Ukraine

We Have Now Entered the Twilight Zone

Where are the Republicans - the honest and patriotic ones - who will help lead us out of this calamitous mess?

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

[UPDATED 9-25 AT END]

American democracy, and the constitutional system that supports it, appear to be entering an especially dark and dangerous period.

Here's what we know about Ukraine-gate:** a complaint was filed under the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Act (50 USC 3033) regarding a matter of "urgent concern"—defined in the statute as a "serious or flagrant problem, abuse, violation of law or Executive order, or deficiency relating to the funding, administration, or operation of an intelligence activity within the responsibility and authority of the Director of National Intelligence involving classified information."

**As is often the case, Lawfare has an outstanding analysis (by Robert Litt) of the legal background of this matter. Highly recommended.

The complaint was sent (as required by statute) to the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG)—a presidential appointee, by the way.  The statute provides that the ICIG "shall determine whether the complaint or information appears credible," after which he/she "shall transmit to the Director of National Intelligence a notice of that determination, together with the complaint …"

The ICIG apparently found that the complaint did, indeed, "appear[ ] credible," and he sent it to the DNI.

The statute says what happens next:

Upon receipt of a transmittal from the Inspector General … the Director shall, within 7 calendar days of such receipt, forward such transmittal to the congressional intelligence committees, together with any comments the Director considers appropriate.  Sec 3033(k)(5)(C) (emphasis added).

This, as everyone knows, has not happened; perhaps we will hear more about the reasons for the Administration's decision not to follow the statutory command when Acting DNI Joseph McGuire appears before Congress on Thursday.

It means that neither the public nor Congress knows what's in the complaint, and if I were more confident that we (or at least our elected representatives) would find out soon enough, I'd shut up and wait to see what our president did or did not say.

But I am not confident about that, and the basic contours of what we do know (based both on reporting in the Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post, and on the President's own acknowledgment and defenses that he is already putting forward***) are chilling enough.  Apparently, in late July—at a time when his Administration was withholding (at Trump's explicit direction) almost $400 million in already-appropriated funds targeted for the Ukrainian military—Trump initiated a call to the Ukrainian president, during which he suggested/encouraged, repeatedly, that the Ukrainians coordinate with his personal lawyer (and chief consigliere) and open an investigation into supposed improprieties committed by Joe Biden (on behalf of his son Hunter) when Biden was vice-president.

***See his comments to reporters yesterday:) "The conversation I had [with President Zelensky] was largely congratulatory, with largely corruption, all of the corruption taking place and largely the fact that we don't want our people like Vice President Biden and his son creating to the corruption already in the Ukraine …" And today, he hammered again on the anti-corruption theme: "If you don't talk about corruption, why would you give money to a country that you think is corrupt?"

This is an almost unimaginable breach of his duties as president: trading our taxpayer dollars for political dirt on his opponents, and conditioning critical US foreign policy decisions on a foreign government's help in his campaign for re-election. This is not just a presidential candidate publicly asking for help from a foreign government ("Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing"), as terrible as that was. This is the President of the United States using the power that We, the People have placed in his hands for his personal benefit.

The "anti-corruption" defense is truly laughable, and anyone who thinks that Trump's true concern here is with rooting out corruption in Ukraine is being taken for a ride; he cares as much about corruption in Ukraine as he does about corruption in Russia, in Saudi Arabia, in the Philippines, or in North Korea, viz. not a whit.

I doubt that the conversation contained an explicit quid pro quo; even Trump would not say "Investigate Biden and I'll release the money" any more than John Gotti would say "Kill that S.O.B. and I will promote you through the ranks."  But I can already hear the Trump faithful: "See?!  No collusion!! Just good old corruption-fighting!" And I have faith—or at least hope—that the American people will treat that story with the contempt it deserves.

Presidents cannot act this way. Five or ten years ago, that would have been stating the obvious; are we really debating it now? The US government is not the Trump Organization, and the executive branch is not the Mafia. If our governing principle is "the President can do whatever he damn well wants to," we are in a very, very perilous state indeed.

Where are the Republicans who will stand up to him on this? Trump famously—and grotesquely—boasted during the campaign that he could gun someone down on Fifth Avenue in broad daylight and not lose any voters; I did not think that he was including members of the House and Senate in this appraisal. The Republicans hold the key here if we are to avoid turning a genuine national crisis into a partisan shitshow.  I have to believe that there are still some Republican office-holders who will finally say: This is over the line. And I have to believe that there are some Republican senators who will, should it come to an impeachment trial, actually listen to the evidence and cast their vote accordingly.

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

[UPDATE 9/25]

To my critics:

Having now read through most of the comments to the original post, here's my take-away.  Many critics of what I wrote take some variant of the following position, taken verbatim from one of many comments to this effect:

"I am not too interested in outrage from anyone who was NOT outraged when Joe Biden withheld the loan guarantees to Ukraine until they fired the prosecutor who was investigating Biden's son. Apparently, to Post, it was ok for Biden to actually blackmail Ukraine as VP, but outrageous for Trump to push to reverse it…."

This is kind of what I meant by suggesting that we have entered the Twilight Zone of political discourse.

1. If Joe Biden, while VP, "withheld Ukrainian loan guarantees until they fired the prosecutor who was investigating Biden's son" in order to protect his son and derail an investigation into his son's activities, (a) he damn well should have been impeached, (b) he should certainly not be the Democratic nominee in 2020, and (c) if he is the nominee, I won't vote for him.

2. There is, however, not a single shred of credible evidence yet produced that he did so. At the same time, there are lots of contrary indications suggesting that the pressure he (and others in the US government and the EU) was applying to force the removal of the prosecutor in question (Victor Shokin) had nothing to do with his son.

(a) At the time that this pressure was being applied, Biden couldn't have been pressuring Ukraine to "remove the prosecutor who was investigating Biden's son" because Shokin had already cancelled the investigation into the company with which Hunter Biden was involved (Burisma).  If Joe Biden was trying to protect his son, why would he want the Ukrainians to remove that prosecutor?  Conditioning US loan guarantees on removal of the prosecutor who had cancelled the Burisma investigation, and demanding that the Ukrainians appoint someone who would be more aggressive in pursuing corruption cases, would presumably put Hunter Biden back in harm's way; why would Biden have done that? It makes absolutely no sense—and, absent any evidence to the contrary, my general assumption is that people act rationally.

(b) Pressuring the Ukrainians to remove Shokin was part of a policy that had been duly formulated and articulated by the US government, at a time, now past, when there was an actual process for formulating and articulating US foreign policy goals.  It was also a key component to a multi-lateral effort involving the EU and several other countries, at a time, now past, when the US acted in concert with its allies.  So Biden persuaded everyone in that immense loop to remove Shokin to protect his son?  People actually believe that?

3.  There is of course nothing wrong with the US placing conditions on the receipt of US aid; it's an accepted and perfectly appropriate part of the diplomatic arsenal. There is nothing wrong with demanding that a foreign government take actions that we believe advance US interests—that it open up its airspace to US planes, say, or sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, or improve press freedoms, or treat religious minorities more humanely, or …—before we will provide aid. Demanding that a foreign government take actions that advance a US official's personal interests—electoral, financial, or familial, and through your personal lawyer no less!—is a gross abuse of power and an impeachable offense.  If anyone has an argument to counter that most obvious of statements, I've yet to hear it.

4.  Up until I was about 10 years old, I would meet every charge of wrongdoing with "But he did it first!" I stopped doing that, because it is childish, and because it is irrelevant to the question of whether I committed a wrong.  I do so wish that Trump supporters would do the same.

5.  The last I looked, Trump is in charge of something called the "Department of Justice," which has, the last I looked, extensive investigative capabilities.  If Trump believes that Biden's conduct warrants an investigation, I believe that he has Bill Barr's number.  It is beyond peculiar, to me, that Trump's supporters continue to complain so bitterly about the need to investigate and expose all of the terrible, terrible things that Hillary and Bill and Biden and Obama and McCabe and Comey and … did—criminal activity of the most egregious kind—when Trump has the vast investigative apparatus of the US more or less at his disposal.

6. Finally, some people appear to believe that the release of the transcript proves the propriety of Trump's behavior.  I think just the opposite.  Does anyone seriously believe, for even a moment, that Trump would have pressed for an investigation of the Bidens were Joe Biden not a possible opponent in 2020? Is anybody that naive, or that gullible, as to think this has anything to do more generally with rooting out corruption in the Ukraine, and isn't just a political hit job?  Anyone?  But some of you seem to think that's ok—nothing wrong with a president asking a foreign government to pursue an investigation into a political rival.  It is baffling, and mind-blowing, to me that this seems to be the case.

And if he wants an investigation, why isn't he pressing for an investigation here in the US, by his Justice Department?  [Here's a hint: it's because the story of Joe Biden's wrongdoing is almost certainly a hoax and total bullshit, and the Justice Dep't would confirm that.]

Here's a little thought experiment:

Suppose we found out that President Obama had called up the President of Turkey, a year before the 2012 election, and said "You need to be investigating corruption more vigorously. There's a lot of talk about Mitt Romney's work in Turkey while he was at Bain, and while he was governor of Massachusetts, terrible stuff, and a lot of people want to find out about that. You should coordinate with my personal lawyer to get to the bottom of that, OK?"

Can you imagine what people would have said?? He would've been out on his ear—and rightfully so.

[END UPDATE]

 

NEXT: #ShutUp #RightNow: Speech Restriction Quickly Imposed on Woman Who Accused Ex-Boyfriend of Being a Stalker

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  1. Worst post ever.

    1. It jumps right into the middle of something with no background, no lead-in, flails around for a couple of paragraphs with variations on “corrupt”, throws in some asterisks, and demands, DEMANDS, that Republicans impeach Trump.

      It’s like walking by a TV during 30 seconds from the middle of a 20 season soap opera.

      1. I have to agree. I didn’t know a lot about this issue before reading the article – and I’m pretty sure that I’ve been made even stupider by having read the article. This is not the quality of article normal to the VC.

        1. If there is something here, it is not served well by Orange Man Bad level hyperbole and hand-wringing.

      2. So, you haven’t seen any news for the past week and a half?

        1. Far more than you, pal.

          1. You forgot to sign back in to your alphabet-named account, chief.

        2. I did see a report on the news that the “whistleblower” complaint was based on hearsay.

          From CNN:

          “The whistleblower didn’t have direct knowledge of the communications, an official briefed on the matter told CNN. Instead, the whistleblower’s concerns came in part from learning information that was not obtained during the course of their work, and those details have played a role in the administration’s determination that the complaint didn’t fit the reporting requirements under the intelligence whistleblower law, the official said.”

        3. What is it that makes it impossible for you guys to explain what you’re talking about?

        4. Not that kind of crap. I don’t watch TV news. If this kind of shit can’t filter out to real news sources, then it’s junk.

    2. Hard to say that, compared to some Manta posts on how feminism is awesome or Somin post on radical open borders/orangemanbad, but it’s right up there all right.

    3. Yeah, and I am not too interested in outrage from anyone who was NOT outraged when Joe Biden withheld the loan guarantees to Ukraine until they fired to procecutor who was investigating Biden’s son.
      Apparently, to Post, it was ok for Biden to actually blackmail Ukraine as VP, but outragious for Trump to push to reverse it.

      1. The prosecutor was not investigating Biden’s son. Even the investigation of the company – Burisma – was not active.

        1. Mighty suspicious…. Biden’s son Hunter, with zero experience in the Industry suddenly gets a $600,000+ a year job? And then Joe pressures the Ukrainian government to fire the investigator who had the investigation over the company, by threatening to withdraw a billion dollars in loan guarantees….

          Oh, and Hunter ALSO is on the board of Bohai Harvest RST, a Chinese company that builds an smartphone app to spy on its people. Hunter flies on Air Force 2 with his father in 2013 to Beijing. Then the Chinese Government invests a billion in Equity in Hunter’s company. Oooh boy.

          Betcha Joe’s would reverse those Chinese Tariffs real fast if elected. And then maybe Hunter will get another few billion in Chinese “investment”.

          1. Oh, it gets better. Hunter was selected as a direct commission in the US Naval Reserve in 2013…nice, because there’s no boot camp, just 2 weeks of class. Of course to get in, he needed a waiver because of the age cut off. Then a second waiver because of his past drug use.

            I’m sure there was no influence used there. Just his innate qualifications. Then he managed to get discharged a month after commission for cocaine use.

            1. It’s like you’ve never heard of rich people before.

              1. Why is Hunter rich though? Joe wasn’t particularly rich…in fact he was historically one of the poorest members of the Senate. Until…

                Ohh….

