The allegations against Trump are so troubling that his Republican defenders are having a difficult time characterizing his actions. The current strategy is to confine the entire “scandal” and justification for impeachment within the one telephone call, solely. But, that strategy clearly ignores the fact that the complaint itself references a series of conduct, the phone call itself being, perhaps, one of the most innocuous portion of the entire scandal. For this morning at least, the Republicans seem to be winning their message war. The entire course of conduct relevant to this entire scandal began late last spring with, who else, but Rudy. A quote is referenced from the New York Enquirer: Last spring, Rudy Giuliani was openly pressuring Kiev to investigate Joe Biden. Giuliani told the New York Times, “We’re meddling in an investigation … because that information will be very, very helpful to my client.” The key word there was “we’re.” The first-person plural indicated Giuliani was not carrying out this mission alone. A series of reports have revealed how many other government officials were involved in the scheme. This does not just implicate Trump, it implicates an entire “branch,” many individuals, and some of those individuals are in a position to block the investigation, including people in the Justice Department, working with Rudy Giuliani. And, of course, those same individuals, helped hide the entire matter from Congress. Lawmakers “were first told the assistance was being reviewed to determine whether it was in the best interest of foreign policy,” the Times reported this week. “Other administration officials said, without detail, there was a review on corruption in Ukraine, according to current and former officials. Then, as August drew to a close, other officials told lawmakers they were trying to gauge the effectiveness of the aid, a claim that struck congressional aides as odd.” Indeed, the story goes on to state that one of the officials includes Mike Pence who told others in and around the White House that the money was being held up due to “concerns about corruption,” which Pence knew to be bullshit on an exponential curve of layers. And there is absolutely no question that the entire context reveals there to be a clear quid pro quo in place. One need only ask the actual Ukrainians, who were under no doubt as to the expectations put upon them. Ukraine got the message. Its officials “expressed concern to U.S. senators that the aid had been held up as a penalty for resisting that pressure” to investigate Biden, reports the Wall Street Journal. The few materials released already, I am referring to the transcript, which isn’t a transcript, at all, but we’ll use that term for now, implicate the president’s personal attorney (who also serves as attorney for the campaign), the Attorney General of the United States, and the entire United States State Department. There was clearly a massive effort, controlled by the White House, to use the foreign policy apparatus to attack the president’s principle political “enemy” – an American citizen – by enlisting another country that was essentially “hostage” to the program. Moreover, there was a massive effort to hide the operation from many in the White House, in other agencies, and certainly from Congress. Lies were told, improper roles were played, the White House […]
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