January 23, 2020

"It is true that an impeachable 'abuse of power' can’t simply consist in using the powers of the executive for personal, political gain; that happens all the time."

"Abuse of power, for impeachment purposes, must consist in corruptly using those powers for personal, political gain. If the president in fact withheld military assistance authorized by Congress in order to gain an advantage over former Vice President Joe Biden, that was an unlawful and corrupt abuse of power. The fact that the GAO confirmed that this was a violation of law is not, as Dershowitz claims, irrelevant. And the claim that other presidents violated the same provisions—without a showing that they did so for personal, political reasons—has nothing to do with the question of impeachment. Of course, Trump’s defense team may well argue that the president never intended to connect his withholding of funds from Ukraine with the demand that the Ukrainian president announce an investigation of Biden and his son."

From "Alan Dershowitz’s Strange Constitutional Arguments on Impoundment and Foreign Policy" by Philip Bobbitt (Lawfare).

If we take Bobbitt's approach to heart, everything depends on what Trump had in his mind. The question is whether the Senators have enough evidence of wrong thoughts in Trump's mind that they should deprive the people of the choice we made in the last election, when the alternative is to go forward to the next election. And I'm saying "we" even though I did not vote for Trump. We, the People.

272 comments:

1 – 200 of 272   Newer›   Newest»
tds said...

Is this the same Bobbitt who had his dongle cut off, while he slept, by his significant other?

Beasts of England said...

The funds were released eighteen days before the congressional deadline. Bobbitt wants to remove Trump from office for driving 68mph in a 70mph zone. And also because he believes, without evidence, that Trump had thought about speeding at some point during his drive.

Ann Althouse said...

Philip Bobbitt is a very eminent law professor.

Aunty Trump said...

"If we take Bobbitt's approach to heart, everything depends on what Trump had in his mind.”

Right, Trump need only show the New York Times, Politico, and The Hill articles about election interference by Ukraine and how the Democrats played a part. It doesn’t really matter if we find out through further investigation that they were not true, the simple fact is that all Trump did was ask that they be investigated, and he had clear evidence that they occurred.

BTW, Ukraine did interfere, and they were urged to do so in White House meetings. We spent two years attacking Trump in the media, investigating him, spying on him, on the premise that soliciting election interference was the ultimate political crime.

This is just the Democrats observing Bill Clinton’s rule that “Your opponent can’t badmouth you while you’ve got a fist in his mouth."

Aunty Trump said...

Plus Trump was, and is, under investigation by Congress and he had a right to use his personal attorney to find exculpatory evidence on that charge. There was talk that the server used to hack the DNC was in Ukraine.

Karen of Texas said...

Mind reading Trump is what the Democrats and their media allies have done since before he was elected. You're always up to no good in your thoughts if you're Trump - and by God they have the proof that proves that he does all the horrible stuff he thinks!

stlcdr said...

What was the political gain? Exposing criminality of a political opponent is, political gain? Why do we overlook the fact that high level politicians are committing (alleged, if we must) crimes, but focus on the ‘crime’ of exposing it?

rehajm said...

So we all need to be mind readers. Good ones...

The argument makes the point Trump did not commit a high crime, or even a crime.

Robert Cook said...

Here is one refutation of Dershowitz's claims that the Executive has nearly (or wholly) absolute power in matters of foreign policy.

Beasts of England said...

’The fact that the GAO confirmed that this was a violation of law...’

What penalty did the GAO impose, re: this alleged violation of law?

Sammy Finkelman said...

rump’s defense team may well argue that the president never intended to connect his withholding of funds from Ukraine with the demand that the Ukrainian president announce an investigation of Biden and his son."

and he didn;t. There is not a trace of evidence, even third hand hearsay, that he did, on;y an attempt to argue that everything that Giuliani or Sondland did was with hs knowledge consent and probably direction. Sondladd was just guessing. Trump vut off the aid becaus he had turned hostile or suspicious of the honesty of Ukrane's government probably thanks (according to George Kent) to Giuliani, Putin (Tel. call May 3) and Hungary's Viktor Orban (White House meeting May 13 - the same day he ordered that Mike Pence not attend Zelenskys inauguration.)

This change took place after April 13.

Everythnig shows that Trump's elief in Biden's abuse of pwer was sincere.

Shouting Thomas said...

The outcome to this show trial is already known.

What's the point in arguing about it?

Trump will be the Republican candidate. I'll vote for him.

He'll probably win. His re-election will be good for the country. Continued peace, prosperity and common sense.

Aunty Trump said...

Robert Cook, peacenik, sides with the military industrial complex against Trump, whom they want to remove.

Early complaints about the stall in aid came in the form of calls from weapons manufacturers. Just saying, Robert. But peace activists in the United States have always taken the CIA, FBI, NSA, MI5, etc at their word!

Douglas said...

It's easy to prove that the president's state of mind is not necessarily relevant let alone important. I can give a hypothetical case where the president's intent is purely bad by Bobbitt's standards but even he would have to agree that the request for an investigation would not be wrongful. Suppose a future president hears a report that a presidential rival murdered a prostitute in a foreign nation and the foreign nation is not investigating for its own reasons. Note I am positing a case where there is no US crime and no US jurisdiction. Suppose further that the president wants the foreign leader to investigate not because he cares anything about justice but solely because he wants to knee-cap his rival. Would that be wrongful? I think not. There is an obvious public interest in discovering whether someone who might run for president has committed a heinous (non-US) crime. So in that case the president's state of mind, his "corrupt" intent as it were, is completely irrelevant. This hypothetical disproves the general claim that the president's intent is what matters because it gives a case where it doesn't matter.

Aunty Trump said...

Not to mention that Obama withheld lethal aid while Russia annexed Crimea. But ours is not to reason why, ours is just to swallow the military industrial complex propaganda whole.

Karen of Texas said...

"If the president in fact withheld military assistance authorized by Congress in order to gain an advantage over former Vice President Joe Biden, that was an unlawful and corrupt abuse of power."

This is the only reason "polls" have shown Biden as the frontrunner, and the media keep propping up Biden. It is to ensure that Trump used his power corruptly because he wanted to take out his leading Democratic opponent. Because everyone knows that Biden would wipe the floor with Trump.

Hagar said...

Impeachment of the President is a last resort to remove him for truly outrageous behavior. As I told my dental hygienist: "If Trump had engaged in any such, you would already be out in the streets demanding that he resign. If they have to explain to you why you should care, they don't have a case."

Aunty Trump said...

It’s in the national interest that the United States not appear to be run by corrupt kleptocrats who arrive on Air Force Two with their bag man son aboard.

Lance said...

@Sammy Finkelman, What is wrong with your keyboard?

Aunty Trump said...

Abuse of power = policy difference.

Marcus said...

GM. Here for the comments.

THEOLDMAN

Except the one about his small penis

iowan2 said...

Cook, your link provides a series of strawman assertions. None of them do anything to trim the Executives plenary powers concerning conducting foreign affairs. President Trump is well withing his statutory powers to pause the aid to Ukraine, to confirm, in fact, the issues of corruption had been diligently vetted. While appropriate agencies had all signed off, as required, the President has still has that power to require they all report, again, to him personally, to satisfy his doubts.

Amadeus 48 said...

Philip Bobbitt is LBJ's nephew. Seriously. He is Johnson's sister's son. A much more sophisticated fellow that his crude uncle POTUS, Bobbitt is a law professor at Yale and Texas and various with a long and distinguished career as an establishment thinker on international military affairs. I have a friend in London who knows him. Bobbitt has "a set of rooms in Albany" (essentially an apartment at The Albany just off Piccadilly across the street from Fortnum & Mason and Hatchard's book store) just like Algernon Moncrieff in "The Importance of Being Earnest". That is about as deeply establishment as a human being can be.

According to Wikipedia, Bobbitt married a Columbia Law School student from Turkey in 2011 at the age of 63, and has become a daddy twice since then. When my friend knew him 15 years ago, Bobbitt was close friends with a Nigerian princess who was a world-class social networker.

Laslo Spatula said...

Your vote means nothing.

The laws mean anything the government chooses them to mean.

Liberty has become a very thirsty tree lately.

I am Laslo.

Bruce Hayden said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bruce Hayden said...


