Is William Taylor the John Dean of Ukrainegate?

The Unraveling of the President


I know that parallels between Watergate and the Ukraine scandal can sometimes stretch pretty thin; I am, for instance, still waiting for someone to step forward to play Alexander Butterfield's "here-are-the-tapes-you-were-looking-for"** role.

**And I'll lay $50 that if the tape, or full transcript, of the July 25 phone call is ever released, that it will contain material, as judged by a neutral third party, that is severely damaging to whatever little is left of President Trump's defense of his actions during that call.

But the John Dean "senior-official-who-finally-lays-out-the scope-of-the-wrongdoing" role has apparently now been filled by Ambassador William Taylor in his testimony on Tuesday. Dean's testimony in June, 1973 was so damaging to Pres. Nixon both because of the information it contained on Nixon's involvement in illegal activities and because of the manner in which Dean methodically and dispassionately laid out the full scope of that wrongdoing with reference to the copious records he had been keeping in real time of the relevant events.  He was very difficult to impeach—in the ordinary, and not the constitutional, sense—as a credible witness, and indeed his testimony later proved dispositive in the criminal trials of many of the Watergate conspirators (Mitchell, Haldeman, Erlichmann, and others).

If you have not read Ambassador Taylor's opening statement, you might wish to do so—it makes for grim reading, especially for those of you who have so steadfastly maintained that this scandal is all smoke and no fire. [Scott Anderson has an excellent analysis here].  Excerpts (emphases added) follow:

Once I arrived in Kyiv, I discovered a weird combination of encouraging, confusing, and ultimately alarming arrangement for making U.S. policy towards Ukraine. There appeared to be two channels of U.S. policy-making and implementation, one regular and one highly irregular. As the Chief of Mission, I had authority over the regular, formal diplomatic processes, including the bulk of the U.S. effort to support Ukraine against the Russian invasion and to help it defeat corruption. This regular channel of U.S. policy-making has consistently had strong, bipartisan support both in Congress and in all administrations since Ukraine' s independence from Russia in 1991.

At the same time, however, there was an irregular, informal channel of U . S . policy-making with respect to Ukraine, one which included then-Special Envoy Volker, Ambassador Sondland, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, and, as I subsequently learned, Mr. Giuliani. I was clearly in the regular channel, but I was also in the irregular one to the extent that Ambassadors Volker and Sondland included me in certain conversations….

When I first arrived in Kyiv, in June and July, the actions of both the regular and
the irregular channels of foreign policy served the same goal—a strong US-Ukraine partnership—but it became clear to me by August that the channels had
diverged in their objectives. As this occurred, I became increasingly concerned….

In late June, one of the goals of both channels was to facilitate a visit by President
Zelenskyy to the White House for a meeting with President Trump, which
President Trump had promised in his congratulatory letter of May 29. But during my subsequent communications with Ambassadors Volker and Sondland, they relayed to me that the President "wanted to hear from Zelenskyy" before scheduling the meeting in the Oval Office. It was not clear to me what this meant….

On June 27 , Ambassador Sondland told me during a phone conversation that
President Zelenskyy needed to make clear to President Trump that he, President
Zelenskyy, was not standing in the way of " investigations. " I sensed something odd when Ambassador Sondland told me on June 28 that he did not wish to include most of the regular interagency participants in a call planned with President Zelenskyy later that day. Ambassador Sondland, Ambassador Volker, Secretary Perry, and I were on this call, dialing in from different locations. However, Ambassador Sondland said that he wanted to make sure no one was transcribing or monitoring as they added President Zelenskyy to the call….

By mid-July it was becoming clear to me that the meeting President Zelenskyy
wanted was conditioned on the investigations of Burisma and alleged Ukrainian
interference in the 2016 US elections. It was also clear that this condition was
driven by the irregular policy channel I had come to understand was guided by Mr.

In a regular NSC secure video-conference call on July 18, I heard a staff person
from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) say that there was a hold on
security assistance to Ukraine but could not say why. Toward the end of an
otherwise normal meeting, a voice on the call—the person was off-screen –
said that she was from OMB and that her boss had instructed her not to approve any
additional spending of security assistance for Ukraine until further notice….The OMB staff person said was that the directive had come from the President to the Chief of Staff to OMB. In an instant, I realized that one of the key pillars of our strong support for Ukrainewas threatened. The irregular policy channel was running contrary to goals of longstanding U . S . policy….

Later on July 20, I had a phone conversation with Ambassador Sondland while he
was on a train from Paris to London, Ambassador Sondland told me that he had
recommended to President Zelenskyy that he use the phrase "I will leave no stone
unturned" with regard to investigations when President Zelenskyy spoke with
President Trump….

On August 16, I exchanged text messages with Ambassador Volker in which I learned that Mr. Yermak [an assistant to President Zelenskyy] had asked that the United States submit an official request for an investigation into Burisma' s alleged violations of Ukrainian law , if that is what the United States desired.  A formal US request to the Ukrainians to conduct an investigation based on violations of their own law struck meas improper, and I recommended to Ambassador Volker that we stay clear….

I wrote and transmitted a cable [to Secretary of State Pompeo] on August 29 describing the "folly in withholding military aid to Ukraine at a time when hostilities were still active in the east and when Russia was watching closely to gauge the level of American support for the Ukrainian government. I told the Secretary that I could not and would not defend such a policy. I received no specific response …

It had still not occurred to me that the hold on security assistance could be related
to the "investigations." That, however, would soon change.

[During a September 1 phone call with NSA staffer Tim Morrison], he went on to describe a conversation that Ambassador Sondland had with Mr. Yermak in Warsaw. Ambassador Sondland told Mr. Yermak that security assistance money would not come until President Zelenskyy committed to pursue the Burisma investigation. I was alarmed by what Mr. Morrison told me about the Sondland -Yermak conversation. This was the first time I had heard that the security assistance—not just the White House meeting — was conditioned on the investigations….

Very concerned, on that same day I sent Ambassador Sondland a text message
asking if "we are now saying that security assistance and [a ] WH meeting are
conditioned on investigations?" Ambassador Sondland responded asking me to
call him, which I did. During that phone call, Ambassador Sondland told me that
President Trump had told him that he wants President Zelenskyy to state publicly
that Ukraine will investigate Burisma and alleged Ukrainian interference in the
2016 US election. Ambassador Sondland also told me that he now recognized that he had made a mistake by earlier telling the Ukrainian officials to whom he spoke that a White House meeting with President Zelenskyy was dependent on a public announcement of investigations—in fact, Ambassador Sondland said, "everything" was dependent on such an announcement, including security assistance. He said that President Trump wanted President Zelenskyy "in a public box" by making a public statement about ordering such investigations.

On September 7, I had a conversation with Mr .Morrison in which he described a phone conversation earlier that day between Ambassador Sondland and President Trump. Mr . Morrison said that he had a "sinking feeling after learning about this conversation from Ambassador Sondland. According to Mr . Morrison, President Trump told Ambassador Sondland that he was not asking for a "quid pro quo." But President Trump did insist that President Zelenskyy go to a microphone and say he is opening investigations of Biden and 2016 election interference, and that President Zelenskyy should want to do this himself….

The following day, on September 8, Ambassador Sondland and I spoke on the phone. He said he had talked to President Trump, [and] that President Trump was adamant that President Zelenskyy, himself, had to "clear things up and do it in public." President Trump said it was not a "quid pro quo." Ambassador Sondland said that he had talked to President Zelenskyy and Mr. Yermak and told them that, although this was not a quid pro quo, if President Zelenskyy did not clear things up in public, we would be at a "stalemate." I understood "a stalemate" to  mean that Ukraine would not receive the much-needed military assistance….

On September 25 at the UN General Assembly session in New York City, President Trump met President Zelenskyy face-to -face. He also released the transcript of the July 25 call. The United States gave the Ukrainians virtually no notice of the release, and they were livid. Although this was the first time I had seen the details of President Trump's July 25 call with President Zelenskyy, in which he mentioned Vice President Biden, I had come to understand well before then that "investigations" was a term that Ambassadors Volker and Sondland used to mean matters related to the 2016 elections, and to investigations of Burisma and the Bidens.

Though I'm sure people will try, it will not be easy to say that Taylor is lying about all this.

My background and experience are nonpartisan and I have been honored to serve under every administration, Republican and Democratic, since 1985. For 50 years, I have served the country, starting as a cadet at West Point, then as an infantry officer for six years, including with the Division in Vietnam; then at the Department of Energy; then as a member of a Senate staff; then at NATO; then with the State Department here and abroad in Afghanistan, Iraq, Jerusalem, and Ukraine; andmore recently , as Executive Vice President of the nonpartisan United States Institute of Peace.

There are, to be sure, important differences between Dean's testimony and Taylor's.  Dean was a frequent visitor to the Oval Office, and could testify to face-to-face interactions with Nixon, whereas Taylor can only provide second-hand, hearsay testimony regarding the President's communications. Dean also gained credibility because his testimony revealed his own participation in illegal acts, including payments of hush money to the Watergate burglars and assistance in the preparation of Nixon's "enemies list," and these "admissions against interest" enhanced the perception that he was telling the truth.  Taylor's statement portrays him (Taylor) as a "good guy" throughout this episode—possibly, of course, because he was a good guy throughout this episode.

