Category Archives: Adam Schiff

Pelosi: All Investigations Of Democrats Are Illicit & Grounds For Impeachment

Nancy Pelosi’s “Impeachment Fact Sheet” asserts that investigating the Russia hoax constitutes an impeachable attempt to interfere in the 2020 election. 

In his July 25 phone call, President Trump asked the President of the Ukraine to assist in an ongoing investigation into Ukrainian assistance to the Democrats in the 2016 election, to locate the DNC server supposedly now being held in the Ukraine and, later in the conversation, “to look into” the situation surrounding Joe Biden and his son Hunter.  Pelosi now collectively labels all of those investigations a “sham.”

Nancy Pelosi just turned the corner on the Democrats’ already very dangerous game.  If the law is such that progressives can operate above it in this country — including attempting coups to overturn elections — while holding the rest of the nation below its protections, then however this ends, it will include the end of our near 250 year experiment in republican government based on our Constitution.  This all started with whitewashing Hillary Clinton serial crimes: first, recklessly mishandling our nation’s secrets; second, trying to destroy the Trump campaign and install her in the Presidency.  The only way this ends with this nation intact is for justice and the law to be applied equally across party lines, and for those who violated the law to be held accountable.

The propaganda Pelosi released Tuesday is many things, the most important of which is a preemptive strike to undermine what many expect Horowitz, Barr, and Dunham will find through their ongoing investigations; namely, that the Russia hoax was an attempted coup (it most certainly was) executed by unlawful means (and I will be amazed if it wasn’t).  Those investigations are tied in part to the Ukraine.  We know that, at the Democrats’ request, Ukraine did in fact play a role in the 2016 election hoax. As Politico reported in January, 2017:

Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton’s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, a Politico investigation found.

Here is the “Fact Sheet” Pelosi released today, which I have reformatted for this blog, including removing the graphics. In it, in speaking of the investigations as to which which Trump asked for Ukrainian assistance, Pelosi refers to all collectively as “sham investigations” (bolded emphasis mine):

*************************

TRUTH EXPOSED

THE SHAKEDOWN

“Do us a favor, though . . .” — President Trump

On September 25, the White House released a record of President Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Zelensky, which paints a damning picture of Trump abusing
his office by pressing a foreign government to interfere in our 2020 elections.

President Trump has betrayed his oath of office, betrayed our national security and betrayed the integrity of our elections for his own personal political gain.

IN PRESIDENT TRUMP’S OWN WORDS

“I will say that we do a lot for Ukraine…. I wouldn’t say that it’s reciprocal necessarily because things are happening that are not good but the United States has been very very good to Ukraine.”

“I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it.”

“There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it… It sounds horrible to me.”

“I will have Mr. Giuliani give you a call and I am also going to have Attorney General Barr call and we will get to the bottom of it.  I’m sure you will figure it out.”

THE PRESSURE CAMPAIGN

“As I said on the phone, I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.”
– U.S. Ambassador Bill Taylor

In recent weeks, the nation has learned more about how President Trump abused the power of the presidency by using multiple levers of government – from Vice President
Pence to the State Department, including Secretary Mike Pompeo, Ambassador Gordon Sondland, and Ambassador Kurt Volker – to advance a scheme to undermine our 2020 elections for his political gain, and then to obstruct the congressional inquiry into that scheme.

Vice President Pence is entangled in this scandal. According to press reports, in September, Pence met with Ukrainian President Zelensky in Poland and “conveyed the news
that hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. aid to Ukraine was not going to be released amid concerns about the country’s lagging efforts to combat corruption.” The withholding of aid may have been an effort to pressure Ukraine into announcing investigations into President Trump’s 2020 political rival to help the president’s reelection.

—–

Secretary Pompeo was a fact witness to President Trump’s stunning abuse of power.  The Secretary listened to the July 25 phone call between President Trump and President Zelensky in which Trump pressed the Ukrainian leader to interfere in our 2020 election by opening these sham investigations. [emphasis added] Secretary Pompeo appears to have said nothing to stop President Trump from this inappropriate pressure campaign.