Of course a Lawfare operative believes this. They are the ones who setup this impeachment, told Schifty, Wadler, and Palsi that they didn’t need to give Trump any Due Process in the House, that Schifty, not Wadler, could do the investigation, that they didn’t actually need formal subpoena power, but rather holding the President in Contempt of Congress in an article of impeachment worked just as well, that asserting Executive Privilege and Immunity was a triviality, that exercising a plenary Article II Power was impeachable, etc. they also appear to have been involved in getting the IC IG to allow 2nd and 3rd level hearsay in whistleblower complaints, and then send it back to Schifty and his HPSCI, despite HPSCI not having jurisdiction under long established House Rules. We first saw their involvement in the summer of 2016, when the scheme team (headed by DD McCabe in the FBI, and likely likely DAG Yates in the DOJ) figured out how to jump back and forth between national security and criminal (remember the Logan Act?) in the same investigation, and then orchestrated a special counsel investigation of national security issues (despite the statute explicitly stating that SC investigations are for criminal matters). They are the ones who apparently crafted (head of Lawfare working with Weissman) the reinterpretation of the Obstruction of Justice statute that changed it from a specific intent crime to a general intent crime, then used that reinterpretation (that was rejected by the AG, DAG, OLC, etc, violated centuries of statutory construction rules, would never be accepted by a court, etc) to keep the Mueller investigation open and unreviewable, and then used the investigation to prevent investigations by Congress into FISAgate and the spying on Trump and his campaign. No surprise that a number of the attorneys involved in those abuses of power, including Lisa Page and Mary McCord, joined Lawfare after leaving the FBI and DOJ.

That is what Lawfare is all about - twisting and perverting the law for partisan advantage and abusing their power in the Deep State as the insiders wielding the power of the state, even against the duly elected President. They are in the core of the Resistance. THEY ARE TRULY EVIL as they shred centuries of established norms for short term political advantage. What I do know is that if they are reading new limits into the President’s Article II powers, it is almost assuredly done corruptly and for short term partisan politicaL advantage. Which is to say that I believe that it is almost assuredly a corrupt reinterpretation that the Judiciary in this country would ultimately laugh out of court.

Yes, this was essentially an ad hominem attack on Lawfare. But their actions over the last four years completely justify it.

Hagar said...

Says it all:
Schiff: "We Can’t Let Voters Decide This At The Ballot Box Because Now We Can’t Be Sure The Election Will Be Fair."

Jersey Fled said...

Of course, you can set up a private server in your bathroom and store state secrets on it, then fax them home for your maid to receive them for you, as long as you really didn't mean it.

Rory said...

I don't care if Trump enjoyed screwing Biden. A man's allowed to enjoy his work, and Biden created the conditions that required him to be screwed.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Ah so Bobbitt is a sexual predator. Talk about corrupt motives. Why not get Epstein and Weinstein's input as well.

rhhardin said...

I'd assumed that Trump was after what went on in 2016, namely the biggest corruption in US history.

Biden on the other hand is such a nobody as competition for Trump that the idea is ridiculous.

David Begley said...

No reasonable Senator would vote to remove Trump based on this evidence.

Lance said...

One question that I have is: If Trump thought that Hunter Biden's appointment to the Burisma board was corrupt and that Joe Biden's actions in getting the former prosecutor fired were corrupt, why didn't he have the DOJ investigate? Why did he want Ukraine to investigate Biden?

rhhardin said...

It's not as if we couldn't tell what's in Trump's mind; the obvious thing is all legit and a good idea.

The hidden motive conspiracy.

David Begley said...

Pat Cipollone put it well. Ukraine got its money by the deadline but just not as quick as the Dems now want.

Kevin said...

The legitimization of thoughtcrimes must begin at the highest levels.

Aunty Trump said...

"Why did he want Ukraine to investigate Biden?"

The problem with your theory Lance is that Zelensky brought up Burisma first.

Giuliani was gathering evidence for Trump’s defense against Schiff’s witch hunt.

So your cute little argument fails because it doesn’t comport to the facts.

Paul Snively said...

Philip Bobbitt: The fact that the GAO confirmed that this was a violation of law is not, as Dershowitz claims, irrelevant.

Yes, it is. The GAO is not part of the judiciary and has no evidentiary role in the senate's impeachment trial (unless, of course, the senate deigns to provide it one in its rules). Its legal opinion regarding anything is exactly that: an opinion, carrying no more weight than an NYT op-ed.

Honestly, given that the author is writing for the Lawfare blog, I'd expect significantly better reasoning than this. And, once again, IANAL.

Big Mike said...

You know, you’d think that the Dumbocrats would be thrilled that Trump was working to expose Joe Biden’s corruption while they could still select another of their stalwart candidates. I mean, if Sleepy Joe’s corruption came out while he was their nominee, wouldn’t that be embarrassing to honest folk like them? And wouldn’t it be a perfectly valid campaign issue, by the way?

Jess said...

I'w waiting to see Trump's hole card. He's sure to have one, and I doubt the Democrats have a clue of how bad it will be for them. Just one indictment of one influential Democrat will be enough, and I think Trump knows there's more than one ready to be used after a presentation to a grand jury.

Bob Boyd said...

If we take Bobbitt's approach to heart, everything depends on assuming the Bidens are innocent lambs.

In impeaching Trump, the Democrats are doing exactly what they are impeaching Trump for.

Mike Sylwester said...

Aunty Trump at 5:32 AM
There was talk that the server used to hack the DNC was in Ukraine.

A CrowdStrike server was in Ukraine. CrowdStrike was using that server as bait to attract Russian Intelligence hackers, so that CrowdStrike could study the hacking.

CrowdStrike claimed that the hackers of the DNC server used the same hacking methods that had been used on servers in Ukraine's artillery system. On that basis, CrowdStrike concluded that Russian Intelligence had hacked the DNC servers.

Trump wanted from Ukraine the CrowdStrike servers that were studying Russian Intelligence hacking methods.

Aunty Trump said...

Once Giuliani began his discovery in Ukraine on election interference, the Biden corruption was obvious.

MayBee said...

I would have a harder time with what Trump talked about wrt Biden if Biden himself hadn't gone about bragging about getting rid of a prosecutor in Ukraine by withholding aid money...all while his son made millions of dollars from a corrupt Ukrainian company....all while Biden was "point man" as Vice President.

If you asked a normal person, they would say that sounds corrupt. The president asking about it shouldn't be impeachable. I mean, shouldn't it be asked about?

Bruce Hayden said...

From Ann’s link to the Wikipedia article on Bobbit.

“ Like many contemporary scholars, Bobbitt believes that the Constitution's durability rests, in part, in the flexible manner in which it can be and has been interpreted since its creation. He emphasizes the "modalities of constitutional argument": 1) structural; 2) textual; 3) ethical; 4) prudential; 5) historical; and 6) doctrinal.”

The abuses of the law by Lawfare that we have seen over the last four years are the natural outgrowth of this very utilitarian view of Constitutional interpretation. This is the core of the Living Constitution movement, and is interpreted by activists like Lawfare to mean that when Constitutional provisions and limitations interfere with their drive for power and progressive advancement, they can just be reinterpreted however convenient. Even provisions specifically designed specifically to prevent just that type of abuse.

What these believers in a flexible Constitution ignore is that the foundation of this country and its legitimacy is the intro generational contract that is our Constitution. This is a country governed with the consent of the governed, and their agreement to be governed is that Constitution. Contract provisions are almost always interpreted as of the date of signing, and not at a convenient later date, because that would not be the agreement made. And that is the case here - reading inconvenient provisions out, and reading new provisions and limitations into the Constitution makes it no longer the agreement that is the basis for the legitimacy of our government. And esp when those changes are made for partisan advantage and empowerment.

Big Mike said...

BTW I agree with Beasts of England’s comment at 5:25. “Withholding” something that was delivered two and a half weeks early stretches the definition of withholding much too far.

Lance said...

Aunty,

Where did Zelensky bring up Burisma first? I'm assuming this was before the infamous July phone call. And I notice that you say Bursima and not Joe and Hunter Biden. In the phone call transcript Trump brings both up first.

Anyway, it doesn't really matter who brought it up first. I don't think anyone would argue today that Trump doesn't think that the Bidens acted corruptly, and if it was corrupt he has plenty of legal options to ask the DOJ to investigate it. Or are you saying that Trump really didn't want the Bidens investigated?

Mike Sylwester said...

The Ukrainian President knew what CrowdStrike servers President Trump was talking about. This issue already had been discussed at lower levels.

I think Attorney General Barr had asked for the CrowdStrike servers.

MayBee said...