But Taylor's testimony is deeply damning for Pres. Trump, destroying the main pillar of his public defense: that there was no quid pro quo tying withheld military and security assistance to the investigation into alleged misbehavior by Trump's political opponents.  Trump's protestations to the contrary—"President Trump said it was not a 'quid pro quo'"—strike me as more than a little like someone stabbing you in the chest while saying "I'm not murdering you."

And the House Republicans' hysterical response yesterday—and I do mean that in both senses of the term—has "desperation" written all over it, and is evidence that the final stage of the unraveling is upon us.  "Let Us In!!—[to a secure facility, with our cellphones]"—"It is Unfair for the Democrats to interview these witnesses without us!! [even though our Republican colleagues on the relevant committees are, of course, allowed into the proceedings]."  There have been sillier moments in the US Capitol, but not many.

NEXT: Today in Supreme Court History: October 24, 1894

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  1. If the evidence is a damning as many folks say, it seems it should be about time for the House to end the Star Chamber, leak-what-we-like, investigation, and go to open hearings.

    1. I tend to agree – my understanding is that they’re planning to hold public hearings in a few weeks.
      But surely one can understand that there are national security issues in play here that might be inappropriate for public airing. And “Star Chamber” is a little over-the-top, don’t you think. There are Republicans in the room, after all, and Republican counsel can question witnesses. Star Chambers did not have these features.

      1. “Star Chamber” is not over the top at all. Let’s review. “Star Chamber: any tribunal, committee, or the like, which proceeds by arbitrary or unfair methods.”

        Let’s really look at what’s going on here. The entire hearing is held in secret. The transcripts are held secret and not released. And that all would be fine….except then “select” parts are “leaked” or released to the public.

        And that’s what really makes it an abuse of power. You have a pseudo-trial, where people are being “convicted” in the public eye, but those people aren’t given an opportunity to defend themselves. Any cross examination by Republicans on the committee is held secret, and can’t be released. Anything that looks damaging to the President is released into the public eye, and gone over repeatedly, like the opening statement. A House GOP member supposedly discredited Taylor’s entire testimony in about 90 seconds of questions. But do we see that part? Of course not. The details stay secret, and out of the public eye.

        As for national security….that is a weak excuse. Either the entire things should be kept secret under national security, or almost none of it. And if you actually want GOP members on board for any type of impeachment, fair and open hearings are critical. If you bias the hearings like this, you don’t really care about bipartisan consensus, you just want your partisan view out there. It’s an embarrasment, and just an insult to any sort of due process that is embedded in our American culture.

        1. If Democrats are able to leak, why aren’t Republicans? They’re just as much in the room.

          1. That’s where the fact that about 95% of the media are Democrats comes in.

            When Democrats leak, the story is what they leaked. When Republicans leak, the story is that they tried to leak, and what they leaked is buried.

            Also, in as much as the House majority IS Democratic, the risk of providing that majority with a plausible excuse to sanction members of the minority is very real.

            1. Ya’ll got FOX. Nothing gets buried, not even evident BS.

        2. A good part of the Benghazi investigation was run the same way.


    3. You mean the “Star Chamber” being conducted the exact same way the Republicans handled the Benghazi hearings?

      1. Were the Benghazi Hearings not held on TV? I remember Trey Gowdy pounding his gavel, but I might be wrong, my memory is weak on this, so please take this question in that light.

        1. Nope. They were handled be selective leaks from closed sessions made possible by the GOP changing the rules to what the Dems are operating under now.

    4. Disagree. Until subpoenas for documents, and for testimony from administration figures, have been complied with, the hearings should continue as they are.

      As for the Star Chamber allegation, does that apply alike to the many Democrats in the House who have been excluded from the hearings? The excluded Republicans are on no different basis.

      When the time does come, when the bulk of the evidence is in, and needs public exposure, Trump’s defenders will be long over their present inclination to demand public hearings.

      1. There have been no actual subpoenas issued, because a valid subpoena requires a judicial enforcement mechanism. There is none here. Instead of threatening prison or a fine, all these “subpoenas” threaten is to maybe be considered obstruction by the House, which essentially has no enforcement authority in this case. That is because Congress’ A1S1 Oversight Power is inapplicable here, since they involve the President executing his core A2 powers, in conducting foreign relations, and does not involve A1S1 Congressional legislation. And the House’s A1S2 Impeachment Power has not been invoked by a vote of the House. All you have to do to see this is to read the last paragraph of each of these fake subpoenas, and compare the wording there to actual court enforced subpoenas.

        1. He was holding back Congressional appropriated money, Congress certainly has some say in the matter.

          Impeachment power without investigatory power is a nullity.

          The contortions you folks are taking with the Constitution to immunize your guy are getting ridiculous.

        2. I hope you don’t advise your clients with that mouth.

    5. Keeping the testimony closed-door prevents friendly witnesses from testifying around the statements made by non-friendlies or wild cards. It also allows for actual questioning instead of posing for the camera.

  2. Ukrainegate? That’s a new one.

    John Dean was the John Dean of Watergate. William Taylor is the William Taylor of whatever this controversy is, but this controversy ain’t Watergate or even close to it, no matter how much wishful thinking there is on the part of the 4th Estate (to include Prof Post). For that matter, Watergate wasn’t even the “Watergate” it has been mythologized to be by those who lionize themselves for successfully convincing a president to resign.

    1. Wishful thinking?! That’s a good one. Here’s what I wish: I wish we had a President who didn’t dangle critical military assistance to an important US ally in exchange for a criminal investigation of the President’s political opponents. If you don’t think President Great-and-Unmatched Wisdom did that, you must think Taylor is lying – is that it? Or maybe you think the President did that, but you have an explanation for why that is acceptable conduct. If so, why don’t you tell us what that is?

      1. According to your logic, Democrats need only interview enough people until they find someone who says what they want him/her to say, despite all of the witnesses who said the opposite.

        1. (snarf) That happened long ago.
          And you’re full delusional on “all the witnesses who said the opposite.”

          Wait for it ….

          Donald Junior KNOWINGLY conspired with the Russian government, KNOWING the Russian government wanted to help his dad win … PROOF as released to the public by ….. wait for it …. DONALD JUNIOR! … dumb as any other Trumptard.

          Russian invitation to Donald Jr. “The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.

          “This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump – helped along by Aras and Emin”.
          Source: Donald Trump Jr’s own Twitter feed!!!

          LOCK THEM UP!

          Even crazier, Trumptards swallow the President’s gross stupidity of confusing a TRIAL with an INVESTIGATION!
          Do they REALLY “think” (lol) the police MUST go public with all the witnesses they investigate????

          COCKROACHES … Just as eagerly brainwashed as Berniebots and Elizabethbots.

          Left – Right = Zero

            1. (boldface in self-defense of free and NON-BIGOTED speech)
              mad-kulak DENIES ABSOLUTE AND UNDENIABLE PROOf …


              Facts and integrity are ALWAYS impartial … and ALWAYS above blind tribal whining

          1. The Russian collision hoax was settled months ago, Hihn. This is the new Ukraine quid pro quo hoax. Keep up.

            And you repeatedly sob and wail when anyone insults you, yet you do so to me, completely unprovoked. You’re a disgrace to your own principles.


              Presumably LIES about Mueller report which SAID it did not investigate collusion … a cowardly diversion … PLUS a cowardly EVASION diversion from the ISSUE.



              NOTICE: BOTH mad-casual AND Spinach Brain …. FAILED TO EVEN MENTION THE PROOF I POSTED. Guess why? (sneer)


              And you repeatedly sob and wail when anyone insults you, yet you do so to me, completely unprovoked. You’re a disgrace to your own principles.



              Right-Wing Authoritarians = Left-Wing Authoritarians.
              The militant self-righteous = moral hypocrisy

              (They all follow the same game plan, bellowing and braying, no substance. Because authoritarian)
              unprovoked. You’re a disgrace to your own principles.

              P.S this is a DISCUSSION FORUM, not your personal pulpit.
              “Mess with the bull; get the horns”

        2. Which witnesses have said that the Ukraine aid was not tied to investigating Burisma and the DNC server that was never in Ukraine? Right now, the people who said the two things were related are:

          President Trump
          Rudy Guliani
          Chief of Staff Mulvaney
          Ambassador Volker
          Bill Taylor

          1. You forgot Sondland.

      2. Thank you for responding (no seriously!).

        I propose a new political golden rule…only impeach an enemy for what you’d impeach a friend for.

        Professor Post, if you are going to make such lofty allusions to propriety, then every president since Kennedy should have been impeached; LBJ for wiretapping Goldwater’s campaign, George H.W. Bush for whatever he Casper Weinburger was going finger him on before he was pardoned, Reagan for Iran-Contra, Obama for the IRS targeting, interfering with the Israeli election, and sending guns to Mexican drug cartels to prompt calls for gun control, etc. Could you please send me a link to your previous writings showing intellectual consistency?

        As for the aid, you’re making a false dichotomy, i.e. that Taylor is lying or that Trump is lying, the reality is much more complex; to start, the Ukrainians didn’t even know the aid was withheld, and Taylor (for all his public service) is painting a naive picture of U.S./Ukrainian/Russian relations as some continuous unbroken chain (laughable).

