Friday, October 4, 2019

President Trump Doubles Down on Collusion, Asks China President to Investigate Bidens

President Trump and his legion of media enablers are fond of repeating the lie that there was no collusion found during the Russia investigation.  In fact, the Mueller Report explicitly said it was not making a finding about collusion, but instead concluded there was not enough evidence to establish there was a criminal conspiracy.  Nonetheless, the Mueller Report detailed scores of accounts of Trump campaign officials accepting the help of Russian officials to win the 2016 election.

In short, what saved Trump was that Mueller found that his campaign was not actively involved in Russia's efforts on his behalf...that the Trump campaign just took advantage of the Russian assistance that was given.  That reduced the issue to possibly being a campaign law violation, the acceptance of a "thing of value" from a foreign government.  Contrary to significant legal precedent, Mueller concluded that because the Russian in kind assistance couldn't be strictly quantified in terms of how much it was worth, that the fact it was a "thing of value" could not be established.

As I said during the Mueller investigation, Trumpers do not care one bit whether Trump colluded with the Russians to win the 2016 election.  They are perfectly fine with a foreign power, even an enemy of the United States, helping a candidate win an American election as long as that candidate is named Donald Trump. Events of these past couple weeks have demonstrated how true that is.

First it was an ally, Ukraine.  In a phone call, Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, to dig up dirt on his chief political rival, Joe Biden, who is polling way ahead of Trump nationally and, more importantly, in virtually every battleground state.  While a "quid pro quo" certainly isn't necessary (it just makes Trump's abuse of his office worse), Trump actually provided that too when the Ukrainain President brought up the need for military assistance which Trump immediately followed saying that he needed a favor done "though." If that was not enough for the Trump crowd (it isn't) that text messages have come out that Trump administration officials believed that continued military assistance and a visit to the White House was contingent on Zelensky's willingness to dig up dirt on Joe and Hunter Biden.

In the height of silliness, Trumpers tout that Zelensky, in response to the growing scandal, said he didn't feel pressure from Trump to investigate the Bidens.  Did anyone actually expect Zelensky to say anything different?  His country's entire survival is dependent on a good relationship with the United States, for which his relationship with President Trump is key. Of course, Zelensky was never going to throw Trump under the bus.

Yesterday, President Trump, standing in front of a contingent of reporters on the south lawn of the White House, asked the President of China to investigate the Bidens.  Turns out this was not a new request.  During a June phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Trump had already asked Jinping to investigate the Bidens.  He also apparently mentioned Elizabeth Warren as well.  Like the Ukrainian phone call, the record of the Chinese phone call was placed on a highly classified server, unlike other calls with world leaders. 

Trump is clearly using his office to encourage foreign leaders, including those from a country hostile to the United States, to investigate his domestic political rivals.  On the Ukraine call, he even offered the assistance of the Attorney General and his private attorney in Ukraine's efforts.  The Trump Collusion Train has left the station.   Any member of Congress, including Republicans, who do not support holding Trump account for his conduct is betraying the Constitution they took an oath to defend.


Anonymous said...

Last time I tried to comment, Paul refused to publish it. Presumably he did not like being taken down, so he censored my comments. Thanks comrade Ogden. I will try again, hoping for better luck.

1. Mueller: Paul still can’t accept Mueller’s conclusions, after previously saying he was doing God’s work. The fact of the matter is that there is a world of difference between calling up Russia and asking them to produce something, and merely taking advantage of opportunities presented without being the instigator.

2. Collusion: you’re right, I don’t care. Because there was no collusion.

3. Quid pro quo: Paul didn’t read the transcript. There was nothing contained about withholding foreign aid. The “though” that Paul adamantly insists proves a crime follows a comment concerning Ukraine’s desire to purchase ADDITIIONAL military supplies that haven’t even been approved by Congress.

4. Text messages: even if you assume they infer some sort of intention to withhold aid (you can’t...the senders and recipients have all denied this), they do not refer to digging up dirt on the Bidens. They refer to information the Ukraine may have regarding the origins of the Mueller investigation.

