Impeachment

Ambassador Changes Testimony, Admits Giving Quid Pro Quo Message to Ukraine

Gordon Sondland said he now remembers conveying that military aid would be withheld until Ukrainian President Zelenskiy complied with Trump's demands.

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"Let me state clearly, inviting a foreign government to undertake investigations for the purpose of influencing an upcoming election would be wrong," said Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union, in his sworn deposition before congressional investigators on October 17. "Withholding foreign aid in order to pressure a foreign government to take such steps would be wrong. I did not and would not ever participate in such undertakings."

But on November 4, Sondland had a change of heart.

"I now recall speaking with [Andriy] Yermak," he wrote in an appendix to his testimony, referring to one of the top advisers to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. "I said that resumption of U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anti-corruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks."

Per congressional testimony, the "anti-corruption statement" concerned President Donald Trump's push to have Zelenskiy publicly announce an investigation into Burisma Group—where Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, sat on the board—as well as into a much-criticized theory on Ukrainian interference in the 2016 U.S. election. The House is currently conducting an impeachment inquiry after revelations surfaced that Trump allegedly withheld congressionally-authorized military aid from Ukraine this summer in order to strongarm Zelenskiy into carrying out the request.

Sondland's switch comes after William Taylor, the current U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, testified on October 22. According to Taylor, Sondland informed Ukrainian officials that the aid would not be released unless the investigation directed at the Bidens moved forward.

Trump has repeatedly denied that he ever weaponized the aid package in exchange for Zelenskiy's assistance, although he seemed to allude to it multiple times on a July 2019 call with the Ukrainian president. "False stories are being reported that a few Republican Senators are saying that President Trump may have done a quid pro quo, but it doesn't matter, there is nothing wrong with that, it is not an impeachable event," Trump tweeted on Sunday. "Perhaps so, but read the transcript, there is no quid pro quo!"

With Sondland's admission, that defense seems flimsier.

The transcript of his deposition was released on Tuesday, along with that of Kurt Volker, the former special envoy to Ukraine. Their testimonies entered the public record a day after House Democrats released the depositions of Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, and Michael McKinley, a former top aide to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Both testified about the rank partisanship pervading the State Department, as Trump allies, spearheaded by his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, successfully worked to remove Yovanovitch from her post. According to Giuliani et. al, she stood in the way of the end-game: convincing Zelenskiy to investigate Joe Biden.

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  1. This is the “breaking news” on CNN and MSNBC. Apparently “refreshed his memory” is the new euphemism for “consulted with his handlers on what he should have said”.

    1. Or a couple of screeching SJW bubbleheads accosted him in the elevator.

      1. It’s actually a non story. The discussion was from a Sept 1 meeting. Billy somehow didnt include the little details.

        There is a reason this isnt big news today.

    2. The refreshed memory didn’t work with sexual misconduct charges on SCOTUS nominee.

    3. *check clears*

      Oh! THAT quid pro quo!

      1. Dodnt bother to read the revised statement I see. Useful idiot.

    4. It’s not a refresh. The meeting described was Sept 1st. The first report on pid pro quo was in August. This is literally Sondland saying the PM asked him about aid after the story broke. It has nothing to do with the july phone call.

      Billy is a fucking idiot.

      Is there a reason Billy didnt include the date of the meeting? Why the fucking dishonesty.

      From politico…

      “Sondland said that during a Sept. 1 meeting in Warsaw, ”

      Timelines matter Billy

      1. And if you think about it, it’s not Trump making a quid pro quo demand. If anyone is, it’s Sondland. Unless, of course, his next “refreshed recollection” is that Trump specifically ordered him to say it.

    5. In this thread, Mike Laursen makes it clear he is bad at socking by exposing himself as grb, not guilty, and De Oppresso Liber.

    6. I harbor no illusions about Trump’s high ethics or commitment to doing the right thing regardless of the personal consequences. But memories of things that happened as recently as September that have this much significance and just now came to Sondland’s memory strains credibility.

      1. Credibility? What remains of it? A spot on the deck?

  2. So, even key individuals in this thing are arguing with themselves over what was said and done?

    Forget it, I’m out.

    1. oh cmon Trip, surely this is the end for the orange devil

      1. “We’ve got him this time, for sure!” Lol

        1. Absolutely! Wile E. Coyote just got the lastest shipment from Acme.

  3. Will people stop doubting the accuracy of my predictions now? I’ve been saying for over a year the #BlueWave Congress would impeach Putin’s Puppet. And #TrumpUkraine is the tipping point.

    1. No. The Democrats have been looking for something, anything, to Impeach Trump over since before his inauguration. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

      1. Not if it’s digital. Or a sundial on a rainy day.

      2. Trump is doing a really good job giving them reasons to impeach him.

        1. Is that why it’s taking so long to come up with articles of impeachment?

          To remove Trump all they need is one article of impeachment that is so obvious a crime that the Senate republicans feel they have to vote guilty. Just one. That’s all. One. After three years of giving Trump the colonoscopy treatment they can’t seem to do that. Just one. That’s all. One.

          1. They don’t want to actually impeach Trump. They want to string this all out to affect the 2020 election .

            1. I think they’ll be successful in that.
              By next November, so many Independents will be so sick of DemonCRAP lies, distortions and innuendo, that there will be a Red Tsunami that will wash the DemonicCRAPS from office.

              In his second term, I sincerely hope that Trump allocates $40 million for a team of prosecutors to spend 2 1/2 years investigating the top DemonCRAPS in the House, filing charges for every crime uncovered. Most should be pretty easy to charge and convict. They ought to be able to investigate at least 50 of them – and send 30 or more to prison.

    2. Too deadpan. Ham it up a bit, for the noobs.

  4. So would this be OK if Biden was not potentially the Democratic nominee? Is the principle being set here that if you running for the presidential nomination of one party and another party holds the White House, then you are immune from investigation or prosecution until the next election sorts itself out? Because it is not clear Biden is an election opponent of Trump’s at this point in time.

    1. Spin it around Mikey… Remember all the way back to 2015 when Obama used dubious means to spy on Trump?

      I remember. It was ok then because reasons but it’s not ok now because reasons

      1. It was ok then because reasons but it’s not ok now because reasons

        Neither thing is okay.

      2. Or when Obama used the IRS to go after his enemies? That was ok but this isn’t. I can’t defend Trump, if indeed he did this, but why don’t the rules apply to Democrats? Obama will never pay for the illegal and unethical things he did, you can bet the farm.

        1. Then there is the fact that Biden’s actions were at the very least highly worth investigation. Even the New York Times said so, before Trump’s name got involved. This is practically a textbook case of a conflict of interest involving family.

          I cannot accept this as simply a campaign violation. This is too obvious on Biden’s part.

      3. There is a great deal of difference between the two.

        In the case of Trump, the only “evidence” of wrong-doing was a dossier paid for by Trump’s political opponent which the mechanisms of the FBI and CIA knew was false at the time they used it to obtain FISA warrants for spying. Everyone involved with that should be seeing at least a decade of prison time. Strozk, Page, Brennan, Comey, McCabe, the Ohrs. Lock them all up.

        In the instant case, you had a criminal go on television and brag about how he blackmailed Ukraine to remove a prosecutor who was investigating his son. Now Biden may be innocent. For example, if Sleepy Joe had gone around the world twisting the arms of governments to fire corrupt elements and the Ukrainian prosecutor was just one of many such attempts to fight corruptiion – fine. And hurrah for Joe’s war on corruption.

        BUT, if the ONLY “corrupt” individual Joe ever demanded be fired was the prosecutor investigating his son, the “coincidence” is too much to bear. Biden is a criminal who should spend a long stretch in prison.

    2. Because it is not clear Biden is an election opponent of Trump’s at this point in time.

      Really? It’s not clear whether or not Biden is running for something?

      1. It is not clear that Biden will be running for President against Trump. The point being, until somone wins the nomination Trump does not have an election opponent, and seems less and less likely it will be Biden.

        And again, what is the principle being asserted, and what are the limits on it?

        1. It’s a good question, and one I haven’t gotten a good answer for. Suppose Biden had already been selected as the Democratic nominee, so that he would be Trump’s opponent. Now is he immune from investigation? Can no investigation happen if a side effect is a political benefit to an incumbent?

          I say this as someone who doesn’t like and didn’t vote for Trump. It just seems that the principle here is very weird.

          1. “”Can no investigation happen if a side effect is a political benefit to an incumbent?””

            Exactly this.

            1. “”Can no investigation happen if a side effect is a political benefit to a Republican incumbent?””

              FIFY

        2. The principle being asserted is that Trump, and only Trump, because he is Trump, cannot investigate the people that were responsible for:

          (a) the fake Mueller investigation throughout the course of which he was falsely accused of being a Russian agent; and

          (b) any factual threads that expose the Obama administration of having had corrupt dealings in Ukraine with the same cast of characters that participated in launching the fake investigation referenced in (a), above.

          That is the principle. Trump is supposed to be a standing target for political subversion. Him outmaneuvering his political opponents is not FAIR.

          1. There it is!!! +10000000

          2. That would be the same “fake Mueller investigation” that came into existence because Trump bragged about firing Comey to Russian Ambassador Kislyak & Foreign Minister Lavrov in the Oval Office? Remember he boasted, “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.” Since Trump had admitted he fired the FBI head over the investigation, someone had to take over. AG Sessions couldn’t though. Why? Becaused he’d already been caught lying about his contacts with Russia.

            So that’s how Mueller was appointed. And what was discovered during his investigation? A very limited list includes :

            1. Trump’s NSA nominee lied to the Vice President about his contacts with Russia

            2. Trump’s NSA nominee then lied to the FBI about his contacts with Russia

            3. Trump’s campaign head gave private briefings to a man the CIA considered a Russian agent (beforehand)

            4. Trump’s son-in-law lied during his security clearance about contacts with Russia.

            5. He also asked the Russians to use if he could use their secure communication lines to elude American intelligence monitoring.

            6. Trump’s son was told the Russia government wanted to secretly aid DJT’s election. Trump Jr replied: “I love it.”

            6. Trump’s fixer, Michael Cohen, secretly negotiated a massive Moscow business deal with Kremlin officials right up the very eve of the election.

            7. Cohen lied about these negotiations, even when later testifying under oath.

            8. Trump was repeatedly about his Russian business dealings during the campaign – while the secret negotiations were ongoing. He lied to the American prople every time.

            9. Russian agents were recorded during the campaign saying they would use Manafort and Flynn to influence Trump.

            10. Trump’s fixer, Cohen received an email from Giorgi Rtskhiladze, a go-between to Russia : “Stopped the flow of tapes from Russia but not sure if there’s anything else. Just so you know.” In testimony to prosecutors on 04 April 2018, he said this referred to compromising tapes rumored to be held by people affiliated w/ Russian billionaire Aras Agalarov, who partnered with Trump hosting the 2013 Miss Universe pageant. Rtskhiladze did not know if the tapes were real.

            It was the stupidity, venality, and sleaze by Trump, his family and his hand-picked associates that earned Mueller’s investigation, not your weasely deep-state bullshit. You admit that, right?

            1. Many of these ‘contacts with Russia’ are pretty thin gruel as ‘gotchas.’ You’d be more persuasive if you didn’t spin so hard.

              1. You mean like that Trump tower meeting that several Trump campaign members and one Trump family member lied to congress about? The one with the agenda: “Russian government support for Trump campaign”?

                Yeah, pretty thin. Why would our counter intel guys investigate spies visiting with presidential candidates? Obvious (((deep state))) black op.

                1. Having talked to a Russian once =/= “contacts with Russia.”

                  Do you really not see how hard grb is spinning each of these items? Do you really think the reality is that one-sided?

                  Yeah, pretty thin. Why would our counter intel guys investigate spies visiting with presidential candidates? Obvious (((deep state))) black op.

                  When you showed up here I was encouraged, because it seemed like maybe you weren’t just another brain-dead partisan.

                  Oh well.

                  1. I’ve never voted Dem for federal office in my life, so I don’t know how I could possibly be partisan. I’m calling a spade a spade. I do not like being lied to, and I don’t care if a lot of people want to believe lies.

                    1. Stop lying baby jeffrey.

                    2. I do not like being lied to

                      You show roughly as much skepticism of Team Blue narratives as JesseAZ does of Team Red narratives. As more than one person here has noted, when your skepticism all goes one way, and you’re 100% credulous of the other side, you start looking like a partisan.

                    3. I’m not seeing them as “Team Blue” narratives, I guess. I believe Mueller, and he’s no team blue shill. I believe Vindman. I’m reading transcripts of testimony and calling it as I see it. I have no love for Pelosi or any of the other D congress critters, but I do value the system of checks and balances that requires them to investigate and hold accountable the president.

                    4. “I’m not seeing them as “Team Blue” narratives, I guess.”

                      Now try to grasp that as exactly point Square is making

                    5. Grasp? Point?

                      That is going to hurt.

              2. It may be thin but it is thicker than anything they have on Biden.

                1. It may be thin but it is thicker than anything they have on Biden.

                  Here’s a notion: maybe this isn’t a team sport.

                2. Except, of course, Biden bragging on video about how he committed a crime.

                  1. What criminal statute do you contend that Biden has bragged about violating? Please cite by section number.

              3. Square = Circle : Many of these ‘contacts with Russia’ are pretty thin gruel as ‘gotchas.’ You’d be more persuasive if you didn’t spin so hard.

                First, you’re kinda missing the point. Commentators like Geraje Guzba have created their own fantasy world where Muller’s investigation was an attempted “deep state coup”. Unfortunately for their masturbatory drivel, Mueller was appointed because of Trump’s unethical bungling stupidity. And while Mueller investigated for a crisp & efficient twenty-four months he was constantly uncovering unethical bungling stupidity by Trump and his family / associates in their Russian dealings. Now does that prove criminal wrongdoing by Trump? Mueller said it didn’t and I accept where the evidence led him. But there was NEVER anything fake about the investigation. It was born and sustained by Trump himself.

                Of course, now we look back at DJT’s constant chant of “No Collusion” and wonder. Now we have a goddamn transcript and growing mountain of evidence proving Trump willing to force collusion on another country to get a personal election advantage. Remember when we were told it was “crazy” to believe Trump would ever think of doing something like that with Russia?

                1. First, you’re kinda missing the point.

                  No, I don’t think I am.

                  Do you think you’re going to persuade anyone by citing a bunch of over-spun talking points from the other team?

                  Your second paragraph here does a much better job of making your point. If you really think Trump is so bad that all this is obvious, why do you need to spin so hard? This is something that has bugged me about Trump’s opposition from Day One. If the truth is so bad, why not just tell it?

                  And – was there a second thing?

                2. The big fail in your narrative is that the efforts to link Trump to The Russians™ began LONG before his firing of Comey. Well into the beginning stages of his campaign, by supposed Russian agents, that have turned out to have been more closely associated with our Intelligence Community than theirs.

                3. //Commentators like Geraje Guzba have created their own fantasy world where Muller’s investigation was an attempted “deep state coup”. Unfortunately for their masturbatory drivel, Mueller was appointed because of Trump’s unethical bungling stupidity. And while Mueller investigated for a crisp & efficient twenty-four months he was constantly uncovering unethical bungling stupidity by Trump and his family / associates in their Russian dealings. Now does that prove criminal wrongdoing by Trump? Mueller said it didn’t and I accept where the evidence led him. But there was NEVER anything fake about the investigation.//

                  I suppose the improprieties surrounding the surveillance of Carter Page, Papadoupoulos, and the outright confabulations of Steele’s opposition research are just a part of my fantasy; just like the deliberate entrapment of General Flynn by two FBI paramours who cooked up a case in order to tar the Trump campaign with completely discredited accusations being an agent of Russia.

                  It’s not a fantasy world; you are just ignorant beyond reason.

