The New Defense is that Trump Did Nothing Wrong

  
Via:  john-russell  •  3 weeks ago  •  48 comments

The New Defense is that Trump Did Nothing Wrong

Excellent commentary from Washington Monthly. 

The timeline makes it clear exactly why Trump is impeachable. 


As you can hopefully see, the White House did not release the aid until after it became publicly known that there was a hold. They didn’t release it until after congressional committees announced an investigation into a potential quid pro quo. ...
The timing was unfortunate for Trump because it’s now well-established that Zelensky was  preparing  to meet the president’s demands and make an announcement about investigations during an interview with Fareed Zakaria on  CNN .

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


As the  New York Times   reports , the Republicans spent the weekend backing away from their previous strategy of insisting that the Democrats have not provided any firsthand witnesses to the president’s instructions on Ukraine. That talking point will become less and less effective over time, starting with the testimony of E.U. ambassador Gordon Sondland this week. Should former national security advisor John Bolton ever testify, the “firsthand” argument will become completely inoperative.

So, instead, the president’s congressional and media defenders are shifting to a blanket defense that he did nothing wrong. This is typified by an argument Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio began making during former Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch’s testimony on Friday.


“The Ukrainians did nothing to — as far as investigations goes — to get the aid released,” Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, one of Mr. Trump’s chief defenders, said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “So there was never this quid pro quo that the Democrats all promise existed.”

This has a surface plausibility. Trump wanted the Ukrainian president to publicly announce that he was looking into the possibility that some of his countrymen had interfered in the 2016 campaign to help Hillary Clinton and perhaps had possession of one of the hacked DNC servers. Trump wanted Zelensky to go on CNN and state that he was investigating possible corruption on the part of Joe and Hunter Biden. But Zelensky never actually did either of those things.

On September 11, Trump released the aid to Ukraine, and he met with Zelensky at the United Nations in New York City on September 25. As has now been well-established, the president had refused to meet personally with Zelensky prior to September and put a hold on the military aid in an effort to pressure Zelensky into meeting his demands for “investigations.” But Zelensky eventually got the aid and a meeting despite never delivering on his end of the bargain.

However, these talking points are extraordinarily weak.

To demonstrate this, I need to put a few things in a timeline for you.

On July 18, the Office of Management and Budget announces to Pentagon and State Department officials that the aid packages to Ukraine are on hold.

On July 25, Trump has phone call with Ukrainian president Zelensky and demands investigations in return for javelin missiles.

On July 28, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats announces his resignation, effective August 15.

On  August 14, 2019 , CIA General Counsel Courtney Simmons Elwood and deputy White House counsel John A. Eisenberg call John Demers, the head of the Justice Department’s national security division, and refer the whistleblower’s case for possible criminal investigation.

On August 15, 2019, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats’s resignation becomes effective. Principal Deputy Director Sue Gordon also resigns after President Trump makes it clear that he doesn’t want her in the job.

On August 26, 2019, the Inspector General for the Intelligence Community, Michael Atkinson, forwards the whistleblower complaint to the  acting  Director of National Intelligence, Joseph Maguire.

On August 28, an  article  was published in  Politico  that publicly revealed a hold on Ukrainian military assistance initiated by the Office of Management and Budget back on July 18.

On September 9, after being briefed on the whistleblower report by Michael Atkinson, three Democrat-controlled House committees  announced  the launch of a “wide-ranging investigation” into whether military aid is being withheld in order “to pressure the government of Ukraine to assist the President’s reelection campaign.”

On September 10, national security adviser John Bolton was either fired or resigned, depending on who you ask. Prior to this, he quietly  authorized  the release of the State Department’s  portion  of Ukrainian aid.


…shortly before Sept. 9, Bolton had relayed a message to the State Department that the funding could go ahead. It’s not clear whether Bolton, who resigned from the job a week later, did so with Trump’s approval.
Bolton’s handling of the funding struck officials in the White House as violating protocol and caught [White House chief of staff Mick] Mulvaney by surprise, according to another person familiar with the matter.

On September 11, the State Department  informs  Congress that their aid package has been released, formalizing the decision Bolton had made before quitting/being fired.

On September 12, the formal announcement came that the Pentagon’s aid package had been released too.