        What I do think is acceptable, since you ask, is that Trump (who is no Marcus Aurelius but is wise enough) wants to get to the bottom of the Obama admin spying on his campaign, of which Ukraine and Biden were a part. I don’t think he should be impeached, yet at least, and for this, no matter how unfair it seems to you.

        1. to start, the Ukrainians didn’t even know the aid was withheld,

          Actually, they did know.

          1. Not when the phone call between Trump and their president took place, the one everyone is going on and on about, until a month later.

            1. LIAR!

              1. “Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky did not know President Trump had suspended U.S. aid to his country until a month after the two spoke on the phone on July 25.

                Two Ukrainian officials and one U.S. official told Buzzfeed News that Ukraine was not notified that Trump had suspended aid until late August. The Zelensky administration finally learned of the holdup from a “letter sent to us from our Washington Embassy.””

                1. (LOL) First they said it was suspended after the call.
                  When that was proven a LIE, it changed to Ukraine did not know at the call … DESPITE THE CALL “TRANSCRIPT “… then Mulvaney’s screwup …

                2. Two Ukrainian officials and one U.S. official told Buzzfeed News that Ukraine was not notified

                  This is obfuscatory word games. They weren’t formally notified, “Your funds are being held up.” But they knew that they hadn’t gotten the funds, and that they were being told by Trump’s personal consigliere that if they wanted Trump’s support they had to announce an investigation of Biden.

                  1. Now your just making stuff up for the movie playing in your head.

                    1. Um, every word I wrote is an undisputed matter of the public record.

            2. Precisely. The President told the Ukrainians he wanted a favor on July 25th. Then his staff communicates what is at stake. That’s exactly how a quid pro quo works.

              1. Trump mentions them looking into it, they say nothing, then you have no evidence of communication for “what’s at stake”. That’s that whole “gangster government meme” that played itself out in the democrat talking points a few weeks back. It really doesn’t work.

                You want to impeach on what you think is a “won’t someone rid me of this meddlesome priest” moment where you can’t even point to that moment.

                1. “…then you have no evidence of communication for “what’s at stake”.”

                  I read the Bill Taylor opening statement. That constitutes more than “no evidence” of withholding premised on investigation of Burisma and the imagined 2016 Ukrainian interference.

                  “You want to impeach on what you think is a “won’t someone rid me of this meddlesome priest” moment where you can’t even point to that moment.”

                  What game are you playing? The thing we think is impeachable is the President conditioning aid to Ukraine on either (in order of potential heinousness) (1) manufacturing dirt on his political opponent or (2) announcing publicly (“public box”) the appearance of impropriety to damage his political opponent’s chances of winning the 2020 election. It’s pretty straight forward. You may not yet agree that the allegations have been proven. But why are you pretending that you don’t understand the allegations?

                  You’re either really that naive or you think we’re stupid enough to believe that you’re sincere. Out of charity I’ll assume the latter.

                  1. I understand the allegations perfectly, they just aren’t proven, but that’s not what you were getting at because you were “when did you stop beating your wife” commenting that there were already known facts showing the allegation to be true.

                    1. Here are the known facts that are not currently disputed: The President asked Ukraine for a favor. The President directed that some aid authorized to Ukraine be withheld, at least temporarily. The President wanted Ukraine to open (or reopen) the investigation into Burisma, and an alleged 2016 election interference by the Ukraine. The President wanted Ukrainian officials to discuss both matters with AG Barr and his personal counsel Rudy Guliani. And the President put on hold a meeting at the White House between the President and Zelenskyy pending an announcement by the latter that he would open the aforementioned investigations.

                    2. >And the President put on hold a meeting at the White House between
                      >the President and Zelenskyy pending an announcement by the latter
                      >that he would open the aforementioned investigations.

                      That it was put on hold pending the announcement is an unproved allegation based on hearsay and selective interpretation.

                    3. @mad_kalak,

                      “That it was put on hold pending the announcement is an unproved allegation based on hearsay and selective interpretation.”

                      I’m not aware of a denial from the White House of this specific allegation. If you have one, I’ll revise. My current understanding is that this allegation is not currently disputed. Sondland said it, Guliani has said it, who has said it didn’t happen?

                  2. Taylor’s opening statement amounts to buthurt over the fact that the President, justifiably, doesn’t trust career employees in the State department, and is working around them on issues where the thinks they’d sabotage his efforts.

                    But he’s justified in not trusting them, his isn’t the only administration to work around career diplomats, and it is in fact perfectly legal for him to use private envoys.

                    1. Uh, it makes charges well beyond Trump not using the usual chain of command.

                      Though using your personal lawyer to do foreign policy is a pretty bad idea, even when you posit the crazy scenario of many Republican political appointees sabotaging the President’s foreign policy.

                      Did you even read it, or are you going straight to the ad-hom?

                    2. We totally agree he’s not justified in trusting them. When the President engages in impeachable conduct, he should only trust people who would forgive his impeachable conduct. He has to however, since he has no institutional control and is incapable of not acting like an insane, impeachable person. And the hacks who would otherwise forgive impeachable conduct, still have to rely on the career department employees to get things done, since running a regional bank and giving $1M to the President’s campaign wouldn’t ordinarily qualify somebody to handle all foreign affairs in Europe.

                      I think it’s fairly apparent what Taylor was butthurt about, namely the President’s attempt to tie aid to Ukraine to investigations into Burisma and the imagined 2016 Ukraine election interference.

            3. About a week or so later, m_k, while Giuliani was urging them to announce an investigation, and they were being told that the holdup was not a bureaucratic delay, but that they should talk to Mick “I never said what I said” Mulvaney about getting it released.

              So the point is that there was plenty of communication beyond the phone call.

              1. I listened to the Mulvaney statement and it doesn’t say what you think it said.

                1. He said it was a quid pro quo, dude.

                2. Mulvaney said “we held up the money” because of “the corruption related to the DNC server” (whatever the President and Mulvaney think that means).

                3. Yeah, OK. whatever.

                  The point is the Ukrainians knew about the holdup in early August, maybe a week or two after the call. So they get the call, and then get pressure from Giuliani and the message Giuliani to talk to Mulvaney.

            4. By the logic you and the other right wing nutters are expressing on this, if I approach you on the street, ask you for $1million that at the time you have no reason to give me, then later get home to find your children kidnapped, you’d be forced to conclude my asking for the $1m had nothing to do with your kidnapped children since you only found out later that’s why I was asking.

              1. Yeah, except for the kidnapping part.

          2. Not this shit again. Suspecting something and knowing it are not the same thing.

        2. Although we have to acknowledge that the similarities to John Dean are truly uncanny. I mean who could forget Dean’s dramatic secret watergate testimony in the Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility? Is David Post serious? A self-serving opening statement dutifully leaked is somehow convincing.? Based on all the second (or maybe third?) hand knowledge and objectively biased opinion? What a confused jumble of garbage. It’s no wonder that little Schiff is hiding transcripts.

        3. “Obama for the IRS targeting” – if there’d been evidence that Obama ordered it, yes; but there hasn’t been:'s_report

          1. That was, in fact, a classic “will nobody rid me of this turbulent priest?” moment, because Obama HAD publicly “joked” about siccing the IRS on his political enemies.

            But, fine, if you don’t like that as a basis for impeachment, Operation Choke Point is available. And there’s no question at all that Obama directly ordered shipping Iraq well over a billion dollars in unmarked bills, structuring the transaction to violate reporting requirements.

            The point remains, by the proposed standard, every President in my lifetime should have been impeached.

            1. If Obama joked about that and it counts, what about Trump and all his hilarous requests for foreign governments to sic illegal hackers on his opponents.

              But look at where this is. You need to speculate and make tenuous connections and single examples without any witnesses to make Obama into the villain that Trump’s administration has admitted he is.

              Obama + partisan paranoia = Trump, as he’s admitted he is.

              1. Obama’s hot mic statement to Medvedev is worse. He said that he was going to lie to the American people about his intentions wrt Russia to help get elected but that after the election he would be able to do what he said he wouldn’t do before.

                1. That’s nowhere near what he did. He said negotiations after the election would be easier for him.

                  That is not a shocker.

                  1. The subject was giving up missile defense. So it was something that he had promised not to do in the run up to the election but fully intended to do afterward. Not a trivial thing.

      3. “in exchange for a criminal investigation of the President’s political opponents.”

        See, there’s the problem. You just assume, based on god only knows what reason, that this is both the sole and primary reason for such an investigation. As opposed to, you know, investigating the ever-expanding list of people who were involved in doing the same exact thing to candidate Trump.

        Are we supposed to defer any investigations into possible corruption of current peoples seeking election? How does this make any sense?

        1. “…based on god only knows what reason, that this is both the sole and primary reason for such an investigation.”

          You can’t think of any reasons why people might doubt the purest motives of real estate mogul turned President Donald Trump? Nothing jumps out at you?

          1. I can think of reasons in the sense that there are people who doubt him and question every word and breath he utters, but there are no reasons to actually doubt him, especially not in this case. As Brent said, it’s just circular reasoning and an echo chamber.

            1. “…but there are no reasons to actually doubt him, especially not in this case.”

              You mean separate and apart from his lifetime of compulsively lying?

