Impeachment

If Investigating Joe Biden Was Perfectly Legitimate, Why Deny a Quid Pro Quo?

John Bolton's account of the Trump-ordered freeze on military aid to Ukraine highlights a contradiction at the heart of the president's defense.

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In his upcoming memoir, The New York Times reports, former National Security Adviser John Bolton says Donald Trump explicitly drew a connection between his delay of congressionally approved military aid to Ukraine and "investigations into Democrats," including former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. That account, which is based on interviews with "multiple people" who have seen Bolton's manuscript, helps explain why the White House, where copies of the book have circulated as part of the prepublication review process, is keen to prevent Bolton from testifying during Trump's impeachment trial.

The Times notes that Bolton's description of Trump's motive "could undercut a key element of his impeachment defense: that the holdup in aid was separate from Mr. Trump's requests that Ukraine announce investigations into his perceived enemies." But there has always been a tension between that "key element" and another argument deployed by Trump's lawyers, who say his request for what he has described as "a major investigation into the Bidens" was perfectly legitimate, reflecting his sincere concern about rooting out official corruption in Ukraine.

In the memoir, the Times says, Bolton describes how he, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Defense Secretary Mark Esper unsuccessfully urged Trump to release the aid "nearly a dozen times." During an August 2019 discussion of the issue, Trump said "he preferred sending no assistance to Ukraine until officials had turned over all materials they had about the Russia investigation that related to Mr. Biden and supporters of Mrs. Clinton in Ukraine."

That description makes it sound like Trump's focus in his conversation with Bolton was not on the dubious allegation he raised during his July 25 telephone call with Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskiy—i.e., that Biden had improperly used his influence as vice president to help his son by pressuring the Ukrainian government into firing a prosecutor who was investigating Burisma, an energy company that employed Hunter Biden as a board member. Instead it sounds like Trump was complaining about Ukraine's supposed role in instigating the investigation of Russia's attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election, including possible collusion between Russian agents and the Trump campaign. It's not clear exactly how Biden figures into that purported plot to undermine Trump.

Trump nevertheless thought it was important to deny that he said what Bolton reportedly claims he said. "I NEVER told John Bolton that the aid to Ukraine was tied to investigations into Democrats, including the Bidens," the president wrote on Twitter last night. "In fact, he never complained about this at the time of his very public termination. If John Bolton said this, it was only to sell a book."

Trump added that he "released the military aid to Ukraine without any conditions or investigations—and far ahead of schedule." That last part, of course, is plainly not true, since Ukrainian officials, Trump's own appointees (evidently including not only Bolton but also Pompeo and Esper), and members of Congress from both parties were all concerned about the Trump-ordered delay of the military assistance. Trump released the aid only after the delay became public and controversial, partly because of a whistleblower's complaint that Trump was improperly pressuring Ukraine into announcing an investigation of Biden with the aim of discrediting a political rival and improving his re-election prospects.

Trump's defense also ignores the fact that Zelenskiy had scheduled a CNN interview during which he planned to announce the investigations that Trump wanted of the Bidens and of alleged Ukrainian efforts to help Hillary Clinton win the 2016 election. Zelenskiy canceled that interview only after Trump released the aid and after William Taylor, the acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, urged him to do so.

Trump's lawyers have said he delayed the aid partly because he was concerned about Ukrainian corruption. They also have said the investigations he sought reflected that concern. In other words, they have implicitly conceded that there was a connection between the aid and those investigations, which supposedly would have been a sign that Zelenskiy was serious about tackling corruption.

At an October 17 press briefing, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said "the corruption related to the DNC server"—i.e., the fantastical notion that the server from which Democratic National Committee emails were stolen in 2016 was stashed away somewhere in Ukraine—"absolutely" did figure into the aid delay. "No question about that," he said. "But that's it. And that's why we held up the money."

Today a lawyer for Mulvaney directly contradicted his client's October 17 statement, saying Mulvaney never had "a conversation with the President or anyone else indicating that Ukrainian military aid was withheld in exchange for a Ukrainian investigation of Burisma, the Bidens, or the 2016 election." When Mulvaney referred to "the corruption related to the DNC server," he was clearly talking about the 2016 election—specifically, a bizarre conspiracy theory alleging that Ukrainians stole the DNC emails and framed Russia for that crime in an attempt to discredit Trump and help Clinton.

Back in October, Mulvaney did say "the money held up had absolutely nothing to do with Biden." But if investigating Biden was perfectly appropriate, as the president and his lawyers insist, why deny that connection? Presumably because using the aid to pressure Ukraine into announcing an investigation of the leading contender to oppose Trump in this year's election—the quid pro quo at the heart of Trump's impeachment—looks an awful lot like an abuse of power for personal gain. If Trump specifically mentioned Biden while defending the aid freeze to Bolton, especially if he mentioned Biden in connection with the Russia investigation rather than Burisma, it reinforces the impression that Trump's aim was tarnishing a political opponent's reputation.

Bolton, who declined to testify during the House impeachment hearings because Trump did not want him to do so, has said he is prepared to testify in Trump's Senate trial if he receives a subpoena. The votes of four Republicans would be required to approve such a subpoena. Today two Republican senators, Susan Collins of Maine and Mitt Romney of Utah, said the news about the contents of Bolton's book reinforces the case for calling witnesses.

"From the beginning, I've said that in fairness to both parties the decision on whether or not to call witnesses should be made after both the House managers and the President's attorneys have had the opportunity to present their cases," Collins said in a press release. "I've always said that I was likely to vote to call witnesses, just as I did in the 1999 Clinton trial. The reports about John Bolton's book strengthen the case for witnesses and have prompted a number of conversations among my colleagues." Romney told reporters "it's increasingly likely that other Republicans will join those of us who think we should hear from John Bolton," adding that "it's important to be able to hear from John Bolton for us to be able to make an impartial judgment."

Even Sen. Lindsey Graham (R–S.C.), one of Trump's most stalwart defenders, seemed to concede that Bolton's testimony might be relevant. "Let's see what's in the manuscript," Graham said. "Let's see if it's relevant, and if it is, then I'll make a decision about Bolton." But he coupled that suggestion with a demand that Joe and Hunter Biden also testify—a nonstarter as far as Democrats are concerned.

According to "associates" of Bolton interviewed by the Times, Bolton "believes he has relevant information, and he has also expressed concern that if his account of the Ukraine affair emerges only after the trial, he will be accused of holding back to increase his book sales." Unless two more Republicans join Collins and Romney in supporting a Bolton subpoena, it looks like he will profit from Trump's stonewalling and the incuriosity of GOP senators who are determined to acquit the president regardless of what the evidence shows.

NEXT: Seattle's School System Wants to Dismantle Its Gifted Programs. This Is Why School Choice Matters.

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  1. Why deny it? Because it didn’t happen. That is why you deny it. This article just assumes that the ultimate question is true and then works back.

    Maybe Reason should arrange for some basic informal logic and argument training for its staff. There doesn’t seem to be a single logical fallacy the current staff won’t embrace.

    1. LOL

      Drumpf supporters are getting desperate. You can tell the #BoltonBombshell marks the tipping point.

      The walls are closing in. It’s the beginning of the end.

      #ImpeachAndRemove

      1. If I had a buck for every time some slackjawed cum-guzzler told me “the walls are closing in” and claimed Trump was finished, I would have paid off my student loans already.

