Trump’s Toast: Knowing The Time Line

The Republican position used to try to save Trump from the toaster is that the allegation that he tried to squeeze Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy into making a public announcement about opening an investigation into the Biden’s and Ukraine’s interference into the U.S. 2016 presidential election that put Trump into office can’t be true because he restored military and other aid before any statement was issued.

Because the eventual goal doesn’t come about does not mean the goal was not intended. What must be examined is whether anything happened to cause the person to be unable to achieve the goal. Take the Pat Née example where he was sitting outside the bank with his weapons. The FBI descended on him and his cohorts to stop them. That doesn’t mean they didn’t plan to rob the bank.

In the Nee example Née learned just before the FBI interrupted their robbery the name of one of the guys involved in planning the heist. He immediately knew the jig was up because he knew that guy was an informant. Suppose Née learned that information the night before the planned robbery. He then said: “hey guys, if Charlie knows about our plans then the FBI knows, I’m suggesting we give up on the idea.” Née then leaves the gang and heads back to Southie. That doesn’t mean Née didn’t plan the robbery. It indicates that the plans had been discovered so it was best to call them off,

Now Trump has admitted in the version of the July telephone call he released that he asked Zelenskyy for a favor. (The true transcript of the call is hidden in a very secret place where just about no one can gain access to it. Why is that the case?) We also know subsequent to that call the aid to Ukraine was suspended without anyone informed of the reason at the time.

If there is no intervening cause to explain why it was resumed then perhaps some weight could be given to the Republican  position. In other words did the extortion attempt become known so that the plan had to be abandoned.

On September 5 the Washington Post reported it had reliable information Trump was trying to force Zelenskyy to investigate Biden. on September 9th House Democrats launched an investigation into the allegation. By that time the whistleblower complaint had been filed and the White House knew about it. Also on the 9th the inspector general informed the House and Senate committees of the whistleblower complaint. The House demanded the complaint be turned over to it.

The next day aid to Ukraine was allowed to go through with no conditions. The president gave no reasons when he ordered it withheld and no explanation when he unfroze it. Nothing change between holding it up and releasing it other than it became obvious the people would learn the reason why it was suspended was to strong-arm I’m Zelenskyyi into doing something he did not want to do.

When asked Zelenskyy said nothing happened. It reminds me of the time two guys were shot in the Square Cafe in Southie in front of 30 other people. When the cops came it appeared no one saw nothing. Who wants to be testifying against the gunman.

Zelenskyy is in the same position as the patrons of the Square Cafe. He doesn’t want to be giving evidence against the gangster gunman. The consequences for his country which is under attack from Russia are too grave. Life or death of a sovereign nation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 thoughts on “Trump’s Toast: Knowing The Time Line

  1. All foreign aid is vetted. DOD did just that. No usable problems. Trump took control and came up with Bidens. Those guys just don’t know how to investigate.

    Nice when you can use the US Treasury as your Pinkerton fund.

    What is the role of a private citizen in official national security dealings? Hanging out with big gas power entities on the side (trying to wet his beak) is icing on the cake.

    What chills to the bone is the gravity of these dealings. Russia perceives a American/Uke breach, invades, slaughters a few hundred thousand Ukranians, and Trump shrugs his shoulders and looks for more hotel acreage.

  2. Matt, once again, you begin your analysis with a false premise. You say let’s consider the case of a man who intends to commit a crime (a bank robbery.) So, you have already posited Trump as a criminal, i.e. a man intending to commit a crime.

    Secondly, you employ the logical fallacy: Post hoc ergo propter hoc: Because event X followed event Y, it must have been caused by event Y.” Because aid was restored after Trump’s mentioning the Biden name was revealed, it must have been restored because of this revelation. But aid was restored also after the Ukrainian president said he was “cleaning up the swamp” in his own country, and after he said he was concerned about the lack of support from European Nations. (Read the Transcript).

    You end your analysis by claiming the Ukrainian President denied being coerced, because he was afraid of Trump acting adversely, like the guys in the barroom who denied seeing the shooter because they were afraid of being shot; in other words you end your analysis by asking us to assume, again, Trump is a criminal, this time a murderous criminal. This reasoning and these analogies are species.

    What are the facts? Congress approved aid in February 2019. It was held up. President Trump began to withhold aid about June 2019, some report, about mid-July some report, with no mention of the Bidens. He directed his staff, including John Bolton and others, to conduct a review of the Military Assistance to Ukraine, to insure that American Taxpayers’ dollars were well spent.

    This from Wikipedia “The administration notified Congress in February 2019 and May 2019 that it intended to release this aid to Ukraine. Despite the notifications to Congress, in June 2019, the Trump administration placed military aid to Ukraine on hold.”

    You say there is only one intent, or that the primary intent was that Trump wanted to commit a criminal act, to rob the bank, to condition Ukrainian Assistance on investigating the Bidens.

    The better analysis of Trump’s intent, expressed while he was running for President, was not to commit a crime, but to (1) root out corruption and (2) to make sure European Countries were doing their fair share and (3) not to waste taxpayers’ money.

