Patterico's Pontifications

1/8/2020

It’s Time for Pelosi to Send the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:47 am



Every day Pelosi delays the transmittal of the articles of impeachment to the Senate, she makes the whole affair seem foolish, when in fact the issues at stake are very serious.

The fact that Mitch McConnell is pushing through the same rules that applied during the Clinton impeachment is not a legitimate reason to withhold the articles. Joe Manchin surprised me this morning by saying he didn’t think a fair trial could be held without hearing from Bolton.

Mitt Romney has said he would like to hear from Bolton.

Romney told reporters at the Capitol that he wants to hear from Bolton and find out “what he knows” about Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.

“I would like to be able to hear from John Bolton. What the process is to make that happen, I don’t have an answer for you,” he added.

But Romney and other moderate Republicans are, for now, siding with McConnell on the notion that the rules for how that will happen should contemplate making the decision once the articles are sent. That is not an irrational view and it does not mean that these same Senators will vote not to subpoena Bolton.

Trump is unlikely to be convicted regardless of what Bolton says. The advantage of impeachment for Democrats is to press the case that 1) what Trump did was wrong and impeachable (it was) and that 2) the Senators who vote to acquit are hacks (they are). If GOP Senators vote not to hear from Bolton, that makes the second point with greater force. If they vote to hear from Bolton, his testimony will likely reinforce the first point. As long as you accept the fact that acquittal is all but inevitable, the issue of the rules — at this point, after Bolton’s announcement — is a no-lose proposition for Democrats.

That is, as long as they send the articles over, with all speed.

The only way to lose is not to play. It’s time for Nancy to play.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

74 Responses to “It’s Time for Pelosi to Send the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate”

  1. She should’ve done it yesterday, the first day the Senate opened for business.

    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7)

  2. It became foolish when they put Adam Schiff in charge

    steveg (354706)

  3. It became foolish when they started spying on his campaign and leaking manufactured ‘evidence’ .

    harkin (d6cfee)

  4. Pelosi has been waiting for McConnell to announce what the rules and procedure would be for the trial, in order to decide who to appoint as House managers for impeachment. To me, that’s smart and shrewd.

    Everything now is on the Senate. True, the president has technically not been impeached until the House transmits the articles to the Senate. But if the Senate is not going to allow the House to call witnesses and present further evidence, what would be the point?

    Only two presidents have ever been impeached, but neither were convicted and removed from office. This Senate is certainly not going to convict and remove this president.

    It might appear to be an exercise in futility, but the whole purpose of a Senate trial is for the House to make the case for impeachment. Acquittal is a foregone conclusion to be sure, but at least the American people should be allowed to hear the argument for conviction and see the evidence presented.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  5. I would like to hear from witnesses in a fair, adversarial process. I also think there’s a real concern about Trump escalating conflict to change the subject. Already far more civilians have been killed as a result of that. The American people should be able to pay attention to the impeachment, with plenty of testimony, so we understand what we’re asked to vote for. Granted, Pelosi is playing a game, but why would she work with the Republicans? They offer her absolutely nothing, and the evidence against Trump is overwhelming. A Senate leadership promising to coordinate with Trump’s legal team isn’t worth the time of day anyway.

    Dustin (d9d65a)

  6. This harangue just makes sense.

    Dave (1bb933)

  7. And that’s the way it is on this 21st day of the #DemocratPublicityStuntFakeImpeachment.

    A real impeachment would have been transmitted to the Senate immediately after the House vote, and the Senate being in session, with no other message, condition, or demand than: “We fulfilled our duty, now fulfill yours.”

    nk (dbc370)

  8. What exactly does anyone think Bolton will say that has not already been said? I mean factually (what the President said or did), rather than his opinion about it.

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  9. The fact that Mitch McConnell is pushing through the same rules that applied during the Clinton impeachment is not a legitimate reason to withhold the articles.

    actually, that;s an argument that the 1999 rules were tilted to favor Clinton. Not that all that much was achieved. There was still some testimony. But it have saved him from further embarrassment or from having more violations of law pointed out.

    But Romney and other moderate Republicans are, for now, siding with McConnell on the notion that the rules for how that [hearing from Bolton] will happen should contemplate making the decision once the articles are sent.