5. China: there is a perfectly rational nexus. China banks were loaning money to the company Hunter Biden worked at.

6. Political rivals: apparently Paul takes the position that the Bidens get a pass because Joe is running against Trump. Years ago, there was a time when Paul would be all over allegations of cronyism and nepotism and corruption. But because Trump is involved, it must be Fake News.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Anon 3:42,

Nope I didn't refuse to publish it. I publish everything that isn't libelous or has profanity. Sometimes I miss comments though. I have to preapprove everything. They go into my email and often end up buried, like this comment did. I recalled seeing on my cell phone I had an Anonymous comment (I hadn't read it) a few days earlier and went looking for it this morning. Didn't realize it was a week old. Sorry for the delay.

1. I never said Mueller was doing God's work. And I 100% accept his conclusions. His conclusions were that there was no criminal conspiracy, though the Trump campaign willingly accepted the help of a foreign power hostile to the US to win an American election (which you are apparently okay with) and laid out several instances of obstruction of justice (which you apparently are also okay with).

2. Collusion? The Mueller report specifically said it was not making a finding about "collusion" as that was not a criminal term. (Except in the case of securities law.) You can say that there was no "collusion" but the Mueller report clearly spelled out facts that suggest collusion.. Nonetheless, I am shocked you're still beating the collusion horse as since the most recent requests by Trump to Ukraine and china most Trumpers have conceded the collusion question and have moved on to saying collusion is perfectly okay. I'm sure Trumpers would have no problem with Hillary or Obama working with a foreign power to win an election. Kidding. Trumpers don't care about their own hypocrisy.

3. Sorry, I read the transcript. The request was for military aid and Trump said he needed a favor "though" and moved on to political things Trump wanted done, including digging up dirt on a political opponent. What you describe doesn't begin to take it out of being a quid pro quo (not that quid pro quo is needed). The fact that it is for additional military aid doesn't matter. Not to mention, Trump was at that very minute also withholding military aid that had been improved by Congress.

4. So you think it is okay for the Trump administration to withhold military aid to Ukraine, aid that has already been approved by Congress, to force Ukraine to first pursue some cockamamie conspiracy theory about the origins of the Mueller report? So you are now admitting there was a quid pro quo? It is not okay for the President of the United States to put the security of the U.S. at risk for political purposes. Period.

Paul K. Ogden said...

5. I didn't realize Hunter Biden was running for President. My bad. So it's okay to go after Presidential candidates children who are trying to make money off their parent's position? You really want to go down that road considering the Trump children are doing that times ten. Not only are they doing that, the President of the United States is perfectly profiting off his position, which apparently Trumpers have no problem with.

6. There is absolutely no evidence Joe Biden himself did anything wrong. Trumpers just throw out allegation after allegation, contrary to the facts, and hope they stick. It is a continuation of the Goebbels "Big Lie" approach - you tell a big enough lie, enough time, people will believe it. I am far from a Joe Biden fan, but I am sick of Trump telling lies about political opponents and his Kool-Aid drinking supporters lapping them up. Do you want to revisit how Trump said that Ted Cruz's father was involved in the Kennedy assassination? Just one of many Trump lies. Don't you find it ironic that we have a President who is more corrupt and has lied more than any President in American history supposedly targeting corruption and the lies of political opponents. Enough is enough.

I keep hearing how AOC and the Squad and Nancy Pelosi are a threat to conservative movement. Nonsense. The people who are a threat to the conservative movement are Trump enablers, the Trumpers, people for whom honesty and integrity and standing for conservative principles, no longer matter. All that matters is completely loyalty to "Dear Leader" and support for anything he says or does. We real conservatives are going to pay a steep price for what Trumpers have done to the movement. I don't even blame Donald Trump. I blame the people who elevated such an unqualified and corrupt bozo to the highest office in the land and made him the face of everything I believe in.