Former White House Russia Expert Called Push for Politically Motivated Investigations 'Blatant' in Impeachment Inquiry Transcripts

Trump pushed for investigations "into the Bidens" in exchange for a meeting with Ukraine, according to new transcripts from the impeachment inquiry


Transcripts released Friday by the House Intelligence Committee contain accounts by two White House officials of an effort by President Donald Trump and his close associates to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy into publicly undertaking politically charged investigations in exchange for a meeting between the two leaders.

"The demand was, in order to get the White House meeting, they had to deliver an investigation," Lt. Col Alexander Vindman, the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council (NSC), told congressional investigators in a closed-door deposition on October 29. The investigation that Trump wanted, he said, was "into the Bidens."

An impeachment inquiry is underway amid allegations that Trump leveraged his position to push the Ukrainian leader to announce a probe into Burisma, an energy company where former Vice President Joe Biden's son sat on the board, as well to investigate whether Ukraine interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election on behalf of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

On July 10, Ukrainian officials—eager to bolster their relationship with the U.S.—expressed interest in the meeting between Zelenskiy and Trump. According to Vindman's account, Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union, "started to speak about Ukraine delivering specific investigations in order to secure the meeting with the President." National Security Adviser John Bolton ended the meeting early and allegedly reprimanded him.

Vindman's testimony further complicates matters for Sondland, who initially told congressional investigators in his sworn deposition that he had no knowledge of any attempts to push Ukraine into conducting the politically motivated probes. He revised those remarks on November 4, writing that other congressional testimonies had "refreshed [his] recollection." He says he now recalls telling a top Zelenskiy adviser on September 1 that the continuation of military aid, which the Trump administration had abruptly frozen over the summer, "would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anti-corruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks." Per the congressional testimony, that "anti-corruption statement" referred to the two public investigations that Trump sought from Zelenskiy.

Fiona Hill, Trump's former Russia adviser, confirmed Vindman's telling in her separate closed-door deposition. "Ambassador Sondland, in front of the Ukrainians, as I came in, was talking about how he had an agreement with Chief of Staff Mulvaney for a meeting with the Ukrainians if they were going to go forward with investigations." Vindman also drew the connection to Mulvaney, who chose not to show up to testify on Friday despite a congressional subpoena.

Then came the much-discussed July 25 call between Trump and Zelenskiy, where the former asked the latter to initiate the corruption investigations into the Bidens. Per Vindman's testimony, Zelenskiy specifically agreed to look into Burisma, but in a summary of the call released to the public, the White House replaced that language with "the company you mentioned."

"It was a demand that the Ukrainians deliver these investigations in order to get what they have been looking for, which is the presidential meeting," Vindman testified.

Hill, who was also on the line, said that she was "quite shocked" at Trump's push to have a foreign power commence investigations targeting Biden, his potential Democratic opponent in the 2020 election, and Hillary Clinton, his foe in the 2016 race.

"It was pretty blatant" that Trump was trying to orchestrate an exchange, Hill testified. "I found that I couldn't really explain that away with an alternate explanation."

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  1. Ohh ohh! I suddenly remember now!

    1. According to the New York Times, Colonel Alexander Vindman advised foreign governments on how to subvert the foreign policy of the US government.

      Meet Alexander Vindman, the Colonel Who Testified on Trump’s Phone Call – The New York Times

      His heritage gave Colonel Vindman, who is fluent in both Ukrainian and Russian, unique insight into Mr. Trump’s pressure campaign; on numerous occasions, Ukrainian officials sought him out for advice about how to deal with Mr. Giuliani.

      1. I hope you remember saying and believing Guiliani’s scheming in Ukraine was done with specific instructions from the president.

        1. I hope you remember opinions arent actually facts.

          It has become fairly clear that Vindman was the originator of this whole impeachment. He is friends and worked with Ciaramella. In Vindmans testimony he also expressed disdain at Trump’s foreign policy based on it being against interagency wishes. It is the literal definition of a deep state. Presidents are elected, not interagency bureaucrats.

          In his testimony he admits that he asked those on the call to change aspects of transcript of the call, he was denied. He then admits he went to the NSC legal counsel to express his concerns, he was again denied. His final act was most likely leaking confidential material to Ciaramella against classified rules. This witness isnt the stellar witness you think he is.

          But then again you’re pretty stupid, so meh.

          1. Vindman witnessed a crime and he reported it. Trump lackey’s tried to cover it up by putting the “transcript” in a top secret server. Trump isn’t above the law. If he commits a crime such as bribery or extortion while in office the people who witness it have ever legal right to report it.

            1. A top secret server where Vindman could not access, alter, then leak it.
              Vindman seemed quite perturbed by that

              1. I would presume it is expected people attending a meeting point out mistakes and omissions in the meeting record. That’s standard procedure in the business world I inhabit. What’s truly strange is Lt Col Vindman’s issues weren’t addressed.

                Of course you can claim the quasi-transcript is correct and Vindmann wrong, but wouldn’t that be incredibly short-sighted? We’ll surely know before the trial is done, so why defend Trump on this and look like a dupe or imbecile?

                Also : Doesn’t it bother you just a wee-teeny nbit this “perfect” call was secreted in the place where names of ultra-secret covert agents are stored? It makes sense to me because extortion is a crime – at least when trading U.S. government favor for personal gain. The whistleblower said that was the panicked consensus of everyone present at the call.

                I suspect the whistleblower will be proven 100% right about that, as he (or she) has been on everything else.

                1. And I suspect that you don’t inhabit a business world with such a standard procedure, because one with your psychotic dissociation from reality would be absolutely unemployable in any but the most menial of roles.
                  Indeed, such a mindset as you routinely employ would be a grave liability to any business organization you would be a part of.
                  It is possible you work for the government though

                  1. For that matter, Nardz, why do you rant, rave, & hurl empty insults, when it only makes you look like a dupe / imbecile?

                    I haven’t even heard anyone deny Lt Col Vindmann’s testimony on mistakes & omissions in the quasi-transcript. That by itself is telling, since the White House is in full smear-mode re the decorated Lieutenant Colonel. If someone does try claiming Vindmann’s account wrong, I’ll be perfectly happy to compare the character of the accuser vs the Lt Colonel’s, as means to judge who’s honest. If it’s Trump, that comparison will be laughable.

                    Of course just after the transcript was released, I made the mild suggestion it couldn’t be wholly trusted one-hundred-percent accurate. After all (I said) this White House crudely doctored a gawdforsaken weather map, merely because Trump had a childish snit over a minor mistake on a forecast. The usual suspects (John, or White Power, or Jesse, or LoveConstitution) said that was crazy. Of course the transcription must be exact (they said).

                    I look forward to settling who’s right at the trial…….

                    1. “I haven’t even heard”

                      That is quite clear. Nor have you read.
                      You can suck doughy Vindman’s dick all you like, it doesn’t change the fact that he’s an obvious swamp creature – which seems to be your turn on.
                      Pretty much everything you write is unhinged fiction.
                      I think it’s time for your nap.

                2. “That’s standard procedure in the business world I inhabit. What’s truly strange is Lt Col Vindman’s issues weren’t addressed.”

                  But now we have seen what Vindman wanted added back in, and it still doesn’t matter. It is interesting that people keep pushing this whole “Vindman contradicts the transcript” without pointing out how those changes don’t really affect anything.

                  One edit Vindman wanted was to add in more when Trump talked about Biden. Instead of “If you could look into Biden…” it was a longer statement where he described what Biden is accused of. There is still ZERO quid pro quo mentioned. ZERO. The second item was that the transcript said “the company” and he thought it should say “Burisma”. Again, no proof of quid pro quo.

                  But keep talking about Vindman, as if his testimony proves anything.

            2. The crime was what? Who cares where the transcript is stored if in fact it was released? Why is Joe Biden and his drug addict son above the law? Extortion would be what Joe Biden did correct? Never Trumpers, Progressives and many who claim to be Libertarians are really pathetic children. Grow up child!!!

          2. JesseAz : “It has become fairly clear that Vindman was the originator of this whole impeachment”

            Meanwhile, Lev Parnas (one of Rudy Giuliani’s pit bulls) has begun to talk. By initial accounts, Parnas says he traveled to Kyiv just before Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was inaugurated in May and told the incoming government to announce an investigation into Joe Biden as a precondition for U.S. military aid to Ukraine. I’m sure you’ll blame that on Lt Col Vindman as well.

