Our soldiers don bulletproof armor to protect themselves from the bullets of our enemies. It is a neat concept! Doesn’t everyone want to be invincible, perfectly safe from the attacks of their enemies?
What about politicians? Don’t they war with words? Don’t they bring their enemies to trial with words? How do politicians armor themselves against words? With political spin.
What are President Donald Trump’s political adversaries are trying to do to him? Don’t Democrats want Trump tried and convicted in the Senate? What exactly is Trump’s alleged crime? Well, check out Is ignorance of the Constitution Trump’s defense? by Andrew P. Napolitano, a former judge. Here is the flavor of his column.
Federal election laws prohibit as criminal the mere solicitation of foreign help for a federal political campaign, whether the aid arrives or not. Federal law also prohibits and defines as bribery the intentional withholding or offering to withhold the performance of an official duty until a thing of value arrives, whether the thing of value arrives or not. Solicitation of foreign campaign assistance and bribery are the rare federal crimes that are defined by an attempt or an offer to commit them, even if they are never consummated. (from here)
What’s wrong with Napolitano’s reasoning? So long as a Democrat is running for office, there is no way for a Republican to prosecute them. Supposedly, Republicans have an unavoidable conflict of interest, and the crony capitalist news media is going to tell us all about that. Unfortunately, it has become altogether too obvious that Democrats (including the crony capitalist news media) don’t dig up dirt on Democrats, not unless that party has decided that that Democrat has become too great a liability.
Fortunately, the United States still has reporters focused on facts instead of partisan special interests. Who are they? Well, we are all biased, but John Solomon Reports seems to be a decent source. Consider what he wrote here.
A State Department official who served in the U.S. embassy in Kiev told Congress that the Obama administration tried in 2016 to partner with the Ukrainian gas firm that employed Hunter Biden but the project was blocked over corruption concerns.
George Kent, the former charge d’affair at the Kiev embassy, said in testimony released Thursday that the State Department’s main foreign aid agency, known as USAID, planned to co-sponsor a clean energy project with Burisma Holdings, the Ukrainian gas firm that employed Hunter Biden as a board member.
At the time of the proposed project, Burisma was under investigation in Ukraine for alleged corruption. Those cases were settled in late 2016 and early 2017. Burisma contested allegations of corruption but paid a penalty for tax issues.
Kent testified he personally intervened in mid-2016 to stop USAID’s joint project with Burisma because American officials believed the corruption allegations against the gas firm raised concern.
“There apparently was an effort for Burisma to help cosponsor, I guess, a contest that USAID was sponsoring related to clean energy. And when I heard about it I asked USAID to stop that sponsorship,” Kent told lawmakers.
When asked why he intervened, he answered: “”Because Burisma had a poor reputation in the business, and I didn’t think it was appropriate for the U.S. Government to be co-sponsoring something with a company that had a bad reputation.” (continued here)
Now consider this short little video from the Wall Street Journal (below is the full video (from CFR Meeting About Withholding Aid To Ukraine To Force Firing Of Prosecutor) (realclearpolitics.com)).
Here are a couple of other articles.
- Joe Biden’s 2020 Ukrainian nightmare: A closed probe is revived (thehill.com)
- Explainer: Biden, allies pushed out Ukrainian prosecutor because he didn’t pursue corruption cases (usatoday.com)
Now ask yourself a question. Why isn’t Joe Biden in jail?
Here is a transcript of Trump’s supposedly illegal conversation with the leader of Ukraine. Judge the legality of it for yourself. Just keep in mind what Democrats seem to believe. So long as they are running for office, it is illegal to prosecute them. Even H. Clinton, after she deliberately put a server in her basement with classified information on it, was immune from prosecution by the Obama administration. Can you imagine what the press would have done if a Republican administration had tried to prosecute her? Can you imagine a Republican caught with a classified server in his or her basement?
Republicans, however, especially Conservative Republicans, appear to be fair game for prosecution. In fact, the crony capitalist news media wants us to believe that Democrats have nothing to personally gain by successfully prosecuting President Trump.
What is our role as citizens? We have to judge the performance of our leaders. That requires wisdom and humility.
James 3:13-18 Good News Translation (GNT)
The Wisdom from Above
13 Are there any of you who are wise and understanding? You are to prove it by your good life, by your good deeds performed with humility and wisdom. 14 But if in your heart you are jealous, bitter, and selfish, don’t sin against the truth by boasting of your wisdom. 15 Such wisdom does not come down from heaven; it belongs to the world, it is unspiritual and demonic. 16 Where there is jealousy and selfishness, there is also disorder and every kind of evil. 17 But the wisdom from above is pure first of all; it is also peaceful, gentle, and friendly; it is full of compassion and produces a harvest of good deeds; it is free from prejudice and hypocrisy. 18 And goodness is the harvest that is produced from the seeds the peacemakers plant in peace.
