Monday, January 27, 2020

Shampeachment in the Driver's Seat

The only thing that can be construed as Russiagate is this Maria Bartiromo interview with Trey Gowdy and Mark Meadows, which is mostly impeachment, but deals with the FISA mess too. Via sundance at CTH, Mark Meadows and Trey Gowdy Discuss Impeachment and FBI FISA Fraud…

Oh, wait, the morning WaPoo has an editorial opinion that what the FBI  did was bad, real bad, but not bad enough to apologize to Page or Trump. The FISA court has taken steps to correct the Carter Page abuses. But more reform is needed. It's so bad! It could happen to us!

As for Shampeachment, it's a disorganized mess, lacking much structure, as lots of different issues left over from last week compete for attention.

From Town Hall's, Beth Bauman Sen. Ted Cruz Explains the One 'Critical Mistake' House Dems Made in Their Arguments. Calling attention to Joe and Hunter Biden's obvious corruption.
"The complete and total answer is there was overwhelming evidence of corruption and a president is always justified – in fact has a responsibility – to investigate corruption," he said. "The fundamental argument that disposes of this case, that makes clear the president did nothing that is impeachable, is he has the authority to investigate corruption."

According to the Texas senator, the House impeachment managers "opened the door" to making Hunter Biden a "critical witness."
Meanwhile, from Da Hill, Schiff whines Trump tweet is 'intended to be' a threat. Afraid of a mean tweet?
or maybe incite heckling! Megan Fox, PJ Media, Angry Citizens Heckle Adam Schiff, 'Move to Venezuela, Comrade!' It may be better than some areas of California. Politico, Sen. Hawley readies subpoena votes for Bidens, Schiff, for his role in "whistleblowergate."
If the witness vote succeeds, Hawley aims to force votes on subpoenas for House Intelligence Chairman Schiff (D-Calif.), Vice President Biden, Hunter Biden, Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson, the still-unnamed whistleblower who reported Trump's July call with the Ukrainian president and a reported acquaintance of the whistleblower's.
Sundance again, Sunday Talks: Representative John Ratcliffe Discusses House Fraud Within Impeachment Articles…

At Fox News, Democrat turncoat Mark Penn says Trump impeachment is an unproductive exercise in political rage – It’s time to end trial, unless the real intent is to smear him for 2020, and possibly reclaim the Senate, which look increasingly plausible.  At RCP, David Brooks grows a conscience You Can't Impeach Trump For Something That Hasn't Happened. But you can try, and that the point. But George Will recommends attempted impeachment just to fire a warning shot, "Prophylactic Impeachment" To Prevent Continuing Predictable Behavior From Miscreant Trump. Not exactly in the Constitution. Michael Goodwin, NYPo, Again, regarding Trump’s impeachment trial, read the transcript! But that was weeks ago!

Hot Air cites the NYT longing for Lamar to vote for witnesses, “Lamar Is Not Looking For A One-Time Event To Have What I Call The Shocking Headline”

The Peacock finds that Alan Dershowitz said something nasty about Trump in 2016! Alan Dershowitz labeled Trump 'destabilizing and unpredictable' in 2016 book. Via sundance, The Dersh explains to Chris Wallace:

Last week's Parmas stories drag on, soon to be replace by Bolton's book. WaPoo, Four significant questions raised by the newly released recording of Trump and Lev Parnas
Is the president lying about his relationship with Parnas or is he prone to endorsing rash personnel changes based on unfounded assertions from strangers?
How does Parnas’s request fit into what we know about Yovanovitch’s firing?
How familiar was he with the aid being given to Ukraine?
What other tapes might exist?
AP, In recording Trump asks how long Ukraine can resist Russians. Seems like a reasonable question.