            In a White House meeting with Ukrainian officials, Sondland demanded Ukraine publicly announce the investigation as the price for a meeting between Presidents Zelensky & Trump. It had to be public; Sondland demanded a signed commitment. This was the moment Bolton stormed out enraged, describing the extortion as a “drug deal”. Surely all Lt Col Vindman’s fault !!

            That was weeks before the infamous phone call, mind you. Do you know there are still Trump toadies claiming Ukraine didn’t know helping Trump’s reelection was a precondition of military aid? Or Vice President Pence attending Zelensky’s inauguration, for that matter. Or a meeting between Trump and Ukraine. Of course they knew. Victims of extortion generally do. (But Vindman’s fault, I’m sure)

            And then there’s the transcript, which follows the hallowed tradition of small-time Godfathers everywhere : We’ve been good to you, capisce? We expect “reciprocal” behavior and a “favor”. Then comes demands. Ya know, people are so used to Trump’s constant lying to the American people, it barely registers that the faux-investigations demanded of Zelensky were both crude lies. CrowdStrike and the servers hidden in Ukraine? Joe Biden pressuring Ukraine over Hunter?

            It didn’t worry Trump a second both of these (public) “investigation” would be obviously phony. This time he was demanding a foreign leader lie for him. Damn that Lt Col Vindman!! Why did he make Trump do that ?!!?

            PS, Jesse : Do you really want to stand by Trump over Vindman re the accuracy of the transcript? Before this is over, we’ll surely know who is truthful. Yet you “believe” Trump?!?

            1. Vindman is a political hack despite his service which doesn’t excuse him from bias and nefarious intentions. BTW where are you getting your information? From the effeminate Adam Schiff? If you read the complete transcript and came up with the Godfather comparison it has to be that like Eric Swallows-well you have your head far up Schiff’s sphincter. Please clean your lips off as crap around the edges is unbecoming even for a phony libertarian.

  2. Democrats excused President Clinton for committing perjury to defeat a sexual harassment lawsuit.

    1. That was just telling a white line about a blow job, don’t you know

      1. It’s all ’bout the empathy:

        (1) People ask themselves, “Have I ever told a white lie about blow jobs?” and I bet a surprisingly large percent say yes. Hell, I’m not even sure my record’s 100% honest re that…..

        (2) People ask themselves, “Have I ever committed extortion with critically needed military supplies – to try and force a foreign government into collusion for my personal gain ?” and I bet a surprisingly microscopic percent say yes. Hell, merely occupants of this White House and State Department alone (along with Rudy and his pet thugs…)

        See? Not much ground for empathy there……

        1. Aid was in fact delivered which supported lethal aid … Obama on the other hand timidly gave non lethal aid including blankets, MRE’s, body armor, night vision googles. The latter I assume was so that they could haplessly sit by and watch Russian tanks fire on innocent civilians at night. Yes feckless and cowardly Barry Obama was more worried about pissing off the Russians than saving Ukrainians.

        2. “People ask themselves, “Have I ever committed extortion with critically needed military supplies – to try and force a foreign government into collusion for my personal gain ?””

          Like how Congress ordered a President to provide arms to Ukraine and the President sent blankets instead?

          I’m not shocked the Left is buying this. They always prefer a panel of “experts” over the people on every issue.

    2. Hmm. I recall that Democrats admitted that Clinton had acted dishonorably, and even introduced measures to censure him for his conduct. They just didn’t think that the specific circumstances warranted impeachment and removal from office. You can disagree (I did at the time), but I don’t call that “excusing” Clinton for his perjury.

      1. Thankfully grb (above) is here to demonstrate the excuse

      2. Perjury would be considered a high crime. That is if other can go to jail for it. I recall the Dems doing everything they could to down play it. Typically Dems circle the wagons and support the party over the Country. Nothing Trump has done is the equivalent of perjury. BTW Perjury isn’t measured by levels or else Gen Flynn wouldn’t have been in so much trouble.

        1. Hell, Yavonovich (sp?) perjured herself more than Flynn did.

  3. OK. So what though?

    Either there’s no inappropriate actions on Biden’s part – in which case we need to know that.

    Or there are. In which case we need to know that.

    1. I find it interesting that there is so much concern about Biden. Why? Because President Trump’s campaign had over 100 contacts with the Russian, the President tried to stop and investigation of the Russian contacts, the President’s action seem in line with Russian interests and he communicates secretly with the Russian President. But you know its Biden we have to check out.

      1. Moderation4ever
        November.10.2019 at 9:31 pm
        “I find it interesting that there is so much concern about Biden….”

        Of course you do:
        “Hunter Biden: The Most Comprehensive Timeline”
        “April 2014: Hunter Biden joins the board of Burisma Holdings. Alan Apter, a former Morgan Stanley investment banker who was chairman of Burisma, said at the time, “The company’s strategy is aimed at the strongest concentration of professional staff and the introduction of best corporate practices, and we’re delighted that Mr. Biden is joining us to help us achieve these goals.” Biden’s primary duty is to attend board meetings and energy forums in Europe once or twice a year, and he is paid $50,000 per month.
        Apter added, “This is totally based on merit.””

        Yep, nothing to see here, right?
        Do you expect us to believe you are that stupid, or are you hoping your willful ignorance is somehow contagious?

        1. Trump has a nuclear football. Hunter Biden doesn’t. Hunter Biden doesn’t even have a dog-catching net… He hasn’t even been elected County Dog-Catcher.

          WHO should we be paying attention to, now? (Quick, look over THERE, and do NOT look at ME, while my hands are in the cookie jar!)

          1. Hunter Biden is the son of the guy who was in charge of US foreign policy over Ukraine. They didn’t give him that money for nothing. It was a bribe to his father. Stop acting like that isn’t obvious.

            1. I agree it looks corrupt as hell, but there is the possibility that Burisma gave Hunter Biden the board position of their own initiative because they wanted an “in” or the appearance of an “in” with Joe Biden.

              Ethically, Joe Biden, should have gotten his son to not accept the position because of the impropriety, but legally there are scenarios where the Bidens were unethical but not breaking any laws.

              1. In the same manner, legally there are scenarios where a POTUS can ask for an investigation into corruption, wherever it may be, and not break any laws, right Mike? 🙂

                1. Yes. At least, not be convicted of breaking any laws nor being impeached and removed from office. I have never said otherwise.

                2. Atlas_Shrugged : “In the same manner, legally there are scenarios where a POTUS can ask for an investigation into corruption, wherever it may be, and not break any laws, right Mike?”

                  I kinda admire the precision in this wording from Atlas. It’s almost like he knows Donald John Trump is the very last damn person on planet earth who’ll ever show the slightest interest in “corruption” (except as a business opportunity). Trump had zero interest in “corruption” worldwide except in Ukraine, and zero interest in Ukrainian “corruption” except for use in the upcoming election.

                  People don’t sell the meme Trump – Noble Crusader Against Corruption because it’s what they believe – hell, it’s laughably ludicrous – they do so because Trump trading U.S. favor for personal gain can’t be defended. The farcical Noble Crusader shtick is the best diversion they’ve come up with….

                  Also: I agree there are “scenarios” where a POTUS can ask for an investigation into corruption. But all the ones with Rudy Giuliani, Lev Parnas, and Igor Fruman involve White House criminal fraud……

              2. Hunter Biden is probably clue less to his dad’s criminal actions to get him a job. it wouldn’t be the first time a dad got someone to hire their loser son but don’t tell them why to protect the losers ego

                1. I’m not saying Joe Biden didn’t arrange it. I’m just saying there are possible ways it could have happened without Joe Biden‘s hanging arranged it.

                  I don’t claim to know how it went down.

                2. At the exact same time Burisma Holding rented a “Biden” for their corporate board letterhead, they also purchased an ex-Polish president, Aleksander Kwaśniewski. If I had to guess, I bet Kwaśniewski knew no more about energy commodity trading than Hunter. He was just another “name” added for surface prestige.

                  And that wasn’t all : The company also tapped Alan Apter, an well-known investment banker who has worked in the United States and Europe as its board chairman, brought in a entirely new executive team and hired established international firms to audit its reserves and financial results.

                  Was that all cosmetic? Probably, but that’s the point. Hiring little Hunter was part of a package, something akin to Extreme Corporate Makeover – The Realty TV Show.

