Impeachment

Does Volodymyr Zelenskiy's Take on His Chat With Trump Show the President 'Did Absolutely Nothing Wrong'?

The Ukrainian president's benign interpretation of Trump's conduct is relevant to the impeachment inquiry but not dispositive.

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"There was no blackmail," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said today, referring to his July 25 telephone conversation with Donald Trump, the focus of allegations that the president committed an impeachable offense by trading military aid for a Ukrainian investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son. "They blocked the military aid before we had our conversation, but we did not discuss it. Later we discussed it with the defense minister and he said, 'We have a problem. They've blocked this money.'"

Zelenskiy's take on the conversation is relevant to the impeachment inquiry but not necessarily dispositive, as Trump unsurprisingly argues. "The President of the Ukraine just stated again, in the strongest of language, that President Trump applied no pressure and did absolutely nothing wrong," Trump tweeted this morning. "He used the strongest language possible. That should end this Democrat Scam, but it won't, because the Dems & Media are FIXED!"

Zelenskiy, who is counting on U.S. support against the military threat from Russia, understands that Trump is likely to remain president until January 2021 at least, and possibly for another four years after that. His benign interpretation of Trump's conduct therefore should be taken with a grain of salt. It is exactly what you would expect him to say, especially if he believes Trump is using foreign policy to advance his own personal and political interests. But even if Zelenskiy is being completely candid, his impression of Trump's intent does not prove that the president "did absolutely nothing wrong," that he is not guilty of "high crimes and misdemeanors," or even that did not violate any federal statutes.

Taking that last part first, a federal official can be guilty of soliciting a bribe under 18 USC 201 even if he is unsuccessful. That bribery statute applies to any official who "corruptly…seeks…anything of value…in return for…being influenced in the performance of any official act." Receiving the bribe is not a necessary element of the offense.

Would it matter if Trump had in mind a quid pro quo that Zelenskiy himself did not infer? That's hard to say.

A bribery conviction under 18 USC 201, the Supreme Court said in the 1999 case United States v. Sun-Diamond Growers of California, requires "a quid pro quo—a specific intent to give or receive something of value in exchange for an official act." But it's not clear how explicit that quid pro quo has to be.

Interpreting a different anti-corruption statute, the Hobbs Act, in the 1991 case McCormick v. United States, the Supreme Court said soliciting a campaign contribution amounts to extortion "only if the payments are made in return for an explicit promise or undertaking by the official to perform or not to perform an official act." But in another Hobbs Act case decided the next year, Evans v. United States, the Court held that "the Government need only show that a public official has obtained a payment to which he was not entitled, knowing that the payment was made in return for official acts." In a concurring opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy explained that "the official and the payor need not state the quid pro quo in express terms, for otherwise the law's effect could be frustrated by knowing winks and nods."

These decisions have created some confusion in lower courts. "The Court did not explain whether Evans established a separate standard for prosecuting bribery outside of the campaign contribution context or whether Evans modified the standard set forth in McCormick," notes a 2015 Journal of Constitutional Law article. "In addition, it remains unclear whether the explicit quid pro agreement as interpreted in McCormick and Evans applies to other federal bribery statutes."

Depending on the answers to those questions, Zelenskiy's understanding of Trump's intent could be important. If the Supreme Court's analysis of the Hobbs Act also applies to 18 USC 201, and if dirt on Biden, a leading contender to oppose Trump as the Democratic nominee in the 2020 presidential election, qualifies as a campaign contribution, the absence of an "explicit promise" would seem to preclude a bribery conviction, assuming that requirement still holds after Evans.

But if compromising information about Biden does count as a campaign contribution, that raises an issue under 52 USC 30121, which makes it a crime to solicit "a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value…in connection with a Federal, State, or local election" from a foreign national. Then again, treating information as a campaign contribution raises troubling First Amendment issues.

Another possibly relevant federal statute, George Mason law professor Ilya Somin notes in a Volokh Conspiracy postis 18 USC 1601. That law applies to someone who "knowingly causes or attempts to cause any person to make a contribution of a thing of value (including services) for the benefit of any candidate or any political party, by means of the denial or deprivation, or the threat of the denial or deprivation, of…any payment or benefit of a program of the United States" if that payment or benefit "is provided for or made possible in whole or in part by an Act of Congress."

In this case, the "thing of value" would be dirt on Biden, which would clearly benefit Trump's re-election campaign. The "payment or benefit" would be congressionally approved military aid. And since the offense includes attempts, it would not seem to matter whether Trump got what he wanted, or even whether Zelenskiy understood what Trump was trying to do.

The question of whether Trump broke the law, while relevant to the impeachment inquiry, is by no means the only factor in deciding whether his conduct qualifies as "high crimes and misdemeanors." Some federal offenses—say, picking up an eagle feather or making an "unreasonable gesture" at a passing horse in a national park—might be minor enough that they do not justify impeachment. Conversely, some abuses of power might be outrageous enough to justify impeachment even if they are technically legal.

The president's own lawyer has conceded that, even though the Constitution imposes no limits on Trump's pardon power, "pardoning himself would just be unthinkable" and "would lead to probably an immediate impeachment." In other words, a president can be guilty of impeachable conduct even if he couldn't be convicted of a crime. The question is whether trading military aid for opposition research—assuming that is in fact what Trump tried to do—falls into the same category as a pre-emptive self-pardon.

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  1. The question is whether trading military aid for opposition research—assuming that is in fact what Trump tried to do—falls into the same category as a pre-emptive self-pardon.

    The Ukraine is landlocked in the heart of the Eurasia, with lovely women, so I hear. The American Empire should bomb them, just be sure.

    1. “assuming that is in fact what Trump tried to do”
      Reason writers will always assume this. It keeps the cocktail party invites flowing.

      1. They’ve assumed a lot of things to be true, that have, in fact, not been true over the last few years. But that doesn’t seem to effect future assumptions.

        1. “Does Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s Take on His Chat With Trump Show the President ‘Did Absolutely Nothing Wrong’?”

          Yes. Next question.

          1. Just because the woman said the sex was consensual doesnt mean she wasnt raped.

            1. Ergo, just because she said she was raped doesn’t mean it wasn’t consensual??

              1. About half of all rape complaints are false.

                Sometimes women who willingly engage in sex take a year to later decide it was rape.

                Women are responsible for most of our National Debt and should not be allowed to vote.

      2. “assuming Reason writers rape toddlers in the restrooms of public parks…”

    2. Are we still pretending that publicly known information since 2016 was tradeable dirt in 2019?

    3. ITT, Jeff gets kicked so bad he runs away.

      1. So a typical thread with jeffrey.

    4. So big long article citing laws…but completely leaves out the Treaty President Bill Clinton signed with Ukraine fully permitting President Trump (and others in US Govt.) to route out corruption, crimes. Shame on author Jacob Sullum for leaving out a very key piece of the pie.

  2. “We can believe the intentions of House Democrat investigators like Schiff and Nadler are pure, but Zelensky’s motives are questionable.”

  3. Zelenskiy, who is counting on U.S. support against the military threat from Russia, understands that Trump is likely to remain president until January 2021 at least, and possibly for another four years after that. His benign interpretation of Trump’s conduct therefore should be taken with a grain of salt. It is exactly what you would expect him to say, especially if he believes Trump is using foreign policy to advance his own personal and political interests.