    What some Senate Republicans like Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski seem to be amenable to is McConnell’s proposal that they decide on whether to call witnesses, and what witnesses to call, only after the first phase of the trial. He says that’s what happened in 1999. I liked the way te heard from wtnesses (a short cut with excerpts played) but ot the artificial limitation on the number.

    Mitch McConnell is probably hoping to trade off not calling Hunter Biden and the whistleblower for the Democrats agreeing not to call anyone else.

    You know, I think Bolton would testify before a House panel, or a Senate committee.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  10. For the life of me I can’t figure out Speaker Pelosi’s strategy here. I guess she figured that she has some leverage to push the Senate in the direction that she wants, i.e. to call in witnesses who Democrats believe will bolster their case, but that depends entirely upon winning over Senators like Collins, Murkowski, Romney, and one or two more. But by dragging out this whole thing it seems to me like the very few independent-minded voters who remain might start seeing this whole thing as just a Democrat temper tantrum.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  11. Pelosi needs something like 20,000 votes to be reelected in her district. AOC 16,000. (That’s going by the 2018 primary results, I looked it up.) I imagine that’s pretty much the case with almost everybody in the House. That’s all this is about.

    nk (dbc370)

  12. @8. That’s a very easy question to answer. Bolton could shed light on why he didn’t want in on the White House’s “drug deal” to pressure Ukraine into investigating Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and why did he characterize it as such. Little things like that.

    JRH (52aed3)

  13. That’s a very easy question to answer. Bolton could shed light on why he didn’t want in on the White House’s “drug deal” to pressure Ukraine into investigating Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and why did he characterize it as such. Little things like that.

    Thank you for making my point. You expect Bolton to testify about his opinion about what the President did, not the facts of what he did.

    That is not the function of a fact witness. Bolton’s opinion has no relevance to whether Trump should be impeached. Calling him for this purpose only serves to make a political point.

    Bored Lawyer (998177)

  14. Well, Peggoty does marry Barkis in the end, you know, so Bolton just saying he’s willing might get him his wish. Meantime, he’s helping the TV media sell more auto insurance, internet services, and Gold Bond skin lotion (I looked it up).

    nk (dbc370)

  15. JVW (54fd0b) — 1/8/2020 @ 9:45 am

    Pretty much my take as well.

    Dave (1bb933)

  16. I, too, would like to hear from Bolton, and several others.

    While I don’t think that Congress can normally breach Executive Privilege at any other time, an Impeachment Trial is rather different. Once Impeachment has occurred — a rare event — normal rules no longer apply. I would also think that legal privilege could be breached as well, at least as regards contemporaneous discussions during the alleged events (this could also be exculpatory).

    However, this cannot be one-sided. I also feel that whistleblower guy should testify, and any other accuser of any kind. The absence of privilege suggests strict hearsay rules.

    Trump’s defense team should also be allowed to compel testimony from relevant witnesses, so long as there is at least a tangential relevance to the defense case. So, Hunter Biden can’t duck and maybe not Joe either. It would be nice if some of those Ukrainians would show, but I’m not expecting it.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  17. I also think there’s a real concern about Trump escalating conflict to change the subject.

    Clinton did that, btw.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  18. @16 This sounds like impeachment as congressional oversight and increases the chances that it’s not a rare event. I’m also skeptical of any “normal rules no longer apply” situation.

    I’d like to see stronger standard oversight with normal rules. Maybe a stronger subpoena power. What we’re seeing now is the beginning of impeachment as a complicated recall process. If D’s won the senate in the last midterm we’d be hearing how the will of the people had spoken and Trump should be removed based on that fact alone.

    frosty (f27e97)

  19. @17 This would have more legs if there was any likelihood of Trump actually being removed. It is a good talking point. If so, the result was better than bombing a pharmaceutical plant.

    I’d like to see what we learn about this over time. It’s possible Soloman/Iran misread the impeachment process and saw this as an opportunity only to have it blow up in their face.

    frosty (f27e97)

  20. @18, I fear you might be right and agree we need better oversight. The problem I see is that parties in congress use their positions to block oversight.

    Time123 (80b471)

  21. It looks like Nancy Pelosi is giving up, with the caveat that she wants to know what the rules are going be, and the reasons are:

    1) McConnell has indicated he has lined up all 53 Republican votes for the rules of 1999.