I also feel like we are living in crazy town, considering Trump was investigated by a special counsel for 3 years about supposed collusion with a foreign government, when in reality it was the Clinton campaign and the Obama executive branch that had foreign spies and individuals working together to create a false case against Trump.

To have him then be impeached over a phone call asking about something Biden actually bragged about seems like upside-down world to me.

Jamie said...

Re: Douglas's comment who've, positing a hypothetical that eliminates the need to consider a president's motives when considering an action such as the one Trump took: I think the point is not that only if the president's motives were corrupt would they be relevant, but that the only possible way to claim that anything he did is potentially impeachable is if his motives were corrupt. There's no actual wrongdoing in evidence - only *maybe* an ill-advised suggestion to a foreign leader.

Basically there's no case for wrongdoing on its face (I like the "driving 68mph in a 70mph zone" comment above), so the only option the Democrats have is to try to gin up some public outrage over Trump's motives. Which cannot be known sufficiently completely to eliminate all possibility that his suggestion that Ukraine investigate internal corruption was motivated ONLY by his desire to kneecap Biden. It's the best they've got, and it's lame. Good thing they have the press on their team...

Kevin said...

The revolution will not be televised.

But the counter-revolution will be carefully scripted and powerful people will be forced to watch.

Aunty Trump said...

"Where did Zelensky bring up Burisma first? I'm assuming this was before the infamous July phone call.”

Revised testimony was that Zelensky brought it up first.

Mike Sylwester said...

Maybe the National Security Agency had asked for the CrowdStike servers in Ukraine.

MayBee said...

Mike Sylwester said...
The Ukrainian President knew what CrowdStrike servers President Trump was talking about. This issue already had been discussed at lower levels.


I'm so glad you are here. Yes, good point. It bothers me that in the impeachment hearings this has supposedly been debunked AND they lie and say this conspiracy involves Trump saying it was Ukraine *and not Russia* who interfered with out election. Why do they lie about what is being said about the server if their case is so strong?

Bruce Hayden said...

“ Yes, it is. The GAO is not part of the judiciary and has no evidentiary role in the senate's impeachment trial (unless, of course, the senate deigns to provide it one in its rules). Its legal opinion regarding anything is exactly that: an opinion, carrying no more weight than an NYT op-ed.”

Less. The GAO is a Congressional office. It is political, by its very location in the government. And most importantly, as part of Congress, one of its priorities has to be preserving and increasing Congress’s power. It only pretends to be unbiased (like the DOJ does). It is far from unbiased when it comes to disputes with another branch of the government - here the Executive Branch under the President.

Aunty Trump said...

"and if it was corrupt he has plenty of legal options to ask the DOJ to investigate it. “

He asked Zelensky to investigate election interference, not the Bidens. He was under investigation by Schiff and he has a right to use his personal attorney to gather evidence in his defense. Zelensky brought up the Bidens and he comiserated with him.

MayBee said...

The other thing often ignored in the July phone call is Zelensky said Yanavoch is bad news.

Sally327 said...

It kind of falls apart when I consider that Trump wouldn't have considered Biden any kind of political threat or that Trump thought he needed to gain a political advantage over him. I think Trump would believe that the only political advantage he needs is that he's Trump and Biden's Biden.

I think Trump wanted someone to figure out this whole Biden-Ukraine thing because it's the right thing to do. It seems rotten and evil and it needs to be uncovered and rooted out. That the Democrats can't see it, how easy it is to reach that conclusion as opposed to it being some nefarious plot to gain leverage over Joe Biden, maybe it's because rotten and evil is normal for them.

Hagar said...

Lance said:
One question that I have is: If Trump thought that Hunter Biden's appointment to the Burisma board was corrupt and that Joe Biden's actions in getting the former prosecutor fired were corrupt, why didn't he have the DOJ investigate? Why did he want Ukraine to investigate Biden?

Duh? Because the USDoJ has no standing whatever to investigate crime in Ukraine?
The most Trump could do is ask for the Ukrainian government to cooperate with US agencies, which is pretty much what he did.

Browndog said...

From what I gather, the democrats spent most of their time speaking to the President's motives and little time on his alleged criminal deeds.

Aunty Trump said...

Yavanovich ordered the new Ukrainian prosecutor not to prosecute certain Ukrainian politicians under Ukrainian law for election interference on behalf of Hillary.

MayBee said...

One question that I have is: If Trump thought that Hunter Biden's appointment to the Burisma board was corrupt and that Joe Biden's actions in getting the former prosecutor fired were corrupt, why didn't he have the DOJ investigate? Why did he want Ukraine to investigate Biden?

Others have answered this question well, but I want to ask Lance if you believe it is inherently bad for the leader of one country to ask the leader of an ally to look into his country's side of a corrupt scheme that Americans may be involved in.

rightguy said...

The funds in question were for 2020, and the 'delay' did not stop funds from being used in 2019, as the Ukrainians had received all their money for 2019. This fact makes Schiff's assertion that 15000 died as a result of with-held funds sheer lying lunacy.

Not to mention that Obama with-held military aid to Ukraine for three years while the Russian-proxy invasion was an active shooting war- God knows how many Ukrainians perished as a result of Obama's overt cowardice.

Lance said...

I double checked the transcript. President Trump brought up the Biden's first and asked Zelensky to look in to it.

There are two investigations discussed in the phone call: 1) the investigation into Crowdstrike and election interference undertaken by the Attorney General; and 2) the investigations into the Bidens.

I think everyone agrees that asking for assistance in the Attorney General's investigation is fine. It's the second one that is the problem and I'm just curious why not have the DOJ handle both. The second one is just straight corruption and the Bidens should be investigated, but they should be investigated by the DOJ, not Ukraine, right?

Robert Cook said...

"Impeachment of the President is a last resort to remove him for truly outrageous behavior."

Says who? "High crimes and misdemeanors" Do "misdemeanors qualify as "truly outrageous behavior?" Rather, this is a means for Congress to reign in or oust a President when, in their judgement, the President's behavior warrants it, rather like a corporate Board of Trustees having authority to fire a CEO. It is a reminder to the Executive that he can be censured or removed from office, that he is not, in fact, a monarch.

I'd say many more presidents than have been, and certainly the last several presidents, warranted impeachment, (including Trump).

That said, this current impeachment effort, having been birthed in the first months (or weeks) of Trump's administration, built on allegations of "Russian collusion to win the election," (born of Hillary's self-serving and self-pitying excuse-making for having lost to that declasse Trump), is mostly or wholly political. Trump's war crimes warrant impeachment, not so much allegations of his behind the scenes interactions with representatives of other nations. Trump is simply the perfect cartoon villain, the one who, once vanquished, will supposedly make it possible for the "adults" to run things again. Trump is simply symptomatic, the logical next step in the long ongoing corruption and failure of our republic over many years, sold out to the highest predatory buyers. Obama and Bush and Clinton were at least as bad as Trump in substance. If the Democrats in Congress had spent the past three years focusing on legislation, they might actually have accomplished what they pretend they want to see happen in this country. But, they are as corrupt as the Republicans, as much beholden to the corporate owners/rulers of our government, and they have no alternative vision, no real objection to most (or any) of what Trump is doing. They object to his manner, to the optics of his presidency.

Fuck them all for betraying the American people.

Aunty Trump said...

Notwithstanding that Trump asked Zelensky to investigate election interference at the same time Yavonovich was “ordering” Ukrainian prosecutors not to, let’s look at what the New York Times had to say about Biden’s interference in Ukraine’s internal affairs.

A news release from the company said Hunter Biden would “be in charge of the holdings’ legal unit and will provide support for the company among international organizations.” Mr. Biden said the news release mischaracterized his role with Burisma. “At no time was I in charge of the company’s legal affairs,” he said.

Among the Americans brought in by Hunter Biden’s American business partners to help fend off the investigations was Blue Star Strategies, a consulting firm run by Clinton administration veterans that had done substantial work in Ukraine.

A team from Blue Star, and an American lawyer Blue Star hired, John D. Buretta, who had served as a senior official in the Obama Justice Department, held two previously unreported meetings in Kiev, Ukraine’s capital, with Mr. Lutsenko, who took office in May 2016 after Mr. Shokin’s dismissal, according to people with direct knowledge of the meetings. Mr. Lutsenko denied attending the meeting.

