Ukraine

The Parnas problem

Featured image New evidence from Lev Parnas has Democrats more insistent than ever that the Senate impeachment trial include testimony from witnesses who did not appear before the House. Parnas joins the ranks of John Bolton and Mick Mulvaney as key witnesses the Dems say they need testimony from. Even the Democrats can’t deny that Parnas is a problematic witness. He appears to be a crook with a motive to lie. However, »

More of the same, but less

Featured image According to Politico, the “bombshells” keep falling in the impeachment farce, this time courtesy of the indicted Lev Parnas. Bombshells “keep falling on my head/And just like the guy whose feet are too big for his bed/Nothing seems to fit.” How come all the things that Parnas asserts “had to happen” didn’t have to happen before the aid flowed? Oh, well. What we seem to have here, beginning with the »

Iran shot down that Ukrainian plane, probably by mistake

Featured image As Scott discusses below, U.S. officials say they have “high confidence” that an Iranian antiaircraft missile brought down that Ukrainian passenger jet near Tehran. So reports the Washington Post. The missile strike killed all 176 people aboard the plane. None was an American. More than 60 were Canadians. 82 were Iranians. The U.S. believes that the aircraft was hit by a SA-15 surface-to-air missile, a Russian-made system. This occurred about »

Hunter Biden absent from Biden family Christmas card

Featured image I didn’t get a Christmas card from Joe Biden, but I take the Daily Caller’s word that the family picture that graced the card did not include Hunter Biden. Six family members appear on the card, along with the former vice president and his wife. Hunter is not among them. Joe Biden followed up with a video of two family dogs. He tweeted: When we say Merry Christmas from the »

Confirmed, no harm to Ukraine military from hold on aid

Featured image The Washington Post tries to find harm that resulted from the brief hold President Trump placed on aid to Ukraine. However, its reporters acknowledge that the withheld aid did not disrupt Ukrainian military activities. Undaunted, the Post insists that the delay sowed doubt in Ukraine about America’s commitment to that country. If so, this must not have been a first. President Obama refused to provide lethal military assistance to Ukraine, »

Senator Johnson’s letter

Featured image Senator Ron Johnson attended the inauguration of Volodymyr Zelensky as president of Ukraine in May and returned on an official trip in September. He has been in the middle of several crucial investigations from his perch on Senate committees including Homeland Security and Foreign Relations. He has also been a vocal supporter of lethal military aid to Ukraine. On Monday he sent a 10-page letter dated November 18 to House »

The Yovanovitch farce

Featured image I want to add two points to the ones Scott makes about the testimony of Marie Yovanovitch. First, Yovanovitch had nothing of significance to say about issues relevant to impeachment. Second, her testimony was an attempt by Adam Schiff to play the identity politics card. Yovanovitch was not the ambassador to Ukraine during the period when the Trump administration withheld military aid. She has no knowledge as to why the »

Elise Stefanik stands out

Featured image John has already noted the fine job Rep. Elise Stefanik, a former “Power Line pick,” did today of questioning Marie Yovanovitch, the former ambassador to Ukraine. Stefanik also did well during Wednesday’s hearing. Indeed, John McCormack at NRO says she was “clearly the strongest Republican questioner of the day.” Stefanik has distinguished herself by focusing on four indisputable facts: (1) Ukraine didn’t agree to investigate the Bidens, (2) Ukraine got »

What Trump wanted

Featured image In an unflattering column about President Trump called “Incompetence is not an impeachable offense,” Marc Thiessen writes: What we saw on display Wednesday were two dedicated, experienced career foreign policy officials who had been desperately trying to figure out what the president wanted — and inferring his intentions based on snippets of information from others. But their efforts to divine Trump’s desires presume that the president knew what he wanted. »

Ukraine: Dem orthodoxy evolves

Featured image Inside the impeachment inquiry is a classic satire of democratic politics struggling to get out. (I would like to take up Quigley on Evidence. For the moment I will only observe that Quigley should find his place in a sequel to My Cousin Vinny.) On the substance of yesterday’s hearing in the impeachment inquiry hearing before the House Intelligence Committee, I wondered: wasn’t it only yesterday that the Obama administration »

The impeachment hearing, opening salvos

Featured image I was able to watch the first hour and a half of today’s impeachment hearing until a prior, far more enjoyable commitment took precedence. I saw the opening statements of Adam Schiff and Devin Nunes, plus the opening statements of today’s two witnesses, George Kent and Bill Taylor. Here are my impressions: Schiff devoted his opening statement to a summary of what he says the evidence will show. He presented »

What were the consequences of temporarily withholding aid to Ukraine?

Featured image David Ignatius of the Washington Post instructs us to remember that “while Trump was playing politics on Ukraine, people who depended on U.S. military aid were getting killed and wounded.” Quite possibly, but Ignatius doesn’t present evidence that this is so. Instead, he cites casualties that occurred after Trump released the military aid: On Oct. 5, a man and a woman died after a grenade exploded in their apartment in »

A big week for the President and his enemies

Featured image The Democrats’ effort to take down President Trump over his dealings with Ukraine consists of three stages. The first stage was to develop the evidence that Trump withheld aid for a period of time as a way of pressuring Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden. The second stage is to present that evidence to the public through good witnesses. The third stage will be to press the argument that what Trump »

The Ukraine Scandal Spreads

Featured image I take it as a given that Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma paid the Biden family a $3 million bribe. That follows from the facts that 1) Hunter Biden doesn’t speak Ukrainian or have any experience in Ukrainian business, 2) Hunter Biden has no experience in the natural gas industry, 3) Burisma nevertheless paid Biden more than $83,000 a month (!) for three years to serve on its board of »

None dare call it deceit

Featured image Byron York has a valuable column that in its own way exposes the malicious duplicity behind the Democrats’ current impeachment initiative. It appears under the headline “Testimony: How Trump helped Ukraine.” This is the opening: One notable and little-reported conclusion emerging from the House Democratic impeachment proceedings is a consensus among some foreign policy professionals that President Trump’s Ukraine policy has been an improvement over President Barack Obama’s. Ukraine was »

Report: Zelensky was about to announce Biden investigation when aid was released

Featured image The New York Times reports that Ukraine’s president was about to yield to pressure from the White House to investigate the Bidens when, suddenly, the White House released the military aid it had been withholding. At that point, a relieved President Zelensky was free not to undertake the investigation. He did not undertake it. According to the Times, Zelensky wanted to avoid getting caught in the middle of American partisan »

Sondland revises testimony on quid pro quo

Featured image Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the EU and a key player in the dispute over what the Trump administration said or didn’t say to Ukraine about military aid, has revised his testimony to the House impeachment probers. He says the revision is the result of having his memory refreshed by the testimony of Bill Taylor, the acting ambassador to Ukraine. The Washington Post reports: In a “supplemental declaration” provided to »