    2) Some Republicans are pushing either for the Senate to just go ahead after a 25-day deadline (Lindsey Graham R-S.C.) or for the Senate deem the impeachment effective and then vote to dismiss the charges (Josh Hawley R-Missouri) and while these ideas aren’t going anywhere, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is opposed to them, there is some chance they might be adopted, or at least voted on, and even just waiting will increasingly embarrass the Democrats.

    3) Senate Democrats indicate that they can force embarrassing votes on Republican Senators, and that is all she could have hoped to do anyway.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  22. Bolton could testify about what reasons Trump gave for maintaining the hold (Hint: it wasn’t to pressure Ukraine on Biden) and what instructions he gave Mulvaney that he knew about (remember, he said the “drug deal” was cooked up by Mulvaney and Sondland, not Trump) and why he did this, and why he did that.

    And also about his efforts to lift the hold, which including encouraging a lot of other people in the administration to make their objections known to Trump.

    Maybe also what finally caused it to be lifted.

    And there might be a few surprises.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  23. The impeachment crowd could learn from the Iranians on how to save face and move on — but they won’t.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  24. @10. Pelosi’s objective w/impeachment has always been to damage Trump through the election cycle, not remove. She is well aware the numbers as well as the weakness of the slate of candidates running against Trump. Why else hold off for so long; Pelosi had the evidence to initiate impeachment in hand nearly a year ago w/t Mueller report and stalled.

    What really makes her look foolish are those whines of “urgency” saying the courts– that ‘rule of law’ stuff– takes too long. Then she sits on the paperwork. Busy Americans can figure that out. Just because the Speaker of the House is third in the line of succession doesn’t mean Nancy can dictate how McConnell’s Senate should operate. Doesn’t work that way, dear– so why don’t you get the boys in the cloakroom some coffee.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  25. @23 stop being so pro-terrorist you America hater.

    Time123 (2c94e5)

  26. u mad, bro?

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  27. Who has more missile target misses? – Iranian Army or Never Trumpers?

    mg (8cbc69)

  28. I think they were clearing out their old SCUD inventory, which is a system that is one notch above heaving old water heaters with a catapult

    steveg (354706)

  29. What do the articles of impeachment as sent to the Senate need to contain?

    If its only a letter saying we voted and the ayes have it, then it makes no sense not to send them.
    If they need to deliver all the evidence, testimony underlying their decision, they may never send it.

    steveg (354706)

  30. @27. Perhaps Trump shoots some blanks– let’s ask Stormy, or Gabriela, or Rowanne, or Kyle, or Allison, or Kara, or Karen… and so on and so on.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  31. @16. I, too, would like to hear from Bolton, and several others.

    Get the White Album.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  32. The House appoints managers, per Senate rules, and they present all the evidence they want to use.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  33. @1. Perhaps she followed Gumbo’s lead and left it as a phone message w/McConnell’s office and he hasn’t found it yet. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  34. steveg (354706) — 1/8/2020 @ 1:36 pm

    Remember the old joke?

    A new beer named scud-lite. It takes ten before it hits you.

    felipe (023cc9)

  35. Please fish my comment out of the filter.

    [Done. Have no idea why it was flagged. – JVW]

    felipe (023cc9)

  36. This sounds like impeachment as congressional oversight and increases the chances that it’s not a rare event

    Yes, there is that risk, but it is a political one. A party that was found to be frivolously using the impeachment power could expect to have that behavior come up at the polls.

    I have no opinion as to whether the 1st article of impeachment is frivolous (and other non-frivolous articles could have been brought), but I think the second article is an embarrassment, for reasons I’ve previously stated.

    Clinton’s impeachment was about felonious behavior, and it is untrue that he was exonerated; the Senate simply said it did not rise to the level required for removal.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  37. Get the White Album.

    So many songs there that might apply to Trump and Congress:

    “Back in the U.S.S.R.”
    “The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill”
    “Piggies”
    “Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey”
    “Helter Skelter”
    “Revolution 1″
    “Revolution 9″

    Kevin M (19357e)

  38. So many songs there that might apply to Trump and Congress:

    Missed the obvious one:

    Dear prudence
    Won’t you come out to play?

    The one thing both sides appear to be lacking is prudence.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  39. Thank you for making my point. You expect Bolton to testify about his opinion about what the President did, not the facts of what he did.

