This is almost too much.
Despite the texts proving that Trump had been shaking Ukraine down for months, despite having an edited memo of the phone call describing the “favor needed,” and despite the fact that Energy Secretary Rick Perry could probably not care less what Hunter Biden might have been doing when, Trump is preparing all of us to hear that this is all some screwy plot hatched by Sec. Perry, who – conveniently – just happens to be the person who has announced he is leaving the cabinet by the end of the year.
According to Axios:
Per the sources, Trump rattled off the same things he has been saying publicly — that his call with Zelensky was “perfect”and he did nothing wrong.
But he then threw Perry into the mix and said something to the effect of: “Not a lot of people know this but, I didn’t even want to make the call. The only reason I made the call was because Rick asked me to. Something about an LNG [liquified natural gas] plant,” one source said, recalling the president’s comments. 2 other sources confirmed the first source’s recollection.
Was it a passing thought? Trial balloon? Senior moment?
Another source on the call said Trump added that “more of this will be coming out in the next few days” — referring to Perry.
This is how “not having a real defense team” starts to impact your impeachment defense. This is what happens, when you leave your defense to Jared.
Perhaps a real lawyer, with real experience, who really knew what the hell a defense looks like, would point out to Trump that – as president – no one could force Trump to make the phone call, nor make the extortion threat to Ukraine. It is the old “buck stops here,” reality. Even if Trump did the entire thing as a “favor” to Perry, and the evidence backed Trump up, it wouldn’t help Trump in the least.
But the evidence doesn’t back it up, which is another massive issue with the “Perry did it” defense.
We have the text messages that led up to the phone call, not one text notes anything about Perry, or what his interest in the conversation might be. Moreover, the texts do not mention “LNG” or whether LNG might be an important point for the two presidents to discuss. The “Memo” issued by the White House, contains no mention of LNG, or any other “natural gas” reference.
However, the fact that the memo (not a transcript) doesn’t contain a reference to liquified natural gas ought to make one pause for a moment, and wonder – again – whether the “memo” covers the entire conversation between Trump and Zelensky. Did Trump just shoot himself in the foot, again, by pinning his defense upon something that is going to prove he withheld critical portions of the phone call?
We don’t know. Yet.
But, we do know that everyone in Trump’s world is disposable. We know that nothing “wrong” in Trump’s world is ever Trump’s fault. We knew that Trump would find a lackey to lay this on. I suppose Perry, the guy on his way out the door anyway, was as good a flunky as they could find, in a rush.
It doesn’t hurt that Perry can’t reason himself out of a Big Mac container. Under question by the committee, Perry will forget one of this three defenses. But, he will likely remember one: “I didn’t make the phone call threatening to withhold Ukraine’s money,” which is likely all the defense he’ll need.
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