1. Your error in logic is this: Because X occurs AFTER fact Y, does not mean it occurred because of fact Y. After Trump’s phone call with the New Ukrainian President (read the TRANSCRIPT) aid continued to be withheld for several weeks. (Late July to early September.) A better explanation is that Trump temporarily withheld aid until he was assured the New President would spend it well and was sincere about addressing corruption.
Reply: We haven’t seen the full transcript, it has been hidden in a secret place. Trump’s phone call mentioned nothing about corruption. The aid was resumed after the whistleblower came out with the complaint and the news became public. Nothing changed in Ukraine to assure the president of anything other than Russia continuing its aggression.
2. You write that all countries have corruption. Yes, to lesser or greater extents, but I’ve read that Ukraine leads the list (is “one of the top three most corrupt receiving U.S. aid”). Trump ran on a promise not to waste US dollars on corrupt governments.
Reply: The corruption in Ukraine is a post Soviet happening. It still is in full force in Russia. Trump never addressed it with Putin or the leader of any other country. The US people in Ukraine believed that Ukraine was making steps in the right direction. Trump never told anyone that he was withholding aid while it was being withheld that it was because of corruption. The OMB and the people in American embassy had no idea why he withheld it. It was a big mystery. If Trump withheld it for corruption he would have stared it.
3. Why single out Ukraine. Well, in fact Trump has held up aid to at least two other countries that had nothing to do with Biden. The better question is why did Joe Biden single out the Ukrainian prosecutor who was investigating the gas company Burisma that was paying his son $80,000 a month? Did Joe ask any other prosecutor in the world to be fired? And didn’t Joe attach a $1 billion conditional aid, to a promise to clean up corruption (or as some see it, to a promise not to investigate his son’s company.) I guess it’s OK for the Obama Administration to be concerned about corruption but not the Trump Administration?
Reply: name the other countries and the reasons. I can’t locate them. Biden acting against corruption and with the assent of other European nations wanted a corrupt prosecutor removed. That prosecutor was not investigating Burisma. He had shut that investigation down. But we are talking about Trump not Biden. If Biden was a crook that does not mean it is OK for Trump to be a crook.
4. What is wrong with a President asking the new president of a foreign country to investigate corruption?
Reply: There is nothing wrong with asking another president to investigate corruption. There is no evidence Trump asked Zelensky to do that. Aside from that it is a criminal act to ask such president to do it to help the president in his campaign, The action is aggravated when money appropriated by Congress is withheld to force it to be done.
5. The Transcript simply indicates Trump asked the new president to look into potential Ukrainian corruption (interference in our 2016 election) . . . you and all the Democrats have been wailing for three years we should “investigate” Russia’s interference in our 2016 election. Why not investigate potential Ukrainian interference?
Reply: We haven’t seen the full transcript but only the version Trump provided. There is no evidence Ukraine interfered in US election. The unanimous opinion of the Senate investigation, Mueller report and all intelligence agencies is Russia interfered and some have been indicted. Trump didn’t want an invest, he wanted a public announcement that Zelensky was doing one. No Democrats are wailing for Russia to be investigated, that has been done and is proven.
6. At the end of the Transcript, the Bidens name is mentioned . . . .Trump does not ask to dig up dirt on the Bidens . . . .he only says that situation stinks (paraphrasing) (as we all know it stinks) . . .and Trump infers that should be looked at too. What’s wrong with taking another look at that?
Reply: Answered above. The purpose was to just announce it so that Trump could use it against Biden. A State Department witness testified that Sondland stated after he heard Trump say he wanted investigations that Trump doesn’t care about Ukraine – he only cares about the big stuff – that is Biden and getting elected.
7. Because Biden is running for president, is he immune from being investigated? Is this a new rule the DEMs have invented? Like the FEDs inventing the crime of “not hiring the most qualified.”?re
Reply: Biden is not the issue. Trump’s extortion of Ukraine is.
8. Finally, your analogy with Pat Nee, would bettter fit if the two other guys sitting in Pat’s Nee’s car said they had no intention of robbing the bank, they had never discussed robbing the bank, and the FBI knew this, therefore the FBI would not be arresting them . . .they may be arresting Pat for his intent to rob the bank . . . .The facts show the New President of Ukraine and his underlings have stated that not only did they not know they were being “extorted or bribed” that is they did not know the aid was being held up, they were never asked by Trump to dig up dirt on anyone as a condition of doing anything.
Reply: This is a laughable defense. It’s like saying the prisoner in an enemy prison camp admitted something or other or saying a guy like Fleming looking for a deal is telling the Truth. Give people some benefit of intelligence. Everyone should recognize the Ukrainian government dependent on American aid to remain free from a Russian takeover will agree with whatever Trump says. As Sondland said, Zelensky will do whatever Trump wants.
9. So, your willingness to prosecute someone for extortion when the alleged extorted person denies being extorted falls flat. Imagine going to a jury on an extortion charge, and you bring in the witness who has been allegedly extorted, and the witness says, “Joe never extorted me, he never bribed me, he never offered me anything to do anything; he never forced me, he never coerced. ”
Reply: It is common that a person being extorted denies the extortion. He is extorted because he is in a subservient position and his life depends on denying the extortion. Usually extortions are prosecuted using electronic surveillance or when the danger no longer exists. The extorted depends on the person denying the extortion. In Whitey’s case people being extorted when approached by FBI denied the extortion. With Trump there are independent pieces of evidence that support it. No one expected Zelensky to admit it although he came close to it when he told Soneland he had to do three things for Trump.
Conclusion: (1) Why did Trump temporarily hold up the money? Because he wanted to assure it was not going to be wasted, it was going to be well spent, it was going to a New Ukrainian President who was intent on rooting out corruption, unlike past Ukrainian Presidents.
The evidence clearly shows corruption had nothing to do with it. If it were the case Trump could easily have given that as a reason. The evidence clearly shows he wanted a Biden and 2016 investigation announcement. The aid was withheld over the objections of the OMB that sought to learn why but got no answer. Nothing changed in Ukraine to give reason for its resumption. All that did change was the extortion scheme in America was exposed.
(2) Did Trump bribe or extort the Ukrainian President? The Ukrainian President says he did not. CASE OVER.
Reply – You’d be much better off stating you will accept and justify whatever Trump does. Like he said his people will blindly follow him justifying his every act,
P.S. As far as the two bureaucrats (Taylor et Kent) who testified yesterday, their beef seemed to be that Trump’s policies differed from theirs; that Trump used “channels” outside their channels, the established channels. They forgot who sets Foreign Policy. The president, not the bureaucrats in the State Department. They forgot that other Presidents used independent channels (like FDR.) The forgot that Trump ran on a promise to set new foreign policy priorities and to put America first, and not to continue the Cold War policies and wasteful foreign spending and wasteful foreign entanglements of the past. The President sets Foreign Policy, not Taylor and Kent.
Reply: You didn’t listen to their testimony. They are long term State Department officials who implement whatever policy the US president decides, They work for Dems and Republicans. They come from stellar American backgrounds. For you to call them liars when they say they have no foreign policy of their own is plainly wrong.
As for Trump’s alternative channel it consisted of Rudy Giuliani, a corrupt Ukrainian prosecutor thrown out by American’s push against corruption, two individuals so corrupt they are now indicted, and other corrupt people who were “pissed off” because Americans in the embassy were working against them. No other American president sought to instill a corrupt group into power for personal reasons.
That might be okay with you.