                  1. That is exactly a fantasy world. Page has been suspected of being a Russian spy for years previous to joining Trump campaign. And for very good reasons. https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/09/carter-page-is-a-very-unlikely-gop-hero/570655/

                    Flynn was, without a doubt, a foreign agent of Turkey. There is very broad and strong evidence of Flynn working for the government of Turkey without declaring himself a foreign agent, which is illegal. That cannot even be argued.

                    Papadoupaklhdjashj got himself in trouble by bragging that he had advance knowledge of a hacking attack agaisnt dnc and hillary. When that happened, it was impossible for the FBI to not investigate.

                    1. It is common knowledge that Page previously worked *with* the FBI in 2013 and that his assistance and cooperation led to arrest Evgeny Buryakov. Mr. Buryakov, to be clear, was a real Russian spy. If Page was himself a spy, he was either the most successful Russian spy in American history and, at that, a devious double agent, or the FBI’s characterization of him as a Russian agent is a load of horseshit. You expect anyone with half a brain to believe that the FBI was working and actively collaborating with a suspected Russian spy to catch other Russian spies? Think about it long and hard, if you can.

                      And, Page was charge with what crime? Right. Evil Russian spy, my ass.

                      And now Flynn is a *Turkish* agent? Of course.

                      And, if you read the Mueller report (you didn’t) you would have learned that Downer (do you know who that is?) never reported that Papadopoulos said anything about e-mails. There is literally no evidence of such a statement being made.

                      Arguing with ignoramuses is tedious. At least take the time to brush up on the facts before insulting others.

                    2. This should break it down for you, although I am certain you will never read it:

                      https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/05/fbi-trump-russia-investigation-george-papadopoulos/

            2. Excellent post, as always.

            3. “That would be the same “fake Mueller investigation” that came into existence because Trump bragged about firing Comey ”

              Funny you should mention that, because the EXACT SAME PERSON who is the “whistleblower” was also behind creating that story. His name is Eric Ciaramella, and he’s buddies with Brennan, Biden, and the the rest of the seditious cabal. I didn’t bother reading the rest of your post.

            4. “2. Trump’s NSA nominee then lied to the FBI about his contacts with Russia”

              The FBI has had to admit that they completely botched who did which report on the interrogation and that they were edited after the fact.

              1. The question is: “How could they possible have fucked it up *that* bad?”

                The answer: “They didn’t.”

                I sincerely hoped Durham leads with this, because the indicia of deliberate entrapment, manipulation of evidence, and scheming in order to prosecute an innocent man for political reasons is overwhelming.

          3. My first reaction on Trump releasing the phone call transcript was that he had just played the DemonCRAPS. A little chum in the water, a leaked reference to a phone call and the bait fish headed straight over to Schiff, who hit it like a hungry Tarpon. So Schiff takes the bait and runs with it, spilling out his version of the “transcript” and the next thing you know, he has managed to hook Pelosi, whose hair catches fire as she screams, “IMPEACHMENT”. The next day, with the release of the actual transcript, both Schiff and Pelosi realize they’ve been hooked. Now Trump is just playing them. How long will he let them struggle before he applies the gaffe?

            Truth is, with such flimsy evidence, if the DemonCRAPS back out, they’ll be seen as fools and their radical left component will hate them. If they press forward, most of America will see them as ass clowns, and loathe them. And then there are the 20-30 DemonCRAPS in states Trump won. If they vote impeachment, they hand the House back to the Republicans. If they don’t, they shatter the DemonCRAP party.

            I think Trump has played them beautifully.

            1. Sun Tzu – Maneuver in such a way that what ever your enemy does he is fooked.

        3. And again, what is the principle being asserted, and what are the limits on it?

          I think different principles are being expressed by different figures involved with different agendas.

          To me a crucial question, which has not been answered with any clarity, is whether the investigation of Biden is a “side effect” of a generalized crackdown on corruption in Ukraine (which is what Trump’s supporters prefer to believe), or whether Trump was threatening to withhold aid unless Ukraine produced dirt on Biden specifically (which is what Trump’s enemies prefer to believe), while not really showing any interest in corruption in Ukraine generally speaking (which there is a lot of).

          I think the basic principle is no, Biden shouldn’t be shielded from investigation simply because he’s running for office (but let’s not pretend that we’re not aware he’s running for office), but also that Trump holding foreign aid money hostage in order to get dirt on a political opponent is wrong, and possibly a crime.

          It’s possible for both Trump and Biden to be crooks – they are not mutually exclusive propositions.

          1. I agree with this. The problem that I see is that it is very difficult to differentiate prosecuting an alleged instance of American corruption in Ukraine that involves your political opponent from…simply investigating your political opponent for its own sake. What would be the evidence to differentiate? A memo literally saying to investigate someone for the sake of oppo research? Even if that’s what was happening, how likely is such a thing to exist?

            As to your last sentence, I agree wholeheartedly.

            1. The problem that I see is that it is very difficult to differentiate prosecuting an alleged instance of American corruption in Ukraine that involves your political opponent from…simply investigating your political opponent for its own sake.

              Agreed. It seems like you would need language to the effect of “I don’t care about corruption per se, I just want to make sure I take down my political opponent by any means necessary, and if you don’t do what I say, I’m taking away this money Congress decided to give you.”

              What I’ve seen so far wouldn’t stand up in criminal court, for sure. I’m also not in the camp that thinks the standards for criminal conviction should also apply to political processes like impeachment (or Supreme Court confirmation hearings), as no one’s rights are being taken away if they’re not allowed to hold high offices.

              By a similar token, Bill Clinton wasn’t really impeached for perjury any more than Al Capone was put in jail for tax evasion. He was impeached because he was a blatant crook and everyone knew it, despite his spectacular skills at getting away with things.

              The current proceedings are risky and desperate, and politically may blow up in the faces of the Dems big-time, but Congress doesn’t need something to be a crime, or to be proven as such in order to impeach – they just need the votes (which they don’t have).

              1. I don’t think many would disagree with the general principles you are setting forth. There is a major difference between using domestic and foreign law enforcement organs to investigate your political opponents simply by virtue of the fact that they are political opponents, and investigating corruption with the incidental effect of ensnaring people who happen to be political opponents.

                However, in practice, landing on either side of that divide with any certainty is going to be nearly impossible without implicitly endorsing, to some degree, the notion that being a political opponent (or, aspiring candidate) insulates one from being the subject of an otherwise legitimate investigation. Further, I think it is prudent for such investigations to take place *provided* there is a palpable, pre-existing predicate for doing so; in other words, evidence of a crime or corruption must be readily apparent, and must be of such a degree as would warrant an investigation of any other person or enterprise.

                The problems arise when an incumbent executive administration does not merely pull on a pre-existing evidentiary thread, but actively manufactures that thread to justify intrusive investigative measures for political gain. That should be the sole determinant, in my view, and is – I think – the only practicable standard to differentiate between the two scenarios.

                In the case of Biden and Ukraine, the evidentiary threads and reports of impropriety have been reported upon for years. These apparent conflicts, and outright accusations of corruption, existed before Trump even announced his candidacy. The Federalist was reporting on this since May 2014. The New York Times subsequently followed with its own series of reports in late 2015. We are just now learning, through John Solomon’s reporting, that Burisma routinely lobbied the Obama administration’s State Department to intercede with the hopes of limiting corruption investigations into its business dealings.

                It is decidedly *not* the case that the Trump administration simply *manufactured* these facts out of whole cloth. As such, a legitimate predicate for an investigation has existed for years. Therefore, negotiating with the Ukrainian government to assist in the investigation of these apparent improprieties and potentially criminal acts is a legitimate exercise of executive discretion, especially with the added context of Ukrainian officials (as well as their American counterparts) having been involved in generating a basis for the defunct Mueller investigation (indeed, a Ukrainian court has already concluded that there was meddling in the 2016 election on the part of National Anti-Corruption Bureau Director Artem Sytnyk and legislator Serhiy Leshchenko ).

                That investigating Burisma and the Bidens under such circumstances could possibly fall within the definition of “high crimes and misdemeanors,” as that term is used in the Constitution, seems patently absurd. While impeachment may indeed be a political process, it should not be treated as a process without any discernible standards save for whether or not there are sufficient votes to secure a full conviction and removal before the Senate. Congress may not need proof of a crime to impeach and remove (that is, a quantum of proof sufficient to meet defined statutory elements) but the actions in question should, at the very least, be of a comparable degree as to those that would warrant charging a private citizen. In other words, the President need not be found to have engaged in criminal acts “beyond a reasonable doubt” but the the acts complained of should, at the very least, be criminal or very close to it.

                Impeachment was never understood or intended to be invoked over trifling policy differences or disagreements. The drafters understood this very well and took deliberate steps to avoid creating an impeachment mechanism over issues such as “maladministration.” Lowering the bar for impeachment is not something anyone with an interest in preserving our constitutional republic should endorse.

                1. There is a major difference between using domestic and foreign law enforcement organs to investigate your political opponents simply by virtue of the fact that they are political opponents, and investigating corruption with the incidental effect of ensnaring people who happen to be political opponents.

                  Thank you – this is all I’m saying. And that we don’t actually know yet which of these is closer to the truth.

                  I don’t think there’s any question that what Trump did is of a species with the sorts of things that happen all the time. Trump is generally ignorant of process and conventions, which opens him up to charges others know how to shield themselves from.

                  But then, one of the great arguments the anarchists were putting forth in favor of Trump was that he wouldn’t be given a pass the way political insiders like Clinton are.

                  The drafters understood this very well and took deliberate steps to avoid creating an impeachment mechanism over issues such as “maladministration.”

                  Did they? Are there limitations placed on Congress’ power of impeachment? Or do we look to the People to punish Congress when it oversteps its “bounds?”

                  1. //Thank you – this is all I’m saying. And that we don’t actually know yet which of these is closer to the truth.//

                    My point is that, without something in hand approaching a confession of guilt, there is no objective means of determining the difference between the two acts. Therefore, if something is within the power of the president to investigate, and an independent factual predicate exists which would have warranted an investigation under any other circumstances, the investigation should be presumed to be proper absent conclusive evidence to the contrary. Anything short of that would result in impeachment becoming a tool to remove Presidents over mere policy differences, rather than “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

                    Now, what happens when impeachment is cheapened in such a manner? Too bad, you say? If the votes are there, the votes are there, right? I don’t agree with this. If we reach the precipice where duly elected President’s are routinely removed, or even casually impeached, because one sides partisans have the votes, we will reach a point where our government can no longer function and the enmity among the electorate will eventually, if not inevitably, erupt into open war. If you need examples, look at the history of Latin America. When politics are criminalized, insurrections, rebellion, and civil war are the only result. When people’s votes do not matter, they will speak with the force of arms.

                    1. if something is within the power of the president to investigate, and an independent factual predicate exists which would have warranted an investigation under any other circumstances, the investigation should be presumed to be proper absent conclusive evidence to the contrary

                      Agreed. And I said something to this effect elsewhere in this thread.

                      Now, what happens when impeachment is cheapened in such a manner? Too bad, you say? If the votes are there, the votes are there, right? I don’t agree with this.

                      With all due respect, what’s important is what the Constitution says, and the Constitution does not restrict Congress’ power to impeach. How could it?

                      If we reach the precipice where duly elected President’s are routinely removed, or even casually impeached, because one sides partisans have the votes

                      If one side consistently has the votes to casually impeach, how is the other side getting its candidates elected president?

                      This is how the checks-and-balances system was designed to work. Latin America is a different situation entirely, and mostly lacks democracy altogether.

                  2. As far as I can tell, the House can impeach the President any time for any reason. The only real check is the voters. This is all political theater with the only purpose being to influence the 2020 election. It remains to be seen who will be the beneficiary of this whole process. It could work as planned by Democrats or it could backfire.

                2. “The drafters understood this very well and took deliberate steps to avoid creating an impeachment mechanism over issues such as “maladministration.””

                  Really? didn’t work well. The very first Presidential Impeachment was issued against Andrew Johnson (Lincoln’s VP and successor) over a dispute between Johnson and Congress + holdover’s from Lincoln’s cabinet on how to treat the former Confederate states.

                  Congress passed a bill (Tenure of Office Act) purporting to require Senate Approval for the President to fire cabinet members. This Act was very likely unconstitutional and was repealed after the Senate failed to Convict Johnson for when he was impeached for violating it after he tried to fire Lincoln’s Secretary of War for refusing to support Johnson’s preferred policy towards the former Confederate states.

          2. I think the basic principle is no, Biden shouldn’t be shielded from investigation simply because he’s running for office (but let’s not pretend that we’re not aware he’s running for office), but also that Trump holding foreign aid money hostage in order to get dirt on a political opponent is wrong, and possibly a crime.

            Why? What is wrong about it? If there is no dirt to be found, then what difference does it make? If there is, then why isn’t the President free to and indeed obligated to get other countries to assist in US investigations or in routing out corruption involving US citizens?

            1. Why? What is wrong about it?

              How do you feel about the Obama administration using government resources to dig up dirt on the Trump campaign?

              I think you’re missing the distinction I made between a good faith investigation of corruption and Trump deciding that the only corruption that matters in Ukraine is that involving the Bidens. Give us the scoop on the Bidens, and we’ll ignore everything else that goes on in your country.

              I’m not saying that’s what happened. I’m saying if that’s what happened, we should be concerned about that, and I personally don’t approve of presidents doing that. Do you really not see that?

            2. If there was a quid pro quo, it would be demanding that the Ukrainians effectively give Trump the present of free opposition research for his campaign. This may be a violation of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution and/or a violation of FEC campaign laws.

              1. “I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo,” Trump said, according to Sondland. “I want Zelensky to do the right thing.” I repost this because Binion ignored this part of Sondland’s testimony.

                1. In Sondland’s appendix to his testimony Sondland says he got the idea that Trump wanted a quid pro quo from Giuliani, not directly from Trump.

                  1. Yes, why do you keep spamming that Sondland got it third hand

                  2. Giuliani is Trump´s agent. A direction by Giuliani to withhold aid is attributable to his principal.

                    1. Nope.

                    2. Not hardly. Until TRUMP says it, Trump didn’t say it.

              2. And what would you call the Obama administration and Biden specifically demanding that Ukraine fire the investigator looking into corruption involving the company on whose board his son sat?

                Let me guess, that’s different.

                1. I don’t think “that’s different”. Obama and Biden May well have engaged in some of the same type of quid pro quo.

                  If someone can prosecute Obama or Biden for doing so, more power to them.

                  1. So now you agree that it’s OK for someone to investigate. Perhaps that someone could be in the Ukraine?

                    1. I have always said that it would be fine for an independent investigator to investigate the Bidens.

                      I’d love to see investigations of Republicans and Democrats.

                  2. As long as it’s not our commander in chief? Seriously?

                    1. Huh?

                  3. I agree, Mike. I would have preferred an independent investigation into the transparent Biden corruption. However, that was not politically possible on Trump’s part, and you know it. Even asking for it would have simply had people calling for his impeachment on these same grounds.

                    Therefore, Trump did the only thing he could. He removed the obstruction Biden had placed in Ukraine on prosecuting the corruption on Burisma. If Biden was not running for president, there would be no question that this was the correct and proper thing for him to do.

                    Therefore, we have to ask ourselves. Should the fact that Biden is running for office make this otherwise correct act illegal? I cannot answer that as a “yes”. The precedent is unacceptable. This would make likely candidates for president effectively immune to corruption prosecution. That sort of immunity is almost certain to be abused.

              3. You repeat this idiocy despite being told that no court has ever held information as a thing of value. Why? Are you an idiot?

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

                  1. Who cares, the courts have ruled, your question is moot.

                    1. Which court(s)? Please be specific with your citations.

                    2. Jesse has the link.

                      Eat shit sockpuppet.

                2. What are you taking about? I remember you asserting this before, and someone else correcting your misunderstanding of FEC regulations.

                  Also, there is the matter of the Emoluments Clause.

