Ukraine

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 »

Emails Reveal Biden/Burisma Influence at State Department

Featured image John Solomon has posted State Department emails involving a lobbyist named Karen Tramontano and Burisma, the Ukrainian natural gas company that paid Hunter Biden $3 million: Hunter Biden and his Ukrainian gas firm colleagues had multiple contacts with the Obama State Department during the 2016 election cycle, including one just a month before Vice President Joe Biden forced Ukraine to fire the prosecutor investigating his son’s company for corruption, newly »

A tough Trump policy on Russia that no one talks about

Featured image The claim that the Trump administration goes easy on Russia is false. President Trump has sanctioned Russia and Russians. He has expelled Russian diplomats. He is more supportive of Poland and, yes, Ukraine than President Obama was. At least as importantly, Trump has vigorously opposed a natural gas pipeline between Russia and Germany. Construction of the pipeline, Nord Stream 2, would be hugely beneficial for Russia. For one thing, Russia »

The Dems’ frivolous request that Barr recuse himself

Featured image Democrats, led by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, are clamoring for Attorney General Barr to recuse himself from all matters pertaining to Ukraine that might come up in Justice Department investigations. They know Barr isn’t going to do so, but hope to discredit him with this sort of a drumbeat. There is no reason for Barr to recuse himself. Democrats base their call for recusal on “concerns about [Barr’s] role in President »

Trump’s winning argument on impeachment

Featured image Andy McCarthy urges President Trump’s supporters to stop arguing that there was no Ukraine quid pro quo, and to argue instead that the short-lived quid pro quo attempt does not justify impeachment. I agree. Even before Bill Taylor’s opening statement to Adam Schiff’s committee, there was plenty of reason to suspect that Trump withheld aid to Ukraine, and did not set up a White House visit for Ukraine’s president, because »

Taylor’s troubling testimony

Featured image Text messages released weeks ago showed that Bill Taylor believed the Trump administration was conditioning the release of military aid to Ukraine on a Ukrainian investigation of Trump’s political opponents. Yesterday, in testimony before Congress, Taylor described the events that caused him to believe this. If Taylor is telling the truth, he had a sound basis for believing that, for a while, there was a quid pro quo relationship between »

Thinking clearly about Trump and aid to Ukraine

Featured image That’s the title of an article by Byron York in the Washington Examiner. Byron’s thinking on the subject is consistent with what I have been trying to say the past few weeks. Byron identifies five possible explanations for the temporary withholding of military aid to Ukraine that have been put forth by one party or another. The first three are: (1) Trump’s general dislike of foreign aid, (2) his concern »

Ukrainian corruption, a Russian myth?

Featured image The lead headline in today’s Washington Post (paper edition) proclaims: “Foes of Ukraine swayed Trump.” Just below this headline, we are informed that “Putin, Orban urged a hostile view; leaders fed corruption narrative, U.S. officials say.” The Post’s story is here. Just a few days ago, however, the Post paid glowing tribute to Joe Biden’s “brawling efforts” to combat corruption in Ukraine. Clearly, Ukrainian corruption is real and serious, not »

What Trump Asked Ukraine to Investigate

Featured image In his phone call with Ukraine’s President Zelensky, President Trump asked for a favor. The favor was not, as was widely reported at the time, to investigate Joe Biden. Rather, the favor was for Zelensky’s government to investigate Ukrainian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election: I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about »

Mick Mulvaney’s presser, a closer look

Featured image I want to take another look at Mick Mulvaney’s presser — the one that Democrats and the mainstream media claim nails down the existence of a quid pro quo arrangement between President Trump and Ukraine (or offer thereof) involving U.S. military aid. My previous post focused on the fact that if Mulvaney was talking about a quid pro quo, it wasn’t military aid in exchange for conducting an investigation of »

Mick Mulvaney’s presser

Featured image Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney held a press conference today. Mulvaney cited two reasons for the holding up of military aid to Ukraine: (1) lack of a contribution by European countries and (2) corruption in Ukraine. Then he added: Did [Trump] also mention to me in passing the corruption related to the DNC server?” Absolutely, no question about that. But that’s it, and that’s why we held »

Key witness: Trump said no quid pro quo

Featured image We know from documentary evidence that Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the EU, told William Taylor, our ambassador to Ukraine [correction, the chargé d’affaires], that there was no quid pro quo involved in connection with Ukraine investigating the Bidens. Sondland appears to have been the president’s point person within the diplomatic corps for dealing with Ukraine in these matters. Sondland will testify before a congressional committee this week. According »

Why do Republicans want to hear from the former ambassador to Ukraine?

Featured image Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch is testifying today before congressional committees on Capitol Hill. As Ed Morrissey notes, it’s curious that, although the White House has blocked a number of government officials from testifying before Congress, Yovanovitch showed up today to testify. The White House may be okay with Yovanovitch testifying. According to this article by Debra Heine in American Greatness, Rep. Devin Nunes, the ranking member of »