              1. And this is why TDS exists as a concept. Go ahead and name some of the lies and I’ll tell you how they weren’t lies.

                This is why we constantly complain about media bias. You keep hearing these regurgitated assertions from every Democrat source and then you combine that with the fact that Trump is no saint and presume he must be doing something wrong. You’re quite literally prejudiced against him.

                Maybe one day this will change, but you will eventually have to admit that:
                1. Trump made stronger arguments
                2. His supporters actually do share his political values
                3. His political values have merit and are nothing new

                We wouldn’t be in that different of a position today if you replaced Trump with Ross Perot, yet for some reason we’re all in denial because Trump isn’t meek like Romney. Funny how every single person opposed to him fundamentally wants anyone right of center to fall in line, which just so happens to be a losing strategy for us politically.

                1. “You’re quite literally prejudiced against him.”

                  I am prejudiced against compulsive liars.

                  “Go ahead and name some of the lies…”

                  That the noise from windmills, according to “some people” causes cancer, that no Republican has won Wisconsin in a presidential election since Eisenhower. Some of them are really stupid lies, because he references things that are easily checkable. This week he had the idiotic statement that “nobody really knew who [Osama bin Laden] was. But he was nasty. He was saying really nasty things about our country and what he wants to do to it. And Iw rote in the book [in] 2000 — two years before the World Trade Center came down — I talked to you about Osama bin Laden, you better take him out. I said he’s going to crawl under a rock. You better take him out. And now people are seeing that, they’re saying, “You know, Trump predicted Osama bin Laden” – which actually is true. And two years later, a year and a half later he knocked down the World Trade Center.”

                  I’ll give the President the benefit of the doubt on the “predicted Osama bin Laden” bit (which is a lie, but more of a boastful, overstatement type lie rather than his normal brazen falsehood), but the “nobody really knew who” bin Laden was in 2000 is stupid.

                  Maybe you believe Donald Trump placed a $1M bet on Evander Holyfield 20:1 over Tyson. I don’t. But then again I just have this weird skepticism about the sort of person who would pretend to be people he wasn’t to convince reporters that he’s worth more than he is. Or do you think John Barron/Baron and John Miller are real people? Do you think the purported secretary Carolin Gallego, even exists, much less wrote a letter stating “I do not believe any man in America gets more calls from women wanting to see him, meet him, or go out with him. The most beautiful women, the most successful women–all women love Donald Trump”?

                  Was Donald Trump’s father born in Germany, New Jersey, or the Bronx? Was his grandfather from Germany or Sweden?

        2. You just assume, based on god only knows what reason, that this is both the sole and primary reason for such an investigation.

          No. We conclude it. Based on reasons known to any reasonably intelligent person.

          As opposed to, you know, investigating the ever-expanding list of people who were involved in doing the same exact thing to candidate Trump.

          I’m pretty sure that Burisma was not doing anything to candidate Trump.

          1. Yes, you use your belief that Trump is corrupt as a basis for interpreting everything that happens as proof of Trump being corrupt. And thus your belief is justified, there’s all that proof!

            It’s circular reasoning, except that it’s more in the nature of circular emoting, actually.

            1. What is a reasonable explanation for why the President would demand a public announcement that the Ukrainian government is investigating a Ukrainian company for potential violations of Ukrainian law in order to receive US aid? How are the United States’ national foreign interests advanced by such a condition in a way that doesn’t include the President’s personal self-interests?

              1. A public announcement puts involved parties on the hot seat. Same shit Ds try to do with “the walls are closing in” and “tick tock Drumpf.”

                While the role of Hunter Biden and Burisma is wholly unrelated to the Clintons, DNC and certain Ukrainian officials, the mechanism by which multiple individuals within the previous Obama admin were able to act corruptly regarding Ukrainian affairs is troubling and worthy of investigation.

            2. Yes, you use your belief that Trump is corrupt

              Again, you confuse “beliefs” for conclusions.

              1. Your conclusion is still a belief. It’s an opinion based on facts that are often massaged or stringed together on flimsy logic.

          2. You’re correct that Burisma wasn’t directly involved, but if you can’t see far ahead enough to understand why Trump wants an investigation made public, then you’re really not as perceptive as you might think.

            1. Um, we all know why Trump wanted the “investigation” made public.

              1. No, we really don’t.

                If the Bidens were choir boys maybe you would have a point, but there were already prior investigations as well as past fraud convictions of Hunter’s colleagues.

                1. No, we really don’t.

                  Uh, just one post ago you said that “if you can’t see far ahead enough to understand why Trump wants an investigation made public, then you’re really not as perceptive as you might think.”

                  Now you’re saying that you don’t know.

        3. “Are we supposed to defer any investigations into possible corruption of current peoples seeking election” — no, but any investigations must be started by non-political authorities, not by the candidates’ political opponents in power.

          1. So nobody because there’s no such thing as a non-political investigation of someone currently seeking office.

      4. Ukraine an important US ally? Since when?

        1. Since never.

          Barely a frend.

        2. Since they shared a border with Russia but ceased to be governed by them? #EnemyofmyEnemy

      5. I wish we had a President who didn’t dangle critical military assistance to an important US ally in exchange for a criminal investigation of the President’s political opponents.

        He didn’t! That’s the charitable interpretation. The far more realistic interpretation is that he dangled critical military (and diplomatic) assistance to a US ally in exchange for them making stuff up about his political opponents.

      6. Professor Post….As an American, I have no issue whatsoever POTUS Trump ‘dangling’ aid to Ukraine as a condition of looking into the events of the 2016 election. My thought is that every American wants to know with absolute certainty what happened in 2015-16 lead-up wrt our election. How is this wrong?

        1. The 2016 Ukraine-DNC-server conspiracy may have been designed specifically to embarrass the President. He thinks Ukraine has the DNC server because a founder of the company that reviewed the DNC server copy for the FBI is a Russian-born American who the President thinks has something to do with Ukraine. The fact that the President thinks Ukraine ever had the DNC server is sufficiently embarrassing to our great country to warrant an impeachment alone.

          Let’s set it aside. The President’s explanations for withholding aid have not been consistent. First it was to combat corruption. That didn’t pass the smell test, so he said it was actually intended to force Europeans to give more aid (which is stupid since the Europeans don’t condition their aid on how much we give).

          Worse, the President’s explanations for withholding make no sense. Ukraine is horribly corrupt, so we must withhold aid from them until they–a corrupt country–agrees to investigate corruption? Why would the President rely on an investigation by an entity that he just told you was corrupt? It would be like President Trump asking the Russians to investigate their own interference in the 2016 election. If the President believed that Ukraine rigged the 2016 election against him, why the fuck would he ask them to investigate? What he wants is a confession (not investigation) at best, at worst he’s asking a foreign country to make things up.

          We don’t have to have Ukraine investigate its own corruption. We investigated Russian interference in our elections without the assistance of the Russians. In fact if you wanted to investigate Ukraine for its own interference in our elections, the last thing you would do is demand they begin the investigation, since that tips off the very people you’re investigating.

          1. He thinks Ukraine has the DNC server because a founder of the company that reviewed the DNC server copy for the FBI is a Russian-born American who the President thinks has something to do with Ukraine. The fact that the President thinks Ukraine ever had the DNC server is sufficiently embarrassing to our great country to warrant an impeachment alone.

            Why do you keep saying that Crowdstrike reviewed the DNC server for the FBI? They were hired by the DNC and the FBI was not allowed the see any physical evidence even after repeatedly requesting to be able to do so. What legitimate reasons would the DNC have for refusing access to the FBI? The only reason I can think of is that Crowdstrike would give them the answer they were looking for and the FBI probably not.

            1. Why do you keep saying that Crowdstrike reviewed the DNC server for the FBI? They were hired by the DNC and the FBI was not allowed the see any physical evidence even after repeatedly requesting to be able to do so. What legitimate reasons would the DNC have for refusing access to the FBI?

              You’re embarrassing yourself by repeating talking points about topics you don’t understand.

              If a dead body is found with a knife in it, yes, law enforcement has to physically examine the knife for evidence. They have to handle the knife itself to check for fingerprints, etc. But that’s not the way computers work. Investigators don’t examine the computer at all. They examine an image of the drive. They examine copies of the appropriate logs. There’s no “physical evidence” for the FBI to review.

              1. By way of analogy, let’s assume there’s a bank robbery. Do the police confiscate the bank’s security video system to physically examine it? Or does the bank provide a copy of the security video to the police?

                1. Where do you think this “image of the drive” exists? Obviously there were multiple sources where the information resided, some in the cloud. So what? The FBI did not have access to anything other than a report from Crowdstrike. They did not receive an image or as you sometimes put it a “copy.” They received a report, probably written on something like paper.

                  1. The image of the drive now exists at the FBI offices, since, per the Mueller Report, the FBI received both system images and traffic logs of the DNC servers. See p. 40 at footnote 135.

                    But if you understand that the DNC server exists “in the cloud”, why do you think the President believes it is in Ukraine? Do you have any theory as to why he’s so fucking dumb?

                    1. As to your first point at the relevant time frame we were discussing the FBI did not have system images and traffic logs, they had a summary report from Crowdstrike. Comey testified that the FBI asked to review said images and logs but were refused.