                  Of course, maybe Aleksander’s daddy got him the job too? Why not wrap the tin-foil around your heads (to protect against the cosmic rays) and go to work on that theory…….

              3. “possibility that Burisma gave Hunter Biden the board position of their own initiative because they wanted an “in” ”

                How do you think this changes anything?
                Yes, Burisma hired Hunter because they wanted an ‘in’ with the US government’s top official dealing with Ukraine.
                As records show, it worked.

                1. The way it changes things is that if Burisma gave Hunter Biden a position on their board with no prompting from Joe Biden, then no laws were broken. It means they hired a worthless stoner and put him on their board because of his family name. Not illegal.

                  Unethical is a different question. It has “appearance of impropriety” written all over it.

          2. The investigation, assuming its ever allowed to occur with integrity, is whether or not Papa Biden gave special considerations, not did Baby Biden ask for them.

            1. Agreed. So, please, nobody ever again make the argument, “Trump did not violate FEC regulations because he was only investigating Hunter Biden, who is not a candidate for President.” That was seriously put forth as an argument by more than one Trump apologist a few days ago.

              1. He hasn’t won the nomination yet so isn’t he technically Elizabeth Warren’s political rival?

                1. No, that’s not how FEC regulations work. Everyone running for President right now in the primary stage, Democrat and Republican, are all running against each other for President. Trump is a candidate. Biden is a candidate.

                  1. So, Trump cannot investigate any crimes that were committed by any candidates? That’s the position?

          3. So according to the dumb sqrsly… only presidents should ever be investigated. He probably only means orange ones as well.

            1. What law is Hunter Biden suspected of breaking? If he’s not even suspected of breaking a law, then why investigate him? Other than what is REALLY happening, is simply, Republicans want to stir up “side issues” to take the glaring spotlight off of the evil deeds of Trump!

     is good, but there is even better stuff out there, along these lines…

              I agree that Hunter Biden’s pay “smells bad”, but the whole dynamic that took place there… A company in a corrupt nation trying to “buy respectability” by hiring a “brand name person from the Western World”… Is EXTREMELY hard to outlaw, without extremely vague laws. This kind of a thing is the price of trying to be a “nation of laws, and not of men”.

              Taking away POTUS powers from Trump is light-years away from putting him in jail! Or even, away from confiscating his property!!! Crime and “innocent till proven guilty” standards do NOT apply to impeachment!

              Dump Trump!

          4. It’s not just about “now” though you silly twat.

            Let’s see what kind of corrupt shit hunter was up to between the year range of say…2008 through 2016 shall we?

      2. For whatever reason (perhaps because the support Trump?), the House Democrats don’t seem interested in reviving the Russia issue to impeach Trump.

        Instead, they want to focus on Trump trying to harass poor Biden for illicit motives.

        If that’s the charge, then of course Trump (if it comes to a Senate trial) would be entitled to offer alternative explanations for why he wanted Biden investigated – evidence of suspicious behavior, for example.

        So of necessity, if the Senate is interested in holding a fair trial, then of course it will allow evidence of Biden family shenanigans re Ukraine – the more compelling such evidence is, the more plausible it is that Trump actually had a legitimate reason for seeking an investigation.

        1. Or to put it more cynically – the more crooked Biden turns out to be, the more justifiable it will appear for Trump to investigate Biden, regardless of icky motives.

          1. If Biden wanted to avoid being investigated for possible corruption then maybe he should have avoiding giving the appearance of being corrupt.

            That is the fundamental reason for avoiding the “appearance of impropriety” not merely that it is, in and of itself, a good, but that it also insulates you from any threat of such investigation.

            But, being a Democrat means motives are never suspect. While Trumps always are.

            Reason’s credibility is circling the bowl.

            1. There has a lot of appearance of impropriety going on on the part of both the Bidens and the Trumps. Hunter Biden being on the board of Burisma stinks of impropriety, but so does Trump puttting his personal attorney in charge of Ukrainian diplomacy.

              1. Not really.
                You just have something on your upper lip, courtesy your deep state masters

      3. Moderation…Didn’t we just blow 30MM on a Special Counsel to investigate those Russian contacts? Help me out here, because I know it was a long time ago.

        On it’s face, I think you know and I know something is not quite right here, wrt Hunter Biden. We have a cocaine snorting, dishonorably discharged Naval officer who a) does not speak Ukrainian, b) has zero experience in energy, and c) has no prior experience sitting on a corporate board, snag a 50K a month job. And his father, while Vice President, is on videotape bragging he shut down an investigation using a quid pro quo of 1B in aid: Fire the prosecutor or you don’t get the aid.

        So yeah, there is more than just a whiff of impropriety here. And rest assured, this is now an issue that former VP Biden will have to address from now on.

        When you boil everything all away, the question Americans will ask. If POTUS Trump conditioned a presidential visit on opening an investigation, is that impeachment worthy? My take is the American people will roll their eyes and say “Just more DC bullshit”, and I just don’t see 67 Senators voting to remove POTUS Trump for that.

        But hey….if Team D wants to push this, my attitude is go for it. The more they push, the bigger the morass becomes, and the more people will see the bureaucracy we have is a real problem.

        1. We did have an investigation of the Russians and it found that the Russian made very significant efforts to elect Donald Trump President. It also found that the Trump campaign had significant contacts with the Russians. It also found that President Trump tried to the stop the investigation. It is all pretty much in Mueller’s report if you read it.

          1. Literally delusional

            1. No, he’s right. Youby should really read the summaries at least.

          2. Moderation…We also have this unequivocal statement from Special Counsel Mueller: The Special Counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

            I mean, we blew 30MM to tell us that. Do you have evidence to the contrary? By all means: Name it.

            1. No I don’t. My point is that Trump’s people had extensive contacts with Russians. This is a lot more suspicious than anything Joe Biden has done. Yet the suggestion is we investigate Joe Biden. And really the testimony is not that the President wanted an investigation, but rather he wanted a public statement of the investigation. He wanted something he could yell at rallies and really did not care about an investigation.

              By the way we did not blow $30M on an investigation. We found that there were extensive contact with the Russians and these did not rise to conspiracy. That the Russians did attempt to interfere with the election. To hack into our voting systems. A number of criminal investigations did result from the investigation. We found that President Trump attempted to interfere with the investigation. It is a lot of money but it produced a lot more that many things the government does. It is long and boring but worth a read.

              1. Moderation4ever presents the psychotic perspective.

              2. “My point is that Trump’s people had extensive contacts with Russians.”

                Good grief. Are you genuinely unaware that every Presidential campaign with a speck of a chance of winning, that isn’t just a continuation of the previous administration, opens up diplomatic contacts before the election? Especially if it’s the opposing party to the one in office.

                You think Hillary’s campaign didn’t have Russian contacts? Of course she did. Mueller just didn’t look at them, because his brief was specifically to look at Trump.

                1. Brett….There is one other aspect that seems to get lost in all the bullshit we hear every day about this. The DOJ actually investigated the call and found nothing untoward. Zip. Nothing. Nada.

                  I suspect that will prove dispositive in the end, and a factor in the Senate declining to remove POTUS Trump from office.

                  1. ” a factor in the Senate declining to remove POTUS Trump from office.”

                    The only way Pelosi sends this on to the Senate is if she is secretly doing it to destroy Biden in favor of some other candidate (e.g. Warren.)

                    Because if this goes to the Senate then Joe and Hunter become the central focus. And not just in regards to the Ukraine, they will look at everything to establish a pattern of Biden children profiting off their father’s positions in government.

                  2. Not so. They said that they didn’t think they could get a conviction on Trump’s violating FEC regulations. Deciding not to pursue a case is not the same as declaring Trump’s innocence.

                    1. Wait….
                      Either the DOJ investigated or they did not. They did.
                      Either the DOJ found illegal activity on the call or they did not. They did not.

                      It is a particularly tortured interpretation of finance campaign laws to suggest POTUS Trump was getting free help from Ukraine in the form of an investigation. Which BTW, Ukraine never did.

                    2. No, it is not that binary with prosecutors. Sometimes they may suspect illegal activity but decide it isn’t worth it to pursue a conviction. All we know m, from the DoJ’s public statements, in this case is that they decided not to pursue the matter because they thought it would be hard to put a dollar value on the opposition research.

                      We also know the head of the FEC opined that it was a violation of campaign laws.