        1. New here? That’s OBL’s schtick. But getting old. He needs to develop some new stuff.

        2. Read OBL with your sarcasm detector on. Sometimes it’s hilarious.

          1. He provides an accurate representation of Reason style cosmotarianism

        3. Bombshell!!
          Constitutional crisis!
          Manufactured crisis!
          Game, set, match!
          The walls are closing in!
          The noose is tightening!
          We’re under his skin!
          Warning signs!
          Game Over!
          His base has abandoned him
          Jr. will be indicted on Monday!
          “Break The Glass” moment!!
          The dam has broken!

          1. All is lost ??

      2. This discussion and some of the comments here remind me of this scene in Idiocracy:

        Joe: For the last time, I’m pretty sure what’s killing the crops is this Brawndo stuff.
        Secretary of State: But Brawndo’s got what plants crave. It’s got electrolytes.
        Secretary of Energy: Yeah, it’s got electrolytes.
        Joe: What are electrolytes? Do you even know?
        Secretary of State: It’s what they use to make Brawndo!
        Joe: Yeah, but why do they use them to make Brawndo??
        Secretary of Defense: ‘Cause Brawndo’s got electrolytes.

        ????

      3. Next up: forensic audit of Barron Trump’s academic performance and grades.

    2. They automatically assume that Biden is innocent as well, despite Biden’s own words and lots of real journalism from John Solomon showing plenty of evidence otherwise.

      1. Giuliani has already characterized Solomon’s source as a corrupt liar…so all of the Solomon stuff can be dismissed as baseless conspiracy theories based on the word of Trump’s personal lawyer.

        1. Except that time and time again his reporting as turned out to be true. Name one thing Solomon has reported that turned out not to be true?

          Sorry but name calling doesn’t count as argument.

          1. Maybe in your mind it has, but in reality Solomon’s source is actually a corrupt liar.

            1. If he was a liar, you would be able to name a lie he has told. Either give examples of things he reported that have later turned out to but untrue or just shut up and go lie somewhere where people are dumb enough to believe.

              1. Everything Lutsenko said in the Solomon interview was proven to be a lie…corrupt liars lie!

                1. Give an example

                  1. He was given no list by Yovanovitch.

                    1. You’re evading.

                    2. Seems like a fairly straight forward question, if there were so many lies they should be easy to catalogue.

                    3. I just did.

                    4. Except you didn’t.

                      “Everything Lutsenko said in the Solomon interview was proven to be a lie”

                      That was your claim, which was already revised down, and which you revised down again.

                    5. I never revised it down. If someone is a corrupt liar they are a worthless witness unless they give you hard evidence that can be verified by another source.

                2. What interview where he said what? Stop pulling shit out of your ass and give a fact.

                  1. The list didn’t exist. Yovanovitch wasn’t bad mouthing Trump.

                    1. So “everything” becomes nothing, just like that.

                    2. Hear no evil see no evil and talk BS.

                    3. “”Hear no evil see no evil””

                      Perhaps it’s just no big deal.

                    4. “Everything Lutsenko said in the Solomon interview was proven to be a lie”

                      That was your claim. You haven’t supported it. You just cried about a lost you didn’t like.

                    5. Yes I did.

            2. Maybe in your mind it has, but in reality Solomon’s source is actually a corrupt liar.

              Does that mean Bolton is totally telling the truth this time?

              1. Why would he start now?

        2. Yeah, but I’m also a drunk-ass has-been, so maybe you don’t want to hang a lot on what I say.

          1. You have an explanation for everything! Btw, you are an imbecile.

            1. Says the guy literally dismissing reports from Solomon solely by calling a source a liar. Hint… solomon has more than just interviews.

              1. Lol, Trump’s lawyer dismissed Lutsenko’s words based solely on the fact he was a corrupt liar.

                1. So Giuliani is trustworthy now? Pick one.

                  1. Giuliani called Lutsenko a corrupt liar because Lutsenko contradicted everything he told Solomon. You aren’t very good at this are you??

                2. What part of more than one interview are you too fucking stupid to understand?

                  1. Someone’s panties are in a bunch. 😉

          2. At least you stopped pretending you had something convincing.

            1. I’m a fucking Rudy Giuliani parody. Besides there’s nothing serious anyone could say that can convince anyone here to change their minds.

              1. At least you didn’t attempt to pretend you had something convincing.

          3. “”Yeah, but I’m also a drunk-ass has-been,””

            Danny Bonaduce?

            Will and/or Grace?

    3. Yup, that’s the obvious reply. You deny it because it isn’t true.

      1. That’s just what a guilty guy would say.

        1. It’s also what an innocent guy would say.

          1. There is no such thing as “innocent” in USSA

    4. It’s gonna fuckin’ hurt when you finally come out of denial, and realize what a gullible dick you have been.

      1. Yeah, the Gods are going to punish the Republicans one of these days. You just watch. And their little dog too!!

        1. Not my gods!!!

    5. Honestly, who edits these impeachment pieces? I’m guessing the answer is “no one” with has made it to print over the past few weeks.

    6. So stupid. So, so tragically stupid. “Reason” is a progressive Trojan Horse. It is a scheme to infiltrate and corrupt Libertarian thought by representing Progressive thought as Libertarian.

      It’s not possible to be intelligent and non-partisan and believe that this impeachment has any merit whatsoever. Read the transcript of this call. Watch the Joe Biden “You’re not getting the billion unless you fire the prosecutor (who is investigating my son)” video. One is a quid pro quo. One is a phone call. And someone who can’t see which is which is a Sullum. Definition of a Sullum: An exceptionally full Progressive who calls himself a libertarian.

      Don’t be a Sullum.

      1. It’s not that bad. The Reason writers just have a terrible tendency to groupthink. You can see the same phrases and arguments used by multiple Reason writers, and presumably they don’t have any real editors to catch this out.

        Contrast this with the Volokh professors who enjoy the challenge of poking holes in each other’s legal logic.

        1. It is that bad. Stoptheprop hit the nail on the head with Reason.

          It is intended to gaslight libertarians. It is just another cog in the corporate media designed to protect the moneyed interests of those who use government to enrich themselves.

          The libertarian interests it presents are milquetoast. Whenever any issue comes up that could actually damage this status quo, they lie and cover for the corruption and the institutions that enable it.

    7. Reason is a total misnomer. None of their editors have a shred of logic or reason. More insane TDS folks. Trump in a landslid in 2020.

    8. So, Jacob, in the mostly vapid, grade school, cliff notes version of events you wrote above it’s hard to tell, are you saying you’ve come to the conclusion that the Bidens are not corrupt? Or that, they are corrupt, and you just don’t care? Or, they are, but still, Orange Man Bad? Just trying to make sure I understand your direction here.

      Because after the Bidens, we have the Clintons, the Pelosis, the Romneys, and several more to expose. Impeachment or no impeachment. You might want to get your game face on for it and forget about these childish doodles in the sandbox.

  2. A 2 year old could punch through their paper thin defense. “Perfect” phone call but you can’t hear it. Innocent but don’t call witnesses.

    Bunch of partisan cowards in the Republican party. Impeach and convict the lying sob.

    1. There has been a transcript of the phone call released and no one denies its accuracy. The defense there is no evidence this is true.

      All you are showing here is that a two year old would think he punched through this defense. Yes, yes one would.