    And the reverse? What if he said he was actually pressured? Then what? Do we take that response with a grain of salt?

    The logic and reasoning power of Sullum leaves much to be desired.

    1. You beat me to it. Of course I’m sure Sullum would treat the claim of feeling pressure with the same tons of salt.

    2. Yeah, funny that if he answered the way Sullum wanted, it’d be proof positive and Trump should be removed.

      Because he did not, well, it’s only his OPINION.

    3. If Zelenskiy came out and said, “Trump did, in fact, pressure me to re-open an investigation on Biden, and I was given to understand his military aid was conditioned upon my doing so,” the statement would have some greater credibility, being a statement against interest.

      You would be a great hostage negotiator. I can imagine you on the phone with the hostage: “Are you physically under threat right now?” “Um… no…” “Okey-dokey then!”

      1. “You would be a great hostage negotiator. I can imagine you on the phone with the hostage: “Are you physically under threat right now?” “Um… no…” “Okey-dokey then!””

        Thanks for your story. Get lost.

  4. How could dirt on Biden help Trump’s reelection as mentioned in this article when Biden is not even the nominee for his own party? They have not held one election contest to determine their nominee yet. So how could Trump be helping his re-election against a phantom candidate?

    1. How does dirt on Biden count as a thing of value but a $3M job for Hunter Biden not?

    2. I’m pretty sure Trump looked at the Caravan of Clowns the DumboCrats are offering & thought, “The only guy that can beat me is Biden, so how can I hurt him!”….Trump rather face Biden than Bolshevik Bernie or the Lying Lady!

    3. Keep in mind that the FBI was also soliciting the Russians for dirt on Trump in order to influence the election. Oh, sure, you can call it an investigation if you want, but isn’t that a matter of interpretation?

      It was pretty clear Trump was soliciting “dirt” when he carefully and craftily limited himself to speaking of one specific instance of some questionable actions by Biden and his son with regards to a specific Ukrainian company, something that pretty much everybody agreed looked pretty damn sketchy and warranted a closer look. We know what he really meant was “Got any videos of Biden with some Ukrainian hookers? Audio tapes of him using some racist or sexist language? Speeding tickets? Littering or jaywalking? Embarrassing news clips of Joe tripping on the stairs or awkwardly stroking a young girl’s hair as he presses her against his crotch? Gossip about body odor, nose hairs or failing to wash his hands after using the restroom?” And of course the Ukrainians knew this as well, they knew exactly what Trump wanted, they didn’t need it to be spelled out. “Dirt”, not asking Ukraine to investigate a specific allegation.

      Also, it wasn’t just a phone call that showed Trump “did absolutely nothing wrong”, it was a *perfect* phone call. How many times does Trump have to point that out? A perfect phone call! He won a goddamn award for that phone call from the International Phone Call Association, a medal or a trophy or some such, and he had to beat out some stiff competition for that award – including a Filipino guy named Dustin who successfully sold a widow woman an extended warranty for a Mazda Miata she had gotten rid of 4 years prior and a Telco 6000 auto-dialer that saved hundreds of wasted trips by warning the parents of the school children in the Woodville, Illinois Consolidated School District that classes had been cancelled for the day due to an unexpected early-morning snow storm. A *perfect* phone call, you son of a bitch, the judges at the IPCA were reduced to tears at the absolute perfection of that phone call, so you better show some respect!

      1. It isn’t a matter of interpretation.

        When you have information that foreign agents are trying to infiltrate an organization, you contact that organization and help them harden their systems against such an assault.

        What you don’t do is immediately start spying on members of the target organization, setting up sting operations against the organization and attempting to collect dirt on members of the organization.

        Imagine that instead of Trump’s campaign, NASA had been targeted. The DOJ gets intel that the Russians are targeting NASA….. And then what happens? Do they get the NASA administrator on the horn and start looking at ways to prevent infiltration by the Russians? Or do they start wire-tapping the NASA phones and send a couple of FBI agents to seduce some low-level NASA employees and set them up for process crimes so they can be used as moles? Do they work with NASA to root out any intrusions? Or do they send in an Australian diplomat to attempt to infiltrate NASA and set up some pretexts for future warrants?

        When you swap out “Trump” and insert any other target, the purpose of this operation becomes clear. Do they begin spying on Ford? Apple? Microsoft? Or do they do what counter-intelligence agencies do, and try to prevent the spies from getting what they want in the first place? Obviously, they do the former. If it were the latter, they’d all be fired the first time Sandia National Labs was infiltrated and the secrets to fusion bombs was stolen because the FBI was busy trying to make a case against Sandia employees instead of stopping the spies.

      2. WTF kind of drugs are you taking? Because I feel I’m missing out.

      3. My God… that made my night. Poor Dustin.

  5. This whole “impeachment” angle is insane. A request to investigate corruption is not “a thing of value” but an appropriate official request. In what insane world does Biden corruption get spun to “impeach Trump” for f;:& sake.

    And I don’t even like Trump.

    1. Sullum searches hard to interpret what Trump did as a quid pro quo, ignoring the fact that “foreign aid” is designed exactly as a quid pro quo to get countries to do what the USA wants them to do, which obviously would help a politician get re-elected for helping the country. Sullum fails to ask, why did Congress appropriate the money to Ukraine in the first place – i.e., what is the US getting? AFAIK, it was appropriated to investigate what happened in the 2016 elections. Right – apparently a president doing his job in getting assistance to help the USA is grounds for impeachment.

      Meanwhile the Democrats want to elect the crook, instead of investigate him, and ask why he wasn’t investigated during Obama’s administration. Did anyone bring this up and report it to Obama’s FBI, what did they do, and why? I’d bet the answer is yes, and Obama’s FBI ignored it.

      1. The thing is that shortly after Trump’s phone call, the US aid was released before any Ukrainian decision one way or the other to investigate Uncle Schmoe was made….Thus, there simply was no Quid Pro Quo!!!

      2. “Meanwhile the Democrats want to elect the crook”
        I’m not sure if the DNC actually wants Biden. He’s not ideologically pure.
        I’m wondering if the whole reason they picked this dubious motive for impeachment was to try and fuck Biden along with Trump.

      3. Sullum is twisting so hard on bribes and quid pro quos that a wartime ceasefire is an impeachable offense, having received a thing of value (a cessation of American casualties) in exchange for an official act (ordering American troops to stop attacking the enemy.)

        We’re out of rabbit hole and straight into Wonderland these days.

    2. A request to investigate corruption…

      Trump, in his own words, by his own admission, characterized his request to Zelenskiy as a “favor.” How is asking Ukraine to “investigate corruption” generally to be construed as a “favor” to “us,” whoever we are to take Trump to mean by that?

      1. “Trump, in his own words, by his own admission, characterized his request to Zelenskiy as a “favor.” How is asking Ukraine to “investigate corruption” generally to be construed as a “favor” to “us,” whoever we are to take Trump to mean by that?”

        Not real familiar with the English language?
        ‘Could you do me a favor and…’ is a common-enough usage having many possible meanings…
        you fucking idjit.

  6. I’m also overjoyed that the article does mention, in passing, the troubling nature of campaign finance laws generally which criminalize speech at every turn.