Text messages between Ambassadors Kurt Volker, Gordon Sondland and Bill Taylor paint the picture of a President who waged a months-long pressure campaign to shake down Ukraine for his own personal political gain, potentially using a White House presidential visit and critical military assistance to Ukraine as leverage:

THE TEXT MESSAGES BETWEEN U.S. OFFICIALS

State Department officials discuss a White House visit in exchange for a Ukraine statement:

[8/9/19, 5:35:53 PM] Gordon Sondland: Morrison ready to get dates as soon as Yermak confirms.

[8/9/19, 5:46:21 PM] Kurt Volker: Excellent!!! How did you sway him? :)

[8/9/19, 5: 47:34 PM] Gordon Sondland: Not sure i did. I think potus really wants the deliverable.

Concerns About Ukraine Becoming an “Instrument” in U.S. Politics:

[7/21/19, 1:45:54 AM] Bill Taylor: Gordon, one thing Kurt and I talked about yesterday was Sasha Danyliuk’s point that President Zelenskyy is sensitive about Ukraine being taken seriously, not merely as an instrument in Washington domestic, reelection politics.

[7/21/19, 4:45:44 AM] Gordon Sondland: Absolutely, but we need to get the conversation started and the relationship built, irrespective of the pretext. I am worried about the alternative.

Ambassador Taylor Sought Clarification and Expressed Concerns About Withholding U.S. Military Assistance in Exchange for Launching an Investigation:

[9/1/19, 12:08:57 PM] Bill Taylor: Are we now saying that security assistance and WH meeting are conditioned on investigations?

[9/1/19, 12:42:29 PM] Gordon Sondland: Call me
. . .
[9/9/19, 12:37:16 AM] Gordon Sondland: Bill, I never said I was “right”. I said we are where we are and believe we have identified the best pathway forward. Lets hope it works.

[9/9/19, 12:47:11 AM] Bill Taylor: As I said on the phone, I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.

COVER-UP

The President of the United States is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election . . . I am concerned these actions pose risks to U.S. national security . . .”

– Unclassified Whistleblower Complaint

On September 26, the House Intelligence Committee released the redacted version of a whistleblower complaint filed with the Intelligence Community Inspector General, which the IG found to be of “urgent concern” and “credible.”

The White House’s record of the July 25 presidential call between Presidents Trump and Zelensky corroborates allegations made in the whistleblower complaint, in particular that President Trump betrayed his oath of office by using the U.S. government and outside actors to advance his scheme to shake down the Ukrainian government to interfere in the 2020 elections.

THE WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT STATES

“I have received information from multiple U.S. Government officials that the President of the United States is using the power of his office to solicit interference
from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election. … The President’ s personal lawyer, Mr. Rudolph Giuliani, is a central figure in this effort. Attorney General Barr appears to be involved as well.”

“I am also concerned that these actions pose risks to U.S. national security and undermine the U.S. Government’s efforts to deter and counter foreign interference in U.S. elections.”

“[S]enior White House officials had intervened to ‘lock down’ all records of the phone call, especially the official word-for-word transcript of the call… the transcript was loaded into a separate electronic system… used to store and handle classified information of an especially sensitive nature.”

“One White House official described this act as an abuse of this electronic system because the call did not contain anything remotely sensitive from a national security perspective.”

*************************

As an aside, note that the House Speaker’s wholly inappropriate press release is quite selective.  Pelosi, in the text messages recited, includes the charge from Bill Taylor that Trump is withholding aid from the Ukraine for “help with a political campaign,” but leaves out Sondland’s reply:  ““Bill, I believe you are incorrect about President Trump’s intentions. The President has been crystal clear no quid pro quo’s [sic] of any kind. The President is trying to evaluate whether Ukraine is truly going to adopt the transparency and reforms that President Zelensky promised during his campaign.”  Further absent is any exploration of Bill Taylor’s role in setting this scenario up for Adam Schiff.  It turns out that Taylor and a Schiff staffer met together in the Ukraine in August shortly before Taylor suddenly started sending emails this issue of a quid pro quo, something wholly aimed at the 2020 election.  If Taylor and a Schiff staffer had met on a tarmac, one one can readily imagine Pelosi asserting that they were discussing grandchildren.