As you can hopefully see, the White House did not release the aid until after it became publicly known that there was a hold. They didn’t release it until after congressional committees announced an investigation into a potential quid pro quo. The State Department portion was actually released by John Bolton on his own authority, and the Pentagon portion wasn’t rebased until after Bolton was gone.

The timing was unfortunate for Trump because it’s now well-established that Zelensky was  preparing  to meet the president’s demands and make an announcement about investigations during an interview with Fareed Zakaria on  CNN .


The New York Times  reported  on Thursday that Zelensky had planned to announce an investigation into Trump’s political rivals during a September interview on CNN, but those plans had been scrapped once Trump released promised security aid. Zakaria told CNN’s Brooke Baldwin on Thursday that the interview had been months in the making, but it fell apart when the Ukraine scandal began to unfold…

So, Ukraine wasn’t freed from Trump’s pressure by a change of heart on Trump’s part. Bolton appears to have betrayed Trump as a kind of last act. The rest of the aid was released once the cat was already out of the bag.

As for the meeting with the president, Zelensky never received the White House meeting he desired. The meeting at the United Nations would have been a poor substitute in any circumstance, but was made infinitely more unsatisfactory when Trump decided to release the “transcript” of their July 25 call without giving Zelensky any  prior notice .


The White House annoyed and embarrassed Ukraine’s president by releasing his comments in a private conversation with President Donald Trump — and may have violated the Ukrainian constitution.

The  rough transcript of Trump’s call  with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy released Wednesday shows that Trump pressed Ukraine to “look into” his Democratic political rival Joe Biden. The July 25 call is now at the center of a U.S.  impeachment  probe.

“I think such things, such conversations between heads of independent states, they shouldn’t be published,” Zelenskiy told reporters at the U.N. General Assembly in New York.

So, when Rep. Jim Jordan says that Ukraine could not have been pressured since they received the aid without Trump receiving the investigations, that’s inaccurate. The suggestion that they were not harmed is also ludicrous, since the whole world now knows that the president of the United States does not consider them an ally. This will hurt their efforts to negotiate a satisfactory peace with Russia.

Apparently,  70 percent  of Americans disagree with Rep. Jordan’s assertion that Trump did nothing wrong, and a majority want him removed from office as punishment. This suggests to me that the new talking points aren’t going to be any more effective than the old ones.

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JohnRussell
1  seeder  JohnRussell    3 weeks ago

The aid was not released until after the scandal was becoming known. Sorry Trump. 

 
 
 
MrFrost
1.1  MrFrost  replied to  JohnRussell @1    3 weeks ago

Exactly. 

 
 
 
Greg Jones
1.2  Greg Jones  replied to  JohnRussell @1    3 weeks ago

It's not even a sure thing that Trump will even be impeached, considering the weakness of the Trumped up accusations. Hard to tell how many Democrats will defect because they will be afraid of being voted out of their coveted House seats. Once this circus goes to the Senate, Pelosi's worst fears will be realized when the Republicans are in charge of the proceedings, and there will be no earthly chance that 67 Senators will vote for removal. After the Republicans win back the House, Pelosi will retire saying "I told you so"

What the Democrats will be left with is dried out crusty egg on their faces and tears in their eyes, as they ponder what to do next. The voters will see the Democrats as sore losers who once again have failed in a huge way. Trump will still be in office and will be reelected by large margin. By early next spring the Barr/Durham investigations will have begun bearing bitter fruit for the left wing nuts. There will be great wailing and gnashing of teeth and rending of garments in liberal lala land. It's going to be fun to watch.

 
 
 
devangelical
1.2.1  devangelical  replied to  Greg Jones @1.2    3 weeks ago

guess again. it will only take 3 republican votes to make the senate vote to convict or not in an impeachment trial a secret ballot.

 
 
 
XDm9mm
1.2.2  XDm9mm  replied to  devangelical @1.2.1    3 weeks ago
guess again. it will only take 3 republican votes to make the senate vote to convict or not in an impeachment trial a secret ballot.

You DO know don't you, that it takes a two thirds (2/3) vote in the Senate to remove a President from office.  From your post, I must surmise you are not aware of that.

