“When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.” Socrates
Over the past few months reports have come out that claimed Trump had held up military aid that was approved by Congress for Ukraine to assist in their fight against Russian attempts to take over parts of their country. Russia invaded the Ukraine’s territory of Crimea in February, 2014. To this day they still hold that territory and have been trying to this day to advance and take over other parts of Ukraine.
Congress approved $391 million dollars in military aid to Ukraine in the 2019 Federal budget. Those funds were to purchase military arms to aid in their fight against Russia. For months the aid was held up by the Trump administration with no specific reason given for the delay. Then things began to come out that the aid was held up due to Trump’s demand that before the aid would be released that the government of Ukraine must open an investigation into Trump’s political rivals, namely former Vice President Joe Biden, who is currently the front runner for the Democrat nomination for president in 2020.
Trump’s personal attorney and crazed sycophant Rudy Giuliani was spreading the malicious lie that Biden stopped the Ukrainians from investigating his son Hunter Biden for corruption even though it was eventually proven as false, along with his two minions, Parnas and Fruman, who have just been indicted for campaign finance violations. First, Trump said that there was no “quid pro quo,” Latin for something for something. Then the White House released a so called “transcript” of the call between Trump and President Zalensky that plainly states in the conversation that in return for the aid that first you must do me “a favor” and investigate the Bidens. But Trump still says, “No illegal quid pro quo.” Then, it all starts to fall apart for the White House. First, Mick Mulvaney, Chief of Staff (temporary) got up in front of reporters and stated that yes, we did hold it up demanding an investigation. We do it all the time in government, then later when his handlers spoke with him tried to walk it back. No, we don’t do it all the time in government. Yes, we may condition aid packages to countries on conditions, such as when you stop discriminating against this ethnic group in your country or if you dismantle your nuclear program, etc. But to demand a country do you a favor and assist you illegally in your campaign for reelection, this is far from legal.
When the House Democrats began their impeachment hearings the Republicans began to attack the process that the Democrats were following in their hearings, although those same Republicans used the same closed door procedures investigating “Benghazi.” The White House attacks the members leading the inquiries and the process they are following. Trump falls back on his schoolyard bully personality by calling names, lying about everything as always. Remember, this is a man that has told the American people over 13,000 lies since his inauguration. Republicans then disrupted the hearings by acting like children and throwing their temper tantrums by forcing their way into the hearing room, breaking the law by doing so. “No fairness to Trump,” Soviet Style hearings,” Lack of Due Process” are several of the arguments they are using.
But when these same Republicans are asked if it is allowable to ask foreign governments to assist in your reelection, nothing but “No Quid Pro Quo,” “I believe Trump is not being treated fairly,” “That’s not what happened,” even an occasional “But Obama!” But never once do we hear them defend what was done by Trump. When the few that will comment do admit that it is wrong, the next thing out of their mouths is “but I don’t believe it rises to an impeachable offense.”
President Clinton was impeached for perjury and obstruction of justice for lying about an affair he had with a White House intern. Lindsey Graham said, “You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if this body determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role. Impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”
Now, with the Mueller report outlining at least 10 instances of obstruction of justice by Trump, the cruelty he has inflicted on children that have crossed our border only to be put in cages and traumatized for life, the all roads lead to Putin foreign policy we seem to have, and now asking for election interference in our election, Graham has this to say, it is a sham, a coup, agrees with Trump that this is the same as a lynching. Being from the south, you would think he would think before he uses the term lynching to describe anything. Hypocrisy, thy name is Lindsey Graham.
I believe that Trump will be impeached. But I do also think that unless there is a tremendous amount of pressure on the Republican senators from the American people they will do no more than walk in lockstep with their fearless leader, whether they believe he is guilty or not, and acquit him, party over country. A story came out that Trump is offering those Republican senators who tirelessly defend him millions of dollars from his campaign funds and of course threatening primary challenges for those that don’t. The best defense money (and intimidation) can buy.
There’s an old legal aphorism that goes, “If you have the facts on your side, pound the facts. If you have the law on your side, pound the law. If you have neither on your side, pound the table.”
So all the Republicans can do is pound the table.
Steve Creed is a local resident who writes columns for the Record-Herald.