Mr. Lutsenko initially took a hard line against Burisma. But within 10 months after he took office, Burisma announced that Mr. Lutsenko and the courts had “fully closed” all “legal proceedings and pending criminal allegations” against Mr. Zlochevsky and his companies, and that the oligarch had been removed by a Ukrainian court from “the wanted list.” Mr. Zlochevsky returned to the country.


https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/01/us/politics/biden-son-ukraine.html

Son of a bitch!

Beasts of England said...

Do we know how Hunter lucked into this groovy Burisma gig? Was it advertised on graft.org?

MayBee said...

The second one is just straight corruption and the Bidens should be investigated, but they should be investigated by the DOJ, not Ukraine, right?

Why not Ukraine? It's a Ukrainian company, located in the Ukraine.

Aunty Trump said...

I double checked the transcript. President Trump brought up the Biden's first and asked Zelensky to look in to it.

It’s not a transcript, and there was a part where “Burisma" was left out, as discussed by Vindman in the testimony in Schiff’s committee, then there was a further correction to the testimony where it was said that Zelensky brought up Burisma first. Google makes it all but impossible to find the story, so I am just going to say I read it, and we will see how it pans out.

Lance said...

@MayBee

Please point me to the answers because, it doesn't make sense to me.

The crime did not happen in Ukraine it is a crime against the American people using the office of the Vice President to have a prosecutor fired that was involved in the decision making of whether to investigate a company his unqualified son was on the board of. You said so yourself at 6:52:

I would have a harder time with what Trump talked about wrt Biden if Biden himself hadn't gone about bragging about getting rid of a prosecutor in Ukraine by withholding aid money...all while his son made millions of dollars from a corrupt Ukrainian company....all while Biden was "point man" as Vice President.

Aunty Trump said...

It’s hard to believe, Lance, details notwithstanding, that you think investigating obvious Biden corruption is a bigger crime than the influence peddling that Biden was obviously involved in, and that seems to have been SOP under Obama, see Hillary, for example.

gilbar said...

Our Beloved Professor Althouse says...
If we take Bobbitt's approach to heart, everything depends on what Trump had in his mind.


Oceania had no laws—it didn’t need them.
Crime was simply whatever the authorities said it was.

MayBee said...

The crime did not happen in Ukraine it is a crime against the American people

I don't agree with you that the crime did not happen in Ukraine. And corruption in Ukraine is a crime against Ukrainians as well as Americans.

iowan2 said...


The rehtorical question is often asked why didn't the President employ the DoJ and State to investigate corruption in Ukraine. That would be the standard practice, dealing with foreign governments.

The DoJ and State had been working in direct opposition to the President. Corruption was (is?) running rampant in Ukraine. Aide delivered to Ukraine by USA was recieved then payed out to various companies, NGO's, and agencies, like the Clinton Global Initiative. A signifigant number of those entities are populated by relatives of US congress critters, of both parties.

President Trump is to close to exposing exactly how US aide abroad finds its ways back into politicians pockets, that grant said aid.

Lance said...

@Aunty Trump

Not that I think that it matters to my underlying question who said Biden or Burisma first, but as near as I have been able to deduce, the transcriber used the word "company" instead of Burisma probably because they weren't familiar with the name and so substituted company instead.

I'm actually correcting a transcription right now and that is very common practice.

The only time "company" is mentioned, is by Zelensky in response to President Trump bringing up the Bidens. It might be that you are miss-remembering that and that's why it's so hard to find support for this on Google.

Mike Sylwester said...

Lance at 6:41 AM
why didn't he have the DOJ investigate?

How do you know that DOJ is not investigating?

gilbar said...

remember that Classic Twilight Zone episode, where George Orwell writes a book,
And everybody likes it; and it gets assigned in schools for youngsters to read?

THEN!
At the very end of the show, that one guy Screams: It's an Instruction Manual!
???

Aunty Trump said...

I wonder if Lance thinks that when Obama got caught on a hot mic asking Putin to let up on him before the election (help him get re-elected - quid) that he could be “more flexible” (pro quo) after the rubes had voted?

I guess Trump was supposed to leave the investigation of Ukraine election inteference up to Eric Ciaramella, the whistleblower whose identity is being withheld for his own protection even though there are pictures of him all over the internet posing with prominent Democrat politicians, the same Eric Ciaramella who was overheard by two people discussing ways to remove Trump from office shortly after the election.

Face it Lance, you are engaging in wholesale motivated reasoning.

Big Mike said...

Or are you saying that Trump really didn't want the Bidens investigated?

@Lance, going back to your previous comment, perhaps Trump doesn’t trust the FBI? Under the circumstances, I wouldn’t, nor would any other reasonable individual. (@Michael K., if Kate bristles, remind her that she and her fellow agents made their own bed.)

Lance said...

@iowan2

My fellow Iowan. That is a bit too much of a conspiracy theory for me. There are excellent US Attorneys who could have taken this on. We have a lot of really great investigators and prosecutors in the DOJ, they could have handled this.

Lance said...

@Big Mike

Trump trusts the corrupt Ukrainian government more than his DOJ?

Aunty Trump said...

" It might be that you are miss-remembering that and that's why it's so hard to find support for this on Google.”

So if it turns out I’m right, then you are admitting that it’s a further problem for your weak argument?

MayBee said...

My fellow Iowan. That is a bit too much of a conspiracy theory for me. There are excellent US Attorneys who could have taken this on. We have a lot of really great investigators and prosecutors in the DOJ, they could have handled this.

Do you think it is corrupt to ask the Ukrainian president to look into things from his side? Do you think there is inherent badness in it? Or is it just not preferred?

Aunty Trump said...

"Trump trusts the corrupt Ukrainian government more than his DOJ?”

Now you are just devolving into rhetorical arguments. Why should Trump trust people who have been trying to impeach him since the election was official?

ThunderChick said...

Lance said...
One question that I have is: If Trump thought that Hunter Biden's appointment to the Burisma board was corrupt and that Joe Biden's actions in getting the former prosecutor fired were corrupt, why didn't he have the DOJ investigate? Why did he want Ukraine to investigate Biden?


Because the DOJ is not responsible for investigating federal crimes, just overseeing the investigation and prosecuting them. The FBI, CIA, etc. would be the entities investigating Biden's crime. Based on the 3 year long sham Mueller Russian collusion investigation, do you blame Trump for not having the FBI investigate this? Also, with the likes of partisan hacks Sally Yates, Andrew Weisman, and other deep staters who have infiltrated the DOJ, do you really think Trump would trust them to investigate and oversee corruption of Joe and Hunter Biden? Not a chance.

Aunty Trump said...

Since we are asking rhetorical questions.

MayBee said...

The DOJ didn't do anything about Biden/Burisma when it was happening.

DKWalser said...

Does anyone believe Trump thought of Biden as a legitimate 2020 risk? Given what we think we know of Trump's ego, isn't it more likely than not that Trump believed he'd easily beat Biden in the 2020 election? If so, how can we also believe that what animated Trump was getting political dirt on someone he thought he'd beat with ease?

Aunty Trump said...

Biden wasn’t even running at the time.

Lance said...

@Aunty Trump

My God, it was Medvedeev and the whistleblower was in the CIA not DOJ.

[facepalm]

So Big Mike, Iowan2, AuntyTrump, and MayBee, do you all think that Ukraine was who should have been conducting the investigation.

@Mike Sylvester

Best answer, but asking Zelensky to look into it has kind of cut the legs off of it.

Aunty Trump said...

Why was it OK to investigate Trump when he was a candidate? Why is it always OK when the shoe is on one foot, and not OK when the shoe is on the other foot?

Why is investigation worse than collecting graft?

Aunty Trump said...

"My God, it was Medvedeev”

"Please tell Vlad.” - BHO

MayBee said...

So Big Mike, Iowan2, AuntyTrump, and MayBee, do you all think that Ukraine was who should have been conducting the investigation.

I think it is perfectly reasonable for Trump to ask Zelensky for Ukraine to look into it and investigate on their end.

Todd said...

More of this "what was his INTENT" crap. More mind reading/wish casting. Regardless of if it in some way could benefit Trump, the root question is was there "just cause" to make the request? If so, the rest matters not.

If Obama had asked another government to investigate Romney due to an EXISTING appearance of wrong doing, if Romney had a son on the board of a company in another country that Romney had influence over AND Romney was running against Obama, would it have been "bad" for Obama to request the other government "look into it"? Especially after Romney got the other government to fire the lead investigator that was looking into it?

I think we ALL know how the Democrats and MSM would be covering THAT story. Here we see Obama did MUCH worse and Trump far less but Trump is the problem that must be dealt with. Right.

