Ukraine

Joe Biden’s excuse for forcing Ukraine to sack its chief prosecutor is bogus

Featured image There is no dispute that, as vice president and point man on U.S. policy towards Ukraine, Joe Biden caused the Ukrainian government to sack its lead prosecutor, Viktor Shokin. Biden has bragged about doing so. There is also evidence that, before his removal, Shokin was investigating Burisma, the shady company on whose board Hunter Biden served. And there’s no dispute that Hunter Biden had no background relevant to Ukraine or »

Did Trump do anything wrong?

Featured image Tomorrow, the Senate will acquit President Trump. There’s a good chance that more Democrats will vote to acquit than Republicans will vote to convict. In fact, there’s a good chance that no Republican Senator will vote to convict. These outcomes would be a defeat for the Democrats. However, the impeachment will still be worth it for the Dems if it helps them in November — e.g., by enabling them to »

It’s John Bolton’s turn

Featured image So now it’s John Bolton who, in the name of defending President Trump, is to be demonized by conservatives. Some conservatives will find the task an easy one. Bolton is a foreign policy/national security hawk. Many conservatives have become rather dovish. But many other conservatives have continued to admire, or at least respect, Bolton. We like his hard line stance against America’s worst enemies, especially Iran. Bolton has plenty of »

A meaningless tape recording of Trump

Featured image The latest impeachment related story — a non-story in my view — is about a tape recording in which President Trump (according to reports) instructed associates to fire Marie Yovanovitch, the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. The recording apparently was made at a dinner party in April 2018 by Igor Fruman, one of Rudy Giuliani’s main Ukraine operatives (along with Lev Parnas). Yovanovitch wasn’t fired until May 2019. Thus, there is »

Roots of the whistleblower

Featured image As I have said a time or two before, behind the whistleblower lies what must be an interesting back story. We published Paul Sperry’s 4,000-word investigation here earlier this week. Now on an interesting segment of her FOX News show Laura Ingraham draws on emails she has obtained to push the story a few years further back (video below). FOX News itself reports on the segment in “Laura Ingraham: Much »

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 »