    The first thing the President of Ukraine mentions in his phone call with Trump is this “the swamp” that he is attempting to clean up by appointing new people. He uses that very expression: “the swamp.” He is of course referring to corruption. He mentions he has appointed new people who will deal with the swamp. The second thing he discusses with Trump is that the other European Nations could and should contribute more. At the end of the phone call, Trump asks the Ukrainian President to “look into” the Hunter Biden matter and Joe Biden’s role. Here’s the relevant quote from Transcript: “The other thing, There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it… It sounds horrible to me.”

    That’s it. The Ukrainian President said he felt “no pressure” from the call. There was no coercion. A simple request to look into a matter that occurred in 2016. No “bank robbery” or “barroom shooting” was mentioned;no gun was put to anyone’s head. It was a simple request to look into something that happened in 2016. For this, you want to impeach a president?

    Where was your outrage when Hillary’s campaign hired British Agent Christopher Steele who worked with Russians to create the phony Dossier?

    2. TO THE CONTRARY: Why not begin your analysis in acknowledging that (1) all Presidents have conditioned Foreign Aid, (2) most Presidents have expressed concern about Foreign Aid to corrupt nations, (3) Ukraine is the most corrupt nation in Europe (see my quote yesterday, of 180 countries in the world, Ukraine is ranked as 130 most corrupt and the most corrupt in Europe), (4) Trump acted consistent with his campaign promises. (5) the mention of the Bidens was not linked, explicitly nor implicitly, to receiving aid. The mention was a sidebar . . .a throway sentence in an innocuous telephone conversation that began with the Ukrainian’s president mentioning “the swamp” in his own country and went on to cover several other topics.

    Here’s is a quote from the Atlantic Monthly, a liberal magazine, that shows some balance, while at the end taking a jab at Trump asking whether Trump acted in the National Interest or for personal gain.

    “So it stands to reason that the U.S. should be able to withhold military aid—either to try to force better behavior, or simply to stop wasting taxpayer money on something that’s not working. It’s not especially rare—historically, presidents and lawmakers have done this for all kinds of reasons. In 1982, President Ronald Reagan did it to Israel, stopping the sale of cluster bombs to the country for six years after Congress found Israel had used them against civilians in Lebanon. The George W. Bush administration once suspended military aid to 35 countries simultaneously when they refused to guarantee U.S. immunity in potential cases at the recently formed International Criminal Court. . . . Trump’s State Department declar(ed) Burmese units involved in abuses against Rohingya Muslims to be ineligible for military aid . . .The Trump administration suspended military aid to Pakistan this year . . . In Egypt, following the overthrow of the elected President Morsi, the Obama administration temporarily suspended delivery to Egypt of some weapons systems . . .”
    “Elias Yousif, a program and research associate at Security Assistance Monitor, says such suspensions may happen far more than the public realizes, as Congress and the executive branch tussle over aid packages and approvals. When the disputes are severe, they can spill out into the open. For instance, the White House and Congress have argued repeatedly this year over military support to the Saudi campaign in Yemen”

    Another news source, Politico, reported: “Trump has also withheld hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Central America.”

    CONCLUSION: You can’t begin your analysis by assuming Trump is a criminal. Presidents routinely withhold and condition aid. Aid was suspended to undertake a review; after that review assured the President that the money would be well spent and the new Ukrainian Administration was intent on rooting out corruption, generally, aid was restored. Trump suspended aid to other countries, Pakistan, Central America, Burma, as have other Presidents, without any mention of the Bidens. Ukraine was reportedly “the most corrupt nation in Europe” and naturally the Trump Administration wanted to take a careful look at the new Ukrainian Administration and new Ukrainian Parliament before releasing the funds.

    So, President Trump’s overriding motives and intents were consistent with American’s national security interests. Ukrainian Assistance was restored in a timely fashion. (Anyway, it had to be restored by the end of September or else it would expire, which is the real reason why it was restored in September.)

    Remember, the Trump Administration has reformulated a lot of US foreign policy and has withdrawn from some international agreements and entered into new ones, like the new USMCA. A lot of the old guard don’t like. There’s resistance to change. Resisters, in the Deep State, in the State Department especially, don’t like Trump’s changes and they’ve been attempting to thwart his efforts ever since his election, they’ve been attempting to twist innocent contacts, innocent telephone conversations and innocent words into crimes. That what Today’s Congress is trying to do: criminalize innocent conversations.

    1. P.S. If Ukraine actually undertook an investigation of the hiring of Hunter Biden and found both Hunter and Joe innocent, then the investigation would not be in Trump’s personal/political interest, it would be in the Bidens’. The Ukrainians cannot predict who will win the next election, Democrats or Republicans. Whomever or whatever they investigate has to be very straightforward.
      Put another way: If the Bidens did nothing wrong, they have nothing to fear from Ukraine taking a look, and everything to gain from a definitive public exoneration.

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