                1. Children of rich people? Also rich people.

                  1. Joe Biden wasn’t rich. Until…well, I suppose being Vice President pays well. Especially when you get the Chinese to pay your family too.

                    1. You want to expand the inquiry into how Biden got rich now.

                      But you’re right – the failsons of the merely famous or politically connected also get all sorts of stuff they don’t earn, not just the rich. Same general club, though.

                      That you think this is remarkable or new or that it implies anything actually illegal is pretty amazing.

                      This is why when people argue that affirmative action distorts the otherwise level playing field, I’m not impressed.

                    2. Money’s a big deal. I mean, Hunter Biden flies out to China on Air Force Two with his father. (Why is he on that jet? What role is he playing?). A week or two later, the Chinese government “invests” a billion dollars in Hunter’s company.

                      Isn’t there a clause…emoluments…something like that… Something about why it’s bad to use the US government and your position within it to get foreign governments to give you and your family billions…

    4. https://twitter.com/ClimateAudit/statuses/1176511442364850176

      Very good background on the corruption of Joe Biden and Huter Biden with respect to Ukrane.

    5. Wow. You really know how to hurt a guy. I particularly admire the way you analyze the arguments I put forward and debunk them so thoughtfully – really incisive stuff.

      1. David,

        Regarding point 2 (not a single shred of evidence), how do you respond to the direct interview where Shokin, where Shokin says he was going to bring in Hunter Biden Jr for interrogation regarding the Burisma affair, but was fired before he could do so, due to the pressure that Joe Biden brought.

        1. Timeline is still against you. How do you suppose Biden figured out what the prosecutor was gonna do but hadn’t yet done?

          The prosecutor fired for being too soft on corruption was totally about to move quickly. Why believe the consensus in the international community that he was useless when you can just believe him?

          You’re grasping at straws. Frantically.

          1. Well, see, if the investigator says one thing about what he was going to do, there would be notes, records, etc, about these plans.
            Things an investigation should would find. Quite quickly. And then we would know.

            Shouldn’t we know? Shouldn’t we have an investigation to find out?

      2. I’m sure you’ll love my analysis three or four comments below then.

    6. Right? What’s missing here? The writer asks “does anyone truly believe…?” but does HE truly believe that Hunter Biden- who has ZERO EXPERIENCE in the Natural Gas/Energy sector- would deserve on merit or expertise $50k/mo for ‘consulting’ work WITHOUT some form of a ‘pay to play’ scheme with Ol’ Joe? Or Hunter’s tiny firm receiving over $1billion in investments from the Chinese shortly after the trip he took with Daddy Joe there? A few questions for the incurious writer. HOW SOON did the prosecutor drop the investigation into Burisma before he was fired after a 6-hour Biden ultimatum? Biden said he had been to Kiev a dozen times prior to that. Is it a leap to assume that the prosecutor was told to cancel it, and did so in an attempt to keep his job? And that Biden felt the only way to put the nail in the coffin was to assure his termination, and install a sympathetic stooge? Why would Biden risk going through it all over again with a new prosecutor you ask? Did you miss the part when Biden said the replacement was “solid”? What do you think he meant by “solid?” And when Obama made Manafort a target in 2016, was that NOT political? Spare me. And what about CrowdStrike? No mention here. Last I checked CrowdStrike isn’t a Democrat candidate. CrowdStrike, you remember, who ‘independently verified’ that Russia hacked the DNC servers(NOT THE FBI) which was used as evidence to launch the entire Russian meddling nonsense. CrowdStrike, which was formed by Mueller’s former assistant with Ukrainian ties. CrowdStrike, who drew the bullshit conclusion that Assange was a Russian asset? Ukraine, which has all of the motivation in the world to vilify Russia and Putin. The writer chastises his reader for being presumptuous then is himself presumptuous ‘reading between the lines’ of Trump’s words and likening him to John Gotti. If anything sounds ‘gangster’ it’s Biden bragging in front of the CFR, using terms like “our guys” and a replacement prosecutor who is “solid.” Lastly, it’s astonishing a writer for Reason would EVER lead a story with “Our American DEMOCRACY.” Orange Man Bad is alive and well at Reason. I now remember why I haven’t visited this site in some time, which is a shame since I used to be a daily reader. I hope the “leftists, please like us!” cry is working for you all and that you’re being accepted with open arms in Manhattan social circles. Get back to your Grey Goose martini before it gets warm.

    1. I guess what bothers me, such as it does, is why the apoplexy about Trump when this stuff has been going on for decades by both parties?

      1. They can’t get their puny brains around the idea that Clinton was just a lousy candidate.

        So, from the day after election to now, they want to effect a coup and reverse the results by any means necessary.

        1. Well, to be fair, it’s more than that. I think rational folks can understand that for the average GOP voter Trump was the lesser of two evils compared to Hillary. I’d have voted for Democrat Jim Webb over Trump, he’d have won in a landslide, but had to drop out.

          What people like David Post don’t understand, is how Trump and not a “principled globalist” *ahem*, I mean “conservative”, won the party nomination in the first place.

          1. Sure, Post does not understand populism but I was discussing the broader effect of the election on many people.

            The “faithless elector” push started in November 2016 and there was a huge anti-Trump {“Pussyhat”} march the week after he was sworn in, before he knew where the toilets were.

            Its been hair on fire opposition since 11/9/2016 at 2:30 am.

        2. Yes, it can’t be that people are actually outraged by the stuff Trump is doing! He’s a very normal President doing normal things normally, and if you disagree it’s only because you’re lying to yourself!

          1. C’mon. Take a deep breath. Trump, unfortunately, hasn’t crossed a boundary any president before him hasn’t. The most you can say, is that he is doing a lot of things that upset the left simultaneously and continuously pushing his agenda, making him not seem like a “normal” Republican.

            I would love a world where it didn’t matter to much which party won the presidency, but that’s not the one we live in.

            1. Go with the argument that Trump’s been being normal, see how that plays.

              It’s not the partisan things I’m concerned about, it’s the corrupt and lawless methods – emoluments, emergency powers abuse, taking every Congressional inquiry to court, and then this combination defying statute-cum-foreign bribery with taxpayer money attempt.

              I’m also concerned about his foreign policy which looks a great deal like browbeating and alienating our allies and flattering/appeasing up to every dictator out there. Not a recipe for global stability.

              Not that I don’t have issues both moral and practical with his domestic policy, but that’s more partisan than the above, issues, which I’m confident I’d have regardless of Trump’s party.

              1. I just finished saying Trump is not a normal Republican, and you accuse me of saying Trump is normal. He’s not, because he fights. And that is why he has an approval rating higher than Obama’s, and why he has simultaneously such a high disapproval rating.

                1. You don’t get to be President without being a fighter.

                  As to normal – “Trump, unfortunately, hasn’t crossed a boundary any president before him hasn’t” is exactly that argument. As I said, good luck with it.

                2. mad_kalak,

                  You didn’t say he “is not a normal Republican.” You said something quite different. You said “…making him not seem like a ‘normal’ Republican.”

                  But, in addition to that sleight of hand, you are just trolling. The only abnormality you see is Trump “fighting.” Then you pivot to more lies that Trump has a higher approval rating than Obama’s. Trump’s approval rating is that same as Obama’s at the same point in his presidency as of the most recent Gallup poll. It is not better. By day, it has been better than Obama’s about five times out of over 100 Gallup polls. Moreover, Obama’s most recent approval as president was at 59% compared to Trump’s current 43%. Your comment is factually challenged.

                  But the real point, is Trump does many abnormal things. He publicly sides with Putin over U.S. intelligence agencies, he asks Ukraine to investigate his political opponents under apparent threat of withholding Congressionally authorized aide, he pardons friendly political celebrities in the middle of his term for the theater of it, he publicly weighs in on the criminal proceedings involving his former campaign manager including saying his own Justice Department’s prosecution of Manafort is unfair, he calls the Department of Justice the Deparment of “Justice”, he requested that the FBI investigate and DOJ prosecute his political opponent, he dangles pardons to people in an effort to prevent them from cooperating in investigations that might involve his own criminal conduct. And that’s just a quick list off the top of my head of abnormal and corrosive things he has done.

                  1. NOVA,

                    That’s right, he’s not a normal republican because he’s not capitulating like they usually do in the face of leftist and media pressure, thus he doesn’t seem like a normal republican. Slight of hand, no. Trolling? Just a little, I admit.

                    As for approval ratings, face it, he had higher ratings by a hair, this from just the 19th of Sept: “Trump’s approval rating on Wednesday was 44.3 percent, according to a Real Clear Politics average of more than a half-dozen major polls, as reported by Newsweek. That is higher than Obama’s average approval rating of 43.9 percent on September 18, 2011, by the same measure.”

                    You must ask yourself why that approval rating. My theory is that it is 1) because he’s abnormal as you say (because he fights) and 2) because your laundry list is, how shall I put it, highly partisan in its assumptions and conclusions.

                    1. I don’t have to ask why that approval rating. He provides sufficient red meat to feed the Republican base. The country is highly partisan. Probably 80% of the country would maintain their current allegiances no matter what corruption or incompetence their side commits. Trump has remained remarkably consistent in a narrow range between 46% and 35%. At his worst, he is trimmed to only true believers, at his best he is able to win over most of the lean Republican voters. Why? Because most people are on a “team” and most people are concerned more with abortion, LGBT issues, immigration, and/or taxes than the healthy functioning of our Constitutional system of government.

                      Your spin of a peak of 46% approval rating says about all the needs to be said about the quality or your analysis. That is atrocious by any historical standard. Why do you think it is so low? And during one of the best economies in recent memory.

                      In comparison, Obama started at 68%, went as low as 38%, bounced up as high as 54% in the middle of his two terms, and ended at 59%. In other words, Obama was able to win over more than only his committed base at various times throughout his presidency. At other times, he was nipped to mostly just his base largely due to economic concerns.

                      You raised the comparison. Given the numbers, I think your assertion that Trump’s only real downside is that he fights too hard and tweets too indiscriminately is the one that requires explaining. Obama had very similar numbers at some points with a much worse economy and much better numbers at other points, particularly towards the end of his presidency when the economy was doing much better. Why did Obama generally poll so much better than Trump does?

                    2. “You must ask yourself why that approval rating.”

                      He drives everyone who wants their government to work (a grouping that concedingly includes more from the left than the right) nuts.

                      His fans don’t care that he isn’t actually accomplishing anything. Their sole grading criteria for whether he’s doing a good job is how disturbed the left and the media are. They are very disturbed, therefore, they approve of his performance.

                3. “And that is why he has an approval rating higher than Obama’s…”

                  For the entirety of his presidency, his approval rating has been lower than former President Obama’s, until like a week ago. (His net approval rating is still lower than the former President’s.) The only presidents he’s had significant times with higher approval ratings are Carter and Reagan.

                  President Obama bottomed out at 40% at around day 1765. To put that in contrast, the President’s highest rating has been around 47%, and he’s dipped below 37%, staying below 40% for like 4-5 months.

              2. “It’s not the partisan things I’m concerned about, it’s the corrupt and lawless methods”

                It seems to me that Trump has been one of the least corrupt and most lawful of recent Presidents. Lawful, not because he seems to cherish the rule of law, but because he has faced fiercer opposition from the political establishment and closer scrutiny, to put it charitably, from courts.

                1. Lawful, not because he seems to cherish the rule of law

                  You’re a lawyer? Who took legal ethics?!

                2. “It seems to me that Trump has been one of the least corrupt and most lawful of recent Presidents. ”

                  It seems to me that you are either extremely deluded or extremely ill-informed. Either way, it seems unlikely to change, because whichever it is, you prefer it that way.

              3. “Go with the argument that Trump’s been being normal, see how that plays.”

                You’re trying to reason with people who believe ‘Democrats are the real racists,’ ‘The Mueller Report totally exonerated Trump,’ ‘evolution is a hoax masterminded by Satan,’ and ‘Obama is a socialist Muslim communist born in Kenya’ are strong arguments.

                1. Really? People on this site believe “evolution is a hoax masterminded by Satan” and “Obama is a socialist Muslim communist born in Kenya”? I know such people but I don’t see that kind of stuff on this site. I suppose such people could describe your side as “people who believe ‘communism was a sweet ride’ and ‘sharia law advances feminism’ and ‘destabilizing Libya made the world a safer place’ are strong arguments.” Not sure this helps, though.

            2. “Trump, unfortunately, hasn’t crossed a boundary any president before him hasn’t.”

