By WILLIAM MAYER
November 12, 2019 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Over the last week or two the news media has in lockstep manner pushed the idea that President Trump is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors because of a “quid pro quo” deal he struck with the new president of Ukraine.
The substance of that charge is based upon an "interpretation" of the call [necessary since the text was released over a month ago, meaning the actual wording is not in question] by the President's enemies wherein they assert that a $400M foreign aid transfer was somehow made contingent upon the Ukraine leader "digging up dirt on Joe Biden and his son, Hunter," working with the U.S. Justice Department officials as part of an official inquiry into what degree, if any, Ukraine worked to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.
That investigation is now ongoing and involves multiple agencies as well as President Trump’s White House and personal lawyers.
Now the law concerning “quid pro quo” agreements is easy to understand, especially in the current setting of all of this taking place within the federal government, but for simplicities sake lets limit it to the substance that was covered during the now “infamous” Trump-Zelensky conversation .
1. The President of the United States is the CHIEF law enforcement officer in the nation, meaning that his powers in this area are near plenary, assuming there is a need to fully exercise them.
2. There have been multiple "official" investigations [of very limited scope] regarding whether Russia or any other country illegally sought to influence the 2016 cycle. But Ukraine? Not so much.
3. Reading the plain text of the conversation it was Zelensky, not Trump who first raised the issue of “draining the swamp” in his own country, meaning he was first to express concern about his predecessor’s possibly unlawful, certainly unethical behavior.
4. Trump however did ask Zelensky for a favor, the performance of which was NOT specifically linked to the aid package. The President wanted Zelensky’s administration to ferret out exactly what happened in Ukraine preceding the 2016 election. He mentioned Mueller and other aspects of the wide-ranging probe.
5. At this point in the conversation President Trump asked Zelensky to work with the American Attorney General, William Barr.
6. Continuing, the President talked about his desire to understand exactly what transpired in Ukraine in the run-up to November, that might have illegally influenced the 2016 U.S. election, mentioning Vice President and his son Hunter’s actions regarding the corporation, Burisma Holdings, on whose board Hunter sat while being compensated at $83,000 a month.
Smokin’ Quid Pro Joe
In a January 2018 address at the Council on Foreign Relations and with the cameras rolling, Vice President Biden claimed that he had held up $1.5B in aid until the then President of Ukraine fired a Ukraine prosecutor who had opened an investigation into the Biden/Burisma matter. Biden said if that official was NOT fired in 6 hours, the aid package would not be awarded.
“I said, I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars. I said, you’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money. Well, son of a bitch. (Laughter.) He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.”
Of note regarding Ukraine and Giuliani, the U.S. Dept. of State had already asked Mr. Giuliani to looking into the Ukraine matter, the understanding being that State had a lot of questions regarding possible election interference and other improprieties in the notoriously corrupt nation.
Now hold on puppies here is what is at issue; does a president commit a “high crime, etc.” if in his official capacity he leverages foreign aid on the condition that a country with which the United States has a law-enforcement cooperation treaty with deal with its uncontested state of widespread corruption?
The answer is simple; there are two general types of “quid pro quos” when dealing with government officials.
One, a party conspires or acts to extract something of value for their own personal enrichment, which is of course illegal, it’s and second the official makes foreign aid conditional upon a promise [or evidence] to restore the rule of law in the receiving nation.
Not only is the latter example not a crime, it is evidence that the Chief Executive is taking his or her job seriously and in line with the Constitution.
The governing principle here is outlined in Article 1, section 9, clause 8 - “no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”
Since this did not occur, there can be no offense meaning that this charge is as preposterous as was the entirety of Mueller’s Russian hoax.
Case closed…now about that Vindman chap…
Lt. Col Vindman was detailed to the NSC by President Obama, and in his recent testimony made a number of outrageous assertions, perhaps the most telling of which appears on page 16 of the official transcript. [typos on the rush copy have been corrected where possible - ED]
"In the Spring of 2019, I became aware of outside influencers promoting a false narrative of Ukraine inconsistent with the consensus views of the interagency . This narrative was harmful to U.S. government policy. While my interagency colleagues and I were becoming increasingly optimistic on Ukraine's prospects, this alternative narrative undermined U.S. government efforts to expand cooperation with Ukraine."
What the colonel is saying is that the guiding principle of U.S. foreign policy should be in accord with the interests of the Deep State’s “consensus view.” Put this simply this means that all that stuff about elections having consequences and that yammering about that democracy thing are simply talking points on the road to serfdom.
Oh, and then there is that matter of Col. Vindman appearing [over-stuffed] in full dress Army uniform replete with enough medals, bangles and baubles to decorate all of the Christmas trees in your neighborhood.
As an active duty military officer told the Washington Examiner , “this is a bad look for him to be in uniform, he makes it look like the Army is behind this. Like the Army is pushing a coup." Other servicemen doubted that Col. Vindman would even be able to pass the Combat Fitness Test given his porcine dimensions.
All of which casts Vindman in a very hard light, another assembly-line carboard cut-out [note Mr. Mueller] whose gravitas comes more from Central Casting than love of country.
Class dismissed, yes this will be on the final…
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