 
 
 
devangelical
1.2.3  devangelical  replied to  XDm9mm @1.2.2    3 weeks ago

you must not be aware that a 2/3 vote in the senate to convict is a very real possibility if that vote is by secret ballot, and the now corruption tainted VP cannot vote. care to predict the GOP senators unyielding allegiance to trump in a secret ballot? 22 are up for re-election in less than year and they're very nervous. a secret ballot will allow them to lie about how they voted depending on which way the political wind blows then. fear of loss of that future power and those future paychecks almost always trumps the political thinking of the powerful and greedy on the right, historically. the united front of the GOP now is nothing but a mud fence with a typhoon approaching on the horizon.

 
 
 
XDm9mm
1.2.4  XDm9mm  replied to  devangelical @1.2.3    3 weeks ago
you must not be aware that a 2/3 vote in the senate to convict is a very real possibility if that vote is by secret ballot,

I don't want to be impolite, but that's hilfuckinglarious.  Thanks for the laugh!!

and the now corruption tainted VP cannot vote.

First, the VP only votes during a TIE.  If there were more than 50 Senators voting for impeachment, that would I need to advise you be more than a TIE.  So much for that brilliant(//S//) theory.

Second, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court oversees the "trial", so the Vice President if even there is only there as a spectator.

Now, consider this.  Everything thus far, as presented by Adam Schiff and his band of merry henchmen/women in the Kangaroo Court called the House Impeachment Inquiry has been nothing but hearsay, supposition, conjecture, innuendo, rumor and what some have testified to 'their understanding' of what transpired.   NOTHING of substance.

There are currently 30 plus Democrats in the House of Representatives that just won election to the House in Congressional Districts that President Trump overwhelmingly won and still maintains an extremely strong and loyal base and following.  Do you believe those Democrats in the House of Representatives will vote for impeachment, with NO SUBSTANTIATED EVIDENCE presented, to placate Nancy Pelosi in her zeal to appease AOC and her compatriots and the Master Three Ring Circus Leader Adam Schiff and destroy any possibility of retaining their seats in Congress or will they abstain or vote against impeachment to make valiant attempts at retaining their much coveted seat in the US House of Representatives?  I'm pretty sure I know the answer to that one.  A resounding 'vote to save my ass', will likely be their answer.  Would you care to venture a guess?

 
 
 
devangelical
1.2.5  devangelical  replied to  XDm9mm @1.2.4    3 weeks ago

if it's such a slam dunk in the senate, what's with all the obstruction in getting it there?

P.S. - trumpski has already made quite the positive impression on justice roberts

 
 
 
XDm9mm
1.2.6  XDm9mm  replied to  devangelical @1.2.5    3 weeks ago
if it's such a slam dunk in the senate, what's with all the obstruction in getting it there?

What obstruction?

Has anyone stopped the Schiff Clown Show from proceeding?

P.S. - trumpski has already made quite the positive impression on justice roberts

Whatever impression President Trump has made or not made regarding Chief Justice John Roberts is in fact immaterial.  I tend to believe Chief Justice Roberts will adhere to the LAW as written and will oversee a hearing as required and NOT//NOT inject his personal feelings into any decision he might be required to make.

 
 
 
devangelical
1.2.7  devangelical  replied to  XDm9mm @1.2.6    3 weeks ago

uh-huh, sure. roberts is a rightwing thumper SCOTUS judge that thinks he's about to get the staff of god handed to him in the senate. (in his mind) keep on thinking you're dealing with the sane. 

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
1.2.8  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  devangelical @1.2.3    3 weeks ago

A secret ballot will allow the repubs who are seeing the light to do the right thing without fear of reprisal from Trump's goon squad.

 
 
 
XDm9mm
2  XDm9mm    3 weeks ago

Bid fucking shits.  

They got the aid from Trump that the previous administration DENIED.   

Uhmmm..  was that possibly the 'leeway' that was promised to Vlad by the President of the United States to the President of Russia?

Curious minds want to know.

 
 
 
MrFrost
2.1  MrFrost  replied to  XDm9mm @2    3 weeks ago
They got the aid from Trump that the previous administration DENIED.   

The previous admin suspended aid because of corruption, trump suspended aid to extort the Ukraine into helping him win a US election. Trump admitted he did that, so save the denials. 

But explain if you will, exactly WHY trump suspended the aid in the first place? 

 
 
 
XDm9mm
2.1.1  XDm9mm  replied to  MrFrost @2.1    3 weeks ago
But explain if you will, exactly WHY trump suspended the aid in the first place? 

