It’s hard to believe the Democratic party is willing to tear the country apart and pursue impeachment against President Trump instead of trying to beat him in next year’s election.
And it’s all over a July 25 phone call with Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky — a call in which no consideration or favors were asked in return for anything else. That’s known in Latin as a “quid pro quo,” which is the catch phrase being repeated over and over in the media sphere.
Trump mentioned to Zelensky that former Vice President Joe Biden, his potential opponent next year, had bragged about the Ukraine firing a prosecutor in 2016 who was investigating Burisma, an oil and gas company his son, Hunter, was involved in, or the USA would withhold $1 billion in loan guarantees.
“Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution, so if you can look into it…it sounds horrible to me,” Trump told Zelensky.
There was no strong-arming or extorting of Zelensky, who said he didn’t feel pressured by Trump.
Mind you, this was when Biden was vice president under President Obama in 2016.
Biden publicly stated, “ I looked at them (Ukranians) and said, ‘I’m leaving (Ukraine) in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.’ Well, son of a b----. He got fired.”
What Biden said is a perfect definition of “quid pro quo,” yet many Democratic critics are ignoring what Biden did and saying Trump is the one who acted like a mob boss. They’re acting as if Trump committed some sort of capital crime.
And Biden is now saying with a straight face that Trump is trying to smear him and his family. How convenient.
The Democrats are also trying to justify impeachment by saying Trump was so nefarious that he was trying to get a foreign power to influence our election.
On the other hand, should Trump ignore what Biden said in 2016 when the USA is giving aid to the Ukraine and is trying to ferret out corruption? Should the fact that Biden is a presidential candidate make him off-limits when it comes to being accountable for his actions?
Any president should able to conduct foreign policy any way he or she sees fit, and if people don’t like the way it’s being done, they can vote for someone else.
In no way do Trump’s comments to Zelensky constitute “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors,” the standards for impeachment outlined in the U.S. Constitution.
Certain people might think Trump bringing up Biden in the phone call was inappropriate, and they’re entitled to their opinion. But to suggest a crime was committed is ludicrous. They just hate Trump so much that they want to see him removed from office, just like the non-existent claims they made that didn’t exist about Russian collusion.
If a majority of the House votes for impeachment, then the matter would go to the U.S. Senate for a trial. And there’s no way that two-thirds (67) senators would vote to remove Trump from office, especially when 53 of them are Republicans.
Further, there’s another interesting example of threatening U.S. aid to Ukraine that I read about in the Washington Post on Sept. 24.
According to columnist Marc Thiessen, CNN reported in May that Sens. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., Richard Durbin, D-Ill., and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., wrote a letter to Ukraine’s prosecutor general that expressed concern at “the closing of four investigations they said were critical to the Mueller probe.”
Thiessen said the senators warned “their support for U.S. assistance to Ukraine was at stake.”
“We have supported (the) capacity-building process and are disappointed that some in Kiev appear to have cast aside these (democratic) principles to avoid the ire of President Trump,” the senators wrote.
Then they asked the prosecutor general to “reverse course and halt any efforts to impede cooperation with this important investigation.”
As Thiessen wrote, it was OK for Democrats to encourage Ukraine to investigate Trump, but not OK for Trump to encourage Ukraine to investigate Hunter Biden.
A double standard is at play, but that doesn’t matter to Democrats if they think they can get Trump.
Reach Fred Hartman at firstname.lastname@example.org.