constitutional example of the House’s oversight over the President than impeachment. There can’t be a lawful tug of war about it because the House actually can demand some accountability and answers. It’s their mandate and the consequence of the most recent election.

    Trump demanding subpoenas be ignored seems pretty serious to me. Just as with the Mueller investigation, he’s flailing hard to make the investigation impossible, and then citing the problem he created as proof he was innocent.

    I’m not sure why the House doesn’t just vote to impeach over the obstruction. they don’t even need an investigation. He did this one in our faces.

    Dustin (9bb042)

  85. Hope you never trumpers don’t get to upset with this.

    ForeverTrumpers keep insisting that anyone who criticizes any action of Trump is doing so only because Trump is doing it.

    They can’t admit that they are the ones holding Trump to a different standard, i.e. no standard at all.

    Radegunda (39c35f)

  86. After some of the testimony I have no idea why the former ambassador Marie Yovanovitch is being questioned. She was fired on May 20th and had nothing to do with the July phone call, or the withholding of aid. She was upset that Trump recalled her, and blamed Giuliani, but so what? Trump can fire her for any reason. She was appointed by Obama and got another State Department gig somewhere else.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  87. #82

    Are you really arguing that the ask was to have Ukraine manufacture dirt?

    Trump asked Ukraine to announce the investigation. Not to run an investigation and see what they found. Not to cooperate with a US investigation that was already under way, but to announce it.

    Do you have citation that Trump himself asked Ukraine to only announce it? Or was that based on what others thought he wanted as a way to convince Trump to release the hold?

    If not, aren’t we (and others) speculating quite a bit here?

    There is nothing in Trumps public statements or behavior that indicates he cares about fighting corruption in general.

    I’m not sure I’d agree with that. I think first, and foremore, he was skeptical about foreign aid period. Just look at his stances on NATO that eventually got more contribution by NATO-nations. As for specific statements about his concerns about corruption? Uh… he mentioned about corruption in Ukraine numerous times in rally speeches AND during his copter-conferences. Now, you may believe he’s just spouting that to his benefit to highlight the Bides…sure, but to say that he hasn’t made any statements is simply not true.

    There has been no evidence submitted that his request was based on a reasonable suspicion a crime was committed and that he was trying to fight corruption in this specific case. He’s made public statements, but none of those are backed up by sworn statements or documentary evidence.

    I don’t think we know the full story here. Hell, Schiff refused to make many of the House depositions public yet. (see Tim Morrison’s… where’s his deposition transcripts?)

    Given the above I think a public statement about an investigation that is not based on a reasonable suspicion is manufactured dirt.

    Time123 (353edd) — 11/15/2019 @ 1:00 pm

    I disagree that it’s that clear cut. It may be true after all… but unfortunately Trump isn’t allowing his direct contacts to testify to assert otherwise. That may be because he doesn’t want to participate in this process as organized, or it could be that there’s a there-there and he’s simply obstructing. Trump’s probably here is that by not participating, he’s allowing folks to speculate, which is the result of the political food fight.

    What I *do* know beyond the shadow of doubt, is that Democrats/Schiff is only letting the public see exactly what they want us to see. That should raise the red flag and be more skeptical until more information is available.

    whembly (c30c83)

  88. Stalin was personally a very moral man. But I would not want him as president.

    Molotov was even more moral. Boy did he love his wife! And he was true to his friends and the Party. Man, if you wanted someone to babysit your kids, Molotov was the guy. He liked the arts too. The Ballet and opera.

    Of course, if your kid was a bourgeois, he’d have him shot or sent to the Gulag, but what does policy matter? We just want men of character!

    rcocean (1a839e)

  89. 86

    The former is in the context of blatant conflict of interests between Burisma and the Bidens. The latter is asking a foriegn government to make something damaging up in thin air for Trump’s benefit.

    See what I mean?

    Definitely. I think the fact that the timing doesn’t match Trump’s claims at all with Burisma is strong evidence his quid pro quo was for actual results. But this is exactly what should be presented in this investigation.

    Absolutely. However, I’m not sure we’ve seen it yet. Still lots more hearings though, so its probably coming.

    As for the obstruction part, I’m not convinced it’s impeachment/removal worthy as it appears to be the normal tug-o-war between Congress and Executive branch.

    I don’t think you’ll find a more constitutional example of the House’s oversight over the President than impeachment. There can’t be a lawful tug of war about it because the House actually can demand some accountability and answers. It’s their mandate and the consequence of the most recent election.

    Sure. But Democrats is really mudding up the impeachment process.

    They’re quite careful in saying that this is an impeachment inquiry, not an impeachment investigation.

    They’re leveraging existing committees to conduct the inquiry instead of following past precedents in creating an impeachment committee with the Nixon/Clinton procedures. This was all done to provide as much cover to protect their vulnerable Trump district democrats in future elections.

    So, from the start, Democrats sorta self-neutered themselves here and there’s a lot of questions here on whether or not the House is able conduct this as a full blown impeachment hearing. That gives the Trump administration openings to challenge them on their subpoena.

    Trump demanding subpoenas be ignored seems pretty serious to me. Just as with the Mueller investigation, he’s flailing hard to make the investigation impossible, and then citing the problem he created as proof he was innocent.

    Just because Congress issues a subpoena doesn’t mean the recipient is SOL and must appear. They can take this to court to assert why the subpoena doesn’t apply. This isn’t obstruction… that’s simply one side trying to assert they have rights and want a court to rule for them. Congress hasn’t taken the Trump officials to court to adjudication yet, so I’m not sure it’s a fair statement to claim obstruction here.

    The issue is both sides imo. No one is acting in good faith. This impeachment proceeding is another extension to that as no GOP vote for the inquiry and Schiff is playing games with the process.

    So, it seems that both sides has Calvinball’ed this and the public is witnessing this partisan foodfight now with apathy. The partisans will find something like or hate, but I don’t think the mainstreet folks are batting an eye to this.

    I’m not sure why the House doesn’t just vote to impeach over the obstruction. they don’t even need an investigation. He did this one in our faces.

    They get one chance here and they need it to hurt Trump electorally. That’s their agenda here.

    If you want to talk about breaking the norms these days…I think history will judge harshly to those breaking those norms in the zeal to go after their political opponents.

    whembly (c30c83)

  90. If you still think we live in a democracy:

    “Twitter Has Suspended Several Accounts Responsible For Tweeting “I Hired Donald Trump To Fire People Like Yovanovitch”

    rcocean (1a839e)

  91. Its amazing how Leftwing Silicon Valley and DNC Press just don’t care about informing the American people or letting people express their opinions. Whether its hiding the name of the whistleblower or suspending people for supporting Trump – they’ve gone full blown totalitarian.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  92. “Twitter Has Suspended Several Accounts Responsible For Tweeting “I Hired Donald Trump To Fire People Like Yovanovitch”

    Twitter: Unfair to bots!

    Dave (1bb933)

  93. Given the above I think a public statement about an investigation that is not based on a reasonable suspicion is manufactured dirt.

    I agree … or at the very least the point is to muddy the water.

    Last Spring, Trump was preoccupied with being seen as a strong President who was a dealmaker in foreign affairs, and also with his political rivals in 2020 (especially Biden). With that mindset, it is easy to imagine him using his Presidency to demand deals with foreign governments — deals in which he prioritizes personal goals over American interests. And by targeting a political rival, he equates his personal interests with American interests.

    DRJ (15874d)

  94. Meanwhile, another illegal alien criminal released multiple times to avoid ICE, now in custody in Seattle on murder charge.

    An illegal immigrant with a criminal history dating to 2010 was released from jail by local authorities in Washington state on two separate occasions despite Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers lodged again him, the agency said Thursday.

    In addition, ICE said that Julio Cruz-Velazquez, 25, was arrested and released from jail before the agency could lodge a detainer request on seven further occasions.

    Cruz-Velazquez, who entered the U.S. illegally from Mexico, was arrested by Seattle police and charged with homicide on Nov. 7. The agency lodged a detainer for him on the same day with the King County Jail.