Like our leaders, we cannot avoid a conflict of interest. We all have an interest in the outcome. In addition, our news is filled with political spin. So we have difficult task discerning the truth from what we wish to believe.
Whether the policies we desire are implemented depends upon who is running our government. We cannot see into the hearts of the people who lead us. We cannot easily judge their motives, but we can judge our own desires, force ourselves to objectively consider the facts, and pray. Do the facts provide Trump sufficient cause to ask Ukraine to help the Justice Department investigate corrupt activities by Americans in Ukraine? Did Trump ask the leader of the Ukraine to manufacture a crime or to find the evidence of actual crimes? Is there any evidence that Trump abused his power and extorted the cooperation of the leader of Ukraine in an illegal activity?
It’s funny how you’re so selective with facts that only fit your trumped up conspiracy theories. If you actually listened to ALL the testimony by Kent, you would also remember that Kent testified that all of Joe Biden’s efforts were in furtherance of US and allied anti-corruption foreign policy efforts in Ukraine.
No doubt Hunter Biden’s roll in Ukraine, just as all the Nepotism in the Trump administration, gives the perception of wrong doing. Hunter Biden should not have been making money off his father’s influence, but there is no evidence that Joe Biden actually reciprocated by going easy on Burisma while he was Vice President. Just the opposite, according to witness testimony, Biden had a Ukrainian prosecutor fired (a prosecutor everyone, including our allies agreed needed to go) because he wasn’t investigating corruption enough, including Burisma’s. You are obviously only listening to the nonsense generated by the corrupt Ukrainians and the dirt from Giuliani and his indicted cronies’ conspiracy theories and not actually listening to the sworn testimony by career professional fact witnesses that shows this as complete nonsense
However, let’s assume that Joe Biden’s actions in Ukraine to protect his son’s scam were actually criminal. Do you seriously think that THE PRESIDENT IF THE UNITED STATES should be pressuring the new leader of a notoriously corrupt country to do criminal investigations on one his own citizens, much less his political rivals? Ukraine has a terrible history of using their legal system as a political bludgeon to criminally investigate and punish decent. Trump was encouraging the new Ukrainian administration to do to Trump’s political rivals exactly the same kind of cooked up corruption that we and our allies are trying to get them to quit doing to themselves. And don’t forget the Biden conspiracy theory was not the only crackpot investigation that Trump was trying to get Ukraine to investigate. The other one Trump’s own national security advisor said he had repeatedly told Trump was totally debunked. All the foreign service witnesses testified that Trump’s “DNC server in Ukraine” and Crowdstrike theory is a hair brained discredited delusion.
Finally, even if any of the idiocy that Trump was illegally withholding military aid and also a White House visit from a desperate leader had merit, then, as the witnesses testified, there are proper channels that comport with international Rule of Law standards for carrying out such investigations. You obviously don’t send your insanely bombastic personal attorney and his recently indicted goons over there to carry out a shadow divergent foreign policy designed to root out lies, smears and discredited conspiracy theories from notoriously corrupt Ukrainian officials so you can spread them in Trump News (where Trump apologists will apparently just lap them up without employing even the slightest common sense).
Do you seriously think that THE PRESIDENT IF THE UNITED STATES should be pressuring the new leader of a notoriously corrupt country to do criminal investigations on one his own citizens, much less his political rivals? Ukraine has a terrible history of using their legal system as a political bludgeon to criminally investigate and punish decent. Trump was encouraging the new Ukrainian administration to do to Trump’s political rivals exactly the same kind of cooked up corruption that we and our allies are trying to get them to quit doing to themselves.
I had to read the above three times to make sure I understand what you’re saying. After the third time, it doesn’t seem to change my first impression so I’ll just ask:
-You’re saying the new leader of a notoriously corrupt country shouldn’t investigate corruption?
And, presumably, keep giving them aid money without checks on corruption?
What is the difference between one leader asking another to look into corruption, and one leader asking his minions to ask their leader to look into corruption?
“You’re saying the new leader of a notoriously corrupt country shouldn’t investigate corruption?
And, presumably, keep giving them aid money without checks on corruption?”
If you read the rest of what I wrote, then you know that I explained this.
