In the history of mankind, many republics have risen, have flourished for a less or greater time, and then have fallen because their citizens lost the power of governing themselves and thereby of governing their state. TR


The Ukraine Phone Call is Not Proof of a Quid Pro Quo

Some of you may notice that I took down a post I put up earlier saying exactly the opposite: that it was clear from the transcript of the phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Zelensky that Trump had dangled foreign aid in order to get Zelensky to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden.

But I read a comment by one of my many smart readers, Mr. Pibb, who pointed us to a twitter analysis of the call by one of my favorite columnists, Kimberly Strassel. And so I knew I had to read what she said.

Strassel argues, and I have come to agree, that the only thing Trump seems to have asked for in exchange for the money is help for an existing probe into the hacking of the DNC server, a look backward to the 2016 election. This, as far as I can tell, is a legitimate request for assistance in an investigation.

What Strassel also notes is that it is Zelensky who brings up Rudy Giuliani, who was trying to get the Ukrainians to investigate the Bidens. It is only after Zelensky brings it up that Trump asks Ukraine to look into the matter.

Did Trump plan to ask for this anyway? We don’t know. Maybe he did, but it’s far from provable. The distance in the conversation between Trump’s ask and the request for new aid, and the intervening statement by Zelensky bringing up Giuliani, casts reasonable doubt on whether Trump was going to discuss it and whether he would have done so in a way that suggested this was linked to the provision of aid to Ukraine.

It was Zelensky who also brought up the matter of future assistance for Ukraine, not Trump. The president had only mentioned assistance that had previously been given.

Now, I still don’t like that the president effectively asked a foreign leader to intervene in our election by going after one of his opponents. I don’t know that it’s an impeachable offense, though, especially since there are major questions about the legality, and at least the propriety, of what the Bidens did. Hunter Biden was paid $50,000 a month by a Ukrainian company. Good work if you can get it, and in Hunter’s case, he only got it because he was the vice president’s son.

If Democrats try to impeach Trump for simply asking for this investigation of the Bidens, without proof that he used foreign aid as a lever, they will fail. Americans will never support it. And the Democrats will manage to create a circus that will destroy Biden’s candidacy, help Trump win the presidency, and possibly even give Republicans the House. Not to mention further tearing the country apart.

They’d better hope this “whistleblower” has incredible information, or it is the Democrats, not Trump, who have a big problem.

And my apologies for the error.

10 thoughts on “The Ukraine Phone Call is Not Proof of a Quid Pro Quo”

  1. It started out as an investigation into the origins of the “muh Russia” fakery, which naturally led to the Ukraine. It also leads to the United Kingdom and Italy. Joe Biden is possibly collateral damage as is anybody else caught up in it. Apparently Nancy Pelosi went to the Ukraine in 2015, so she’s probably caught up in it as well. Funny how all these leading Dems were dashing over to the Ukraine, eh?

  2. Interestingly enough almost all the TV news entities made exactly the same error you did. Because Journolist is still alive in another form, I originally assumed everyone was just rewriting talking points that left out those 500 words about 2016 and conflated the sentences on each side, but the fact that you got caught by it makes me think the way that section is written makes it a trap. It is sort of vague, and if you don’t immediately spot CrowdStrike, it might not be clear what he’s talking about.

    At any rate, you’re not unique because you got caught by it, but you are unique because you corrected your conclusion when you discovered the error. Thank you for that, and may the angels of good reporting smile upon you.

  3. The presser, yesterday: We saw the President look defeated, exhausted, and yes, exasperated by the continuous and unfair attacks coming from all sides.
    IMO, he is now the martyr that will rally the American public to come to his side, who will give him the support and validation he deserves.

    1. I thought the same thing about his press conference. He looked deflated. He talked about all the positive things he has done. In essence I thought he was saying why don’t people appreciate me. He’ll bounce back. His UN speech was great.

      I see Kellyanne Conway’s husband is doing his usual ant-Trump tirade. Mooch goes to Huffington Post and says Trump must not be re-elected. He plans to go to all the swing states. He makes the claim he can sway 5 to 8% of the voters.

  4. The three most important words in yesterday’s document which are the words the Dems are sh***ing themselves over are “Ukraine” “server” and “Crowdstrike”. This is the real reason they want to impeach. DJT has likely got the lot now.

    Got to try and stop him using the contents.

  5. I don’t see it that President Trump is going after a political opponent, but as a us citizen, seeking clarity on possible bs by a former Vice President.

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