Democrats’ decision to fold into the impeachment mix an ongoing (and wholly appropriate) investigation into the 2016 Russian Hoax is part of the progressives’ full court press to set themselves beyond the reach of justice.  In addition to Pelosi, progressive journalists are creating a cottage industry out of writing daily articles calling any investigation into the Russian Hoax unfounded and a “conspiracy theory” that a deranged President Trump, set on personal revenge, is pushing.  For instance, this from Politico’s Natasha Bertrand and Daniel Lippman, reporting on the Barr / Durham investigation that is now circling Brennan and Clapper:

President Donald Trump’s obsession with former CIA director John Brennan could be on a collision course with an ongoing Justice Department probe as Attorney General Bill Barr takes a more hands-on approach to examining the intelligence community’s actions in 2016.

Barr has been meeting with the U.S.’ closest foreign intelligence allies in recent months, making repeated overseas trips as part of an investigation he is overseeing into the origins of the Russia probe and whether any inappropriate “spying” occurred on Trump’s campaign.

As part of that investigation, Barr and John Durham, the federal prosecutor he appointed to conduct it, have been probing a conspiracy theory for which there is little if any evidence, according to several people with knowledge of the matter: that a key player in the Russia probe, a professor named Joseph Mifsud, was actually a Western intelligence asset sent to discredit the Trump campaign — and that the CIA, under Brennan, was somehow involved.

Trump, meanwhile, has become “obsessed” with Brennan, who frequently gets under the president’s skin by publicly questioning his mental acuity and fitness for office, according to a former White House official. On Brennan, “it was always, ‘he’s an idiot, he’s a crook, we ought to investigate him,’” this person said, characterizing Trump’s outbursts.

Since the beginning of his presidency, Trump has also repeatedly attacked Brennan publicly, . . .

This impeachment — and by it the attempt to shut down any investigation into the Russia hoax — resembles something one would expect to see in the old Soviet Union, never in America.  Democrats are holding secret proceedings. They are denying the defendant (i.e., the President) and his political party even the rudiments of due process.  The only thing progressives are selectively releasing are those things that they believe support their case.  They are hiding all else from the public.  And where they wholly lack facts . . . they are using anonymous hearsay and the imprimatur of the IC IG (itself likely an act of sedition) to tie it all together.  And all of this while their lackeys in the press repeatedly condemn the Russia hoax investigation as illegitimate.

And now I see this travesty “impeachment” is being run even worse than I thought, for Schiff is trying to prevent Republicans on his committee from gaining full access to transcripts from the hearings. As Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) explained yesterday:

(H/T CTH)

I will be amazed if we survive this as a nation.

Image credit: Nancy Pelosi caricature by DonkeyHotey.

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Democrats are at the yada yada yada stage of gaslighting

Democrats, in media and politics, rely on the elusive Seinfeldian yada yada yada to sound truthful even as they are lying like crazy.

One of my favorite Seinfeld episodes was the yada yada yada episode. (Spoilers ahead.) George has started dating a woman who tells very abbreviated stories. She starts with the premise, says, “and yada yada yada,” and then jumps to the conclusion:

Marcy: You know, a friend of mine thought she got Legionnaire’s disease in the hot tub.

George: Really? What happened?

Marcy: Oh, yada yada yada, just some bad egg salad. I’ll be right back. (She gets up)

Jerry: I noticed she’s big on the phrase “yada yada.”

George: Is “yada yada” bad?

Jerry: No, “yada yada” is good. She’s very succinct.

George: She is succinct.

Jerry: Yeah, it’s like you’re dating USA Today.

Soon, all four members of the Seinfeld gang are yada yada yada-ing their way through conversation.

Of course, the plot twist is that Marcy’s been leaving out more than even the squirrely Seinfeld gang realized. Thus, when she said, “So I’m on 3rd Avenue, mindin’ my own business, and, yada yada yada, I get a free massage and a facial,” this was the whole story:

George: All right, enough! Enough! From now on, no more yada yada’s. Just give me the full story.

Marcy: Okay.

George: Tell me about the free facial.

Marcy: Okay, well, like I said I was on 3rd Avenue, and I stopped by a large department store.

George: Which one?

Marcy: Bloomingdale’s.

George: Very good. Go on.

Marcy: Oh, and I stole a Piaget watch.

George: What’s that?

Marcy: And then, I was on such a… high, that I went upstairs to the salon on the fifth floor, and got a massage and facial, and skipped out on the bill.

George: Shoplifting.