                  1. I don’t remember it happening in that way at all.

                    Link or you’re lying.

                  2. Emoluments, really? That’s all you’ve got?

                    1. The Constitution?! That’s all you’ve got?!

          3. So lets say the President hears that Joe Biden was possibly strong arming the Ukrainians on behalf of this gas company that was then bribing him by hiring his deadbeat son on the board.

            What is Trump supposed to do? Suppose he calls up the Ukraine and they say they don’t want to investigate that, presumably because the gas company is too juiced in to the government there.

            By your logic, Trump would be a crook if he says “hey if you don’t want to investigate this, we are not sending you aid”. And Trump would be an honest guy, if he did nothing and allowed the possible corruption to not be investigated. That is your position here.

            That makes no sense.

            1. And Trump would be an honest guy, if he did nothing and allowed the possible corruption to not be investigated. That is your position here.

              No it isn’t.

              You’re ignoring the fact that I’m not approaching this from a position of trying to dream up some way in which Trump is innocent, nor am I approaching it from a position of trying to dream up a way in which Trump is guilty.

              I’m saying there are two competing narratives here, both of which are probably inaccurate.

              Can you really imagine no scenario in which what Trump did was wrong? Even if you were to grant all the facts the Dems want you to accept? I’m not asking you to commit to it, just wondering whether you can imagine it.

              1. I can imagine a lot of scenarios in which what Trump did could be wrong. However, let’s bring this to the two extremes that fit all evidence.

                1: Trump sees the New York Times article in May (we know he reads it for articles about himself), gets concerned, and says “we cannot allow this sort of corruption”. He then uses his diplomatic corps to root out the corruption by any means necessary.

                2: Trump wants Biden, as the most viable candidate against him, gone. He goes through the past, sees that Biden has had numerous allegations of corruption, including this really big one in Ukraine. He then uses his diplomatic corps to restart the corruption investigation by any means necessary.

                1 is what Trump wants you to think. 2 is what the Democrats want you to think. There is, however, a problem. The only difference between these two scenarios is what happened in Trump’s head or said to private advisors. The physical actions are the same.

                The problem is that Biden’s actions were so concerning that they have been reported by multiple news sources for years. Laws of both countries were almost certainly violated by one or both Bidens. If laws were not violated, then it is on the razor’s edge of legality and is still definitely unethical. This NEEDS to be investigated and brought to light. With these facts in hand, I cannot fault Trump for starting this investigation by any means necessary.

                Now, if it wasn’t a well known issue of perennial corruption, then I might agree that Trump was guilty (it depends on the circumstances). However, in this case, he was clearly in the right.

            2. Trump could have appointed an independent investigator and refused himself from any direct involvement.

              1. Recused himself

                1. ^ This. If Trump were truly just concerned about Biden’s unique corruption, this would be the way to go about dealing with it.

                  1. And to be clear, Hunter Biden landed a cushy board position he was absolutely not qualified for reeks of corruption.

                    However, it is how the investigation was done. Also, as Sondland just testified, Trump didn’t even care about an investigation — he was satisfied with a Ukrainian *announcement* of an investigation, presumably to embarrass Joe Biden.

                    1. “I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo,” Trump said, according to Sondland. “I want Zelensky to do the right thing.”
                      Actually, Sondland just stated that was his presumption but Trump never specified if it was about Hunter Biden.

                    2. Hunter Biden landed a cushy board position he was absolutely not qualified for reeks of corruption

                      Oh, definitely.

                      I feel about that the way I think a lot of the guys around here who have had security clearances feel about HRC.

                      I have control over large sums of public money, and as such have to file a Form 700 asserting any potential conflicts of interest that could arise concerning that spending.

                      In the trainings they are very clear that even the appearance of a conflict is no good.

                      Biden’s son taking a job at a company whose fortunes would be directly impacted by Biden’s position in the government?

                      The question of whether or not Hunter Biden was qualified for that job is a red herring. If some member of my family did such a thing, qualified or not, I’d be jailed.

                    3. grb
                      November.5.2019 at 7:30 pm
                      Square = Circle : “In the training they are very clear that even the appearance of a conflict is no good”

                      I’m curious: Does that apply to Republicans as well as Democrats? Let’s look at one example : Jared Kushner had a massive problem. In 2007 he bought a skyscraper at 666 Fifth Avenue New York which was supposed to be his flagship property. At one point he looked to gut and completely re-skin the building per a design by the late (and great) architect Zaha Hadid.

                      Instead the investment became a hideous nightmare. The building stood half-empty and was a massive sinkhole of debt. It carried $1.4 billion dollars in debt, the bulk of was due in February 2019. Business journals reported this one deal could be ruinous to The Kushner Companies. During Trump’s transition, Kushner was desperately seeking financing from anyone & everyone, including the former prime minister of Qatar, the investor Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani, and Anbang Insurance, a Chinese conglomerate with ties to the Beijing government.

                      Was there an “appearance of a conflict” in that?

                      Of course the Trump Organization continues to have foreign dealings right up to this day : Last month: Scotland. August: Indonesia. Last year, Donald Jr. was in India selling condos, appearing at an event with India’s prime minister. Might there be an “appearance of a conflict” in any of that?

                      In a 2015 interview, Trump said this : “I have a little conflict of interest ’cause I have a major, major building in Istanbul,” Trump said on Breitbart News Daily. “It’s a tremendously successful job. It’s called Trump Towers—two towers, instead of one, not the usual one, it’s two.” Did that have any influence when Trump betrayed the Kurds?

                      You tell me…..

                    4. grb is on fire!

                    5. I’m curious: Does that apply to Republicans as well as Democrats?

                      Yup. I’m not sure what that has to do with lifelong Democrat Jared Kushner, but I’ll be nice and play along.

                      Frankly, you don’t seem to understand the rules around conflict of interest, or even what a conflict of interest actually is.

                      Trump’s son-in-law existing in the world while Trump is about to take office is not a conflict of interest. Good rule of thumb: how would you declare it? Where is the conflict?

                      If Trump appointed Kushner special-representative-in-charge of US relations with Qatar, and then Kushner Companies went to Qatar with their hands out, that would be a conflict of interest, and Kushner should step down from the position or at least recuse himself from any decisions or discussions that might impact Kushner Industries.

                      Likewise, is Don Jr. just travelling in India or does he serve in an official capacity over affairs having to do with India?

                      Did that have any influence when Trump betrayed the Kurds?

                      Possibly. I imagine that’s why he declared it to be a conflict of interest. Acknowledging that in advance (if he did so, I don’t know) is a good move, and helps control the impression that you’re trying to stay objective. In any case, you should never deny a clear potential conflict.

                      That’s definitely your best example, though – and I wouldn’t object to someone exploring that question through the legal system.

                    6. You really don’t think Kushner getting dozens of redo’s on his sf86 is blatant nepotism and conflict of interest? You don’t think Kushner having access to our highest secrets, the office of the president, and being named in charge of brokering mid east peace, all while pressuring Qataris into bailing him out is a conflict of interest?

                      I think you are trying a little to hard to be balanced on the issue of blatant corruption around the Trump family. Sometimes there aren’t two valid sides. Sometimes one side is operating in extreme bad faith.

                    7. You really don’t think Kushner getting dozens of redo’s on his sf86 is blatant nepotism and conflict of interest?

                      I didn’t actually express any opinion about that. Nepotism? Yes, clearly. Conflict of interest? Where’s the conflict?

                      You don’t think Kushner having access to our highest secrets, the office of the president, and being named in charge of brokering mid east peace, all while pressuring Qataris into bailing him out is a conflict of interest?

                      “If Trump appointed Kushner special-representative-in-charge of US relations with Qatar, and then Kushner Companies went to Qatar with their hands out, that would be a conflict of interest, and Kushner should step down from the position or at least recuse himself from any decisions or discussions that might impact Kushner Industries.”
                      – Me, Upthread

                      I think you are trying a little to hard to be balanced on the issue of blatant corruption . . . . Sometimes there aren’t two valid sides. Sometimes one side is operating in extreme bad faith.

                      Funny, the Team Red people are telling me the exact same thing.

                    8. Square = Circle : “Frankly, you don’t seem to understand the rules around conflict of interest, or even what a conflict of interest actually is”

                      Truly inspired weaseling there, Square. Let’s analyze your reasoning : Trump’s son-in-law desperately grovels for financing from foreigners (closely tied to foreign rulers). This is NOT a conflict of interest, despite the fact Trump will deal with those rulers as POTUS. Might Trump possibly look with favor on a ruler who saved his daughter’s husband from financial ruin? Oh, don’t trouble your pretty head thinking about such things.

                      We notice you suddenly dropped the issue of “appearance of conflict”, and now deal with conflict alone. Understandably, given you’re a weasel. You need “appearance of conflict” to smear Joe, because you don’t have a snowball’s chance in Hell of impugning any of his actions re Ukraine. You drop “appearance of conflict” like a hot potato when discussing Donald, because his entire presidency is riddled with it.

                      And then there’s your bizarre bit on Turkey. Here we have an erratic and inexplicable action of foreign policy, against the position of every White House adviser, against the policy of the State Department, against a bipartisan consensus of Congress – an action which betrayed people who were brave allies of the U.S. in favor of Turkey. Given Trump has important holdings in Turkey, maybe we not have the “appearance of conflict” and a real “conflict” all at once?

                      The reaction of Square = Circle? Trump somehow immunized himself from criticism with a (damning) interview four years earlier.

                      Of course that makes zero sense, but you get a lot of that when reading Square = Circle’s comments…….

                    9. In Sondland’s appendix to his testimony Sondland says he got the idea that Trump wanted a quid pro quo from Giuliani, not directly from Trump.

                    10. Yes, why do you keep spamming that Sondland got it third hand

                    11. Mike Laursen : “In Sondland’s appendix to his testimony Sondland says he got the idea that Trump wanted a quid pro quo from Giuliani, not directly from Trump”

                      Ya know, Mike, as excuses go that’s pretty damn thin. Judging by some of the quotes below, the ONLY sure way to know what Trump’s mind on Ukraine was to talk to Rudy Giuliani. After all, that’s what Trump kept telling people to do, including the most critical person of all, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. To say, “Oh, that’s just Giuliani’s position” seems lame when Rudy was the person Donald hand-picked to pull this shakedown off…..

                      Sondland : “Based on the President’s direction we were faced with a choice. We could abandon the goal of a White House meeting for President Zelenskiy or we could do as President Trump directed and talk to Mr. Giuliani to address the president’s concerns.”

                      Sondland : “He wasn’t even specific about what he wanted us to talk to Giuliani about. He just kept saying: Talk to Rudy. Talk to Rudy.”

                      Energy Secretary Rick Perry : In his first interview about the escalating Ukraine scandal, Perry told the Journal that, at Trump’s direction, he called Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, seeking a better understanding of Trump’s Ukraine concerns.

                      Trump in the phone call with Ukrainian President Zelenskiy : “Rudy very much knows what’s happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him that would be great.”

                    12. hi Mike yeah I know it’s just a total coincidence you and Mike were here the same time

                    13. grb, these threads get confusing. You may not realize I’m arguing for your side in this debate.

                    14. Mike we know you’re grb you’re bad at this and you can stop.

                    15. Wow, I mean pretty good then, because grb and I have come completely different writing styles. And he a better writer than me, honestly.

                    16. I love that think you’ve made your sockpuppet undetectable and are too stupid to realize you’re no good at it grb.

                      And you write like you’re brain damaged.

                    17. Truly inspired weaseling there, Square.

                      My, oh, my – touched a nerve, did I?

                      Trump’s son-in-law desperately grovels for financing from foreigners (closely tied to foreign rulers). This is NOT a conflict of interest, despite the fact Trump will deal with those rulers as POTUS. Might Trump possibly look with favor on a ruler who saved his daughter’s husband from financial ruin? Oh, don’t trouble your pretty head thinking about such things.

                      Don’t look to my pretty head, I’m just trying to explain conflict of interest law to you. Your logic would prevent Kushner from being able to seek a loan from anyone on the planet, as they could conceivably benefit from Trump’s goodwill later.

                      And I thought your point was about Republicans being held accountable, too? Why are we still talking about lifelong Democrat Jared Kushner?

                      You might accuse him of ‘influence peddling,’ but not ‘conflict of interest.’

                      To be a bona fide conflict of interest there needs to be a specific asset and a specific potential benefit – like there was with the Bidens. On which, by the way, I emphasize appearance with the Bidens because even were it the case that Hunter were qualified for that job, he shouldn’t have taken it, or Biden should have recused himself from his position vis-a-vis Ukraine – to avoid the appearance.

                      Fact was, however, Hunter was in no way shape or form qualified to be in that position. So it clearly goes beyond mere appearance.

                      Speaking of receiving money from foreign governments when on your way to a position of power in the US, how would you feel about a major US candidate running an international non-profit whose paid management staff happens to overlap with that candidate’s campaign staff if that non-profit were accepting major donations from foreign governments?

                      Conflict of interest?

                      Given Trump has important holdings in Turkey, maybe we not have the “appearance of conflict” and a real “conflict” all at once?

                      Yup. Like I said. But strut away – it becomes you.

                      I’m sorry – did you have a point you were making?

                  2. “Recusal?” What does that even mean in this case? Are you suggesting that a sitting president cannot even discuss investigating possible crimes of Americans with foreign government officials if they are potential political opponents? And what of reports that the leaker was involved with the DNC’s Chalupa and working with Ukraine to influence the 2016 election?

                    1. Are you suggesting that a sitting president cannot even discuss investigating possible crimes of Americans with foreign government officials if they are potential political opponents?

                      No. Read what I said again and pay closer attention this time.

                    2. “Recused himself”

                      “^ This. If Trump were truly just concerned about Biden’s unique corruption, this would be the way to go about dealing with it.”

                      Try using English and logic simultaneously.

                      What do you think an “independent investigator” even means in this context? You clearly agree with Mike that that’s the correct course of action. And Mike has made it clear that an “independent investigator” is *all* that Trump should be permitted. So, care to say what you actually mean then?

                    3. So, care to say what you actually mean then?

                      Jesus Christ you’ve gotten tedious in your doterage.

                      Try looking at what else I’ve said on this very page, and see if you can work what the word “if” means.

                      It’s a logic thing – you’ll get used to it if you try it.

                    4. You mean like you literally doubling down two comments below? Those sorts of comments?

                      That whole consistency thing is really hard, isn’t it?

                    5. You mean like you literally doubling down two comments below? Those sorts of comments?

                      That whole consistency thing is really hard, isn’t it?

                      I’m sure you have some sort of point.

                  3. // This. If Trump were truly just concerned about Biden’s unique corruption, this would be the way to go about dealing with it.//

                    Why would this be the way to go about it? Should every President be required to appoint an “independent,” unaccountable third party to conduct investigations whenever an argument, however thin, can be made by people opposing the investigation that the results of said investigation could, hypothetically, result in some sort of political benefit to an incumbent administration? This does not seem at all practicable and would, in theory (and, likely, in practice) give anyone under investigation a de facto veto over the investigative discretion of an executive with whom they did not agree politically.

                    Private individuals, like the Bidens, will always have the option to argue in court, if they are ever charged with any crime, that they are innocent of the charges leveled against them and that the prosecution has improper motives. So long as they are afforded due process in connection with any criminal proceeding, they should not be presumed entitled to the privilege of dictating how, and by whom, they are investigated.

                    1. Why would this be the way to go about it? Should every President be required to appoint an “independent,” unaccountable third party to conduct investigations whenever an argument, however thin, can be made by people opposing the investigation that the results of said investigation could, hypothetically, result in some sort of political benefit to an incumbent administration?

                      This is the standard the rest of us are held to. And if something is politically sensitive, and you want it to stick, then yes – you need to do everything in your power to scrub the situation of any taint of bias or personal interest.