              Did you have to practice this in a mirror to say it with a straight face? Make the argument that he’s weird but not bad for the country. Make the argument that him tweeting like a fucking imbecile is no big deal. Don’t just lie, though. Hillary Clinton was a bad candidate. That has nothing to do with what the President has done since he was elected.

          2. “it can’t be that people are actually outraged by the stuff Trump is doing!”

            Cry wolf for 3 years, get no respect.

            “The “faithless elector” push started in November 2016 and there was a huge anti-Trump {“Pussyhat”} march the week after he was sworn in”

            Do you deny these occurred before he DID anything?

            1. Except that the wold has been here the whole three years. Your continued denial doesn’t make the other side suddenly in bad faith.

              1. They started out in bad faith. It taints every act now.

                1. Or perhaps the very abnormalities they were worried about have materialized.

                  You are fine with the President of the United States saying he believes Putin’s denials over all of the U.S. intelligence agencies’ agreement that Russia attempted to interfere in the U.S. election? Or is it okay to be upset about that? Or if, in November 2016, you were concerned Trump would do that sort of thing, you can’t be concerned now that he actually did it. “Not a puppet!”

                  1. Trump says mean things on twitter. That is about all the bad things he actually does.

                    yelling “Putin!!” is just a “stab in the back theory” to justify your poor 2018 candidate losing her entitled position.

                    1. You keep insisting you know the real motivations of your opponents, despite what they actually say. Textbook partisan wankery.

                      Nice subtle Nazi ref as well. But Dolchstoßlegende isn’t really comparable to disliking Trump’s corruption.

                    2. Bob,

                      I only asked you about one thing and you avoided it. Tells me all I need to know. I didn’t yell Putin. That is an actual thing that happened to involve Putin that was broadcast on live television. It is a good example because the facts are incontestable. Which is probably why you veer off into non sequiturs.

                    3. You keep insisting you know the real motivations of your opponents, despite what they actually say. Textbook partisan wankery.

                      Likewise Trump asking the government of the Ukraine must be electoral corruption and can’t possibly be :

                      (a) pursuing a legitimate US foreign policy interest in rooting out corruption by US officials
                      (b) pursuing a legitimate US foreign policy interest in negating or countering previous, or current, corrupt efforts by US officials to deter foreign governments from investigating corruption by US officials

                      Likewise again, Biden’s boasting that he got the previous government of the Ukraine to sack a prosecutor who was after his son, and the company on whose Board he sat, by threatening to withhold loan guarantees may be :

                      (a) corruption well worth investigating or
                      (b) a perfectly legitimate exercise of US foreign policy in trying to get a corrupt prosecutor fired for trying to shake down a perfectly innocent business.

                      Likewise, the details of a “whistleblower” complaint that, though they concern Top Secret foreign policy discussions, magically manage to leak to the media could be

                      (a) just a coincidence
                      (b) compeling evidence of a political propaganda campaign

                      We can all leap to conclusions that confirm our prejudices (though perhaps not with the vigor and alacrity of David Post – he says leaping to conclusions about David Post’s TDS.)

                      But perhaps we would be wiser not to.

                    4. Pursuing corruption by targeting one guy who thus far is accused only of riding his fathers coattails too hard.
                      That’s…quite a focused corruption probe.

                      As has been discussed on this thread many times the Biden boast doesn’t jiibe with the established timeline. Plus, of course, he was talking about sacking the guy for not being hard enough on the corporation.

                      At this point assuming bad faith in your comment would be a favor to you because otherwise you are super dumb.

                  2. “You are fine with the President of the United States saying he believes Putin’s denials over all of the U.S. intelligence agencies’ agreement that Russia attempted to interfere in the U.S. election? Or is it okay to be upset about that?”

                    It is okay to be upset about that. It’s also okay to not be upset about that.

                    If I recall correctly what Trump actually said was that Putin denied personal knowledge or involvement, and that Trump had no evidence or grounds for saying that he was lying. It’s important to keep in mind that we are talking about laughable Facebook posts trolling both sides in broken English, which posts it strains credulity to think could have change a single vote.

                    I would add that it’s especially OK to disbelieve and hold in contempt the Comey-McCabe-Strzok-Brennan-Clapper etc cabal of documented liars.

                    1. ” It’s important to keep in mind that we are talking about laughable Facebook posts trolling both sides in broken English, which posts it strains credulity to think could have change a single vote.”

                      Why would we be talking about that, whatever it is you’re referring to?

                2. Many of the people who are abhorred by the President’s behavior were not those you accuse of starting in bad faith. Do you think Orin Kerr started in bad faith? Bill Kristol?

                  1. FWIW, I think Bill Kristol (and Jennifer Rubin) dislike Trump for a reason that has little to do with the things we are discussing. They dislike Trump because he has not catered to their wing of the Republican Party on foreign policy the way previous Republicans did.

          3. They are so outraged they
            – can’t think it through
            – can’t articulate the issue
            – can’t actually state any facts
            – can’t explain why it’s different from their heroes who could do no wrong (and honestly who cares if they did anything wrong, right?)
            – and can’t understand why people who watched 2 years of Russiagate hyperventilation aren’t interested in another “drama”

            How many times are you guys going to get taken in by this news media propaganda? Every week it’s some new phony crisis and you guys lap it up, time after time, never learning any lessons, never gaining any perspective.

            Try not following the herd sometimes.

            1. When all you can do is take refuge in pop-psychology of the other side, things may not actually be going so great for you.

              1. That’s your input here? I’m embarrassed for you.

        3. Bob does not know much about our system of government. He thinks that it’s like a sporting match, where if the champion is disqualified the other finalist is named the champion. This is a failure of civics knowledge on Bob’s part.

          If and hopefully when Trump is impeached, this will not “reverse the results” of the election. It will make Mike Pence, not Hillary Clinton, the president.

      2. I’d say withholding foreign aid unless a country helps you out in your election is pretty new.
        And ODNI disobeying that shall language is also something you don’t see very often.

        The closes I can think of is Nixon and Vietnam.

        1. Are you joking? Witholding foreign aid is an old carrot and stick routine in foreign affairs. Usually it is the U.S. interfering in a foreign sovereign’s internal affairs to do something like pressuring them to pump more oil so gas prices stay low right before the election, or because they aren’t doing whatever for “human rights” or letting us use their airspace to bomb someone.

          1. The entire issue is that this isn’t foreign affairs – it’s about an electoral opponent.

            A clue is that Trump used his personal attorney, not a diplomat.

            1. To be fair, Tillerson and Pompeo fired all the diplomats, and the president has no use for diplomats, so Trump was kind of in a pinch here.

            2. Right, an electoral opponent whose son was engaged in corruption in the foreign nation in question and bragged on stage about strong-arming said nation by refusing to release a billion dollars unless said nation fired the prosecutor investigating his son.

              1. Begging the question, and also…conflating Biden and Trump, it looks like?

                1. We have Biden on video saying that shit, dumbfuck.

              2. Freezing the Ukranian accounts to oust that prosecutor wasn’t Biden’s idea. The timeline makes it clear the impetus came from the US ambassador to Ukraine. And the issue was that he was dragging his feet, not that he wasn’t prosecuting the corporation enough.

                Biden himself was not a target of the investigation anyway.

              3. Seriously, what is going on here? THE PROSECUTOR THE US WANTED FIRED WASN’T “INVESTIGATING BIDEN’S SON.” EVERYONE KEEPS REPEATING THAT, BUT IT IS NONSENSE. THE INVESTIGATION HAD ALREADY BEEN TERMINATED. AND THE US AND THE EU WERE PRESSURING THE UKRAINIANS TO APPOINT A PROSECUTOR WHO WOULD BE MORE AGGRESSIVE IN PURSUING CORRUPTION INVESTIGATIONS. Why, in this Twilight Zone, do people continue to say things like this?

                1. That’s not exactly what Shokin says. He says he was going to bring Hunter Biden in for an interrogation about his efforts with Burisma.

                  Of course, Shokin was fired before that could happen…

                  1. Shokin, who was fired for being too slow in fighting corruption, said a lot of stuff afterwards.
                    You take it as the unvarnished truth over all contradictions.

                    Shows you’re desperate.

            3. Sarcast0 is correct.

          2. Right, m_k, and the objectives for withholding aid has been to get the recipient to do something seen as beneficial to the US, not to gin up a phony investigation of a political opponent to help a reelection campaign.

            Burisma was investigated, and the investigation was dormant when Biden visited Ukraine. There was nothing to suppress. Nor was there any evidence of wrongdoing by Hunter Biden. Joe Biden, acting in concert with the EU and some international organizations, was trying to get the prosecutor who had dropped it, and generally ignored corruption, fired. There was strong opposition to Shokin across the board.

            Trump is blowing smoke on the whole thing to cover up his own crimes.

            1. Crime, it’s a crime now? That escalated quickly.

              Look, I don’t like it, but it’s nothing different than Obama sending in aid to Netanyahu’s electoral opponent or any other threat to withhold aid. Go ahead and say that this time it’s different because it’s Joe Biden’s kid who’s dad MAY be a presidential opponent in the general election, and see where it gets ya. Nowhere.

              Meanwhile, earlier this month in a meeting in Ukraine, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) likewise threatened them with loss of aid IF they did investigate.

              1. Yes. It’s a crime. Bribery, and with a typical Trump touch, using other people’s money.

                And Murphy didn’t do that, despite what the ridiculous John Solomon wrote.

              2. mad_kalak: Obama sent aid to Netanyahu’s opponent? Can you elaborate on that (with facts, please)?
                And surely you can see the difference between (a) making US aid to a foreign government contingent upon that government doing something that furthers the policy interests of the United States, and (b) making aid contingent upon digging up dirt on one of the current President’s electoral opponents.

                1. The fact that you don’t even fundamentally take issue with any and all foreign aid makes me question the voracity of your opinions.

        2. “And ODNI disobeying that shall language is also something you don’t see very often.”

          Yes, you are used to an anti Trump Deep State.

          1. Right, because in the pro-Trump deep state people ignore the law all the time. Great point, Bob. Just keep your hat on and no one will see it.

          2. The only difference between “Deep State” and “Obama birth certificate” is . . . there is no difference. Just deranged, bitter mumblings of the culture war’s disaffected, bigoted losers.

            1. Are you really a Rev. or is that a joke? If you are, I’m guessing Methodist. And that you’re taking these comments straight out of last Sunday’s sermon.

        3. When it turns out that didn’t happen, will you apologize? (No. You’ll move on to the next made-up thing.)

          1. I’ll be happy to – I’m certainly wrong at times, and while I try my best partisanship doesn’t help one’s BS detector much.

            Which part have you decided must be wrong, the ODNI bit or the Trump strongarming Ukraine bit?

            1. I don’t follow phony drama that closely. Which part is the part that supposedly matters for whatever reason? That will be the part that turns out not to have happened.

            2. I could be wrong, btw. It’s just a prediction based on the track record of the people involved.

              You guys keep getting lathered up over the random story of the week or month. It keeps turning out to be nothing. Or some minor thing that was cool when Obama did it but is end-of-the-world bad these days because the news media needs a fresh drama.

      3. Then you’re bothered by a lie.

      4. But “it” HASN’T been going on for decades. I’ve never heard of a US president encouraging/suggesting/ordering the president of a foreign country to open a criminal investigation into a named political opponent – have you?

        1. “Suggesting” is synonymous with “ordering.” Sounds REASONable, coming from a guy who states that it’s suddenly “dark times” for what he THINKS we live in (a “democracy.”)

      5. Presidents speaking candidly in private to foreign leaders is only BAD when Orange Man does it. Didn’t you know? Remember when Justin Amash was crying for Obama’s impeachment every time he’s overstepped his Executive authority, or the excessive “dark times” rhetoric Reason writers would use during his presidency? Or the ribbons of articles criticizing Kennedy for secretly striking a deal with Kruschev to remove military defenses from Turkey in return for concessions on Cuba? Nah, me neither.

    2. I just went right to the comments. The sub-title of the Post’s post is so hyperbolic that I figured I could simply assume the rest.

      1. I hear you. Could have sworn I already read it on MSNBC.COM already today. Deja vu.

  2. Relax David Post, Mitt Romney has spoken, he has said – “If the President asked or pressured Ukraine’s president to investigate his political rival, either directly or through his personal attorney, it would be troubling in the extreme.”

    So there, you have one lone brave Republican.

    1. And Bill Weld said it was “treason” for which the only penalty is death. Another principled Republican with Conspiracy-worthy legal analysis.

      1. Bill Weld’s the new Bob Barr. More evidence as to how fucking silly the LP has made itself. If they have someone strip on stage at next year’s convention can it at least be a hot chick and not some fucking fat bastard?

