Thursday, October 3, 2019

10 Reasons Democrats' Impeachment Argument Is Falling Apart

On Wednesday Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) offered a compelling case for impeaching President Trump. Describing his actions as a “classic mafia shakedown of a foreign leader,” Schiff said Trump in a phone call with the Ukrainian president threatened to withhold aid if he didn’t produce comprising intelligence on his 2020 political rival, Joe Biden.
“The president communicates to his Ukrainian counterpart that the United States has done a lot for Ukraine; we’ve done an awful lot for Ukraine, more than the Europeans or anyone else has done for Ukraine, but there’s not much reciprocity here. This is how a mafia boss talks. What have you done for us? We’ve done so much for you. But there’s not much reciprocity. I have a favor I want to ask you. And what is that favor? Of course the favor is to investigate his political rival, to investigate the Bidens.”
It sounds bad.
Schiff’s painting a picture — using invented dialogue, a trick he tried again in a subsequent congressional hearing — of a president manipulating U.S. foreign policy to wrest personal favors from foreign leaders. But as more evidence comes to surface, that picture is quickly fading.
Here are 10 ways Democrats’ original impeachment argument is coming apart:
1. No quid pro quo. Despite Democrats’ initial claim, there was no quid pro quo. The call transcript shows the topic of aid only came up in reference to how well the U.S. treats Ukraine, particularly as compared to Euro nations, most specifically Germany. At no point does Trump threaten to withhold anything, as even some of Trump’s media critics conceded.
2. Ukrainians weren’t pressured. Democrats and the media have repeatedly insisted President Trump “acted like a mob boss” in applying pressure on President Volodymyr Zelensky. He, however, defended Trump, saying he felt no pressure. “ I think you read everything,” he told reporters in New York this week. “So I think you read text. I’m ... I am sorry but I don’t want to be involved to democratic open, uh, hum... вибориe... elections of U.S.A. You’ve heard we had, um, I think good phone call. It was normal. We spoke about many things and I thought so. And I think and you read it that nobody push it, pushed me.”
3. Timeline. Politico’s Ken Vogel reported that the Ukrainian delegation hadn’t even been made aware aid was held up until a month after the Trump call. It’s hard to see they could feel they’re being “extorted,” as Democrats keep saying, if they weren’t even aware of the pressure supposedly being applied.
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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