    That is not the function of a fact witness. Bolton’s opinion has no relevance to whether Trump should be impeached. Calling him for this purpose only serves to make a political point.

    Bored Lawyer (998177) — 1/8/2020 @ 10:12 am

    You make a good point. But what if Bolton has facts that explain his opinion? What if when planning this Ukraine bribery Trump explained the effect on the polls or something like that? I have to imagine Trump’s inner circle includes some very unethical facts, but of course I assume the worst of Trump.

    Dustin (d9d65a)

  40. Why did the moustache and the orange break up, anyway? I forgot. I know it wasn’t over the Judasing of the Kurds, it was earlier.

    nk (dbc370)

  41. The ‘stache opposed surrender to the Taliban.

    Dave (1bb933)

  42. @41. Gumbo doesn’t work and play well with others. He is the Walrus.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  43. Bolton and Trump were never a good match…. I like Boltons no nonsense ideas and Trump shares those, but I think they disagreed on things like todays nod to NATO and saying “not our problem. You and the Chinese, the Russians, figure out how to control Iran.
    Trump is not such an idiot that he does not know that the reason Iran hates us is because we can impose our will on them. Let Iran hate on Europe, Russia and China, and Iran soon will be begging for US to be the worlds cop again because our will or in biblical terms, our yoke, is lighter than theirs

    steveg (354706)

  44. Witness For The Prosecution:

    Walrus Gumbo; ex-UN Ambassador, fired National Security Advisor, ex-President of Fox’s cancelled RedEye:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQDRHqTD6WQ

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  45. That mustache has probably permanently damaged the nerves in his wife’s upper lip.
    Like getting stuck by a meat tenderizer

    steveg (354706)

  46. steveg – She must fantasize over recently-signed New York Yankees players – and not for their millions, having to deal with that down there for so many years.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  47. I avoided going there… so to speak…

    steveg (354706)

  48. “ Let Iran hate on Europe, Russia and China, and Iran soon will be begging for US to be the worlds cop again because our will or in biblical terms, our yoke, is lighter than theirs”

    I had a history prof who used to say Islam vs China was going to be the real Main Event. This was over 40 years ago.

    harkin (d6cfee)

  49. Lt. Col. Ralph Peters* said c. 2007 that it was more likely that the U.S. would be rescuing Muslims from Europe rather than rescuing white Europeans from their homelands. http://www.faithandfreedom.com/vision-a-values-concise-qaa-with-ralph-peters-part-ii/

    *the only man to fight Tucker Carlson to a draw if not vanquish him on air (July 2017), FWIW

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  50. Checks news: Nasty Nancy still sitting on Articles. “I’ll send them over when I’m ready”, she sloshes through her Fixodent.

    And that’s the way it is, this 22nd day of the #NancyPelosiPublicityTourFakeImpeachment.

    nk (dbc370)

  51. Anybody know the word, if there is one, other than “slosh”, for talking wetly with a mouth full of saliva? Mr. Google couldn’t help me.

    nk (dbc370)

  52. nk (dbc370) — 1/9/2020 @ 9:25 am

    blubber, mewl, gibber

    don’t really seem to fit. This may be your chance to expand the English language

    frosty (f27e97)

  53. I suggest “drool”

    kishnevi (496414)

  54. Putting aside any personal slams against the Speaker, the bottom line comes back to Pelosi & Schiff’s repeatedly stated position to hurry; to bypass the courts because they take too long – that ‘rule of law’ stuff– because of: “urgency.”

    Sitting on the paperwork ain’t urgency.

    She who hesitates has lost.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  55. The CBS Evening News said Nancy Pelosi said she would send over the articles “soon”

    She apparently is still hoping to get at least a confirmation of the rules – that – what? – i won’t be impossible to call witnesses?

    It also reported that Mitch McConnell told Senators to expect a trial to start early next week.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  56. Another article about the background story:

    https://www.nationalreview.com/magazine/2019/12/31/ukraine-and-us/#slide-1

    More detail on why Kyiv insteeasd of Kiev and Ukraine instead of “the Ukraine”

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/12/ukraine-journal-a-name-of-ones-own

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  57. From the “Ukraine and Us” article in the December 31, 2019 issue of National Review:

    In one of his tweets, Trump said, “I held back the money from Ukraine because it is considered a corrupt country.” Indeed, Ukraine has suffered from corruption for many years. Yet it has been going in the right direction, curbing corruption and becoming more transparent. Before Congress approved military aid to Ukraine, the Pentagon certified to it that Ukraine had made sufficient progress against corruption to warrant receipt of the aid. Moreover, Trump is not one to complain about corruption: not in Russia, not in Turkey, not in Egypt or Saudi Arabia or elsewhere. Why Ukraine?