    Apparently the notion here is that if you simply declare you are running for president then you can’t be investigated at all. And certainly searching for information about an announced candidate is sufficient to make that information count as something the government can regulate and restrict.

    Step 1: Declare candidacy.
    Step 2: Violate laws with impunity and claim any investigation is against our campaign finance laws which trump everything.

    1. Unless you are Trump, in which case an obviously bogus claim, paid for by the DNC, is enough to trigger several years of worthless investigation.

      1. It’s hard to ignore that if what Trump did was patently illegal we can point to at least two recent Democrat candidates (one of whom was Vice President at the time) who did exactly the same thing without a peep from those who want to impeach him.

        I suppose there’s no law against hypocracy, but it seems that if Trump belongs in jail than Biden and Clinton should be in nearby cells as well.

        So, in short, wake me up when anyone except Trump is held to this standard. As it is, there’s one set of rules for Trump and another set of rules for Democrat candidates.

        Oh, and if Trump is held to account for this that means we’re going to locking up half of Congress right? Because we can point to literally dozens of Representatives that have done essentially the same thing. Such a loose interpretation of these rules should sweep up most of our elected officials.

        1. “”So, in short, wake me up when anyone except Trump is held to this standard.”‘

          Exactly.

        2. Given all the outright treasonous and criminal things the democrats in congress have done in recent years, they should almost all be in prison.

      1. I notice that the two men are being called into ‘impeachment hearings’ by Schiff and company, but I thought that vote hadn’t happened yet. Did I miss the impeachment vote?

    2. Please, please, please, read some news.

      Politicians “investigating” people that just happen to be their political opponents is a favorite tactic, in autocratic states, of eliminating opposition. Putin has been doing it for years. Erdogan is warming up. Duterte put his own political opponents on a hit list (for being somehow involved in the drug industry).

      No one is saying that any politician is above the law. Nor should they be. But the ordinary conduct of justice lets the prosecutors act independently, evaluating evidence and proceeding based on what they find. You don’t have the president picking and choosing who should be subjected to extra scrutiny (even though we have exactly that, under Trump and Barr).

      1. Why didnt you mention the Mueller investigation as an example?

        1. Because Mueller didn’t even start his investigation until during the Trump administration? Because the FBI investigation of Trump’s contacts with Russia were kept under wraps and downplayed by Obama, during the campaign? Because the FBI and Congress were quite open about their own investigations of Hillary during that same period?

          Losing track of the facts, are we?

      2. ‘Politicians “investigating” people that just happen to be their political opponents is a favorite tactic, in autocratic states, of eliminating opposition. MUELLER has been doing it for years.’

        Fixed that, just in case you were too fucking stupid to ignore the obvious.

        1. Sevo, your comments always arrive like an unwanted surge of unexpected diarrhea, so they are very easy to just flush down the drain.

      3. Except Trump didn’t use his office, which does have authority to not only investigate Biden, but arrest and prosecute him. Instead, he privately asked Ukraine (which does not have the power to arrest Biden) to resume an investigation that his predecessor stopped into a company that employed Biden’s son. Two degrees of separation. Come on this is Trump we are talking about, and he didn’t even Tweet about it. This IS him keeping things quiet. It was his opponents that brought things into the limelight.

  7. Saying you’re not a psychopath is exactly what a psychopath would do.

    1. Imagine the alternative where the leader of Ukraine said he did in fact feel coerced. I’m sure the same skepticism would apply.

      1. I had the immediate thought about the counterfactual except I took it one step further.

        Trump is a Russian plant and we’re going to thwart him acting on behalf of the Ukranian President.

    2. Only a sociopath would admit to not being a psychopath.

    3. “Only the true Messiah denies his divinity!”

      1. He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy! Now piss off!

  8. As for myself, I take anything coming out of the mouth of a Democrat pol with a huge block of salt. On pretty much anything. It’s the only prudent thing to do.

    It sure is interesting watching the writers here at Reason carry water for the Democrats and the CIA spooks in their concerted effort to topple Trump. Sad.

  9. “Does Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s Take on His Chat With Trump Show the President ‘Did Absolutely Nothing Wrong’?”

    Are we now at a judicial position of requiring proof of innocence?

    1. Well, Reason did have an article on affirmative defense a few weeks ago…

    2. Well, only for certain people.

    3. Yes Sevo, unless one is a Party member, in good standing.

    4. As usual I’m waiting for Bill Weld to weigh in on this new wrinkle. He’s always got his finger on the pulse.

  10. Zelenskiy, who is counting on U.S. support against the military threat from Russia, understands that Trump is likely to remain president until January 2021 at least…

    Wait a minute. Trump has been arming the Ukrainians all this time? Why would Putin be ordering him to do that?

    1. Ask the Kurds in northern Syria.

    2. Pointless drivel.

      1. The article, that is….

        1. That’s pretty short-winded for a Hihn rant. You doing okay?

          1. maybe the drugs finally kicked in?

            1. He’s still here. They need to up the dosage.

          2. That one isn’t hihn.
            I was confused at first too

            1. Hihn likes to add liberty or libertarian to the handle in an attempt to sound like he believes in either.

              (Sneer)

    3. Sullum’s hot takes are all dispositive, howevs

  11. So who you gonna believe; the guy actually on the call, or an alleged person who is claiming that other alleged persons thought that maybe there could have been something like coercion on the call they were not on?
    And oh by the way, none of the quoted alleged persons actually thought the call was crooked enough to report it themselves.

    I call (continued) shenanigans.

    1. Why, suddenly, do you expect them to see reason?

      Calls that Zelensky is illegitimately leading the Ukraine, that he should be impeached, and that our illegitimately elected leader is deserving of impeachment for illegally negotiating with an illegitimately elected leader would not surprise me at this point.

    2. Wasn’t ABC trying to claim a staffer for Zelenskiys was telling them all sorts of shit like investigating Biden was a pre-requisite to talking with Trump, and then the staffer came forward and said that 1., that the prerequisite was never a thing, 2. he never said any of this to ABC, and 3. At the time of the call he had stopped working for the Ukranian for several months and so wouldn’t have had access to info about the call anyway?

      1. Politico had the story in 2017. They have reported that Ukraine was worried that US relations were bad because Ukraine helped out Obama/Clinton in 2016. They had tried to report some of this to the State Department way back then, but the Obama administration would not listen. So then they hand delivered it via a former US official. Still nothing.

        So they reached out to state and to Giuliani as a back channel to get Trump on the horn.

        I dunno if any of that is right, but he had it long before this phone call thing ever came up.

        1. They tried to get visas to come to the US with the evidence, and the (Now fired!) ambassador arranged for the visas to be denied.

          Ukrainian to US prosecutors: Why don’t you want our evidence on Democrats?

          “Ukrainian law enforcement officials believe they have evidence of wrongdoing by American Democrats and their allies in Kiev, ranging from 2016 election interference to obstructing criminal probes. But, they say, they’ve been thwarted in trying to get the Trump Justice Department to act.

          Kostiantyn Kulyk, deputy head of the Prosecutor General’s International Legal Cooperation Department, told me he and other senior law enforcement officials tried unsuccessfully since last year to get visas from the U.S. Embassy in Kiev to deliver their evidence to Washington.

          “We were supposed to share this information during a working trip to the United States,” Kulyk told me in a wide-ranging interview. “However, the [U.S.] ambassador blocked us from obtaining a visa. She didn’t explicitly deny our visa, but also didn’t give it to us.””