    2. Well, one Republican senator is better than zero, I guess. But the others? Do they not believe that “if the President asked or pressured Ukraine’s president to investigate his political rival, either directly or through his personal attorney, it would be troubling in the extreme.” Like I said, that statement seems to re-state the obvious – but only Romney’s had the balls to say it.

      1. Why do the Conspirators spend so much time making fun of Oklahoma legislators and state trial judges, but when establishment figures say something really stupid, the Conspirators say nothing?

      2. ‘Beliefs’ aren’t ‘facts.’

      3. Reason.com 2019: Going whichever way the wind blows=having balls. The post-2016 election editorials on this site are all starting to make sense now.

    3. Don’t forget Justin “I want to be the first Libertarian Party candidate with over 3%!” Amash. Oh yeah, he’s not a Republican anymore.

  3. “Presidents cannot act this way. Five or ten years ago, that would have been stating the obvious; are we really debating it now?”

    You might be a little out of touch with reality. Here’s Biden discussing stuff that was going on five years ago. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXA–dj2-CY

    1. Just a bit of context – it was a foreign natural gas company that brought a top US politician’s son (Hunter Biden) onto its board, even though he has no relevant expertise, for $50,000 a month. Then the Veep goes oversees and get an investigation into corruption shut down.

        1. I want a gig like that, even if I would have a hard time looking at myself in the mirror in the morning.

          1. For this gig, you’ll need to have an ace in the hole when a prosecutor wants to interview you specifically about the payments being made to you.

            1. How many rich failsons get cushy gigs? Dang near 100%.
              I’m not a fan, but it’s not bribery, it’s just the general failure of the meritocracy.

              Great argument for class-based affirmative action, actually.

              1. How many “rich failsons” have Dad that are a VP and the US spokesman on Ukraine?

                I get it, you are just being tribal. Respect.

              2. Give it a rest, Sarcastro: Bribery is exactly what it is. Powerful politicians know that directly accepting bribes can be dangerous, so they spread the wealth by having their immediate family get the bribes, instead. Cushy, overpaid jobs, like that gig Michelle got, $300k a year for a job so important that when she left to go to the White House, they abolished it. Or Chelsea Clinton getting paid a fortune to be on the BOD of IAC and Expedia.

                1. Good thing Trump has stamped that practice right out!

                  1. I wouldn’t say stamped out, but I see no sign of his personally engaging in it, mainly because, already being wealthy, why would he need to?

                    1. Wait, Ivanka, Jared, Don Jr., and Eric don’t exist in this timeline? I’ve got to keep my notes straight.

                    2. Yeah, why would an international property developer, particularly one who believes the whole world operates like a mob movie and who actually admitted to bribery of foreign officials during his campaign, “need” to bribe anyone anyway? ‘Tis a mystery!

                    3. I must have missed where Ivanka, Jarad, Don Jr. and Eric were being given no-show jobs by other people in order to funnel bribes to Trump’s family. You could maybe make an argument for nepotism, but not for that.

                2. Yes, you are describing the old boy’s club, updated now for daughters and wives too!

                  Been going on forever. It sucks, and it’s literally everyone, not just on the left. (Telling your examples only came from the left). Calling it bribery is quite woke of you, Brett, if I thought it was anything other than trying to gin up outrage against the other side. Dunno if that trick will work this time, especially with such weak fodder.

                  1. An old boy network (or club) is an informal association of former pupils of a school, or college, whereby childhood or young adult associations are used for mutual help, advancement or favoritism later in life. By extension you might extend it to other institutional relationships like veterans of a particular unit, former co-workers at an influential company, eg Goldman, or even former high ups at the head office of the DoJ.

                    So for example you could see Robert Mueller’s appointment as Special Counsel as an example of an old boy network in operation. He’s known to and trusted by the 2017 DoJ folk, from past association in the DoJ club. They did not offer the job for open competition.

                    Which demonstrates that old boy networks are not necessarily an example of corruption. Sometimes trust and previous association may be more important than an open meritocracy.

                    Though obviously sometimes they may be corrupt, as when perhaps you give a job to an old boy ahead of a better candidate, thereby robbing your employer of the best worker, where an encrustation of trust from previous association is not of the essence.

                    But one of the essential elements of an old boy network is the “old.” There has to be some past, usually childhood or young adult, institutional association. If the favors start flying without a past association then it’s not an old boy network. It’s a new sweeteners network.

                    Unless we’re missing something big, there’s no past, ancient, institutional association between Joe Biden and the Ukrainian government, or the Ukraine gas company, or the Chinese government. (And likewise for other sweet deals that politicians, politician’s wives or politicians children get from folk who want the politician to be nice to them.)

                    That’s just common or garden corruption. Whether its bribery, or a pay off, depends on the relative timing of douceur and political favor.

                    At present, it appears that no sane person would have handed Hunter Biden a dime for any actual useful work he could do, let alone well over a million dollars a year for doing squat. So it all appears to be douceurs to sweeten Joe.

                    But that does not prove that Biden’s threats aimed (successfully) at getting the prosecutor fired were corrupt. He may not have known anything about the douceurs his son was getting, and he may just have been on an international anti-corruption drive.

                    1. When defending your partisan spin has you defending old-boy networks, you should retire from the field until conditions for your side improve.

                    2. But one of the essential elements of an old boy network is the “old.”

                      LOL.

              3. It’s amazing, how there’s nothing a Democrat can do that offends Sarcastro.

                1. Plenty of stuff, but the stuff you guys bring is all too often paranoid fever-swamp speculative fanfiction.

                  I’m all for ending the old boy’s network for Presidential relatives. It’s offensive rich hand-washing and a bad look in the supposed meritocratic and anti-aristocratic land of the American dream. No need to decide it’s totally bribery now that I need a scapegoat.

                  1. Except that you call every Democrat malfeasance “paranoid fever-swamp speculative fanfiction”.

                    Just admit that you’re openly on Team Blue.

      1. To be clear, the investigation into Burisma predated Hunter Biden’s joining of their board, and the Ukrainian prosecutor was ousted in part because he failed to cooperate with the UK’s investigation into Burisma specifically, including after Hunter Biden joined the board.

        The theory that the US forced the Ukraine to drop an investigation into Burisma has a time machine problem. The US forced the Ukraine to oust a prosecutor who refused to further the investigation of corruption at, among other places, Burisma.

        1. Don’t confuse them with the facts.

      2. Please stop lying. No investigation was shut down.

    2. “Presidents cannot act this way,” unless it is the Obama administration authorizing the state security authorities to investigate the Trump campaign. We don’t know who authorized the investigation, but it was on Obama’s watch.

      1. You think this is like the Mueller investigation?!

        1. This is nothing like the Mueller investigation. This has an actual factual basis.

          1. Even assuming it does (it doesn’t), that doesn’t excuse Trump’s actions in using taxpayer monies to attempt to bribe a foreign official to look into it.

            On the other hand, a Trump appointee using his discretion to appoint a special prosecutor under the appropriate statue is not abuse of process, regardless of whether you think the investigation had substance (it did).

            1. Sarcastro, the initial abuse in this case was the pretexual spying on Trump as a candidate. Obviously that wasn’t done by a Trump appointee.

              1. You keep using that word “pretext” when you obviously have no idea what it means.

                1. I know exactly what it means, and yes, the investigation of the Trump campaign was pretextual; The feds made efforts to entrap various figures in the campaign, and ultimately relied on what they knew to be a political hit job to obtain the FISA warrant by committing a fraud on the court.

                  It was a political hit job in the heat of the campaign, using federal resources.

                2. He also doesn’t know what “Trump” means. He thinks it means “Carter Page.”

                  It’s really weird how the “spying” [sic] on Trump didn’t actually involve any “spying” on Trump, but only on other people peripheral to or no longer involved with Trump’s campaign.

              2. Not surprised you’re choosing to fight about the bona fides of the Mueller investigation rather than the current issue that’s brewing into an impeachment investigation.

                1. You’re the one who brought up the Mueller investigation here, to divert from the fact that, unless Hunter really got that job on his own merits, Trump isn’t doing anything but urging that a political coverup be ended.

                  1. Grand Moff Tarkin brought in Mueller, in an attempt to distract.

                    I pointed out that Mueller doesn’t matter. You brought it back to Mueller.

                    You’re wondering if company board members get their jobs on the merits?! I’ve got bad news for you about just about every board member of large corporations.

                    1. I did not “bring in Mueller.” I was comparing the way the media treated the Obama administration using the state’s security agencies to investigate a nominee from an opposing party with the way the media is treating the Trump administration asking a foreign head of state to check on possible corrupt activities by a possible nominee from an opposing party. Media bias and favoratism are relevent.

                    2. I was comparing the way the media treated the Obama administration using the state’s security agencies to investigate a nominee from an opposing party

                      Which didn’t happen.

                      the media is treating the Trump administration asking a foreign head of state to check on possible corrupt activities by a possible nominee from an opposing party. Media bias and favoratism are relevent.

                      Which is illegal. It’s soliciting foreign assistance in an election. Besides, the foreign government had an investigation of Burisma, which was dormant, and had no reason to investigate Biden.

                      And if either Bided was up to something nefarious under US law, why is it the business of Ukraine to investigate? This whole Biden business is utter BS, propagated by Trump and his lying pals to distract attention, or to give his cultists something to rave about.

              3. “the initial abuse in this case was the pretexual spying on Trump as a candidate.”

                They spied on the Trump campaign through the highly objectionable method of watching what the foreign intelligence agents were doing, and paying attention when they were calling and visiting Trump Tower along with all their other phone calls and visits. THOSE RAT BASTARDS!!!

  4. Yes – this one appears to be bad but Trump is in a Catch-22 positions

    Lots of corruption, lots of deep state issues, Hillary bribery with the clinton foundation, hillary emails, just to name a few

    Yet he cant investigate the prime suspects because they are also his political opponents. Investigations of political opponents is viewed as very suspect and 3rd world antics. (note to obama administration DOJ)

    1. Back in this world, he’s been leaning on the DOJ to investigate Hillary (again) forever, and Barr has said the investigation has been opened up.

    2. “lots of deep state issues”

      If there is a better signal of a birther and bigot, I haven’t seen it.

      1. Says the single-digit IQ Team Blue idiot troll.

    3. “Lots of corruption, lots of deep state issues, Hillary bribery with the clinton foundation, hillary emails, just to name a few
      Yet he cant investigate the prime suspects because they are also his political opponents.”

      Last time I looked, the herd of D Presidential candidates contained 0.0% Clintons, and the number of Hillarys running for office of any kind is also 0.

  5. The Reason These Fail….

    You take a grain of truth and try to conflate it into this big magical conspiracy balloon. In the process of doing this, you write your own ego into it. You don’t even realize you are doing it. So while you imagine yourself this puppetmaster of words that will sway the masses to your conviction, instead you sound like well, a bad preacher. And folks reading start feeling like, “Does this person honestly thing we are this stupid?”. Then they start resenting you a little like anybody does a bad magician. Especially people trying to do card tricks that suck at it. That’s the worse.

    That’s why these don’t work.

    1. There will be massive egg on peoples’ faces if the original complaint and the call transcripts are released and the president is (at least as viewed by average people) exonerated. Of course, the Trump opponents will never admit that they were wrong, but their credibility will be further eroded.

      1. “There will be massive egg on peoples’ faces if the original complaint and the call transcripts are released and the president is (at least as viewed by average people) exonerated.”

        Which is why the President yielded to his initial impulse, and released all the information he had to Congress and the press. “Nothing to hide here” he said. “Want my tax returns, too?”

  6. It’s totally normal for the Vice President’s son to earn over $216,000 per month, for being on the board + consulting, from a Ukrainian gas company, right after a US-backed regime change in the country and the VP being tapped as point man in the country. It’s totally normal for said gas company and the members of its board to be under investigation for corruption, and to then have the VP threaten to withhold $1 billion in loan guarantees unless the prosecutor heading such investigation is fired.

    All fine. But asking about this later on? Impeachable.

    1. “It’s totally normal for the Vice President’s son to earn over $216,000 per month, for being on the board +”

      Except for the fact that Hunter Biden had zero oil and gas expertise.
      So what was he being paid for ?

      1. I think he was being sarcastic.

        1. Hunter is undoubtedly an oil & gas genius, and he apparently oversaw the legal department with his deep knowledge and expertise in Ukrainian law.

          1. I am also an oil and gas genius. I love olive oil. And beans give me gas.

            Can I get a sinecure like Hunter Biden now?

