Friday, September 20, 2019

Handling of Whistleblower Complaint Reveals the Depth of Trump Corruption

That did not take long.  Details of the whistleblower complaint have leaked out.  It would appear that during a telephone conversation, President Trump promised Ukrainian President Volodymry Zelensky something, it's been suggested continued military aid, if Zelensky would pursue corruption charges against his Trump's chief political rival, Joe Biden, and his son Hunter, for business dealings in that country.  Previously, Ukraine had looked into the matter and found evidence of corruption to be lacking.  Trump though wants them to pursue the allegations anyway.

Hmmm, so Trump is wanting the help of a foreign power to try to win an American election?  Where
have I seen this film before?  In 2016, the Trump campaign openly welcomed the help of the Russian government to defeat Hillary Clinton.   The Mueller Report found that this arrangement though fell short of a criminal conspiracy because there was no evidence that promises were made by the Trump people in exchange for the assistance.

This time, however, Trump appears to be offering the element Mueller did not find, i.e. the offering something of value (taxpayer money) in return for campaign assistance from a foreign country, in this case criminally prosecuting his chief political rival and his son.  Bribery and corruption charges have been built on far less.  

On cue former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani spoke out for President Trump and managed to make a bad situation worse.  During an interview with CNN's Chris Cuomo, Giuliani admitted he went to Ukraine to encourage government officials to investigate the Bidens.  Giuliani did clarify that although he solicited this help as Trump's attorney and to help the President's re-election campaign, it did not come at Trump's direction.  Of course, that is true.  We attorneys, on our own, do quasi-illegal stuff to help out our clients all the time.  Needless to say, that is sarcasm.

As a side note, I really think there is something physically wrong with Giuliani.  I had a brother who had a type of early onset dementia, an affliction that attacks the front of one's brain and causes bad judgment.   I wonder if Giuliani has something like that.  I am deadly serious.  Like him or not (and I was definitely not a fan), when Giuliani was Mayor and, before that when he was U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Giuliani was a serious person who gave careful thought to everything he said.  The 2019 version of Giuliani is a far cry from the person he used to be.

That Trump would possibly commit a crime in a phone conversation monitored by several people is not that surprising.  Donald Trump clearly is not a bright man.  Trump has gotten away with so many things in the past, it probably never crossed his feeble mind that he should not be saying what he is alleged to have said on that phone call.

What I continue to find surprising though is the actions of Attorney General Bill Barr.  He, without any authority whatsoever, stepped in to override the legal process for handling the whistleblower complaint and blocked it from going to Congress.  Once again, Barr has demonstrated that he is willing to break the law (and lie to the American public and under oath if needed) on behalf of President Trump.   While Trump's illicit conduct can be somewhat blamed on his profound ignorance and recklessness, Barr seems to be just plain corrupt.  There appears to be no limit to what Barr is willing to do to help Trump.  Barr certainly could not care less about his obligation to the American people or the oath he took to uphold the Constitution and the laws of the United States.


leon dixon said...

The person leading the investigation was fired at the behest of Joe Biden. Dumbass. The investigation then was as competently handled as the "investigation" into the Clinton doubt you think that was well FBI special.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Leon, even if what you said is 100% correct, that still does not excuse the President of the United States asking a foreign government to prosecute his chief political opponent and his son. Please, please, tell me you're not giving Trump a pass on this one too. If so, please tell me what conduct by Trump you would ever find to be over the line.

It's time to put down the Kool-Aid, Leon. Donald Trump does not give one whit about people like you or this country. He cares only about himself. He is most certainly not a patriot and the people who continue to support him, despite the evidence he is selling out this country for his own interests, are not patriots either.

Anonymous said...

The accusation seems to be lacking beef.

Anonymous said...

It’s hard to figure out how to respond here because virtually everything Paul has said turned out false. But I shall take a stab.

Point 1 (generally, not in response to anything Paul directly claimed): Paul is a big fan of claiming Trump “colluded” with Russia, even though this has been proven false. Now the claim is Trump is “colluding” with Russia’s arch enemy, Ukraine. Sounds quite silly and will make any impeachment effort a fools errand.

Point 2: Nothing in the transcript indicates that Trump promised anything for investigating Hunter Biden. The Ukrainian president has even gone on record saying such.

Point 3: Giuliani is a fast talker. He’s from NYC. It’s a common trait. His words have a habit of preceding his thoughts. Everyone knows that.

Point 4: Trump did not inject his private attorney (Giuliani) into the conversation. The Ukrainian president asked about him.

Point 5: the whistleblower law requires the subject of the communication to be foreign intelligence. Nothing in the transcript dealt with foreign intelligence. The Office of Legal Counsel was correct and the Inspector General was wrong about whether it had to be disclosed.