He's the President.   And here's a hint.  It was simply DELAYED....  not suspended.

 
 
 
Tessylo
2.1.2  Tessylo  replied to  XDm9mm @2.1.1    3 weeks ago
'He's the President.   And here's a hint.  It was simply DELAYED....  not suspended.'

jrSmiley_10_smiley_image.gif

jrSmiley_76_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
It Is ME
2.1.3  It Is ME  replied to  Tessylo @2.1.2    3 weeks ago

Expand ?

 
 
 
XDm9mm
2.1.4  XDm9mm  replied to  It Is ME @2.1.3    3 weeks ago

That would take words to accomplish and they can be difficult for some.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
2.1.5  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  XDm9mm @2.1.1    3 weeks ago
But explain if you will, exactly WHY trump suspended the aid in the first place? 
He's the President. 

LOL. Brilliant !

 
 
 
It Is ME
2.1.6  It Is ME  replied to  XDm9mm @2.1.4    3 weeks ago
That would take words to accomplish and they can be difficult for some.

Seems.... No..... let's make it …… "WE" know so. jrSmiley_10_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
XDm9mm
2.1.7  XDm9mm  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1.5    3 weeks ago
Brilliant !

Well, thank you for the well deserved acknowledgement JR.  I knew you would eventually recognize just that.

 
 
 
MrFrost
2.1.8  MrFrost  replied to  XDm9mm @2.1.1    3 weeks ago
He's the President.   And here's a hint.  It was simply DELAYED.... 

Ok, why was it, "delayed"?

 
 
 
XDm9mm
2.1.9  XDm9mm  replied to  MrFrost @2.1.8    3 weeks ago
Ok, why was it, "delayed"?

You'll need to ask President Trump that.  

Unlike Adam Shitty Schiff, I don't do parody.

 
 
 
MrFrost
2.1.10  MrFrost  replied to  XDm9mm @2.1.9    3 weeks ago
You'll need to ask President Trump that.  

Right, I am sure it had nothing to do with "delaying" the payment until "Z" announced the investigations into the Bidens, right? Naw, CAN'T be that. I mean, all the testimony, even by trumps own people are all just making it all up, right? 

If everything was the same, and it was Obama instead of trump, you would be screaming at the top of your lungs that he is guilty as sin. And ya know what? I would be too, but, it's not Obama, it's trump. Maybe take off those partisan blinders for once and look at the actual evidence and not what the right wing is force feeding you. 

 
 
 
XDm9mm
2.1.11  XDm9mm  replied to  MrFrost @2.1.10    3 weeks ago
Maybe take off those partisan blinders for once and look at the actual evidence and not what the right wing is force feeding you. 

I don't need to take any "blinders" off.  I'm listening to the people that are testifying that they have NO DIRECT KNOWLEDGE of anything.  They had no direct contact with Trump and were not directly involved with any phone calls.  Now, even Volker and Morrison are noting that they have NO KNOWLEDGE of any specific requirements expressed by Trump.

Oh, have you considered why we never heard of the lack of support Obama provided Ukraine?   And, does any of that lack of support have anything at all to do with his Vice President trying to get a prosecutor removed from office for what he was investigating?

 
 
 
MrFrost
2.1.12  MrFrost  replied to  XDm9mm @2.1.11    3 weeks ago

Oh, have you considered why we never heard of the lack of support Obama provided Ukraine?   And, does any of that lack of support have anything at all to do with his Vice President trying to get a prosecutor removed from office for what he was investigating?

Sondland testimony today. You wanted a first hand witness? Wish granted. 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
2.2  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  XDm9mm @2    3 weeks ago
the White House did not release the aid until after it became publicly known that there was a hold. They didn’t release it until after congressional committees announced an investigation into a potential quid pro quo.

8mZOYGFJ_400x400.jpg

 
 
 
Dean Moriarty
2.2.1  Dean Moriarty  replied to  JohnRussell @2.2    3 weeks ago

I hope that bong isn’t made of glass. 

 
 
 
XDm9mm
2.2.2  XDm9mm  replied to  JohnRussell @2.2    3 weeks ago

Is that the lump of shit you're using as the basis of your hypothesis?