                      The bar in the impeachment is different, of course. The Democrats in the House can impeach Trump just for their perception that he engaged in extortion. As I’ve said before, there’s no chance the Senate will remove Trump from office in the end.

                    3. Kamala Harris is glad she has your support, Mike

                    4. “Deciding not to pursue a case is not the same as declaring Trump’s innocence.”

                      Do we need to explain how the American system works for law?

                      It’s not Trump’s job to prove he’s innocent. If you cannot prove guilt, he’s innocent. Period.

                2. Why did the trump team lie about all those contacts? Why did the trump tower meeting narrative change 3 or 4 times? Why did trump commit 10 counts of obstruction?

                3. Of course she did.

                  Through Steele at least.

              3. Steele, paid by Clinton, had far more extensive contacts with russia. Talking to a russian isnt a conspiracy you dumbfuck.

                1. Lying about it is. Remember when trump claimed there was no trump tower meeting with russian agents, then it turned out there was, and then trump said it was about abortions, but it turned out it was about “Russian government support for trump campaign and dirt on Hillary”? Do you remember that?

              4. Ok Moderation….so you can’t name any evidence at all that was not examined by the Special Counsel. Got it. BTW, I do have the report and did read it because as an American, I don’t want the Russians (old Soviets) deciding our election.

                As an aside: The Russians have been interfering with our elections since 1920….where have you been?

                Back to the issue at hand. Another poster put this well. You know what you have when you have opinion and supposition as opposed to objective facts (speaking of Ukraine call): You got dick.

                The American people will not go for this. But hey, since you are absolutely convinced you got him this time, by all means please go ahead. Call the vote!

                In the meantime, VP Biden and Hunter better lawyer up. The same is true for Kerry’s kid. I’m pretty sure if we look hard enough, there is a felony in there to prosecute them for.

          3. The contacts were so substantial Putin had to email Trumps press secretary after Trump won to congratulate him… just the stupid things you say.

            Mueller actually flatly stated there was no coordination between trump and russia.

          4. “pretty much” lmao

          5. “It also found that President Trump tried to the stop the investigation. It is all pretty much in Mueller’s report if you read it.”

            Trump legally could have fired Mueller at any point and it would be completely legal.

            So, tell me more about his attempts to stop the investigation…

        2. Not only do we have the alleged corruption of the former administration through the then vice president’s son, we have Biden bragging about forcing them into action via threat of withholding aid.
          They (Ukraine) have demonstrated willingness to bend to US political interests through manipulation of that aid.
          We have another example where D senators used the Biden tactic to force Ukraine to investigate Trump’s campaign manager.
          And our only evidence of Russia “hacking” the DNC server, the foundation of the Russia interference narrative, is the word of a Ukrainian oligarch who is a big donor/insider to the DNC.

          Something was/is very rotten in Ukraine, and there seems to be a cabal of people dedicated to disrupting any efforts to uncover it.

          1. We also now have emails from the State Department name dropping Hunter biden a month before Joe pressured the Ukraine to fire the prosecutor going after Burisma. We also have Bidens aides admitting they had large concerns about Hunters role at Burisma. We also have State emails about Hunter and Kerry’s son working in China after being flown on airforce 2.

            Bidens are corrupt pieces of shit.

        3. Atlas_Shrugged : “and his father, while Vice President, is on videotape bragging he shut down an investigation using a quid pro quo of 1B in aid: Fire the prosecutor or you don’t get the aid”

          Do we really need to go over this bullshit one more time?

          Biden pressured Ukraine on orders of the President, following the directive of the State Department, for policy aims of the United States government, at the request of the European Union, in conjunction with similar pressure from the World Bank, and along with parallel action by the IMF and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

          This was used to remove Victor Shokin, a prosecutor considered grotesquely corrupt. The EU thought Shokin the major obstacle blocking a judicial reform package they wanted Ukraine to implement. He was infamous for never charging a single oligarch, particularly those of the hated regime prior to the Euromaidan revolution. He was loathed inside Ukraine, with large street protests focused against him alone. Every reform group inside the country wanted his resignation, applauded Biden’s pressure, and cheered it’s success. Daria Kaleniuk, co-founder and executive director of the Anti Corruption Action Centre in Kiev said this:

          “Civil society organizations in Ukraine were pressing for his resignation,” Kaleniuk said, “but no one would have cared if there had not been voices from outside this country calling on him to go.”

          When he was finally forced out, the Kyiv Post described Shokin as one of the most hated men in the entire country. In the months before Biden’s pressure, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt said this a September 2015 speech in Odessa:

          “Rather than supporting Ukraine’s reforms and working to root out corruption,” Pyatt said, “corrupt actors within the Prosecutor General’s Office are making things worse by openly and aggressively undermining reform.”

          Weeks later, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland told the Senate Foreign Relations committee this: Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office have to lock up the “dirty personnel” in its own office.

          Claiming Biden’s acted to protect his son is a lie that goes well beyond spin. There is no possible accounting of the facts which rescue the Joe Protecting Hunter canard from being a crude obvious falsehood. Please note that both of Trump’s extortion demands in the transcript were lies, the other one concerning CloudStrike gibberish, with the Secreted DNC Server.

          1. Court seizes property of ex-minister Zlochevsky in Ukraine


            The “corrupt” Shokin oversaw the seizing of Burisma owners assets in Feb 2016.

            Biden threatens to withhold aid until Shokin is fired.

            Shokin is fired March 2016.

            Sounds legit right?

            1. I bet the prosecutor who replaced him REALLY nailed the oligarch to the wall. So, uh, do we know what happened with the next prosecutor?

              1. Actually, you have a valid point. As I recount above, everyone was convinced Shokin was the only obstacle to a new Golden Age of clean fair judicial reform in Ukraine. That was the bipartisan U.S. consensus, the feeling in Europe, the opinion of the business community. In hindsight it was also hopelessly naive. The rulers who replaced the hopelessly corrupt oligarchs following the Euromaidan Revolution were less corrupt, but only by a limited extent. The prosecutor who followed Shokin was some percent (say 60%) less a crook than his predecessor, but that still left a good deal of crookedness.

                None of this changes my two core points : First, Shokin was an exception vile and loathsome thug who ran the prosecutors office like a mafia franchise. Second, Joe Biden was following U.S. and western world policy in demanding his ouster. But it does show who easily people are fooled by vain hope……

      4. Back to russia already despite the Mueller report saying no coordinated work with russia? Are you ignoring the fact Ukraine and Russia are at war yet you are implying Trump is working with both? Do srupid thoughtscome naturally to you?

      5. Just what do these 100 contacts mean? How many did Barry’s team have before he took office? What were the nature of the contacts? You are vomiting talking points from the DNC.. BTW if supported Russian interests I doubt he would have supported the Ukrainians purchase of Javelins. You are a child!

    2. OK, let’s say you are a competent, non-impulsive President. You ran and won on a platform of fighting corruption and “draining the swamp”. There are strong reasons to suspect the Vice President from the outgoing administration had some corrupt dealings with a foreign government. How do you go about draining the swamp?

      A) In your first year in office, while there is still some chance the trail is still hot, you appoint an independent investigator from the Department of Justice. You make sure to avoid any personal involvement so nobody can accuse you of investigating for partisan gain. If the DoJ investigator needs to work with the foreign government, you have State Department diplomats handle it.
      B) You wait four years until the former Vice President is running against your for your re-election before pursuing an investigation. You put your personal lawyer, who is not a Federal officer of any kind, in charge. You get personally involved by asking the president of the foreign country to investigate, and ask him for a public announcement that he is investigating your political rival.

      Trump apparently chose B and now the Bidens aren’t getting investigated, and Trump has to deal with an impeachment inquiry accusing him of abusing his office for political gain.

      1. Mike Laursen
        November.10.2019 at 9:56 pm
        “OK, let’s say you are a competent, non-impulsive President….”

        OK, let’s assume you are not a low-IQ victim of TDS…
        In which case, you wouldn’t post a loaded comment like that.
        You lost. You got the POTUS the electorate chose. You and the rest of the losers have yet to grow up and accept that.
        Fuck off.

        1. Ok boomer.

          1. Gee, a comment perfectly suited to your juvenile intellect.

          2. Ok Zoomer.

        2. There’s only so much can be done at any given time with existing resources. Why should Trump have elevated the priority of this one particular corruption probe over all others?