                      So long as they are afforded due process in connection with any criminal proceeding, they should not be presumed entitled to the privilege of dictating how, and by whom, they are investigated.

                      Wouldn’t this also apply to Trump?

                    2. How has it not applied to Trump?

                    3. How has it not applied to Trump?

                      You have a way of making sure to always miss the point, don’t you?

                  4. How come this whole independent prosecutor seems to only be asked for during democratic presidents….

                    Fast and furious, its. How independent have these investigators even been? They always have a history or connections to government.

                    What a stupid request.

                    1. It’s not FAIR!

                    2. What’s cute way to avoid the question you don’t want to answer.

                  5. “This. If Trump were truly just concerned about Biden’s unique corruption, this would be the way to go about dealing with it.”

                    Square, why do administrations have independent prosecutors on occasion?

                    Because the administration has difficulty INVESTIGATING ITSELF.

                    This would not be that. In any way.

                  6. Square = Circle,

                    (1) “My, oh, my – touched a nerve, did I?” If it makes you feel better to believe that, please be my guest. I have no need to make you feel discomfort.

                    (2) “Frankly, you don’t seem to understand the rules around conflict of interest” Uh huh. So if Trump does-or-does-not show government favor to people who do-or-do-not rescue his son-in-law from financial ruin it is NOT a conflict of interest; it’s not “specific” enough. Meanwhile Biden demands a prosecutor be fired who is NOT investigating Burisma Holdings, NEVER investigated Hunter Biden, and NEVER charged a single Ukrainian oligarch with anything. But that is “specific” enough. Your definition of “specific” seems pretty elastic depending on whether there are Ds or Rs involved.

                    (3) “lifelong Democrat Jared Kushner” That’s the second time you brought that up. God, you’re stupid. Let’s try and raise your IQ a few points with a question : Say little Hunter is a Republican. Would that change the question whether Joe did-or-didn’t have a “conflict” one iota? Answer that carefully and honestly and I bet you feel the warmth of intelligence flood your brain.

                    (4) “Your logic would prevent Kushner from being able to seek a loan from anyone on the planet, as they could conceivably benefit from Trump’s goodwill later” Which is why people in Trump’s position put their holdings in a blind trust. Their concern over “conflict” or the “appearance of conflict” is more stringent than yours when a politician has an “R” behind his name. PS : They also release their tax returns, but we’ll get there eventually.

                    (5) Given Trump has important holdings in Turkey, maybe we not have the “appearance of conflict” and a real “conflict” all at once? Yup. Like I said. But strut away – it becomes you.

                    So that’s what this means : “Acknowledging that in advance (if he did so, I don’t know) is a good move, and helps control the impression that you’re trying to stay objective. In any case, you should never deny a clear potential conflict.”

                    Good to know…….

                    1. I have no need to make you feel discomfort.

                      Hence the steam of insults.

                      So if Trump does-or-does-not show government favor to people who do-or-do-not rescue his son-in-law from financial ruin it is NOT a conflict of interest; it’s not “specific” enough.

                      Yup – you’re starting to get it. It may be some other crime, but it’s not a conflict of interest.

                      Meanwhile Biden demands a prosecutor be fired who is NOT investigating Burisma Holdings, NEVER investigated Hunter Biden, and NEVER charged a single Ukrainian oligarch with anything. But that is “specific” enough.

                      No – you’re desperately trying to change the subject again but you clearly realize you’re not standing on solid ground. Hunter Biden getting the job in the first place was the conflict.

                      That you continue to ignore that and keep trying to change the subject is symptomatic of your fundamental dishonesty.

                      Say little Hunter is a Republican. Would that change the question whether Joe did-or-didn’t have a “conflict” one iota?

                      Nope. I just find it amusing that in your quest to smear Republicans you keep honing in on this Democrat.

                      Which is why people in Trump’s position put their holdings in a blind trust.

                      Like HRC did with the Clinton Foundation while she was Secretary of State? Chelsea Clinton also didn’t work anywhere while her mother was in office, right? Because her working anywhere at all would have been a conflict of interest according to you, right?

                      You’re full of shit and have no idea what you’re talking about – just stop.

                2. “recused himself”

                  Just like the Obama administration did in the year leading up to Trump’s victory…

                  Yeah sure, appoint a special prosecutor to contact the Ukrainians and request they investigate corruption in the Ukraine.

                  1. He didn’t break any laws in Ukraine. It’s American laws he’s accused of breaking.

                    1. “ignore that I was wrong because what about ism”

              2. Recused himself from what? Are you suggesting that Trump is personally investigating?

                1. The inquiry is about him personally asking for an investigation, essentially as a gift from the Ukraine to his campaign.

                  1. Yes, everyone agrees it is retarded on its face but you still think it’s impeachment worthy.

                    1. I have never said I think it is impeachment worthy. Many Trump apologists have said that it is NOT impeachment worthy, and I’ve argued against their willful ignorance of what the accusations and relevant laws are.

                    2. “I have never said I think it is impeachment worthy.”

                      You’re a fucking liar, you definitely HAVE stupidly insisted that you’ve made the case that all the elements for an impeachment are present, so stop fucking lyong

                    3. Nope. You have filled In, in your own mind, what you think my opinions, partisan allegiance, and identity are. And you’ve gotten every one of those wrong, because you can’t conceive someone can be critical of Trump yet not be for Team Blue.

                    4. “Mike”,
                      There are plenty of people here who are critical of Trump but not shilling for Team Blue.
                      You’re not one of them

              3. Trump could have appointed an independent investigator and recused himself from any direct involvement.

                What the hell do you think he’s gonna do? Put on a Holmes hat, pull ot a magnifying glass and go look for clues?

                No–he was (and I stress WAS, because the asshole brigade leapt before anything could actually happen) going to get people to investigate it.

                What is wrong with you people?

                1. You have a very narrow interpretation of what direct involvement is.

                  1. or you have a retarded one

                  2. You have a very narrow interpretation of what direct involvement is.

                    I don’t think so.

                    Trump had planned on having the issue investigated. By people who investigate. Someone he appoints.
                    That’s the only way this could happen. Yet you keep decrying ‘direct involvement’. Direct involvement in what? Appointing an independent investigator? Because that’s what he was in the process of doing when you idiots decided that it was an impeachable offense.

          4. That assumes that he was holding aid hostage solely for the purpose of getting dirt on Biden, and that there is no legitimate reason to investigate Biden and his involvement in corruption in the Ukraine. It assumes that the widely tossed around phrase phrase “debunked conspiracy theory,” is factual- and I don’t think it is. While Trump may not have any real concern over corruption in the Ukraine in general, I do think it’s legitimate for him to be concerned about what part- if any- both Ukrainians and certain American officials played in the current DOJ investigation. I personally don’t care about Ukrainian corruption in general. I DO care if corrupt Ukrainians worked with corrupt Americans to sabotage the President of the United States.

            If he WAS holding aid hostage for his own purposes, I think it will be a challenge to prove it’s a crime, or an impeachable offense. It would sleazy, but being sleazy isn’t an impeachable offense. There is PLENTY of precedent for sleaze in politics okay, legally speaking. Whether it allows you to continue to hold your office is up to the voters.

            1. If he WAS holding aid hostage for his own purposes, I think it will be a challenge to prove it’s a crime, or an impeachable offense. It would sleazy, but being sleazy isn’t an impeachable offense.

              This is exactly the point I’m making. Your first paragraph does the same thing John does and assumes my hypothetical is my position (which is curious given that I gave two hypotheticals).

              But “being sleazy isn’t an impeachable offense” is contradicted by “There is PLENTY of precedent for sleaze in politics okay, legally speaking. Whether it allows you to continue to hold your office is up to the voters.”

              We libertarians have been frustrated for years by partisans telling us we have to accept their corruption because the other side are corrupt, too. But to your final point, what is and isn’t an impeachable offense is 100% up to Congress. “Being sleazy” is just as impeachable as “being named Tom.”

              1. Also from Sondland’s testimony:”I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo,” Trump said, according to Sondland. “I want Zelensky to do the right thing.”

                1. And Sondland also said Trump asked for an anti-corruption charge statement and he only presumed it involved Biden but Trump never made that clear. And in a text to Taylor he denied that there was any quid pro quo.

                  1. I understand that Trump’s people deny the charges.

                    1. This was Sondland, whose testimony Binion is selectively quoting. This was in the same testimony Binion is quoting from.

                    2. This was Sondland, whose testimony Binion is selectively quoting. This was in the same testimony Binion is quoting from.

                      I’m not saying anything so far about Binion and his reporting. Agreed that this article is sloppy and doesn’t care whether or not it gets Trump’s side right.

                      And I agree that we used to expect better of Reason.

                    3. The article omits the dates of the discussion sondland refers to here. A truly egregious article designed to push a narrative

                    4. The article omits the dates of the discussion sondland refers to here. A truly egregious article designed to push a narrative

                      Billy has not been a great addition to the staff so far. Hopefully he’ll mature.

                2. In Sondland’s appendix to his testimony Sondland says he got the idea that Trump wanted a quid pro quo from Giuliani, not directly from Trump.

                  1. Yes we know you’ve spammed that he got it third hand repeatedly.

                    1. I “spammed” it fewer times than the quote soldiermedic76 keeps pasting.

                    2. Oh OK it’s his fault you’re an asshole.

                    3. “whataboutism”

                  2. Trump directed the State Department personnel to confer with Giuliani, who was acting as Trump´s agent. Direction from Giuliani is attributable to his principal. Giuliani is Trump´s alter ego in this regard.

            2. Cronut : That assumes that he was holding aid hostage solely for the purpose of getting dirt on Biden, and that there is no legitimate reason to investigate Biden and his involvement in corruption in the Ukraine. It assumes that the widely tossed around phrase phrase “debunked conspiracy theory,” is factual- and I don’t think it is.

              But your wrong, it is completely debunked. You can’t honestly push a narrative that Biden pressured Ukraine over his son, because that pressure was ordered by by the president for U.S. policy reasons and supported by every Western ally. Do we have to go over the facts about Shokin yet again?

              Biden withheld money from Ukraine by order of the President, per State Department policy, per the request of the European Union, and in conjunction with the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. Everyone wanted the prosecutor Shokin’s ousted, because he was hopelessly corrupt.

              In 2014 the EU demanded ten reforms to establish an independent judiciary in Ukraine, then watched Shokin block every one. He was infamous for shielding people from charges of corruption, particularly members of the previous regime who had looted the country. One of his own subordinate prosecutors was arrested for taking bribes and several million dollars worth of diamonds was found in his house. Shokin released him, dropped all charges, returned the diamonds.

              He was deeply loathed inside Ukraine, and every reform group inside the country applauded Biden’s pressure and cheered it’s success. When Shokin was fired, the Kyiv Post wrote this : “By the end of his term he was likely one of the most unpopular figures in Ukraine, having earned a bad reputation for inaction and obstructing top cases

              A five minutes review of the facts and the “Biden pressure Ukraine over his son” bullshit is dead and buried. It can only be resurrected by dupes or liars….

              1. “I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo,” Trump said, according to Sondland. “I want Zelensky to do the right thing.”
                From the same transcripts Binion is quoting.

                1. What an unethical act on the part of Binion to exclude that. Seriously?

                  1. Considering there are hundreds of pages of testimony, Binion had to leave something out.

                    1. An it just happens to be the part that destroys his claims.

                      You’re trash Jeff.

                2. soldiermedic76: “I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo,” Trump said, according to Sondland….”

                  Bless your heart, it’s actually touching how gullible you are. Two criminals are discussing a crime. One suddenly realizes the conversation is being recorded, loudly insists his every thought is wholesome sweet goodness, then hisses they need to take the conversation offline. Detectives probably hear that exactly same routine everyday while monitoring wiretaps. I bet they don’t believe that negates the mountain of evidence proving the criminal’s guilt. Why should you?

                  1. Susan Rice memo to self: “Obama wants this done by the book.”

                    Sorry, what were you saying?

                    1. You might have a point IF you had any evidence Obama didn’t do things “by the book”. Of course you don’t.

                      Or you might have a point IF I was claiming Ms Rice’s comment as conclusive proof Obama is blameless. Of course I’d never say anything so moronic. I’m not a willing dupe like soldiermedic76.

                      So you have no point, do you?

                    2. Sure Mike.

                    3. Like letting guns go to Mexican cartels?

                3. In Sondland’s appendix to his testimony Sondland says he got the idea that Trump wanted a quid pro quo from Giuliani, not directly from Trump.

                  1. Yes, why do you keep spamming that Sondland got it third hand.

                    1. Why has soldiermedic76 pasted the same quote throughout the comments section.

                    2. Ask him whiny spamming bitch. I’m asking YOU.

                    3. “whataboutism”

              2. Biden withheld money from Ukraine by order of the President, per State Department policy, per the request of the European Union, and in conjunction with the International Monetary Fund and World Bank

                All of which institutions are famously corruption-free.

                1. Sigh. It’s like trying to teach particle physics to a potted plant. Let me try to explain things. very. very. slowly. so you have a chance to understand.

                  You claim corrupt motivation in Joe Biden’s actions. He was protecting his boy.

                  (1) But President Obama ordered those actions, and he didn’t give the slightest damn about Hunter Biden.

                  (2) And those actions were the official U.S. government policy of the State Department, an organization of over 70K employees, none of who give a hoot about Hunter Biden.

                  (3) And those actions were requested by the European Union, who didn’t give the slightest consideration to Hunter Biden.

                  (4) And those action were supported and paralleled by similar measures from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, neither of which thought a microsecond about Hunter Biden.

                  So what do you have left to claim? It doesn’t matter the slightest damn bit if the orders of Obama, the policy of the State Department, and the position of all western allies were right or not. Even someone with your limited logic skills should be able to see that.

                  IT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH HUNTER.

                  This is your big chance to get it, Mr. Potted Plant. At least make an effort or I won’t water you for a month…..

                  1. Although there is the appearance Joe Biden did something to get his son a cushy board position he was in no way qualified for, grb is just explaining why it wasn’t this particular way.

                    He could have used his influence some other way. Or Hunter may have talked his way into the boardroom by dropping dad’s name a lot.

                    1. So you’re gullible and retarded Jeff.

                    2. Or the head of Burisma Holdings, Ukrainian oligarch Mykola Zlochevsky, decided to buy a little status for his board, which isn’t even that uncommon in the corporate world (even the legit corporate world). Look around : There is no shortage of purchased names or bought prestige sitting on United States or foreign corporate boards. At the exact same time Zlochevsky rented himself a “Biden” he also acquired a former president of Poland, Aleksander Kwaśniewski. I’m betting Aleksander had no more knowledge of the natural gas market than Hunter; he was just something to put on the letterhead.

                      Later Zlochevsky would purchase Joseph Cofer Black, a former director of the Counterterrorism Center of the Central Intelligence Agency in the George W. Bush administration and former Ambassador-at-Large for counter-terrorism. Perhaps Mr. Black doesn’t have the star power of a Biden or Ex-Pole President, but he’s probably a little more substantive empty suit.

                      Personally, I’d have to believe there were more dignified ways for Hunter to leech off his daddy’s name than Burisma, but that’s just me.

                      Also, no one before you has claimed Joe got Hunter the position, so you’re blazing new trail in fact-free Stupid with that. And nothing I wrote had anything to do with Hunter getting the board spot, so your reading comprehension earn a big Fail (capital “F”)

                      Aside from that, Mrs. Lincoln, what do you think of Mike Laursen’s comment?

                    3. grb, I’m on your side of the debate.

                    4. Of course you are, he’s your fucking sockpuppet we can all see it

                    5. Mike Laursen : grb, I’m on your side of the debate.

                      Apologies. It’s late night at the office, I’m knocking off a few of these damn things and got careless reading what I was responding to. Internet rage tends to make a person sloppy. There have been a couple of times I unloaded both barrels on a position then realized with next reading it was obvious satire.