        2. Correct – he was being sarcastic – my mistake for missing the obvious sarcasism

    2. For got to add that it appears that that the obama administration was active in terminating the corruption investigation. Just another piece of evidence of a scandal free administration.

      https://thehill.com/opinion/campaign/462658-lets-get-real-democrats-were-first-to-enlist-ukraine-in-us-elections.

    3. Pivoting to Biden won’t get you away from what Trump is doing.

      1. Is that what you think it is, pivoting to Biden?

        1. Yes, these comments are ignoring Trump’s transgressions by talking about Biden.

        2. That’s exactly what it is, and it’s evidence-free.

          1. When you purposefully cover your eyes, you won’t see the evidence. Doesn’t mean it’s not there.

            1. That is a comment which applies equally well to partisans of all flavors.

      2. “Pivoting to Biden won’t get you away from what Trump is doing.”

        Its a political game, will the harm to Biden be more or less than the harm to Trump? Maybe Biden even benefits because Dems rally around him and is that good or bad versus Trump.

        You can’t hunt Trump on Ukraine without involving Biden. This is not 1973 anymore, the GOP can get its message out now, even with all the anti Trump media.

        1. Yeah, you’re a political nihilist and so don’t care if it’s fallacious if it may fool some people.

          But even so, it’s telling that you can’t actually mount a substantive defense, and have to rely on tricks like this.

          1. “substantive defense”

            LOL. Its politics, no one needs substance. Were you born last night?

            Every time Ukraine comes up, Biden’s name will come up. I doubt that is good for him but as I say, maybe it is.

            1. The ends justify the means. Though even here, Biden’s son for Trump is a trade most Dems would be fine with making, methinks.

              1. Biden, not his son. Impeachment is a price worth it for Trump to takeout Biden as well.

                How do you get to 67 senators?

                1. Hell, they don’t even have a path to 50 senators.

                2. “How do you get to 67 senators?”

                  Not really a problem, as long as the D leadership isn’t inclined to bring articles of impeachment.

                  The question is, can they accumulate enough electoral votes to remove him, then they can try him in an ordinary federal court.

              2. Yes, you and Team Blue are all about the ends justifying the means.

                Thank you for the only honest statement you’ve made in this thread.

        2. Bob, it’s an old (true) adage: Nothing kills a bad product faster than good advertising.

      3. Biden was the direct cause of Trumps action

        1. That’s…not helping Trump’s actions stay legal, Joe.

          1. A) please explain what part was illegal
            B) Explain which is the bigger issue –
            1) Joe Bidens corruption in the Ukraine matter
            2) Hunter Biden’s Corruption in the Ukraine matter
            3) Obama’s corruption in the Ukraine Matter
            4) trumps asking for an investigation in the corruption of the Ukraine matter by 1) Joe biden, 2) Hunter Biden or 3) Obama

            1. Using taxpayer dollars to help your Presidential campaign is against campaign finance laws, at the very least.

              All the rest is stuff that’s unproven. And whatever Obama left-field BS you’ve got.

              Even assuming guilt, the methods are corrupt – the President can’t use foreign aid to strongarm other countries to target American citizens with criminal investigations.

              1. A few facts you omitted

                https://twitter.com/ClimateAudit/statuses/1176511442364850176

                https://thehill.com/opinion/campaign/462658-lets-get-real-democrats-were-first-to-enlist-ukraine-in-us-elections

                The Murphy anecdote is a powerful reminder that, since at least 2016, Democrats repeatedly have exerted pressure on Ukraine, a key U.S. ally for buffering Russia, to meddle in U.S. politics and elections.
                And that activity long preceded Giuliani’s discussions with Ukrainian officials and Trump’s phone call to Zelensky in July, seeking to have Ukraine formally investigate whether then-Vice President Joe Biden used a threat of canceling foreign aid to shut down an investigation into $3 million routed to the U.S. firm run by Biden’s son.
                As I have reported, the pressure began at least as early as January 2016, when the Obama White House unexpectedly invited Ukraine’s top prosecutors to Washington to discuss fighting corruption in the country.

              2. “Using taxpayer dollars to help your Presidential campaign is against campaign finance laws, at the very least.”

                Everything that a President does is, in a way, designed to help their campaign. New trade agreement? Building a wall? Going after corruption/swamp? One might suspect that making America great again is just a ploy to get elected. The nerve…

                1. Lord, that’s weak.

                  This is not policy, ML. It’s targeting an opponent.

                  1. Targeting an opponent. Sort of like when the Obama administration spied on the Trump campaign?

                    1. First, your continued whattaboutism is not doing any favors to how strong your case works.

                      Second, if you want to try and hang your hat on continued paranoia about the Mueller report being actually illegal somehow, you can try. But it hasn’t stuck yet outside of talk radio.

                    2. “Whataboutism” is the comeback for when someone calls out double-standards now.

                    3. Not quite, Ben. It’s the comeback for when your guy sits in a seat of power, and you try to get his abuses off the hook by attacking some schlub who already lost out and doesn’t matter anymore.

                      Also, “whataboutism,” grates. The “ism” implies ideology. What is objected to is not an ideology. It is a practice—a smarmy practice. The right term should be, “whataboutery.”

                    4. It “doesn’t matter anymore” because of double standards.

                    5. “It’s the comeback for when your guy sits in a seat of power, and you try to get his abuses off the hook by attacking some schlub who already lost out and doesn’t matter anymore.”

                      That is a valid point in principle Stephen. I don’t let Trump off the hook for supporting infringements of the 2nd amendment, for example. Or for failing to build a single new mile of non-replacement fencing.

                      “Whataboutery” may be distinguished perhaps from objecting to the application of a double standard. Especially when the double standard is being applied to the very same, or substantially related, matters involving the same parties.

                    6. Yelling about double standards when the issue is your guys transgressions is also avoiding the issue.

                    7. I’m against double standards.

                      I expect to learn “the issue” has zero substance and is a product of some deranged person’s fantasy.

                    8. You’re letting your partisanship author your expectations, then. A recipe for disappointment.

            2. A) Not my issue.
              B) I will answer.
              1) I am not aware of Joe Biden’s corruption in the Ukraine matter.
              2) I am not aware of Hunter Biden’s corruption in the Ukraine matter.
              3) I am not aware of former President Obama’s corruption in the Ukraine matter.
              4) This is the lie. The President did not ask for an investigation into corruption by Burisma. He asked for an investigation into the son of his political opponent. Shokin was the one who wasn’t investigating corruption. (By the way, the Burisma-Zlochevksy investigation has been reopened, sans the empty chair prosecutor.)

              1. ) I am not aware of Joe Biden’s corruption in the Ukraine matter.

                SEE no Evil

                2) I am not aware of Hunter Biden’s corruption in the Ukraine matter. SEE NO Evil
                3) I am not aware of former President Obama’s corruption in the Ukraine matter.

                See No evil

                1. Help me see the evil. What is it you are accusing these people of doing, evilly, illegally, or other?

                  Let me preempt a few things. If you want me to agree with you that the Vice President pressured the Ukrainians into ending an investigation into his son, I have not seen any facts to support it, and I’ve read The Hill article cited above. If you’re asking me to agree with you that it is evil or illegal for Hunter Biden to take a job and receive money that you think he’s under qualified for, I don’t agree with you. I don’t even know what your allegation is against President Obama re: Ukraine. To persuade me, focus on pointing me to evidence (with links) so I can reach where you are at re: the evidence.

              2. So you’ve seen the transcript then? Somehow I doubt it, which means you’re a delusional moron at best.

                1. Transcript could be ambiguous. It’s the complaint that I wanna see.

                  1. Goalposts moved.

                    Forget the actual facts, let’s hear the accusations!

                    1. Funny, they weren’t my goal posts. Don’t seem to be the Dems goal posts either.

                      Trump is the one who is into the transcript. Sorry, no one is falling for that.

                2. I’ve seen the memorandum of the transcript. It confirms what I said.

      4. “Pivoting to Biden won’t get you away from what Trump is doing.”

        Did you read the last part? As I said, asking questions about any of this = impeachment.

        1. Yeah, you weren’t ranting about Biden at all. You were totally right on target talking about what Trump did.

    4. earn over $216,000 per month,

      If you’re going to make up numbers, why not say a zillion dollars?

      aid gas company and the members of its board to be under investigation for corruption,

      Biden was never under investigation for corruption.

      and to then have the VP threaten to withhold $1 billion in loan guarantees unless the prosecutor heading such investigation is fired.

      The prosecutor wasn’t heading an investigation. That’s why the U.S. — and the EU, and the IMF, and anticorruption activists in the Ukraine — all wanted him fired.

  7. Democrats were first to enlist Ukraine in US elections

    …”I told Zelensky that he should not insert himself or his government into American politics. I cautioned him that complying with the demands of the President’s campaign representatives to investigate a political rival of the President would gravely damage the U.S.-Ukraine relationship. There are few things that Republicans and Democrats agree on in Washington these days, and support for Ukraine is one of them,” Murphy told me today, confirming what he told Ukraine’s leader.

    The implied message did not require an interpreter for Zelensky to understand: Investigate the Ukraine dealings of Joe Biden and his son Hunter, and you jeopardize Democrats’ support for future U.S. aid to Kiev.

    The Murphy anecdote is a powerful reminder that, since at least 2016, Democrats repeatedly have exerted pressure on Ukraine, a key U.S. ally for buffering Russia, to meddle in U.S. politics and elections.

    And that activity long preceded Giuliani’s discussions with Ukrainian officials and Trump’s phone call to Zelensky in July, seeking to have Ukraine formally investigate whether then-Vice President Joe Biden used a threat of canceling foreign aid to shut down an investigation into $3 million routed to the U.S. firm run by Biden’s son.

    As I have reported, the pressure began at least as early as January 2016, when the Obama White House unexpectedly invited Ukraine’s top prosecutors to Washington to discuss fighting corruption in the country.

    The meeting, promised as training, turned out to be more of a pretext for the Obama administration to pressure Ukraine’s prosecutors to drop an investigation into the Burisma Holdings gas company that employed Hunter Biden and to look for new evidence in a then-dormant criminal case against eventual Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, a GOP lobbyist.

    U.S. officials “kept talking about how important it was that all of our anti-corruption efforts be united,” said Andrii Telizhenko, the former political officer in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington who organized and attended the meetings.

    Nazar Kholodnytsky, Ukraine’s chief anti-corruption prosecutor, told me that, soon after he returned from the Washington meeting, he saw evidence in Ukraine of political meddling in the U.S. election. That’s when two top Ukrainian officials released secret evidence to the American media, smearing Manafort.

    The release of the evidence forced Manafort to step down as Trump’s top campaign adviser. A Ukrainian court concluded last December that the release of the evidence amounted to an unlawful intervention in the U.S. election by Kiev’s government, although that ruling has since been overturned on a technicality.

    Shortly after the Ukrainian prosecutors returned from their Washington meeting, a new round of Democratic pressure was exerted on Ukraine — this time via its embassy in Washington.

    Valeriy Chaly, the Ukrainian ambassador to the United States at the time, confirmed to me in a statement issued by his office that, in March 2016, a contractor for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) pressed his embassy to try to find any Russian dirt on Trump and Manafort that might reside in Ukraine’s intelligence files.

    The DNC contractor also asked Chaly’s team to try to persuade Ukraine’s president at the time, Petro Poroshenko, to make a statement disparaging Manafort when the Ukrainian leader visited the United States during the 2016 election.

    Chaly said his embassy rebuffed both requests because it recognized they were improper efforts to get a foreign government to try to influence the election against Trump and for Hillary Clinton.

    The political pressure continued. Biden threatened to withhold $1 billion in crucial U.S. aid to Kiev if Poroshenko did not fire the country’s chief prosecutor. Ukraine would have been bankrupted without the aid, so Poroshenko obliged on March 29, 2016, and fired Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.

    At the time, Biden was aware that Shokin’s office was investigating Burisma, the firm employing Hunter Biden, after a December 2015 New York Times article.

    What wasn’t known at the time, Shokin told me recently, was that Ukrainian prosecutors were preparing a request to interview Hunter Biden about his activities and the monies he was receiving from Ukraine. If such an interview became public during the middle of the 2016 election, it could have had enormous negative implications for Democrats.

    Democrats continued to tap Ukraine for Trump dirt throughout the 2016 election, my reporting shows.

    Nellie Ohr, the wife of senior U.S. Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, worked in 2016 as a contractor for Fusion GPS, the same Hillary Clinton–funded opposition research firm that hired Christopher Steele, the British spy who wrote the now-debunked dossier linking Trump to Russia collusion.