    “When law enforcement agencies do not honor ICE detainers or simple notification requests, the individuals they release, who often have significant criminal histories, are turned out into an unsuspecting community, free to continue their criminal behavior and seek out new victims,” the agency said in a statement. “Such is the case of Julio Cruz-Velazquez.”

    https://www.foxnews.com/us/ice-washington-murder-suspect-freed-twice-despite-detainers

    How come ICE detainers are not considered warrants for extradition to federal authority? How come thwarting federal officers in their duty is not a crime? Talk about obstruction of justice.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  95. I would like to compliment all the commenters for their civil discussion. It makes reading the different views enjoyable. My thanks to all.

    felipe (023cc9)

  96. How come ICE detainers are not considered warrants for extradition to federal authority?

    Because they are administrative requests issued by an ICE bureaucrat, not warrants based on sworn statements to a judge.

    How come thwarting federal officers in their duty is not a crime?

    See above. Compliance is voluntary, which is stupid, but it’s the law.

    Dave (f4c7ce)

  97. They get one chance here and they need it to hurt Trump electorally. That’s their agenda here.

    If you want to talk about breaking the norms these days…I think history will judge harshly to those breaking those norms in the zeal to go after their political opponents.

    whembly (c30c83) — 11/15/2019 @ 1:58 pm

    I agree that the political parties both wish to win elections, and pretty much all they do is with that in mind. And of course that brings their credibility way down in all areas.

    Trump’s entire political existence is born in his leadership of the birther movement. His zeal to override an election really appealed to a certain mindset. But that’s not similar to what we have here, where a lot of people, including many Republicans, are sickened by Trump’s collusion with Putin and his obstruction of the Mueller investigation. When we learned that Trump was at it again with the Ukraine, it only validated the problem. The recourse to election tampering can’t just be an election.

    The issue is both sides imo. No one is acting in good faith

    I agree. But only Trump is on trial, and his bad faith with our elections and the investigation of his conduct is the relevant issue. The political wishes that Trump lose elections is a credibility issue, I agree, but it is not the ultimate issue.

    Same reason why talking about Hillary or Biden’s kid doesn’t matter. They aren’t the president. They aren’t being impeached. The standard is indeed higher for the president’s conduct.

    Right now, the GOP is cowardly in the face of Trump, who is fearless with Americans (Though amazingly fearful of anyone allied with Putin). In time, history will be better informed as to why that is. Trump on the sidelines bashing the GOP for decades will be a facet of American politics. I believe eventually we’ll learn what dirt they had on Trump to cause him to betray our country. There’s a long game at play hoping to destabilize our institutions. I don’t think it’s going to be pretty.

    Dustin (9bb042)

  98. If you still think we live in a democracy:

    “Twitter Has Suspended Several Accounts Responsible For Tweeting “I Hired Donald Trump To Fire People Like Yovanovitch”

    rcocean (1a839e) — 11/15/2019 @ 2:10 pm

    Remember, the House is directly elected. Trump isn’t. The American people did indeed hire congress, and most did so wanting Trump fired. Trump was legitimately selected by the EC, but the people didn’t hire him. They rejected him.

    Now that we know our nation’s enemy, Russia is using facebook and twitter to manipulate our elections, it is a very good thing that these bots are being shut down. I know to the folks who think Obama was born in Kenya that these bots and this collusion is a big myth, but that doesn’t change the cold reality of what our enemies, such as Trump, are doing to our great nation.

    Dustin (9bb042)

  99. @94. nk had these characters aptly pegged as ‘viceroy’ like.

    All kidding aside, don’t be so quick to be taken in by the career FS office/Foggy Bottom types. In the spotlight they’ll strive to glow apolitical, saluting the flag in the sunshine but prefer to operate ‘deep’ in the shadowed anonymity of the established, layered structure of a long-entrenched bureaucracy. No ‘back channeling,’ thank you, with these types; they know the proper protocol and procedures, because they’re in the loop, in the know; “better” than ‘you’- the lay folks who pay their way, sipping beer in the bars of West Texas or mowing lawns in Upper Sandusky, Ohio. Because, after all–they’re ‘State‘- courtesy of Uncle Sam. But corral one at a cocktail party and after a drink or two you’ll discover they are more than happy to remind you of their superior status– diplomatically, of course. It’s a tight, ‘Georgetown’ club. SoS’s come and go but FS staff stays. And when the clubhouse is under siege, they circle the wagons. Back in the day, went to school with some of the kids of these types overseas. Insufferable; vagabonds by nature, able to pick up and move from station to station in 72 hours or less– because they’re certain they’re “better than you.”

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  100. @89 He doesn’t have a citation for that because one doesn’t exist. His comments assert facts that aren’t backed up by any of the testimony so far.

    frosty (f27e97)

  101. @5 This is the reason for the impeachment. Everything else is theater. If it wasn’t Ukraine it would be something else. The D’s need this to keep themselves together. The current crop of contenders is embarrassing. AOC said basically the same thing this week. They need to drag this out as long as possible in the hopes that impeachment is still an issue when the election rolls around.

    If they finish this one early we’ll see something come up late spring.

    I do love the argument that we’ve got to impeach Trump or the D’s go even further left.

    frosty (f27e97)

  102. To Roger–

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrwCFTZ2qwA

    Love, XOXOXO Barbra

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  103. Timing and context matter:

    At the center of this whole saga all along has been a simple truth: Trump never thought there was anything wrong with benefiting to the greatest degree possible from a foreign attack on our political system, because, well, he was personally benefiting from it, which made it a good thing.

    Trump wants to do it again. The president blithely told ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos that he’d gladly seek to gain from more of the same. And literally the day after the special counsel’s testimony persuaded him that he’d gotten away with it, Trump held his call with the Ukrainian president, and sought to extort a new round of foreign assistance in rigging the next election, something for which he will likely be impeached.

    DRJ (15874d)

  104. It was a perfect call, if you believe re-electing Trump is all that matters.

    DRJ (15874d)

  105. Kudos President Trump for setting Eddie free.
    Now go and jail some General dip schiffs.

    mg (ebf6c2)

  106. She was fired on May 20th and had nothing to do with the July phone call, or the withholding of aid. She was upset that Trump recalled her, and blamed Giuliani, but so what?

    She was fired in the middle of hosting an event honoring an anti-corruption activist who died from an acid attack.

    Trump and his minions claim that his main concern about Ukraine was corruption, and that Yovanovitch was incompetent in her job.

    The only people who believe that are those who would jump off a cliff if Donald Trump said it would help him.

    Radegunda (39c35f)

  107. Yovanovitch is there because she can illustrate how Trump’s “policy” choices are in service to himself first.
    Giuliani said he was dealing with Ukrainians on behalf of his client, not foreign policy. If he got a diplomat fired in his capacity as Trump’s personal lawyer, that isn’t a “so what?” matter.

    Radegunda (39c35f)

  108. DRJ (15874d) — 11/15/2019 @ 4:49 pm

    Yes DRJ, we know Trump wants to rig the next election just like he rigged the last one — because WaPo’s Paul Waldman says so.

    Books by Mr. Waldman:

    Fraud: The Strategy Behind the Bush Lies and why the Media Didn’t Tell You (2004)

    Free Ride: John McCain and the Media (2008, with David Brock)

    So, is he lying now or lying then?

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  109. 1. I think it’s obviously true that Burisma hired Hunter Biden hoping to buy influence, just like dozens of corporate boards do all the time. But that doesn’t mean he was selling influence! And it doesn’t mean that, if he was selling influence, he was succesful in persuading his father to go along. It’s probably worth investigating, but assuming the conclusion isn’t right.

    2. That said, this is insufficient to answer the question: given that Ukraine was notoriously corrupt, why is Burisma the *one* case of corruption Trump is calling out as needing investigation? Other than Hunter Biden’s involvement, what makes this particular case so noteworthy and such a standout against the sea of Ukrainian corruption that it’s worthy of *specific* Presidential attention?