      1. “There has been a transcript of the phone call released and no one denies its accuracy”

        Lie. https://apnews.com/401efdc06a334f4a87365eb9b3107af4

        1. So baby jeffrey, too dumb to look or read Vindmans verbal testimony where he said he agreed with the transcript?

          1. Vindman has and still does dispute the accuracy of the memo which is not a transcript. Him saying later, “well that part isn’t such a big deal” does not change the fact that he disputes the accuracy of it.

            1. Baby Jeffy in wuv with Vindman brothers. Must be their fat, baby faces.

    2. “Innocent but don’t call witnesses.”

      Um, that’s exactly what innocent people do.

      1. Yeah, if you are innocent exactly who will have witnessed anything?

        1. “I swear, under oath, I never saw the defendant do it.”

    3. “”Bunch of partisan cowards in the Republican party. Impeach and convict the lying sob.””

      If there’s one thing I learned from the Clinton impeachment is that Senators from the party of the president will vote not guilty even if the guilt is well known.

      So thanks to democrats, all this talk about his guilt or innocence has no real bearing on the Senate vote.

      1. No, there was a reasonable case to be made that lying in a sexual harrassment lawsuit does not constitute a High Crime. It’s a differenced of opinion, not law.

        The current case has no High Crime AND no unambiguous evidence. The Donkeys were stupid to bring it up.

        Stupid is as stupid does.

        1. Clinton committed several felonies: perjury, subornation of perjury and obstruction of justice. He was forced to relinquish his license to practice law as a result.

          If you want to argue that perjury isn’t a serious crime from the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the United States, then you can do so. It is a totally subjective claim. Anyone can argue that about any offense.

          But it is also ridiculous to argue that crimes that could merit decades in prison are not serious enough to warrant impeachment.

    4. But now the cowardly Republican Senators are in a quandary. They are towing the lion for Trump to ensure re-election. But, now, if they go too far out on a limb covering for Trump, and more and more of the truth leaks out they are screwed next re-election.

      1. Yeah, the real problem is going to come when they try to get Trump elected a third time.

        You called it dude.

        1. He’s no Bloomberg.

      2. They are towing the lion for Trump

        And Shiff is towing the lyin’.

      3. Strong argument.

        1. It’s wasn’t an argument, shit for brains. It was an observation.

          1. You’re good at sarcasm.

          2. “Towing the lion.” LOL.

            1. Well, it’s better than choking the chicken.

      4. If you tow a lion too far out on a limb, he might turn around and bite you.

    5. We have the transcript. The transcript is the witness.

    6. “A 2 year old is smarter and better organized than the entirety of the Democratic Party.” -wearingit

    7. “Perfect phone call but you can’t hear it.”

      You CAN hear it. Read the transcript, whichTrump released. Your fantasies about what Trump said are Leftist fever-dreams. They are not in the call.

      “Innocent but don’t call witnesses.”

      Should we call witnesses to determine whether you are guilty of killing your wife? “No,” you will proclaim.

      “Why not, if you’re innocent, then why shouldn’t we call an endless litany of witnesses who will all testify that they don’t like you, and that murder is a horrible crime, and that they don’t like the way you talk to your wife.”

      “Well,” you will say, “because my wife is alive.”

      “You lying SOB,” we will scream. “That changes nothing! Your conduct towards your wife is deplorable! We have college professors lined up who will testify that murdering one’s spouse is the act of a psychopath. And the lawn boy who you fired last year will testify that you fired him because you didn’t like the way he mowed. You should rot in prison!”

      Yes, you and the democrats sound that stupid.

    8. What you may not realize is that the same folks who voted for Trump (you know, that vast sea of red covering nearly the entire USofA) would be EXTREMELY HAPPY if Trump strongarmed the Ukrainian president in order to expose a CLEARLY CORRUPT Biden family business. The president is top cop. It is his job. The underlying opposing view is that Democrats are not allowed to be investigated by ANYONE. Abuse of power, what a crock!

  3. When is someone at Reason going to read “Profiles in Corruption”?

    1. LOL
      If it’s ever mentioned here, it’ll be as “debunked” and then memory holed for eternity

      1. They are waiting for the good folks at Vox to tell them the official spin.

  4. “If Investigating Joe Biden Was Perfectly Legitimate, Why Deny a Quid Pro Quo?”

    Does Sullum think this makes sense?

    1. Sadly yes he does.

      1. It’s a pretty good question, actually.

        1. No its not. It is a logical fallacy that just begs the ultimate question.

        2. Two reasons: 1) there was no quid pro quo and 2) Biden illegally used influence to protect his kid from a Ukrainian jail.

          1. Even if you assume it had nothing to do with his kid, AND that the entire world community wanted the prosecutor gone, Biden in his own words and on national television admitted to demanding Ukraine do what they (the administration) wanted or lose the promised loans.

            1. But it’s ok when a democrat does it.

        3. It’s a trap. Now that “quid pro quo = bad” as effected by media pundits, to admit such would lead to spending enormous amounts of time trying to change everyone’s mind. Denial is working just fine.

          1. I have to agree. This is attempting to create a verbal “Heads I win Tails you lose” by subverting the language away from common usage.

    2. Sullum can outthink you, even stoned out on ‘shrooms 24-7.

      1. He should start with the headline then.

      2. LMAO

        It’s kinda like when the religious fuckwit from the Creation Museum debates with actual scientists and then all of his 4th grade educated followers circle jerk each other about how he absolutely DESTROYED a century of evolutionary biology with the help of Jesus.

        Except that Sullum isn’t quite as intelligent as that guy, and his followers are more gullible.

      3. No, you just think the lack of evidence is evidence.

        1. Hey now. Trump never actually proved he was innocent.

    3. Because the bad Tennessee Williams character Lindsey Graham is on record as saying that a quid pro quo would be a problem. Plus there is strong evidence that Ron Johnson reacted in such a way that it is obvious he believes the quid pro quo was a major problem.

      One more thing—the senators have the power to compel Trump to allow any witness to testify because the House has already given them the power to remove. So 20 Republican senators can tell Trump if Trump doesn’t allow Bolton to testify they will remove him. The Republican senators had the power to prevent this constitutional crisis by demanding Trump drop out of the 2020 race when it was clear Democrats were going to impeach him. Even Obama’s second term is now seen as a disaster based on Afghanistan so Trump was never going to defy history and have a successful second term.

      1. I think it’s important to note no context or quote is provided to the article. Just it describe trump as wanting to do this. Here’s the thing it didn’t actually happen.

        1. In America we have many crimes that are preceded by “attempted”.

          1. Sure we do. What crime are you talking about?

            1. The impeachable offense the clown in the White House committed. I love how your worship a clown…that makes you an insignificant clown worshipper.

              1. What offense? Do you not understand how this works?

                1. Well he does seem to know how appeal to personal attack works.

                2. Abuse of power. You don’t know how this works. I’ll spell it out one more time, so put your fuckin bifocals on.

                  This. is. not. a. criminal. trial.

                  1. “”This. is. not. a. criminal. trial.””

                    Then don’t expect a guilty verdict even if guilt is proven. That’s how politics works.

                    1. Then don’t be surprised when history sees the GOP as the party of traitors to the constitution.

                    2. “”Then don’t be surprised when history sees the GOP as the party of traitors to the constitution.””

                      Which party isn’t a traitor to the Constitution?