                      As to Trump not understanding what a server is Trump is old and old people sometimes use antiquated terms for things that have evolved. (Don’t ask me how I know this.) When he says that he thinks they have the server maybe he means a hard drive copy of the files. Whoever stole the files had or has them on a piece of hardware, probably a thumb drive as it’s only 70 gigs or so and 2 TB thumb drives are now common. I assume if he wants the files from the Ukrainians he believes that what is now in the FBI’s possession is incomplete, sanitized.

                    2. The problem with this image argument is that from a technological perspective, what needs to be examined is not something that you could solely detect from a drive image. We know this from the Guccifer leak back in 2016. This is an ancient story and not new news. The up speeds were far too high to eliminate the possibility that this wasn’t be a remote hack. That alone is no guarantee that someone was physically present at the server, but it is cause for further investigation. Does Ukraine actually have the literal server? Probably not. Is CrowdStrike suspicious? Absolutely yes. Is their government suspicious? Ditto on that. Is it suspicious that our VP basically handwaived a federal prosecutor away? Yes. Is it suspicious that Democrat media is unified in calling any suspicion of these parties a debunked conspiracy theory? Yes.

                    3. But if you understand that the DNC server exists “in the cloud”, why do you think the President believes it is in Ukraine? Do you have any theory as to why he’s so fucking dumb?

                      Dropped on his head as a child?

                      The thing about Trump’s theory is that it’s so fucking dumb — to use your phrase — on multiple levels. It misunderstands the technology, but as I’ve pointed out more than once it also is completely illogical. If there really were a server out there that could crack the case wide open, why the hell would it be in Ukraine? Why wouldn’t it be at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, so to speak? Why would they be preserving evidence of their own malfeasance?

                    4. Comey testified that the FBI asked to review said images and logs but were refused.

                      No, he didn’t.

                2. Let’s try this analogy: suppose there is a murder at someone’s house and the police come to investigate. They are met by the owner who says “don’t bother I have already had a PI here to investigate and he will send you a report, on paper.”

            2. “What legitimate reasons would the DNC have for refusing access to the FBI?”

              If the FBI has legitimate reasons to get the DNC’s server, it can go get them today. The server isn’t in Ukraine. They can ask a court for access to the server right now, in America.

              1. There is no server now, at least not the one that was hacked. All sixteen nodes were decommissioned. All that now exists is an image of something that was taken by Crowdstrike.

        2. Finally, if you “[a]s an American” want POTUS to dangle “aid to Ukraine as a condition of looking into the events of the 2016 election”, why are you not complaining about the President’s betrayal? He released the aid. Without getting an investigation. Is no longer serious about knowing “with absolute certainty what happened in 2015-16”?

          1. NtoJ….I had a pretty simple and straight-forward question. It was all about the 2016 election. And my question to Professor Post was: How is it wrong for POTUS Trump to ask Ukraine to investigate their involvement in the 2016 election and condition our aid on it?

            I would think as an American, we absolutely want to know that answer, period. Tell us WTF you did Ukraine, back in the 2016 election, or you get bupkis.

            It is a narrow question, deliberately. You can answer it if you like.

            1. I’ve already answered you. It would be stupid to ask the country you think interfered in an election to investigate that interference. First because you wouldn’t want to rely on the people you are investigating to give you honest information. Second the request would tip the subject off to the fact that you are investigating them for their own malfeasance. If anybody suspected that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election (which no one outside of the White House does), we wouldn’t have given the aid in the first place. But I’ll give the President the benefit of the doubt. If he sincerely believed that Ukraine interfered with the 2016 election, requesting them to investigate was stupid. He thinks Ukraine rigged the election against him. Again, he’s asking not for an investigation, but either (1) a confession or (2) a lie.

              1. NtoJ…I think your premise is wrong [you wouldn’t want to rely on the people you are investigating to give you honest information], and ignores the context of Ukraine politics [new leadership, who have a vested interest of not irritating the POTUS and making sure they ‘step on’ the old regime they just beat in elections]. To me, it is perfectly fine for POTUS Trump to lean as hard as he wants on any country wanting our assistance, to find out just exactly what happened in 2016. We have an obligation to air it all out no matter what it is. If anything, for future generations of Americans who will read and wonder about the crazy stuff happening in our time.

                The other stuff from the call seems kind of squishy, to be honest. Meaning, it ain’t quite the smoking gun that the media played it up to be. The media coverage I have read leads me to believe the degree of ‘guilt’ is really a matter of perspective and interpretation.

              2. It’s not stupid because,

                1. There’s been a change of administration in Ukraine.

                2. There was a change of administration in the US.

                So the old government in Ukraine aided the then government in the US in making up dirt about an opposition candidate. And now the new government in Ukraine, rather concerned about the opposition candidate having won, and being pissed about it, is trying to make nice.

      7. And I wish the Democrat House leadership would respect House Rules and precedent and conduct themselves openly and honestly instead of hiding in their little Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility.

        1. MKE knows as much about House Rules and precedent as he does about every other subject he posts about, which is to say nothing that he hasn’t seen in Donald Trump’s twitter feed.

      8. David – read the transcript of the call.

    2. Good god, I’ve seen it all- those defending the crook Nixon.

      1. Are you kidding? We had an active thread here yesterday full of Stalin apologists.

        Nixon was a crook, and had he been a charismatic one, he’d have gotten away with it too. That make you happy?

        1. Stalin apologists? Sorry, but your claim is nuts.

          1. Did you read the thread?

            1. mad_kulak is correct
              The others suffer severe denial.

            2. Saying Hitler was worse than Stalin is not apologizing for Stalin.

              1. Sure, but that’s not what happened, and you were the worst offender. Some nerve.

                1. Nope. And F you for thinking I would be okay Stalin

                  1. ….and f*ck you too for being so silly that you think that Marxism had nothing to do with Stalin, which is the same Stalin apologetics I was referring too.

      2. It was 50 years ago. He’s dead. You can stop being obsessed any time.

    3. “Professor”

      1. Bigoted Mini-Me is back in town — did I miss the notice of a birthers reunion?

        1. Do yourself a favor, and look up the word “irony” in the dictionary.

          And before you bother to type it, let me help you…”yadda yadda, open wider, my betters are replacing me…”

          *hint (only if they stop aborting their offspring or you can keep importing more).

    4. Ukrainegate? Nah. History is going to remember this one as the Ukrainian Candidate incident.

  3. Right, so when do we get to see the full transcript of Taylor’s remarks? I mean, why only leak the opening statement? Could it possibly be because the actual testimony was not nearly as damning? Also, at any point during his testimony did he disclose his contact with a Dem politician who visited him in Ukraine prior to his deciding to come forward? Inquiring minds want to know.

    1. $50 says we see a transcript of Taylor’s testimony (or he testifies a second time, in public) before we see a transcript of the July 25th phone call. You in?

      1. ^^^THIS!!!!!

      2. You mean like the one we already have? Or do you mean one directly transcribed from a recording which the US will never admit to having even if we do given that the call was one between heads of state?

      3. Oh, and I just saw this.
        Amazingly, the hold that per Taylor’s opening statement didn’t leak until August 29th managed to do so all of 4 days after a member of Pencil Neck’s staff met with the illustrious Taylor. These fucking clowns can’t even manage to conspire with even a smidgen of plausible deniability.

    2. Let’s see the actual transcript of the phone calls then too, yes?

      Because if we’re calling into question the full transcript, perhaps we should get to the root of the matter that brought us all here in the first place.

        Read the Constitution, if and when you find the time.

        1. Then what is the point of releasing his opening statement to public review. Clearly, it is to get public opinion on their side, thereby putting pressure on Trump to resign outright.

          Why do you support typical political scumbaggery?

          1. You think anyone thinks Trump will resign?

            1. Oh yea, they hit that heroin pretty hard during the Russia Collusion investigation. Hard to come down off of, so “Ukrainegate” is a sort of methadone.

    3. Come on! Taylor “had a sinking feeling”. You want more evidence than that?

    4. Because Taylor is full of it. He has ties to Burisma, through the Atlantic Council, which is how the whole fake dossier got started.
      It’s a race to impeach and remove before indictments start flying.

      1. He has ties to Burisma, through the Atlantic Council, which is how the whole fake dossier got started.

        Are you on drugs?

        1. Only explanation. The opioid crisis causes untold damage.

  4. Those left to defend Trump and his corrupt cabal are either Russians or unAmerican POSs.

    There never needed to be any quid pro quo by the way- solicitation of foreign interference in our elections alone is enough. Stop moving the goalposts.

    1. Yes, of course, anyone who defends Trump is a POS. That’s convince folks on the fence to your side.

      1. mad_kalak, this event crossed the POS event horizon with Taylor’s testimony. Trump defense prior to that can be absolved. Not anymore.

        1. (that’s a matter of your opinion). I stand by the assertion, you’ll never win any fence sitters calling them a POS, not to mention the other side.

          1. We’ll never win your side no matter what Trump does, up to and including the famous shooting. You are utterly in thrall to him, no matter what.

            1. Me? In thrall? I’m only in awe of Trump’s power to enrage about 40% of the electorate by spitting it hot.

              That said, I was, and am, tepid on Trump, as evidenced by not voting for him in the primary. But as I said previously, the more you guys attack him, rather than just trying to win in 2020 like good citizens should, the more I want to see him win.

              1. Or, we could do both.
                – investigate the President for crimes he committed in office
                – and plan on beating him at the polls
                – (and also investigate him for crimes he committed before he was in office.)