          Are you one of those who says it is improper to investigate an active politician, when it would be proper to investigate that same politician while he is not campaigning? If anything, I’d rather it were the reverse: make it clear to inactive corrupt politicians that if they want to steer clear of corruption investigations, they need to not become active corrupt politicians.

          Sort of like criminals: I’d much rather cops prioritize putting limited resources into investigating active criminals rather than those who have moved on and raided the criminal life for an honest job and are raising a family.

          1. It’s not even about elevating a probe. He waited until the conclusion of the independent investigation. As he should have. weird how dumbass mike doesnt give credit to trump when he does something proper.

            1. Which independent investigation are you referring to?

                1. I don’t think JesseAz was referring to the Durham probe. JesseAz wrote, “He waited until the conclusion…”, but the Durham investigation is ongoing.

                  By the way, I welcome the Durham probe. More power to Trump if he can dig up some dirt on the Democrat’s Russia probe. I thought the Russia probe was ridiculous.

              1. JesseAz, Nardz tried to answer for you, but I’m guessing you were actually referring to the Mueller investigation. Please explain the reasons you think Trump waited until the conclusion of that investigation, as opposed to it just being a coincidence that the Mueller investigation concluded before the July 25th phone call. (Or whatever you are arguing.)

          2. No, I don’t think it’s improper to investigate an active politician. Seems like it would be the best time to investigate, as I think you said.

      2. OK, let’s say you are a competent, non-impulsive President.

        I’m having a little trouble with this. Can you give an example?

        1. Calvin Coolidge?

        2. He means non impulsive. Like waiting until the special prosecutor ends his investigation before opening another. Non impulsive like that.

          1. On what do you base your belief that Trump waited for the Mueller investigation to wrap up before pursuing this side-channel investigation of Burisma? Has Trump said something along the lines of, “I was waiting for one investigation to finish before starting another.”?

      3. “A) In your first year in office,” while the opposing party is still functionally in control of the DOJ…

        Are we pretending that the federal bureaucracy fell into line some time in the morning of January 20th, 2017? Rather than hunkering down and going into massive resistance mode?

        The truth is, Trump is only now starting to get real control over large parts of the executive branch, and he’ll need a second term to reach the level of control Democratic Presidents usually expect a week into holding the office.

        1. If he has this massive problem that he is President yet doesn’t have control over his own administration, why was it important to investigate the Bidens?

          Also, if he wanted more cooperation from career bureaucrats, has he ever tried the route of listening to their briefings, reading their memos, considering their advice before acting, refraining from tweeting about sensitive diplomatic matters?

          For example, during this impeach inquiry, it has come up more than once that the career bureaucrats became concerned when Trump became obsessed with the idea that the DNC servers are somewhere in the Ukraine, and he would not listen when they tried to explain to him why that rumor is not true.

          1. All “non-partisan, neutral real libertarians” have blind faith in the administrative State!

      4. A) In your first year in office, while there is still some chance the trail is still hot, you appoint an independent investigator from the Department of Justice. You make sure to avoid any personal involvement so nobody can accuse you of investigating for partisan gain. If the DoJ investigator needs to work with the foreign government, you have State Department diplomats handle it.

        And what was Trump doing during his first year in office? Fighting the previous attempts at impeaching him–which began before he was elected.

        B) You wait four years until the former Vice President is running against your for your re-election before pursuing an investigation. You put your personal lawyer, who is not a Federal officer of any kind, in charge. You get personally involved by asking the president of the foreign country to investigate, and ask him for a public announcement that he is investigating your political rival.

        Joe Biden (who bragged publicly, on video, about doing exactly what you’re investigating him for) is running against other Democrats for the chance to run against Trump.

        Everything else you said hasn’t actually happened–it’s what Democrats say would have been illegal.

        1. It doesn’t work that way. FEC regulations don’t distinguish between being a candidate in the primary or in the final election. You either have declared your candidacy for President and start filing regular reports on the contributions you are receiving, or you don’t.

          Both Biden and Trump are Presidential candidates in the 2020 race.

          1. Fec regulations also dont protect candidates from inquiry solely because they filed elections papers.

            Fec has also never held information as a thing of value. Pesky facts and all.

            1. You keep saying that, but the head of the FEC says otherwise. What actually happened is that the DoJ concluded they weren’t going to pursue prosecution of Trump over the July 25th phone call because they didn’t think they could effectively put a dollar value on the investigation of the Bidens to Trump’s campaign.

              In your retelling, that has become the FEC saying that opposition research is not a non-monetary contribution of any value. Nobody has ever said that. In fact, the head of the FEC has explicitly stated it is a contribution of value.

              1. Mike here insists that the word of government functionaries is sacred, though doesn’t cite any case law

                1. Neither does JesseAz ever site any case law.

                  1. He has, and he has far more credibility than you.
                    Jesse is honest about his positions, while you lie about pretty much everything

              2. And yet the FEC has never gone after any campaign on the basis that it received dirt on the opposition in violation of campaign finance laws.

                It’s almost like they think it won’t hold up in court.

                1. I also think it is unlikely it would hold up in court. I am only arguing against the statement Trump apologists here make, “Trump has done nothing wrong.” The FEC disagrees, even if the DoJ doesn’t think they can bust him on it.

                  1. You are dumber than Tony

              3. The head of the FEC stating a personal opinion, and the committee formally making a rule are two different things. No?

              4. Then the head of the FEC is retarded.

                Personally, I think it’s stupid to consider all of them candidates since only two of them will move on to be the people on the actual ballots.

                Also, it is not outside the realm of possibility that Trump doesn’t get the Republican nomination.

        2. I didnt even notice that baby mikey thinks it has been 4 years since trump was elected. He only waited 2.25 years. Mikey seems to be terrible at math.

          1. What specific event at 2.25 years are you referring to?

            1. And while you are at it. What happened 4 years after Trump was elected that you object to?

              1. That he didn’t get around to investigating the Bidens until Joe Biden started running against him for President in 2020. The timing supports the allegations that his motivation was to dig up dirt on Joe Biden, not to “drain the swamp”.

      5. Mike… you’re aware that Trump was being investigated for his first 2 years where every action he committed to was deemed obstruction by Democrats right? You cant be this dumb to not realize that correct? The investigation into the origins of the Mueller investigation started immediately after the Mueller report. You do understand this right?

        Or are you going to keep playing dumb?

        1. So, he goes and puts his personal lawyer in charge of investigating the Bidens. No chance of appearance of impropriety there.

          1. Biden advertised the appearance of impropriety.

            Should Trump inquire given the ad?

        2. Oh, so now you have explained. You were saying that Trump waited until the Mueller investigation was concluded before launching the Durham investigation.

          But we were talking about the Ukrainian investigation of Burisma. You switched what we were talking about.

      6. OK, let’s say you’re a cytotoxic sockpuppet…

      7. Right. There is no way the Democrats wouldn’t use opening such an investigation as grounds for obstruction because it is the same people Mueller had to talk to. Providing cover for the previous administration was the point of that farce.

      8. Is Biden because he is a candidate above the law? Is there a statue of limitations on peddling influence (e.g. Hunter)? Did the opportunity present itself after the new President took office or before? The Mayor aside I don’t care what the timing looks like Biden appears to be dirty coupled with the fact there were at time of call to be 22-24 candidates and while Biden was a front runner he was and remains very weak. He is likely suffering from a type of dementia and a case of chronic stupids.

    3. Here is the thing the fervent anti trumpers haven’t noticed… more people think it is appropriate to investigate the Bidens over ukraine than support impeachment.

      1. Actually, I agree with that observation.

  4. BILLY BINION is a gossip columnist an assistant editor at Reason.


    1. +100000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

    2. It seems like it is Billy’s turn after it failed so badly for ENB in roundup writeups.

  5. So if doing the right thing coincides with political advantage, the right thing becomes the wrong thing? If you run against corruption, you shouldn’t investigate corruption, because if corruption is found, it helps you run…against corruption?

    1. Yes, but this roundabout absurdity principle applies only to Trump. And, you know, be careful about saying or posting anything that portrays Trump in anything less than the most negative light – because that’s a campaign finance violation.

    2. No, you just need to be careful about how you go about investigating. Be scrupulous about going through proper channels, avoiding even the appearance of personal political gain, certainly not put your personal attorney (who isn’t even a part of the Federal government) in charge.