    Listening to the Republicans asking questions in the hearings it is clear that either they don’t understand the question in #2 or they are knowingly pretending to not understand it so as to obfuscate and confuse.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  110. > There’s a long game at play hoping to destabilize our institutions.

    *succeeding* at destabilizing our institutions, it looks like. when the history of this era is written, Vladimir Putin may well come across as the most successful politician of his era.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  111. @112. “Cool Hand Vlad” — he keeps winning pots with next to nothing cards.

    It is remarkable.

    More intriguing is who will come after him when he is gone.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  112. #111

    2. That said, this is insufficient to answer the question: given that Ukraine was notoriously corrupt, why is Burisma the *one* case of corruption Trump is calling out as needing investigation? Other than Hunter Biden’s involvement, what makes this particular case so noteworthy and such a standout against the sea of Ukrainian corruption that it’s worthy of *specific* Presidential attention?

    aphrael (e0cdc9) — 11/15/2019 @ 5:24 pm

    Burisma is literally the largest energy company in Ukraine and was one of the first (if not *the* first) company targeted for investigations in the past between Dept of State and with Ukrainian government.

    whembly (c30c83)

  113. OT: check this thread out…
    https://twitter.com/JoshMBlackman/status/1195472432846589953

    Progressives teach politics as a religion. Mission: use coercive power of the state to remake society in their own image, according to an abstract ideal of perfection. Whatever means they use are therefore justified bc they are virtuous ppl pursuing deific end.

    That has to be the most concise descriptor of progressives I’ve seen in a long time.

    whembly (c30c83)

  114. @99. Censure proceedings should have commenced the day after Helsinki, Dustin.

    But no. Judges were more important. The Right set in motion the conditions for this Frankenstein to emerge long, long ago. Uncle Sam’s just going to have to work through this his system — like a bad meal at Taco Bell.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  115. Discredit the message by accusing the messenger: Never gets old. Never works, either.

    DRJ (15874d)

  116. Burisma is literally the largest energy company in Ukraine and was one of the first (if not *the* first) company targeted for investigations in the past between Dept of State and with Ukrainian government.

    TeamTrump is claiming the aid was withheld because Trump was worried it would get lost in Ukrainian corruption. Instead of worrying about Burisma and Biden, why not demand procedures that would ensure the aid would not end up being embezzled?

    Kishnevi (b1c03d)

  117. Burisma is literally the largest energy company in Ukraine and was one of the first (if not *the* first) company targeted for investigations in the past between Dept of State and with Ukrainian government.

    Burisma is literally one of the top natural gas companies in Ukraine, and one of the energy companies. That is all.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  118. Witness overheard US ambassador tell Trump that Ukraine would investigate Biden

    A US ambassador told President Donald Trump that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky “loves your ass” and that Ukraine was going to move forward with the investigation Trump had asked Zelensky for a day earlier, according to new testimony from a US official in Kiev who overheard the phone conversation.

    David Holmes told lawmakers in a closed-door impeachment inquiry Friday that US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland had told Trump the Ukrainian President would do “anything you ask him to” and that Sondland had confirmed the Ukrainians were going to “do the investigation,” one day after Trump has asked Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, according to a copy of Holmes’ opening statement obtained by CNN. ….

    “Sondland told Trump that Zelensky ‘loves your ass,’ ” Holmes said, according to a copy of his opening statement. “I then heard President Trump ask, ‘So, he’s gonna do the investigation?’ Ambassador Sondland replied that ‘he’s gonna do it,’ adding that President Zelensky will do ‘anything you ask him to.'”

    Holmes, who was subpoenaed to appear on Friday, explained that Sondland had placed the call to Trump, and he could hear Trump because the call was so loud on the terrace of a restaurant, where they dined with two others. ….

    Rip Murdock (1d6a02)

  119. The other question is why didn’t Trump just ask for the investigation through proper channels? There are legit ways for us to ask Ukraine to investigate something, but Trump bypassed those in favor of extortion.

    Nic (896fdf)

  120. Yovanovitch is there because she can illustrate how Trump’s “policy” choices are in service to himself first.
    Giuliani said he was dealing with Ukrainians on behalf of his client, not foreign policy. If he got a diplomat fired in his capacity as Trump’s personal lawyer, that isn’t a “so what?” matter.

    Radegunda (39c35f) — 11/15/2019 @ 5:01 pm

    Yovanovitch was there because she could cry on cue like Blassey Ford and the communists running this Star Chamber thought it would be good for their propaganda outlets to broadcast. Just ask Tapper.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  121. The other question is why didn’t Trump just ask for the investigation through proper channels?

    Probably because that would have required actual evidence of wrong-doing.

    Dave (1bb933)

  122. Trump blows up effort to blunt impeachment damage

    The White House on Friday set out to cast President Donald Trump as above the fray of the impeachment proceedings on the second day of televised hearings.

    By 11 a.m., that effort had run into Trump’s Twitter feed.

    To start the day, the White House insisted Trump was too busy working to track Friday’s hearing, which featured testimony from Marie Yovanovitch, the ousted ambassador to Ukraine. And it released a document summarizing Trump’s first phone call with newly elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in April of this year, seeking to bolster its claim that Trump did nothing wrong in his dealings with the Eastern European leader, the subject of the House’s impeachment inquiry.
    …….
    Then the game plan fell apart.

    Shortly after Yovanovitch gave her opening remarks, Trump took to Twitter to attack the former ambassador, saying that everywhere she “went turned bad,” including her prior postings in Somalia.

    Minutes later, the tweet was read aloud to Yovanovitch on Capitol Hill.

    “It’s very intimidating,” she said.
    ……
    “You know what? I have the right to speak,” Trump told reporters. “I have freedom of speech just as other people do, but they’ve taken away the Republicans’ rights.”

    When asked if he believed his statements can be intimidating, Trump replied simply: “I don’t think so at all.”
    …….

    That’s Trump’s problem. He doesn’t think.

    Rip Murdock (1d6a02)

  123. Yovanovitch was there because she could cry on cue like Blassey Ford and the communists running this Star Chamber thought it would be good for their propaganda outlets to broadcast. Just ask Tapper.

    I don’t recall seeing Yanovitch crying.

    Rip Murdock (1d6a02)

  124. Yovanovitch was there to remove any doubt that Schiff is just as big a bumbling incompetent with his head up his ass as Trump.

    nk (9651fb)

  125. If only people would actually cite the transcript rather than continue to try and overturn the election in 2016 as they’ve done since Trump won.

    Here’s another transcript from the 2nd phone call. Show me what’s impeachable.

    https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2019/11/second-phone-call-even-more-innocent-than-the-first.php

    NJRob (4d595c)

  126. That’s the thing, he’s not being impeached for a phone call, he’s getting impeached for pressuring a foreign government to intercede on his personal behalf in a domestic US election. The phone call is part of the ongoing conspiracy to blackmail the foreign government. You know, with that whole years long effort with Giuliani.

    Weird how all of these actions further the interests of that one guy who runs that one country, you know, that one guy…what is his name…it will come to me.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  127. @126. Pure Grady Sutton; creampuff set out in a thunderstorm.

    No Sam Ervin he.

    _________

    @125. She supposedly did in the ‘closed door rehearsal.’ Still, her opening public statement was astonishingly over emotional for a 30-year Foggy Bottom gal being introduced to the nation on national television. Certainly didn’t project strength or toughness for that region of the world these days. For that alone she was rightly relieved of her Ukraine posting. One station too many.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  128. Will Hurd called her tough as nails and from what I saw I concur.