Trump has at his disposal the greatest, most dedicated, least corrupt investigative agencies in the history of the world, and yet he needs the leader of a country that has previously been notorious for the exact corruption of using its criminal system to punish political rivals to investigate American citizens, and specifically, Trump’s own political rivals? There’s lots of corruption in Ukraine, billions of dollars stolen out of the country, and as the witnesses testified, our foreign policy establishment has been working hard to change their system and get them into a system where the criminal system follows the Rule of Law rather than being just a political weapon. However, with all that known Ukrainian corruption that Trump’s state department is working on, the only corruption that Trump mentions for Ukraine to investigate is the trumped up corruption of Trump’s political opposition? How handy? How corrupt?
As for withholding the military aid, Trump’s own state department, the defense department and the budget office all certified that Ukraine was doing all that was required to receive the aid. Trump’s own NSC and embassy officials in Ukraine were baffled and embarrassed as to why this existential aid was being withheld. When they found out that it was for investigations of Trump’s political opponents, Ambassador Taylor called it “wrong” and “crazy”. Colonel Vindman alerted lawyers.
If you want to get the whole picture, just watch or listen to ALL the testimony of the career public servants (public servants very much like your husband and I used to be). Disregard the grand standing and smoke blowing by either side. Don’t just accept the selective spin that pundits and media from either side give you. Don’t just take my word for it or Tom’s. Make up your own mind based on the facts and expert opinions from witnesses who are uninterested partisan hackery, but have spent there lives dedicated to mission, country, honor. Then tell me whether or not what Trump did and continues to do seems right to you.
In any criminal trial each side tries to build a narrative for the jury to accept. The initial claim is simple: the prosecution says the defendant did it and the defense says he didn’t do it.
As the trial proceeds, step by step with credible evidence and testimony, the prosecution tries to tell the story of the crime. Meanwhile the defense tries to punch holes in that story by challenging the credibility of the witnesses and all the evidence, or by coming up with credible alternative explanations. If the jury were only to listen to one side or the other they could not make an unbiased decision. That’s what is happening here or if one only listens to side of the media slant that she prefers.
That’s the best you can do? 😟
I don’t know it’s the “best I can do”. I’m mostly doing this on my cell phone between doing other more important things. I only have a limited amount of time to devote to doing this, and no offense, your blog is not the center of the news and opinion universe.
However, I enjoy the challenge and I appreciate your letting a contrary view pierce the bubble of your one sided propagandizing here. I also like to get a feel for how the extreme right in Trump’s base is reacting to reality. You are to be applauded for allowing me to do that.
However, is hyperbole the best you can do in response? You got an actual argument?
I am supposed to prove Trump didn’t do something impeachable. You do realize Trump is presumed innocent until proven guilty?
Your “heroes” have a bunch of witnesses that they auditioned in private. They won’t allow Trump’s lawyers to question these witnesses, and they won’t let anyone else call witnesses. Yep! My blog is one sided, just reeks with bias, but compared to that I am even-handed.
Unfortunately, all the other side wants to do is tell us how much they hate Trump and anyone who supports him. Impeachment, not public policy has become an obsession for the haters and a bore to everyone else.
I get it, if you don’t have any facts, whine about the process. I remind you again, this is not the constitutional trial phase; it’s the indictment phase. Different rules apply. When Trump get’s his trial in the Senate, Republicans are in charge. Then we’ll see if you feel the same way when Moscow Mitch really corrupts the process.
Anyway, I’ve got a thought experiment for you. Let’s suppose Trump were doing exactly all the same corrupt shenanigans, but he’s a Democrat and the House were still controlled by Republicans? Would you still be making the same lame excuses, whataboutisms and process whining for a Democratic President Trump who was using his powers to fixi the election against his Republican opposition? Be honest.
I read a funny admission today by a staunch Republican who voted for Trump. He said that the only time Trump ceases shooting himself in the foot is when he has to stop to reload. Seriously, do you honestly think a President Pence would be stupid enough to do all the openly corrupt idiocy Trump just keeps doing instinctively? What a relief it would be for you to not have to keep applauding someone who is so obviously immoral.
We had Obama in the White House for eight years. His respect for the Constitution was legendary, an example for tyrants and powerhungry politicians worldwide. Didn’t he leave calling his administration scandal free? Is not Obama’s word the gold standard for truth and honor? Doesn’t that clearly prove that Democrats are pure as the wind driven snow? So, how could Republicans ever impeach a Democrat? Not possible!