George himself was less than honest, tell Marcy about his engagement to Susan, but forgetting to say that she died from the glue on the super cheap envelopes George bought for their wedding invitations when he started getting cold feet about the whole thing:

George: Well, we were engaged to be married, uh, we bought the wedding invitations, and, uh, yada yada yada, I’m still single.

Marcy: So what’s she doing now?

George: Yada.

Some details are just too important to be left out.

I was irresistibly reminded of that Seinfeld episode this morning when I listened to Derek Hunter’s podcast. He made the point that the power the media has is not in the telling of things, but in the things “it chooses to leaving on the cutting room floor.”

A perfect example arose apropos his guest, Jerome Hudson, who is the entertainment editor for Breitbart and who has written a bestselling book: 50 Things They Don’t Want You to Know. We know it’s a bestseller because the Amazon algorithm, which is honest, tells us so.

You wouldn’t have known about the book’s bestseller status, though, if you only read the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. Both of them ignored the book entirely when they compiled their bestseller lists. (Hudson and Hunter joke that the LA Times print edition simply started the list at number 2, so as to avoid naming Hudson’s book as number 1, but I couldn’t find evidence of this.)

Before the internet, the Democrats and the mainstream media (but I repeat myself), could get away with this yada yada yada approach to information. Even if someone came along after them and looked on the cutting room floor for all the things the Leftists left behind, there was no way to get that information to the public. Nowadays, though, the yada yada yada approach to news and political speech no longer works.

Just think of the way Adam Schiff’s role in the Ukraine hoax has been unspooling. It’s like a real life Seinfeld yada yada yada episode. First, Schiff said he knew nothing about the whistle blower.

Yada yada yada.

It turned out that the whistle blower had gone directly to Schiff’s office with his hearsay information.

Faced with this, Schiff said that he was sorry that his straightforward “no” was so ambiguous that people didn’t understand the real nuance behind it, which was that the guy/gal came to Schiff’s office looking for instruction about how to lodge a whistle blower report and was extremely “vague.” In other words, Schiff and his staff knew “nothing! nothing!” His “no” wasn’t a lie, it was just a nuanced way of saying I knew “almost nothing.”

Yada yada yada.

It turned out that Schiff knew enough that he was deeply concerned about the president’s major violation of election law and constitutionality, leading him to take the matter to the next level. Oh, and there was the fact that he tweeted out an amazingly prescient statement about the whistle blower’s claims weeks before the claims allegedly left the IG IC’s office.

Another example was the conclusion to the dreadlock hoax about the school at which Karen Pence teaches. The hoax was the fact that Amari Allen, a female sixth grader, claimed that three white boys held her down and cut away at her dreadlocks. It was, the media implied, an obviously racial and sexist assault. The media was all over the story in breathless detail.

The yada yada yada problem arose when Allen admitted the whole thing never happened (and to their credit, her family immediately apologized). Sharp-eyed people on the internet instantly noticed the yada yada yada in the media’s reporting about Allen’s recantation:

dreadlocks hoax

And so it goes, with every news story and statement from the Democrats containing more dot-dot-dot (…) or yada-yada-yada then even the Seinfeld writers could fit into a half hour show that’s all about the important things people leave out of their narratives.

In the legal world, when it comes to fraud, lies by omission are just as actionable as lies by commission. For the better part of a century, Democrat media outlets and politicians skated on their fraudulent narratives to the American people. The internet, though, is ending that, which is why the gatekeepers — Google, Facebook, Twitter, Apple, etc. — are cracking down harder and harder on free speech. They can’t afford for the cuttings on the floor to become the news.

When it comes to today’s Democrat establishment, always remember that what they don’t say is as important as, if not more important than, what they do say. Before you make up your mind about any story wait at least 24 hours for the new media, the open investigative media, to troll through the cutting room and give you all the facts. Otherwise, yada yada yada, you’re uninformed.

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Whistle Blowin’ In The Wind

Progressives want to portray any investigation of Biden or the Trump Russia hoax as fundamentally illegitimate.  Is Joe Biden above the law?

We’re getting stuff in a bit of reverse order.  Yesterday, the White House made public the memorialization of the July 25, 2019, phone call between President Trump and President Zelinskyy of Ukraine, the text of which I embedded here.  That phone call, as it turns out, was the entire centerpiece of the whistle blower complaint.