    Two Washington Post reports make for interesting and jarring reading. The first, published in October, is headed “Putin and Hungary’s Orban helped sour Trump on Ukraine.” The article, relying on current and former U.S. officials, says that Trump’s conversations with Putin, Viktor Orban, and others “reinforced his perception of Ukraine as a hopelessly corrupt country — one that Trump now also appears to believe sought to undermine him in the 2016 U.S. election.”

    The other Post report, published in November, is headed “A presidential loathing for Ukraine is at the heart of the impeachment inquiry.” It says that “Trump’s animosity to Ukraine ran so deep and was so resistant to the typical foreign-policy entreaties about the need to stand by allies that senior officials involved in Ukraine policy concluded that the only way to overcome it was to set up an Oval Office meeting with Trump and . . . Zelensky.” Such a meeting has not taken place. Trump did meet, however, with the Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, in the Oval Office, bewildering Ukrainians: Lavrov is not even a head of state or government, and Ukraine is a beleaguered American ally.

    The Post article also says that Trump “peppered Volker” — Kurt Volker, who at the time was U.S. special representative for Ukraine — “with his negative views of Ukraine, suggesting that it wasn’t a ‘real country,’ that it had always been a part of Russia, and that it was ‘totally corrupt.’”

    Here in Kyiv, one prominent lady tells me that Westerners are hopelessly, dismayingly naïve about Putin and the Kremlin. They are especially naïve about the money that Russia spreads around. It buys a lot. Another prominent lady, on a separate occasion, makes an impassioned statement to me — a furious statement, full of righteous indignation: “People in America buy the Putin narrative and repeat it. ‘Ukraine is just a sh**hole country, a corrupt country, not a real country.’ They say we basically speak Russian and really belong to Russia. It’s all a pack of lies, coming straight from the Kremlin, and you guys believe it. Disgusting.” (In 2018, word got out that Trump had spoken of “sh**hole countries” in the context of immigration to America. Many around the world are aware of the phrase.)

    Mention CrowdStrike to people, and, if they have heard of it, they don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Many times, Trump has said that CrowdStrike is “a Ukrainian company,” owned by an oligarch. The theory holds that Ukraine, not Russia, hacked the Democratic National Committee in 2016. CrowdStrike, the cybersecurity company, ingeniously pinned the hacking on Russia. “The server” is hidden somewhere in Ukraine right now. Etc.

    As Tom Bossert, the president’s first homeland-security adviser, said on television last September, this theory has been “completely debunked.” CrowdStrike is, in fact, an American company, based in Sunnyvale, Calif. It was founded in 2011 by three Americans: George Kurtz, Dmitri Alperovitch, and Gregg Marston. The second of those, true, was born in Russia — the Soviet Union, actually (Moscow, 1980). With his family, he emigrated to America when he was a teenager. They lived in Chattanooga. Dmitri went to Georgia Tech.

    CrowdStrike, incidentally, is retained by the National Republican Congressional Committee. It seems to be a cybersecurity company of choice.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  58. From the August 2016 Atlantic Monthly:

    For example, [Ukraine President] Poroshenko, I pushed him on getting rid of a corrupt [prosecutor] general. We had committed a billion dollars, I said, “Petro, you’re not getting your billion dollars. It’s OK, you can keep the [prosecutor] general. Just understand—we’re not paying if you do.” I suspended it on the spot, to the point where our ambassador looked at me like, “Whoa, what’d you just do? Do you have the authority?” “Yeah, I got the authority. It’s not going to happen, Petro.” But I really mean it. It wasn’t a threat. I said, “Look, Petro, I understand. We’re not gonna play. It’ll hurt us the following way, so make your own call here.” The same with Erdogan.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  59. That version was part of a interview that Steve Clemons, of the Atlantic had with then Vice Predident Joe Biden that led to this article:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2016/08/biden-doctrine/496841

    Clemons decided he liked so much what Biden said at the interview about not really understanding the situation of ordinary middle class Americans, that he made another article out of the transcript of the interview “condensed and edited for quality”

    Edited probably means the material he added in brackets. Like Joe Biden spoke about pushing Peroshenko into getting rid of a corrupt general. Clemons made clear Petroshenko was the Ukrainian President, and by “general” Biden meant “Prosecutor General” which Clemons knew maybe from what he cut out, or from discussions later or perhaps he heard the story or something like it, another time.