    JRH (52aed3)

  129. > https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2019/11/second-phone-call-even-more-innocent-than-the-first.php

    in *that*? that’s entirely fine, looks just like a normal congratulatory call to me.

    in the *memorandum of the conversation that started this whole process*? in that one, he was clearly trying to use the office of the president to bully a foreign power (by withholding aid money absent compliance) into helping him against a domestic political opponent.

    not all call sare the same. :)

    aphrael (971fba)

  130. If only people would actually cite the transcript……

    A verbatim transcript has not been released of either phone call, only summarized notes. Trump should release either a verbatim transcript or the actual recordings. If the White House doesn’t have a recording he can ask his friend Putin.

    Rip Murdock (1d6a02)

  131. “Let us know first whether it’s collusion, obstruction, quid pro quo, extortion or bribery.

    All of the above, plus graft and treason.”

    It’s called ‘foreign policy’, it does not fall under the purview of the CIA, and when dealing with inherently corrupt countries, absolutely unavoidable.

    “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.”

    The only person with the reciepts for robbing Ukraine was Hunter Biden. Delaying the administration of aid in order to force action is hardball, perhaps, but absolutely nothing unusual under normal business dealings, and ‘extortion’ only to those absolutely unfamiliar with everyday negotiation reality.

    Or to use an analogy that’s even more legitimate than yours, “When getting the bad guys, cops may indeed have to raise their voices, get informants on the inside, and even occasionally shoot people.”

    “he was clearly trying to use the office of the president to bully a foreign power (by withholding aid money absent compliance) into helping him against a domestic political opponent.”

    So you imply all you have to do to avoid corruption investigations is be related to someone who runs for office! And Americans in general naturally have no interest in hearing about what Biden’s crackhead son was doing!

    These so-called ‘libertarian Constitutional Conservatives for the Rule of Law’ never actually seem to do anything but defend the legitimacy of fundamentally corrupt foreign arrangements that they and their friends all seem to personally benefit from.

    Call yourself an Individualist if you must, but you can drop any pretense of ideological commitments beyond that, especially when these arrangements happened daily under the previous regime to no comparable outrage.

    These proceedings are all eyeroll-worthy at best and seditious at worst.

    Broko (61a840)

  132. in *that*? that’s entirely fine, looks just like a normal congratulatory call to me.

    in the *memorandum of the conversation that started this whole process*? in that one, he was clearly trying to use the office of the president to bully a foreign power (by withholding aid money absent compliance) into helping him against a domestic political opponent.

    not all call sare the same. :)

    aphrael (971fba) — 11/15/2019 @ 8:34 pm

    Please quote where in the first phone call he does so. I’ll wait for your response.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  133. A verbatim transcript has not been released of either phone call, only summarized notes. Trump should release either a verbatim transcript or the actual recordings. If the White House doesn’t have a recording he can ask his friend Putin.

    Rip Murdock (1d6a02) — 11/15/2019 @ 8:43 pm

    The only one allied with the Soviets are the very communists you support. But you already knew that comrade.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  134. That’s Trump’s problem. He doesn’t think.

    Yes, and that’s the real reason to impeach him. This reason-finding is tedious.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  135. Poor wittle Trump, such an obvious victim.

    JRH (52aed3)

  136. Trump is tampering with the witness1!!!11

    Except there’s no crime, and no criminal investigation. Its not even an impeachment. Its an impeachment INQUIRY – done by the intelligence committee.

    If it was a real impeachment hearing it would be done by the judiciary committee.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  137. Poor little liberals and Dems are crying and whining about Trump. Man Up!

    rcocean (1a839e)

  138. @134 In the first phone call, we know that Trump promised to have someone very important attend Zelensky’s nomination, maybe even him. However he doesn’t attend and he cancels out Pence’s attendance.

    We know from testimony that Zelensky had been trying to talk with Trump for some time. We also know that Ukraine needs US aid to fend off Russia.

    Finally he gets the phone call. (emphasis mine, summaries mine)

    “I will say we do a lot for Ukraine…More than the European countries are doing…the United States has been very good to Ukraine. I wouldn’t say it’s reciprocal necessarily because things are happening that are not good, but the United States has been very good to Ukraine.”

    (yep, we are very very very very grateful. Mas grateful. Super grateful thanks thanks thanks.)

    I would like you to do us a favor though… I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike… Whatever you can do, it’s very important that you do it

    (Zelensky assures Trump he wants to be good friends with Trump and mentions how he’s anxious to meet with Giuliani)

    Rudy very much knows what’s happeningThere’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that. So whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it… It sounds horrible to me.”

    (yep, my new government will be great, I’m glad you were the “first one” who told me how bad the ambassador is, because I didn’t like her attitude either.)

    “…I will have Mr. Giuliani give you a call and I am also going to have Attorney General Barr call…Your economy is going to get better and better I predict You have a lot of assets.”

    (Zelensky talks about how he stayed in the Trump tower, really wants to visit the US and talk to Trump again. Thanks Trump for his support.)

    Trump mentions Biden far more than he mentions Crowdstrike, despite all the people saying no, no, he really wanted investigation into Crowdstrike. He also doesn’t mention Burisma. Just Biden and Biden’s son. In fact the only thing Trump really talks about is Ukraine investigating Biden. Zelensky put out a lot of feelers for Trump to follow up on. He talks about missiles, oil, a later meeting to no response. All Trump wants is for Ukraine to investigate Biden, hey, remember how the US provides support for you? You want a good economy in the future? Yeah. Do me a favor and investigate Biden. That’s the entire purpose of the call.

    Thank you for asking for quotes. I didn’t analyze Trump’s portion of the conversation nearly as closely the first time I read it and got distracted with Zelensky’s part of the convo (and the sucking up dear God all the sucking up). I hadn’t realized that Trump’s ask really was the only reason for the call, but it was.

    Nic (896fdf)

  139. Burisma is not the largest energy company in Ukraine. That would be Naftogaz. Burisma is a holding company based out of Cyprus.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  140. @141 It was important enough for the ambassador to be brief on it for her confirmation.

    frosty (f27e97)

  141. @129 I learned my lesson from the Kavanaugh hearing. I read the transcript of her testimony instead of watching and that still came through. For an ambassador to someplace like Ukraine she had a lot of things she just didn’t know and a lot of sad feelings. The descriptions of her reactions and the picture she paints of the state department doesn’t inspire confidence.

    I’m only about half way through so don’t tell me how it ends. Wait, I’m kidding does she ever do anything besides complain about back channel communications or say that Trump actually told the Ukrainians they’d have to investigate Biden to get the aid? So far it’s just a lot of I suspect this and I think that but I’m hoping for a good plot twist or heal-face turn.

    frosty (f27e97)

  142. Good argument #2.01: It’s not enough to get 20 GOP Senators to vote Aye, so it’s not something that will remove a president from office, by definition.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  143. Rooting out corruption. It’s what he does. Just yesterday, he pardoned a couple of war criminals to make sure that message was clear.

    noel (f22371)

  144. “I would like you to do us a favor though… I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike… Whatever you can do, it’s very important that you do it”

    Nic,

    your own quote (which I posted above) completely contradicts your own post. You claim he didn’t care about Crowdstike and the 2016 election when he specifically mentions it and says its very important.

    But carry on with your agenda. It’s more important than the truth.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  145. Bravo from
    @RepChrisStewart
    , who just summarized this whole hearing:

    Q: “Do you have any information regarding POTUS accepting bribes?”

    Yovanovitch: “No”

    Q: Do you have any evidence of any criminal activity from POTUS?”

    Yovanovitch: “No”

    That, there, should be the ballgame

    https://twitter.com/RepMarkMeadows/status/1195416159492943873

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  146. That seems like an unfair characterization of Nic’s point, NJRob. Nic specifically said: “Trump mentions Biden far more than he mentions Crowdstrike, despite all the people saying no, no, he really wanted investigation into Crowdstrike.”

    DRJ (15874d)

  147. Trump presents himself as a businessman who brings a common sense approach to politics and being President. So let’s evaluate him as a business leader. How would he measure up? Here are a few poor leardership traits that Trump displays:

    Entitlement

    When leaders begin to act as if someone owes them something – this is a sign that they are power hungry. Entitlement is a sign of desperation and victimization. Leaders that lose the respect of their team and colleagues eventually assume a “woe is me” mentality. When leaders feel entitled, they are threatened by any perceived slight or loss.