Today, that Whistle Blower Complaint has been released, along with a cover letter from the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community (IG IC) detailing the IG IC handling and assessment of the complaint.  Neither the whistle blower nor the IGIC had seen the memorialization of the July 25 phone call prior to writing their documents.  The whistle blower had no first hand knowledge of the conversation, nor any of the other facts alleged in the complaint that did not appear publicly in the news (itself hearsay).  All of the allegations in the document are hearsay or multi-layered hearsay, most coupled with bald accusations and spin.  At the center of it all, this from the complaint:

Multiple White House officials with direct knowledge of the call informed me that, after an initial exchange of pleasantries, the President used the remainder of the call to advance his personal interests. Namely, he sought to pressure the Ukrainian leader to take actions to help the President’ s 2020 reelection bid. According to the White House officials who had direct knowledge of the call, the President pressured Mr. Zelenskyy to:

  •  initiate or continue an investigation the activities of former Vice President Joseph Biden and his son , Hunter Biden;
  • assist in purportedly uncovering that allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 U . S. presidential election originated in Ukraine, with a specific request that the Ukrainian leader locate and turn over servers used by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and examined by the U . S . cyber security firm Crowdstrike, which initially reported that Russian hackers had penetrated the DNC’ s networks in 2016; and
  • meet or speak with two people the President named explicitly as his personal envoys on these matters,Mr. Giuliani and Attorney General Barr, to whom the President referred multiple times in tandem .

Of the whistle blowers three claims above, the only one seemingly being pushed as meaningful concerns Joe Biden blatantly conditioning American aid to Ukraine on shutting down the corruption investigation that was, in part, aimed at his son.  And other than the July 25 conversation,  much of the rest of the complaint concerns meetings taken by Rudy Giuliani that show nothing.  The meat of it all is the phone conversation of July 25, something that does not on its face establish that Trump proposed an unlawful quid pro quo to Zelinskyy.

So now what do the progressives and the MSM do?  They start by outright lying about what was said in the phone conversation between Trump and Zelinskyy.  And for that, we go to Adam Schiff’s opening statement at today’s House Intelligence Committee Hearing on the whistle blower complaint.

A Fantasy Full of Schiff

This may be the most scurrilous opening statement ever given.  Rep. Adam Schiff made up a series of facts and quotes out of whole cloth to portray the July 25 phone call between President Trump and President Zelinskyy as a Trump demand that Ukraine fabricate “dirt” on 2020 candidates if he wanted to receive American aid:

The Washington Times tells us just how vile Schiff’s conduct was:

Rep. Adam Schiff acknowledged on Thursday that he made up parts of the Ukraine phone call transcript when he delivered his opening statement at a much-watched TV hearing with the U.S. top intelligence officer.

Mr. Schiff, California Democrat and chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said his reading was “part in parody”––but made the admission only after Rep. Mike Turner, Ohio Republican, called him out.

In his opening statement, Mr. Schiff said Mr. Trump asked Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky for fabricated dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and said Mr. Trump threatened to make the same request Mr. Zelensky eight times–––both quotes not in the transcript.

When it came his time to question Joseph Maguire, the acting Director of National Intelligence, Mr. Turner noted inaccuracies uttered to a large TV audience as Democrats rev up talk of impeachment.

“It’s not the conversation that was in the chairman’s opening statement,” Mr. Turner said. “And while the chairman was speaking I actually had someone text me, ‘is he just making this up?’ And yes, yes, . . .

Parody my eye. Schiff did nothing to point that out his fabrications during his speech.  It was an utterly outrageous attempt to influence public opinion with scurrilous lies.  Schiff should be subject to an ethics complaint and expelled from the House for that.

The Quid Pro Quo Wasn’t Stated In The Phone Call Because Supposedly It Was Common Knowledge To The Ukrainians

With no quid pro quo in the July 25 phone call, a second effort is underway to make it seem as if the quid pro quo was so well known to the participants that it did not require statement during the phone call.  The whistle blower states:

During [the May – June] time frame, multiple U . S. officials told me that the Ukrainian leadership was led to believe that a meeting or phone call between the President and President Zelenskyy would depend on whether Zelenskyy showed willingness to play ball. . . . This was the state of affairs as conveyed to me by U.S. officials from late May into July. I do not know who delivered this message to the Ukrainian leadership, or when.