                  2. It’s like trying to teach particle physics to a potted plant.

                    I’m sure you understand neither thing.

                    You claim corrupt motivation in Joe Biden’s actions.

                    Which actions?

                    You seem suddenly to be talking about getting Shokin fired, which I haven’t been talking about at all. I’m talking about his useless drug-addict son getting a highly lucrative position at a Ukrainian oil and gas company while his father was the US special envoy in charge of relations with Ukraine.

                    Personally, I think getting Shokin fired was an opportunity for all involved to posture as anti-corruption reformers, which all involved rather desperately needed.

              3. The supposed corruption of Shokin was revealed to be a false narrative created by Ukrainians, who later admitted it. Was Shokin a nationalist who opposed EU policy? You quote sources with skin in the game here. I don’t think primary sources of what you are reporting actually exist. CNN airheads don’t count, btw.

              4. “Biden withheld money from Ukraine by order of the President, per State Department policy, per the request of the European Union, and in conjunction with the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. Everyone wanted the prosecutor Shokin’s ousted, because he was hopelessly corrupt.”

                Actually, they went along with Obama’s demand since he was so adamant about it. Most of them did not really care one way or the other.

            3. Cronut : While Trump may not have any real concern over corruption in the Ukraine in general, I do think it’s legitimate for him to be concerned……

              Oh, COME ON….. Provide one single piece of evidence Donald John Trump has ever been concerned over corruption except as a possible business opportunity. Name one other country where he’s shown the slightest interest in corruption, morality or ethics.

              Don’t pretend Trump is magically someone else, just because “noble crusader against corruption” is a good cover-story to excuse his his latest scam. He’ll just make you look foolish with his latest sleaze.

              Just last week he returned to the issue of pardoning former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, currently mid-way thru a 14-year prison term for political corruption. At a GOP fundraiser, Trump says Blagojevich’s sentence was too harsh. “No, he should not at all give up hope, at all. We are looking at it.”, he said. “I thought he was treated unbelievably unfairly. I’m thinking about commuting his sentence very strongly.”

              Now, the last time Trump floated this idea, all five of Illinois’ Republican congressmen wrote a letter in opposition, saying it was important to stand against pay-to-play politics. Blagojevich was convicted for trying to sell an appointment to the U.S. Senate seat Barack Obama vacated to become president. “I’ve got this thing and it’s f—— golden,” he was recorded, “And I’m just not giving it up for f—— nothing.” He also tried to extort a Chicago children’s hospital for campaign cash, threatening to cancel an $8 million state pediatric-care reimbursement unless he was paid $25,000.

              For Trump it’s only important Blagojevich was once on Celebrity Apprentice. No one will ever believe Trump strong-armed Ukraine over corruption. It was always about personal gain.

              1. “I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo,” Trump said, according to Sondland. “I want Zelensky to do the right thing.”
                This is Sondland quoting a conversation he had with Trump. Keep up the TDS.

              2. Excellent point, grb. When has Trump ever cared about foreign corruption?

                And, by the way, if he really did want an investigation of Burisma as opposed to simply an announcement of an investigation to embarrass Biden, how realistic would it be to expect to discover anything at this point in time? Why is he asking for it four years into his Presidency, so close to the 2020 race rather than four years ago?

                1. why do you keep responding to yourself like we don’t know you’re responding to yourself sock puppet

                  1. He’s just rubbing it in our faces with this “excellent point” garbage. Kinda funny, actually.

            4. To be clear, I don’t expect the impeachment to ever happen.

              1. The votes are there for impeachment. (Conviction is another matter.) The question is how many articles will be approved.

                1. None. You need to stop talking to yourself you’re going crazy Mike.

          5. Note the language used always had to be Trump did this “for political gain”. If you leave the spin off, it is not problematic. That should answer your questions.

            1. It’s not just “language”. It’s a possible violation of the Emoluments Clause and FEC regulations. Trump is a candidate for President in the 2020 election.

              1. oh no a possible violation whatever will we do

                oh right laugh at how stupid your assertions are that’s what

                1. Are we a nation of laws or not?

          6. The interest in investigating foreign influence in the 2016 election was primarily driven by the loser – Hitlery Clinton. But it’s something Trump has been pursuing. So it shouldn’t be surprising that Biden got swept up in that – especially after he went on television to brag about how he blackmailed Ukraine to fire the prosecutor investigating his son.

            The evidence so far shows no evidence of Trump twisting Ukraine’s nuts to get Biden. The process currently being employed by the DemonCRAPS is really damage control. They’ve announced the Impeachment Circus is coming to town without any evidence at all. In fact, what they really have is evidence of innocence – the phone call transcript itself plus multiple statements by those involved.
            But by holding meetings in secret, the DemonCRAPS hope to filter out the 150 statements that say there was no quid pro quo, and present the 3 statements that there was. They’re playing for time and trying to put the best spin they can on a losing blunder. Their circus has no elephants, no tigers, no jugglers, no big top tent. All they have is clowns.

        4. Mickey Rat, the principle seems to be that if you do not keep up with the mainstream media, you have no idea what is going on. I mention that because the summary comments you seem to rely upon have little to do with the facts now known. The charitable interpretation is that the folks offering those comments have not kept up. Otherwise, they are not forthright, or maybe lying.

          1. I mention this because the talking points that you morons expect anyone to believe are laughable. So fuck off.

        5. I’m sure Trump has a stash of Tulsi and Yang lewds ready to release and chat logs and videos proving Buttigieg is very far from being gay including ones of him beating on gay men with a belt while they’re strapped to a bench.
          Biden is boring. You have to call Ukraine to find something spicy.

          1. Yang lewds

            Please no.

    3. No, the principle isn’t that Biden is immune from being investigated. The principle is that the ethical and legal way to do so would be to appoint an independent investigator and for Trump to recuse himself from any direct involvement.

      1. You haven’t explained how that isn’t the case here. How is asking the Ukrainians to investigate it somehow under the control of Trump?

        It’s like the underpants gnomes.

        1. The Ukrainian investigation isn’t under his control. It’s the act of personally being involved in the asking. And there’s the matter of whether it was asking or demanding.

          1. we have the transcript we already know the answers to those questions

            that’s the reason you and your ilk are trying to focus attention on testimony from people no one cares about

    4. This is what a dyed in the wool sucker looks like, folks.

      1. At least you finally admitted it.

      2. This is what an ad hominem argument looks like.

  5. There’s an interesting fact Mr. Binion seems to have omitted.

    “In a Monday addendum to his testimony that he gave last month, Mr. Sondland said his memory had been refreshed by the testimony of Messrs. Taylor and Morrison. “By the beginning of September 2019, and in the absence of any credible explanation for the suspension of aid, I presumed that the aid suspension had become linked to the proposed anti-corruption statement,” Mr. Sondland said.

    . . . .

    In text messages in the following days, however, Mr. Sondland continued to deny that the delivery of aid was dependent on those investigations.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/impeachment-inquiry-to-release-transcripts-of-sondland-volker-testimony-11572955206?

    Even if you believe that the conversation happened the way Sondland says (now that he remembers it), he was merely speculating.

    He continued to deny that there was any link between the delay and the investigation in his texts–long after that conversation.

    AIR, he said he called Trump, asked if there was any connection between the delay and the investigation, and the answer was no. So he texted them to say that there was definitely no connection between the two.

    1. Even if you believe that the conversation happened the way Sondland says (now that he remembers it), he was merely speculating.

      And speculating that it was about a general statement committing to crack down on corruption, not to investigate Biden specifically.

      A smoking gun this is not.

      1. Read the texts themselves below, which I’ve linked to sources.

        We got a lecture this morning about how unprincipled it is for Rand Paul to ask the New York Times to publish the name of their source.

        Somehow, failing to link to source material in which Sondland exonerates the president is principled, I guess?

      2. Vindman’s testimony, along with corroboration from several players was the smoking gun. The rest of us are waiting for the members of the “does not look at or believe in evidence” party to figure it out.

        No one has yet to give an explanation for the aid hold up. The story from Trump’s sycophants has changed several times now. Just like the Trump tower meeting cover up, which went through 3 distinct versions.

        What happened, happened. Trump attempted to extort Ukraine into helping his 2020 campaign. We all see it. Just because you don’t care, doesn’t make it any less real.

        1. Smoking gun? Please.
          Sondland’s conversation, from the same testimony that Binion is quoting “I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo,” Trump said, according to Sondland. “I want Zelensky to do the right thing.”

          1. You keep quoting an obvious lie from two known liars as some sort of golden ticket out of this. It makes you look gullible.

            1. If Sondland is a known liar then why does anything he says matter?

              1. The fact that he is caught in lies matters very much. Why is he having to lie and then recant (sorry–“correct”) his testimony on this issue?

                1. It’s an obvious lie because it makes you look stupid jeff. Got it.

              2. ThomasD : “If Sondland is a known liar then why does anything he says matter?”

                Well, maybe because now his story agrees with Volker, Taylor, Morrison, Yovanovitch, McKinley, Vindman, etc. Before Sondland was a very not-very-believable outlier, but the threat of perjury seems to have brought clarity and focus to his memory.

                Stick around, because the word is Lev Parnas has decided to flip. You’ll need to work triple-time generating misdirection & excuses if that happens. Probably be a humorous sight to watch tho….

                1. Except we have the transcript.

                  You fucking retards are literally trying to overcome that with INNUENDO.

        2. Trump attempted to extort Ukraine into helping his 2020 campaign. We all see it. Just because you don’t care, doesn’t make it any less real.

          Yeah – you’re not actually following my point at all, but thanks for trying.

        3. Trump attempted to extort Ukraine into helping his 2020 campaign.

          Why do you think Trump believes he needs help AT ALL to beat you people in 2020–never mind help from Ukraine?

          You people are running around like chickens without heads screeching that everything that’s happening isn’t happening and that everyone should believe your delusional ravings.

          You think he’s worried about that?

          You think he’s worried about ANYTHING you do? You’ve doubled down on 2016–Trumps not going to know where to put all the electoral votes over 270 that he’s going to get. He may landslide better than Nixon.

          1. This is the most blatant example of wishful thinking I have ever seen. Cultish and creepy.

            1. Yes, your claim of a smoking gun was.

            2. This is the most blatant example of wishful thinking I have ever seen. Cultish and creepy.

              Because you live in a bubble of unreality so thick that you can’t get enough oxygen.

              You live in a fantasy.

        4. SMOKING GUN!!!

        5. Vindman blew their timeline to hell!

      3. At best, it’s a luke-warm slingshot.

    2. It is now being reported that Yovanovitch confirmed there was no quid pro quo of any sort.

      1. The guy who has everything to lose from pissing off Trump says the thing least likely to piss off Trump? Well, then. This is settled!

        1. Even though the gf said the guy from usc didnt rape her, we must still convict because someone else said he did.

          1. Dumb analogy for a dumb spin. A better analogy would be the two dozen women who have claimed Trump raped them not pressing charges after receiving large sums in civil settlements.

            1. At least you stopped pretending you weren’t a troll Jeff.

            2. Wasn’t president, don’t care. Pussy wants money, omg! Next up, water is wet.

              1. a·nal·o·gy
                /əˈnaləjē/
                Learn to pronounce
                noun
                a comparison between two things, typically for the purpose of explanation or clarification.
                “an analogy between the workings of nature and those of human societies”
                a correspondence or partial similarity.
                “the syndrome is called deep dysgraphia because of its analogy to deep dyslexia”
                a thing which is comparable to something else in significant respects.
                “works of art were seen as an analogy for works of nature”

            3. Actually, the USC example is far more apt.

  6. if anyone else had changed their testimony they would be charged for lying why not here? we know why but had to be said

    1. Regardless of which statement is true, this guy should be in jail alongside Manafort.

    2. Depositions tend to have a final portion that allows for clarification and/or minor revisions before the deposition is considered under oath in its entirety.

      Being questioned by pros can be stressful. I would guess that this is a method to give the person being deposed a fair chance to make sure their testimony is accurate.

      1. Unless your a republican just ask Flynn

      2. But his testimony now contradicts text messages between him and Taylor, as well as his other testimony where he quotes a phone conversation with Trump “I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo,” Trump said, according to Sondland. “I want Zelensky to do the right thing.”
        Also he just stated Trump wanted an anti-corruption statement, but that he never specified anything about the Biden investigation and he just presumed it was about Biden. So his clarification is contradicted by his own text messages at the time and by his personal phone call with the President.

        1. The text with Taylor that he asks to “take offline”? Almost as if he wanted to avoid creating a record.

          1. Fuck off Shreek.

          2. Almost like the subject is something that isn’t amenable to 216-character messages that have to be entered through a tiny keypad and arrive asynchronously

            An actual CONVERSATION!?

            Do people still do that?

        2. It doesnt really of you look at the actual changes and realize the meeting in question happened on sept 1st and it was regarding speculation at the time, not an order.

  7. “ until Ukraine provided the public anti-corruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks.”

    That “anti-corruption statement” pertained to President Donald Trump’s push to have Zelenskiy investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.”

    Did it?

    1. That is a very good question. That is hardly clear at all. Moreover, the links Ken provides below show that the guy was speculating. He was just saying “hey I think you need to do this”. He wasn’t threatening anything.

      This is a big nothing here and Binion is just putting out disinformation.

      1. Propagandists gotta Propagandize.

      2. Bunion reads the comments. His silence is deafening.

      3. “Volker Advises Yermak Ahead of Trump-Zelensky Call: On the morning of July 25, 2019—ahead of the planned call between President Trump and President Zelensky- Ambassador Volker advised Andrey Yermak:

        [7/25/19, 8:36:45 AM] Kurt Volker: Good lunch – thanks. Heard from White House—assuming President Z convinces trump he will investigate / “get to the bottom of what happened” in 2016, we will nail down date for visit to Washington. Good luck! See you tomorrow- kurt”

        https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/10/04/us/politics/ukraine-text-messages-volker.html

        It was about the Bidens. No more outs. Straight up corruption.

        1. “I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo,” Trump said, according to Sondland. “I want Zelensky to do the right thing.”
          Selectively quoting so helps your case when there is direct testimony contradicting you selective quote.

          1. Why would anyone quote known liar and conman, who is barred from ever operating a charity again, who had to settle a massive lawsuit for running a fraudulent university which he was also forced to shut down to avoid criminal charges, Donald Trump?

            Only a rube would!

            Seriously though, Trump is a known conman, a liar, and a cheat. This is undeniable. Do not quote his self serving words if you want to be taken seriously.

            1. So all you have is to call Trump a liar. You know that is the same as stating it can’t be rape because she is a slug, don’t you?
              And paired with the fact that the Ukrainians deny any quid pro quo happened and that they didn’t even know the funds had been held up until well after they reopened the investigation, Trump’s statement is at least partially backed up. Not to mention the transcripts also back up Trump.

              1. They knew the funds were held up.
                https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/23/us/politics/ukraine-aid-freeze-impeachment.html

                You gotta keep up with your daddy’s latest lies, bro.

                1. Um, that says they didn’t lolol you DIDNT READ YOUR FUCKING LINK AHAAHAHAHAHAJ

            2. Don’t quote someone when you want to know what they said? Hm.
              The longer these debates go on, the funnier they sound.

              1. “Do not quote his //self serving// words if you want to be taken seriously.”

                Read carefully.

                If you are quoting Trump saying “I’m innocent” as evidence of his innocence, then you are gullible.

                1. He got you and you should feel as stupid as you obviously do.

                2. Trump said he wanted no quid pro quo before anybody accused him falsely of wanting one. Must be guilty.

        2. Wait, THATS YOUR EVIDENCE SHREEK?

          AHAHAHAHAHAAHAHJA

    2. “Volker Advises Yermak Ahead of Trump-Zelensky Call: On the morning of July 25, 2019—ahead of the planned call between President Trump and President Zelensky- Ambassador Volker advised Andrey Yermak:

      [7/25/19, 8:36:45 AM] Kurt Volker: Good lunch – thanks. Heard from White House—assuming President Z convinces trump he will investigate / “get to the bottom of what happened” in 2016, we will nail down date for visit to Washington. Good luck! See you tomorrow- kurt”

      https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/10/04/us/politics/ukraine-text-messages-volker.html

      It was about the Bidens. No more outs. Straight up corruption.