                Unless you’re arguing that if he committed crimes, he should be forgiven them for some reason?

                1. He gave you the reason. Trump enrages the libs.

          2. What if we called them human scum? Is that okay?

        2. Huh, interesting. Hey everyone, Lathrop is apparently a sock puppet account for a Dem sitting member of the House Intel committee.

          1. Not saying you aren’t right, but how did you figure it out?

            1. Well, Schiff for brains, it’s either that or you’re claiming to be clairvoyant seeing as those are the only people who got to hear Taylor’s testimony. I suppose there’s an even lesser chance of you being a Republican member of the House Intel committee. However given your posting history that last goes in the category of fucking unlikely.

    2. Did you complain when Obama tried to interfere in Canadian elections or when he meddled in Brexit? Or when pretty much every president since before WW1 did the same in one way or another?

      If not, please explain why you’re not a self-confessed hypocrite. Personally, I don’t like Trump but I’m getting really tired of the endless outrage over things that every president since Woodrow Wilson has done but are suddenly evil because Trump.

      1. I’m getting really tired of the endless outrage over things that every president since Woodrow Wilson has done but are suddenly evil because Trump.
        What are you talking about? Every president since Wilson has made military assistance to an ally contingent on instigation of a foreign criminal investigation of his political opponents? That is nonsense. Please provide me with a single prior instance of such conduct.

        1. Bathhouse Barry did it, Klintoon did it.

          1. Took me a second to see the lower case “l”.

            1. That is a capital “I” eye not a lowercase “l” ell.

              Copy the name and paste in an editor with a distinctive font selected. The “e” in Rev is an alternate character, not a standard lowercase “e”.

              The lowercase-ell Rev. Arthur l. Kirkland has yet to show.

              1. Well, I stand corrected.

          2. YAAAY! “Crooked” Rev is back.

            Where you been?

            Lemme guess…

            Sex change?
            Got out of prison?
            Tried the Ted Kaczynski lifestyle?
            Not pay your cable bill?

            1. Maybe they re the same person, like Two-Face, and we never know who’ll show up after the coin toss….the socialist weenie who can’t wait for the demographic victory from the womb of the illegal border crosser (with constant references to unbidden penetration of the bodies of native citizens), or this guy, who’s at least funny in his own way, but shall we say, a bit to hearty in condemnation of progressivism & socialism.

              1. Open wider, bigot. Guys like me aren’t done shoving progress (and reason, education, science, tolerance, and modernity) down your whining conservative throat . . . and if you aren’t nicer, we might decide to start positioning that progress sideways.

                Whimpering clingers are among my favorite culture war casualties.

                1. Man, you are the very epitome of the NPC meme.

                  1. Except the NPC meme is funny. He’s too boring to even read his posts.

                    A long time ago I read a few of them. I noticed they were all the same pointless name-calling. Now I just skip over them.

        2. That demand to exactly match the current allegations is as bad as the Supreme Court’s approach to qualified immunity. You’re just reversing the direction. In either direction, it’s ethically indefensible and intellectually dishonest.

          The issue is interference in the elections of a sovereign entity. If it’s bad for the Ukrainians or Russians to do it to us, then it’s bad for us to do it to others. Neither you nor wearingit have demonstrated any consistency in your outrage.

          1. Rossami, one issue is going to be bribery—open and shut. As any number of public spirited federal prosecutors will be explaining on television.

        3. When did Hunter Biden become a political opponent?

          It’s quite revealing how dishonest people are when they decide to skip the step between Hunter and Joe so blithely.

          1. The deliverable Trump wanted was the announcement of an investigation of Hunter Biden.

            Pretty clear what the purpose of that was.

            1. “The deliverable Trump wanted was the announcement of an investigation of Hunter Biden”

              I don’t think it’s quibbling to disagree. Read the call quasi-transcript and you see Hunter’s name arise only briefly at the beginning of the topic, and then just to introduce the subject of the Shokin firing.

              Everything else in Trump’s rant concerned the firing & the firing alone, because the signaled target was always Joe Biden. If there was real political mileage to be gained from children leaching off their daddy’s name we’d be 24/7 on Ivanka and Don Jr. How long did the Chinese Trademarks scandelette last? Maybe two days at most. The target was always Joe.

              Of course that story’s a total lie, but what do you expect? We’re so used to Trump lying to the American, it shouldn’t surprise anyone he asked (extorted) a foreign leader to lie for him.

              1. Taylor indicated it was about going on mic.

                There’s other reporting to that effect as well.

              2. ” How long did the Chinese Trademarks scandelette last? Maybe two days at most. ”

                Mainly because China released those trademarks at the same time they cut lose a load of trademarks. It wasn’t Trump specific, it was a wholesale change in policy.

              3. “The target was always Joe.”

                Last week you were going on about how ridiculous it was to investigate Hunter because no oligarch would sit around and conspire with a dope like Hunter. So at least now you understand that it is all about Joe and that’s as it should be.

      2. (1) Obama is a private citizen now (2) Trudeau didn’t use his official powers (unavailable to Trudeau’s opponents) to pressure Obama to interfere.

    3. There never needed to be any quid pro quo by the way-

      That was Trump’s crazy bullshit, in the political arena.

      Like his INSANITY that he has some right to know the names and testimony of witnesses …. BEFORE A TRIAL! (OMFG)
      Not that he’s a punitive, vindictive …. THUG … who says THE CONSTITUTION IS PHONY …. “Voters KNEW I was a bully and a despot, when they elected me!”

      It’s over. Trump is now helpless, as his puny ego now drives his self-impeachment. And he gets worse by the day.

  5. There is no principle in politics anymore, the only relevant issue is whose ox is getting goared. If it’s one of ‘them’ people are happy as a clam, but if it’s one of ‘us’ then it’s time to unleash the righteous indignation…

    1. I agree. I think Trump, perhaps, should be impeached if it is proven beyond a doubt that there was a quid pro quo, but in all fairness, I recall the comments section on the VC (when it was on the WAPO) was 180 degrees in reversal when the lefties here were saying that unless Obama was proven with a smoking gun to have ordered the IRS to target his opponents, he shouldn’t be impeached, and the conservatives were saying he should be. One of the contributors even wrote a book on why Obama should be impeached, mirroring Post’s diatribes.

      I’m at least cognizant of my own human failings to admit I was for impeachment then, but I’m not now, but also that I shouldn’t have been for impeachment then either.

      1. Ummm, was Obama CRAZY enough to release the proof?

        Did Obama’s own son release PROOF that he knowingly conspired with Russia, fior dirt on Hillary?

        1. Obama asked for a quid pro quo that benefitted only him, ON HOT MIC, directly to Medvedev….

          1. How does that benefit only him?

            Saying this isn’t the best time to negotiate because there’s an election on wasn’t about helping Obama in the election.

      2. Except you have the IRS thing pretty wrong on the facts anyhow.

  6. “highly irregular”
    “increasingly concerned”

    The humanity. We should investigate possible wrongdoing in the 2020 election cycle. It may involve foreign participation. We should not investigate possible wrongdoing in the 2016 election as it pertains to the Ukraine and Democrats. However, I am so glad that we investigated possible wrongdoing in the 2016 election as it pertains to Russians, Ukrainians, and Republicans.

    Sarcasm aside, do we have some possible crimes that have been committed? It makes the Watergate analogy worthwhile. The “abuse of power” thing isn’t doing it for me yet.

    1. 18 USC Section 601(a)(2) comes to mind.

      1. Yes.
        By making all things political, exercising presidential power becomes a crime. If I were of a mind to engage in shenanigans with a foreign government then I would certainly run from President as a Democrat so as to make myself immune from investigation.
        Tell me please, what others actions are off limits to a sitting President simply because there might be a benefit to an election campaign? Are ribbon cuttings off limits now? How about broadcasting the signing of new legislation? How about enforcing joint law enforcement treaties?

        1. If President Trump agreed with you, why would he bother telling people that this is about corruption investigations and getting other countries to kick in? Why make Mulvaney walk back his comments? If you think this is all fair game, why do disagree with President Trump?

  7. Professor Post, do court proceedings normally only include opening statements? Seems odd for a lawyer to put so much stock in one, without hearing any cross examination.

    1. Tell us, spinach, do you think the Republicans on the committees would never ever leak information about the hearings, no matter what? Are they saints?

      I doubt it myself. If their questioning of Taylor had revealed serious flaws or errors in his statement we would certainly have heard about that by now.

      Instead we have raving about a Star Chamber, and a thuggish physical attack on the hearings led by that asshole Matt Gaetz.

      1. That’s a nice non sequitur that doesn’t at all address my question.

        1. Ok. These are committee hearings, not a court proceeding, so your question is irrelevant and idiotic.

          The Trumpist arguments really are getting desperate.

    2. Of course court proceedings involve more than just an opening statement by one side. But this is not – yet – a court proceeding. A pretty credible guy has issued a sworn statement, under oath – something, incidentally, that Trump has never done in connection with any of this. I’m entitled to put substantial “stock” in that. There might be another side to the story, or Taylor’s story could unravel that, under cross examination; I would not suggest otherwise. But I haven’t heard anything to suggest that has or will happen; instead, we get the Republicans screaming “Let Us In!” and the like, a distraction that any third-grader could see behind. If they can respond on the merits, let them; but if I want to go to the circus, I’ll buy a ticket to the circus, thank you.