Apparently, no one delivered that message to the Ukraine.  This from President Zelenskyy in a press conference yesterday:

Zelensky insisted that “nobody pushed me” on the Biden matter.

“I think we had good phone call. It was normal, we spoke about many things,” Zelensky said. “I think, and you read it, that nobody pushed me.”

Hours before President Zelinskyy spoke at the press conference, ABC News ran a story, “Ukrainians understood Biden probe was condition for Trump-Zelenskiy talks, says former Ukrainian adviser.”  ABC described their source, Serhiy Leshchenko, as an “adviser to the Ukrainian President.”  Except that . . .

Oh my.  This is going nowhere.

The MSM’s Christopher Steele Gambit

For their final attempt at breathing life into this farce, the MSM is taking a page from the FBI and their treatment of Christopher Steele.  The FBI, in their four applications for a FISA warrant, tried to redeem the fact that all the information in their applications was hearsay by telling the Court that Christopher Steele, the source providing the hearsay, was trustworthy and knowledgeable.  Now it is the MSM’s turn to try and pull that same trick as pertains to the anonymous whistle blower.

This from the NYT today:

The whistle-blower who revealed that President Trump sought foreign help for his re-election and that the White House sought to cover it up is a C.I.A. officer who was detailed to work at the White House at one point, according to three people familiar with his identity.

The man has since returned to the C.I.A., the people said. Little else is known about him. His complaint made public Thursday suggested he was an analyst by training and made clear he was steeped in details of American foreign policy toward Europe, demonstrating a sophisticated understanding of Ukrainian politics and at least some knowledge of the law.

The whistle-blower’s expertise will likely add to lawmakers’ confidence about the merits of his complaint, and tamp down allegations that he might have misunderstood what he learned about Mr. Trump. He did not listen directly to a July call between Mr. Trump and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine that is at the center of the political firestorm over the president’s mixing of diplomacy with personal political gain.

No need to worry about reliable facts or the actual law. Trust the Deep State and they will take care of it all.

Getting Dirt or Investigate Corruption?

We can thank Adam Schiff for one thing today, and that is making it crystal clear that he wants America to believe that what Trump was doing in the June 25 phone call was nothing more than to “make up dirt on my political opponent, understand? Lots of dirt, on this and on that.”

Except that is not what Trump asked Zelinskyy to do.  The first thing Trump asks of Zelinskyy is to provide the information he has on 2016 election interference coming out of the Ukraine and help in locating the DNC server.  None of that is aimed at the 2020 candidates, though progressives want to try and bootstrap that information into being viewed as illegitimate as well.  Indeed, Schiff, in his statement, implies that all the information Trump asked for will be false and made up by the Ukraine.

Trump did raise Joe Biden’s outrageous abuse of power to shut down an investigation aimed at Hunter Biden.  Here is precisely what Trump said:

Good because I heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that’s really unfair.  A lot of people are talking about that, the way they shut your very good prosecutor down and you had some very bad people involved. . . .  The other thing, there’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it … It sounds horrible to me.

Taking Trump’s words at face value, he asks for nothing other then to look into an incident that supposedly occurred, not to create dirt out of whole cloth.  So is Joe Biden, who indeed has been quite open about extorting the Ukraine with American aid money, now immune from any investigation because it might in fact show him in a bad, possibly criminal, light as he is running for the highest office in the land?  Is he above the law?

Part of the answer to that question rests on whether there indeed was an ongoing Ukrainian investigation that reached to Hunter Biden on the day when Joe extorted the then Ukrainian President to fire the Ukrainian prosecutor.

As Breitbart reported, despite many MSM claims to the contrary, such an investigation was ongoing:

In March 2016, Joe Biden threatened to withhold IMF funding from Ukraine if officials did not fire Viktor Shokin, who was then serving as Ukraine’s Prosecutor General. At the time, Shokin’s office was overseeing an investigation into Burisma and its owner, Mykola Zlochevsky. According to Bloomberg’s source, Shokin’s investigation had been “shelved” in 2015, well before Biden’s intervention, and “[t]here was no pressure from anyone from the U.S. to close cases against Zlochevsky.” Various outlets seized on the report to dismiss coverage of the Biden scandal:

  • PolitiFact“It’s not even clear that the company was actively under investigation”
  • Axios: “Ukrainian official knocks down Biden conflict scandal”
  • New York Magazine: “The investigation into Burisma was dead long before Biden started his campaign to oust Shokin”

Do read the whole article.  It goes on to explain that the information was incorrect.  That said, probably the definitive answer to the Hunter Biden question comes from investigative reporter John Solomon.  His answer, based on hundred of documents and interviews, is yes, the investigation was quite active when Biden shut it down. (H/T Ace)

So the real question at issue is whether Joe Biden above the law. Because, as Andrew McCarthy points out today at NRO, to claim he should not be investigated seems the mother of all double standards.