      1. Wasn’t the Democrats also threatening aid just a couple of months ago to Ukraine if they didn’t help in getting to the bottom of what happened in 2016? BTW the Biden incident occurred in 2015 so could Volker have been referring to campaign interference?
        https://www.bostonherald.com/2019/09/25/democrats-pressed-ukrainians-to-cooperate-with-mueller-investigation/

        1. Ok, so? Senators are free to write to people to encourage them to cooperate with an independent investigation. They didn’t tell anyone to open an investigation on their own to help their reelection campaigns.

          1. But there is no evidence Trump did either. No one has offered evidence to the contrary. In fact the Ukrainians deny it happened. Sondland states he wasn’t sure what Trump was referring to in his asking for an anti-corruption statement, and he stated Trump specifically stated that there was no quid pro quo. He only presumed it was about Biden (presume is the actual word he used). The others had no first hand knowledge, two whistleblowers were reputing rumors and both state they had no first hand knowledge. No quid pro quo is stated in the transcripts and Volker only referred to what happened in 2016, which Trump has appointed an independent investigator to investigate. The Biden thing happened in 2015.

            1. “But there is no evidence Trump did either.”

              We can stop right there. Have you read the article above this comments section?

              1. The article that omits a crapload of relevant shit? This is why everyone thinks you’re retarded baby jeffrey.

                1. But there is evidence in the article. Poo poo doody head.

                  1. Which the omission destroys. It is literally refuted by the very info he omitted clown cry more now!

      2. God you’re tiresome baby jeffrey.

        1. Go to your safe space if you don’t want anyone to challenge blatant lies from a known conman.

          1. Ahahahha you’re so mad that I stole your screen name ahahahaha

    3. i’ve seen lots of references that Ukraine is highly corrupt.
      Perhaps Trump is only trying to make the point that he’s not keen on sending money to criminals – that the corruption needs to be dealt with.

      I know this is a marked departure from the former president’s policy of sending $1.7 BILLION in cash to state sponsors of worldwide terrorism. I also think it’s an improvement over the Obozo regime.

  8. In fact, if Reason won’t link to the texts, much less mention them, I’ll link to them myself.

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

    [9/9/19, 5:19:35 AM] Gordon Sondland: Bill, I believe you are incorrect about President Trump’s intentions. The President has been crystal clear no quid pro quo’s of any kind. The President is trying to evaluate whether Ukraine is truly going to adopt the transparency and reforms that President Zelensky promised during his campaign I suggest we stop the back and forth by text If you still have concerns I recommend you give Lisa Kenna or S a call to discuss them directly. Thanks.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/10/04/us/politics/ukraine-text-messages-volker.html

    This is my understanding of the time line:

    July 25, 2019: Trump has a call with the Ukrainian president.

    September 1, 2019: Taylor and Sondland discuss White House visit and the delay for aid.

    September 9, 2019: Sondland sets Taylor straight that there is no quid pro quo regarding the delay in aid.

    —-

    If Taylor presumed that the delay in aid was because of the investigation, that’s not on Sondland and it isn’t on Trump. If Taylor was having a discussion with Sondland about the delay with those assumptions rattling around in Taylor’s head, that isn’t on Sondland or President Trump either. President Trump isn’t guilty of anything just because Taylor thinks he knows what’s happening and why.

    Moreover, every time I look under the rocks where the Democrats say the secrets are hidden, I keep finding is more evidence that nothing improper took place.

    “Bill, I believe you are incorrect about President Trump’s intentions. The President has been crystal clear no quid pro quo’s of any kind.”

    Are they really presenting this text message as evidence that there was a quid pro quo and that President Trump knew about it?!

    1. Absence of evidence is evidence of guilt! The assumption is that there was a secret plot so, naturally, the details aren’t going to laid out in broad daylight and, further, the fact there is no clear evidence is, obviously, proof of a plot in which the key component is, obviously, hiding the evidence.

      Duh.

    2. One other point to add to your timeline, there has yet to be any evidence that Trump knew about the aid being delayed much less ordered it to be delayed. Unless you can prove that Trump ordered the aid delayed, you cannot ever prove he delayed it to get something from the Ukrainians. That whole half of the equation is being totally ignored.

      1. Another guy who should be following the mainstream media.

        1. Fuck off Hihn. If you have evidence that he knew, then provide a link. Sorry but the voices in your head are not evidence of anything other than the fact you are a crazy stupid bastard who needs to be banned from the internet.

          1. The acting chief of staff has admitted a quid pro quo regarding the funding and counseled, ¨Get over it.¨

          2. Stephen isn’t hihn, just a mother retarded leftist that came over from wapo with Volokh.

        2. “I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo,” Trump said, according to Sondland. “I want Zelensky to do the right thing.”
          From the same transcripts. Someone should read beyond what the mainstream media is running with, because they’re leaving out exculpatory evidence to further their own narrative.

          1. Trump is a known pathological liar, and Sondland is trying to soft pitch his earlier perjury.

            1. So you don’t have evidence but dismiss evidence that is contrary because of feels. Got it.

              1. …dude there is so much evidence at this point that it simply is not rational to deny it. Trump camp’s own story has changed several times now. Every time they try to spin it, it blows up again. This is just the latest iteration of lies. Don’t be so gullible just because you have a lot of your identity wrapped up in a Trump presidency.

                This is like talking to Mormons about space gods.

                1. Please list the so much evidence? Not hearsay, not presumptions, actual evidence.

                  1. What, one link at a time? No, do your own homework.

                    Sondland now, Vindland, 2 whistle blowers, the former ambassador to Ukraine, etc. have all said there was quid pro quo. The president was using his personal attorney for some strange reason to carry this out. (Obvious back door diplomacy–illegal.)

                    And no one on the Trump side has a good answer for why the aid was withheld.

                    1. Actually Sondland stated he presumed their was but in his testimony and text messages he denied there was any specific quid pro quo and he stated Trump denied their was. Vineland and the 2 whistle blowers were hearsay. They didn’t have direct evidence of it. And the testimony backs that up. It isn’t evidence it is hearsay and assumptions.

                    2. You would know that if you did your own homework.

                    3. See, you have to have the facts wrong to believe the Trump team bullshit.
                      Vindman was on the call. The hearsay schtick doesn’t hold up. And he testified that major points were left out of the “transcript”, and that when he attempted to correct the “transcript” he was rebuffed by a white house lawyer.

                      https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/29/us/politics/alexander-vindman-trump-ukraine.html

                    4. What, one link at a time? No, do your own homework.

                      No–not ‘one link at a time’–just ONE incontrovertible bit of evidence that Trump has done ANYTHING illegal during this presidency.

                      Just one thing. One thing that everyone will go “-oh, yeah, that–that’s illegal” whether they are brainless leftist chum like yourself or real thinking beings who can actually cogitate.

                      Just one.

                    5. Obstruction of justice. Oops sorry, that’s not one, that’s 10 separate counts. Look up “Mueller Report” and skip towards the end, for those.

                      Campaign finance laws, conspiracy, etc. all related to the crime that Trump directed Michael Cohen to commit. Trump is an unindicted co conspirator to that one. The same status Nixon had when Republicans back then decided it was becoming a bit much. https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/michael-cohen-named-trump-individual-1-here-s-why-prosecutors-ncna947016

                    6. Vindman asked for edits to be included in the call transcript and was denied at the time by others on the call you fucking idiot.

                    7. Show a source then, Jesse. Sorry this makes you so, so upset.

                    8. So, literally nothing but hearsay and presumption

                    9. Reliable hearsay is properly considered at this juncture. And quite damning.

                    10. “Fuck the rules of evidence, we can poison our case with hearsay” – not guilty/Mike/jeff

                    11. There was no crime to obstruct an investigation of.

                      Do you not understand that? It was in Mueller’s report.

                      And nothing else. Just blather.

                      Just more unreality.

                      You live in a fantasy.

            2. Well, then. Clearly he’s guilty. I mean, if his political opponents can call him a “pathological liar” and they “know” that Sondland is a liar too – that wraps it up, right?

              Except, what I’ve noticed about DemonCRAPS is that they lie with impunity all the time. Take the genesis of this latest attempt to impeach Trump: The “whistle-blower” complaint. You know the “whistle-blower” – the one nobody on Schiff’s staff met with prior to the filing of the complaint?

              Oh wait, Schiff lied about that, didn’t he? Well, never mind. I’m sure it was just an isolated incident. I really liked the way he read that transcript of the phone call in Congress. What? It was a FAKE transcript? Well, that’s pretty dishonest, isn’t it? Well, at least no one took it seriously. What? Nancy Pelosi heard it and announced IMPEACHMENT!?? She didn’t even have the real transcript? Just the one that Schiff conjured up? Well, okay, maybe that’s not dishonest – but it’s incredibly stupid.

              Well, we’re all past that. I guess an impeachment inquire is okay. After all, everyone should welcome government minions performing colonoscopies on them based on speculation, right? At least the investigation is being led by impartial investigators. What? SCHIFF is running the investigation? Same guy as lied about meeting with the whistle-blower and read the fake transcript? THAT Schiff? But his hearings are FAIR right? I mean, the transcripts are available for everyone to see and the opposing side gets to call for witnesses and ask questions, right? What?

              is this an impeachment inquiry? Or a lynch mob?

      2. “If only the Fuher knew about this!”

        or alternatively:

        “The buck stops somewhere else!”

    3. >>[9/9/19, 5:19:35 AM]

      totes out of context.

    4. The timeline has to start at least on July 10th when the National Security Council was meeting with the defense minister of the Ukraine. This was when Vindman testified that Sondland introduced a quid pro quo for the Ukraine to even get a July 25 phone call with Trump.

      1. “I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo,” Trump said, according to Sondland. “I want Zelensky to do the right thing.”

        1. Hilarious.

          1. That Sondland knew straight from Trump’s mouth that he wasn’t looking for a quid pro quo and this is all about your TDS? You’re right hilarious.

            1. Tell me, what is the cause of TDS, as you see it? Why do so many people hate Trump?

              1. Because he sent their guy. I didn’t vote for him in 2016. He wasn’t my guy either. But I am open enough to look at the actual evidence and find it is all based upon hearsay and assumptions. No actual hard evidence exists. However, testimony and text messages multiple times deny any quid pro quo and the Ukrainians deny any quid pro quo. In fact they state they didn’t even know the funding was being withheld. That is a huge stumbling block to your hypothesis.

                1. So why wasn’t Bush impeached? People hated him too.

                  1. Because Pelosi didn’t have to since Bush was term limited by the time she took power and the Democrats were likely to win the 2009 election. Not a hard question. Pretty self obvious answer. But you do you.

                    1. You could say the same about Trump, minus the term limit. But no one, not even Pelosi thinks they will remove Trump by impeachment.

                      You can’t admit that maybe Trump is the sleazebag he appears to be? That he has been a known conman, cheat, and liar since the ’80’s? Why have so many people who have worked for or with Trump come out and said what an absolute venal moron the man is?

                      There is no TDS. Trump is just an unlikable criminal with transparent motivations. I’m sorry, but you have been duped.

                    2. “Why have so many people who have worked for or with Trump come out and said what an absolute venal moron the man is?”

                      I only know one person who actually worked for him. On one of those TV shows. She said “he always treated me very professionally.” She did not vote for him.

                    3. Happy to educate you, then. It’s a little out of date, so there will be more by now.

                      https://qz.com/1267508/all-the-people-close-to-donald-trump-who-called-him-an-idiot/

                    4. Um, if you read your link, it’s a couple of people Mike.

              2. Why do so many people hate Trump?

                Oh, god.

                They don’t.

                Didn’t you learn that in 2016? Didn’t you learn that acting like your echo chamber is reality leaves you all shrieking in the streets, crying, and throwing a three year long tantrum?

                And, while you’re doing this the economy is piling on jobs, it’s piling on real increases in pay, or that we’re relieving regulation and working towards actually getting our troops out of the Middle East and actually acting in the interests of America and Americans again.

                The people don’t agree with you.

                You live in a fantasy.

                1. In 2018 when Trump lost the popular vote by over 3 million votes? I get it, your guy won an election, congrats. But he is not and has never been popular.

                  1. THERE IS NO POPULAR VOTE FOR PRESIDENT IN THE US.

                    None.

                    It doesn’t matter how much you say it, its not real. Got that?

                    Not real.

                    You live in a fantasy.

              3. Tell me, what is the cause of TDS, as you see it? Why do so many people hate Trump?

                That’s actually a very good question. If you ask most people who hate Trump, why they hate Trump, they either do not have an answer – OR – the answer isn’t factually correct. For example, a lot of them scream about the “kids in cages” under ICE control. But those photos were from the Obama administration – so have nothing to do with Trump. Another trope is that he’s “racist” – yet when asked for evidence they can offer none. Prison reforms, promised under other presidents, actually happened under Trump and the establishment of “opportunity zones” in economically depressed areas certainly doesn’t appear racist.

                I think among DemonCRAPS and the extreme Left, the hatred stems from Trump derailing the socialist agenda. It began with Hitlery’s defeat (which is why plans to impeach Trump sprang up the day after the election, before Trump even took office). For a large part of the anti-Trump population, it’s NOT anything Trump has done – but rather the fact that he won at all.
                Of course, false claims abound. For 2 1/2 years, Trump was investigated (FOUR TIMES) by the FBI, House, Senate and the Mueller team for “Russia Collusion” in rigging the election. The root of this complaint was a fake dossier cooked up by some Russians who gave/sold it to a foreign agent working for Fusion GPS on the payroll of the Hitlery campaign. In short, the entire “investigation” was cooked from the start. The idea that “foreign interference” was what prevented Hitlery’s ascension and coronation is an article of faith among the Left.
                But most of all, I think it’s mob mentality. Socialists tend to march in lockstep at the orders of their political masters right up until those masters so impoverish them that they have to eat the family pets to survive.
                Trump is a bulwark against Socialism – and they hate him for that.

                Trump doesn’t help the issue with his inflammatory tweets – but I’ve come to see those as part of his strategy – keeping the Left so spun up that they exhaust themselves and fail to address important issues – like the 25% of all federal judges that have been appointed by Trump. What “The Resistance” doesn’t seem to understand is that the majority of Americans don’t want gridlock. They want results. And Trump has been far more effective than the DemonCRAPS in that department. And that makes them angry too.

            2. Meanwhile, he was hearing from Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer (who is involved in foreign diplomacy, why?) that Trump wanted an investigation to get the funds released.

              1. If you say so grb.

  9. I’m starting to wonder if Billy Binion is Pod.

    1. reason employs numerous NPCs like pod to boost web traffic.

      Clicks are more important than substance and fact for reason now.

  10. That “anti-corruption statement” pertained to President Donald Trump’s push to have Zelenskiy investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.

    Am I misremembering or was there also included a request to look into whether forces in the Ukraine hacked the DNC?

    1. Am I misremembering

      It’ll all come back to you eventually.

        1. thats the point enough turns and no one remembers where the start is but by golly someone is guilty here and its Trump

  11. You know who else had a late recollection of something that radically changed the political landscape?

      1. Ouch!

  12. “Surely something was said in regards to withholding aid, Mr. Ambassador.”

    *slides envelope across the table*

    1. “I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo,” Trump said, according to Sondland. “I want Zelensky to do the right thing.”
      Seems it wasn’t a government or a personal transaction according to Sondland’s conversations with Trump.