    Disrespectful

    When leaders are rude and disrespectful, this is a sign of weakness and an indicator that they are trying to make themselves feel more important. In many cases it means that they are threatened by you. Many old-school/traditional leaders still think that the power and influence that comes from a leadership position allows them to treat others any way they want. It’s as if they have given themselves permission to mistreat others.

    The 21st century leader knows that regardless of the circumstances, you respect and treat others fairly and always with a sense of class – this is what gives you executive presence.

    Selfish

    When a leader is only interested in themselves over their company needs, this is a no-win situation. These leaders are not looking for partnerships or other ways forward for the betterment of a healthier whole – they are only looking out for themselves. At best, a relationship with this type of leader will be short-lived and a waste of time.

    Disorganized

    When you ask a leader what their goals and objectives are and they begin to fumble their response, this is a sign that they are unprepared and disorganized. Their lack of preparation exposes their disorganization. The most effective leaders are always prepared and anticipate the unexpected. They never enter a meeting or potential new relationship without organization of thought and clarity of purpose.

    When you see a leader that is disorganized, don’t waste your time. In fact, it’s best to respectfully end the meeting so as not to further expose the leader’s weaknesses, especially in front of their own team.

    Desperate

    When leaders become desperate, it’s a sign that they have lost the competitive edge they once had. They become desperate because the marketplace is passing them by. Desperation is a cry for help because they lack mental toughness.

    By the way, this article was written in 2013 and applies to all business leaders. It was not written about Trump but it certainly fits him.

    DRJ (15874d)

  148. The current White House and GOP talking point is that Ukraine did not know of the security aid freeze until August 29 but since the aid was released on September 11, there were only only 13 days when the quid pro quo could have happened — and Trump apparently made no demands/requests during that time (although we don’t know if Giuliani or his agents did). Thus, no quid pro quo.

    But the GOP also asked Amb Taylor about how common it is to have an aid freeze. For example, see pages 246-247 of the hearing transcript where Rep Meadows pointed out there are frequently holds on foreign aid, and Taylor agreed. The GOP seems to think this proves an aid freeze doesn’t matter but it suggests the opposite to me. The Ukrainians know there are many things that can jeopardize their aid so the reasonable assumption is they will not do anything to jeopardize it.

    Specifically, doesn’t it show the Ukrainians have a strong motive to always try to please the Americans by doing whatever they ask? Isn’t that at the heart of the concerns about Biden’s (and his son’s) actions in Ukraine, as well as Trump’s?

    DRJ (15874d)

  149. That seems like an unfair characterization of Nic’s point, NJRob. Nic specifically said: “Trump mentions Biden far more than he mentions Crowdstrike, despite all the people saying no, no, he really wanted investigation into Crowdstrike.”

    DRJ (15874d) — 11/16/2019 @ 8:17 am

    I wouldn’t. He deliberately bolds the favor aspect of the remarks, doesn’t highlight that it refers to Crowdstrike, bolds that it’s very important that you do it and then bolds the mentions of Biden. That makes it appear he’s trying to reference that the importance is investigating Biden even though the text specifically mentions Cloudstrike. It’s disingenuous.

    NJRob (57185b)

  150. Specifically, doesn’t it show the Ukrainians have a strong motive to always try to please the Americans by doing whatever they ask? Isn’t that at the heart of the concerns about Biden’s (and his son’s) actions in Ukraine, as well as Trump’s?

    DRJ (15874d) — 11/16/2019 @ 9:38 am

    It’s definitely what they did in 2016 to Target Trump and help Hillary as per that old Politico article.

    NJRob (57185b)

  151. @151 Trump mentions crowdstrike once and the Bidens several times. The Bidens were more important in the conversation than crowdstrike was.

    Nic (896fdf)

  152. He mentions Biden twice, Biden’s son once and Cloudstrike once. The only thing he specifically refers to as very important is 2016 and Cloudstrike.

    Try harder if you’re going to overturn an election as the left has done since Trump won.

    NJRob (57185b)

  153. @154 If you are trying to argue that Trump wasn’t asking that Ukraine investigate the Bidens,you aren’t doing a good job.

    You understand that impeaching Trump does not, in fact, overturn the election, right? Pence takes office and, while I disagree with Pence on many things, he doesn’t appear to be a walking crime spree trash fire Russian flunky so that’s a step up.

    Nic (896fdf)

  154. “Try harder if you’re going to overturn an election as the left has done since Trump won.”

    Once again, we’ve had another election since that election, and the voters decided to put the Democrats in charge of the House.

    Davethulhu (fe4242)

  155. ”Once again, we’ve had another election since that election, and the voters decided to put the Democrats in charge of the House.”
    Davethulhu (fe4242) — 11/16/2019 @ 2:02 pm

    Voters did that so as to prevent 2020 voters from having a say.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  156. “Voters did that so as to prevent 2020 voters from having a say.”

    I missed the part of the constitution where it says you can’t impeach someone a year out from an election.

    Davethulhu (fe4242)

  157. ”I missed the part of the constitution where it says you can’t impeach someone a year out from an election.”
    Davethulhu (fe4242) — 11/16/2019 @ 2:11 pm

    I missed the part where my comment even implied that.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  158. It’s definitely what they did in 2016 to Target Trump and help Hillary as per that old Politico article.

    That may be true. I would certainly like that investigated by Americans, especially now that we have a GOP President, instead of pushing it off on foreign jurisdictions.

    But why does that matter when the subject is Trump? The only relevance I see is “They did it so we can do it, too.” IMO the problem with that is I think voters elect Republicans because they tire of Democratic shenanigans. If Republicans stop being the adults and focus on getting even, they become Democrat-lites. Why should anyone ever vote for them?

    DRJ (15874d)

  159. 90. rcocean (1a839e) — 11/15/2019 @ 1:43 pm

    Molotov was even more moral. Boy did he love his wife!

    So much so, he didn’t say a word she was arrested and sent to Siberia by Stalin (well he didn’t divorce her I guess you can say)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vyacheslav_Molotov

    A clear sign of his precarious position was his inability to prevent the arrest for “treason”, in December 1948, of his Jewish wife, Polina Zhemchuzhina, whom Stalin had long distrusted.[66] Molotov never stopped loving his wife, and it is said he ordered his maids to make dinner for two every evening to remind him that, in his own words, “she suffered because of me”.

    Polina Zhemchuzhina befriended Golda Meir, who arrived in Moscow in November 1948 as the first Israeli envoy to the USSR.[68] According to a close collaborator of Molotov, Vladimir Erofeev,[69] Meir met privately with Polina, who had been her schoolmate in St. Petersburg. Immediately afterwards, Polina was arrested and accused of ties with Zionist organisations. She was imprisoned for a year in the Lubyanka, after which she was exiled for three years in an obscure Russian city.

    Molotov had no communication with her, save for the scant news that he got from Beria, whom he loathed. Polina was freed immediately after the death of Stalin.[70]

    According to Erofeev, Molotov said of her: “She’s not only beautiful and intelligent, the only woman minister in the Soviet Union; she’s also a real Bolshevik, a real Soviet person.” In 1949, Molotov was replaced as Foreign Minister by Andrey Vyshinsky, although retaining his position as First Deputy Premier and membership of the Politburo.[67]

    Sammy Finkelman (b38f8c)

  160. 147.

    Q: “Do you have any information regarding POTUS accepting bribes?”

    Yovanovitch: “No”

    Q: Do you have any evidence of any criminal activity from POTUS?”

    Yovanovitch: “No”

    That, I think, was caused by Representative Chris Stewart misunderstanding what Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff were up to. Speaker Nancy Pelosi had said that Trump might be impeached for bribery. She meant paying a bribe. by using U.S. government money to bribe, or attempt to bribe, the Ukrainian government into investigating Joe Biden or other things. That’s not usually what comes to mind when you think of the constitution’s use of the word bribery in connection wth impeachment (although that could also be grounds for impeachment) and it is a real stretch to call this alleged act bribery – it’s the wrong words.)