      1. The proper channels are what the President, not his subordinates, determine them to be. The entire focus on “proper channels” is just more shifting of the goalposts. Within the span of about a month we went from a “clearly illegal quid pro quo where Trump threatened to withhold aid in exchange for dirt on Biden” to “Trump isn’t using the proper channels to conduct an otherwise legitimate investigation into Biden’s corruption and, also, Guiliani is an asshole …. ergo, Trump should be impeached.”

        By the time the narrative completely falls apart – which I reckon will be somewhere by mid-December – the impeachable conduct at the center of the impeachment hysteria will be, “Well, I mean, let’s be honest, Trump’s a dick, so …. you know, our solemn duty and all that.”

        1. It is now in writing (from the quasi whistle blower’s lawyer)that they have been after Trump since he was elected (as if we needed it in writing) So it really doesn’t matter what it is. Like you said it might come down to “Trumps a dick” and of course we need a president who at least acts the part regardless of incompetence (as in the last one).

        2. Geraje Guzba : “Within the span of about a month we went from a “clearly illegal quid pro quo where Trump threatened to withhold aid in exchange for dirt on Biden” to “Trump isn’t using the proper channels to conduct an otherwise legitimate investigation into Biden’s corruption and, also, Guiliani is an asshole …. ergo, Trump should be impeached.”

          Two points :

          (1) You don’t see a direct quid pro quo in the transcript because you’re willfully blind. Per the last AP NORC poll over 70% of people consider the call either illegal or unethical. Normal people aren’t committed to willing pretense like you.

          (2) What everyone sees in the transcript has been confirmed a dozen times over by parallel quid pro quo demands stretching months before the call, involving such issues as a possible Trump/Zelensky meeting or who attends the Ukrainian president’s inauguration. It’s difficult to follow you’re thought process because you’re. so. damn. dishonest. but you seem to discount the mass of evidence not directly connected to the call as being irrelevant, then disconnect the call itself as being insufficient evidence. Normal people don’t twist their brains in illogical knots like that.

          (3) “conduct an otherwise legitimate investigation” Uh huh. This is what I call a Pretend Defense. You know Trump doesn’t give a shit about corruption (except as a business opportunity). You know Trump has shown zero concern over “corruption” around the world except for Ukraine, and zero concern over “corruption” in that country except as means for Trump’s private gain. You, Geraje Guzba, are apparently unwilling to defend Trump for selling U.S. government favor for personal gain, so you foist his actions off on something you know a fraud. Not a good look for you, integrity-wise.

          (4) Also : Legitimate? There was nothing legitimate about either investigation Trump demanded from Zelensky. “Joe pressured Ukraine over Hunter” is a crude lie. Biden’s actions followed U.S. government policy, and were cheered by the entire western world. The CloudStrike nonsense about servers hidden in Ukraine is pure gibberish. But that is what military aid to Ukraine was held-back to buy.

          (5) “Trump isn’t using the proper channels” Uh Huh. Rudy Giuliani, Lev Parnas, and Igor Fruman constitute more of an ethical swamp than anything Trump ever pledged to drain. Have you examined the CEO of “Fraud Guarantee” (Lev Parnas) or the guy who ran the bar “Mafia Rave” (Igor Fruman)? Even while acting as legmen for Trump’s extortion, they were running multiple scams on the side: Payoffs to get a U.S. ambassador fired, efforts to muscle into the Ukraine natural gas business, or peddling their Trump-granted influence to an exiled oligarch named Dmytro Firtash. Meanwhile, Rick Perry – one of the “Three Amigos” Trump put in charge of this shakedown (Giuliani, Sondland, Perry) was running his on scam pushing a campaign supporter onto Zelensky to secure Perry’s guy a big energy contract. Giuliani? He leaves a slime trail wherever he’s been. Proper channels, huh? You couldn’t be more funny if you tried.

          (6) “By the time the narrative completely falls apart” Guzba says, even as each day brings fresh news and new evidence. Today the story of Perry’s dealings broke along with the first accounts of Lev Parnas talking. Bolton is eager to spill & bragging on all the dirt he knows; he’s just waiting to be “forced” by the courts. Personally, I doubt Giuliani will do time for Trump, and that decision is probably closer than you think.

          And if Rudy talks? Even you know Trump is toast…..

      2. You keep repeating the fucking stupid personal gain statement over and over. Information on hunter was known in 2016 dummy. This isnt new. Of this is considered personal gain, what do you think impeachment is for whomever the 2016 Democrats candidate is? Can you follow your illogical buffoonery to its end?

        1. Which is exactly the DNC talking points.. You are a genius. Except I think Trump could make the case that “hey before I give you this aid I want to be sure that we have a handle on the corruption thing” … In the end the aid was given within a couple of months and it was clearly more lethal than Obama’s pathetic offering

        2. Sigh.

          JesseAz, how can you be so willfully stupid?

          (1) Trump didn’t want any information fro Ukraine, so what “was known in 2016 dummy” is completely irrelevant.

          (2) Trump wanted a large public potemkin-village-style “investigation” – think tall flashy facades a few inches thick.

          (3) Since substance was completely irrelevant to Trump, he could demand Zelensky open “investigations” into the crudest of lies, such a CloudStrike, or Joe Was Protecting his Boy.

          (4) That is why reports Ukraine was reexamining Burisma Holding were immaterial : Those were real investigations carried on quietly in the background, not the reality TV show Trump wanted. That’s why Sondland demanded a commitment in writing from Zelensky for a public announcement. That’s why Bolton stormed out of the Sondland meeting, calling his demands like a “drug deal…”

          (5) So, yes, the show Trump was trying to extort was indeed for “personal gain”.

          (6) I’m curious : Are you so damn big a liar you’d actually pretend to believe Trump cares anything about corruption? (except as a business opportunity, mind you)

      3. Mike holds Daddy Gov in such reverence that he’s offended corrupt officials weren’t asked to investigate themselves

      4. “” certainly not put your personal attorney (who isn’t even a part of the Federal government) in charge.””

        I generally agree with this, but Trump personally has been attacked since day one in a manner no other president has had to endure. I can totally see why Trump would get his personal attorney involved with everything. Especially when it’s been signaled that investigations will continue beyond his presidency.

        1. There is a marked absurdity to the criticisms against Trump on this particular point. We are told on one hand that relying on Rudy Guiliani to assist in an investigation is a problem that and a serious breach of protocol. On the other hand, we are told that William Barr, a duly appointed United States Attorney General, has no business being involved either because he is acting as Trump “personal attorney.”

          Really? Well, who should investigate then? If it’s not Trump’s personal attorney, and its not the Attorney General, who should be up the task?

          These arguments really come as very disingenuous and we all know that the endgame here is to concoct a pretense to stop all investigation of Biden and the appointment of another “independent” counsel to investigate *Trump.*

          That is really what the Democrats are asking for. Well, in that case, they’re shit out of luck. These aren’t even double standards anymore; they’re impossible standards. Everything Trump does, short of resigning, is wrong.

          Got it. GTFO.

      5. What proper channels are you supposed to use if you’ve been fighting against those same people since before you got elected?

  6. The more time Congress spends on this dumb impeachment, the less time Congress is spending on passing new violations of our liberties. Three cheers for the impeachment efforts!

    1. Hear, hear! Also please note, Pelosi really doesn’t WANT Trump out of office… She just wants him to be weakened and besmirched, crippled, so that Democrats can capture the POTUS-office and-or the Senate, soon!


      Is Pelosi saving Trump by shaping impeachment to fail in the Senate?

      1. So you’re for political prosecutions. Is this one of those personal gains mikey keeps discussing?

        1. Taking away POTUS powers from Trump is light-years away from putting him in jail! Or even, away from confiscating his property!!! Crime and “innocent till proven guilty” standards do NOT apply to impeachment!

          Dump Trump!

          This man carries the nuclear football, fer Chrissakes!!! We need a morally upright person carrying that thing! There’s too much at stake here, to risk having this madman staying in power!

          1. You find me a morally upright person who is running for president in 2020, and I will MAYBE agree with you.

            1. Dave Barry for POTUS!!!

              Dave Barry 2020
              Florida Man for President

          2. Everyone on this board, even if they hate trump, would trust him with it over you…

    2. Sadly, they can multi-task. And they’ve got the violations on autopilot at this point.

    3. ^This!