      1. Trump´s denial of any quid pro quo is transparently self-serving. Are you that credulous?

  13. “Let me state clearly, inviting a foreign government to undertake investigations for the purpose of influencing an upcoming election would be wrong,” said Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union, in his sworn deposition before congressional investigators on October 17. “Withholding foreign aid in order to pressure a foreign government to take such steps would be wrong. I did not and would not ever participate in such undertakings.”

    But on November 4, Sondland had a change of heart.

    Seems legit.

    1. Someone should ask him if he is now admitting that he participated in such undertakings.

    2. And he didn’t have the authority to withhold the aid. Had no first hand information of why it was being withheld and can’t say that the President knew it was being with held much less ordered it.

      yeah, this is a real smoking gun.

  14. “Let me state clearly, inviting a foreign government to undertake investigations for the purpose of influencing an upcoming election would be wrong,….”

    Lefties actually believe that Joe Biden will be in the general Election 2020?

    1. Trump clearly thought so.

      1. Your proof, not assumptions but actual proof?

        1. That he withheld aid until they investigate the Bidens. Look, man you are very ignorant on the facts. I’m not going to argue with you until you’ve done the reading. You’re going to have to read stuff outside of reason and breitbart.

          1. Except the Ukrainians dry the ever happened. There is no proof just assumptions. You so want to believe this is true that you are ignoring all exculpatory evidence. The only ignorant ones are the ones who refuse to take into account they may be wrong. You made up your mind and now are only recognizing the evidence that supports your presumptions.

            1. So Vindland, Sondland, Taylor, and Yovanovitch are all lying? Do you think they got together and came up with a script, or they just simultaneously decided to back each other up? Cmon man.

              Ask yourself why the president would opt for his personal attorney to carry this out? Why does that attorney have two associates in jail right now, caught trying to flee the country? Why would a CIA officer, a purple heart decorated Colonel, and other life long public servants all decide to join or invent a conspiracy that isn’t even that good if you are trying to get rid of the president. (Red hats and rubes, but I repeat myself, obviously do not care.) I mean cmon.

              1. Sondland stated he only presumed it was about Biden but also testified that Trump states specifically that there was no quid pro quo. The Ukrainians deny there was any quid pro quo. Volker only referred to the investigation into what happened in 2016 (which is currently being investigated by an independent investigator at the DoJ) and the Biden thing happened in 2015 not 2016. Taylor had no direct evidence and by his own statement was assuming it was about Biden, which Sondland flatly denied.
                Yovanovitch is now reported to be backing off her statements.
                Like I said hearsay and assumptions, no direct evidence. And there is exculpatory evidence you are ignoring.

                1. You keep leaving out Vindman. And I wonder why so many people made the apparently incorrect assumption that this was about the Bidens? Hmmmmmm.

                  1. Sure grb.

              2. “”Why would a CIA officer, a purple heart decorated Colonel, and other life long public servants all decide to join or invent a conspiracy””

                See the Iraq war.

                1. You mean the other big lie that Republicans sold morons on?

  15. “likely” fuck you, liar

    1. “likely not occur”

      Likely.

      Like. Ly.

      Come the fuck on Bunion.

  16. It now being reported that Burisma had high ranking officials in the Obama administration on speed dial, so to speak, and was able to call in favors at will:

    https://johnsolomonreports.com/hunter-bidens-ukraine-gas-firm-pressed-obama-administration-to-end-corruption-allegations-memos-show/

    1. But Trump telling the Ukrainians they needed to help with the investigation of all of this was TREASON!!

      This is what reason, its toadies, and the rest of the national media expect people to believe.

      1. Nobody has said it is treason. The actual “charges” that have been argued are violation of the Emoluments Clause od the Constitution and/or violation of FEC laws.

        1. “I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo,” Trump said, according to Sondland. “I want Zelensky to do the right thing.”

        2. So you are honestly making the claim that an American is immune from investigation as long as they are a political candidate. You sure you wanna hang your hat on that?

          And since Trump is a candidate in 2020, how are the impeachment proceedings also not a violation, or how is the solicitation from sitting US senators for Ukrainian cooperation in the proceedings under threat of aid removal also not a violation?

          Selective outrage is my favorite form of hypocrisy.

          1. First of all, no one is claiming that the Bidens have any immunity. Secondly, aren;t you red hats the ones who got all up in arms about the Trump campaign being investigated in the first place? Saying it was politically motivated, etc.?

            1. No they are upset that the investigation appears to have been fabricated not that it occurred. That from early on the FBI knew Trump wasn’t coordinating with the Russians but they continued the investigation anyhow.

              1. Trump’s son and campaign manager took at least one meeting with honest to goodness Russian spies. Trump still denies that the Russians hacked the DNC and Clinton campaign emails, a fact that is undisputed by anyone with half a brain, and by all of our intel agencies and several of our Nato allies. If that hadn’t been investigated, it would be a controversy. What ever happened to avoiding the appearance of corruption? You republicans seem to have thrown that one right out the window.

                1. If they were spies then they were being paid by Hillary and the DNC thru Fusion GPS. If you want to stick with the story that the democratic candidate for president in 2016 was paying russian spies–well, bold strategy, Cotton!

                  1. You could have just told me you are Cookoo for co-co puffs!, and we would save a lot of time.

                    1. Are you denying that they had dinner with Simpson? Seriously, the only evidence of collusion of americans with russians (amongst other foreign nationals) is that of the democrats in 2016.

                      We spent over 2 years listening to your conspiracy theories only to have the evidence indicate the exact opposite. But I’m sure your life sized hillary body pillow still comforts you in these dark times.

                    2. “We spent over 2 years listening to your conspiracy theories only to have the evidence indicate the exact opposite. But I’m sure your life sized hillary body pillow still comforts you in these dark times.”

                      Not supporting Trump does not make one a Hillary supporter. I know you red hats can only see stark dichotomies with nothing in the middle, but at least try.

                      And read the Mueller report. There absolutely was “collusion”. But, probably due to all the obstruction (10 counts!), Mueller felt he did not have enough for criminal conspiracy charges to stick, and felt that he could not make an accusation since the president would not be charged and therefor unable to defend himself. It’s all there in the report. To say that there was nothing between Trump and the Russians is patently false. grb makes a better summary elsewhere in this thread.

                  2. And by grb you mean you right grb?

                2. The Russian lawyer who met with Glenn Simpson, CEO of FusionGPS and Democrat donor/insider, both immediately before and immediately after the fruitless meeting…

                  1. And by grb you mean you, right grb?

              2. And that FISA courts were abused in the process.

                1. FISA courts should not exist, but that is another matter.

                  1. Sure Jeff.

          2. “Mike Laursen”, “de oppresso”, “grb”, and “not guilty” don’t post anything honestly.
            This has been obvious since they first showed up out of the blue a few weeks ago

            1. Pretty much everything I’ve posted is straight out of mainstream news articles.

              1. that’s an excellent example of exactly what he means

            2. What do you claim is dishonest about any of my comments? Please be specific. I am a proud partisan, but honestly so.

              1. Hey look one of the named sockpuppets just happens to be here at the same time as Mike and grb and DOL in the middle of the night when No one else is on.

            3. Oh no, the facts aren’t on your side, so you have to go to ad hominem!

  17. Withholding federal funds is not quid pro quo. There’s no personal transaction occurring with federal money.

    1. Why does it matter whether it is a personal transaction?

      1. It actually probably wouldn’t be a crime if it were a personal transaction rather than federal money.

        Isn’t that the argument for why the Fusion GPS thing was okay and this isn’t?

      2. Because if actual corruption exists, and it is exposed then both the Ukrainian and American people benefit. Making the predicate act(s) entirely legitimate.

        The argument that Hunter Biden’s business dealings were above board is a joke.

  18. This gets stupider by the day.

    Corruption is ok but asking for an investigation of corruption is impeachable.

    Spying on a Presidential campaign is fine and dandy too.

    Got it.

    Hypocrisy and double standards in spades.

    1. The proper way to do it would have been to launch an independent investigation without any personal involvement from 2020 Presidential candidate Trump.

      Trump is a President, but he is also a candidate in an active Presidential campaign.

      1. Why? For appearance sake only. But since the supposed crime took place in the Ukraine wouldn’t the Ukrainians have to allow the independent investigator? And until the Ukrainians agreed appointing a independent investigator would have been futile, no?

        1. Why would approaching the Ukrainian government be any serious investigator’s FIRST step? Seems one would start with a domestic investigation, that one is in control of.

          1. Because it occurred in the Ukraine?

          2. I could certainly see why “mike laursen” would want a US domestic investigation of Biden corruption in the Ukraine…

      2. This is an independent investigation. Or do you honestly believe that Trump controls the Ukrainian judicial system?

        1. I clearly meant an independent investigation by someone on the American Federal government.

          1. How do they investigate a crime in the Ukraine?

            1. The FBI conducts investigations with foreign governments all the time. It is part of their mandate.

              1. Only if the government agrees and coroporates. Goes back to my original statement that no investigation could occur until the Ukrainians agreed to coroporate.
                Do you bother reading the rest of the thread before repeating your talking points?

                1. Are you really going to criticize me for repeating myself? The lack of self reflection in here…

                  1. Indeed. You can point out how quoting Sondland qualifies as a talking point…

                    1. I’ve never used the words “talking point” in this thread. I’m not following you.

                    2. You’re not very bright, are you?

                    3. No u

                    4. Hi Mike.

                2. If there had been an independent (American Federal) investigator, and they had run into Ukrainian refusal to help them out, THEN there might have been a case for Trump getting involved. Maybe.

                  But that isn’t anywhere near what happened. What happened is that Trump’s personal lawyer kept telling ambassadors that Trump wanted to see an investigation of the Bidens.

                  1. Sure grb/not guilty.

          2. So now you believe the US has jurisdiction in Ukraine.

            This is why there really should be literacy tests for voting (yes, that’s a joke for all you wokatatians out there).

            1. No, obviously. You start with an American investigator, if for no other reason than to have one person coordinating the effort. Then that investigator can ask for assistance from the Ukraine.

              1. Hi grb/not guilty.

  19. And this idiot changing stories is somehow credible? Not that it even matters since there was no wrong actually committed?

  20. Been doing some extra reading here and there about what Trump is charged with doing.

    Not see a crime. Impeach him by all means but there’s no crime.

    Shit like this has always happened not just in the USA but most major countries in the West.

    ‘Scratch my balls, I’ll scratch yours’ is how the Great Powers in Europe operated.

    Oh. And ‘After the election I’ll have more flexibility’.

  21. This time you got him. Walls closing in…..

  22. As they say, if the Left didn’t have double standards, they have no standards at all.

  23. Fuck they are desperate. NY, Chicago, LA and SanFran need that SALT deduction back. Nothing says wealthy/crony democrat more than virtue signaling on woke progressive taxes, while writing off woke progressive taxes.

    The re-election of Trump while these prog cities go full on Detroit would be priceless.

    1. At least you acknowledge that the removal of the SALT deduction was to punish blue states.

      1. No it was a punch to high tax states who got deductions, other lower tax states didn’t. It just so happens the majority of those high tax states are blue. Also, many of the lower tax states have balanced budget amendments, thus they learn to live within their means. But the states most impacted by the SALT removal tend to be most in debts. So the citizen of the other states were subsidizing the high tax states.

        1. All states except Vermont have balanced budget laws. And blue states, almost uniformly, pay more in federal taxes than they take in, subsidizing red states.

          1. There is a lot of reasons for this, one of them being more military bases, military retirees, retirees on social security, public land etc is in red states. It is a poor metric. If these states have balanced budget amendments, why are they in debt?

            1. They only carry short term debt. States cannot issue long term bonds, or at least none have since 1991. And there are several reasons why it happens, depending on the state. The most common being a tax shortfall that was not projected.

              1. No, it is overspending. If my bills are to large because my income isn’t enough to pay my bills, it is my fault for overspending.

              2. And they keep re-issueing those short term bonds to make it appear on paper to be balanced but they are just kicking the can down the road.

            2. Sounds like red states should raise taxes or cut spending. Regardless of the why’s, red states mooch off of blue states.

              1. No, it has nothing to do with red state taxes, since the reasons I specified are federal programs the states have no control over. Critical thinking is difficult for you. The states have no control over federal land, how would raising taxes help red states fund military bases or federal land in their state? Or military retiree benefits or social security benefits? Fuck that was a stupid statement on your part. Just breathtakingly stupid.

                1. I see you are getting frustrated. It is indeed difficult to spin a red state taking in more federal money that it contributes as “fiscal responsibility”.

                  And you conveniently leave out that blue states have far, far larger GDP’s than red states. It’s embarrassing how poor red states are. They should start believing in education.

                  Please read this. It is a nonpartisan source that shows what mooches red states are.

                  https://apnews.com/2f83c72de1bd440d92cdbc0d3b6bc08c

                  THE FACTS:

                  Connecticut residents paid an average of $15,643 per person in federal taxes in 2015, according to a report by the Rockefeller Institute of Government. Massachusetts paid $13,582 per person, New Jersey paid $13,137 and New York paid $12,820.

                  California residents paid an average of $10,510.

                  At the other end, Mississippi residents paid an average of $5,740 per person, while West Virginia paid $6,349, Kentucky paid $6,626 and South Carolina paid $6,665.

                  Low-tax red states also fare better when you take into account federal spending.

                  Mississippi received $2.13 for every tax dollar the state sent to Washington in 2015, according to the Rockefeller study. West Virginia received $2.07, Kentucky got $1.90 and South Carolina got $1.71.

                  Meanwhile, New Jersey received 74 cents in federal spending for tax every dollar the state sent to Washington. New York received 81 cents, Connecticut received 82 cents and Massachusetts received 83 cents.

                  California fared a bit better than other blue states. It received 96 cents for every dollar the state sent to Washington.

                  On average, states received $1.14 in federal spending for every tax dollar they sent to Washington. That’s why the federal government has a budget deficit.

                  1. California has the highest poverty rate in the nation per the supplemental measures. Fully 1/3 of welfare recipients live in California.

                    And if you want the blue states to pay less to the feds, then you want to scrap our progressive income tax. The fact is that blue states have higher costs of living and higher nominal incomes as a result. Thay doesn’t mean that their standard of living is higher, quite the opposite, but it does mean that your preferred taxation hits them harder. But since they vote for it every year, then I guess you really can’t complain about them paying their fair share.

                    1. “California has the highest poverty rate in the nation per the supplemental measures. Fully 1/3 of welfare recipients live in California.”

                      And yet they still pay an average over $10k per resident in federal taxes, and consume less federal money than they generate. You must really hate those southern red states that suck up over twice as much federal dollars as they pay in.

                      You guys keep trying to spin California as some wasteland that sucks up federal dollars. It just is not true.

                    2. Whataboutism.

                  2. The fact is simple: government spending on states is toxic and destructive. But like a drug that’s slowly killing you, it’s also addictive; meaning that states can’t simply quit federal money cold turkey. At least some red states told Obama to shove his ACA-related funding where the sun don’t shine.

                    So, don’t you effing pretend that federal spending in states is a benefit; it’s not. And let’s not even get into the corrupt ways by which blue states actually make their money.

                  3. De Opresso:

                    So what? Those red states have a lot of Democrat voters on welfare. That’s why there is more federal money going to them. So what’s your point?

                    Also, the federal tax revenues in New York and surrounding states are high because of the finance industries. Those finance industries are rich because they hold every mortgage across the country from Alabama to Idaho. They hold every usurious credit card in the pocket of working Americans. Their profits are part and parcel of the nationwide American economic engine. In CA it’s the tech industry, same story.

                    1. “So what? Those red states have a lot of Democrat voters on welfare. That’s why there is more federal money going to them. So what’s your point?”

                      So these red states become blue when they take money? Interesting hot take! And finance alone is not the cause. There is no finance in Washington state, for instance. If you want to look at a single sector dominating a state’s gdp, look no further than oil and gas. The only red states to break into the top 10 gdp per capita list are because of oil and gas in an otherwise empty state.