    Nellie Ohr testified to Congress that some of the dirt she found on Trump during her 2016 election opposition research came from a Ukrainian parliament member. She also said that she eventually took the information to the FBI through her husband — another way Ukraine got inserted into the 2016 election.

    Politics. Pressure. Opposition research. All were part of the Democrats’ playbook on Ukraine long before Trump ever called Zelensky this summer. And as Sen. Murphy’s foray earlier this month shows, it hasn’t stopped.

    The evidence is so expansive as to strain the credulity of the Democrats’ current outrage at Trump’s behavior with Ukraine.

    Which raises a question: Could it be the Ukraine tale currently being weaved by Democrats and their allies in the media is nothing more than a smoke screen designed to distract us from the forthcoming Justice Department inspector general report into abuses during the Democratic-inspired Russia collusion probe?

    It’s a question worth asking.

    1. Could it be the Ukraine tale currently being weaved by Democrats and their allies in the media is nothing more than a smoke screen designed to distract us from the forthcoming Justice Department inspector general report into abuses during the Democratic-inspired Russia collusion probe?

      Haha, this is some pretty good out of nothing speculation.

      Nothing here is anything approaching the level of the sitting President dangling foreign aid for personal electoral assistance.

      1. Unless it’s a previously sitting President doing the same thing first.

        1. I mean, with enough Obama tin foil you can justify anything.

          Thus are QAnon folks born.

          1. And you surely do justify anything Obama.

            1. …Did you just call me Obama?

              Anyhow, I’ve gone through the things I didn’t like that Obama did (there are lots more that I don’t like that Obama failed to do). Libya, not defending DOMA, getting rolled on the ACA, whistleblower crackdown, all spring to mind.

              1. “Dear Colleague” letter

              2. Using the IRS against his political opponents — did that make the list?

                  1. Nope.
                    Obama didn’t order it, and it didn’t target his opponents, just partisans generally.

                    1. President Bystander McDronestrike skates by again!

                      Double standards and plausible deniability win! America and the truth are masterfully defeated!

                    2. So now you’re just making stuff up to feed you persecution complex.

    2. This is hilarious. Obama pressured Ukraine to go after Manafort, by your telling, *before* Manafort joined the Trump campaign. That dastardly Obama with his time-travel powers!

      Also, you may have missed the part where Manafort was convicted of multiple crimes in connection with, yes, Ukraine.

      1. It’s not “his telling.” He’s just plagiarizing serial fabricator John Solomon.

        1. Thank you for not plagiarizing anymore.

          1. Sorry- I actually didn’t mean to quote that much text. No edit button!

  8. “DAVID POST was previously a professor…”

    It shows.

  9. The sky is falling!! The sky is falling!!

    1. Target the main stream media with a single reactor ignition. You may fire when ready.

      1. Flee! In our moment of triumph?

  10. “American democracy, and the constitutional system that supports it, appear to be entering an especially dark and dangerous period.”
    True statement.
    It is dangerous when bureaucrats can veto an elected official faithfully carrying out his duties.

  11. Most unfortunate about the security breach in Washington, Professor Post. After so many setbacks and delays, and now this. We’ve heard word of rumors circulating through the city. It seems you have overstated their evidence. If word of this leaks out it could generate sympathy for the President.

    1. I surprise to be sure, but not an unpleasant one.

  12. There are no republicans who will stand up here. None. Never have been, either. Just look at the parade of regular “libertarian” and “conservative” mooks rushing to sputter out defenses and obfuscations in these comments. They’re who the GOP is thinking about.

    The only silver lining of the Trump era is the full-blown public admission through their words and actions that every “principle” conservatives have ever spouted is a lie, and that we should never again be burdened with listening to any of it ever again.

    We will, of course. That train is never late. But we shouldn’t be.

    I do expect Mittens is daydreaming about the prospect of making Trump pay for frequently humiliating Romney publicly, but he won’t unless there’s a whole lot of cover for him.

    1. Yes.

      Most of the comments here are pure blind Trump cultism.

      1. No, I am demonstrating pure, blind Star Wars cultism.

        1. But doing so poorly.

    2. “There are no republicans who will stand up here. ”

      Now discuss Bill Clinton in 1997 and Democrats standing up.

      1. Before my time, but Clinton’s poor character didn’t rise to a Constitutional or electoral threat like we have here.

        1. Plus, of course, the GOP’s position on the importance of a President’s character has very much changed these days.

          1. “Plus, of course, the GOP’s position on the importance of a President’s character has very much changed these days.”

            As has the Democratic view.

            1. Oh, I’d stand by the position that openly using U.S. foreign policy as a means to one’s own political ends is worse than lying about sex (which, of course, Trump has also done many, many times), and that of course only scratches the surface of Trump’s character defects.

              1. “using U.S. foreign policy as a means to one’s own political ends ”

                Would that be like Obama’s terrible Iran deal?

                1. Beyond your really dumb obtuseness conflating policy with politics, you’re contradicting yourself.

                  If it’s terrible, it’s not exactly helping one’s political ends, then.

                2. Are you just so bereft of any sensible argument that you throw crap like that out there?

                  Come to think of it, you are. Go back to waving the Confederate flag.

                3. Ok. How about this?

                  “openly using U.S. foreign policy as a means to one’s own political ends”

                  Do you mean like having the FBI intimately involved with British intelligence agents in an effort to interfere in elections against the rising political opponent candidate for President? And receiving and using unverified “dirt” obtained from the Russians, and paid for by the Clinton campaign? Which info then became used a basis for an FBI warrant to spy on the entire campaign? And then to smear the President and launch a special counsel investigation?

                4. Going back to the debunked ‘it was the dossier’ well to try and change the subject, after just getting rolled for trying to argue there is no difference between making a treaty and using taxpayer funds to try and gin up an investigation of your political opponent?

                  This is not going well for you.

                  1. ““using U.S. foreign policy as a means to one’s own political ends”

                    You mean like threatening to cancel a billion dollars in loan guarantees unless the attorney general of Ukraine, who is investigating your son, is fired?

                    Go ahead and explain with a link what you think is “debunked.” This won’t end well for you, as you are clearly ignorant of the facts.

                    1. That’s not anything like what happened, ML. Your facts are laughably wrong.

                    2. My facts are exactly right, and you can’t debunk a thing.

        2. “Clinton’s poor character didn’t rise to a Constitutional or electoral threat like we have here”

          Its always different when my guy does something.

          1. Are you going to try and argue Clinton lying about his BJ is a threat to our republic?

            1. You do understand what perjury means? Lying as part of an ongoing court proceeding. The case was pending in a federal court, which under the Constitution is as much part of the govt. as the presidency.

              1. Haha. That was weak in the 90s, it’s not aged well.

                Yeah, the pillars of our nation quaked as Clinton lied about his BJ. (Perjury was never proven, BTW).

                1. If the perjury was never proven, as you say….why did POTUS Clinton lose his law license for five years?

                  1. Come on, man. Google a bit.

                    From the first link:
                    1) was a settlement
                    2) the elements in question weren’t perjury
                    3) wasn’t criminal

                    https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/bill-clinton-fined-and-disbarred-over-the-monica-lewinsky-scandal/

                    1. Clinton surrendered his law license in Arkansas. Then moved out of Arkansas and hasn’t shown any interest in practicing law anywhere else.

                      Hardly the stinging rebuke some people like to imagine.

            2. “Are you going to try and argue Clinton lying about his BJ is a threat to our republic?”

              It was Paula Jones and he lied about exposing himself to her. I though that was bad?

              I get it, perjury good if a Democrat does it.

              Just for the record, nothing Trump has done is a threat to our republic.

              1. Yes, Bob, I’m calling Clinton’s behavior cool and good.

                He wasn’t impeached for Paula Jones. Do you argue Clinton’s behavior about the Paula Jones affair was a threat to the republic? Because if so I have some eye-opening news about Trump’s behavior for you!

                1. “1. The president provided perjurious, false and misleading testimony to the grand jury regarding the Paula Jones case and his relationship with Monica Lewinsky.
                  Approved by House 228-206

                  3. The president obstructed justice in an effort to delay, impede, cover up and conceal the existence of evidence related to the Jones case.
                  Approved by House 221-212”
                  [articles of impeachment]

                  Nope, nothing to do with Paula Jones. That is why it was only mentioned twice.

                  Perjury to a grand jury is criminal.

                  “Because if so I have some eye-opening news about Trump’s behavior for you!”

                  Too bad we decided in 1997 that a president’s character was irrelevant.

                  1. That’s news to me (again, before my time). I only heard about Lewinsky and the dress being the issue. I stand corrected.

                    Though it looks a lot like you’re using the charging document the House ginned up as proof of bad acts? Surely, you’re a better lawyer than that.

                    Not that Clinton’s actions aren’t problematic. And if he goes down for being caught on tape with Epstein or whatever, I won’t weep.

                    But whatever Clinton was accused of, Trump’s been accused of worse. Too bad you’ve decided principles are for suckers, and base your morals on whatever cartoonish level of evil you imagine your opponents are guilty of.

                  2. “Perjury to a grand jury is criminal.”

                    Not if you’re acquitted.

                  3. “Too bad we decided in 1997 that a president’s character was irrelevant.”

                    And we showed that decision by impeaching him? I take it then that you support impeaching Trump.

                    Just kidding. You’re admirably frank in your abjuration of consistency when partisan expediency is at stake.

        3. While I agree that Trump appears to be corrupt (as does Biden), I hardly think what has transpired here rises to a “Constitutional or electoral threat.”

          1. Trump’s using the power of his office trying to paint a political opponent as criminal. There are worse abuses of power, but this is pretty bad.

            1. Technically, unless Hunter is guilty of something, the worst case here is that he clears his political opponent of an unfortunate odor. So you seem to be tacitly admitting that Hunter getting the job was just a payoff.

              Which it almost certainly was, of course, given that he had no qualifications for the job beyond his dad being VP.

              1. That’s not how prosecutions operate politically, and you know it.

                Famous failsons being on political boards is common, and bad, but not a payoff.

              2. “Technically, unless Hunter is guilty of something, the worst case here is that he clears his political opponent of an unfortunate odor. So you seem to be tacitly admitting that Hunter getting the job was just a payoff”

                Unless, of course, having a court in Ukraine say he’s guilty of something could be, say, affected by corruption. Did President Trump offer them a big enough motivation to “confirm” lies about Biden? Dunno, because Trump’s not saying.

            2. “paint” assumes the conclusion. “Get the facts about whether he is a criminal” is more accurate.

              1. How naive are you?
                I don’t think Trump was urging maximum due process and care so much as get a prosecution going close to the election.

                1. I have no doubt Trump’s motivation was venal. But that does not mean that Hunter Biden’s arrangement is not corrupt, nor that Joe Biden’s attempts to hide his son’s, umm, arrangment, are also not corrupt.

                  As it stands, it appears to me (with the caveat that the facts are still emerging), that we have corruption all around — Hunter Biden got a sweetheart deal so that the Ukraine govt could endear itself to the Obama Administration, Joe Biden used his office to squelch an investigation of that, and Donald Trump used his office to uncover the dirt on that. No doubt motivated by the fact that Joe Biden is the front runner for the Democratic party and Trump’s likely opponent in 2020; if Joe Biden was off to retirement (or busybodihood ala Jimmy Carter), Trump would not care or bother.

                  So I am not naive, just not terribly upset. They all stink.

                  1. If it’s corrupt, what about President Jimmy Carter’s brother, Billy; President George W. Bush’s brother, Neil; and Hillary Clinton’s brothers, Tony and Hugh Rodham?

                    If you call this corruption, you’re indicting our current corporate enterprise in a much more general way than I think you intend.

                    1. All of that was corruption. Some was penty anny stuff but others was not.

                      The husband of the secretary of state getting huge speech payments from foreign interests was also corruption.

                      Trump is no more or less corrupt than the Clintons. They paved the way for him.

                    2. Welcome, comrade, now let us take on university admissions for legacies, sports, and the like!

                      Trump is no more or less corrupt than the Clintons
                      More of your always looking left nihilism.
                      The actions in the OP are well above whatever bad acts like what the Clintons did.

        4. PERJURY, motherfucker. Clinton committed it. Every Democrat in Congress refused to vote for impeachment or conviction.

          Good fucking grief are you blind and ignorant.

          1. Yeah, I hate due process as well.

            If you call Bill Clinton guilty but let off due to partisanship, do I get to do the same thing about Kavanaugh?

            And from above a number of Dems did vote to impeach. Though you don’t seem too hung up on facts, more about emotion.