    3. If a rape victim says they weren’t raped would they still have been raped?

  12. Let’s assume some third party fringe candidate, oh say Gary Johnson, had some dealings in a foreign country and the president asked that country for cooperation in looking into that issue. Would that be equally treated? Would that be something viewed as Trump trying to help his re-election?

    Underlying this is some sort of notion that Joe Biden is already the nominee and going to beat Trump, but for this dirt Trump was looking for in Ukraine.

    So is the legal standard some electability argument? If you are seen as a sufficiently electable candidate (not even a party nominee or presumptive) then this idea that “dirt” (aka evidence of crimes potentially committed) applies?

    If Trump was asking for foreign assistance in investigating a Green Party candidate would this still be seen as helping his re-election because those Greens are growing from .1 percent to .2 percent of the national electorate?

    1. Or what if, say Obama had asked Ukraine, Russia, Australia and a former British spy for help in the 2016 DNC campaign. Would we think there was anything wrong with that?

      (This is one thought experiment that we can actually know the answer to. )

    2. It’s not even about electability. It’s as if Trump asking for them to investigate Hillary Clinton would have been perfectly acceptable, but Trump asking them to investigate Marianne Williamson would have been an impeachable offense.

  13. And the TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome) continues unfettered here at Reason. In all of these seemingly endless articles of “we must impeach Trump” have I seen any signs of actual criminality. All the left-wing media and Reason wish us to believe this was nothing more than to get dirt on Joe Biden, which, IMHO, is bullshit. As of me writing this, Biden STILL is not a political foe of Trump. He is ONE of twenty POSSIBLE political foes. Among all his other flaws, Trump is not a soothsayer. He had no idea then as he does not know today who his foe is. As President, I believe it is wholly within his power (even if he was wrong to leverage Congressional approved funds) to ask a foreign government to investigate crimes by an American within that country that could affect relations between our two countries.

    I am still for (with baited breath) for an article from Reason asking the question of what exactly the Vice-President’s son was doing in a foreign receiving $50K per month for doing a job he was clearly not qualified for, especially after being kicked out the Navy for drug use. Does Reason expect me to believe that all of that was on the up-and-up? To look the other way because “nothing to see here”? Trump may very well deserve to kicked out of office, but I firmly believe there are at least 2-5 Democrats who should be sitting in a jail cell.

    1. There is no doubt that Hunter Biden was given a board seat because his name was Biden. There is nothing illegal about giving him a job. Big companies hire celebrities and sport figures all the time. They aren’t hiring them for their expertise. They are hiring them to have dinner with a client or play golf with a client. I get proxies from my stocks and funds all the time. They give me a list of board member and recommend I vote for them. They never give me a rundown on their qualifications. I don’t know if the person is a business genius or the CEO’s cousin. So when you have a specific charge against Hunter Biden lay it out. I don’t care about his drug habit or his military discharge. I doubt he was hired for either of those.

      1. Moderation….I am not saying this is the case, but if I wanted to ‘go after’ Hunter, I’d do mail fraud. A gazillion ways to violate that law, and get your ass dragged into court. It is a law with some teeth to it.

        1. I don’t think anyone is going after Hunter. They are mudding up the waters for Joe Biden. They don’t have anything and so you just throw out something. Innuendo does not require a law with teeth.

          1. Except for Joe Biden’s open admission of course.

            1. (they forget he did that, it’s such a colossal bungup that they have to forget, because the explanation is actually worse for them)

              1. Their stance is that if other people want the same thing (firing the prosecutor) you’re allowed to bribe them to do it.

          2. “They don’t have anything and so you just throw out something.”

            You shouldn’t lie so transparently. Here’s the video of Joe Biden bragging in 2018 about his role in getting Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin fired and intimating that Barack Obama was in on the scam. Biden was speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations in January, 2018.:
            https://www.redstate.com/jenvanlaar/2019/09/25/video-biden-brags-got-ukraine-prosecutor-fired-exchange-1b-aid/

      2. Maybe you don’t understand what quid-pro-quo means then.

        If there was no crime then there is no dirt and Trump gains no leverage.

        It’s the same obstructing an investigation into a crime he didn’t commit bullshit. If there weren’t a whistleblower claiming some inappropriate pressure applied or undue influence exercised none of this would be news in any way.


      3. There is no doubt that Hunter Biden was given a board seat because his name was Biden.

        And it seems there is some doubt if Joe Biden pressured the Ukraine to drop investigations because they might look bad for Hunter and his own political career in the future. In that case you have money that changed hands and political actions were taken, potentially as a result of that money.

        We don’t know that’s the case, but it also doesn’t seem to have been investigated. The Ukraine is far from ‘normal’, but do foreign firms usually hire idiot sons with a history of drug abuse with few skills that would justify such a high price tag? What do they expect to get out of those sons? Perhaps direct access to high members of our national government? Even if you’re paying for a name, you pay for that name for a reason.

      4. There is no doubt that Hunter Biden was given a board seat because his name was Biden. There is nothing illegal about giving him a job. Big companies hire celebrities and sport figures all the time.

        They didn’t hire him for his name, they hired him because his father held one of the highest jobs in the US executive branch and could do the company favors. And that is illegal.

        So when you have a specific charge against Hunter Biden lay it out.

        The charge isn’t against Hunter Biden, it’s against Joe Biden and (possibly) Burisma.

        1. Sorry but there is no evidence that Joe Biden did favors. The fact is that Hunter Biden was on the board for his name. It gave the company prestige. You can go to any city in America with a big league team and find a restaurant with a player’s name one it. You think that players in the kitchen cooking? His name is there to draw in customers. Hunter Biden’s name was there for the same reason.

          Same question what charges for Biden, Hunter or Joe?

          1. How does one gain evidence… maybe an investigation? That’s what you claimed for 3 years against trump. It is why you want his tax returns. See how stupid your argument is now?

        2. Eh, calling it “illegal” is not necessarily correct. At the Federal level, I get the impression it would only be illegal if the politician actively demanded the hiring.

          But doing something that benefits someone related to a politician you support? That’s really difficult to call illegal.

          For example, Ted Cruz’s wife Heidi was hired by Goldman-Sachs. Was that a ‘favor’ for Cruz because he was in government, and might have ended up investigating G-S?

          There are more than 500,000 elected officials in the 90,000 governments in the US. Should every one of those result in every relative (to what degree?) being employed?

      5. Here’s the question…. Why is this company getting a bunch of connected US citizens on the board? What are they buying?

        The only action we know of is that Biden ordered the firing of a prosecutor.

        The “debunk” of this is the supposition that there was no active investigation. This is suspect, because there was in fact an open investigation of that company.

        But let’s suppose Biden was right and the prosecutor was corrupt and still not doing anything about that company. What if he was extorting the company by holding the investigation over their heads?

        And when Biden gets them a new guy, suddenly the file is closed with a small fine.

        Now how’s that look? Still debunked?

      6. Hunter Biden isn’t a celebrity dumbfuck.

      7. ” Big companies hire celebrities and sport figures all the time. They aren’t hiring them for their expertise. They are hiring them to have dinner with a client or play golf with a client.”
        The difference of course is that Hunter Biden is not a celebrity or sports figure. He has never appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated, People Magazine or Tiger Beat. Until a few weeks ago Most people had never heard of him. He was not selling his celebrity. He was selling access to the VP.

