Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Testimony from Ukraine

From The Federalist:
Volker explained in his remarks that Trump had a dim view of the Ukrainian government given its involvement in 2016 efforts to damage Trump’s presidential campaign, and that the president’s view of rampant and widespread corruption in the country was a significant barrier to cooperation between the two nations going forward. According to Volker, the interactions between Giuliani and Ukraine were sought in an effort to persuade Trump that Zelensky’s government could be a trusted U.S. partner.

“It was clear to me that we had a growing problem in the negative narrative about Ukraine, built on these earlier accusations by Mr. Lutsenko, that was impeding the development of our bilateral relationship and the strengthening of our support for Ukraine,” Volker said. “I therefore faced a choice: do nothing, and allow this situation to fester; or try to fix it.” (Read more.)

Excellent article from RealClearInvestigations:
 Once again, much of the media seem to be treating every allegation against Trump as probable fact, while dismissing any questions and concerns as conspiracy theories. Although the whistleblower complaint seems to have emerged quickly, it must be viewed in context of the long war against Trump and its numerous elements tied to Ukraine.

Recent interviews with senior sources on Capitol Hill and newly acquired documents show that Ukraine was and continues to be central to the effort to take down Trump. That’s why Trump’s most urgent request of the Ukrainian president was to assist Attorney General William Barr in his investigation of the origins of the FBI’s Trump-Russia probe.

“Our country has been through a lot,” Trump told President Zelensky. “They say a lot of it started with Ukraine.” This assertion was not wrong. And yet for all of the foreigners, including Ukrainians, who played roles in Russiagate, this is a story about Americans with the sort of scruples, ambitions, and labyrinthine connections found in a Dostoevsky novel. (Read more.)

More commentary HERE and HERE.

The House, the entire House, is supposed to vote before going forward with impeachment. From Andrew McCarthy at The National Review:
 In point of fact, the House has no impeachment inquiry; congressional Democrats have an impeachment political campaign.

Under federal law, the offense of obstructing Congress applies when “any inquiry or investigation is being had by either House, or any committee of either House.” Again, neither the House nor any of its committees has voted to conduct an impeachment inquiry. There is no formal impeachment proceeding to obstruct. Furthermore, the letters in question are not actually demands carrying the compulsory force of law; technically, they are just informal requests. No one is required to comply with a mere request, and refusing to do so is not evidence of anything, let alone obstruction.
The House has issued some subpoenas. For example, the House Oversight Committee has just directed a subpoena to the White House, addressed to chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, reportedly demanding the production of a vast array of records (documents, communications, etc.) pertaining to the president’s conduct of relations with Ukraine.

Typical of the Democrats’ legerdemain in this matter, the Oversight Committee has not voted to conduct an impeachment inquiry, nor did it vote to issue subpoenas (as, by contrast, the Oversight Committee voted to subpoena the White House just a few weeks ago for records germane to a suspected violation of federal recordkeeping laws). Instead, Chairman Elijah Cummings (D., Md.) strategically waited until the House closed for a two-week recess; then issued a memo on Wednesday, absurdly claiming that there was too much urgency to wait so a vote could be taken; then issued the subpoena late Friday, thus ensuring that no Republican could object and no Democrat would be forced to go on record supporting impeachment, which much of the public strongly opposes. Under House rules, the Oversight chairman has been delegated unilateral authority to issue subpoenas, so the subpoena is valid, but it is also pure gamesmanship. (Read more.)

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