The “Ukraine Quid Pro Quo Impeachment” story is collapsing so fast that trying to keep up with all the developments is like trying to provide real-time play-by-play of an empty building being imploded with TNT. I’ll try to roll the footage back, look at it in slo-mo, and fill you in a few things that have happened since…well, yesterday.
Let’s start with a must-see video. If the Democrats think Trump is going to let them use him as a punching bag, they must’ve been in a coma for the past three years (FYI, I could probably be convinced of that.) His campaign has already released a hard-hitting ad slamming Biden, the House Democrats and the media and claiming they’re trying to impeach him for wanting to investigate their corruption. It’s a hard point to refute, but Biden claims the ad shows Trump is “terrified.” Funny, he doesn’t sound terrified, especially not at the end, when he says, “I’m Donald Trump and I approved this message.” Something about the way he says makes you believe he really, really approves of it.
Kurt Volker, the US envoy to Ukraine, resigned after he was mentioned in the “whistleblower” complaint (I use the quotation marks because this is looking less like a real whistleblower and more like a mole working specifically to undermine the Administration, perhaps in an orchestrated plan with other partisans. We shall see.) The complaint got it wrong, claiming that Volker was concerned about Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani inserting himself into talks with Ukraine to investigate Biden and that he tried to “contain the damage.” But Giuliani released documents showing that he had been asked to work with Ukraine on that. I’m sure we’ll be hearing more on this story soon.
In a remarkable coincidence, just before the complaint came to light, the intelligence community quietly changed the rules for making whistleblower complaints so that filers no longer had to have direct knowledge of suspected wrongdoing, they only had to claim to have heard about it. So hearsay just recently became admissible evidence. Wow, there’s a coin-kee-dink for you!
Adam Mill at the Federalist floats the theory that the legally questionable “impeachment inquiry” Nancy Pelosi talked about isn’t really about a vote on impeachment, and the weak sauce Ukraine phone call excuse isn’t really grounds for impeachment. Instead, the whole inquiry is a McGuffin designed to give Jerry Nadler’s committee a pretext to argue in court that it has a right to demand a lot of White House documents they’d otherwise be barred from getting, so that they can hunt through them, looking for some real reason to impeach Trump. Guess Trump keeps a security camera pointed at his garbage cans.
I already told you that ABC’s story that an alleged adviser to Ukraine’s President Zelensky said Zelensky was aware of the “quid pro quo” (US aid in exchange for investigating Joe Biden’s son) at the time of his phone call with Trump was denied by the alleged source, who was not an adviser to Zelensky then or now. He says the only thing he knew about a “quid pro quo” was what he’d read in the media (this could be a first: fake news based on fake news!)
The new development in this story is that ABC actually retracted their fake news instead of doubling down on it, which puts them a rung above many other media outlets on the journalistic integrity ladder
In what could be a major development, John Solomon at The Hill uncovered hundreds of previously unreleased memos and documents that undermine the Bidens’ and the media’s claims that Biden was just pressing Ukraine to fire a corrupt and inept prosecutor and that the investigation of the natural gas company Burisma, whose board included his son Hunter, was already ended with no wrongdoing found. The papers show instead that Burisma’s attorneys apologized to Ukraine for disseminating false information about the prosecutor and that, while one investigation of Burisma had passed its legal deadline, two others were still open.
Again, I’ll point out that if it’s an impeachable offense for a top US official to threaten to withhold aid to force a foreign nation to change its policies, then no matter what the motive or whether or not Biden believed disinformation about the prosecutor, he is on video bragging about blackmailing Ukraine into firing its prosecutor with a threat to withhold US aid. But this does rip away even the tissue paper-thin excuse that the media were using to cover it up and ignore it.
President…oops, sorry…Representative Eric Swalwell claimed that Trump showed a “consciousness of guilt” and attempted a cover-up by putting the transcript of his call with Ukraine’s President on a server for top secret communications that’s usually not used for such communications. Some might say that he showed a consciousness that he’s surrounded by snakes who’ll leak anything they can get their hands on to the media, regardless of how much it harms America, as long as it makes Trump look bad, but where would he have gotten that crazy idea? As for me, I’ll just note how nice it is to have a President who actually knows what a secure server that protects classified information is.
Sean Davis at The Federalist notes that far from being the detailed work of an obvious expert on Ukraine, as many media outlets claimed, that “whistleblower” complaint is filled with incorrect statements, gossip and innuendo from anonymous third-hand sources and unconfirmed media reports, which makes it eerily reminiscent of the “Trump Russian Dossier” that Hillary’s campaign paid for.
Here’s a tough one: if I don’t include this, I’ll be accused of covering up for a fellow Republican; and if I do include it, I’ll be accused of smearing an anti-Trump Republican. Maybe this story just means that Burisma was paying a lot of well-connected people on both sides to cover its bases. I’ll just go with passing on the story and letting you decide for yourself what to think about it.
Rep. Adam Schiff, whose head apparently is shaped like a bubble for a reason, accused President Trump of violating his oath of office by delaying military aid to Ukraine. He failed to mention, or didn’t remember, that Obama banned military aid to Ukraine entirely in 2014, even though they desperately needed it to defend themselves from Russia. You might also consider this a new development since some people will learn that Trump is far from a puppet of Putin. That was the lie Schiff had been promoting for the previous two years. At least he finally has a new one now.
Narrative Buster: Bryan Dean Wright, a Democrat and former CIA officer, blasted the House Democrats’ impeachment mania as a “horrific precedent” and an attempt to “kneecap” the President, “irrespective of facts.” He explains why here:
Finally, to finish on a lighter note with a little laughable hypocrisy, the leftist group MoveOn.org, which was founded to pressure Congress to “move on” from the Clinton scandals and not impeach Bill Clinton, is now sending out propaganda to get its followers to pressure Congress to impeach President Trump. I guess they moved on so much, they circled the Earth and tripped over the principles they left behind in 1998.
Why do I get the feeling that by the time this whole "quid pro quo" fiasco plays out, the only good to come out of it will be that Americans will learn three words of Latin?