      8. That’s all well and good in private life, but I still cannot see how he was legitimately hired by the Navy. People are rejected routinely for any misdemeanor drug use, but Hunter Biden was hired despite both being too old and a felony drug conviction.

        That reeks of violation of every government employment law in the land.

    2. It was pretty clear, at the time of the call, that Trump believed Biden to be his most likely opponent in 2020. He may shift his attention to Warren, soon, but this argument that Biden was not yet the nominee is bad-faith speciousness on its face. Trump had every reason, and may continue to believe he has every reason, to try to torpedo Biden’s chances – either to win against him in 2020, or to promote another Democrat he thinks he can beat.

  14. The question is President Zelenskiy just playing President Trump like other foreign leaders. We have seen foreign leaders develop strategies for dealing with President Trump. Playing to his vanity and avoiding complex discussions he does not understand. Is President Zelenskiy playing our President. I assume that Zelenskiy could care less who the US President is and if he promises Trump something today he can promise Trump successor something else in the future. I also assume he could care less about impeachment.

    1. “We have seen foreign leaders develop strategies for dealing with President Trump.”

      Something that has literally never occurred before in the annals of human history.

    2. Mod, it’s funny how mouth breathing subnormals like you have taken the practice of acting like you’re above the rest of us, and turned it into an art form.

      The idea that Trump is stupid, and that you are anything but stupid, is absurd.

    3. Moderation….C’mon, give the ‘Trump is stupid’ a rest, already. POTUS Trump is many things, stupid is not one. The Oval office has had scoundrels. A few slave owners. A number of philanderers. A number of them lacked common sense. But we have never had a stupid man in Oval office. Not one. Ever. 🙂

        1. Actually, POTUS Ford was a pretty smart guy. Decent man. He came into office at a truly terrible time and stabilized the country. The cost of doing so was losing the next election. And as I recall, radicals twice tried to assassinate him.

        2. Ford was actually not bad. He just sacrificed himself to pardon Nixon, making him so unpopular that he was completely ineffective for the rest of his career. In retrospect, it was the right decision.

  15. Yawn. Is this show still on? Damn, what time is it?

    Haha

  16. They weren’t actually “looking for dirt” on Biden. The object of the scheme was to create the appearance of dirt by pressuring the Ukrainian president to announce an investigation of Biden an investigation that would not have otherwise been possible without a corrupt nudge. You don’t bargain over the criminal prosecution of a political opponent with a foreign govt unless you’re a dumb crook. The Ukrainian announcement of a investigation has value because Ukrainian tax dollars would have been spent to fulfill the agreement. The arrest of these two Guiliani associates adds even more depth to this conspiracy.

    1. Biden’s not his political opponent.

      1. Ask pod what he thinks the point of the fake impeachment is. See if he thinks it is to make Trump look bad.


    2. You don’t bargain over the criminal prosecution of a political opponent with a foreign govt unless you’re a dumb crook

      So Biden should have been impeached and he’s a dumb crook? Or is it perfectly fine to interfere in foreign investigations when your son is potentially involved, but not when it’s a political opponents son who had an investigation dropped using their fathers political influence?

      Not that any of these allegations for either Biden or Trump have been proven to be specifically illegal, but it’s hard to ignore the comparison.

      1. If they had any principles, they’d kick Biden to the curb for this supposed transgression. To show they think it’s real and serious. And that they aren’t just headhunting Trump.

        But that possibility is not even being discussed. So this looks just like the sad partisan nothing that it is.

    3. The Ukrainians re-opened the investigation months before the phone call. So, the timeline of your conspiracy is suspect at best. The investigation was already happening and the Ukrainians didn’t know the money had been held at the time of the phone call. But you will ignore these facts, like all conspiracy nuts do, to further your own pet theory. I’m sure it will go right along with your belief in Roswell and Paul McCartney being killed in an auto accident and replaced with a look alike. Because the evidence is about at the same aluminum foil hat level for all three “conspiracies”.

      1. Democrats are intrinsically dishonest hypocrites.

    4. BTW, if you hadn’t heard, the FBI was just revealed to be continuing to unconstitutionally spy on American citizens despite a court order and an act of Congress limiting their power to do so and the prosecutor looking at misconduct by the FBI and CIA in relation to spying on the Trump campaign just expanded his investigation and has asked for more manpower and money, and has formally stated he is now investigation misconduct by the intelligence agencies conducted after Trump was sworn in. Oh and Mueller was revealed to have lied under oath when he denied he had been interviewed prior to his investigation for the FBI directors job. So unlike this shitstorm, it is really looking like the intelligence agencies really were conducting multiple illegal acts, including trying to take down an elected official.

      1. Nice. I hadn’t seen that (probably because heaven forbid the media report anything that could be positive for Orange Man). Is Fox reporting that or another news site?

        1. Here is the origin of soldiermedic’s claim with respect to Mueller:

          https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/gregg-jarrett-mueller-congress-trump-special-counsel

          An opinion piece by a book author who is pushing the ‘witch hunt’ narrative. Take with a huge grain of salt.

          1. It’s actually the result of several FOIA’d emails that revealed that Mueller was discussion becoming FBI director with White House staffers before he was called in to meet with Trump.

            You can still advocate salt, but use something other than an ad hominem against this one reporter that happened to be one of many reporting on it.

      2. When you have CIA operatives behind at least two separate ‘investigations’ into Trump, one might have reason to be skeptical. Especially when all the sources have been hidden from not only the public but apparently members of Congress as well.

        This is the first ‘secret’ impeachment in American history, it seems, and the CIA and FBI are at least tangentially involved and possibly directly involved.

        I can’t believe we’re hearing ‘trust the CIA and FBI’ from the left. These were the devil to them yesterday, and today they are saints. Curious. Maybe this will help Republicans see that secret law enforcement actions don’t just fuck over citizens.

        1. I can’t believe we’re hearing ‘trust the CIA and FBI’ from the left.

          The CIA and FBI have always been authoritarian, but they used to be politically mixed and in the middle. Obviously, the left has taken over the CIA and FBI, and once the left takes over an institution, it trusts it.

          1. I tend to think it’s because they’re a useful tool today. I won’t be at all surprised to hear them go back to bashing them tomorrow once they’ve served their purpose. I sort of doubt that most of the CIA or FBI are in the bag for either party, but it’s pretty certain at least a few of them will be.

            In fact, we can point to a few (at least in the FBI) that definitely were. Peter Strzok comes immediately to mind.

        2. “”When you have CIA operatives behind””

          You can pretty much stop there because lying, deception, and creating coups are part of their job description.

          1. Yeah, it’s hard to ignore it’s their reason for existence. I was also under the impression they didn’t have any power domestically, but apparently that isn’t the case here for ‘reasons’.

            1. “”I was also under the impression they didn’t have any power domestically, “”

              The wall that prevented them from operating domestically was torn down after 9/11.

    5. You don’t bargain over the criminal prosecution of a political opponent with a foreign govt unless you’re a dumb crook.

      You’re seriously suggesting that the executive branch should acquiesce about criminal wrongdoing by a presidential candidate and let Americans elect a crook? Are you insane?