                  2. Are you actually saying that Trump is guilty of “attempted abuse of power?” WTF is that? Trump says he wants something, one of his subordinates says you can’t do that. Is that attempted abuse of power?
                    But go ahead. This is getting good.

                    1. Trump is guilty of abuse of power. The moron I was replying to didn’t know about crimes that are preceded by the word “attempted”.

              2. “The impeachable offense the clown in the White House committed”

                When you’re asked to name a crime and that’s your answer, it’s the equivalent of waving the white flag.

      2. “ Even Obama’s second term is now seen as a disaster based on Afghanistan”

        Oh gee

        1. It’s like the drug warriors who come out against the drug war only after they have left the drug war.

          1. Or like the Bush butt boys that voted for Trump after Trump said Bush lied us into the Iraq War which was a mistake from day 1. No offense, but you people aren’t very bright.

            1. I dare say not “very bright” is believe these same people now. I’m specifically referring to Bolton and the IC.

              1. So you agree with Michael Moore and Valerie Plame that Bush lied us into the Iraq War??

      3. “Because the bad Tennessee Williams character”

        Right, I don’t care about your hallucinations, the question was does the writer of the headline think two disparate things being connected somehow makes sense.

        Try to keep up dear.

        1. You have to admit, that line was kinda funny.

          1. To each his own. Tony’s sense of humor is pretty tired at this point.

      4. OMG, yet another constitutional crisis! He has no choice but to drop out, clearly, if for no other reason than to avoid that obviously ill-fated second term. It is known.

    4. Dunno if that particularly stupid argument should be attributed to Sullum. More likely KMW wrote the clickbait headline because the core of Sullum’s argument is different if equally stupid.

      1. This place has gone to shit under KMW

    5. “If Calling the Cops after seeing a break-in is Perfectly Legitimate, Why Deny that you weren’t a part of the break-in?”

      Oh yeah – that’s reasonable alright…. /s 🙂

  5. Bolton said it so it must be true. You’re a fucking clown if you think this moves the needle. Jacob needs his mommy.

    1. Partisans will think a liar is telling the truth if it’s something they want to hear.

      1. And the fracturing of media allows people to engage in confirmation bias by staying in their echo chamber. Contrast the situation with Clinton in which what he did was clearly not an impeachable offense but he still did something wrong and so Democrats would have censured him given the opportunity.

        1. “” Contrast the situation with Clinton in which what he did was clearly not an impeachable offense “”

          Perjury and obstruction are impeachable offenses. To say they clearly are not, is outright false. He was in fact impeached.

          I think the more accurate statement is that despite the crimes the dems did not deem it a removable offence. Don’t be surprised that the republicans will do the same with Trump.

          1. Lying in a civil deposition is not a big deal and it has never been a big deal. You just show your ignorance by pretending it is a big deal.

            1. I guess it’s not a big deal that Clinton was disbarred.

              It’s a matter of opinion. Many thought it a big deal, many did not. If they can’t get 67 Senators to think it is a big deal, then you are free to go.

              1. Bill Clinton was never disbarrred. He agreed to a voluntary suspension of his law license — an asset he no longer needed — as part of an agreement to avoid prosecution after leaving office.

            2. “”You just show your ignorance by pretending it is a big deal.””

              Bullshit. I’ve never said was a big deal. Your words, not mine. Personally I thought the Clinton impeachment was bullshit. But the house decided it was an impeachable offence. And Clinton was in fact guilty of at least the perjury. If you think your opinion beats theirs, your full of shit. Clinton was impeached. The house, not me, not you, decide what is worthy of impeachment.

              1. Actually Lindsey Graham voted no on the perjury article because as a lawyer he couldn’t in good conscience pretend it was an impeachable offense.

                1. So?

                  1. So perjury in civil deposition is clearly not a big deal.

                    1. The republicans in the senate will decide if what Trump did is a big deal or not.

                    2. Trump’s abuse of power should result in his removal. I don’t need members of Congress to tell me how to think.

                    3. “”I don’t need members of Congress to tell me how to think.””

                      And what you think will have zero influence on them. The House decides what is impeachable or not. Not you. The Senate will decide if it’s a big deal or not.

                    4. Uh no, Trump should be removed but I agree the Senate has the responsibility to uphold the Constitution or live in fear of their awful gullible voters.

                    5. “So perjury in civil deposition is clearly not a big deal”

                      Which, again, has nothing to do with it being a crime. Which it is. Which means by definition that you’re wrong when you said ” what he did was clearly not an impeachable offense.”

                      That’s why you changed your argument to “its no big deal” because you’re aware you were wrong.

                    6. So perjury in civil deposition is clearly not a big deal.

                      Guess how everyone can tell you’re a retarded cunt who has never even watched 10 minutes of Court TV, let alone taken any legal training.

                    7. What’s funny is he’s trying to point out some other people lying as if it’s a big deal. And they were not even under oath.

                    8. Rush Limbaugh butt boy,

                      In every civil action one party lies under oath and you can’t go running to the local DA to help you win your case! We have an adversarial civil justice system for that reason and that is why civil lawyers make the big bucks.

                    9. It IS a big deal, but not on the level of “High Crimes and Misdemeanors” big.

                    10. A Thinking Mind,

                      Perjury by the defendant in any action is not a big deal and in criminal law the defendant doesn’t have to say anything even when he knows he killed someone.

                2. Senators don’t get to decide what is an impeachable offense. That’s left up to the house. A Senator can decide it’s not worthy of removal.

                  1. I think it is great Mitch McConnell called Dershowitz to testify that Mitch McConnell was wrong about the Clinton impeachment and wrong about Bush v Gore…does that mean Gore gets to be president instead of Bush??

            3. “Lying in a civil deposition is not a big deal and it has never been a big deal.”

              Which of course has nothing at all to do with it being a crime. And I agree with you Tony that it isn’t a big deal. It is, however, a crime.

              1. “”“Lying in a civil deposition is not a big deal and it has never been a big deal.”””

                I might be going out on a limb, but I will guess it’s about the who, not the what. For example, would Tony still not think it’s a big deal if Kavanagh lied in a civil deposition denying a sexual encounter?

                1. I never cared about any of the Kavanaugh stuff.

            4. It was a big deal to Paula Jones, who was, you know, the victim.

              1. Actually by calling Dershowitz McConnell is saying he was wrong to vote to remove Clinton…so there is no longer any reason to ever argue about the legitimacy of the Clinton impeachment ever again—it was an illegitimate impeachment and case closed.

                1. “”McConnell is saying he was wrong to vote to remove Clinton…””

                  Show me where McConnell said that. I think you are making shit up and placing in McConnell mouth.

                  1. He brought Dershowitz in to testify—do you believe McConnell is now suborning perjury in the Senate??

                2. In Clinton’s case, it was not just perjury, was it? Wasn’t there obstruction of justice and asking someone to give false testimony?

                  Why no mention of the other charges? Are they no big deal, either?

            5. “Lying in a civil deposition is not a big deal and it has never been a big deal. ”

              So you think Michael Flynn was wrongfully convicted, then? After all, he wasn’t even under oath or aware that he was being questioned.

              But I’m sure that was different because Orange Hitler BAD!

        2. “”Partisans will think a liar is telling the truth if it’s something they want to hear.””

          Btw, this statement has nothing to do with the impeachment per se.

        3. “Not maintaining my echo chamber creates confirmation bias”

          Oh, fuck off.

