Trump's isn't the first presidential bribery scandal. It's the first time we asked for the bribe.

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  old-hermit  •  7 months ago  •  10 comments

Trump's isn't the first presidential bribery scandal. It's the first time we asked for the bribe.
A world power trying to wring something out of a fledging democracy? We were that country once, and one of our Founding Fathers refused the demand.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T







This isn't our first bribery scandal. It is the first one we started.


Opinion by Rep. Eric Swalwell

As we debated the impeachment of President Donald Trump, my House Democratic colleagues and I often underscored the unprecedented nature of the president's actions toward Ukraine. But, while it is true that no other American president has attempted to bribe another world leader for help in a domestic political fight, the circumstances are not wholly without precedent in our nation's history.

It's just that, at that particular moment in history, we were the fledgling democracy desperately in need of assistance from a world power, and it was another nation's politician who attempted to secure a bribe from us. Astute students of history will remember it was known as the XYZ Affair , and that it was America’s first international scandal.

In 1797, President John Adams — just sworn in as our second chief executive — was in a significant diplomatic bind. France, formerly an ally and protector of our young nation, had suddenly begun seizing American merchant ships at sea after America struck a new trade and military treaty with the British, with whom France was at war.

Adams sent three envoys to France: Charles Cotesworth Pinckney and Elbridge Gerry, who were among our Constitution’s signers, and John Marshall, who would later serve as the fourth chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. The three sought to meet with French Foreign Minister Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord as a means of restoring the two nations’ relationship.

But Talleyrand’s agents, Jean Conrad Hottinguer, Pierre Bellamy and Lucien Hauteval, told the Americans that their boss required “a favor” before any such meeting could be had. (Sound familiar?) He sought a hefty bribe from Adams' envoys in order to help bolster his position in the French government — as well as a large loan from America to France — before he would even start formal negotiations.

Faced with this shakedown, Adams didn’t shrug and pay the bribe. Instead, he asked Congress to arm American vessels, shore up our coastal defenses and manufacture more arms, all as prelude to potentially waging war against France.

But some American officials resisted his plans, signaling that they still felt some loyalty to France: It had, after all, only been 13 years since the Continental Congress ratified the Treaty of Paris , ending the Revolutionary War in which France had sided and fought with the colonists . So Adams publicly released the letters he'd received from his envoys laying bare Talleyrand’s extortion, bribery and abuse of power. The only redaction he made was to change the French agents' names to “X, Y and Z,” respectively.

Even France’s supporters at the time acknowledged that Talleyrand’s actions were indefensible, and America stood unified against the scheme. After a few years of an undeclared naval war, the French government dropped its demands and a new treaty was forged in 1800.

The United States of America, only a few decades old, had declared to the world that it would not bow to corruption. We had cemented our place as a serious diplomatic power, and as a rising democracy that was willing to stand firmly for its ideals.

I’ve thought about the XYZ Affair often in recent months, as more and more evidence has emerged that our own president cast himself as Talleyrand, demanding that a smaller, weaker nation give him something of personal value — dirt on his political rival — in exchange for an official act.

America was the vulnerable supplicant in the XYZ Affair; today, Donald Trump is the extortionist. We know what our founders would have thought about Trump’s scheme; they’d be aghast and ashamed. And we know that they gave us the power to impeach a president to punish and prevent abuses of power just such as this.

The question is whether Congress can show the same courage and clarity of vision that our founders showed when they came to this moral crossroads themselves. We too must look corruption in the eye and say, clearly, that we as Americans will not accept this behavior — never have, and never will.

The House of Representatives has done its duty to protect our democracy. Now some senators have said that they won’t even pretend to hear the case fairly, and instead will coordinate their efforts with the White House. It's the same as members of a jury coordinating with the defendant, violating their oath to “do impartial justice” before they’ve even taken it.

The fix is in, as far as those senators are concerned, but it need not be for the rest. It is the duty of Chief Justice John Roberts to preside over a fair and impartial trial and of senators to then render judgment, even if they choose not to convict at the end. That’s the American way, and to scorn it is to reject the letter and spirit of our Constitution and all who’ve fought to preserve it.

This is no time for partisan antics; the core institutions of our democracy are at stake. Individual senators must consider our history and our national dignity, consult their consciences, deliberate impartially and make our founders proud.

..

Rep. Eric Swalwell represents California’s 15th Congressional District and serves on the House Committee on the Judiciary and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. 





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Old Hermit
1  seeder  Old Hermit    7 months ago

Saw this story and thought it was an interesting, (and timely), bit of historical trivia.

Love the way the government rallied around President Adams and told France to go pound sand, after Adams exposed how some top officials in the French Government had miss used their official positions, and our Countries vulnerable situation with Briton, to extort us for their own personal gain.

It's almost like our Government Representatives in the past had a bit of personal honor and backbone.

 
 
 
devangelical
1.1  devangelical  replied to  Old Hermit @1    7 months ago

nice find. accumulating personal wealth seems to be the priority among some elected officials now as net worth has replaced personal honor, integrity, and character.

 
 
 
Dulay
1.2  Dulay  replied to  Old Hermit @1    7 months ago
It's almost like our Government Representatives in the past had a bit of personal honor and backbone.

They did rally around Adams but there was some pretty knee jerk backlash and the Congress passed the Aliens and Sedition Acts. Bad stuff, especially the Sedition Act. 

 
 
 
Ronin2
2  Ronin2    7 months ago

Swalwell needs to learn recent history. Maybe watch Joe Biden's video bragging about getting Ukraine to fire the lead prosecutor investigating the company his son sits on the board of?

But Trruuummmmppppp!!!!!!!