      And for Hillary’s criminal wrongdoing, Democrats are now saying “oh, she isn’t a candidate anymore, we should just let it pass”. If you can’t prosecute these corrupt frauds before they get into office, while they are in office, or after they leave office, when can we prosecute them?

      1. You’re seriously suggesting that the executive branch should acquiesce about criminal wrongdoing by a presidential candidate and let Americans elect a crook?

        Wait, so you’re saying the Obama admin SHOULD HAVE spied on the Trump campaign? I’m so confused now.

        1. Video of Biden himself bragging about using foreign aid to leverage internal Ukrainian politics
          Vs
          CIA+FBI+WH creating fake suspicion based on fake evidence and set ups via it’s own operatives

          Totes the same

        2. Wait, so you’re saying the Obama admin SHOULD HAVE spied on the Trump campaign? I’m so confused now.

          No, I don’t have a problem with the Obama administration looking for criminal wrongdoing by the Trump campaign, domestically or abroad.

          What I do have a problem with is the Obama administration falsifying records to get warrants, fabricating evidence, or using results from an otherwise unsuccessful investigation for political purposes.

    6. arrested by prosecutors who took office on political promises to “get Trump and anyone associated with him”.

      Which is a good reason for people to quit electing partisans to the judiciary and AG positions. Because now you can’t trust anything they are doing to be above board.

    7. “…The object of the scheme was to create the appearance of dirt by pressuring the Ukrainian president to announce an investigation of Biden an investigation that would not have otherwise been possible without a corrupt nudge…”

      Mi9nd-reading fucking lefty ignoramus is here to provide us with fantasies.

  17. How is simply asking for an investigation a “thing of value”? An investigation is, ostensibly, a neutral “thing”; what is its value? What value would it be for Trump if the investigation clears Biden’s son?
    It seems to me that depending on the outcome it could be of value for Trump or for Biden. Or for neither. So until the investigation is done the value is undetermined.
    Of course, no one thinks Trump would have asked for this – even innocently – if it had been a supporter’s son.

    1. Well, gosh, heaven forbid current administrations try to find out whether candidates for president have acted corruptly and warn the American people beforehand if they find any dirt!

      It’s not like Obama didn’t already do that, and the when he couldn’t find anything fabricated accusations. Oh no! Not that.

    2. If opposition research is not a thing of value, why do political campaigns routinely pay for it?

      1. The difference is “opposition research” is secret. You get information on your opponent. A criminal investigation is public. Everyone knows whether or not your opponent committed a crime.

  18. “The Ukrainian president’s benign interpretation of Trump’s conduct is relevant to the impeachment inquiry but not dispositive.”

    I’ve never read a more vague and in determinable description of a situation before. seems relevant to the aforementioned situation.

  19. Taking that last part first, a federal official can be guilty of soliciting a bribe under 18 USC 201 even if he is unsuccessful. That bribery statute applies to any official who “corruptly…seeks…anything of value…in return for…being influenced in the performance of any official act.” Receiving the bribe is not a necessary element of the offense.

    How retarded can you be? You are aware that this effectively says that Joe Biden didn’t have to receive a bribe in order to be guilty of soliciting a bribe, right? As long as a job for his son could be considered valuable and that the value was exchanged for influence is sufficient.

  20. Don’t need any statutory violations to impeach Trump. Impeach away, congress. It’s your move.

    1. Ah, I just got off the phone. I was told the point is to create weeks of media analysis and if enough public blue checkmark braying is received by the public, we’ll vote for Kamala Harris or Joe Biden or some other Highly Qualified Candidate come 2020. So it’s not really about impeachment.

  21. First the basic fact: Conversations between the leaders of other countries and our President should be highly classified and confidential. Only the principals can describe the particulars. So, the presidents enemies (including Reason) are devoid of principal at the start. Second: The favor asked for is always misrepresented as applying to the 2020 election. Trump asks about “the server”. The missing server from 2016.

  22. I have found it to be ineffective to threaten a person without making him aware of the threat. They just go on happy in their ignorance.
    Apparently, while the Pentagon and State Department knew of a schedule to release the funds to the Ukraine, the Ukrainians were not told what the schedule was, or that there even was a schedule.

    1. “”I have found it to be ineffective to threaten a person without making him aware of the threat.””

      Oh yeah???

    1. does the Orange Man weigh more than a duck?

      1. I happen to think that strange women dispensing swords from the bottom of lakes IS a sound foundation for a system of government.

        1. worked for Gwynevere.

    2. Where in the Constitution does it say that a President who is being impeached need be guilty of violating a law, afforded due process, or be presumed innocent?

      1. Where in the constitution does it say a president under i.peachment is denied due process?

        1. “The House of Representatives shall choose their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.”

          “The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments.”

          The House decides the rules for impeachment (consistent with other Constitutional provisions). The House could impeach the President in the morning, the Senate could convict the President in the afternoon, and it would all be entirely constitutional.

          If you want to argue that the president ought not be railroaded in that way, then I would agree, but perhaps you should not rely upon the Constitution to buttress your claim.

          1. JesseAz
            October.10.2019 at 7:52 pm
            Where in the constitution does it say a president under i.peachment is denied due process?

            The House decides the rules for impeachment (consistent with other Constitutional provisions)

            Are you not agreeing with him here? Or is due process not one of these “Constitutional provisions”?

            1. It’s not. The Fourteenth Amendment doesn’t apply to impeachment because the trial is not a criminal trial that would upon conviction deprive the president of “life, liberty or property”.

              It’s up to the House and Senate to decide entirely.

              1. It’s not

                I don’t agree. I don’t think the court would either and, as in the Nixon impeachment, they would be the decider of that.

                Do you have any case law that supports you?

                The Fourteenth Amendment doesn’t apply to impeachment because the trial is not a criminal trial

                This is not how the court has ruled in the past. They have specifically said that the right extends beyond criminal proceedings, which is supported by a plain reading of the document. There is no limitation of due process to criminal proceedings and the courts have ruled as much. Nixon VS. US covered this when it discussed the level of involvement that the court could have in the impeachment process.

                This is basic stuff.

                1. Well, in Nixon v. US, some justices argued that the Senate could do basically whatever it wanted when it came to conducting impeachment trials – the Court’s opinion – while other justices argued that it couldn’t really do *whatever* it wanted, but that it could be trusted to do the right thing, so there is no real problem in just letting the Senate be free to conduct its own affairs.

                  Plus, the Federalist Papers talk explicitly about why the Supreme Court shouldn’t get involved in the impeachment process at all.

                  So I think it would be an uphill battle to even make the case that any action by the House or the Senate in the course of an impeachment should even be reviewable by the courts in the first place.

                  But my larger point is that if you want to argue that the President ought to get due process, then that’s great, but you’re going to have to do more work than that to claim that it is constitutionally required.

                  And now I really am going to bed.

                  1. Jeff, all I see there is supposition, which isn’t supported by any decisions I am aware of. You cite the Federalist papers, but not which ones or by whom. You have no case law. . As a professor, I know what someone trying to snow me looks like.

                    It is fairly plain to see that you are neither an attorney, nor even very well versed on this subject.

                    I asked you for caselaw that supported your contention that

                    It’s not [Due Process] . The Fourteenth Amendment doesn’t apply to impeachment because the trial is not a criminal trial that would upon conviction deprive the president of “life, liberty or property”.