        4. I read these comments to see what kind of flame jobs all you mothertruckers can lob at each other because it’s funny to me, but you sir, you are an outrageous ignoramus.

          Perjury, suborning perjury and bribery are very much impeachable offenses, especially bribery, one of the very few specific crimes the Constitution lays out as deserving impeachment. President Clinton lied, under oath (perjury, felony), asked Monica to lie about it under oath (suborning perjury, major felony and obstruction of justice) and then asked Vernon Jordan to get her a job at Revlon to keep her quiet (bribery and obstruction of justice). His plan failed because Monica’s “friend” Linda Tripp recorded her confession to the assignation and the fact they Monica had kept the Blue Dress (you know, the dress Clinton is painted wearing in the portrait at Epstein’s house).

          1. None of that was material to Paula Jones’ case…so her lawyers should have been punished by their respective state bars for placing Starr’s interests over their client’s interest. Obviously Clinton just wanted to get this episode in his past so he didn’t file the complaints against those lawyers but he should have.

            1. Slick Willy’s penchant for luring young underlings, for sexual encounters, is exactly material to the Paula Jones case.
              Paula’s lawyers would never have been able to broach the subject, in court, if it was immaterial.
              It is just that Monica accepted his advances, while Paula Jones felt sexually harassed, sued and ended up with a big settlement from the guy who claimed to not have done any of it, but was proven to have lied.

              1. Paula Hound Dog lost her lawsuit on the merits, then sold her right to appeal that judgment for cash on the barrel head. She is not a sympathetic character.

        5. To be honest, I had no problem with Clinton shtupping the intern, even in the Oval Office. It’s not some kind of holy sepulchre, for Christ’s sake. I also thought it was kind of old school to want to keep such things private. It was nobody’s business, so I don’t care if he perjured himself. It was his (and her) personal business.

          1. And now that McConnell called Dershowitz the Clinton impeachment is now officially an illegitimate impeachment…so we no longer have to argue about it and the people that believed it was legitimate have been wrong all these years according to McConnell.

    2. Gosh, we could call Bolton, and the other three witnesses the Democrats have asked for. Then we wouldn’t be relying solely on Bolton’s testimony, huh?

      1. Sure. And then you call Hunter and Joe Biden and talk to them. Oddly the Democrats don’t want to do that.

        1. Go for it. Hunter can testify to the price of crack and how to beat con corrupt foreigners out of money. But if you call Hunter you have to call people like Liz Cheney and Kushner’s sister that have benefited from their family members being in the Executive Branch.

          1. The Democrats are willing to give up calling any witnesses to avoid that.

            1. No they aren’t. Do you approve of Liz Cheney getting a job in the State department when her father was VP?? Do you approve of Kushner’s sister trading on his name in China trying to get EB-5 investors??

              1. Yes they are.

              2. “Do you approve of Liz Cheney getting a job in the State department when her father was VP?? Do you approve of Kushner’s sister trading on his name in China trying to get EB-5 investors??”

                Do you always desperately try to change the subject after you’ve lied about something and know you’re wrong?

                1. I’m still offended that President Kennedy’s brother became the Attorney General.

              3. If Hunter Biden getting largesse off of Daddy’s name isn’t a big deal, then neither are the things you’re crying about.

                1. If it is a big deal then you can’t vote for Trump because Kushner’s sister is on video trading on her brother’s name in China.

                  1. Too convoluted. Besides, a Democrat-Chinese connection is a much larger fish. Large enough the I am fearful just to be talking about it here.

                  2. Considering the Clintons’ history with the Chinese, you’re hardly in a position to be weeping crocodile tears over that, too.

              4. Pelosi’s boy was up to his asshole in Ukrainian oligarch money as well. HEY LOOK OVER THERE! is a great tactic when you’re picking your ass with the other cretinous retards drooling into a cup at Democratic Underground. Doesn’t work so well in an actual legal proceeding.

                1. I don’t have a problem with Americans conning corrupt foreigners out of their money. Btw, neither does Trump which is why he thinks it should be legal for Americans to bribe foreigners.

                  1. The constitutional proscription against bribery actually refers to the president accepting bribes, not making them. Bribe away, baby!

              5. How is Liz Cheney relevant to the current impeachment situation? Are you just throwing stuff against the wall to see what sticks?

        2. Calling Hunter and Joe isn’t the risk. Calling Vindman, Ciaramella, Yoyanovitch, and anyone associated with CROWDSTRIKE is what will roll the heads.

          1. You just went full Qanon!!

      2. If the democrats really wanted those witnesses, the house could have went to the SCOTUS. But it would be a gamble because if SCOTUS sided with the president, their obstruction of congress would go out the window.

        1. And they would have had to wait too long for an answer. They’re in a rush to get this over with for some reason…

          1. Yeah, they wanted to be able to say Impeachmas.

            1. No, they didn’t want to have to dealing with Impeachment come February when Warren and Biden want to be out campaigning.

              1. They didn’t want to be on the hook for not being able to pass a spending spree bill and thus shutting down the government going into an election year.

          2. They said they were in a hurry because our national security was at stake. Then Pelosi waited over a month to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate. Yeah, it was prolly ‘cuz losing in court gets rid of their (weak) obstruction of Congress claim, and people see their case is even weaker than they thought.

      3. But what about the serious crime of the “quid pro quo”?
        Trump could have, within his own circle, wanted to not release the funds until Zelynsky proved his seriousness about fighting corruption, by getting these investigations going.
        He could, and did, without telling Zelynsky that he was being tested. An unknown “quo”, and a voluntary “quid”.
        Trump released the funds, before a mandated deadline, but knew that Zelynsky had failed and the US needed to be wary of Zelynsky’s commitment to ferreting out corruption.
        No pressure exerted, but knowledge gained and an effort was made to reveal a past US government official’s corrupt acts.

        1. Yes, exactly as it should be. “Expose the corruption, please!”, screamed millions of Americans sick of the swamp.

    3. Bolton basically just restated what we already knew: that Trump was holding up aid because he was concerned about corruption and election interference in Ukraine and wanted Ukraine to cooperate with US law enforcement. That’s not a quid-pro-quo, it’s a purely internal issue of the US government.

      It only becomes a quid-pro-quo when it’s communicated like that to the Ukraine government. Even then, it wouldn’t be illegal or impeachable.

      1. It only becomes a quid-pro-quo when it’s communicated like that to the Ukraine government.
        Which the transcript of the phone call, coupled with the fact that the Ukrainians were not aware that the aid had been paused, prove not to have happened.

  6. The only question I have with this entire affair is, “WHY IN THE FUCK IS MONEY BEING TAKEN OUT OF MY POCKET AND GIVEN TO A BUNCH OF POLITICIANS IN THE UKRAINE?”

    The appropriate Libertarian response, in my purview, is this is exactly why we should not be giving monetary aid to ANY country. It leads to and enables corruption on both sides.

    How about getting off your TDS bullshit and actually discussing actual Libertarian principles, Reason.

    1. Actually no, we are giving them money to buy our weapons to be our proxy in a war against Russia.

      1. Pretty standard: You get your foe bogged down when they’re fighting far away from you, so that they never reach you.

        The real question is, why isn’t Europe paying for this, because they’re much more immediately threatened by Putin’s efforts to reassemble the USSR than we are.

        Well, partly because socialism has made them poor, I suppose. But also because they’ve gotten used to being parasites.