    Now, a little bit earlier in the hearing a Democratic

    Sammy Finkelman (b38f8c)

  161. A Democratic questioner had elicited from former Ambassador Marie Yovanovich that she knew that two of Rudy Giuliani’s co-investigators, or informants, or whatever you want to call them, had given huge campaign contributions that would benefit Donald Trump – and they were indicted for, essentially, being straw donors (using foreign money. Their defense would be that it wasn’t, and the money was theirs. A problem when maybe most of your money isn’t yours.)

    Congressman Chris Stewart understood this to be the “bribery” that Speaker Nancy Pelosi was considering impeaching Donald Trump for. That is… that Donald Trump had been bribed to fire her!

    She herself had said that (she believed) corrupt people were behind the campaign to get her removed although she hadn’t said that was a method they used.

    So he asked her if she actually knew that Donald Trump had been bribed. And she said no. I sensed that was a bit unwillingly, but not much.

    Now the favorite Democratic theory about getting rid of her isn’t that. It is that getting rid of her cleared the way for Sondland, Volker, and Rick Perry or maybe also Giuliani – there seems to be some uncertainty among the Dems as to who was third amigo – to be in charge of U.S.-Ukranian relations. But nothing seems to have happened during that interval.

    (Well, there was a scheduled meeting between Giuliani and Zelensky or his close aides that happened during that time, but it got cancelled after news of it was broken in the New York Times, and Giuliani said he thought it had been a trap. This probably was little affected, one way or the other, by who was in the embassy. Her staff remained.)

    In June, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo got William B Taylor Jr in there as a charge de affairs and acting ambassador (not being president, or having the confidence of Trump in this matter, he couldn’t make him Ambassador. This was the highest rank he could give him.) He had more experience that Yovanovich’s second in command. He’s still acting Ambassador, in spite of being the star witness, as Jim Jordan called him. (Taylor smiled at that.)

    Later Jordan called Marie Yovanovich the star witness. I think you can on;y have one.

    Sammy Finkelman (375edc)

  162. But why does that matter when the subject is Trump? The only relevance I see is “They did it so we can do it, too.” IMO the problem with that is I think voters elect Republicans because they tire of Democratic shenanigans. If Republicans stop being the adults and focus on getting even, they become Democrat-lites. Why should anyone ever vote for them?

    DRJ (15874d) — 11/16/2019 @ 4:23 pm

    The relevance is that it makes sense for Trump to say it’s very important to investigate the shenanigans that went on with Ukraine in the 2016 elections because he needed to see if the new administration was the same as the old one that was used to try and harm Trump in the 2016 campaign. Should they be rewarded for doing so?

    NJRob (4d595c)

  163. How did Ukraine hurt Trump? There is no indication that happened but, if there were, why in the world would Trump trust the foreign government to expose it?

    DRJ (15874d)

  164. I’m waiting for the “they set me up” defense: The Democrats planted false stories and rumors to make [I find it hard to even mention his name anymore] ask Zelensky to investigate them.

    nk (dbc370)

  165. https://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/ukraine-sabotage-trump-backfire-233446

    DRJ,

    did you really never read the Politico article about Ukraine in the past?

    NJRob (4d595c)

  166. NJRob,

    Have you read the Politico article about Ukraine in the present?

    https://www.politico.com/news/2019/11/12/alexandra-chalupa-testify-impeachment-069817

    “The whole story originated with the Kremlin,” Chalupa said in an interview on Monday, pointing to an initial December 2016 statement from Russia’s spokeswoman accusing the Ukrainian government of trying to sabotage Trump’s campaign by exposing that Manafort hid millions in payment for his work pushing Kremlin-backed candidates in Ukraine.

    The narrative that the government of Ukraine meddled in 2016 using Chalupa as an intermediary has made a comeback among Trump defenders as they beat back a mountain of emerging evidence that Trump used his leverage over Ukraine to pressure the country’s leaders to investigate his political rivals, including former Vice President Joe Biden and the 2016 presidential campaign of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

    I don’t have a definitive opinion about this, but you may — I say may — be repeating Russian propaganda. If you are, it would not be the first time that pro-Trump commenters on this repeated Russian disinformation. Be careful that you’re not a dupe of Putin.

    And anyone who carelessly makes assertions in black and white that are later revealed with certainty to be part of a Putin disinformation campaign … I will remember.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  167. Sure. Politico is back to toeing the Soviet party line. That’s to be expected which is why, as you’ve mentioned before, it’s not useful in posting information from a propaganda outlet unless it goes against their own interests.

    But it is fascinating how quick so many on here are to post propaganda from sites that have taken Pravda to new heights as long as it attacks Trump.

    I will remember as well.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  168. And yes, I am stating that the modern left, with their propaganda organs, are wholly taken over and indoctrinated by Soviet agents that inculcated them as the agenda stated they would. The Soviet Union died. Their agenda is alive and dominant amongst the left in our nation.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  169. “And yes, I am stating that the modern left, with their propaganda organs, are wholly taken over and indoctrinated by Soviet agents that inculcated them as the agenda stated they would.”

    You’re projecting.

    Davethulhu (fe4242)

  170. You’re projecting.

    Davethulhu (fe4242) — 11/16/2019 @ 10:56 pm

    Your the one supporting the party pushing the international socialist agenda. Try again.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  171. But it is fascinating how quick so many on here are to post propaganda from sites that have taken Pravda to new heights as long as it attacks Trump.

    I will remember as well.

    Where were you on the Seth Rich story that Putin put out as disinformation, NJRob?

    Appropriately skeptical?

    Pushing it because it benefited Trump?

    Curious!

    Patterico (115b1f)

  172. Your the one supporting the party pushing the international socialist agenda. Try again.

    Your the one who might try again, as you’re grammer is a bit off

    Patterico (115b1f)

  173. I didn’t post a thing on Seth Rich. I didn’t know what to think. Check my history.

    A better article on Politico from the Washington Examiner.

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/politico-denies-politicos-reporting-on-ukraines-2016-pro-hillary-efforts

    NJRob (4d595c)

  174. I don’t mean to be rude, but if you don’t care that you might be repeating Putin propaganda it’s difficult to be polite.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  175. Used the wrong you’re/your. It happens at 2 AM. Your intentional misspelling of grammar is a nice twist. But with how hostile you are to people that aren’t sufficiently skeptical of Trump, I cannot tell if it’s meant to be playful or mean.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  176. I didn’t post a thing on Seth Rich. I didn’t know what to think. Check my history.

    OK, good.

    I’m just telling you, though. This really feels like Russian bullshit. You ought to care. Imagine that you’re actually repeating total horseshit made up by Putin. Because that could really be happening. Is it worth it, just to reflexively support Trump each and every time?

    Think it through. I’m begging you.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  177. Patterico,

    you’re quoting a leftist activist who is saying criticism of her is just a Putin smear. The original article by Politico was thoroughly researched with citations. It was what journalism used to be before it’s become all tabloid and opinion pieces.

    Could it be wrong? Sure. Is it a good reason for a new President to be skeptical of a foreign nation and want to make sure that nation isn’t trying to harm our own and his presidency before he allows them to receive taxpayer dollars? You tell me.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  178. Used the wrong you’re/your. It happens at 2 AM. Your intentional misspelling of grammar is a nice twist. But with how hostile you are to people that aren’t sufficiently skeptical of Trump, I cannot tell if it’s meant to be playful or mean.

    A little of both. I’ll grant you I get mean when it comes to this.

    But I really think this is Putin propaganda. It sickens me to think people I like might be so easily manipulated.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  179. The original article by Politico was thoroughly researched with citations.

    Yeah?

    according to people with direct knowledge of the situation

    Mmm, that’s the gold standard!