          2. “PERJURY, motherfucker. Clinton committed it.”

            Not defending perjury, but… perjury about being unfaithful to his wife. If lying about being unfaithful to your wife is a disqualifying act for Presidents, we’re going to have a LOT of disqualifications.

            Not exclusively D candidates will be out.

            They spent two years searching for evidence of financial improprieties, and found… insufficient evidence for ANY charges related to financial improprieties.

      2. No, don’t think I will. I’m going to keep talking about the openly corrupt president, his enablers, and his shameless supporters. But mostly the openly corrupt sitting president. The rest of you are just tinsel, if tinsel were made out of strips of dung, delusions and lies.

        1. That’s it, don’t let them silence you.

        2. “I’m going to keep talking”

          ThaT WIL GET tRUMP FOR SURE.

        3. Keep spewing the same bullshit, you’ll just ensure Trump’s re-election.

      3. Five democrats in the house voted in favor of impeaching President Clinton.

    3. “There are no republicans who will stand up here. None. Never have been, either. Just look . . . ”

      It’s astounding that people think this way.

      Where are the Democrats standing up to denounce Obama for spying on the Trump campaign? Or the Russia conspiracy hoax perpetrated by intelligence officials and the media?

      I guess this just goes to illustrate how deeply ingrained the previous arrangement was, where the lefty thugs could do whatever they wanted and Republicans would just roll over all day every day.

      1. Obama didn’t do any of that.

        Trump has admitted doing what we’re talking about here.

        1. Says the ignorant motherfucker that didn’t even know that Bill Clinton committed perjury.

          1. If your argument is that Sarcastro is too ignorant to believe, while you presumably are credibly informed, you’re off to a bad start.

    4. The silver lining of the Trump era is that the replacement of clingers and collapse of the Republican Party have been accelerated. Young, educated, modern Americans find the bigotry and backwardness repulsive.

      Bonus: The gun absolutists, anti-abortion absolutists, and other kooks who hitched to the right-wing wagon will see their preferences crushed with the carcass of the Republican Party.

      1. If you’re not getting paid to troll, you’re getting ripped off.

        If you are getting paid to troll, whoever is paying you is getting ripped off.

  13. And today, he hammered again on the anti-corruption theme: “If you don’t talk about corruption, why would you give money to a country that you think is corrupt?”

    Point of order: This is why we give money to dictatorships and corrupt countries — to buy compliance with American polich desires by giving the corrupt ones billions from which they skim.

    1. True that.
      Corrupt governments can be bought, usually at an inexpensive price.
      So to can the person with integrity, but you will have to throw a lot more money their way to find their price.

    2. Exactly. This entire scheme of American imperialism should be scrapped.

  14. I guess that it is okay for liberals to threaten third parties, but it is criminal for conservatives to do the same thing. I think of Deval Patrick’s actions as Acting AAG at the US DOJ for Civil Rights. His division would bring civil actions against targets and make threats that the targets would be hit with criminal actions unless they agreed to the government’s proposed settlement agreements.
    I was working as an assistant county prosecutor at the time and when I described Patrick’s approach to my boss, he said that this was extortion. He was really furious at the time (and had no idea I was describing the US DOJ).

    1. Threatening charges unless you settle? Isn’t that just how our justice system works?

    2. “B-b-b-but Timmy’s parents let him do it!”

    3. The Obama administration bilked billions from defendants, and it went straight into a political slush fund and then to far-left groups. The left’s dark money groups are into all sorts of evil chicanery.

      1. Broaden your news sources, you’re getting brain worms.

        1. I mostly read more left outlets than right.

          1. Coulda fooled me.
            Where’d you get the characterization of settlements as going to political slush fund and then to far-left groups from, The Nation?

            1. Fooling you is only an act of moderate intelligence.

              1. So you won’t be able to do it?

  15. Where are the Republicans? They’re probably hanging out in the same place that all the Democrats hung out when Joe Biden said US loan guarantees for Ukraine would be cancelled unless the Ukraine Government immediately fired the prosecutor in charge of an investigation of a company that had Joe Biden’s son on its board of directors.

    1. Loan guarantees would be canceled unless the Ukraine Government immediately fired the prosecutor for failing to investigate Burisma, among others.

      1. Why would Biden be concerned about them failing to investigate Burisma? So far I haven’t seen any of you tell us what your source is for this.

        1. The Vice President was concerned about them failing to investigate corruption because the international community, including the US, UK, and the IMF, were tired of handing the Ukraine money or cooperating while it behaved like a kleptocracy.

          For historical background, in 2014 Ukraine had a revolution in which its people ousted form president Viktor Yanukovych. Yanukovych was thick with Mykola Zlochevsky, who was the owner of Burisma. Allegedly Yanukovych had steered a lot of money to his friend Zlochevsky’s company, Burisma, and the UK was investigating while it froze $23M in a British bank account that the UK thought was laundered, relating to Burisma. The Ukraine’s new government was not cooperating with the UK in that investigation. This pissed off the US, who warned the new UK government (in 2014) that there would be consequences if Ukraine did not do more to assist the UK. The Ukraine ignored us. This ultimately stymied the UK investigation, and the $23M was released (and immediately sent by Zlochevsky to the money laundering capital of the world, Cyprus). With this background, Shokin became the UK’s prosecutor general in 2015, and said he would clean up the corruption, including specifically Burisma. But then he didn’t do anything (which allegedly caused his deputy to resign in protest). The American embassy in the Ukraine eventually asked former President Obama to place pressure on the Ukraine to oust Shokin to deal with the lack of an investigation, and the President sent Vice President Biden to exercise that pressure. Hence why “Biden [was] concerned about them failing to investigate Burisma”.

  16. And just think, if the Democrat party had done the right thing and impeached Clinton (and gotten President Gore after all!) there would be no President Trump (philanderer and moral roue that he is.)

    Time to move on … dot org!

    1. You got that right. And if Senator Ted Kennedy had not run for reelection in 2008, a reliable Democrat would have been elected to his seat and the Dems could have kept their veto-proof super majority. They could have taken the Affordable Care Act to conference instead of having to have the House adopt the Senate’s incomplete version. The parasites in DC never want to surrender power.

  17. This from the New York times, a paper which if anything is left leaning, and definitely anti-Trump:

    Mr. Trump’s campaign on Saturday publicized footage of Mr. Biden recounting the threat.
    “I said: ‘We’re leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor’s not fired, you’re not getting the money,’” Mr. Biden recounted at a 2018 event sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations. “Well, son of a bitch, he got fired,” Mr. Biden continued, in footage that was not included in the Trump campaign video.

    So if anything there is a smoking gun of quid pro quo from Biden at the root of the matter.

    1. Just so we’re clear, the US wanted a Ukrainian prosecutor fired because he refused to prosecute corruption investigations, including the Burisma-Zlochevksy investigation.

      1. “Just so we’re clear, the US wanted a Ukrainian prosecutor fired because he refused to prosecute corruption investigations”

        Just so we’re clear, you’re saying that this the narrative that has been settled on by those desperate to defend Biden? Any evidence to support it?

        Funny. So Biden was saying in essence, “You’ve gotta fire your attorney general, he’s not being aggressive enough on this corruption. You know they’re paying my son 3.2 million a year? And he’s an idiot. Somebody better look into that.”

        1. Yes, the evidence to support it is in the timeline, and the 2013 letter from the Ukrainian ambassador.

          Do your research. Biden claimed he was super important, but the effort predates his involvement by quite a bit.

          1. “Biden claimed he was super important, but the effort predates his involvement by quite a bit.”

            He said in the video he was responsible. QED

            1. NOW you believe politicians?

              Oh, Bob. Now it’s getting sad.

          2. That changes nothing. Any Ukrainian politician would understand that Biden was “super important.” That’s how they survive as politicians everywhere, by understanding how power works.

        2. Victor Shokin became prosecutor general in 2015. During his tenure several of his underlings began quitting, citing Shokin’s obstruction of those corruption investigations. The IMF was also on Ukraine, asserting that the country would lose financial support if it didn’t clean up corruption, which Shokin was not doing.

          Anyway, the UK’s investigation into Burisma related to Mykola Zlochevsky. That investigation began before Hunter Biden joined the Burisma board. Kasko, the retiring prosecutor, said the Burisma investigation was “shelved by Ukrainian prosecutors in 2014 and through 2015.” (See previous link.) That claim was substantiated by Ukraine’s Anti-Corruption Action Center (“Shokin was fired not because he wanted to do that [Burisma] investigation, but quite to the contrary, because he failed that investigation.”) Shokin disputed this account.

        3. My longer post on the subject is being reviewed for some reason. The evidence is that Shokin’s underling (Kasko) resigned citing Shokin’s obstruction of anti-corruption investigations. Then this quote, from Daria Kaleniuk of the Ukrainian Anti-Corruption Action Center:

          “Shokin was not investigating. He didn’t want to investigate Burisma. And Shokin was fired not because he wanted to do that investigation, but quite to the contrary, because he failed that investigation.”

          1. Just give us the link or links.

            1. I guess I have to do them one at a time, as my attempt to post the links is under moderation as well. Try this one.

          2. I found that you can’t post more than one link in comment here.

            Wow, so some other dude in the byzantine plot of Ukrainian political intrigue claims that Shokin was not even investigating. But actually, he was. So that’s bunk.

            “The general prosecutor’s official file for the Burisma probe — shared with me by senior Ukrainian officials — shows prosecutors identified Hunter Biden, business partner Devon Archer and their firm, Rosemont Seneca, as potential recipients of money.

            Shokin told me in written answers to questions that, before he was fired as general prosecutor, he had made “specific plans” for the investigation that “included interrogations and other crime-investigation procedures into all members of the executive board, including Hunter Biden.””

            https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/436816-joe-bidens-2020-ukrainian-nightmare-a-closed-probe-is-revived

            1. The question that Shokin could never answer is why he never acted on those plans. And his version was disputed. I’ll post the link in a separate response, since you can only post one.

              The Hill article notes that the investigation was “closed” but that was through a settlement with Burisma, paying millions, allegedly consistent with the British court’s earlier January 21, 2015 ruling (see here). So, Shokin is out, the investigation proceeds through the NABU, with a resolution.

              I think it’s a filthy country.

            2. Here’s one link rebutting Shokin’s account:

              “Daria Kaleniuk, executive director of the Kyiv-based Anti-Corruption Action Center (AntAC), told RFE/RL that Shokin “dumped important criminal investigations on corruption associated with [former President Viktor] Yanukovych, including the Burisma case.””

            3. For contemporaneous accounts on why Shokin was not acting to fight corruption, see here.

              1. Well, every political figure in Ukraine has those people who are against them. As I said, byzantine political intrigue.

                So, was Shokin a lousy prosecutor general who didn’t do enough on corruption? Maybe he was. Or maybe he was on the losing end of the political game. Maybe both. But either way, he clearly had a file open on Burisma and its board members including Hunter Biden. That file was still open when Biden pulled his stunt, notwithstanding the chorus of media voices currently claiming that it was “closed” at the time — an assertion which appears to originate entirely from a Bloomberg report of a single source offering the disputed claim that the investigation was “dormant” at the time. The matter was not actually resolved until a settlement in January of 2017 according to your link.

                Next question – Joe Biden. If you haven’t already watched the video, go now and allow Biden to regale you with the tale of when he said “you’re not gettin’ the money” unless the prosecutor general is fired, and my plane leaves in 6 hours. Go ahead call Obama and ask him, he’ll say the same thing. Son of a bitch, he was fired.

                Why did Biden go to such extreme lengths to get this guy axed? Maybe, it was just the fact that a prosecutor somewhere was not pursuing justice with satisfactory tenacity, and this really bothers Biden’s sense of justice whenever and wherever it happens. That’s ridiculous, of course. Some kind of political considerations were driving the entire thing, even if he was a no good prosecutor and there was valid predication. But was concern about Hunter Biden’s shady dealings a factor or the main reason? I don’t know. Maybe not. But there’s no denying that the appearance of impropriety is off the charts. That’s why the issue has been brewing for a long time, Obama admin officials were concerned about Hunter’s dealings from the start, and Joe said to him “I hope you know what you’re doing.”

          3. Thanks for the links. Not much more substance than Wikipedia which is where all the other crack “defenders” have retrieved their ironclad evidence. FWIW I doubt that this Shokin was investigating very much if political winds disfavored it. I also doubt that whoever succeeded him was any better. All of them have inherited the old Soviet ways and it’s corruption all the way down.

            Still does anyone really believe that Biden gave a shit about investigating corruption, especially if that investigation might have shown a light into Burisma and payments to Hunter?