    In that version, Joe Biden is in a room somewhere with (at least) Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and what has to be United States Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Ross Pyatt, who was Ambassador from July 30, 2013 (credentials accepted August 15, 2013 to August 15, 2016. Petro Poroshenko became president of Ukraine on June 7, 2014 (till May 20, 2019) So this scene (supposedly) takes place sometime between June 7, 2014 and mid spring 2016.

    Geoffrey Pyatt is flabbergasted by Biden withholding $1 billion and questions him, either verbally or with his face, (or perhaps Poroshenko questions him) as to whether he has the authority to do so and Biden replies that he has. He doesn’t say what ensued but in he same interview he said, at the request of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and he talk about that because Bibi Netanyahu mentioned tat in a press conferencem he convinced Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to restore normal relations with Israel. and he also says he reconciled South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and he advises Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who called him just that morning after some horrific bombings in Baghdad, “not only for help but advice.”

    He says Abadi mentioned: “Well so-and-so doesn’t like my deal.” and he answered “Well, you should tell so-and-so”—meaning someone in Iraq, an opponent—“why don’t you tell them this?” and Abadi said said: “You think that’ll work?” and Biden says he said:“Look, you know your politics better than I do, but I think it will work.” And Abadi goes: “OK, so how would you do it?”

    Biden says he’s pretty good at this, but that’s not all: It works “because of the relationship, not because I’m so smart” and every successful foreign-policy person from Henry Kissinger on has been like this.

    So let me put together the two accounts:

    I don’t go in and make demands.

    [he just convinces them it’s in their own interest]

    For example, [Ukraine President] Poroshenko, I pushed him on getting rid of a corrupt [prosecutor] general. We had committed a billion dollars, I said, “Petro, you’re not getting your billion dollars. It’s OK, you can keep the [prosecutor] general. Just understand—we’re not paying if you do.” I suspended it on the spot, to the point where our ambassador looked at me like, “Whoa, what’d you just do? Do you have the authority?” “Yeah, I got the authority. It’s not going to happen, Petro.” But I really mean it. It wasn’t a threat. I said, “Look, Petro, I understand. We’re not gonna play. It’ll hurt us the following way, so make your own call here.” The same with Erdogan.

    No demands. He just makes them an offer they can’t refuse.

    All right, so that was in 2016.

    On January 23, 2018, during the Question and Answer period of a presetation to the Council on Foreign Relations, he says this:

    https://www.cfr.org/event/foreign-affairs-issue-launch-former-vice-president-joe-biden

    And that is I’m desperately concerned about the backsliding on the part of Kiev in terms of corruption. They made—I mean, I’ll give you one concrete example. I was—not I, but it just happened to be that was the assignment I got. I got all the good ones. And so I got Ukraine. And I remember going over, convincing our team, our leaders to—convincing that we should be providing for loan guarantees.

    And I went over, I guess, the 12th, 13th time to Kiev. And I was supposed to announce that there was another billion-dollar loan guarantee. And I had gotten a commitment from Poroshenko and from Yatsenyuk that they would take action against the state prosecutor. And they didn’t.

    So they said they had—they were walking out to a press conference. I said, nah, I’m not going to—or, we’re not going to give you the billion dollars. They said, you have no authority. You’re not the president. The president said—I said, call him. (Laughter.) I said, I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars. I said, you’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money. Well, son of a bitch. (Laughter.) He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.

    Instead of either U.S. Ambassador to the Ukraine or Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko saying he has no authority, it’s “they” and nobody in particular is mentioned as being present. In version B. they were walking out to a press conference, and he tells them he’s going to leave in six hours but no such detail is given in Version A.