        1. why isn’t Europe paying for this

          They are too busy arguing over the curve of a banana. Europe is not much different than they were before WW1: totally obsessed with rank and status and petty issues. Sad, really.

          1. Europe is, and has always been, a corrupt system based on cronyism, a system designed to keep the common folks down.

            And the reason they aren’t paying for their defense is because they don’t have to: they found the perfect fool in the American tax payer and military to do all their dirty work for them.

        2. Ukraine is our proxy and the EU can’t use Ukraine as a proxy because they are too dependent on Russian natural gas. But the reason you are positing that question is because you want to believe Trump had another reason the debt Ukraine the money…he didn’t.

          1. He must have had another reason, because they got the money, and he didn’t get the investigation.

            1. Lol, Trump was busted by Ron Johnson and a whistleblower so he had to abort his quid pro quo.

          2. “”Ukraine is our proxy””

            A proxy for what?

            1. Money laundering for the children of Democrats, mostly.

              1. Hey, if you can’t laundry money, what’s the point of being in politics?

          3. Sebastian.. are you as outraged for all the other countries that had delays to their funding per OMB testimony? Or just Ukraine?

            Democrats havent even proved that the delay was abnormal, which is kind of a key requirement.

            1. No, because Trump didn’t use #fakenews as a pretext to trash his 2020 opponent.

              1. So you’re all in on the “no Biden related corruption in Ukraine”
                Not smart

                1. My question wasnt even concerning the Bidens. It was about his partisan outrage over normal delays. He failed the question.

                  1. Delays are fine…as long as they aren’t done as part of a scheme to cheat in an election.

                    1. At worst, Trump would have gotten a photo op out of this. I don’t have enough fingers to count the number of times Obama used the power of his office to get photo ops and badmouth political adversaries. That’s not “cheating”, that’s incumbent advantage.

                      “Cheating” is stuffing ballot boxes or manipulating vote counts or selective vote harvesting, all things Democrats have done.

                    2. “”a scheme to cheat in an election.””

                      Digging up dirt, even in a foreign country is not cheating an election. It’s what they do. Both candidates for the 2016 did it.

              2. So you’re a fucking partisan dumbass. Glad we cleared that up.

                1. McConnell just threw you idiots under the bus—the Clinton impeachment is officially an illegitimate impeachment!!! And you are officially a gullible dumbass for believing it was legitimate all of these years. Lololololol!!

                  1. I opposed the Clinton impeachment just like I oppose the Trump impeachment. So what’s your point?

                    1. He’s stupid to think that actual makes the impeachment illegitimate.

                2. It’s been clear that the crackhead was of the hivemind since his first post

              3. Jeez, you really think Bidens are clean? Better unhitch your wagon from that nag, and quick.

      2. Finally, a point.

    2. You sir are speaking my language.

      The fact that Congress took money from our pockets to give to a foreign government is the real scandal.

  7. Remember when Reason hated Bolton? Claimed he was a unreliable neo-con warmonger who had wet dreams about bombing Iran and you shouldn’t believe a damn thing he says? Ah, the good ol’ days.

    1. We Koch / Reason libertarians realize Drumpf’s alt-right white nationalist GOP is much worse than the early 2000s neocon GOP represented by people like Bolton. If we have to embrace Bolton (and Kristol, and Frum, and Boot) to oppose Drumpf, it’s worth it.

      1. The neocons are exponentially worse than Trump!! But keep in mind Republicans have made Liz Cheney 3rd in leadership in the House so deep down Trump hasn’t changed the Republicans. The reason you know Democrats are serious about this is because a President Pence would be a Democrat nightmare although he would probably lose the 2020 election because he won’t cheat.

        1. “”The neocons are exponentially worse than Trump!! “”

          Does that include Bolton?

          1. No he’s totally upstanding and trustworthy…

          2. Bolton is a war mongering jerk, and a personal jerk too. This is his revenge.

            Of course it’s not much of a revenge, since we already knew that Trump was holding up the aid over concerns about corruption in Ukraine. That’s not the same as a quid-pro-quo with the Ukraine, which involves (surprise!) the Ukraine.

          3. Of course. Trump has been a Democrat dream president because he is unethical and ineffective. So Obamacare is stronger then ever because the Kushner family is heavily invested in the ACA Exchanges…so Trump’s Obamacare executive orders are designed to help Josh Kushner’s health insurance company.

            1. What does Bolton have to do with any of that?

      2. Nice one! Fresh!

  8. Sullum sounds like the detective questioning the 16 year-old retard: we believe you, but just sign the paper that says you did it and we will let you go home to your mother.

    1. Is he the detective or the retard?

      1. Yes

        1. Is my cab here yet?

  9. Because they don’t actually have direct evidence of a quid pro quo actually happening? the investigation announcement never happened and the aide was released. Dollars to doughnuts Boltons book contains Trump merely asking if he could do it with his advisors.

    1. La la la sticking my fingers in my ears. Don’t want to hear.

      1. We’re aware of your preferred method of discourse

      2. ^ Excellent imitation of the Democrats.

  10. “”If Investigating Joe Biden Was Perfectly Legitimate, Why Deny a Quid Pro Quo?””

    Because it’s possible to ask for something and not expect anything in return.

    1. Wow, do girls really dp for Whatsapp? I’m gonna Whatsapp right now!

  11. My objection to this impeachment is simple: the Dems have been howling for impeachment since election night, and the excuse for the actual impeachment is really weak tea — threatening to delay foreign aid to a corrupt government until they investigated a corrupt US politician who just happens to be running for President.

    The Clinton impeachment was weak too. Yeah, perjury in a deposition — but why that, when they could easily have impeached him for rape itself, not just the deposition over rape? Because politicians suck.

    1. In a very real way, this is just payback for the Clinton impeachment. They got Clinton on perjury, lying under oath. Didn’t quite prove it though. And it’s the same thing with Trump. They just can’t quite prove it.

      Which is fine. I hold ALL presidents to a higher standard. The grey area should be sufficient to impeach. At the same time, it’s clear to all that impeachment is purely a political matter. Even back in Andy Johnson’s day.

      1. “”They got Clinton on perjury, lying under oath. Didn’t quite prove it “”

        Clinton said no relations. She had a stained blue dress.
        The dems don’t even have a stained blue dress against Trump.

        But yep, both are BS in my opinion.

        “”it’s clear to all that impeachment is purely a political matter. Even back in Andy Johnson’s day.””

        Agreed.

        1. Also, convicted of 25 felonies and permanently disbarred. Paid a great big fine.

          1. Johnson?

  12. “The Room Where it Happened” The inside story of Bolton’s gang rape by the secret Trump fraternity, Quid Pro Quo.

    1. Finally something that explains the porn stache.

  13. The Bart Simpson defense: “I didn’t do it, no one saw me do it, and you can’t prove anything!”

    1. Good response to the Stalin prosecution: “He did it, no one saw him do it, and we can’t prove anything”

  14. Serious question, is rooting out official corruption a legitimate task only if it doesn’t involve high ranking US Officials?

    1. If there’s anything we’ve learned since Trump’s inauguration it’s that Reason doesn’t give a flying fuck about corruption, and actively supports it both financially and ideologically.

    2. Rooting out corruption is ok if the corrupt are high-ranking GOP officials.

      I think that I read that somewhere in the Federal Code.

  15. Because making up stories about things that didn’t happen is what Democrats do. Denying those made up stories is what truth tellers do.

