The just-released transcript of President Trump’s July 25 conversation with Ukrainian President Zelensky confirms the president’s statement that he did nothing blameworthy with regard to the Biden investigation. The conversation was friendly and wide-ranging. There was discussion of how much the U.S. is helping Ukraine:
Trump: I will say that we do a lot for Ukraine. We spend a lot of effort and a lot of time. Much more than the European countries are doing and they should be helping you more than they are. Germany does almost nothing for you.
Zelensky: Yes, you are absolutely right. … [T]he United States is doing quite a lot for Ukraine. Much more than the European Union especially when we are talking about sanctions against the Russian Federation. I would also like to thank you for your great support in the area of defense.
Trump next brought up the subject of alleged Russian hacking of the DNC’s email system during the 2016 election. The exchange is rather cryptic (to me, anyway) but it appears that Ukraine has something to do with the whereabouts of the server that the DNC refused to turn over to the FBI:
I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike… I guess you have one of your wealthy people… The server, they say Ukraine has it. There are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation. I think you’re surrounding yourself with some of the same people. I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like to get to the bottom of it. As you saw yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance, but they say a lot of it started with Ukraine. Whatever you can do, it’s very important that you do it if that’s possible.
Zelensky agrees, and goes on to talk about his desire for closer cooperation with the U.S. Among other things, he is replacing Ukraine’s ambassador to the U.S. If Ukraine really does have the long-sought DNC server (why? I have no idea), it could shed light on the 2016 email intrusion.
Zelensky continues by referring to investigations:
I also plan to surround myself with great people and in addition to that investigation [i.e., the server], I guarantee as the President of Ukraine that all the investigations will be done openly and candidly. That I can assure you.
Trump takes up the invitation to talk about investigations. This is the directly relevant portion of the conversation:
Good, because I heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that’s really unfair. A lot of people are talking about that, the way they shut your very good prosecutor down and you had some very bad people involved. Mr. Giuliani is a highly respected man. He was the mayor of New York City, a great mayor, and I would like him to call you. I will ask him to call you along with the Attorney General. Rudy very much knows what’s happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him that would be great. The former ambassador from the United States, the woman, was bad news, and the people she was dealing with in the Ukraine were bad news, so I just want to let you know that. The other thing, There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it… It sounds horrible to me.
That’s it. I can see no basis to criticize President Trump’s request. Zelensky responded:
I wanted to tell you about the prosecutor. First of all I understand and I’m knowledgeable about the situation. Since we have won the absolute majority in our Parliament, the next prosecutor general will be 100% my person, my candidate, who will be approved by the parliament and will start as a new prosecutor in September. He or she will look into the situation, specifically to the company that you mentioned in this issue. The issue of the investigation of the case is actually the issue of making sure to restore the honesty so we will take care of that and will and will work on the investigation of the case. On top of that, I would kindly ask you if you have any additional information that you can provide to us, it would be very helpful for the investigation to make sure that we administer justice in our country with regard to the Ambassador to the United States from Ukraine as far as I recall her name was Ivanovich. It was great that you were the first one who told me that she was a bad ambassador because I agree with you 100%.
The conversation concludes with some pleasantries. President Trump winds up discussion of the investigation with this:
I will have Mr. Giuliani give you a call and I am also going to have Attorney General Barr call and we will get to the bottom of it. I’m sure you will figure it out. I heard the prosecutor was treated very badly and he was a very fair prosecutor so good luck with everything.
It is obvious what went on here. There was corruption on both sides of the deal. A Ukrainian natural gas company, Burisma, retained Joe Biden’s son Hunter and agreed to pay him $3 million–$600,000 a year for five years. There is no conceivable way that Hunter Biden could provide $3 million worth of legitimate services to a Ukrainian company. Undoubtedly Burisma was buying (or thought it was buying) influence with the Obama-Biden administration.
A Ukrainian prosecutor was investigating Burisma for corruption, potentially including the Biden payoff. Joe Biden has boasted that he threatened to cancel a $1 billion loan guarantee package, demanding that Ukraine fire the offending prosecutor. Ukraine’s prior government acceded to Biden’s demand. As far as I know, Hunter Biden continued to collect his $600,000 annually.
The new Ukrainian government, under President Zelensky, is commendably willing to reopen the corruption investigation that was quashed by the prior Ukrainian administration, which was friendly to the Obama-Biden administration.
So President Trump is doing the right thing in encouraging Zelensky to get to the bottom of a corruption investigation that may extend both to Ukraine and to the United States. That investigation, if it is pursued to the end, might not end happily for the Biden family, which apparently, at least, has gotten caught with its hand in a multi-million dollar cookie jar.
Meanwhile, the Democrats are rushing headlong toward impeachment. I don’t think there is much doubt that they will proceed to vote articles of impeachment. I don’t see how they can back down after the wild accusations that they are now making with one voice. To take just one example, I got an email this morning from Keith Ellison, the Attorney General of Minnesota. Ellison wrote:
Trump has colluded with foreign powers to pervert our democracy, betrayed national secrets to our enemies, lined his own pockets, broken the law and violated the Constitution.
Congress owes it not to politics but to history and democracy to impeach. I applaud Speaker Pelosi for taking action yesterday to protect the rule of law.
This, and all similar talk about Trump “shredding the Constitution”–that was Joe Biden!–is simply insane, in the context of the Ukraine matter. How Trump’s conversation with Zelensky, or any related action (as yet unspecified) could possibly have “violated the Constitution” is inexplicable.
So it appears to me that we are on a collision course with the alternative reality in which the Democratic Party lives.