#ImpeachmentHearing: Impeach for the Effect, Deny the Cause
Why it makes perfect sense Trump would want Ukraine investigations.
Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland is delivering bombshell testimony Wednesday in the House’s impeachment inquisition against President Trump. Actually, no, it’s more like a seashell testimony. Put your ear to it and you hear a big vast ocean of nothing.
But you’ve got to listen closely. Please read his opening statement for yourself. Here is how the Washington Post summarizes the testimony: “Ambassador Gordon Sondland is poised to testify Wednesday more bluntly than he had before that President Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, sought to condition a White House invite for Ukraine’s new president to demands that his country publicly launch investigations that could damage Trump’s political opponents.”
Sondland is saying there was a “quid pro quo” and “everybody knew it.” That is going to be your headline all day. Already the media bubble-heads are tweeting this out every five seconds.
Joe is No Political Opponent
Let’s clear this out of the way: Donald Trump is not trying to damage Joe Biden in 2020. He’s trying to clean up the mess from 2016. Joe Biden is not Trump’s political opponent. In 2020, Donald Trump’s only opposition is Donald Trump.
As for Biden, he’s now badly trailing a small town mayor whose own city’s citizens can’t stand him, an old socialist with heart issues and a budget-destroying wonk whose life story is more padded than an NFL lineman. Candidate Biden is so weak his former boss just urged a new candidate to jump into the race.
Trump’s doing Biden a favor. Better to get knocked out of the race because you were trying to protect your son than suffering humiliating defeat at the hands of a bunch of back-benchers. Seriously, there’s no shame in having been beat by Obama and Hillary in 2008. But getting whupped by Pete Buttigieg? Elizabeth Warren? One thing to lose to Mike Tyson. This is getting knocked out by Cicely Tyson.
What is Gordon Sondland Saying
What is the ambassador saying? Basically, “President Trump wanted Rudy Giuliani involved in dealing with Ukraine. We hated the idea, but went along with it.” That’s a repeat of the “irregular channels” mantra these diplomat types have been whining about during the hearings. Rudy was swinging on their swing set and they can’t stand it. Since Sondland admits the president can have anybody he wants being his mouthpiece, this really is a non-issue.
One side note: Sondland did throw in a dig. He says he would not have accepted Rudy’s involvement at all had he known about two Giuliani associates newly charged for activities involving Ukraine. Amazing isn’t it, how well versed these House witnesses are on those cases, but how very little they know about illicit activities involving Ukraine and the Democrats.
Which gets us to the heart of the matter:
Sondland says President Trump was really keen on seeing Ukraine look into: A) The extent of its role in undermining his 2016 campaign, and B) The Burisma corruption, including Biden’s role in shutting down the prosecutor investigating Burisma. The president didn’t want to polish the silverware for a President Zelensky White House visit until he had some assurance Ukraine was going to come clean.
The Quid Pro Quo
This was the “quid pro quo” that “everybody knew about.” I guess Sondland didn’t get the memo that the Democrats focus group tested “quid pro quo” and it came back a dud. Or that Ukraine had already reopened the Burisma probe months before Trump’s call. Or the testimony from other witnesses that there was no quid pro quo, especially when it came to the military aid.
In fact, notice this quid pro quo has nothing to do with the important aid. Just about a visit to the White House. (Hey, can I get Trump impeached because my request to do the White House Christmas tour was declined?)
Yes, those two investigations were “really important” to the President. (Which we already knew from the controversial July 25th phone call.) And oh, how horrible this is, we are told. So horrible he has to be impeached over it.
Here’s the problem. Democrats want to impeach Trump over an effect while ignoring the cause.
Last night, the great Byron York published a fabulous article called “What if Trump was right about Ukraine?”. In it, he lays out five very serious ways that Ukrainians messed with the 2016 election against Trump.
- “Government ministers attack” — high ranking Ukraine politicos trash Trump.
- “The ambassador takes a position” — Ukraine’s ambassador to the US pens an anti-Trump op-ed for The Hill.
- “Leschenko and the black ledger” — A Ukraine journalist and member of parliament publishes a ledger claiming to show cash payments to Paul Manafort. That ledger, which may well be bogus, helped kick off the Russian investigation and hoax.
- “Leschenko, Nellie Ohr and Fusion GPS” — Ohr admits Leschenko was involved in materials used for the creation of the discredited “Steele Dossier.”
- “The mysterious Alexandra Chalupa” — the DNC operative tasked with using Ukrainians to get anti-Trump dirt. Left-leaning Politico laid that out in a January 2017 article called, “Ukraine efforts to sabotage Trump backfire.”
As Eddie Scarry at the Washington Examiner spotted this morning, even the Washington Post acknowledged over the weekend that Ukraine interfered with the 2016 investigation. However, the WaPo laughs it off as being nothing compared to Russia’s efforts. “Interference is interference,” says Scarry. “I know that the media prefer the kind that unsuccessfully attempted to keep one candidate — Trump — away from the White House, but that doesn’t make the interference on behalf of the other candidate any better, cleaner or fairer.”
How is That Impeachable?
So can someone explain how it is impeachable, or even wrong, for Trump to ask the Ukraine to fully come clean? We can spend three years and tens of millions of tax dollars chasing down Russian interference, but can’t spare Trump 10 seconds on a phone call? Especially for a country, Ukraine, to which we had given billions in the past, only to see our tax dollars vanish.
Loads of which, as Glenn Beck masterfully laid out in this video, ended up in the accounts controlled by Ukraine oligarch Mykola Zlochevsky. (The Guardian has an in-depth article about his role in a $23 million British corruption case, and just how sleazy a character he and Ukraine’s ex-president are.) You know what else he owns? Burisma Holdings. Yes, the company that …
… paid Hunter Biden millions.
… dropped Hunter Biden‘s name at the State Department like flower pedals at a wedding when trying to get the U.S. to pressure Ukraine to drop its investigation.
… that Ukraine officials were asked to stop investigating at a White House meeting hosted by the alleged whistleblower.
… was raided only three weeks before Joe Biden threatened to withhold $1,000,000,000 in loan guarantee unless they fired the prosecutor behind the raid. A strong-arm quid pro quo Biden openly bragged about.
Please, I beg you, please tell me how President Trump wanting to get to the bottom of all this is a crime? Burisma is a huge pile of pig manure. Joe Biden is standing on top of it. Hunter Biden crawled into it. Obama Administration wanted Ukraine to push it off into corner. And Democrats want to impeach Trump for asking just how deep the pile is? For Trump wanting to clean the pen out before letting Ukraine feed again at our trough?
The most innocent explanation isn’t all that innocent. The Democrats and Deep State have gotten so used to the stench they can’t recognize this all stinks to high heaven.
Al Perrotta is the Managing Editor of The Stream and co-author, with @JZmirak, of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration. You can follow him at @StreamingAl. And if you aren’t already, please follow The Stream at @Streamdotorg.