  16. Apparently, the author has never had sex without paying for it. I guess he always has quid pro quo for everything. Don’t ask – pay.

    1. We all pay for it in one way or another.

    2. Just remember you aren’t paying the girl to have sex with you.

      You are paying her to leave when you are done.

  17. I have never understood why everyone is up in arms with a POTUS doing a quid pro quo with a foreign country. What is the problem? How on earth do you think a President influences a country to act in our interest? I want and expect Presidents to do quid pro quos.

    QPQ happens every fucking day in the halls of Congress. They call it horsetrading, this for that. In every capital of every country in the world on every fucking day QPQ happens.

    The full transcript speaks for itself. Ukraine got all their aid by the end of the fiscal year. This is the case to remove a POTUS from office: Oh, we don’t like him, he delivered the Ukraine aid on time, but we think he thinks bad thoughts? Give me a break.

    Our Republic deserves better than this from Washington DC.

    1. yup, and every single dollar that the US has EVER paid in foreign aid was a quid pro quo. Every one.

  18. Who cares if Trump wanted the Bidens investigated? Maybe he just wanted to punish some Democrats, but who really cares? How can anyone be so naive as to believe that presidents do not use their power for political advantage? If you impeach every president who does so, then you will impeach them all.

    1. And the president, as I’m sure you know, is the chief law enforcement officer of the country, and as such is not only allowed, but duty-bound to investigate crimes, especially if they are crimes of corruption of US officials and/or former officials.

  19. In some aspects, the president (in the USA or France) is the ultimate magistrate. Thus, Obama ordered the execution by drone of US citizens without trial. For example 16-year-old Abdulrahman Al-Aulaqi (and five of his teenage friends). So the president can legitimately ask a country at war where the US is sending anti-tank rockets, to abate on corruption.

    Biden boasted, knowing he was recorded on tape, in 2018, to blackmailing Ukraine about firing Viktor Shokin, the Procuror General of Ukraine… who was inquiring on embezzlement at Burisma Holdings: a 40 million embezzlement was proven, while Biden was director. Biden Senior forced Ukraine to chose as procuror general Lutsenko, who had been condemned for corruption in 2011 to four years in jail.

    Biden called Lutsenko “solid”. However the Ukrainian Parliament initially refused the resignation of Shokin forced by Biden… and had to pass a special law to make Lutsenko Procuror General… because Lutsenko, the “solid” of Biden, doesn’t even have a law degree… Lutsenko was fired in August 2019 by the new Ukrainian president… In October 2019, Ukraine started a criminal investigation of Lutsenko.

    What else? Biden helped pass the New Jim Crow laws in the 1990s. In 2002, as chair of Senate Foreign Relation Committee, he authorized the invasion of Iraq (in collaboration with Pelosi from the “Gang of 4”). But I digress… Democrats (I am one of them) have a serious problem here, if they keep on refusing to see what is going on.

    Obama refused to send weapons to Ukraine to fight off Russia. Trump sent (secretly) Javelins anti-tank missiles, early in 2018. When that got to be known, the republican Congress authorized the sending of more Javelins. Democrats were mostly opposed to sending weapons to Ukraine… and now they condemn Trump for suspending his own weapon policy they used to oppose? Is this the “Twilight Zone”, or just the dusk of reason?

  20. If Investigating Joe Biden Was Perfectly Legitimate, Why Deny a Quid Pro Quo? John Bolton’s account of the Trump-ordered freeze on military aid to Ukraine highlights a contradiction at the heart of the president’s defense.

    It’s already clear that Trump froze aid to Ukraine and other countries out of concern over corruption and cooperation with US law enforcement. That’s not a “quid-pro-quo”, that’s an internal action pending internal review and information gathering.

    It only becomes a “quid-pro-quo” if he actually tells Ukraine “you need to do X before we do Y”.

    Even if he had done that (and there is zero evidence that he did), it’s not a problem if “X” is of legitimate interest to the American people, even if “X” is also of political interest to himself.

  21. Put sum more white stuff on your bagle jew boy idiot.

  22. The Reason reporting on Trump issues follows the DNC playbook every time. Is Reason coordinating with the DNC? Trump’s impeachment defense is simple. The aid was released according the mandate for the end of the fiscal year. Possible corruption involving Burisma, Bidens, Crowdstrike, and others are legitimate areas of investigation. Trump has broad latitude to request investigations. Lethal aid was never provided to Ukraine by the previous administration. It is highly doubtful if a Democrat administration would be providing lethal aid for Ukraine now. Thus, the Democrat talking point that Trump has endangered USA national security is laughable. Trump has provided lethal aid for Ukraine and obtained a cease fire. The investigation of aid to Trump was triggered by a Democrat mole (probably more than one) in the administration. This mole closely coordinated with key Democrats. Democrat managers in the impeachment trial are key witnesses about coordination with the Democrat mole.

    Beyond these points, this impeachment is the most boring event ever. Democrats are boring the entire country and wasting valuable legislative time on a non event. President Trump and the Senate have important business that is held up by this snooze affair.

  23. Great article but, judging from the comments section, waaaaay over the heads of some readers. Inane.

  24. If Investigating Joe Biden Was Perfectly Legitimate, Why Deny a Quid Pro Quo?

    Because it wasn’t needed?

    What Biden did–‘fire the investigator or you don’t get any money’ wasn’t actually a ‘quid pro quo’–it was extortion. ‘Do what I say or else.’

    Trump asked for help with an investigation. He didn’t say ‘help with this investigation in exchange for money’, which is a quid pro quo. And he didn’t say ‘help with this investigation or you’ll get no money’, which is extortion.

    And the transcript shows that clearly.

    The Democrats REALLY wanted him to play asshole and withhold that transcript. It was all they had.

  25. They are denying a quid pro quo because there was no quid pro quo. It is indeed annoying that from day one the White House has continued to repeat the “no quid pro quo” defense while almost never acknowledging that it would have been perfectly legitimate if there HAD been a quid pro quo, so long as what the president was asking for was an HONEST investigation, which is very clearly what he WAS asking for (“do the right thing”).

    They should never state the “no quid pro quo” defense without at the same time noting that there would have been nothing wrong with making a quid pro quo demand but there just wasn’t one. Otherwise they are failing to defend the presidential powers that are under attack.

    A quid pro quo demand for investigation of the in-your-face evidence of Biden’s criminality falls clearly under the president’s inherent powers, and is even required under his Article II section 3 duty to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” Biden’s Blatant Brag of Billion dollar Bribery put the issue squarely before the whole nation.

    One might wonder, if it would have been legitimate for Trump to make a quid pro quo demand does that mean there was also nothing wrong with Biden’s billion dollar quid pro quo demand that Ukraine fire the prosecutor who was investigating Biden’s bribe-collecting crackhead son? No, because Biden’s purpose was illegitimate, or there is clear evidence that it was. Biden was caught selling of the second highest office of the land and using his crackhead son as his bagman. The legitimacy of the purpose is the only possible issue.

    Trump is the nation’s top law enforcement officer. All DOJ power devolves from the president. Of course he can open an investigation on his own iniative, just as he can declassify any information just by choosing to reveal it. He just can’t do what Obama did: turning our CIA-DOJ-FBI into the KGB and task them with FRAMING his political opponents.

