What do I win?
Earlier this morning, I wrote a piece predicting that this story about Trump and Ukraine, supposedly involving a quid pro quo and an investigation request into Joe Biden, would blow up. The centerpiece of this was Biden being on tape bragging that he threatened to withhold $1 billion in loan guarantees if Ukraine didn’t fire a prosecutor. That prosecutor just happened to be going after his son’s company. Just a coincidence, I’m assured.
Here’s the tape of Biden.
Joe Biden brags about how he threatened to pull $1 billion in loan guarantees from Ukraine if it didn’t immediately fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.
The prosecutor, who was fired, was leading a corruption investigation into a company that employed Biden's son, Hunter pic.twitter.com/xZd3vIMbuL
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) September 20, 2019
Somehow though, this became a Trump scandal because a supposed “whistle-blower” claimed that the President had pressured Ukraine to investigate Biden’s very apparent corruption. I know, it makes no sense, but that’s how it works in the age of orange man bad. Somehow being on tape extorting a country wasn’t a big deal, but Trump wanting an investigation into it by our ally was impeachable. The media immediately went into leak and supposition mode, claiming that Trump had threatened the new Ukrainian President by withholding of $250 million in military aid they desperately needed.
This was it we were told. It was the scandal that would finally bring Trump down. And then, like always happens, more information started to trickle out that countered the hysteria.
President Trump in a July phone call repeatedly pressured the president of Ukraine to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden ’s son, urging Volodymyr Zelensky about eight times to work with Rudy Giuliani, his personal lawyer, on a probe, according to people familiar with the matter.
“He told him that he should work with [Mr. Giuliani] on Biden, and that people in Washington wanted to know” whether allegations were true or not, one of the people said. Mr. Trump didn’t mention a provision of foreign aid to Ukraine on the call, said this person, who didn’t believe Mr. Trump offered the Ukrainian president any quid-pro-quo for his cooperation on an investigation…
And there it is. There was no quid-pro-quo. He did not threaten to withhold military aid. He simply asked several times on a single phone call for them to look into it. He never even called back to press the issue further. None of the nonsensical gnashing of teeth we heard all day about this supposedly being an impeachment bombshell is true. A President asked an ally to investigate corruption that Biden himself admitted to on tape.
Some still can’t let this go though. We have certain conservatives of the anti-Trump bent asserting that the President didn’t actually have to say the words to be asking for a quid-pro-quo. Actually, yes, yes he does have to say the words. Especially when we know the military aid went through anyway despite no investigation being opened by Ukraine. The idea that we are now going to go after Trump based on suppositions of what Ukraine should have deemed from a perfectly legal request is asinine.
Look, I realize some had a lot invested in this, but how many times must they learn this lesson? How hard is it to wait 24 hours and see what else comes out? If a story fits a partisan narrative too perfectly, it’s probably not true or lacking context.
The other thing I’m hearing is that even if this wasn’t illegal or impeachable, it was still wrong because he asked a foreign leader to help him in a way that would benefit him politically. Frankly, I could not care less. These are the new rules. In 2016, the Obama administration went after the Trump campaign based on what they claimed were legitimate suspicions. We have Biden on tape. I’d say that’s a legitimate suspicion. Further, the DNC used Ukraine to get dirt on Paul Manafort. The Hillary campaign hired a foreign spy to build a dossier of opposition research on Trump. So spare me the moral lectures on using foreign sources.
This is politics, not religion and the only way you gather information on corruption by opponents in foreign countries is by using foreign sources. Democrats, the media, and some anti-Trump Republicans do not get to change the rules all the sudden when they don’t benefit them anymore. The precedent was set in 2016 and they will be made to live by it.
Meanwhile, the scramble is on to try to salvage what little is left of this story exploding in their faces. We’ll get all the usual excuses and claims that even though Trump didn’t do it, he’s still bad. The Washington Post will push out a dozen editorials all saying the same thing. The song and dance never changes. For all practical purposes though, this story is dead and done as far as Trump goes.
Biden’s involvement on the other hand? That story will only grow.
— Bonchie (@bonchieredstate) September 20, 2019
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