Ukraine

The Washington Post tumbles down the ski hill

Featured image 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 »

Why all the talk about “quid pro quo”?

Featured image In an article called “Welcome to Foreign Relations,” Andy McCarthy tells us that “foreign relations typically involve quid pro quo arrangements” because “governments do not ordinarily assist each other out of fondness.” That’s true of course, but beside the point in the context of President Trump’s relations with Ukraine. From the moment rumors about Trump’s conversation with the Ukrainian president appeared, the suspicion has been that the quid pro quo »

Lee Smith: It’s not all about the Bidens

Featured image Lee Smith is one of our most invaluable investigative reporters and political analysts. I have followed his work at the Weekly Standard and at Tablet. Lee is the author of the forthcoming book The Plot Against the President: The True Story of How Congressman Devin Nunes Uncovered the Biggest Political Scandal in U.S. History. He is now with RealClearInvestigations, which has just posted his column “It’s not all about the »

The Ad That CNN Wouldn’t Run

Featured image CNN refused to run this Trump ad on the Biden Ukraine scandal. Why? “CNN is rejecting the ad, as it does not meet our advertising standards,” a network spokesperson told The Daily Beast. “Specifically, in addition to disparaging CNN and its journalists, the ad makes assertions that have been proven demonstrably false by various news outlets, including CNN.” I have no idea what “assertions” have been “proven demonstrably false.” That »

Trump: The Constitution made me do it

Featured image President Trump has defended his calls for Ukraine and China to investigate the Bidens in constitutional terms. He said: This is not about politics. This is about corruption. If you look and you read our Constitution and many other things, I have an obligation to look at corruption. I have an actual obligation and a duty. As I read the Constitution, it does not obligate a president to investigate a »

Those “Explosive” Ukraine Texts Make Zero Case For Impeachment

Featured image Paul wrote here about a selection of text exchanges among American diplomats that Adam Schiff released on Thursday. Politico, a reliable narrator of the Democratic Party line, termed the texts “explosive.” Politico highlights this one, from then-Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker, dated July 25, the day when President Trump spoke on the phone with President Zelensky: Politico tells us that “This is a key exchange that Democrats are likely »

Report: A second “whistleblower” may be coming forth. Does it matter?

Featured image According to the New York Times, “A second intelligence official who was alarmed by President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine is weighing whether to file his own formal whistle-blower complaint and testify to Congress.” Given the appearance of this story in the New York Times, this potential whistleblower’s “weighing” doesn’t appear to be a private affair. He (or she) is no Hamlet. The Times has more to say about this second »

Trump’s Secretary of Sh*t

Featured image During Bill Clinton’s presidency, Vernon Jordan was known, informally, as the Secretary of Sh*t. Stated more kindly, it was his assignment to put out or minimize the fires that Clinton’s lack of discipline and integrity generated. I yearned for a president who didn’t require such a “Secretary.” Clinton’s two immediate successors, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, were both disciplined. Each set, or at least experienced, some fires, but neither »

Quid pro quo, the next battleground

Featured image In discussing President Trump’s famous phone conversation with Ukraine’s president, I have distinguished between a president asking a foreign government to cooperate in a U.S. investigation of that president’s political rival and a president asking a foreign government to launch its own investigation. In my view, the former request is okay in itself, but the latter request is problematic. The latter is what Trump called for yesterday. John describes what »

Trump Doubles Down (2)

Featured image I agree with Paul that President Trump is making a bold move by calling on both Ukraine and China to investigate corruption involving the Biden family while Joe Biden was vice president. Unlike Paul, I see Trump’s call as entirely defensible. There is strong evidence that the Biden family accepted bribes from both Chinese and Ukrainian interests. Those who bribed the Bidens obviously thought they were buying influence with the »

Trump doubles down

Featured image President Trump today publicly called on both Ukraine and China to investigate the Bidens. Thus, Trump not only went public with his call for Ukraine to investigate a political rival, he called on a second country to do the same thing. Rarely has the cliche “double down” been more apt. Leaders of political parties typically disagree completely about policy. At times, they read the political tea leaves somewhat differently. In »

Australia and Ukraine, compare and contrast

Featured image I agree with Scott that the latest media attack on President Trump — the New York Times’ report that “Trump Pressed Australian Leader to Help Barr Investigate Mueller Inquiry’s Origins” — is a non-scandal. As Scott notes, the report does not appear to be accurate. In any event, there would be nothing wrong with Trump pressing a foreign leader for cooperation in a Justice Department investigation of possible wrongdoing. As »

What Yuri told Rudy

Featured image Yuri Lutsenko was Ukraine’s chief prosecutor from May 2016 until August 2019. Thus, he held that position at the time of President Trump’s now famous phone conversation with Ukraine’s president. Lutsenko says he told Rudy Giuliani that he would be happy to cooperate if the FBI or other U.S. authorities began their own investigation of Joe Biden and/or Hunter Biden. However, he told Giuliani that, as far as he knew, »

The Democrats Aren’t Wrong About Impeachment

Featured image As I have said before, I think the claim that President Trump’s phone conversation with President Zelensky of Ukraine somehow constitutes an impeachable offense is ridiculous. But impeachment is a political act, not a legal one, and the Democrats’ motives are entirely political. They think that impeaching President Trump will cast a pall of discredit over him and weaken his chances for re-election in 2020. I think that calculation is »

The Giuliani factor

Featured image There’s nothing wrong with a U.S. official asking a foreign leader for help in investigating possible criminal acts by Americans committed in, or relating to, the foreign leader’s country. There’s nothing wrong with a U.S. president asking a foreign leader to speak to and work with a U.S. official conducting such an investigation. This is true regardless of whether the person being investigated is a political opponent of the president. »

Warren stammers on Biden ethics issue

Featured image I got a kick out of this report by the Daily Caller: Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren appeared to stammer and waffle Wednesday when a reporter asked her if it would be ethical if her hypothetical vice president’s son served on the board of a foreign company. “No,” Warren told a reporter at a campaign stop in New Hampshire before pausing to reconsider her answer. Warren added, “I don’t know. »

Trump Strikes Back

Featured image The Democrats are way out on a limb, determined to impeach President Trump on the basis of an innocent phone call with the President of Ukraine. A little while ago, President Trump tweeted and Instagramed this short video. Its message is, I think, entirely correct. The video illustrates how hard it will be for the Democrats to get anyone (outside their media empire) to take their impeachment charges seriously: I »