What Laws Did Trump Violate In His Phone Call With President Zelinskyy?

By Joe Biden’s own admission, he extorted the Ukraine with American tax dollars.  What he demanded and received benefited his son and prevented the Obama-Biden administration from being embarrassed.  That certainly seems an act of corruption.  If so, can asking a foreign power to continue what had been a valid investigation of corruption on its own soil constitute an impeachable offense?

In the IC IG letter linked at the top of this post (and, in an act of pure incompetence, composed by the IG IC without ever seeing or even asking to see the memorialization of the July 25 phone conversation), the IG IC laid out the supposed offenses that the President is alleged to have violated with his conduct:

Here, the Complainant’s Letter alleged, among  other things, that the President of the United States, in a telephone call with Ukrainian President Volodyrnyr Zelenskyy on July 25, 2019, “sought to pressure the Ukrainian leader to take actions to help the President’s 2020 reelection bid.” U.S. laws and regulations prohibit a foreign national, directly or indirectly, from making a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value, or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State, or local election.  Similarly, U.S. laws and regulations prohibit a person from soliciting, accepting, or receiving such a contribution or donation from a foreign. national, directly or indirectly, in connection with a Federal, State, or local election. Further, in the ICIG’s judgment, alleged conduct by a senior U.S. public official to seek foreign assistance to interfere in or influence a Federal election would constitute a “serious or flagrant problem [or] abuse” under 50 U.S.C. § 3033 (k)(5)(G)(i), which would also potentially expose such a U.S. public official (or others acting in concert with the U.S. public official) to serious national security and counterintelligence risks with respect to foreign intelligence services aware of such alleged conduct.

I am having real trouble identifying how Trump could have violated any of those statutes based on the facts as we know them now.  I will admit that I am not an expert in this area of the law and, if anyone can correct me, feel free.  This is not a case of soliciting donations or offering bribes.  This is not a case, unlike 2016, where there were alleged underlying crimes in which Trump was alleged to have conspired.

Information itself may be of value, but I do not know of any court case where obtaining foreign information was deemed a violation of the law.  If that’s the case, lock up the DNC and Hillary for life after what they did in 2016, paying a Brit to get information from Russia and publish it a month before the election.

As Kevin Williamson points out, the threat to impeach Trump began in December, 2016, even before he came to office.  His real impeachable offense, in the eyes of the left, was winning the election.

To conclude with Victor Davis Hanson:

. . .  Any president has a perfect right to tell a foreign head of state and recipient of major U.S. aid that his corruption-plagued country has played a destabilizing but still murky role in recent American elections and in scandals that have affected the American people, and in particular the current president of the United States — and that it would be a good thing to get to the bottom of it.

Americans, left and right, would like to know the exact nature of Ukrainian-Russian interference and the degree, if any, to which CrowdStrike played a role in the Clinton-email imbroglio and why CrowdStrike (which analyzed the server that the DNC refused to turn over to the FBI) was apparently exempt from FBI investigation.

That Biden is now a Democratic front-runner does not provide immunity or excuse the fact that he was vice president of the United States tasked with Ukrainian affairs when his problem-plagued son, without any energy or foreign-policy experience, made a great deal of money for apparently nothing more than lending his Biden name to benefit a corrupt Ukrainian-Russian-related company. Nor should we overlook that Joe Biden threatened to cut off U.S. aid — $1 billion — to Ukraine if it did not within six hours fire the too-curious prosecutor who was looking into the mess. And that prosecutor was fired. And that $1 billion in aid was not cut off. And Hunter Biden was no longer a target of any investigation. And he made a great deal of money. . . .

I agree with Hanson’s ultimate conclusion, that this will destroy Biden’s candidacy.  And . . . it will do nothing more than strengthen Trump in the eyes of voters.

 

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