Another Democrat that needs to be flushed. Unfortunately he resides safely in CA so there is almost no chance of him being unseated. Unless he doesn't pass far left dogma he is safe.

 
 
 
Dulay
2.1  Dulay  replied to  Ronin2 @2    7 months ago

I'll copy and paste here the same reply I posted the last time you posted that bullshit. 

There is NO evidence that Shorkin was investigating Burisma in 2015-2016. 

Secondly, Burisma HAD been investigated for actions that were taken BEFORE Hunter Biden joined the board by both Ukraine and the UK. 

You can't refute either of those statements because they are the TRUTH. 

Oh and do you notice that Biden says in the video that the Ukrainians doubted that he had the authority when he said that the US would hold the loan guarantee and he told them to call Obama. So Biden was obviously acting with Obama's authority.

I'm pretty sure that Pence will be using the excuse of acting under Trump's authority in the near future. 

Perhaps you can explain why you and your fellow travelers are whining about Biden's quid pro quo but defending Trump's? If Biden's was 'corrupt' so was Trump's. Or are you trying to insist that I accept overt hypocrisy? 

Note: Not a peep from you after I posted this comment. Expect the same every time you post that video. 

 
 
 
Ronin2
2.1.1  Ronin2  replied to  Dulay @2.1    7 months ago

I will see your bullshit and raise several Democratic ass clowns.  There is no evidence against Trump except leftist hard feelings and wishes.

Secondly, Burisma HAD been investigated for actions that were taken BEFORE Hunter Biden joined the board by both Ukraine and the UK. 

Got news for you there can be more than one fucking investigation. Or are you trying to claim Burisma is clean?

You can't refute either of those statements because they are the TRUTH. 

Neither can you prove them.

Oh and do you notice that Biden says in the video that the Ukrainians doubted that he had the authority when he said that the US would hold the loan guarantee and he told them to call Obama. So Biden was obviously acting with Obama's authority.

Biden threw Obama under the bus as well. So what? I have pointed that out several times.

I'm pretty sure that Pence will be using the excuse of acting under Trump's authority in the near future. 

I am positive you don't know what you are talking about.

Perhaps you can explain why you and your fellow travelers are whining about Biden's quid pro quo but defending Trump's? If Biden's was 'corrupt' so was Trump's. Or are you trying to insist that I accept overt hypocrisy? 

Because the Democrats haven't proven there was any quid pro quo with Trump. Also asking the Ukrainian government to investigate corruption is not a violation of US law.  I can easily turn this on you. Why aren't the Democrats in favor of investigating Biden's quid pro quo. Or is are trying to insist I accept overt hypocrisy.

Note: Not a peep from you after I posted this comment. Expect the same every time you post that video. 

Note: I have a life. Seems you don't.

 
 
 
Dulay
2.1.2  Dulay  replied to  Ronin2 @2.1.1    7 months ago
I will see your bullshit and raise several Democratic ass clowns.  There is no evidence against Trump except leftist hard feelings and wishes.

Is that in you linked video? 

Got news for you there can be more than one fucking investigation.

Agreed. But then it wouldn't be about Biden, would it? 

Or are you trying to claim Burisma is clean?

No. 

Neither can you prove them.

Actually, I can. 

Biden threw Obama under the bus as well. So what? I have pointed that out several times.

How so? 

I am positive you don't know what you are talking about.

Ditto.

Because the Democrats haven't proven there was any quid pro quo with Trump.

Trump and Mulvaney admitted it. So did Sondland. 

Also asking the Ukrainian government to investigate corruption is not a violation of US law.  

Except Trump didn't say a fucking word about 'corruption' did he? 

I can easily turn this on you.

That seems to be the working MO of late. 

Why aren't the Democrats in favor of investigating Biden's quid pro quo.

Well gee Ronin, judging from the fact that all you and your fellow travelers have is a bullshit interpretation of the video you linked, there is no evidence of a quid pro quo with corrupt intent. 

Or is are trying to insist I accept overt hypocrisy.

The overt hypocrisy is when y'all post the same video of Biden and insist on ignoring the evidence against Trump. 

 
 
 
The Magic Eight Ball
3  The Magic Eight Ball    7 months ago

this is pathetic nonsense.

pay attention:

https://arizonadailyindependent.com/2019/09/29/treaty-with-ukraine-on-mutual-legal-assistance-in-criminal-matters/

if you don't like that source?

Treaty:  https://www.congress.gov/106/cdoc/tdoc16/CDOC-106tdoc16.pdf

Senate confirmation:  https://www.congress.gov/treaty-document/106th-congress/16/document-text

in other words, trump has every legal right to ask for ukraines assistance.


y'all are now dismissed.

 
 
 
Dulay
3.1  Dulay  replied to  The Magic Eight Ball @3    7 months ago
pay attention: in other words, trump has every legal right to ask for ukraines assistance.

Why yes 8 Ball, YES he does.

Yet it looks like YOU are the one not paying attention.

I suggest you READ that Treaty. It REQUIRES the US/Ukraine to file DOCUMENTED requests for legal assistance. The parameters of those requests actually REQUIRE evidence, something neither Trump or his DOJ can provide. 

In short, by TREATY, calling and asking for a 'favor' to investigate innuendo don't cut it...

BTFW, in August, Zelensky's aid Yermak actually asked Volker to have the US submit an official request for an investigation into Burisma, 'if that's what the US really desired'. So it looks like the Ukraine understands the terms of the Treaty better than Trump and Barr. Oh,and YOU. 

Class dismissed. 

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
3.2  igknorantzrulz  replied to  The Magic Eight Ball @3    7 months ago

y'all are now dismissed.

like your posts should be ?

 
 
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