Mike Sylwester said...

Lance at 7:15 AM
the Bidens should be investigated, but they should be investigated by the DOJ, not Ukraine

What is your evidence that President Trump did not ask DOJ to investigate Ukrainian bribing of the Biden family?

Aunty Trump said...

"I think it is perfectly reasonable for Trump to ask Zelensky for Ukraine to look into it and investigate on their end.”

The problem with this thinking is that it’s never going to get Trump impeached.

Face it, Ciaramella, who was at the White House meeting with Shokin’s deputies when they were told that Shokin had to go, which cleared the way for Burisma to skate, as my New York Times excerpt above shows, panicked when Trump started talking about he cookie jar they all had their hands in .

Nobody understands this impeachment because they assume the Democrats have something, but everything they hear is nonsense.

Aunty Trump said...

Why are you defending influence peddling and corruption in our foreign policy establishment Lance?

Because the finger ultimately points to Obama is why.

Lance said...

@Aunty Trump

Can you just check things before you post something? It's not hard. For example I just did and Medvedev said he would pass that along to Vladimir, not Obama.

Try harder.

iowan2 said...

But, they are as corrupt as the Republicans, as much beholden to the corporate owners/rulers of our government, and they have no alternative vision, no real objection to most (or any) of what Trump is doing.

Except President Trump is not DC politician, or power broker.

President Trump has only one core principle is his decision making. "Is this going to improve the lives of American Citizens?

President Trump campaigned on putting America (citizens) first. In Trade, Foriegn affairs, military actions, domestic policies.

What is at stake here is the current world order. Crafted at the end of WWII. That world order called for the victor, United States of America*, to fund the rebuilding of countries that were devastated during the War. All the trade deals required the United States to acquiesce to the needs of foreign nations. The problem is, that war ended more than decades ago. President Trump has always pointed out the US no longer owes the world anything. It is longs since time to put America first.

*= share croppers in Mississippi, fishermen of Maine, coal miners of West Virginia, Steel workers of Pennsylvania, ranchers in Wyoming, oil derrick workers of Oklahoma, lumberjacks of Washingtion

Aunty Trump said...

So it’s your contention that when Obama speaks to Putin’s deputy, he doesn’t expect the words of the President of the United States words to be passed on to Putin?

You are delusional.

MayBee said...

I believe Trump even went on to mention talking to Barr, right? Which would mean the DOJ getting involved.

Beasts of England said...

’I think it is perfectly reasonable for Trump to ask Zelensky for Ukraine to look into it and investigate on their end.’

We have a treaty with the Ukraine (Tr. 106-16) regarding mutual legal assistance in criminal matters.

Mike Sylwester said...

Lance at 7:23 AM
The crime did not happen in Ukraine it is a crime against the American people using the office of the Vice President ...

The Ukrainian Government might find that Burisma broke Ukrainian laws by bribing the Biden family.

When Biden was the Vice President, he compelled the Ukrainian Government to get rid of its Prosecutor General, who might have investigated the matter.

President Trump informed the new Ukrainian President that the US Government no longer would prevent the Ukrainian Government from investigating the matter.

Aunty Trump said...

The impeachment is the cover up. Just substitute “Teapot Dome” for “Ukraine” and it all makes sense.

MayBee said...

This idea that Trump shouldn't have asked Zelensky about Burisma and the Bidens seems has a tinge of the "POTUS should never have met alone with Comey" hysteria of a few years ago. It's something asserted, and something suddenly everyone knows simply to be true, and outrageous and wrong and proof of what a disaster Trump is, and then it is forgotten when you find out it's always been done.

Daniel said...

Lance = Chuck?

h said...

I think we are finally getting around to the important point: did Trump have a legitimate policy objective? The briefs of the two sides clearly differ on this question. I think AA is exactly right in saying that the pro-removal argument must be along the lines of "I understand that Trump now claims that he had an legitimate policy objective of investigating corruption in use of US aid dollars, but I don't believe that was Trump's true motivation; in the dark recesses of his soul, all he wanted to promote his own political ends." If the pro-removal forces could find one document, or one witness that says, "Trump wrote or told me that he didn't care about corruption in US aid and that he was only pursuing this to harm Biden," that would be a witness I want to hear, or a document I want to see. But I seriously doubt there is such a document or witness.

Aunty Trump said...

Why is Hunter Biden taking millions of dollars from a poor country like Ukraine, raping their energy wealth, as it were.

MayBee said...

Yes, Barr was mentioned 4 times during the conversation. So the idea that Trump was circumventing DOJ is a non-starter. He wanted Zelensky or Zelensky's people in Ukraine to talk to our DOJ.

Is that bad? Is that inherently bad?

Aunty Trump said...

"did Trump have a legitimate policy objective?”

The article of impeachment, not the one that says Trump has no right to seek redress from the courts, the other one says that a policy interest was "completely absent.”

So all Trump really needs is to show that there was any policy interest in telling Ukraine that there’s a new sheriff in town and that we no longer dictate who does and does not get prosecuted under Ukrainian law.

Yovanovich admitted to telling them to leave people who had interfered in the US election alone.

jnseward said...

The Democrats’ impeachment case is based entirely on mind-reading, imagining nefarious secret motives and stating them as established facts. Almost none of Adam Schiff's opening statement would be admissible in court.

Aunty Trump said...

"s that bad? Is that inherently bad?”

How are you going to get rid of Trump with that kind of thinking?

Browndog said...

"Democrats are trying to impeach the president for having the wrong state of mind when he acted legally."

- Trump Legal Defense

MayBee said...

I'm sorry, Aunty Trump.

Aunty Trump said...

Remember that it was OK for Ukraine to release info from their intelligence files to get Trump’s campaign manager fired, in August of 2016, not when they first knew of it, to inflict maximum damage on the Trump campaign, because it was true.

But it was a heinous crime for Wikileaks to release TRUE and AUTHENTIC emails that helped Trump. That required a two year investigation based on no evidence that Trump was involved beyond accusations from Hillary.

Once you get the hang of this kind of doublethink, you can love Big Brother as much as Lance does!

Nonapod said...

I said it before, and I'm just speaking for myself here, for something to be "impeachable" it would have to be something that was not only purely self serving, but specifically be destructive to the American people. That is, it would have to be against the interests of the American people. It would most likely entail an actual crime, like trading our military secrets for money. Or, in this case, it would be it Trump explicitly told the Ukranians to basically make something up about Biden from whole cloth or they'd get no aid.

But asking for an investigation into the Biden's obvious corruption is not only not destructive, it's not a crime and it is very much in the interest of the American people.

Chuck said...

Beasts of England said...
’I think it is perfectly reasonable for Trump to ask Zelensky for Ukraine to look into it and investigate on their end.’

We have a treaty with the Ukraine (Tr. 106-16) regarding mutual legal assistance in criminal matters.


Indeed; a treaty by which U.S. law enforcement agencies would open an investigation, pursue it, and seek official cooperation through diplomatic channels with their counterparts in Ukraine.

Trump critics have been saying that all along. It makes no sense, for a serious investigation to be handed off to the Ukrainians, with no other discussion within the U.S., no official agency involvement, nothing other than a request to the Ukrainian president, for "an announcement," and then ultimately no follow up. Just Giuliani and his little gang, working for the President "personally" by Giuliani's own account.

So now we just need all of those documents and all of those witnesses. The fact that the Trump claim is now that it was actually a legitimate, serious corruption investigation -- and that Trump's impeachment defense seems to hang on it -- makes complete document production and witnesses all the more critical.

Mike Sylwester said...

Lance at 7:36 AM
hat is a bit too much of a conspiracy theory for me. There are excellent US Attorneys who could have taken this on. We have a lot of really great investigators and prosecutors in the DOJ, they could have handled this.

Sure, you trust DOJ, but President Trump did not trust DOJ.

DOJ framed and prosecuted Trump's National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn.

In Trump's mind, that affair characterized the "really great investigators and prosecutors in the DOJ".

The DOJ spent the first weeks of 2017 protecting America from violations of the Logan Act -- in other words, framing and getting rid of Flynn.

DOJ even spent the first weeks of 2017 getting the new Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, to recuse himself from its bogus investigation of Trump-Kremlin collusion.

Chuck said...

But asking for an investigation into the Biden's obvious corruption is not only not destructive, it's not a crime and it is very much in the interest of the American people.