      1. That’s politics though, professor, is it not? Do you not think it’s dirty pool for the Democrats that run this to only release the information that they believe will help their case? Do you really believe that the Democrats want to hand over control of this whole farce to the Senate, where it will promptly die?

        1. First of all, it’s not a farce; it is an investigation into a substantial abuse of presidential power that has real implications for the foreign policy of the United States.
          Second, I don’t believe this is a case of the Democrats “releasing information they believe will help their case.” My understanding is that Taylor made his opening statement available to the press.
          Third, sure: Democrats (and Republicans) often leak information that is helpful to their positions. That’s not the story here, and is being used as a smokescreen.
          Fourth, the Democrats shouldn’t hand this over to the Senate until they have completed the investigation – I’ve got no problem with that, nor should you. It will not “promptly die”; even McConnell accepts the fact that the Senate is constitutionally required to “try the Impeachment” at a proceeding presided over by the Chief Justice. I believe that the Senate will do its constitutional duty and have a real trial, as they have done in the past, and that the Senators will weigh the evidence and reach a judgment. If they don’t, shame on them.

          1. Fair enough, and thank you for your responses.

            1. Does he preside in the same way that a judge does in a trial? iow can he rule on something like a motion to dismiss or would any such motion have to be put to a vote? It’s an honest question, I have no idea how it works.

          2. “even McConnell accepts the fact that the Senate is constitutionally required to “try the Impeachment” at a proceeding presided over by the Chief Justice”

            A lawyer has apparently never heard of a motion to dismiss.

            1. Roberts would deny it. He, not McConnell presides.

          3. Hoping for a post about how the trial would be conducted. I read the Senate rules for impeachment yesterday. Seems pretty straightforward but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it would go the same way if it were conducted through the judiciary.

      2. The oath is irrelevant – there is no enforcement mechanism.

    3. Indictments are private and you don’t get a lawyer.

      So are police investigations.

      And there are plenty of Reps at these hearings.

      1. Yet Democrats are reporting only the things they believe are damaging to Trump.

        Doesn’t seem so private, does it?

        1. You agree the testimony is newsworthy, right? If there is something said behind closed doors (with Republicans present) that exonerates the President, you’d agree that’s newsworthy, too, right? I would hope the Republicans on the committee share their side of the story too. Eventually we will have it.

          1. If it’s behind closed doors it’s supposed to stay behind closed doors and not be selectively leaked. Why do you support this? Because it’s “newsworthy?” That’s no excuse for Congressmen to do it. And nobody should just be “sharing their side of the story.” We should see the testimony and the examination of the testimony, and it should be in the open on tv.

            1. The reason for closed door investigations is to control information to prevent witnesses from coordinating or correcting testimony. It’s the same reason police separate two witnesses and interrogate them in different rooms. I’d be ok with an open, public inquiry. I’m ok with a closed inquiry, too. There may be questions that the members are asking which has sensitive materials. Leaked opening statements may not have sensitive information.

              Part of closing the inquiry is to prevent a circus. The Benghazi investigation, as an example, would have been a circus if it was public. (I mean, it was mostly a circus when private, too.)

              1. You don’t think Schiff is coordinating with all the friendly witnesses including getting them together to keep from having conflicts? The reason for closed doors is to be able to leak. And really how much sensitive information are any of these guys going to divulge even if they have it? This is about a very specific issue and it doesn’t strike me as having anything to do with national security.

                1. “The reason for closed doors is to be able to leak.”

                  The Republicans are in the room. And if you want the information made public, the easiest way to do that is to have a public investigation.

        2. As noted, the GOP are there. And not usually reluctant to leak.

          That they are not leaking, and are instead posturing about being troubled, tells you all you need to know.

  8. More hearsay and innuendo. How embarrassing for the TDS’ers.

    Another faceplant.

      1. Post: “second-hand, hearsay testimony “

        1. He knows what he was ordered to do.

    1. Missing: quote from Trump confirming suspicions. No shortage of direct denials of those suspicions though.

      I guess that’s “evidence” enough for some.

      1. Because if a defendant doesn’t confess, he must be innocent, especially if he denies having done it.

        1. Taylor would not be able to testify in court to hardly anything, as even Pose admitted it is “second-hand, hearsay testimony”

          1. What Post said was,

            Taylor can only provide second-hand, hearsay testimony regarding the President’s communications.

            He could certainly testify in court as to conversations and text message exchanges to which he was a party. And Sondland, Volker, Giuliani, etc., could certainly be put under oath to testify as to their conversations with Trump, though I suspect Rudy would be wise to take the Fifth.

        2. When the “crime” is only “wrong” because of the defendant’s intention, you’re going to want to prove he had that intention. That will be difficult if all you have from him are direct denials of the intention.

          A pattern of behavior might establish it. But this is one alleged incident, so no pattern.

        3. The worst part of that argument you’re mocking is that it is based on a false factual predicate. Trump did confess. He just acted as if saying, “Not!”, Wayne’s World style, right after the confession somehow negated it.

          “I would like to buy heroin from you. But this is not a drug deal.”

  9. Of course a bottom feeding Ginsburg licking stooge would proudly proclaim “we really got him now” “orange man bad.”
    It really doesn’t matter though. The shtick is old.

    Let me lay out how this goes from here. Soros has instructed his Nancy puppet to impeach. So she will. No really a big deal. The Soros media will proclaim “this is the end.” It will then go to the Senate.
    The press will then release push poll after push poll trying to proclaim “the public is 60%-70% in favor of removal.” Just one problem here, people don’t believe polls anymore.

    Then the Senate will take this up, and acquit. With maybe Romney and MooKowSki voting with the Rats, and Manchin voting with the GOP.

    That’s the game. It’s over. The Ginsburg lackey pretending anything else is laughable. We all know how this plays out.

    Then this will quickly fade into the past as we head into election season, and the public quickly realize how radically out of step Princess Gray Beaver is with American values, and YOUR PRESIDENT will be re-elected in a landslide.

    Then David Post will cry into his cornflakes every night when his goddess finally takes her place next to Satan in hell, and Britt Grant or Amy Barrett takes her place on the court.

    The end.

    1. So lots and Ginsberg are your boogeymen. What do they have in common…

    2. Prof. Volokh banned Artie Ray — for mocking conservatives — but welcomes this Bigoted Mini-Me.


      Time for more ankle-biting involving a strong liberal-libertarian school and ostensible outrage concerning censorship, I suspect.

    3. “Then David Post will cry into his cornflakes every night…”

      Who eats cornflakes at night? That’s just silly.

      1. Obviously you don’t have a wife who occasionally goes out of town. The kids get used to it, sort of like it actually.

  10. There have been sillier moments in the US Capitol, but not many.

    I assume you mean this week. But no, don’t let proportionality get in the way of a good opportunity for hyperbole.

    1. It was not even the silliest of the day, the Zuckerberg hearing far surpassed it.

      1. But are you LGBT?

  11. Can we stick to the merits, please? If Taylor is to be believed, the President made vital US security assistance to an ally contingent upon a foreign government’s undertaking to investigate his political opponents. If you are not deeply concerned by that, either you think (a) Taylor is not to be believed, or (b) Trump did it, but it’s OK that he did it. If you want to press either or both of those arguments, please do – but please don’t keep saying “everybody has done this” without providing any actual facts to back up your claim. No president, to my knowledge, has ever done this. Please enlighten me, if you can, on what I’m missing.

    1. How about both (a) and (b) you pathetic piece of filth?

      1. Good thing you didn’t use the term “sl*ck-j*w” when describing a Conspirator as a “pathetic piece of filth,” Bigoted Mini-Me, because the proprietor enforces civility standards.

        You seem to be on the right side of his line, though.

    2. Why do you believe Taylor instead of Trump, or Zelensky, or Sondland, or even Yovanovitch?

      Now, it seems like every President has placed conditions on foreign aid – that we know of. Oppose communists, stop settlements, buy our goods, and so on. What private conditions may have been applied as well, we don’t know. Maybe we can convince Trump to release the recordings and transcripts of the Bushes, Clinton, and Obama private calls as well?

      1. Taylor was under oath.

        1. So was Brennen and Clapper, and lots of other people who have lied to Congress with zero consequences.

          1. They lied to Congress under oath?

            1. I’m surprised the lefty-verse isn’t aware of it, as the issue with Clapper was call records retention and is related to Snowden’s revelations. For Brennen, it was how the CIA spied on Senate staffers computers. Look up the details yourself if you so desire.

              Then again, it was circle the wagons around Obama and the Iran deal, so I shouldn’t be surprised.

              1. Off Topic…

                mad_kalak: Did you see the Edward Snowden interview on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast? I viewed it last evening (all 2:49 of it in one sitting). I am more convinced today than I was in 2013: Edward Snowden is a genuine American Patriot. He exposed wrong-doing by our domestic intelligence agencies. For this alone, we owe him a great debt.

                1. I despite Rogan, though I respect him (odd, I know), so I avoid his podcasts like the plague, though I listen to the same people he often interviews when Dave Ruben interviews them.

                  As for Snowden, I agree.