            1. “Still does anyone really believe that Biden gave a shit about investigating corruption…”

              I really believe that the United States gave a shit about corruption in the Ukrainian government and applied pressure to oust a wildly unpopular prosecutor general who was alleged to have sidelined and/or failed to cooperate with an investigation started by a close US ally (UK). You can read more about Shokin here.

  18. President Trump has stated that he intends to release the transcript of the phone call tomorrow. I look forward to Mr. Post’s comments on this subject in the next day or two.

    1. Has any Conspirator ever admitted to being wrong? In general, they seem to have Trumpian levels of defensiveness. Even when there have been some howlers.

    2. We’ll see what he releases. Will Barr have a press conference first?

      Let’s see the whistle-blower report.

  19. “trading our taxpayer dollars for political dirt on his opponents”

    This seems to beg a number of questions and assume a lot of conclusions.

    What if he were trading taxpayer dollars for exposing deep state corruption? And not even that. Merely delaying taxpayer dollars.

    1. “deep state corruption?”

      What if he was still trying to find the evidence that Obama was born in Kenya?

      Carry on, clingers. Until you are replaced. By your betters.

  20. Impeachment.

    Interestingly, for all the smug ‘please impeachment,’ at least at this early hour it’s the GOP Senators that seem to be under pressure more than the Dems. That’s where the momentum has begun. Who knows where it’ll end, of course.

    Plus, to quote Popehat: “So much of the Mueller report was about the things Trump did in reaction to an investigation, because he can’t regulate his conduct.

    Imagine how he’ll react to impeachment and what else he might do.”

    1. “it’s the GOP Senators that seem to be under pressure more than the Dems”

      Sure, pressure.

      Listen I bow to no man in my contempt for most politicians but no GOP senator other than maybe Romney or Collins is voting to convict. The threat of a brutal primary challenges and a third party in 2020 are enough to keep them in line.

      You may choose to imagine otherwise.

      1. I agree with you, there won’t be a conviction. But the investigation under that imprimatur can move a great deal of the polity.

        A formal and open investigation into Trump’s fitness for office is not guaranteed to go well for his GOP enablers.

        1. Oh, who knows how the politics will shake out.

          Of course its Jerry Nadler as the Dem point man so that’s a point in Trump’s favor already.

          1. I don’t know Nadler, except that he doesn’t look healthy.

            I’ve been for impeachment since the initial investigations were opened earlier this year. Nor for removal – I don’t think even the most out-there leftie thinks the Senate is moveable.

            But because it puts everyone in Congress to the question, out in public. Come next election, lets really get the government we deserve, without the faffing about.

      2. ” no GOP senator other than maybe Romney or Collins is voting to convict.”

        Why not? Wouldn’t a Republican Senator prefer to deal with President Pence?

  21. Funny that Post references Robert Litt over at Lawfare, and even cites him several times…

    …but deliberately hides one of the most important parts of Litt’s article:

    The statute authorizes the ICIG to “receive and investigate … complaints or information from any person concerning the existence of an activity within the authorities and responsibilities of the Director of National Intelligence constituting a violation of laws, rules or regulations, or mismanagement, gross waste of funds, abuse of authority, or a substantial and specific danger to the public health and safety.”

    This complaint is not about an activity within the responsibilities of the DNI, and does not fall under any activities of the IC. The ICIG should have refused to take the complaint, because it isn’t his demesne – same as if someone had come to him with a complaint about misbehavior behavior in the VA.
    Many in the IC, from Manning and Snowden, to Reality Winner and this new loser, seem to have forgotten that the IC does not exist to judge the President, but to serve them.

    1. Actually, they exist to serve the country. They do not take an oath to the president.

  22. Hunter Biden:

    “Dad said, ‘I hope you know what you are doing,’ and I said, ‘I do.’ ”

    1. Truly damming.

      And you continue to be unable to talk about Trump’s actions. Funny, that.

  23. It is not a crime for a president to ask a foreign leader to investigate crimes. https://spectator.org/ukraine-bombshell-will-explode-in-democratic-faces/

    1. This was not about crimes, it was targeting a political opponent.

      1. Hunter Biden is running for President?!

      2. And they weren’t “asking.” They were threatening.

        And they weren’t looking for an “investigation,” but simply for the Ukrainian government to make stuff up about Biden.

        1. Where are you getting this information? Links please.

        2. Who was threatening? You mean Biden was threatening to withhold a billion dollars? Yes that’s true.

          Or are you talking about the Democrats that threatened Ukraine, and were simply looking for the Ukrainian government to make stuff up about Trump in the Russia hoax?

          “It got almost no attention, but in May, CNN reported that Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) and Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) wrote a letter to Ukraine’s prosecutor general, Yuriy Lutsenko, expressing concern at the closing of four investigations they said were critical to the Mueller probe. In the letter, they implied that their support for U.S. assistance to Ukraine was at stake. Describing themselves as “strong advocates for a robust and close relationship with Ukraine,” the Democratic senators declared, “We have supported [the] capacity-building process and are disappointed that some in Kyiv appear to have cast aside these [democratic] principles to avoid the ire of President Trump,” before demanding Lutsenko “reverse course and halt any efforts to impede cooperation with this important investigation.”

          So, it’s okay for Democratic senators to encourage Ukraine to investigate Trump, but it’s not okay for the president to allegedly encourage Ukraine to investigate Hunter Biden?”

          https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/09/24/democrats-investigation-might-do-more-hurt-biden-than-trump/

          1. So, it’s okay for Democratic senators to encourage Ukraine to investigate Trump, but it’s not okay for the president to allegedly encourage Ukraine to investigate Hunter Biden?”

            Setting aside the use of “allegedly” to describe something we already knew had happened, and setting aside the lack of threats in what the Democratic senators openly did (because they were not ashamed of it like Trump), Democratic senators did not “encourage Ukraine to investigate” anything. They encouraged Ukraine to cooperate with an American law enforcement investigation.

            If there were evidence of Biden wrongdoing — there is, of course, none here — and the DOJ had opened an investigation, and Trump was encouraging the Ukrainian government to cooperate with said investigation, that would be a different scenario.

          2. Kind of weird how the only “investigations” that Trump has ever encouraged were investigations of people who run against him like Hillary and Biden, and people investigating him like Comey and Mueller and McCabe and Strzok and such.

            Must just be a big coincidence.

    2. Of course it’s not a crime for a president to ask a foreign leader to investigate crimes. But are you so gullible that you think that Trump would have made specific reference to this particular alleged crime – to Joe and Hunter Biden – if Joe was not a candidate for president and a possible Trump opponent next year? And you think that’s ok?? Really? If so, I guess we have to just agree to disagree on that.

      1. So it is OK to ask for criminal investigations, but if your political opponents commit crimes then they are exempt from that?

        No, I’m not gullible. Of course Trump is only mentioning this allegation because Joe Biden is, broadly, a political opponent. And he was also inquiring about Mueller-related matters. When the Democrats actually threatened Ukraine regarding the investigation of the made-up Trump-Russia conspiracy hoax, it was also of course only because Trump is their political opponent. When the Clinton campaign and the FBI were digging dirt from the Russians, along with help from British and others, and the FBI was spying on the Trump campaign, that was also political in my view.

        As far as what is “ok”, the very question seems absurd and ridiculous in the extreme. We are either light years beyond that question or light years away from getting to that question. We haven’t even come to terms with what is yet.

  24. “We’ll be dining on road-runner meet for sure tonight, folks!”

  25. Go away, David. Your opinions are dull and your analysis is uninspired.

    1. There is no analysis.

      There is rumormongering based on a rumor provided through a former Hillary Clinton staffer to a Democrat newspaper, by someone that admits that they didn’t actually hear or read a transcript of the conversation.

      1. If you want to seem objective, Maybe eait and see the report that the IG thought was legit before you dismiss it as all lies.

        1. When did I use the word “lie” in that post? Are you making stuff up again?

          Of course, since you mention the IG report, why did you not mention that the “whistleblower” admitted to not having heard the conversation OR having read a transcript? And that the IG was not actually permitted to take that complaint anyway?

          1. Rumormonger you infer falsity from is a lie, dude.

            Your ad hominem as to the attorney’s prior representations is more evidence you may not be operating in good faith.

      2. If you want to be taken even a little bit seriously, you might want to learn that the adjective form is “Democratic,” not “Democrat.”

        1. Considering how the Dem party handled Sanders in 2016, applying that adjective to that party is misleading.

        2. That is one form, yes.
          I choose to use the other form, which has been in occasional use as far back as when opponents referred to the Democrat-Republican Party right around 1800.

          Also – do you know what it is called when you attempt to attack someone based on an entirely unrelated subject?

    2. I’m sorry if someone is holding a gun to your head and forcing you to read what I write.

  26. The transcript of the call is out. Loose the hounds.

    1. Hmmm….it’s of course not what I’d *want* the President of my country to be saying to a foreign leader.

      https://heavy.com/news/2019/09/read-trumps-ukraine-phone-call-transcript/

      Bottom line – Trump wants the investigation which had previously been closed, to be reopened. And he’ll have Barr and Giuliani make a follow-up call (isn’t Giuliani Trump’s *personal* lawyer?).

      The Ukrainian Pres was full of noncommittal pleasantries, but he did say he was installing a new prosecutor whom he trusted, without promising who would get investigated.

      What would I prefer? The Pres focusing more on security and energy issues, not even mentioning Biden and having the follow-up calls made by the national-security and energy people, not Barr and certainly not Ghouliani.

      Is this a sufficient basis for replacing Trump with a Democrat, or a weaker Republican (Pence)?

    2. Please note that a “memorandum” about the transcript is not the same thing as a transcript.

  27. Shokin was clearly investigating Burisma and Hunter Biden.

    But now, the story is that Joe Biden got Shokin fired because he wasn’t investigating Burisma and Hunter Biden aggressively enough!

    Shameless.

    1. At this point, I’m just going to assume you’re lying. Because you must know that story is bunk.

      Biden was not being investigated.
      Biden was not the one pushing to get Shokin fired.
      Everyone in the entire West agreed Shokin should be fired because of his slow-rolling prosecutions.

      1. At this point, I’m just going to assume you’re lying.
        Because

        you’ve read him here before? He lied about the 14th amendment. Why wouldn’t he lie about this?

        1. I was wondering what you’re talking about. The citizenship clause? You can’t point to a single lie.

          Anyway, Sarcastro is absolutely lying here:

          “Biden was not being investigated.”

          This is a lie. You could have said that you doubt whether he was being investigated, or here’s some evidence this or that way. But Hunter, along with all of the other board members, was being investigated according to many reports, Shokin himself, and reportedly the actual files from the prosecutor general’s office.

          “Biden was not the one pushing to get Shokin fired.”

          This one is even worse. As blatant as a lie can get. Go watch Biden regale you with a detailed story about pushing to get Shokin fired.

  28. The transcript is out. Mr. Post needs to apologize.

    1. Can you send me a copy of the transcript?

    2. Oohh, dear. You didn’t read it, did you.

    3. No, he doesn’t. Here’s a thought experiment: Suppose we found out that President Obama had called up the President of Turkey, a year before the 2012 election, and said “You need to be investigating corruption more vigorously. There’s a lot of talk about Mitt Romney’s work in Turkey while he was at Bain and while he was governor of Massachusetts, and a lot of people want to find out about that. You should coordinate with my personal lawyer to get to the bottom of that, OK?”
      Can you imagine what people would have said?? He would’ve been out on his ear – and I would have been one of those calling for his impeachment.

      1. False equivalence. Trump’s an American. Obama’s a Muslim. When Obama’s on the phone with Erdogan, who knows what Caliphate shit they talk about? Plus, Erdogan probably has the dirt on Obama’s time as a gay prostitute.

        The point being, who squashed the investigation into Hillary selling our uranium to Russia.

        Also, taqia.

      2. Suppose we found out that President Obama had promised the president of Russia, when he thought that no one was listening, that he would be more flexible after the election? He’d be out on his ear, right?

        1. You can’t be that dumb, can you?

  29. Comments on other news sites are filled with Trump-haters doubling down on their position. Some are saying that the lack of evidence IS evidence of wrong doing. They are saying you need to read between the lines and look at implied messages.

    What matters now is what the average, non-partisan American thinks. If they feel like I do, that there was no corrupt actions by Trump and that the headlines and stories were a huge waste of energy, then there could be tremendous blowback on the Dems and on the media.

    1. What matters now is what the average, non-partisan American thinks. If they feel like I do…

      You are claiming to be an average, non-partisan American?

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