This coming week's "New Big" story from NYT is leaks from John Bolton's book, alleging that (no shit) Trump was interested in corruption and the Bidens in Ukraine. WaPoo, Democrats call for Bolton to testify in Trump impeachment trial after new report on aid to Ukraine. Will they trade Bolton for Biden? I doubt it.  Althouse, Why can't John Bolton's publisher just release the book ahead of schedule so we're not subjected to second-hand reports of what's in it?
Here's the book (in Kindle form), on Amazon, scheduled for release on March 17th. Yes, there are commercial interests here, but there are overriding national interests... unless there are not.

So which is it? Like a lot of other people, I'm trying to extract the real meaning of the NYT article, "Trump Tied Ukraine Aid to Inquiries He Sought, Bolton Book Says/Drafts of the book outline the potential testimony of the former national security adviser if he were called as a witness in the president’s impeachment trial."

We're haggling and agonizing about whether Bolton can testify at the impeachment trial, as if he's a crucial repository of information that can only be delivered through live testimony, but that book exists. It's just being withheld — withheld and teased, through people who are very antagonistic to Trump.

It reminds me of the way Trump antagonists began this impeachment process with inflammatory reports of what Trump said in the Ukraine phone call. But there was a transcript of that phone call, and Trump changed the conversation about it by releasing the transcript.

Release the damned book!
According to the NYT article, Trump has had the book since December 30. The book is no surprise to Trump.
Key to Mr. Bolton’s account about Ukraine is an exchange during a meeting in August with the president after Mr. Trump returned from vacation at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J.... Mr. Trump... air[ed] his longstanding grievances about Ukraine, which mixed legitimate efforts by some Ukrainians to back his Democratic 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton, with unsupported accusations and outright conspiracy theories about the country, a key American ally.... [T]he president appeared focused on the theories Mr. Giuliani had shared with him, replying to Mr. Bolton’s question that he preferred sending no assistance to Ukraine until officials had turned over all materials they had about the Russia investigation that related to Mr. Biden and supporters of Mrs. Clinton in Ukraine.
The president often hits at multiple opponents in his harangues, and he frequently lumps together the law enforcement officials who conducted the Russia inquiry with Democrats and other perceived enemies, as he appeared to do in speaking to Mr. Bolton....
In other words, it wasn't all about Joe Biden. However wrong or disorderly Trump's various thoughts might have been, they were not limited to the one thought that is the thought that the House managers say was his only thought. That's their theory of abuse of power, that he wanted only to get material to use against his political rival.

Notice how cagily the first paragraph of the NYT article is written:
President Trump told his national security adviser in August that he wanted to continue freezing $391 million in security assistance to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats including the Bidens, according to an unpublished manuscript by the former adviser, John R. Bolton.
Did Trump even mention Joe Biden in that conversation?

AND: Why doesn't John Bolton just do an interview? I don't accept the answer: He's following his predetermined plan for marketing his book. He says he'd testify at the trial, but why keep it a secret and let Senators decide whether his input is included or not?
John Bolton's lawyers claim the release is a corruption of the review process:
Politico is upset by Marsha Blackburn’s Vindman vendetta. Good work, Marsha! From Newsweek (they still exist?), HILLARY CLINTON SAYS GOP IS 'SO COWED, SO TERRIFIED' OF REMOVING TRUMP: 'I HOPE THIS WILL HAUNT THEM'

Don Surber on The lightness of being Peggy Noonan
In Thursday's column, Noonan wrote, "I believe the president is guilty of shaking down the government of Ukraine for personal political gain, that he has rightly been embarrassed for this, and that the fit final punishment with an election coming was censure, not impeachment. But we are where we are, and the proceedings can be enriched if both parties unclench and let this thing broaden out."

Her opinion is based on falsehoods liars on the left push. She failed to do her homework. The transcript of President Donald John Trump's July 25 telephone call to his counterpart in Ukraine showed nothing of the sort. He asked about the investigation of Joe Biden. Big deal.

If Noonan did her homework, she would know that it was Biden who shook down the Ukraine government. He bragged about it.
On TV.

I'm looking forward to the continuation of the President's defense this week.

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