                    I have to proceed as though you have none, and have no intention of providing any.

                    Again, I am not interested in your supposition. You make many claims that run counter to well known 1L cases, so I thought you may have some cases that bro if ht you to your interpretations. Now it is plain to see that you are simply an internet know it all with no actual experience or understanding of the law at all.

                    1. And he’s *”going to bed” because you kicked his head in.

                  2. So I think it would be an uphill battle to even make the case that any action by the House or the Senate in the course of an impeachment should even be reviewable by the courts in the first place.

                    Nixon was forced to give the tapes over because the court upheld a subpoena for them. They literally answered the question you stupidly think would be an uphill battle you fucking moron.

                    This has been resolved already you fucking retard. You are wrong.

                    1. Yes, that is what I meant when I said Nixon VS. US covered this when it discussed the level of involvement that the court could have in the impeachment process.

                      Whether the court has any power to involve itself has been resolved. They do. There is no uphill battle.

                  3. but you’re going to have to do more work than that to claim that it is constitutionally required.

                    It is. Textually. In the 14th.

                    You aren’t going to bed you’re running because you know you’re wrong.

              2. “the trial is not a criminal trial that would upon conviction deprive the president of “life, liberty or property”.”

                The President gets a salary you stupid fuck.

              3. Well, chemjeff, if its good enough to ruin a guy’s life in college, it’s good enough to engage in a coup d’etat, I guess.

  23. I don’t completely disagree with the article, but I do to a good extent.

    If your opinion is that Trump gave a quid pro quo to Zelenskiy, and that such an offer was clearly shown via the released transcript, then a corollary is that either Zelenskiy is: A) Lying, or B) Too stupid to understand that he was being pressured.

    This complicates the narrative that Trump was pressuring Ukraine and that the pressure was obvious. Now we need evidence to illustrate that we know Zelenskiy is lying or stupid in order for the story to be consistent with itself. Zelenskiy, the man who was supposedly pressured, is saying that he wasn’t pressured, so that must be accounted for with more than just a theory.

      1. Oh right, that false consciousness shit they pull.

      2. Not knowing your own mind counts as a high crime or misdemeanor so we can impeach him, right?

        1. Running for president is solid proof that you’re unfit for the job.

    1. Yeah, I think Zelenskiy is lying in public, anyway. He has every reason to lie. His country depends entirely on Trump’s good will to even exist and not be completely overrun by the Russians. If you read the transcript, Zelenskiy is so sycophantic towards Trump, it’s painful. If my very existence depended on flattering Trump, well then I’d flatter Trump too, regardless of what Trump actually did or didn’t do.

      1. “Let me explain… Trump is a Russian agent who does Putin’s bidding, but is selling arms to Ukraine who is fighting Russia, so the Ukrainian leader is sucking up to Trump so that Trump won’t abandon Ukraine for Putin” – t. Chemleft

        You can’t even keep your narratives straight, can you? You dishonest fuck.

        1. I don’t think Trump is a “Russian asset” and never did. I always thought that was one of the more ridiculous claims. But as usual you’d rather argue against strawmen and stereotypes than against real human beings.

          Me: Present a cogent argument
          You: Burn down strawmen and insult people, but don’t rebut the argument

          Huh.

          1. You really do hate yourself

          2. Your “cogent argument” largely requires people to ignore anything you’ve posted here before right now.

            History didn’t begin today.

  24. Trump should be impeached because, uh…well…you know.
    Oh, that’s right.
    Trump should be impeached because he’s a big meany, and I don’t like him.
    (Pouts and sucks on thumb while diaper is changed.)

    1. It’s because he clearly abused his power and obstructed justice. But because you can impeach a President for anything I’d also add article 3: being a loathsome lying douche and 4. Acting in such a despicable way so that we have to debate if the housing we are providing Mexican children amounts to a concentration camp. I thought libertarians would be all over that and not all over Dear Leader’s cock.

      1. Please don’t liquidate another 100 million people.

      2. Fuck off, Tony, and take your unfunny sock with you.

      3. “…Acting in such a despicable way so that we have to debate if the housing we are providing Mexican children amounts to a concentration camps.”
        So, accusations, by themselves, prove the president’s unfitness, simply because he was accused? Pretty dishonest argument.

      4. “It’s because he clearly abused his power and obstructed justice”

        You should quit listening to those voices in your head. You might not come across as such a fucking ignoramus.

  25. Jacon Sullum takes himself too seriously when he discusses what is . An “impeachable offense” is whatever the House and the Senate decides it is. Arguing legal standards is a joke.

    There is no defined standard so the answer will be political. The Supreme Court would have no standards of review to rely upon.
    In other words, if the Dems have enough votes, they can impeach Trump. If not, they will fail.

    This is a really cool discovery, that took some 230 years for Congress to recognize. It is a dangerous weapon, though.

    1. I could have written that post for you and it would look exactly the same. You’re so predictably stupid and self-important it’s comical.

    2. Well, since the wording is “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors”, it seems like it might be required to prove treason, bribery, or other high crime, crime being defined as breaking the law. So, yeah, a crime needs to be proven.

    3. The answer is “whatever Congress can think won’t get them run out of office in the next election”. Impeachment is such a significant issue that voters will punish their congressmen for how they vote.

      The Nixon Congress thought it was important to give a show of legal due process because it made it look official and that the voters won’t think they were just trying to kick Nixon out of power to further their own politics.

      The current Congress seems to go along the lines of “Trump is guilty, we can’t just decide why yet”. They seem to think their zeal will resonate with the voters. The quiet majority seems to be very much against it.

      On the other hand, undermining confidence in elections is one of the surest ways to start a violent revolution. If you cannot trust in your vote to change the government, you go to your guns.

  26. The Ukrainian president’s benign interpretation of Trump’s conduct is relevant to the impeachment inquiry but not dispositive.

    To paraphrase Jacob Sullum: “Trump is guilty until he proves that he didn’t commit this non-crime.” That’s modern big-L Libertarianism for you.

    In case you don’t get it: (1) there is zero evidence that Trump pressured Ukraine by withholding funds, all there is is a hearsay allegation that is already contradicted by the transcript; and (2) even if Trump had pressured Ukraine to investigate Biden, that would still have been perfectly legal and no different from what prior administrations have done in pursuit of political opponents.

    1. I propose using the democrat legal standard to imprison their entire party and begin sorting out which of them needs to be executed for treason.

      They should appreciate that kind of consistency.

    2. ONCE AGAIN.
      We should hold people in positions of power and authority to higher standards than simply “not actually convicted of a crime”. They should absolutely be held to account for shady or shifty behavior.
      There is absolutely nothing wrong with being prudently suspicious and skeptical of them.

      1. And once AGAIN, NO ONE believes that is your actual motivation. So stop embarrassing yourself.

        1. Of course that is my actual motivation, your gaslighting notwithstanding.

          1. “gaslighting”

            You mean like when you call me a narcissist for talking about you?

            That kind of gaslighting? Very Alinsky “accuse them of what you are doing” there Jeff.

            1. No, I mean the gaslighting that you habitually do when you try to assign your opinion to everyone else and insist that it is a fact held to be true by all, when it is not.