  7. Trump just does what Trump wants, listens to no one’s advice. He’s a little patriotic though

  8. I still don’t (rhetorically!) understand why so many accounts skip over the fact that there was real corruption to be investigated. Why was there not as much outrage and push for impeachment when Obama did not investigate the Bidens for corruption?

    Sure there’s a political angle to what Trump did. But it would be lunacy to say that you can’t investigate active politicians for corruption; is that what all the pundits are saying is proper?

    If Trump had pushed for corruption probes into political opponents who were not so blatantly corrupt, who had not engaged in such obvious corruption, yes, that’s a pure political move on his part. But that’s not what happened. To repeat:

    * Biden pere et fils engaged in seemingly corrupt behavior.
    * Obama did not investigate, and probably would have squashed (or did squash) any attempt at investigating his vice-president. I haven’t followed this enough to know.
    * Trump pushed to investigate seemingly blatant corruption involving a former vice-president and his son, and the only scandal I can see is two-fold:
    ** The former vice-president is not an active candidate for Trump’s job.
    ** Trump may have violated the law by stalling the release of foreign aid, although nothing I have seen provides any actual dates, or duration of the stalling, and unless the legislation actually had a deliver-by date which Trump missed, apparently all he did was bluster about stalling, or possibly delay the payment for a few days. This is something else I have seen no discussion of, but I haven’t paid a lot of attention to most discussion.

    1. Yeah…. apparently all it takes to avoid being investigated is to be a democrat running against a republican that people dislike. it is not as if the VP was running around boasting on video about how he had (corruptly) orchestrated the withholding of military aid from Ukraine…

      1. No, it just means Trump should have taken some care in HOW he established an investigation. Instead, he cowboyed his way through impulsively, which ended up giving the Democrats a chance to derail the investigation and accuse him of abusing his office for political gain.

        1. You are assuming that an investigation through the proper channels would be fair, impartial, and not predetermined to conclude that everything is above board.

          1. It might have a chance if you put a person like Durham, known for his personal integrity, in charge of it.

            1. Yeah, it’s not like trump directed them to talk to his attorney or attorney general…

              “ill ask him (giuliani) to call you, ALONG WITH THE ATTORNEY GENERAL…”

              …oh wait

        2. “Mike”, you’ve moved the goalposts clear to the other side of the field over the last few days, and you still have an utterly moronic take.
          But please, continue your dedication to embarrassing yourself and discrediting anything you might ever say.

          1. Mikey still claims he has never been for impeachment despite vigorously defending it in every thread.

            1. Mike’s purpose here is to propagate DNC/Progressive/Resistance talking points in the guise of a “neutral non-partisan libertarian”
              He is nothing but a puppet parroting “objective concerns” to influence the dimwitted, reflexively leftist, and/or emotional thinking readers that may be warming up to Trump and/or are increasingly horrified by the more and more apparent totalitarianism of the deep state

            2. Bear in mind you’re arguing with cytotoxic/chemjeff.

            3. Nope. I have never vigorously defended the impeachment. I’ve always been neutral in the Red-Blue partisan wars, and I don’t particularly like Trump, Obama, Biden, Hillary, or any other recent Presidential politicians.

              1. At the end of the day, Trumpistas would MUCH rather have investigations into Hunter Biden’s unruly, unsightly nose hairs! ANYTHING except Trump’s sleazy ways!

                Republicans push diversions and distractions ahead of this week’s televised impeachment hearings

                1. To Republicans: Leave the Bidens alone. Have you no shame?

          2. Exactly. Now that the entire kerfuffle has revealed that there are, indeed, a plethora of red flags concerning Hunter Biden and his cushy gig on the board of the world’s most corrupt oil and energy conglomerates, the impeachable conduct has suddenly become “how” the investigation was going to proceed, rather than the propriety of investigation itself or the clear corruption of those being investigated. Trump didn’t do what some of his most subversive subordinates wanted him to do — which was, to be clear, to do nothing at all — and, therefore, Trump should be impeached.

            In other words, Trump should be impeached for duly exercising the executive power that he possesses as President because people don’t like him.

            It’s a fucking joke, and everybody knows it.

            1. Yes, it’s a joke.
              But it’s also existentially serious.
              They do not respect the American people, and are hiding it less and less. They do not acknowledge the Constitution or limits on their rule.
              This is a proxy war on The People.
              And bloodshed may be the only way for The People to survive.
              I know libertarians love their “non-partisan, above the fray” stance and pride themselves in being rational and logical – but too many miss the forest for the trees and are here relying on a kind of blind faith in the mundane as all powerful, thus the “ho-hum, no biggie, just more bickering between Team Red and Team Blue” sentiment.
              It is a dangerous sentiment

              1. Well, the general consensus seems to be that the Constitution itself is not a perfectly libertarian governing document and therefore, neither is any government based on the Constitution and, therefore, the average libertarian is content to sit back and let the savages bludgeon each other to death in the vain hope that he can step in to pick up the pieces once the internecine violence has stopped and build a perfect libertarian society.

                The choice between Trump (flawed as he may be) and an ungovernable bureaucracy operating in secret and conspiring to sabotage duly elected heads of government is a simple choice. Why libertarians are having any struggles with this choice is beyond my comprehension.

                1. Geraje Guzba


        3. He did take care dumbfuck. He waited for the special prosecutor to complete his investigation then opened a new one into the origins.

          1. You are changing the subject from the timing of asking for the Burisma investigation to the launch of the Durham probe.

  9. Yawn.

  10. And now the House Democrats believe they get to choose who the Republican members can, and cannot, call for the open part of the impeachment hearings. Starting to sound more and more kangaroo court to me.

    1. It’s been obvious all along that the House end of the process could never be anything but a kangaroo court: They’ve set things up so that the most obvious way for Trump to defend himself is to prove the Democrats were acting criminally. Are they going to permit that to be done in the chamber they control? Of course not.

      In the Senate, they can’t stop it from happening, except by bringing the impeachment to a halt as fast as possible, without a real trial.

      So my prediction is that, once it hits the Senate, the Democrats will privately support the Republicans just going straight to dismissing the charges without a trial. That way they avoid their own dirty laundry from being aired, and can complain that the Republicans corruptly refused to hold a trial.

      1. I think you’re correct.
        I’ve heard Rs advocate for immediate dismissal in the Senate and, while I see an argument for it, I think it’s the wrong move. As you say, a trial is the opportunity to get all this corruption out in the light.
        But, of course, I’m sure there are more than a few Rs very invested in keeping such things hidden. Remember, it was McCain who was point man on the Maidan coup

        1. The challenge for the Democrats is that, for the Senate dismissal to work the way they want, it has to mostly get Republican votes. A Democratic resolution with a handful of Republican votes would be taken as the Democrats admitting the impeachment was phony, not the Republicans corruptly terminating it.

          Somehow they have to convince the Republicans to shoot themselves in the foot themselves.

          1. Well… that’s what controlled opposition does

      2. It think you are right. Either that or they will never vote the articles out of the House. Either way, there will never be a trial. Meanwhile, at some point the IG report is going to drop and the Barr investigation of the Russia hoax is going to start indicting people. When half the witnesses in this farce are indicted, the focus will then turn to “Trump is indicting his critics” and all of this nonsense will be forgotten.

        1. The democrats will add on those indictments as an abuse of power.

          The Democrats defending not taking Bolton’s aide to court this weekend in defense of their subpoena was ludicrous this weekend. They were claiming the executive was subordinate to congress and fighting the subpoenas in court was obstruction of congress.

        2. Trump indicting the insubordinate clowns that have tried to derail his presidency will be the new narrative for yet another impeachment push; that much is abundantly clear. The Democrats have been teeing that one up for quite some time now (“Barr should recuse himself,” “there should be an independent counsel,” “there are too many revenge motives, etc., etc.”).

          Everything Trump does will be the basis for impeachment. I’ve said it before, but the Democrats will do this every day for another five years if they have to.

          1. This should add some amusement to the situation.

            Ukraine MPs demand Zelensky, Trump investigate suspicion of U.S.-Ukraine corruption involving $7.4 bln

      3. Brett (and John)….The House will impeach POTUS Trump. It is going to happen. He will be impeached for abuse of power, contempt of Congress (boy, that one is rich), and obstruction.