    Patterico (115b1f)

  180. I’ll wait and see if there’s more research done to determine either way. If only the 3rd estate was willing to do their job.

    But if you were a newly elected president who was under investigation alleging that a foreign nation interfered with our elections on your behalf, but you know you didn’t support such actions yet you then read a well sourced article that said that exact act happened against you by your opponent, how would you react?

    NJRob (4d595c)

  181. 4th estate*

    NJRob (4d595c)

  182. I’m going to sleep. I look forward to your response, if any, in the morning. Have a good night.

    I do wish we could find a way to bridge the divide between our interpretations of how to go forward. Thank you.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  183. Is it a good reason for a new President to be skeptical of a foreign nation and want to make sure that nation isn’t trying to harm our own and his presidency before he allows them to receive taxpayer dollars?

    Nope. Beginning with the fact that it’s not his call whether they get the money, absent incredibly unusual circumstances that this scenario doesn’t begin to approach.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  184. I’ll throw this one open to the Trump supporters who comment here as well.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  185. NJRob:

    The original article by Politico was thoroughly researched with citations.

    NJRob, this is the sixth paragraph of the Politico article linked in your comment 167:

    There’s little evidence of such a top-down effort by Ukraine. Longtime observers suggest that the rampant corruption, factionalism and economic struggles plaguing the country — not to mention its ongoing strife with Russia — would render it unable to pull off an ambitious covert interference campaign in another country’s election. And President Petro Poroshenko’s administration, along with the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington, insists that Ukraine stayed neutral in the race.

    Of course, there is a foreign government that could interfere and we know has interfered in our election: RUSSIA, a country that wants to discredit and weaken Ukraine so Russia can control and dominate it. It is also the one foreign power that Trump desperately wants to shield from claims that he is indebted to or controlled by, so claiming another country interfered in our elections actually helps Trump and Russia.

    I understand that “Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office,” “disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election” — which was true — and “helped Clinton’s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers.” Some foreign governments do those things because American political results dramatically impact many nations. I bet Israel’s Netanyahu cared whether Trump or Hillary won, and commented accordingly. Some in Britain, Australian and other country’s intelligence services may have helped research the dossier. And every nation that questioned Trump’s abilities before the election did an about face after he won.

    We are America. We don’t need the world’s governments to bow to our Presidents or swear etermal loyalty, whether the President is Obama or Trump. Only the weakest Presidents need that kind of approval.

    DRJ (15874d)

  186. If any Trump supporters still read my feed, I have a question for you. If Trump ordered Bill Barr to have the FBI investigate every Democrat presidential candidate for any possible federal felony, would you approve?

    — Patterico (@Patterico) November 17, 2019

    Patterico (115b1f) — 11/17/2019 @ 8:29 am

    Only if there’s cause for investigation like Harris using her power as AG to pull what the crook in Chicago did with Jussie, or someone who suddenly became a multimillionaire due to deals that they voted for.

    No open fishing investigations or corrupt FISA warrants.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  187. Of course, there is a foreign government that could interfere and we know has interfered in our election: RUSSIA, a country that wants to discredit and weaken Ukraine so Russia can control and dominate it. It is also the one foreign power that Trump desperately wants to shield from claims that he is indebted to or controlled by, so claiming another country interfered in our elections actually helps Trump and Russia.

    I understand that “Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office,” “disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election” — which was true — and “helped Clinton’s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers.” Some foreign governments do those things because American political results dramatically impact many nations. I bet Israel’s Netanyahu cared whether Trump or Hillary won, and commented accordingly. Some in Britain, Australian and other country’s intelligence services may have helped research the dossier. And every nation that questioned Trump’s abilities before the election did an about face after he won.

    We are America. We don’t need the world’s governments to bow to our Presidents or swear etermal loyalty, whether the President is Obama or Trump. Only the weakest Presidents need that kind of approval.

    DRJ (15874d) — 11/17/2019 @ 8:59 am

    A country should be loyal to their own citizens and do what is in the best interests of those constituents. But should a leader of a nation support one that is openly hostile to their administration? That is my interpretation of what Trump was determining.

    He did the same thing with the falsely named Palestinian Authority.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  188. Ukraine could hate Trump and he still has to deal with it fairly because that is what America is. In addition, Congress appropriated funds for Ukraine because supporting Ukraine is in our national interests. Trump views the laws Congress passes as suggestions he can ignore, apparently because being President trumps everything. I grant that Obama had the same attitude but that is not how our system works.

    If we let Trump get away with this after 8 years of Obama’s reign, then this is how it will be forever. We might as well elect Kings instead of Presidents. But if we stop this now, we can show our citizens and the world that we still believe in our system of checks and balances.

    DRJ (15874d)

  189. I view Trump’s election primarily as a repudiation of Obama and his policies, so for Trump to act like Obama is depressing.

    DRJ (15874d)

  190. Of course, Congress stopped most Palestinian aid, not Trump. Trump signed it into law and implemented it promptly, as he should have done with Ukraine.

    DRJ (15874d)

  191. ”If any Trump supporters still read my feed, I have a question for you. If Trump ordered Bill Barr to have the FBI investigate every Democrat presidential candidate for any possible federal felony, would you approve?”
    Patterico (115b1f) — 11/17/2019 @ 8:29 am

    No, for several reasons. One being that the sort of prosecutorial staff that would be inclined to carry out such a blindly partisan inquisition leans Democrat and #NeverTrump.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  192. DRJ,

    I don’t agree. It’s why we were disgusted with the Iran funds transfer when we knew they were a hostile nation working against our interest. It’s why we don’t fund nations that try and harm us. Furthermore, it is within the purview of the President to hold the funds till the end of the appropriation time which is when it must be released unless Congress repeals or decides otherwise.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  193. 153. Nic (896fdf) — 11/16/2019 @ 11:40 am

    Trump mentions Crowdstrike once and the Bidens several times. The Bidens were more important in the conversation than Crowdstrike was.

    That’s incorrect. The name Crowdstrike is mentioned once but there are 11 lines in the transcript devoted to it. There’s less for the Bidens. The name Biden is mentioned twice. . however it might have been said more often in the lost words, and Vindman says Trump mentioned Burisma (it’s not in the transcript.. but Zelensky refers to “the company you mentioned.” There;s sme more about the prosecutor

    If you read this carefully, Trump thinks Attorney General William Barr is the point man for Crowdstrike, although in actuality, he wasn’t exactly dealing with that claim, and Giuliani is the person familiar with the Biden matter.

    It also seems to me that the aid was withheld, not because of something Trump wanted Ukraine to do, but because of what he thought it had done.

    Another thing: David Holmes has to be a liar, because on July 26, the next step would have been setting up the meetings with Giuliani, and possibly Barr. Zelensky had already told him the day before he would look into things if they provided information. Before meeting Giuliani how could Zelensky know who and what to investigate?

    Trump was not asking for an open ended investigation, even of 2016 intervention, nor was he asking for a smear job.

    I think it might be proven that Holmes is lying. There should be records (or not) of a call between Trump and Sondland on July 26. Also, there were other people in the meeting that Sondland had with the Ukrainians so at the minimum, if what Holmes said Sondland told Trump transpired in the meeting he had with the Ukrainian officials is not borne out, it would mean Sondland was lying to Trump (In this connection, according to Holmes, Sondland didn’t approve of Trump’s thinking, so that would be kind of logical, actually, but most people didn’t catch that.)

    Sammy Finkelman (c74eb9)

  194. @170. “The Soviet Union died. Their agenda is alive and dominant amongst the left in our nation.”

    Check the menu; don’t think you’ll find too many of “the left in our nation” advocating murdering journalists, invading Crimea or constructing atmospheric-polluting, nuclear-powered cruise missiles.

    But do try the Chicken Kiev, comrade. Yum! 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  195. @195 If we are counting it that way, the Bidens and Crowdstrike are roughly equal. It is still Trump extorting Ukraine for his personal benefit.