    Sammy Finkelman (2cb3c3)

  60. The New Yorker article has this: (not clear what it is based on) Material in brackets is mine.

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/12/23/the-ukrainian-prosecutor-behind-trumps-impeachment

    In December, 2015, Biden gave a speech to the Ukrainian parliament: “It’s not enough to set up a new anti-corruption bureau and establish a special prosecutor fighting corruption. The Office of the General Prosecutor desperately needs reform.” Biden threatened to block a billion dollars in I.M.F. loan guarantees to Ukraine unless Poroshenko fired Shokin. Poroshenko resisted, but, one of his former advisers told me, “there was no other option, and we were hitting deadlines. He had to dismiss Shokin because of the money.” Before Shokin left, he fired Sakvarelidze and opened an investigation into Vitaliy Kasko, a respected young prosecutor who worked under Sakvarelidze.

    Mpw Shokin was fired gradually and not by Petroshenko. Remember, Biden is in Kiev (Kyiv) in December.

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

    His Deputy Prosecutor, Vitaly Kasko, announced his resignation on 15 February 2016 denouncing the corruption and lawlessness of the Prosecutor’s office.[24]

    On 16 February 2016, Shokin submitted a letter of resignation,[25] although the next day an official of the prosecution office stated, “As far as I know he has taken a paid leave”.[26] On 19 February 2016 presidential press secretary Sviatoslav Tsegolko wrote on Twitter that the presidential administration had received an official letter of resignation from Shokin.[27]

    On 16 March 2016 an official of the prosecution office stated that Shokin had resumed his work.[4] On the same day, his office carried out a raid against one of Ukraine’s leading anti-corruption groups, the Anti-Corruption Action Center (AntAC), claiming that it had misappropriated aid money.[17] AntAC was a frequent critic of the Prosecutor General’s Office under Shokin.[28] In one notorious case, two of Shokin’s prosecutors were caught with stashes of diamonds, cash and valuables in their homes, likely indicating bribery. Prosecutors from another department of Shokin’s office were fired or reassigned when they attempted to bring a prosecution against the so-called “diamond prosecutors”.[29]

    On 28 March, protesters called for Shokin’s firing, after his office was authorized by a Kiev court to investigate AntAC.[17][30] Shokin was formally dismissed in a parliamentary vote on 29 March 2016.[3]

    Back to the New Yorker article:

    In January, [23] 2019, Lev Parnas—who told me that he was “like Rudy’s assistant” —arranged a Skype call [with Lev Parnass interpreting. Lev Parnass is now offering to testify] between Giuliani and Viktor Shokin, the prosecutor general whom Poroshenko had fired at the urging of Joe Biden, two years earlier, [Petroshenko hadn’t personally fired him and Joe Biden may be the on;y source who says he was crucial, besides now the people slandering him] and who had since retired.

    During the call, Shokin made the unsubstantiated claim that Biden had him removed from the job because he had been investigating Zlochevsky and Burisma. Ukrainian and American officials told me that the situation was quite the opposite, and that Shokin had in fact been fired for failing to investigate Burisma and other similar cases despite calls by Ambassador Pyatt and others for him to do so….

    ….Giuliani reached out to Fruman and arranged a phone call with Lutsenko. It was the middle of the night in Kyiv when they spoke, Lutsenko told me. Giuliani recalled, “I got pretty angry at him on the phone.” He told me that he thought Lutsenko should have brought a case against former Vice-President Biden for bribery—an idea apparently based on Biden’s threat that he would withhold a billion dollars in I.M.F. loans unless Shokin was fired.

    [This whole thing probably never happened! If it did it should be corroborated. Let’s hear from Geoffrey Pyatt, currently United States Ambassador to Greece]

    “I said, ‘Have you ever read your goddam bribery statute?’ ” Giuliani told me. “ ‘Let me read it to you.’ ” He went on, “ ‘This takes a mental midget to do one plus two equals crime. You don’t need to be a lawyer, Yuriy, you just need to be an honest man.’ ” According to Lutsenko, Giuliani kept on repeating “bribery, bribery,” in a loud and agitated voice. Lutsenko said that he told Giuliani that the bribery assertion didn’t make any sense to him. If Giuliani was correct, then anytime a state withholds something of value from another state to get something it wants, which happens all the time, it could be accused of bribery. According to Lutsenko, Giuliani responded by saying, “I’m a lawyer, you’re not.”

    Indeed Lutsenko is not a lawyer, but a politician. Maybe an ex-politician.