 
 
 
It Is ME
2.2.3  It Is ME  replied to  JohnRussell @2.2    3 weeks ago

320

 
 
 
JohnRussell
2.2.4  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  XDm9mm @2.2.2    3 weeks ago

It's a mic drop. Bring your thinking into this decade. 

 
 
 
XDm9mm
2.2.5  XDm9mm  replied to  JohnRussell @2.2.4    3 weeks ago
It's a mic drop. Bring your thinking into this decade. 

I'll make a minor correction to that statement JR, and direct it at you.

Bring your thinking, and leave your emotions at the door.

 
 
 
It Is ME
2.2.6  It Is ME  replied to  JohnRussell @2.2.4    3 weeks ago

Maybe a " Pipe " would be better ?

320

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
2.2.7  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  JohnRussell @2.2.4    3 weeks ago

If the mic weren't so big, I would have guessed it was Trump's dick falling off proving that he is indeed dickless.

 
 
 
MrFrost
3  MrFrost    3 weeks ago

#devinnunesisanidiot was trending on twitter 10 minutes after his opening statement, which didn't even address the impeachment hearings. 

 
 
 
It Is ME
4  It Is ME    3 weeks ago

For those that like to make Shit jrSmiley_90_smiley_image.gif , and for those that like Giggles jrSmiley_18_smiley_image.gif :

It was released before the "Congressional Deadline" ….. as set by "Congress" ! jrSmiley_81_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
JohnRussell
4.1  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  It Is ME @4    3 weeks ago
the White House did not release the aid until after it became publicly known that there was a hold. They didn’t release it until after congressional committees announced an investigation into a potential quid pro quo.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
4.1.1  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1    3 weeks ago

It is a very easily understood two sentences. 

 
 
 
It Is ME
4.1.2  It Is ME  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1    3 weeks ago

It was released before the "Congressional Deadline" ….. as set by "Congress" ! jrSmiley_88_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
JohnRussell
4.1.3  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  It Is ME @4.1.2    3 weeks ago

Next you will try and tell us the aid was never held up, because, after all, it was released before the congressional deadline. 

That is the "all's well that ends well" theory of human actions.  

 
 
 
XDm9mm
4.1.4  XDm9mm  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.1    3 weeks ago
It is a very easily understood two sentences.

Bad, bad John...   you're using the wrong verbiage " quid pro quo." per the latest and greatest polling and focus groups of the DNC.  Apparently those words are too difficult for the leftist lemmings to understand and they have 'evolved' those words into "bribery".  Please endeavor to keep up with the talking points as established by the DNC, Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff.

 
 
 
XDm9mm
4.1.5  XDm9mm  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.3    3 weeks ago
it was released before the congressional deadline.

THANKS for the legitimate acknowledgement JR.   Your honesty is refreshing.

 
 
 
It Is ME
4.1.6  It Is ME  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.3    3 weeks ago
Next you will try and tell us the aid was never held up, because, after all, it was released before the congressional deadline.

And what was " YOUR FEELING " on why it made it to Ukraine "Before" the Deadline CONGRESS set ? jrSmiley_87_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Greg Jones
4.1.7  Greg Jones  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1    3 weeks ago

Like I said repeatedly yesterday (or was it someone else) no one fuckin' cares, certainly the national electorate.

 
 
 
XDm9mm
4.1.8  XDm9mm  replied to  Greg Jones @4.1.7    3 weeks ago
Like I said repeatedly yesterday (or was it someone else) no one fuckin' cares, certainly the national electorate.

Ruh roh....   I've used those words myself, but not yesterday.  I was too involved in other endeavors.  But, having said that, "No one fucking cares" is pretty succinct in it's meaning that some have yet to understand.

 
 
 
MrFrost
4.1.9  MrFrost  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.1    3 weeks ago
It is a very easily understood two sentences.

One too many for some to understand. 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
5  seeder  JohnRussell    3 weeks ago

Another thread where all the comments by the right are clowning. 

 
 
 
XDm9mm
5.1  XDm9mm  replied to  JohnRussell @5    3 weeks ago
Another thread where all the comments by the right are clowning. 

Another thread where all the comments by the right are correct and indisputable.

No need to thank me for the correction JR.  It was my pleasure.

 
 
 
XDm9mm
6  XDm9mm    3 weeks ago

Is this yet one more JR abandoned seeds as there is 'no there there'?

 
 
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