The Washington Post tumbles down the ski hill

Jim Dueholm was a law partner of John and Scott in Minneapolis. In retirement, Jim lives in Washington, D.C. Here, he attends key Supreme Court arguments, extends his already vast knowledge of American history, and sometimes writes letters in which he attempts to set the editors and readers of the Washington Post straight.

Jim’s latest letter concerns the Post’s coverage of the Trump-Ukraine affair and the rush to impeach the President. The Post isn’t going to publish the letter.

Jim is less troubled by the evidence regarding Trump and Ukraine than I am. However, I found merit in his carefully reasoned letter to the Post, and thought I should share it with Power Line readers.

This is what Jim wrote:

In making its impeachment case against President Trump, the Post for the third day running cites a handful of tweets gleaned from day-long testimony for which we don’t have a transcript (and which reportedly favors President Trump). The tweets are from Trump administration officials. The only one suggesting the president won’t release Ukranian aid unless Ukraine investigates Joe and Hunter Biden is dated September 9, two days before the aid came and the investigation didn’t. Pretty thin evidentiary gruel.

There’s a more basic problem. An administration can’t be impeached. All presidential impeachments have been based on direct evidence of presidential wrongdoing. The need for this evidence becomes apparent if we consider coming reports that may find wrongdoing by Obama administration officials in the lead-up to the 2016 election. President Obama could not have been impeached for that conduct unless it could be tied to him.

The only direct evidence we have of President Trump’s role in an alleged linkage between Ukraine aid and Ukranian investigation of the Bidens is the transcript of the July 25 call between the president and Ukranian President Zelensky. In that call, there is no hint of a quid pro quo. And contrary to what’s claimed in the the media and the Whistleblower’s complaint, the president in the call does not “pressure” President Zelensky to “investigate” the Bidens; he “asks” President Zelensky to “cooperate” in an investigation by Attorney General Bill Barr.

There will of course be more to come, so we need to reserve judgment. But the reporting in this matter goes well beyond getting over skis. It’s tumbling far down the ski hill.

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