And so, the people to testify in the impeachment trial would be the law enforcement professionals involved in the Burisma investigation, not the subjects of that investigation.

Tom said...

Althouse, can you crowdsource this question? “At the time of the second a Trump-Zelensky call, did the DOJ, FBI, any other agency have a preliminary or open investigation into Hunter Biden, Joe Biden, or any other member of the Obama administration’s business or financial dealings with any Ukrainian entity, such as Burisma or the Ukrainian government?”

If the answer is no, I think that’s bad for Trump and he might actually be guilty.

If the answer is yes, Trump did his job as executive and he had lots of legal authority to act, including a treaty with Ukraine to assist with investigations, and it doesn’t matter if Trump benefited politically.

I do not believe this question was asked at the House hearings and I don’t believe any witnesses were called from the DOJ or FBI specifically. Further, I don’t believe any of the NSA, State Dept, or intelligent agency witnesses would have even know such an investigation existed - including the whistleblower. To them, it might have appeared Trump committed a crime or at least abused his power. They could be perfectly sincere in this belief and could still be very wrong.

Does anyone know is this question has been asked and answered or does anyone know the answer?!

Aunty Trump said...

"And so, the people to testify in the impeachment trial would be the law enforcement professionals involved in the Burisma investigation, not the subjects of that investigation.”

Bzzt! Thanks for playing. The article of impeachment claims that a national interest motive was “completely absent."

Chuck said...

Yeah, this is where it all breaks down into conspiracist idiocy. The notion that Trump not only has his own foreign policy apart from the State Department but that he has his own criminal investigation unit apart from the FBI and the DoJ.

It's laughable. But maybe, just maybe, Trump and his tiny team of insider/loyalists can explain it. Fine. Just produce all of the documents and communications, and do it under oath.

Marshall Rose said...

Everything depends on whether Biden is corrupt. If he did what he explicitly stated, ON VIDEO, that he did, he is corrupt. It is the presidents job find out.

If the president ignores that and sweeps it under the rug I would be disappounted that the corrupti oil n is allowed to continue.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The HUGE flaw in this argument of the intent of the Ukraine actions by Trump is that....First you have to presume that Trump is actually afraid of Biden beating him in an election.

That premise is laughable. Who exactly, anywhere, is afraid of the incredible political skills and mental prowess of Joe Biden??

Aunty Trump said...

"Just produce all of the documents and communications, and do it under oath.”

Just prove that any national interest motivation was “completely absent” Chuck. Proving a negative is not that hard.... right?

Chuck said...

Aunty Trump said...
"And so, the people to testify in the impeachment trial would be the law enforcement professionals involved in the Burisma investigation, not the subjects of that investigation.”

Bzzt! Thanks for playing. The article of impeachment claims that a national interest motive was “completely absent."


Thanks for being played.

There is no serious investigation. Because there is no serious allegation of illegality except with Trump's using military aid as bribe money.

Trump had no "national interest" in mind. Trump had no serious investigation in mind. Trump pursued no serious investigation, despite all of the tools at his disposal. Trump kept everything except for a splashy media announcement from Zelensky on the down low.

The national interest was to get Congressionally-directed aid to Ukraine, ASAP. Trump was subverting that interest.

Bob Boyd said...

How is it in any way legitimate for Hunter Biden to go take a job with Burisma after Joe became Obama's point man on Ukraine?
Why did Joe allow it? It's a clear violation of federal ethics rules, for one thing. At the very least Joe was allowing Burisma to use his name and his office for their own gain. Are we supposed to think it was just a bizarre coincidence Hunter was offered that position?
And for that matter, who's idea was it anyway? Did Burisma come to Hunter? If so, why did Joe allow Hunter to take the job? Or did Hunter go to Burisma? Or was it Joe's idea?
How is not legitimate to investigate these questions? Especially if Joe may become President? Would President Biden be subject to foreign blackmail? Shouldn't we find out now and not after he's President? Remember all the shrieking when they said Trump might be vulnerable?
Is Joe Biden Ukraine's cock holster? Inquiring minds want to know.

Aunty Trump said...

Where is it in the article that he had to have been “serious” about it? The article says that intent was “completely” absent.

Your side wrote it, not mine.

Aunty Trump said...

"Trump had no "national interest" in mind. Trump had no serious investigation in mind.”

That just, like your opinion, man.

hombre said...

“Of course, Trump’s defense team may well argue that the president never intended to connect his withholding of funds from Ukraine with the demand that the Ukrainian president announce an investigation of Biden and his son."

Law prof bullshit. Out of your lefty bubble, Bobbitt. In order for Trump’s intent to be relevant, there must be a prima face showing that there was, in fact, a connection between withholding funds and such an announcement, not just a connection in Trump’s mind. Pretty tough going without any evidence beyond the wishful thinking of sleazy Democrats and their shills in the media and the professoriate.

Have any of these dipshits ever been in a courtroom?

Jack Klompus said...

Ooh Florida Man Cookie is on a roll today folks! The resident armchair Chomsky offers the insights on Constitutional law from an indie journalist at Counterpunch who looks like the third guitarist from Neurosis and then gives us a smashingly original diatribe peppered with that evil buzzword "corporate". And of course for good measure, calls Trump a "war criminal." All the substance of a sneering suburban kid at a Dead Kennedys concert. He lives in New York City, by the way!

Aunty Trump said...

"Trump had no "national interest" in mind. Trump had no serious investigation in mind.”

That’s pretty sloppy right there, almost like you are trying to create a false logical equivalence between those two statements. Which is it Chuck, are you sloppy or dishonest?

Aunty Trump said...

"She isn’t pregnant! She’s only a couple weeks along” would be an equivalent statement.

Angle-Dyne, Samurai Buzzard said...

Cook: But, they are as corrupt as the Republicans, as much beholden to the corporate owners/rulers of our government...

Wow, thanks for the hard-hitting insight. And here everybody was thinking one party or the other comprised a bunch of noble public servants.

...and they have no alternative vision, no real objection to most (or any) of what Trump is doing. They object to his manner, to the optics of his presidency.

Hahaha. That the people running the non-stop "get Trump" farce have no objection to anything he's doing is ludicrous. Even assuming that Trump is every bit as corrupt and traitorous as they are.

Fuck them all for betraying the American people.

Look on the bright side, Cookie. At least the current ruling grifter caste goes easier on us than would the commie grifters you'd prefer to have gang-sodomizing the American people. Not many people share your view that income inequality, "white privilege", and shitty health care coverage are way worse than gulags, mass starvation, and mass murder.

Mike Sylwester said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beasts of England said...

’The national interest was to get Congressionally-directed aid to Ukraine, ASAP. Trump was subverting that interest.’

The aid was released eighteen days before the congressional deadline. I guess Congress was actually subverting that interest for approving of such a protracted release date.

tim maguire said...

Lance said...So Big Mike, Iowan2, AuntyTrump, and MayBee, do you all think that Ukraine was who should have been conducting the investigation.

The issue before us is, was it an abuse of power for Trump to ask Ukraine?

Whether you would have chosen differently is not the issue before us. The line of thinking that led you to miss that elemental distinction runs rampant through the left side of the aisle.

Browndog said...

In our mind, what was in Trump's mind is impeachable.

-Libs

Mike Sylwester said...

MayBee at 7:59 AM
Barr was mentioned 4 times during the conversation. So the idea that Trump was circumventing DOJ is a non-starter. He wanted Zelensky or Zelensky's people in Ukraine to talk to our DOJ.

Lance, what do you say about that? It seems that President Trump was trying to include DOJ in Ukraine's investigation -- and surely vice-versa.

Francisco D said...

Lance = Chuck?

It must be coincidence that Lance stopped posting when Chuckles started to post.

It is also coincidence that Lance is tone deaf and has the same obsessive attention to irrelevant detail that Chuckles has.

Maybe he gets double pay for posting in two names.

brylun said...

"Philip Bobbitt is a very eminent law professor."

Philip Bobbitt is a very lefty law professor. Living Constitution proponent. Relative of LBJ. Lefty Kagan (always in the "4" as in 5-4) married him to a young Turkish law student from the law school where he currently teaches. And that's just from Ann's Wikipedia link. I'm sure there's more...

The point is that you know Bobbitt's outcome just from his background. He's one of those "by any means necessary" folks.

Just like everyone knew Trump would be impeached the moment the Dems took over the House. It's all BAMN with these folks.