                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_GDP_per_capita

                    2. No the red states don’t become blue. It’s just that they have lots of Democrat voters on welfare in the red states, and that’s the reason for these numbers.

                      If you want to make an argument about red vs blue voters and their economic productivity, then look at voters, not states. GOP voters are wealthier and Dem voters are poorer. Avg Trump voter income is way higher than avg Clinton voter. The “red states” talking point is just very dumb and low IQ since it ignores that there are blue voters in red states and red voters in blue states.

                      And if we’re not talking about people and voters at all, but about states and their economic output, the fact is red states send lots of their money to the finance industry in NY because of the high degree of centralization/oligopoly in that industry. If NY were not part of the USA with all of its red states and free interstate commerce system, (not to mention the USA’s foundational conservative free market principles), it would be nothing. So I say again, what’s the point here?

                  4. Please read this. It is a nonpartisan source that shows what mooches red states are.

                    Only if you delude yourself into believing that having lots of federal dollars dumped on your state is “mooching”, or that paying lots of taxes corresponds to productive employment rather than the wages of government corruption.

                    On average, states received $1.14 in federal spending for every tax dollar they sent to Washington. That’s why the federal government has a budget deficit.

                    Yet it’s the blue states that keep voting for this crap who, according to you, suffer under this system. The rational explanation is that your interpretation of what’s happening is wrong: blue states aren’t selfless benefactors of red states; instead, they have self-interested voters who use government spending to enrich themselves at the expense of the rest of the country, and part of that corrupt system is massive government spending in red states.

              2. This has always struck me as a particularly counterproductive argument for left-wingers. And it’s especially idiotic on a libertarian forum like this.

                Your side likes to style itself as the party standing up for the poor, the working folk, the people who got a raw deal and just need a little bit of assistance from the rest of us. Then, when they take what is offered, you lord it over them like some sort of loan shark, or a supposed friend – of the type who is willing to help you out when you need it, but insists on reminding you all the time.

                You pretend to have empathy and sympathy on your side, but you don’t. And that’s why you lost the blue collar vote in the last election. This will continue until you figure out that you can’t show such utter disdain for people and then expect them to like you.

          2. Texas has more federal road miles than any blue state, and more ports than most. They have NASA. As does Louisiana and Florida. They take in more because the federal government operates more there. Try enjoying LA without the trucks that stream goods in on I-10. Just one example. Try to make sense of the things you hear other people say rather than just parroting them. You might see a glimmer of light.

          3. “Balanced budget laws” are obviously worthless, given how massively in debt many states are.

            As for paying more in federal taxes than getting back, you think that’s a good thing? Federal spending in states is toxic, whether it’s on welfare, on military, or other federal programs. It displaces private investment and destroys markets. That’s why red states want lower taxes, smaller government, and less federal spending.

            1. That must be why Mississippi takes in $2.14 for every dollar they send?

              Like it or not, by every measure, blue states are more successful economically. Whether the politics are the cause or effect is what you can argue about. Whether or not blue states are richer is something you cannot argue about.

              1. Like it or not, by every measure, blue states are more successful economically. Whether or not blue states are richer is something you cannot argue about.

                Versailles was economically more successful than Alsace-Lorraine: government corruption and oppression pays well.

                That must be why Mississippi takes in $2.14 for every dollar they send?

                Mississippi doesn’t, selected groups in Mississippi do. And the money is largely targeted for political purposes.

                You are trying to argue the absurd point that voters in blue states selflessly support a system by which they pay so that voters red states benefit. In actual fact, voters in blue state vote to keep a system in place by which they corruptly enrich themselves and try to extend the political power of the corrupt system that benefits them. You can see that by looking at the groups that overwhelmingly vote for the Democrats and donate to them.

                Corruption makes people rich. Congratulations for observing that. Now understand it.

      2. Not punish them. end the free ride courtesy of everyone else.

        1. People who want higher taxes, and choose to live in places with higher taxes should pay their higher taxes.

          There is a simply way for them to eliminate the problem.

          1. So this big, beautiful tax cut that was going to help the middle class actually cut out the tax break for middle class homeowners? And if we are worried about anyone getting a free ride, why don’t we cut off poor red states until they start becoming productive members of the union?

            It seems obvious that the point was to punish blue state residents. Trump values loyalty to Trump over all else. He made this clear to his cabinet and every employee he has ever had.

            https://apnews.com/2f83c72de1bd440d92cdbc0d3b6bc08c

            THE FACTS:

            Connecticut residents paid an average of $15,643 per person in federal taxes in 2015, according to a report by the Rockefeller Institute of Government. Massachusetts paid $13,582 per person, New Jersey paid $13,137 and New York paid $12,820.

            California residents paid an average of $10,510.

            At the other end, Mississippi residents paid an average of $5,740 per person, while West Virginia paid $6,349, Kentucky paid $6,626 and South Carolina paid $6,665.

            Low-tax red states also fare better when you take into account federal spending.

            Mississippi received $2.13 for every tax dollar the state sent to Washington in 2015, according to the Rockefeller study. West Virginia received $2.07, Kentucky got $1.90 and South Carolina got $1.71.

            Meanwhile, New Jersey received 74 cents in federal spending for tax every dollar the state sent to Washington. New York received 81 cents, Connecticut received 82 cents and Massachusetts received 83 cents.

            California fared a bit better than other blue states. It received 96 cents for every dollar the state sent to Washington.

            On average, states received $1.14 in federal spending for every tax dollar they sent to Washington. That’s why the federal government has a budget deficit.

            1. Hah! It didn’t cut out the mortgage interest deduction for middle class taxpayers. It limited the value such that the overpriced inventory on the rent-controlled, regulation-strangled coasts coild no longer subsidize their spending thru the federal tax code. Or do ypu want to seriously argue that $750k is an unreasonably low cap for a “middle class house?”

              1. I am not a rich, and yet I own (mortgaged, of course) properties valued around $810k together. That being said, the deduction cap wasn’t so much the problem as was the $10k cap on deductions. The west coast and cities have very high cost housing now, and it is not due to rent control. It is due to market forces. There is no rent control in Seattle, and you can not find a move in ready single family home under $600k. I’m sorry that is hard to understand if you live somewhere that does not have a lot of economic activity, relatively.

                I’m not even arguing that SALT was a more moral system of taxation than what we have now, although it was certainly more beneficial for me. I’m arguing that Trump did it to punish blue state residents, not for any other reason. We were supposed to get a tax cut, but many of us got tax increases.

                1. http://www.zillow.com/seattle-wa/?searchQueryState={%22pagination%22:{},%22usersSearchTerm%22:%22Seattle%20WA%22,%22mapBounds%22:{%22west%22:-122.465159,%22east%22:-122.224432,%22south%22:47.491912,%22north%22:47.734145},%22regionSelection%22:[{%22regionId%22:16037,%22regionType%22:6}],%22filterState%22:{%22isAllHomes%22:{%22value%22:true},%22sortSelection%22:{%22value%22:%22pricea%22}}}

                  1. That’s not a refutation…

                2. “I am not a rich, and yet I own (mortgaged, of course) properties valued around $810k together”

                  Um, you’re a fucking sockpuppet.

                3. I am not a rich, and yet I own (mortgaged, of course) properties valued around $810k together.

                  I.e., you don’t really own shit. What you have done is overextend yourself on mortgages for (multiple?) homes you can’t afford (because you are “not rich” in your own words) and now you whine that the government isn’t subsidizing your irresponsible borrowing as much.

                  The MID should be abolished; it drives up property prices and sticks tax payers with the bill. There is no sensible economic justification for it, and every economic reason for abolishing it, the sooner the better. Politicians adopt it because it’s middle class vote buying, nothing more.

                  1. Just very odd that Trump’s tax plan, which he boasted would lower taxes, included a tax increase that targeted residents of states that did not vote for him.

                    1. Hivemind sad

                    2. So you have no rebuttal. Just say that.

                    3. I don’t see anything odd about it. Trump opposes high taxes and wealth transfer via the state, and so he adopts policies that hurt states that have those policies. Naturally, those are going to be the states that don’t vote for him. That seems perfectly legitimate to me.

                      What isn’t legitimate is what Democrats have been doing, which is to increase government handouts to more and more voters in red states in an attempt to flip them. That is corrupt.

            2. De Opresso:

              So what? Those red states have a lot of Democrat voters on welfare. That’s why there is more federal money going to them. So what’s your point?

              Also, the federal tax revenues in New York and surrounding states are high because of the finance industries. Those finance industries are rich because they hold every mortgage across the country from Alabama to Idaho. They hold every usurious credit card in the pocket of working Americans. Their profits are part and parcel of the nationwide American economic engine. In CA it’s the tech industry, same story.

              1. So red states are not responsible for how much federal aid they consume because of democrat voters within them? Please leave the goalposts alone.

            3. “why don’t we cut off poor red states…”

              Hey, I’m all for cutting spending. But your high taxes states aren’t. They just want their own state profligacy subsidized by a reduced Federal burden.

              How about we eliminate Federal income taxes and payroll taxes?

              1. Please do cut income and payroll taxes entirely.

                And I understand that allowing blue states’ residents to write off state taxes caused a perverse incentive for higher state taxes. But, I was not arguing in favor of high state taxes or even for the salt deduction. I was pointing out that Trump is motivated by loyalty to Trump, and not much else.

                I had to show a bunch of deniers that blue states do make more money and pay more federal tax than red states, because facts are becoming more and more of an issue with the breitbart readers among us.

  24. The funniest thing is that, in large part, Hair Furor has gotten himself in trouble by trying to prove something that never happened: the notion that the Ukrainians, rather than the Russians, helped him.

    All that “great and unmatched wisdom,” huh? ????????????

    1. “Hair Furor”

      Love it.

    2. Nobody thinks that Trump is a skilled politician or a good communicator. But that’s not impeachable and trying to impeach a president because you don’t like his politics amounts to a coup d’etat, and that’s what the Democrats are attempting. And they are attempting it because they know they don’t have any viable candidate in the running.

  25. So since he contradicted his earlier testimony, he’s going to be charged with perjury for lying to Congress, right?

    1. He didn’t contradict his earlier testimony. What he said about Trump and Ukraine remains true. What he amended is that when the aid was delayed, he assumed (erroneously) that it was because of a quid-pro-quo and communicated that (erroneous) belief to a Ukrainian official.

      1. That’s a … very special interpretation.

        1. That’s no interpretation, that’s what he said. You seem to have trouble with facts and reality.

  26. It is amazing how a deep fake of one with a prepubecent boy can jog the memory.

    1. And by the looks of Schiff, I’d guess he had quite a few pics to choose from

  27. Can anyone provide a citation to the act of Congress that authorized payment of this financial assistance to Ukraine? I would like to see it. I doubt seriously if Congress simply said to Trump: “pay this money to Ukraine, no questions asked, just turn it over.” More likely the money was conditioned on the administration certifying to the existence of certain facts or certifying that Ukraine was meeting specific conditions. Since Russian interference and political corruption have been endemic problems in Ukraine ever since it declared its independence, I rather suspect that the administration was required to make some determination regarding Russian interference and political corruption before tendering the money. If so, Trump may have an out. He can claim that he was simply trying to assure compliance with the conditions set by Congress.

    That is why I am very interested in seeing the actual legislation authorizing the payment of this money to Ukraine. The fact that nobody’s actually discuss the legislation makes me suspicious.

  28. Trump didn’t tell him to say that, it was simply his own presumption he made because the aid was delayed. So, anther nothing burger.

    Of course, even if there had been a quid pro quo, it would have been OK.

    1. “Hillary withholds foreign aid to Russia until they announce they are investigating Trump Jr. ” would be perfectly ok with you?

      Do you think the state department serves the people of the US, or Trump 2020 LLC?

      1. They serve themselves
        You serve them

      2. What do you mean by “would be”? The Obama administration and Clinton’s operatives did investigate Trump, his family, and his associates while Obama was in office, using both domestic institutions and foreign governments. That’s a fact. And per se, there is nothing wrong with that.

        What is wrong is that they lied in their FISA applications, that they kept investigating after it turned out that the reports that had triggered the investigation were total b.s., and that they misused their power to publicly influence the election.

        As for the State Department, it serves the interests of globalists and imperialists, it is ideologically overwhelmingly progressive, and it is hostile to Trump; the idea that the US State Department serves the interests of the American people is ludicrous.

        1. “As for the State Department, it serves the interests of globalists and imperialists, it is ideologically overwhelmingly progressive, and it is hostile to Trump; the idea that the US State Department serves the interests of the American people is ludicrous.”

          And apparently it serves Trump 2020, too. And you are apparently ok with all of that.

          1. Indeed it serves Trump 2020, because the truth about Democrat misconduct serves Trump 2020. I’m certainly OK with that.

  29. ….aaaaaand I still dont care.

    Its a zero nothing allegation, made by people closely tied to the last administration.

    Hows about we stop playing the left’s game.

    1. Gladly. Can we stop playing the Right’s game, too?

      1. Hey look, the leftist sockpuppeteer grb is complaining about the Right AGAIN

  30. So was he lying before, or lying now? That’s the problem with scuttling soft-shell bureaucrats. You never can tell.

    1. He wasn’t lying at all. He stated that:

      (1) Trump did not ask for a quid-pro-quo and clearly stated that he didn’t want a quid pro quo.

      (2) After the aid was delayed, Sondland assumed that there might have been a quid pro quo and communicated this on his own to a Ukrainian official. Neither his assumption nor his communication involved Trump.

      There is no contradiction between those two statements.

      (Of course, a quid-pro-quo would have been perfectly legal anyway.)

      1. This is how it’s going to be from here on out: No matter what happens, no matter what anybody testifies, no matter what evidence is uncovered, it will all be reported as proving Trump guilty. Even if it literally does the opposite.

        1. Note how manipulative the Reason article is:

          Ambassador Changes Testimony, Admits Giving Quid Pro Quo Message to Ukraine
          Gordon Sondland said he now remembers conveying that military aid would be withheld until Ukrainian President Zelenskiy complied with Trump’s demands

          “Giving” and “conveying” wrongly suggests that the message originated with Trump rather than Sondland.

          It’s unclear whether Binion is deliberately misrepresenting what happened or whether he is simply too partisan and careless to realize the difference.

  31. Isn’t all politics quid pro quo? Isn’t all diplomacy? What, we got Japan to surrender by asking nicely? All negotiations require an “or else”.

    1. It’s a stretch to reduce the entire Pacific Theater of World War II to being a mere quid pro quo.

      1. The entire Pacific Theater of World War II was the “quid” for the Japanese “pro”.

  32. The CIA, where the whistleblower is an employee, is so accustomed to pulling off regime changes, they’ve now decided to do it in the USA.

  33. OK lets first debate the merits of investigating corruption before we start accusations of politics. I know it’s hard but let’s try. It is possible that Biden is corrupt and that finding this out would also would benefit Trump politically. Of course. Exposing corruption and eliminating is a valid request of a foreign leader regardless of whether it benefits Trump politically.

    Some simple questions and answers that may help.

    Does anyone pay someone millions for no apparent purpose? No
    Is there a legitimate business purpose for paying Hunter millions as a director for Burisma? No
    Did the Bursima investigation end after Joe stated no foreign aid unless you fire the prosecutor? Yes
    Does the former prosecutor state that he was fired because he would not drop the Burisma investigation? Yes
    Is the above probable cause for an investigation of corruption? Yes
    Has the above been “debunked” by a previous investigation? No, the investigation was “dormant, i.e. stopped.
    When inquiries are made about the claims of “debunked conspiracy” the response is the prosecutor was corrupt not that the investigation cleared Bursima. Which is of course not “debunked” at all.

  34. OK, meeting dates aside and all that; was he committing perjury the first time, or the second time?

  35. Funny how memory works. Which version is remembered correctly now? Perhaps tomorrow he’ll remember saying something completely different.

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