Oh! The shame of it! I must have been insane, charmed out of my mind to vote for Trump instead of Clinton. She was so thoughtful. She ran that lovely foundation that cared so much for the needy that the representatives of foreign governments gladly contributed to it before they met her. She even saved the taxpayers money by keeping tens of thousands of emails on a server in her basement, and when someone expressed security concerns she quickly deleted 30,000 emails about her Yoga classes so that it would be easier for officials to review her server’s contents. It is no wonder the Justice Department immunized her associates in advance so that they could speak freely about her. No doubt they had many good things to say about her. The stories about her thoroughly honest and positive campaign against Bernie Sanders had to be fresh on her mind.
H. Clinton is clear proof of the prosperity Gospel, that God rewards the generous, which is why she and her husband managed to earn hundreds of millions on government salaries.
Hope you enjoyed my sarcasm experiment.
Same old sad song. Maybe if you set it to dirge music it might be more entertaining, “but you don’t really care for music do ya?” 😉
Don’t care for music? Well, you have a point. Peace and quiet is so rare it is sacrilegious to ruin it with any of the whining witnesses from the Sleazy Shifty Schiff Sham Show.
The world is fiilled with music: rustling, dry leaves, chattering squirrels (sound uncomfortably like Democrats), wind moaning through bare trees, pattering rain drops, bird calls, buzzing bees on a warm summer day, the laughter of family,…. Still, if you must have what you call music.
Very nice music! ! I wonder if anyone else got the reference?
I remember, as a teenager, you never liked music – you didn’t get the logic of it. I’ve always found that Spock like geeky quality of your youth an endearing remembrance. Good to see that you’ve found some aesthetic (rather than just scientific) appreciation of music and nature as you’ve aged.
I’ve gazed on sunsets from beaches and cloud tops around the world from the Expat Club on Diego Garcia to the coffee shops on Lajes Today I saw perhaps the prettiest one ever out on Biloxi Beach. Iridescent powder blue water and sky evanescent to crimson. Hallelujah!
Never actually disliked music. I just don’t have as much use for it as most people. I also found what passes for popular music a grave disappointment. Not good to encourage people to do things they shouldn’t do. Lots of young people confuse sex and love, but you know they are not the same. Music should elevate us, not degrade us. Our mass media all too often does the latter.
I was trying to find transcripts of depositions/statements. I thought it might be a good idea to check out
The United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI). This is a government site, a committee of the United States House of Representatives. The committee is charged with oversight of the United States Intelligence Community—which includes the intelligence and intelligence-related activities of the following seventeen elements of the U.S. Government—and the Military Intelligence Program.
With that in mind, juxtapose the difference between the impeachment inquiry pages of two sites.
Republican impeachment inquiry page:
Democrat’s impeachment inquiry page:
This is parody level stuff. The Republicans offer text and facts, the Democrats have highlights, bold type, photos…links to biased news articles to include Vox. This makes a rag like the national inquirer look cerebral. It’s like the Russians have sabotaged them again…in an attempt to make them look like clowns. But I think the reality is they’ve chosen to do this to themselves.
I’ve read that they’ve shifted from the term “quid pro quo” to “bribery” after the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee conducted focus groups in “key House battlegrounds” in recent weeks, testing messages. Bribery was ranked the more compelling description. So they’re going with that now. They’re actually using polls to figure out what crimes to accuse the President of.
BTW, in that context “bribery” also applies to the aid itself…whether given OR taken away, it’s all bribery.
Meanwhile, in his free time:
Trump Administration Releases Transparency Rule in Hospital Pricing.
More bribery! (money or favor given or promised in order to influence the judgement or conduct of a person in a position of trust)
How can the nation continue with such an incompetent boob?!?
The charges appear hypocritical, even kinda evil if you consider the House is charging Trump for caring to ask why Biden’s son should be paid 50 g a month presumably from the 400 million USA aid especially after Biden admitted quid pro quo in public.
In my opinion if not an evil it is not only foolish, it is silly.
Regards and goodwill blogging
Ps I like the Solomon source link to wisdom.
There is a host on a radio talk show who likes to observe: if Democrats did not have double standards, the would not have any.
Hah, Great observation and example of truth in jest.
Regards and goodwill blogging.
Thanks for the link to the Solomon reports (and I like the name) 🙂
Today’s 15 Essential questions for Marie Yovanovitch, America’s former ambassador to Ukraine…
are indeed very good questions.
Really puts everything into perspective, doesn’t it?
Keep hearing about Solomon on Conservative radio shows. Seemed like a good time to check him out. Glad you like him.
Excellent thoughts, Tom. We are living in a corrupt world which needs to turn to God for good solid advice. We cannot judge, as you say. God will judge everyone in the end, but we can educate ourselves and pray for God’s intervention in the world we inhabit.
Thank you for the compliment and adding your thoughts.