Meanwhile, aren't you curious about the extent of the graft in foreign aid policy? Start with the Ukraine, and keep going. It will probably include both sides, very high up. Biden, Pelosi, Kerry relatives & associates, as well as those connected to these families. Mitt Romney's campaign manager and maybe his kids. Also, I wouldn't be surprised to see Mitch McConnell's wife and relatives involved as well. There just isn't any strong ethics rules prohibiting these unqualified folks getting hired by foreign governments to assure the continuing flow of foreign aid.

hombre said...

Chuck Channeling Schumer: “Because there is no serious allegation of illegality except with Trump's using military aid as bribe money.”

Oh, I don’t know Biden’s threat to withhold $1 billion to secure the firing of a prosecutor about to investigate Burisma, the company employing his son, might have the smell of extortion about it. The difference is there is indisputable evidence of Biden’s extortion and no evidence that Trump ever communicated the offer of a bribe to anyone, only denials by all concerned that there was any offer.

Trump is like a worm eating away the brains of his detractors leaving holes in which they can jam their fabrications.

tim maguire said...

Chuck said...
But asking for an investigation into the Biden's obvious corruption is not only not destructive, it's not a crime and it is very much in the interest of the American people.

And so, the people to testify in the impeachment trial would be the law enforcement professionals involved in the Burisma investigation, not the subjects of that investigation.


You make the same mistake Lance makes. The testimony you want to elicit from the law enforcement professionals is irrelevant to the issue before the Senate.

Michael K said...

Meanwhile, aren't you curious about the extent of the graft in foreign aid policy? Start with the Ukraine, and keep going. It will probably include both sides, very high up

Just getting into the Schweizer book. Kamala Harris first chapter. Long history with Obama.

Beasts of England said...

’You [Chuck] make the same mistake Lance makes.’

What a shocking coincidence!!

Michael K said...

Yeah, this is where it all breaks down into conspiracist idiocy. The notion that Trump not only has his own foreign policy apart from the State Department but that he has his own criminal investigation unit apart from the FBI and the DoJ.

So, Nixon never went to China ? What an idiot. Chuck, grow up.

frenchy said...

It's helpful to remember that the House of Representatives owns the GAO.

Aunty Trump said...

"’The national interest was to get Congressionally-directed aid to Ukraine, ASAP. Trump was subverting that interest.’”

“Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.” . - Mathiew

Aunty Trump said...

Chuck defines the national interest, not the president.

Chuck said...

Mike Sylwester said...
MayBee at 7:59 AM
"Barr was mentioned 4 times during the conversation. So the idea that Trump was circumventing DOJ is a non-starter. He wanted Zelensky or Zelensky's people in Ukraine to talk to our DOJ."

Lance, what do you say about that? It seems that President Trump was trying to include DOJ in Ukraine's investigation -- and surely vice-versa.


Lololololololol.

Mike, I was going to write, "Fine; then we can have Barr and all of the relevant AAG's testify about the progress of their investigation.

But it's worse than that. A lot worse. In fact, according to the DoJ, this is the story:

“The president has not spoken with the attorney general about having Ukraine investigate anything relating to former Vice President Biden or his son...” “The president has not asked the attorney general to contact Ukraine — on this or any other matter. The attorney general has not communicated with Ukraine — on this or any other subject. Nor has the attorney general discussed this matter, or anything relating to Ukraine, with Rudy Giuliani.”

Busted. There's no way out for Trump. He's got no more alibis. He tried "We never held up the aid," and then, "There was no quid pro quo," and then, "There was nothing wrong because Ukriane felt no pressure and didn't even know the aid was being held up," and finally, "You can't prove anything without witnesses as to Trump himself, and they won't be testifying because of executive privilege." Each one blown up in turn.

Beasts of England said...

He’s also authorized to add ‘ASAP’ to appropriations.

Bob Boyd said...

What was the national interest when Biden threatened aid money?

Chuck said...

Aunty Trump said...
Chuck defines the national interest, not the president.


Congress defines what happens with our tax money, not the President.

The President's specialty seems to be spending money he doesn't have. And withholding money that he was supposed to send. Until he gets a "favor."

Freder Frederson said...

Oh, I don’t know Biden’s threat to withhold $1 billion to secure the firing of a prosecutor about to investigate Burisma

Why do so many of you keep repeating this lie? And it is a particularly corrosive lie because it is the opposite of the truth. The U.S., the EU, the IMF and others wanted the prosecutor out because he would not investigate corruption, including Burisma. If anything, Biden's demands increased the possibility that Burisma would be investigated.

Beasts of England said...

’And withholding money that he was supposed to send.’

Posting this lie a thousand times won’t make it true.

Mike Sylwester said...

Aunty Trump at 8:00 AM
Yovanovich admitted to telling them to leave people who had interfered in the US election alone.

I have a different understanding of Yvoanovich's demand that certain Ukrainians must not be investigated.

I don't have time now to look up the details, but the gist was that a Soros-funded NGO was accusing lots of Ukrainian politicians of being corrupt. For example, the accusations that General Prosecutor Shokin was corrupt came from this Soros-funded NGO.

The US Embassy in Kyiv reflexively believed all the corruption accusations that came from this Soros-funded NGO. As one result, the US Embassy was involved in arranging for Biden to demand that the Ukrainian President and Parliament fire General Prosecutor Shokin.

Later, after the new General Prosecutor took office, US Ambassador Yovanovich visited him and demanded that he never investigate any employees of that Soros-funded NGO.

I suspect that the CIA was involved in this situation. This NGO was developing an arrangement in which high-ranking Ukrainians could be investigated, blackmailed for "corruption" and then recruited to serve the CIA. Vice President Biden and the US Embassy in Kyiv were protecting that arrangement for the CIA.

Ukraine's General Prosecutor -- no matter who -- did not like that arrangement in which this particular Soros-funded NGO -- protected by the US Embassy -- was becoming the only organization in Ukraine that could investigate "corruption" and decide who was "corrupt".

Chuck said...

Bob Boyd said...
What was the national interest when Biden threatened aid money?


According to the accounts of virtually every player on the U.S. side -- State, Justice, Administration, etc. -- the U.S. national interest was advanced by the removal of a known corrupt Ukrainian official.

Politifact.

Bob Boyd said...

he would not investigate corruption, including Burisma

If Joe knew Burisma was corrupt then why was he letting Hunter work there?

Aunty Trump said...

"The U.S., the EU, the IMF and others wanted the prosecutor out because he would not investigate corruption,”

There’s no evidence of that that predates Biden’s actions. It all looks like ass covering now, by the kleptocrats at the EU and IMF.

Sebastian said...

"If we take Bobbitt's approach to heart"

Why should we do that?

"everything depends on what Trump had in his mind"

So here we have a crime that simply depends on the defendant's mental state?

By the way, didn't Dems also argue that they need no effing crime: they can bloody well decide what they want to impeach Trump for?

Aunty Trump said...

Now Chuck is pointing to leftist “correct opinion checker” ‘politifact.'

Bob Boyd said...

the U.S. national interest was advanced by the removal of a known corrupt Ukrainian official.

They wanted corruption in Ukraine investigated...so the same motive Trump had.

Robert Cook said...

"President Trump has only one core principle is his decision making. 'Is this going to improve the lives of American Citizens?'"

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

This thought has never crossed Trump's mind. His one and only motivation, all the time, awake or asleep, is his own self-aggrandizement.

Aunty Trump said...

If you bothered to read the New York Times article that I excerpted above, you will see that Burismas lawyers met with Shokin’s replacement *before* Biden installed him, and within a few months after Shokin was replaced, and with the help of Clinton connected lawyers, Burisma’s problems disappeared.

Aunty Trump said...

Now Robert Cook is the mind reader! Only people who hate Trump seen to have such preternatural abilities as mind readers.

Browndog said...

This thought has never crossed Trump's mind.

In my mind, this thought was never in Trump's mind. Which makes it iron clad evidence.

narciso said...

those words you are using,

https://twitter.com/varadmehta/status/1220201023693824000

now it has been a bipartisan habit, to allow the former east bloc's resources to be looted and shipped through Cyprus, panama and the caymans since the mid 90s,

Aunty Trump said...

I really don’t give a flying fuck if Trump told Zelensky to clean up his act before handing over more taxpayer money, BTW.

Original Mike said...

"According to the accounts of virtually every player on the U.S. side -- State, Justice, Administration, etc. -- ..."

Seventeen of them, in fact...

hombre said...

Althouse: “Phillip Bobbitt is a very eminent law Professor.”