    Sammy Finkelman (2cb3c3)

  61. I think we know what Bolton will say, because it was in the NYTimes article a bit ago, the one with the FOIA e-mails that showed how concerned the Trump administration was with corruption in Ukraine, and how hard it was for those around him to convince him that they were NOT corrupt enough anymore to be concerned about the money.

    In that article, we find that Bolton seriously objected to the various ways the departments were looking at to legally support cancelling the foreign aid (remember, the aid did not have to be provided before September 30th — so they needed no legal justification for holding it until then, but they were looking to see if any laws would support actually turning down the aid that had been approved earlier). Bolton was upset that they might actually withhold the military aid, becuase Bolton strongly supported Ukraine’s military action against Russia.

    Nothing in the NYTimes article supports the idea that aid was being held up for an investigation, nor that Bolton had any information that he was upset about regarding an investigation.

    I really wish the house would just call him to testify at an oversight hearing, or the senate could do it — not in the context of the impeachment, where we should limit the inquiry into the facts the prosecution brings from the house investigation, unless the defense wants to present witnesses.

    It would be remarkable for the house to say they have evidence to prove their case, and then to argue that it isn’t fair if the jurors don’t call a bunch more witnesses that the prosecution failed to call. Jurors are not supposed to be part of the investigation into possible illicit behavior, they are supposed to hear the prosecution and defense cases.

    Charles (aca208)

  62. Here the New Yorker claims to have found the origin of some stories that werre getting to Trump about Ukraine:

    https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-invention-of-the-conspiracy-theory-on-biden-and-ukraine

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  63. It’s a simpler story that aid was held up for an investigation, but it’s not in accord with the facts. A pretzel like story is in accord with the facts. Your thinking has to do a lot of twists.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  64. Always trust content from patterico.com:

    Pelosi’s about to hit send on the impeachment articles

    At long last, the House is going to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate. That’s not happening Friday, but it is happening SOON.

    Pelosi made it official in a letter sent to colleagues Friday morning, saying she will bring the articles of impeachment to the floor next week. That will allow the Senate to take up its part of the impeachment process — the trial.

    Dave (1bb933)

  65. Yay!

    The Frisco hag figures she milked it to the last drop, eh?

    nk (dbc370)

  66. The Frisco hag figures she milked it to the last drop, eh?

    Playing politics in the House of Representatives, of all places… have they no shame?

    Dave (65a95a)

  67. Politics? I wish. The #FakeImpeachment is now conclusively proven a multi-media production, produced, written, directed, and performed by the Democrats at taxpayer expense, for the benefit of their entertainment industry friends.

    nk (dbc370)

  68. Meh. She who hesitates has lost.

    This is now soooo last decade.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  69. But they did have the orange soiling his Depends (poor Kellyanne) for a couple of weeks or more, so that’s something, anyway.

    nk (dbc370)

  70. DCSCA, Trump almost got into a war trying to change the subject, so while that did indeed… change the subject, I’d say Pelosi got quite a lot of mileage out of this ‘do me a favor’ phone call.

    No one in the Pelosi camp or Biden camp feels like they lost. You’d have to have faith in the integrity of GOP Senators to think they were going to get anything more. Plus they aren’t really done.

    The third party spoiler thing is Putin’s only way to keep the white house.

    Dustin (d9d65a)

  71. The third party spoiler thing is Putin’s only way to keep the white house.

    I think you should give him a little more credit.

    It’s the only way we know of at the moment.

    Dave (1bb933)

  72. DCSCA, Trump almost got into a war trying to change the subject, so while that did indeed… change the subject, I’d say Pelosi got quite a lot of mileage out of this ‘do me a favor’ phone call.

    So should the ire of “the world” or at least relatives of the 176 victims of Uke Air be mad at San Fran Nan?

    urbanleftbehind (139beb)

  73. ulb,

    Honestly, pushing Trump hard is very dangerous. It’s predictable that impeachment will result in ‘distraction’ efforts.

    “I made a deal, I saved a country, and I just heard that the head of that country is now getting the Nobel Peace Prize for saving the country. I said, ‘what, did I have something do with it?'” – Trump whines about not having a Nobel Peace Prize pic.

    Trump is complaining today that he didn’t win a Nobel Peace Prize, before all the bodies are even cold from his little impeachment strategy! Amazing!

    Dustin (d9d65a)


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