        There will be a Senate trial, and it will take a few months, because Team D will coordinate to drag out the process. By doing so, they prevent 23 Team R senators from campaigning for re-election. And all the while, the Fourth Estate will be Team D’s mouthpiece.

        Senator McConnell respects precedent. He will hold the trial. That does not make him ‘bad’. The key to me is John Roberts: Will he allow hearsay evidence? I’d start reading up on Chase and Rehnquist right about now. I am quite sure Chief Justice Roberts is.

        1. I don’t think so. The trial will keep Democrats from campaigning as well, including Warren. This thing hasn’t caught the public’s imagination and the longer it goes the worse they look. They want it to die as quickly as possible so that they can tell their braindead base they tried.

          1. John….Time will tell. But I want you to be right and I wrong.

        2. “”because Team D will coordinate to drag out the process.”‘

          That will be difficult since the republicans will get to control how the trial proceeds. I’m sure the Ds will throw a fit when the Rs will not allow hearsay testimony. Then the Ds will rally it’s followers in calling the Senate trial a sham.

          1. Ah….but the Fourth Estate will have quite a lot to say during any lead-up to a Senate trial, and during the trial itself.

            1. You mean Binion will bleat even harder?

    1. “There’s no deep state; stop being paranoid. There’s no such thing as an underground cabal of entrenched bureaucrats trying to overthrow the President.” 2018

      “The selfless men and women of the vast federal bureaucracy who have taken it upon themselves to subvert the President are heroes, and we should thank them for saving the country.” 2019

      1. The NYT is absolutely disgusting. If only some billionaire would buy it out and print petty lies…oh wait, that happened: see Washington Post.

        1. Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim says “hola!”

  11. The Best Defense …

    If he accepts advice at all, President Trump has accepted some that is really bad. As it is said, the best defense is a good offense.

    In reality, the President had nothing about which to be defensive regarding Ukraine, long known for entrenched corruption. Before handing them $400-million, he should have investigated that corruption, as he did. That it included Vice-President Biden made no difference. That Biden announced his candidacy made no difference. That there may have been a quid pro quo made no difference.

    Instead, the President adopted an irrelevant, defensive strategy about a quid pro quo. Mistake!

    This farcical “official impeachment inquiry” is just another example of the strategy of the disestablishmentarians of The Left to commit mayhem in order to destroy this fragmenting, declining nation on fire.

    For a discussion of historical context from a scientific perspective, visit… .


    “the very term “the Resistance” is associated throughout history with movements designed to fight “occupying powers” as, say, the French Resistance came to life to fight the forces of the occupying Nazi Germany. And once one goes down that road, as has the Trump-hating Resistance, the Resisters “view themselves as justified in taking any action necessary to get rid of the occupier.””

    1. And they seem to have no actual policy program beyond revenge.

      1. Maybe.
        I think they realize that if they win, it’s game over.
        If the American people won’t go to war, actual blood and guts war, at that point – then the path to totalitarian rule is clinched.

  13. Binion needs to be taken off this beat. He ignores major public facts that don’t fit the Democratic partisan narrative. It’s all emotional bs that flies in the face of common sense.
    Actually, aside from maybe 2 articles, this describes every article I’ve seen from him

    1. You can change the byline, but that will not change the narrative.

      This is all being commissioned.

    2. He really is terrible. There are only the thinnest references to facts, as if he’s not writing for an audience that tends to do its own research. He should go write for Buzzfeed.

  14. I just don’t get this.

    None of this is real–people HAVE to know this.

    It’s just like Russiagate where they think they can bust Trump for “obstructing” the investigation into the crime they made up. And even the purported “obstructions” were Trump wanting to take actions that his staff didn’t allow to happen.

    Right now we’re all reacting to the demands that everyone pretend that we don’t know who the whistleblower is even after it’s been found out because whistleblowers are sacred–except when ABC and CBS collude to fire the whistleblower that leaked the Robach tape about Epstein. SHE is apparently not only not entitled to anonymity, but she also appears to not be entitled to ANY of the whistleblower protections that everyone on the left is screeching about.

    And that WAS real.

    And so here we are, with Trump being investigated for impeachment because he asked for Ukrainian help in looking into corruption that Joe Biden and his son were involved in, and his ‘crime’ is supposedly doing the thing Joe Biden bragged about actually doing, on video–only what Joe did was somehow not wrong, but it IS wrong because Trump.

    And this is all part of the machinations set in motion when Trump won, before he ever did anything as president.

    1. It is amazing how blatant Reason is in showcasing their clear function as a progressive mouthpiece in the form of controlled “opposition”.
      It shows an utter disrespect for the intelligence of their audience.
      That being said, they do have defenders here who prove that disrespect is deserved.

      1. It’s the reason why the overwhelming majority of their audience left years ago, and now there’s practically nothing left but a handful of trolls and staffers shitposting under multiple screen names.

    2. Anyone who still hasn’t managed to figure out that the Deep State bureaucracy has been conspiring to try to nullify the election since the day after the election (and the efforts really started even earlier) has a pile of shit between their ears instead of a brain.

      Which sounds like it describes Billy Bunion to a ‘T’.

        1. Thanks for the link!

          I have read a theory about WHY it is that college professors are liberal-to-socialist: Not a smoke-filled-room kinda conspiracy, but just built-up resentments. Year after year after year, THEY (the “smart” ones, book-smart, writing-smart, speaking-smart) get the academic rewards. Then they become teachers, government employees, media people, college professors… And they find out that they, the “smart” people who have been rewarded in school, suddenly make WAY less money that the “stupid” drop-outs! Michael Dell, Bill Gates, etc., THEY dropped out before graduating college, and weren’t “book smart” like smarty-pants college professors etc.! Yet they make butt-loads more money! It’s just not FAIR!!!

          So smarty-pants college professors etc. get their “revenge” (conscious or sub-conscious) on “stupid” but oh-so-rich Bill Gates etc., by advocating policies to take most of Bill Gates’s money, and making Bill Gates’s charity choices for him! Revenge is MINE, says smarty-pants college professor!

          1. Like Stepan Trofimovitch Verhovensky in Dostoevsky’s “Demons,” many college professors and academics, at least those in the social disciplines, have an over-inflated sense of their importance relative to their actual accomplishments.

            Their struggle to establish themselves as mainstays in the upper echelons of academia is, in a sense, the pursuit of an extended childhood, an insulation from reality. Unlike most other people, they never have to work, or succeed in an objective way, or produce anything of value and, consequently, their sense of self worth is sustained by convincing people that what they are doing, what they are “uncovering,” is indispensable and important. They pursue their disciplines with fanaticism because if one is sufficiently radical, it is thought, the radicalism itself is proof of the truth of what they are discovering. In order to solidify their reputations, they must convince others that they are reformers trudging tirelessly toward some noble end; that they are at the cusp of a historical evolution; that their academic contributions will sooner or later open the eyes of the world to a deeper moral landscape which only they are capable of navigating.

            A system that works, in which people are happy, in which a revolution is unnecessary, marks for these desperate academics the end of their struggles and also the end of their relevance. And so, to escape the reality of their childish obstinacy and the immateriality of their intellectual “discoveries,” the professors peel away every conceivable layer of contentment in society in order to get to the malignant pit in the center of it all, a pit that they posit they must excise and, in due time, will excise, even if it takes many generations, provided that they are permitted today to continue lecturing, and agitating, and convincing everyone around them that our society is rotten and irredeemable; to create armies today, for change tomorrow.

            Without nourishing the tumor of contempt to pick, and pull, and prod at the flesh of society itself, they will have nothing. If they are forced to sit still, they will lose all relevance and meaning in their lives.

  15. Too late to beat the “patriots” defending this criminal administration.

    1. Not too late for you to support a sham investigation in an attempt to criminalize politics. Dictators around the world love your type.

    2. It’s never too late for you to stick a gun in your mouth and pull the trigger.

  16. Poor Billy Binon.

    He might not realize it but he got nothing in return for paying Univ of Virginia. This article is how NOT to do journalism.

    1. That’s not true, all that time at UVA gave him the ability to un-ironically place a UVA license plate holder on his Audi.

  17. The Ukrainians have nothing to gain here. They have to deal with both sides.

    This is purely partisan. Since I don’t have a dog in that fight just watching the show.

    1. Nothing to gain. Sure.

      Ukraine MPs demand Zelensky, Trump investigate suspicion of U.S.-Ukraine corruption involving $7.4 bln

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