              1. Oh, so not the gaslighting you did that I just pointed out then.

                1. Collectivistjeff butthurt psychotic

      2. “”They should absolutely be held to account for shady or shifty behavior.””

        It’s called an election.

      3. That’s a great motivation for voting against Trump. I will 100% support your choice to do so.

        It is not a valid basis for impeachment.

  27. It’s already been ruled that information is not a thing of value.

    1. It’s also not “digging up dirt” when the story has been known for years.

  28. Would it matter if Trump had in mind a quid pro quo that Zelenskiy himself did not infer? That’s hard to say.

    What if Trump had an actual erection that Zelenskiy himself did not infer?

  29. BENGHAZIII!!!

    Shit! Wait.

    1. ‘Yawn’

    2. You’re so bad at this!

    3. “BENGHAZIII!!!”

      Why do lefty ignoramuses keep bringing up actual malfeasance by Obo and the hag and somehow think it’s ‘clever’?

  30. How could dirt on Biden help Trump’s reelection as mentioned in this article when Biden is not even the nominee for his own party? They have not held one election contest to determine their nominee yet. So how could Trump be helping his re-election against a phantom candidate?
    فروش تجهیزات شبکه

    1. I think for the DNC this is more about stopping Biden getting the nomination than impeaching Trump.
      Biden isn’t woke enough and ideologically pure enough for the party mavens. They want a Warren.

  31. “In this case, the “thing of value” would be dirt on Biden, which would clearly benefit Trump’s re-election campaign.”

    Guess what? It might also benefit the American people.

    1. “American People Bad!”

  32. The question isn’t whether Trump did anything wrong. The question is whether the 2016 election results should be overturned.

    1. Oh good heavens Ken.
      Even if Trump is impeached and removed, we wouldn’t get President Hillary. We’d get President Pence.

      Calling impeachment and removal “overturning an election” is to suggest that impeachment and removal is never legitimate in a democratic sense when applied to the president.

      1. It’s always fun to see how stupid you get when you read things that aren’t there.

      2. I voted for Trump for President, not Pence.

  33. Look, there’s a reason the ACME Corporation doesn’t offer a warranty on any of its Instant Impeachment kits.

    1. #BeepBeep

      Wasn’t there a meme going around with Trump as the RoadRunner?

  34. And I am just so tired of Trump. So so tired.

    1. Yeah, so am I.

      The deal is, though, by this time, I would be way more tired of Hillary.

      For the most part, Donald has been funny as in hah-hah, while Hillary would have been funny as in tears of a clown.

      1. Well to be honest, my opinion about Hillary is along the lines of P.J. O’Rourke’s: “She’s wrong about absolutely everything, but she’s wrong within normal parameters.” She’d do a lot of bad shit, but you’d know exactly what the bad shit would be, because it would be exactly the same bad shit that we’ve seen for the past 50 years. As things stand now, though, we still get about 90% of the bad shit that would have happened anyway, plus a lunatic unhinged buffoon in charge to boot. Who knows, maybe we’ll wake up tomorrow to discover that President Orange Baboon has pissed off the Spanish with some dumb tweet about “well they were total losers in the Second World War” and decided to coddle some African dictator by selling them advanced weapons in a country where there just *happens* to be a Trump Tower hotel. It’s all a big coincidence, right? The guy knows no limits.

        1. We voted for Trump because we didn’t want the “normal” Uniparty Globalist rule anymore.

          #MAGA

        2. Here’s the problem Jeff, with Hillary, would we have gotten talks with Kim Jong Un? I don’t think so,

          Hillary might “wrong within normal parameters” but are “normal parameters” what we want?

          After all, “normal parameters” are perpetual war. Hillary Clinton has supported every war in the last three decades and has never backed away from her positions. Simply put, PJ is wrong.

          I’m putting my money on Trump to back us away from perpetual war.

          As always, I will admit that I might be wrong.

    2. I’m tired of the endless bitching about him.

      1. I love the daily flood of Leftist tears.
        #CryMore

    3. Go to the Netherlands and investigate their euthanasia services. I’m sure they can help you.

        1. Oh yeah, they’ll euthanize you?

            1. Lol and his sad little “no you!” lololol he’s so stupid.

          1. No no Tulpa, we’re talking about your mental illness. Particularly your narcissistic personality disorder and your generally antisocial behavior. You should look into Geel.

            1. chemjeff radical individualist
              October.10.2019 at 10:34 pm
              No no Tulpa, we’re talking about your

              Um, no actually….

              chemjeff radical individualist
              October.10.2019 at 9:11 pm
              And I am just so tired

              1. Yeah we are now talking about your mental illness and your upcoming trip to Geel, since you were intent on diverting and derailing the original conversation anyway, since that’s what you do. Probably as a manifestation of your mental illness.

                I understand airfare to Europe is relatively cheap in the offseason. Do you have a current passport?

                1. “Yeah we are now talking about your”

                  I’m not. I’m still talking about you.

                  You do realize that aftef all your whinging, you’re insisting that we continue talking about me.

                  Did you just decide that your go to move was gaslighting?

                  1. Did you realize that round-trip tickets from New York to Brussels can go for as little as $700? That’s pretty darn good. And Geel is just around the corner from Brussels.

                    1. Did you finally realize how stupid you looked calling me a narcissist for talking about you cytotoxic?

              2. And incidentally Tulpa.
                I don’t want to see you die. Not even if you wished to do so voluntarily. I wouldn’t stop you if it were your choice, but I would advocate against it. Even though you have brought me nothing but grief here on these forums. I want you to fulfill your inner potential.

                1. “And incidentally Tulpa.
                  I don’t want”

                  Don’t care. You got super butturt because I zinged you and you’re tantruming.

                  Everyone sees it. Now insist on talking about me then call me a narcissist, that doesn’t make you look unhinged at all.

                  1. Don’t care.

                    Yeah I think you do at least a little bit.

                    And you think I’m “super butthurt” over you telling me to go kill myself? Sheesh, that happens on a daily basis around here. It’s “Thunderdome”, right? If I didn’t get a terminal case of the vapors over the million times that Nardz and Shithead and Jesse and all the others told me to go kill myself, you doing it yet one more time isn’t going to do it.

                    I mean, you’re obviously trying to get me riled up by playing to my vanity and my ego. “Everyone sees it”, “makes you look unhinged”, etc. It’s just a game, and it’s kind of a sad one, to be honest. I’d like for you to get some help for your affliction.

                    But, it is time for me to go to bed, and I should stop enabling your self-destructive behavior anyway. So, as usual, you get the last word.

                    1. “Yeah I think”

                      Still don’t care cytotoxic.

                      Shorter cytotoxic “STOP MAKING ME TALK ABOUT YOU CONSTANTLY YOU DERANGED NARCISSIST!!!”

                    2. If I didn’t get a terminal case of the vapors

                      Not the most self-aware one are you?

                      I mean, you’re obviously trying to get me riled up

                      It doesn’t help that you’re letting him. You’ve been getting the terminal vapors over a joke about you for nearly 2 hours.

    4. I’m not tired of winning yet!

    5. I’m tired of his irrational critics, personally.

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  36. The Republicans are so far up Trump’s ass and have sold out their principles so thoroughly it’s hilariously absurd to think they wouldn’t let him get away with a self-pardon too.

    1. So you have a line of bullshit and that makes you different from the other lefty ignoramuses how?

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