Well that just goes to show ya, doesn’t it? As I said: “Trump is like a worm eating away the brains of his detractors leaving holes into which they can jam their fabrications.” Besides, we know the price of eminence in the hallowed halls of academe, don’t we?

His error regarding criminal intent is pretty fundamental. Of course, his “opponent,” Dershowitz, has actually been in a criminal courtroom and also holds to the antiquated belief that an accused is innocent until proven guilty.

MN Irish said...

The House Democrats are the original "Pre-crime Unit." They can detect via ESP Trump's intent to commit a crime. If only they could have foreseen Epstein's murder, which was predicted by every deplorable American.

Bob Boyd said...

His one and only motivation, all the time, awake or asleep, is his own self-aggrandizement.

To my surprise, Trump's spectacular success in the self-aggrandizement game has improved the lives of American citizens, certainly far more than Obama's self-aggrandizement and likely far more than Hillary's would have.

narciso said...


just like the board of the human fund,

https://twitter.com/ChuckRossDC/status/1220195666510647296?s=20

hombre said...

If that fact cited is correct, Beasts of England (5:25) makes the definitive rebuttal to Bobbitt’s blather.

Bob Boyd said...

His one and only motivation, all the time, awake or asleep, is his own self-aggrandizement

Unlike Obama and Hillary, Trump's self-aggrandizement is a means not an end.

Aunty Trump said...

Telling Ukraine to clean up their act before giving them taxpayer money is in the national interest. Change my mind.

narayanan said...

Althouse: “Phillip Bobbitt is a very eminent law Professor.”
____________

His AB thesis, "On Wittgenstein and a Philosophical Topology,"

note : The Harvard Law School professor Laurence Tribe (and Obama) published a paper entitled "The Curvature of Constitutional Space,"

Beasts of England said...

That the funds were released eighteen days prior the deadline has never been disputed, hombre.

narayanan said...

Blogger Aunty Trump said...

Telling Ukraine to clean up their act before giving them taxpayer money is in the national interest.
___________++++++++++++++++
Never did get the matter clarified - was the aid !!FUNGIBLE MONEY!!! or military armamament materiel?

It would have been mistake in many ways to hand over !!pallets of cash!!

Char Char Binks said...

The Constitution gives CIA agents and Derp State Lieutenant Colonels veto power over the president.

Browndog said...

Democrats can see things nobody else can.

Thoughts, evidence, and invisible people sitting in their chair.

hombre said...

8:55 AM: The evidence is in and conclusive. Chuck is a leftist troll. Biden is clean because the Obots and Politifact say Shokin was corrupt? Really?

Please note the obvious: If corrupt, Shokin was swimming in a sea of corruption. Why him, Uncle Joe?

Again, it’s all about defaming Trump and covering Biden corruption. Trump’s lawyers can do nothing about the former because of the bent mediaswine. They can, however, easily prove the latter. Accept Bobbitt’s flawed reasoning. If the Bidens are crooked grifters, and they are, Trump’s intent is consistent with his duty as President. The Biden extortion corrupted our government for financial gain.

Lance said...

@Francisco D

I’m kind of insulted by being compared to Chuck. He gets his facts wrong almost as much as Aunty Trump.

I had to work unfortunately.

Anyway, I think the distinction that I draw is whether it was reasonable to ask for help to investigate election interference. I think that is reasonable and Trump asking for help with Barr’s ongoing investigation in the predication of the Russian investigation is reasonably.

With the information that I currently have from the transcript, it doesn’t look like the request to “look into the Bidens” was appropriate. Now if there was a predicated investigation into the Bidens and Burisma then asking for help in that investigation was reasonable. But asking Ukraine to investigate the Bidens is not.

Honestly Trump has been successful in getting me to like Joe Biden even less than before. So his strategy is working to some point.

Birkel said...

Corruption by Democratics is illegal to investigate.
Heads they win bribes.
Tails you lose politics.

Mike Sylwester said...

Chuck at 8:08 AM
It makes no sense, for a serious investigation to be handed off to the Ukrainians, with no other discussion within the U.S., no official agency involvement

During the phone call, President Trump told President Zelensky that US Attorney General is a good guy and urged Ukraine to cooperate with Barr.

narayanan said...

Blogger Aunty Trump said...

Biden wasn’t even running at the time.
__________++++++++++++++++
My impression : Biden announced just in order to turn Ukraine whistleblowing into IMPEACHMENT AND IMMUNITY for himself - under whose advice is the question.

Mike Sylwester said...

Tom at 8:11 AM
did the DOJ, FBI, any other agency have a preliminary or open investigation into Hunter Biden, Joe Biden ....

Lance and Chuck seem to know for a fact that DOJ/FBI has not conducted any such investigation and that President Trump has not asked DOJ/FBI to conduct one.

Caligula said...

"Abuse of power, for impeachment purposes, must consist in corruptly using those powers for personal, political gain."

Is he saying that asking Ukraine to investigate possible corruption would be acceptable if the investigation did not involve a potential political rival?

Isn't an obvious question here, "What difference does that make"? Does running for president make one immune to investigation by the incumbent? If the investigation is legitimate (and surely it's legitimate to question what Hunter Biden was being paid for) then why would it become illegitimate just because Hunter's father is a potential political rival?

Bobbitt seems to offer an either-or: either there was personal, political gain or the investigation might have been legitimate. But what if the investigation was reasonable and legitimate, and there was also potential political gain?
Is Babbitt asserting that the very possibility of political gain must render POTUS impotent to pursue otherwise reasonable and legitimate investigations?

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

The media conducted the Biden investigation - ALL CLEAR! Nothing to see here!

Daniel said...

Hey Lance, your writing style seems so familiar... Why is that?

Nonapod said...

it doesn’t look like the request to “look into the Bidens” was appropriate.

Whether something is "appropriate" or not is obviously in the eye of the beholder. As I said before, I believe that rooting out possible corruption that involves a former Vice President is in the American people's interest, so I personally think it was appropriate. I might concede that asking it in such a direct way was unorthodox (I wouldn't have asked it that way), but it wasn't wrong and certainly not impeachable.

Unfortunately what's impeachable at all also seems to be subjective, at least according to "experts". I used to assume that it required an actual crime. Clearly I was wrong.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

@ Caligula 9:43

... Does running for president make one immune ?

I've been asking forever.
Answer?
Being a D makes you immune.

Francisco D said...

With the information that I currently have from the transcript, it doesn’t look like the request to “look into the Bidens” was appropriate. Now if there was a predicated investigation into the Bidens and Burisma then asking for help in that investigation was reasonable. But asking Ukraine to investigate the Bidens is not.

Why is it inappropriate Lance? If taxpayer money is being funneled back to the sons of corrupt US politicians, is it not in our national interest to find out?

Please don't obfuscate with irrelevant details such as Trump should have told Barr first.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

What if Trump's son was pocketing millions in international connections set up by VP Dad.

And there was even a brag-tape showcasing the bribe to fire the prosecutor involved who was looking into the very company paying Trumps son.

Would it be OK to ask then?

Browndog said...

it doesn’t look like the request to “look into the Bidens” was appropriate.

You got him.

Treason, bribery, and other inappropriate things

Bay Area Guy said...

Dersh 37, Bobbitt 20

Iowan2 said...

The left insists President Trump prove his innocence.

Let’s not forget. President Trump is the defendant. He is already innocent.
Schiff, Nader, and Pelosi, have all stated the evidence supporting their articles of impeachment is overwhelming. No need for further discovery. Time to vote.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
clint said...

"It is true that an impeachable 'abuse of power' can’t simply consist in using the powers of the executive for personal, political gain; that happens all the time. Abuse of power, for impeachment purposes, must consist in corruptly using those powers for personal, political gain."

Um. All he did was add an adverb: "corruptly".

The whole difference between standard practice and impeachable offense is one vague adverb?

That's nuts.

AZ Bob said...

I would have a harder time with what Trump talked about wrt Biden if Biden himself hadn't gone about bragging about getting rid of a prosecutor in Ukraine by withholding aid money...all while his son made millions of dollars from a corrupt Ukrainian company....all while Biden was "point man" as Vice President.

Trump had all he needed with the video tape of Biden bragging about how Biden abused his power by blackmailing the Ukraine government with US aid. In court, we call this a confession.

Making a personal phone call to get Ukraine to pile on was not worth the risk.

«Oldest ‹Older   1 – 200 of 272   Newer› Newest»