    Nic (896fdf)

  196. Nic @197.

    197.@195 If we are counting it that way, the Bidens and Crowdstrike are roughly equal

    Biden etc. was mentioned second, “the other thing.”

    Zelensky seems to have known all about it before (and he was briefed) because he mentioned Giuliani first. (Giuliani seems to have been involved with both matters.)

    To say this was “Trump extorting Ukraine”

    You have to say Ukraine didn’t want to do that, and Trump knew that.

    And to say “for his personal benefit” you have to say there was no legitimate basis for an inquiry, and to fuirther say that this was malfeasance you have to say that Trump knew that there was no legitimate basis for an inquiry.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  197. First Trump-Zelensky phone call made while Trump was on Air Force One April 21, 2019 4:29-4:45 m – notes taken in Whte House Situation Room)

    (I didn’t find fast the a website which had nothing else)

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/11/15/us/politics/document-trump-zelensky-first-call.html

    Discrepancy between what the White House released at the time and the transcript:

    https://www.factcheck.org/2019/11/discrepancy-in-white-house-versions-of-first-trump-zelensky-phone-call

    The press release had Trump talking about Ukraine fighting corruption. It was evidently prepared before the phone call, and was based on what talking poiints were given to Trump.

    The interesting thing about the first phone call is that

    1) Trump says he might come to the inaguration

    2) Zelensky says he wl practice English

    Second Trump-Zelensky phone call:

    https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Unclassified09.2019.pdf

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  198. I don’t agree. It’s why we were disgusted with the Iran funds transfer when we knew they were a hostile nation working against our interest. It’s why we don’t fund nations that try and harm us.

    I don’t see the comparison. Ukraine is not Iran, nor is it our enemy or trying to harm us. The opposite is true when it is standing up to Russia. If Trump sees Ukraine as HIS enemy it is only because he sees everyone who doesn’t like/support him as his enemy. But that doesn’t make Ukraine OUR enemy. Trump is not America.

    DRJ (15874d)

  199. @198 They’d already closed the original investigation, it doesn’t seem like they felt the need to continue on their own and Trump must of known that, or he wouldn’t have asked them to reopen it. Also, given that they’d closed it down, they’d already decided there was no legitimate basis for inquiry, Trump wasn’t interested in investigating anyone else’s possible corruption, just the Bidens, and he didn’t go through the legitimate channels that exist for requesting a legitimate investigation.

    Nic (896fdf)

  200. Trump lashes out at State Department employee ahead of public testimony

    President Donald Trump on Sunday lashed out at a State Department employee who is set to testify publicly this week before lawmakers, the latest in a series of social media attacks made by the President against those cooperating in the House impeachment inquiry.

    Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence and a career foreign service officer, is scheduled to appear before the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday. In his Sunday tweet, Trump resurfaced an unfounded accusation he has raised against other officials who have testified in the probe, characterizing Williams as a Never Trumper and associating her with other “Never Trumpers.”

    Tweeting a day after Williams’ earlier, closed-door testimony was released, Trump urged Williams to “read BOTH transcripts of the presidential calls.”

    During a closed-door deposition earlier this month, Williams told lawmakers she was in the White House Situation Room listening to Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in real time and reviewed a transcript of Trump’s April call prior to Pence’s own April call with Zelensky. Williams also listened to a second call between Pence and Zelensky, which took place on September 18 after the hold on security assistance was lifted. …

    Williams testified that Trump’s request for specific investigations struck her as “unusual and inappropriate” and “shed some light on possible other motivations” for Trump’s decision to freeze security aid to Ukraine.
    Pence’s office on Sunday declined to defend Williams after Trump’s Twitter attack.

    “Jennifer is a State Department employee,” Pence’s press secretary Katie Waldman said in response to CNN’s request for comment.

    Like many foreign policy advisers at the White House, Williams is a State Department employee detailed to Pence’s office.
    Staffers in the vice president’s office have made a concerted effort to distance Pence from Williams, even before she sat down to testify. But sources explained to CNN that his office is selective about which career officials get detailed to their staff. His senior staff typically interviews them beforehand.
    Keith Kellogg, the vice president’s national security adviser, was responsible for selecting Williams. …..

    Rip Murdock (5a2a4a)

  201. 201. Nic (896fdf) — 11/17/2019 @ 2:22 pm

    @198 They’d already closed the original investigation,

    Wait, it was corrupt or dishonest prosecutors who’d closed it down, and Zelensky was a new guy.

    it doesn’t seem like they felt the need to continue on their own and Trump must of known that, or he wouldn’t have asked them to reopen it.

    I don’t mean that they wanted to re-open it on their own. I mean that President Zelensky seemed willing to do anything within reason in the line of investigations that Trump was interested in

    https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Unclassified09.2019.pdf


    I will personally tell you that one of my assistants spoke with Mr. Giuliani just recently and we are hoping very much that Mr. G1uliani will be able to travel to Ukraine and. we will meet once
    he comes to Ukraine. I just wanted to assure you once again that you have nobody but friends around-us.

    and, as I said in #195 he had already told him that in the July 25 call! (At this point Trump had only mentioned Crowdstrike/2016. There Trump was clearly asking for a counter-intelligence investigation.

    Later, after Trump mentioned Biden, he said it would happen in September. And he also told Trump that asking him about it was perfectly legitimate. (Obviously, so that Trump would feel he had no hesitations about it.)

    Since we have won the absolute majority in our Parliament, the next Prosecutor General will be 100% my person, my candidate, who will be approved, by the parliament and will start as a new prosecutor in September. He or she will look into the situation, specifically to the company that you mentioned in this issue [Meaning Burisma, whose name was missing in the White House call record, probably because it was not in the algorithm’s dictionary and also might have been mangled by the voice interpretation software, and Trump himself might also have mangled the name, but Alexander Vindman and another person too say Trump mentioned Burisma, and it might have been put in had the call record not been locked up so fast after Vindman complained, but instead we have ellipses. In the same ellipsis, Trump also referenced a recording of Biden.] The issue of the investigation of the case is actually the issue of making sure to restore the honesty, so we will take care of that and will work on the investigation of the case. On top of that, I would kindly ask you if you have any additional information that you can provide to µs, it would be very helpful for the investigation to make sure that we administer justice in our country. (The White House call record should put a period here, but doesn’t, and runs it into the next, unrelated, sentence about the recalled Ambassador.

    So what reason would Trump have to ask Sondland again one day later, about Ukraine being willing to conduct investigations; and how could Zelensky start an investigation, at least about Burisma, when he told him everything would start with the new Prosecutor General in September; and why isn’t Trump asking about when there’s going to be a meeting with Giuliani? which was the follow-up he was interested in?

    So that, plus the fact that David Holmes only tells Taylor about this alleged conversation between Sondland and Trump three weeks after Taylor’s closed door testimony, which was in all the newspapers, and the fact that Sondland would have had to put his phone away from his ear for Holmes to overhear even one word, and the fact that he really adds nothing and, if you read this casually, only seems to confirm what is already known and obvious, makes me very suspicious that he is lying.

    And I’m not put off that there seems to be corroboration, because we’ve seen this kind of thing before in the Kavanaugh hearing, and it’s not implausible that David Holmes could be prevailed upon – or volunteer – to perjure himself because he thinks that Donald Trump is a total jerk as president, and dangerous.

    Also, given that they’d closed it down, they’d already decided there was no legitimate basis for inquiry,

    Trump wasn’t interested in investigating anyone else’s possible corruption, just the Bidens,

    Well, for one thing, that’s what somebody had been filling his head with, even maybe playing an excerpt of the January 23, 2018 speech Biden gave to the Council on Foreign Relations, [where Biden doesn’t say what Trump says he says, but maybe, as Nancy Pelosi says, he’s in over his head and buys the spin] and also, if true, this would be somewhat more important. I mean, really.

    and he didn’t go through the legitimate channels that exist for requesting a legitimate investigation.

    Trump was talking about doing that, too.

    Sammy Finkelman (976d9e)

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