    That illegitimate purpose had the further illegitimate purposes of rigging/stealing an election, then overturning an election, all conspiring to vitiate the political rights of the electoral majority of American citizens, making it the biggest crime in American history by a factor of a thousand, a crime that is still ongoing with the present impeachment-stage of the Obama deep-state coup attempt against American democracy.

    But Trump had no such illegitimate purpose. Our Democrat-controlled press constantly frames their analysis as if he did have an illegitimate purpose, asserting from the beginning that Trump was asking Ukraine to “dig up dirt” on Joe Biden, but that is a lie. All he wanted was honest and appropriate law enforcement, which is his JOB.

    So it is alarming to see Trump and others failing to at every turn defend the president’s inherent power to make quid pro quo demands for fully legitimate law enforcement actions. Failing to make this more fundamental argument is a failure to protect presidential power. So what if he didn’t use this power in the present case? The power is what is under attack (being used to attack Trump) and it needs to be defended.

    Giuliani has been good on this, saying that of course it was legitimate to pursue investigation of the clear evidence of Biden criminality, noting that we aren’t supposed to have a two tier justice system where Biden’s running for president exempts him from legitimate investigation. Some others have been making this point. I’ve heard it from a few senators and maybe from Dershowitz as well? But it should ALWAYS be front and center. They should NEVER state the fact that there was no quid pro quo without also asserting that it would have been perfectly legitimate, given the evidence against Biden, to demand an honest investigation.

    Trump pursued this legitimate purpose, fully within and protected by his inherent powers, and he did it WITHOUT using the quid pro quo power that would also have been fully legitimate. And the bastards think they can impeach him for it.

    If Bolton turns out to be in cahoots with this ongoing attempt to permanently overthrow American democracy it is backstabbing on the level of National Review and the Weekly Standard. Never thought Bolton could turn out to be a panty wearer, never mind that he could get his panties in such a twist that they asphyxiate all logic and moral comprehension, but he wouldn’t be the first.

    1. Well said.
      Much better than anything Reason publishes.
      And today Dershowitz did come right out and say that what is alleged in Bolton’s alleged manuscript, even if true, isn’t impeachable

  26. Was this article written by an actual retard?

    Why deny it? Because it didn’t happen you dumb fuck. The aid was not withheld and the investigations didn’t happen .

    Let’s contrast this to the Bidens. The threat was made. No aid unless investigation dropped oops I mean prosecutor fired same thing. The prosecutor was fired and the investigation was dropped.

    See there

    1. “Sonofabitch, the prosecutor got fired”

  27. If Investigating Joe Biden Was Perfectly Legitimate, Why Deny a Quid Pro Quo?

    Because mens rea?

    It is a *duty* to investigate a politician that has used his office to gain personally (or to gain for someone else). Its not appropriate to do so for your own gain.

    However, that you might gain from it is not justification for not doing your duty.

    1. Also, ever consider that there might not have been any quid-pro-quo?

      After all, Biden swears that he never used the power of his office to influence the Ukrainian government to take actions that would benefit his son.

      That the actions would benefit his son is uncontested. If he did it out of pure motives, to ‘fight corruption’, fine. All I ask is that you give Trump the same benefit of the doubt you’ve given Biden.

      Let’s remember that we’re accusing Biden of the same thing you’re accusing Trump. You don’t like that in a sitting President. Would you like to elect a President who has done it?

  28. This is the most idiotic article I’ve ever read on Reason and I’m so disappointed in the rudimentary logic of it. Dear author, have you ever heard of an alternative argument? “Point one – the investigation was valid. Point two – ALTERNATIVELY, even if the investigation was not valid, the alleged underlying facts about it are untrue. The fact that the author refers to an alternative argument — which is a basic form of advocacy — as inconsistent just totally blows my mind and really makes me question the Intelligence of Reason’s writers. This type of ineptitude is what’s truly dangerous in our political system right now.

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  31. If investigating President Trump for Russian collusion was perfectly legitimate, why deny a Democrat quid pro quo? After all, didn’t they have political motives behind a completely fabricated case?

    That reasoning is ridiculous. You need to go take some college level courses in logic.

    1. I’ll spell it out for you. Trump asked for an investigation of Ukrainian corruption over the last several years, including during our 2016 election. He INCLUDED the Bidens in that scope.

      The Democrats demanded an investigation into Russian interference in our 2016 election, but they EXCLUDED all collusion by the Democrats with Russia and Ukraine. Meuller investigated zero Democrat collusion. Democrats were immune.

      Now, Democrats insist that the Democrat Bidens be immune from investigation by Ukraine for corruption.

      Democrats are immune and their motives can’t be questioned. Trump is investigated continuously from the day of his inauguration, and his motives are impeachable offenses.

      Does that clear it up for you? You name your site “reason”.com. One would think you at least had some ability to reason.

      1. You name your site “reason”.com. One would think you at least had some ability to reason.

        Geezer, that is why some of us have taken to call this site Unreason.

  32. Maybe to let this play out the way it has.

  33. Could someone invent an app that goes straight to the comments? The fact that Reason removed the shortcut at the top of article still won’t force me to read the Propaganda Parrot.

  34. Is the headline serious? Trump denies it because Trump has no regulator on 100% defending everything he ever does as PERFECT BEAUTIFUL THE BEST. But Trump’s employees are a little brighter. Mulvaney, “quid pro quos happen, get over it.” That’s not denying it. Dershowitz, “even if a quid pro quo happened exactly as they allege it, it’s not impeachable.” That’s not exactly denying it, and it’s the proper legal conclusion.
    But you ask why Trump denies it? Because he’s a born carnival barker.

  35. I can think of a lot of reasons. Maybe because it isn’t true? Or because a quid pro quo sounds bad even if it’s legal? Or because Trump isn’t your usual cuckservative who bends over and takes it when Ds dish it out?

  36. “If Investigating Joe Biden Was Perfectly Legitimate, Why Deny a Quid Pro Quo?”

    Why? Because it doesn’t matter. It is wholly within the President’s power to withhold aid. I wish they would take this issue to court because we can’t have Congress dictating foreign policy when it is clearly a power of the Executive Branch. Congress can pass legislation to give aid to a certain country. But, if the President deems that aid not in the best interest of U.S. foreign policy he is absolutely within his rights to withhold it.

    1. Excellent point—the key is “best interest of US foreign policy”. What Trump did in this instance wasn’t in the best interest of US foreign policy, it just happened to be in the best interest of Trump’s 2020 campaign. Furthermore the allegations were simply #fakenews planted by one of Trump’s own political operatives and Giuliani undermined all of the allegations early on in this scandal when he dismissed Lutsenko as a corrupt liar.

  37. Are you really this fucking stupid or is it a matter of just shilling around for clicks?

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  39. Trump is DONE ! Multiple impeachable treasonous and felonious offenses. Bring on the gallows ! ! !

  40. So, Jacob, in the mostly vapid, grade school, cliff notes version of events you wrote above it’s hard to tell, are you saying you’ve come to the conclusion that the Bidens are not corrupt? Or that, they are corrupt, and you just don’t care? Or, they are, but still, Orange Man Bad? Just trying to make sure I understand your direction here.

    Because after the Bidens, we have the Clintons, the Pelosis, the Romneys, and several more to expose. Impeachment or no impeachment. You might want to get your game face on for it and forget about these childish doodles in the sandbox.

  41. Actually, the U.S. Constitution highlights a contradiction at the heart of the Democrat’s fraudulent impeachment case.

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