            2. Ask Ron Wyden about Clapper’s lying.

      2. Now, it seems like every President has placed conditions on foreign aid – that we know of. Oppose communists, stop settlements, buy our goods, and so on. What private conditions may have been applied as well, we don’t know.
        Nobody is saying that placing conditions on foreign aid is inherently wrongful. I completely agree – that happens all the time.
        But placing the condition that you investigate the president’s political opponents? I’m not aware of any such examples. You’re apparently not either; but you’re content to move from “what private conditions may have been applied as well, we don’t know” to “I guess it has happened before” far too easily. Millions of man-hours have been spent combing through the actions of every US president throughout history, and nobody has turned up evidence that one of them withheld foreign aid on condition of investigating his political opponents. Not a single instance (of which I’m aware). If you want to conjure up some without any factual basis, I can’t stop you.

        1. “But placing the condition that you investigate the president’s political opponents?”

          You seem to think that this some sort of horror or horrors. Setting aside the dispute about the facts of the prosecutor’s firing, Trump apparently believes that Biden had him fired to protect his own corrupt actions. He wants to make sure that the new guy re-opens the investigation and that he investigates Ukrainian interference in the election. So he withholds funds until the guy agrees to do it. (Actually he didn’t do what Trump wanted but got the funds anyway.) The only problem I have with it is that Trump should just say so. It won’t get him removed from office regardless of what a few pearl clutchers like Romney say they think about it.

      3. I believe what Trump, Zelenskyy, and Sondland have said. It isn’t flattering to the President.

        1. Don’t forget Mulvaney.

      4. Why do you believe Taylor instead of Trump, or Zelensky, or Sondland, or even Yovanovitch?

        Nancy Leong:

        “So Bill Taylor and Gordon Sondland and the whistleblower said aid to Ukraine was conditioned on investigating the Bidens, but OTOH Mick Mulvaney and Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump said aid to Ukraine was conditioned on investigating the Bidens. Hard to know what to think.”

    3. Taylor’s assumptions are interesting from a storytelling point of view.

      This “I had a sinking feeling” about something heard from someone else, about something he heard from person #3, about something that he understood from a conversation with person #4 — good storytelling indeed. Sets the tone for the audience.

    4. So declaring that you are running for president puts all corruption and abuses of power beyond reproach if your a Democrat. Got it.

      How was withholding funds until a prosecutor was fired not an abuse of power then.

    5. If Taylor is to be believed,

      That is a big ask from anything Schiff has a hand in.

      1. If Taylor can be believed … about what his assumptions were, based on third-hand information.

        I can believe his tale correctly depicts his assumptions.

    6. I pick the multiple levels of hearsay and the telephone game don’t stand up to scrutiny.

      These are the terms & conditions for how Schiff is writing his next parody. Yesterday, many massive cracks emerged throughout Bill Taylor's testimony, but the public wasn't allowed to witness ANY of it. Just more cherry picked leaks by the Democrats. RELEASE THE TRANSCRIPTS!— Lee Zeldin (@leezeldin) October 23, 2019

    7. I think Sondland’s testimony more or less gets us there. I tend to agree with Sondland that he and Taylor aren’t really that far apart in regard to their testimony as reported. It looked like a duck, it talked like a duck. Sondland asked Trump if it was a duck and Trump said no, and then proceeded to describe it as a duck.

  12. Weird obsession continues. You guys seriously consider investigating Democrat corruption a grievous sin, don’t you?

    This is what you’ve let your life turn into, your thoughts consumed, waiting breathlessly for the latest selective leaks, the latest carefully crafted story designed to feed your suspicions.

    Meanwhile the “wrong” that happened was … a short delay in funding for Ukraine. And it’s “wrong” because … asking for investigations of corruption is “wrong”. And you think you can convince non-obsessed people of that.

    1. Don’t be ridiculous; nobody (at least, nobody who is seriously considering these issues, and certainly not me) believes that “investigating Democrat corruption is a sin.” There are ways to conduct investigations that comport with due process and the rule of law; coercing foreign leaders to do so lest they lost military assistance is not one of them.

      1. So it’s a “wrong procedure” high crime?

        1. This must just be trolling, you can’t possibly be as stupid as you sound.

          1. I’m just parroting back the absurd nonsense I’m hearing from you guys.

      2. So then do you support an FBI investigation into Biden’s influence peddling? What about the FBI asking Ukraine officials for assistance? Or do you think, like Sarcastro, that Hunter Biden is basically just like the Kardashians and that any allegations about Biden are just smears?

    2. Helpful hint: using “Democrat” instead of “Democratic” is a sign saying, “Don’t take me seriously.”

      1. Actually it’s fine. You guys don’t get to dictate what you’re called.

        1. Not sure who “you guys” refers to here.

          And, actually, nobody takes you seriously anyway, so don’t worry about it.

  13. At least 13 foreign governments were involved in the Russia hoax witch hunt to attack Donald Trump’s candidacy and then his presidency. Source. These desperate measures were very revealing and confirmed that it really was a Flight 93 Election. Predictably, things have only intensified since then.

    Now, Trump has dared to look into those shenanigans, and they call this impeachable and launch a farce inquiry to combat and cover for what may come. You gotta hand it to our adversaries for being ballsy. If we only match them in this, then their failure is assured.

    1. “their failure is assured”

      You figure right-wingers are ready to turn the tide of the culture war, stop the decades of liberal-libertarian progress achieved against conservative efforts and wishes, stop getting stomped by the educated elites and reality-based globalists, and finally take America back to the ’50s?

      1. With time all things change. I figure this change won’t turn out as you expect.

        1. In your dreams the clingers turn this around and win?

    2. At least 13 foreign governments were involved in the Russia hoax witch hunt

      There were 13 evidence requests to foreign governments. That hardly means what you claim. Oh, and it wasn’t a hoax.

      1. “Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton’s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers.

      2. British spies were first to spot Trump team’s links with Russia
        Exclusive: GCHQ is said to have alerted US agencies after becoming aware of contacts in 2015
        Over the next six months, until summer 2016, a number of western agencies shared further information on contacts between Trump’s inner circle and Russians, sources said.

        The European countries that passed on electronic intelligence – known as sigint – included Germany, Estonia and Poland. Australia, a member of the “Five Eyes” spying alliance that also includes the US, UK, Canada and New Zealand, also relayed material, one source said.

        Another source suggested the Dutch and the French spy agency, the General Directorate for External Security or DGSE, were contributors.

  14. “Now, Trump has dared to look into those shenanigans.”
    There are accepted and appropriate ways that presidents “look into the shenanigans” of other people, including even people who happen to be their political opponents: they involve the DOJ and accepted procedures for conducting criminal investigations.
    I might point out to you that Trump used this route, and turned up nothing that would merit prosecution. Nothing. If he had stopped there, that would have been the end of it. But he didn’t. He asked a foreign government to perform the investigation – actually, he did more than ask, he offered them a quid pro quo for doing so. If you think that’s just a case of “looking into shenanigans,” I beg to differ; I believe that is an abuse of presidential power.

    1. The ‘get in front of a microphone’ makes it very clear that what Trump was after wasn’t truth related, it was campaign related.

      1. Is that sort of thing too Clintonesque for you?

    2. The investigations into the Russian Hoax are still ongoing.

  15. Worst Post ever!

    1. Ba-dum-dum *dish*

    2. I think it might be Post traumatic stress.

      1. Lots of Post hoc reasoning too.

  16. Taylor just has his nose out of joint because he, a Foreign Service Officer, an AMBASSADOR no less, was bypassed and left out of the loop.

    “irregular, informal channel of U . S . policy-making with respect to Ukraine, one which included then-Special Envoy Volker, Ambassador Sondland, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, and, as I subsequently learned, Mr. Giuliani”

    Needless to say, but apparently, a senior Foreign Service Officer does not understand this, the President of the United States can use whatever channel he wants to run his foreign policy.

    This is mere bureaucratic snipping by an un-elected bureaucrat with mostly hearsay and his personal conclusions to offer.

    1. Is that your Baghdad Bob impression, or just regular old Birther Bob?

    2. Imagine how out of whack he’d be if Dennis Rodman was sent over to Ukraine.

    3. So he lied under oath, Bob?

      1. Maybe, maybe not. Just because he is an Ambassador or a veteran does not mean he can’t lie.

        Motives go to credibility. This is his opportunity for revenge.

        1. Newly reported today; “U.S. ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland disputes the most damning portions of Acting Ukraine Ambassador William Taylor’s impeachment testimony”.

          Let’s see if Post posts an update to this post.

      2. Well he does dissemble. He uses this passive voice saying the knowledge of the funds hold “was leaked.” He leaked it to Politico, either directly of to one of Schiff’s lackeys who visited him just before the leak. So we know he’s a leaker and that he really resented getting bypassed with the informal channel.

        He also goes on and on about what a great ally Ukraine is and so forth. Ukraine has never been an ally and from Trump’s pov Ukrainians were pushing hard on the Russian collusion hoax before and after the election.

        So Trump wants to be sure the new guy will investigate that and also re-open the corruption investigation that Trump believes Biden shut down by having the investigator fired. I don’t see a problem with that. Biden is obviously dirty and should be investigated. Trump probably enjoyed the idea of getting Biden but I doubt if he feels threatened by him because he’s politically savvy enough to know that Biden is not going to be the nominee.

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