Today may have marked the last public testimonies of the Impeachment Inquiry that we will see. It’s not quite clear if House Democrats will be proceeding now towards voting on Articles of Impeachment and if approved, triggering a public impeachment trial in The Senate.
What we do know at this point though is what the Republican defenses of their criminal president are and will be (he did already admit guilt in stealing from his own charity). They are not substantive or honest, they range from just closing their eyes and claiming they don’t see any evidence of impeachment to calling it all a hoax to insisting the real impeachment hearing should be of Hillary Clinton (even though she’s not a president).
As Republicans have deployed their morally bankrupt, party-and-power-before-country ploys, they have intentionally obscured or just flat out lied about truths that they don’t want Americans to think about because they prove Trump is a criminal and that they are indeed criminal conspirators.
So what follows is a list of Republican defenses of Trump and the truths they try to obfuscate.
DECEPTIONS REPUBLICANS USE TO PROTECT TRUMP AND THE FACTS THEY DENY
- “There was nothing wrong with Trump’s call.” Just the act of asking a foreign national to contribute something of value to one’s political campaign is a crime. Yep, just Trump’s ask in that call, even if Trump had hung up right after asking for a “favor” and never mentioned it again…is having committed a crime. Also, last I checked, bribery and extortion are crimes. Using a public act, like the release of $400 million in desperately needed aid or giving a head of state a White House meeting, in exchange for something of value to the president personally, is bribery. Knowing that withholding both from a country in a hot war with a major power that badly needs the money and the meeting for support in its war, in order to squeeze out a political “favor”, is extortion.
- “All of these claims about Trump are 2nd hand hearsay.“ First, that is just false. Many of those who testified in hearings offered first-hand knowledge of events, especially Gordon Sondland who spoke directly with Trump and other principles in this scheme. Second, there are a number of exclusions in federal law that allow for hearsay to be entered as evidence. Third, this is not a criminal trial and doesn’t even need to abide by federal legal standards on the admissibility of hearsay. What supports all this testimony too is that both the direct and hearsay testimonies have all supported each other as accurate.
- “The $400 million was released and Zelensky never made the public announcement about investigating the Bidens so there was no crime.” I challenge all Republicans to put on ski masks, go into banks and pull guns on the tellers, order them to hand over all the cash in their drawers then as cops burst in to stop them, angrily complain that they didn’t commit a crime because they were caught before successfully completing it. Ever hear of “attempted murder”? “Attempted robbery”? Yes Republicans, it is a crime to attempt a crime even if you’re too inept to complete it. Also, this was only one of two extortion items. The other was a meeting in the White House and, even though a mass-murdering tyrant like Turkey’s Erdogan has received a White House visit, President Zelensky hasn’t. So, as of today, the extortion and bribery proposition is alive and well. No public announcement of a Biden investigation by Zelensky, no White House visit. So if Republicans think Trump is not guilty of extortion/bribery because the aid wasn’t withheld, Trump must be guilty of that because the visit is still withheld. As for why the $400 million was released without Zelensky making the announcement, Zelensky was set to appear on CNN to do so when the whistleblower complaint was finally provided to Congress and an investigation began. Then quickly, just two days later, the $400 million was suddenly released…what an amazing coincidence. Not. Trump was caught in the middle of his extortion, that’s all that forced him to stop it just days from getting away with it.
- “Trump was just holding back the military aid because he was concerned about corruption in Ukraine.” Because there wasn’t enough of it? So much to expose about this lie. Trump smeared and removed the actual anti-corruption Ambassador Yovonavich from Ukraine, by allying with and using lies created by the corrupt ex-prosecutor in Ukraine. Trump’s “anti-corruption” concerns for the entire country and its entire history were just for two narrow issues that involved his political opponents and would benefit his re-election. It was just these two issues that were responsible for all corruption in Ukraine? Trump has never shown any interest in corruption in any country including Russia (and the U.S.). The reason for the hold on the aid was and still is kept as a secret from everyone working with and in Ukraine for the U.S.. If this was the truth, there would be no reason for Trump to keep it secret. Trump also broke the law to withhold that aid without notifying Congress, he has no legal authority to just hold onto aid Congress has approved without Congress being notified and approving of the hold.
- “Trump had cause to suspect Ukraine, they tried to take him down in 2016.” The victimhood defense is a popular one with Trump and Republicans but as usual, it is phony. In the 2016 campaign, Trump said, “But you know, the people of Crimea, from what I’ve heard, would rather be with Russia than where they were.” Imagine if a country invaded the U.S., took over a big chunk of America and then a political ally of ours said, “Well, it’s probably for the best”. Would he be complemented by U.S. leaders? The Ukranian Ambassador to the U.S. wrote an editorial criticizing this view of Trump’s but the majority of the article was not about Trump, about explaining the region, history and why Russia’s theft of their land was an outrage. But that’s enough for Trump to clutch his pearls and swoon. Of course, as there were here, officials in many countries around the world criticized Trump as his campaign exposed his hateful, racist, pro-Russian, pro-dictator mentality. But he didn’t “suspect” any of these many other countries of being an adversary…just the one from which he wanted political help from to cheat in the 2020 election.
- “Like the Russia hoax, Democrats keep trying to undo Trump’s election by the people.” Impeachment may have a result of overriding an election but that’s not what it is. If Trump hadn’t been so criminal and stupid to have committed these acts this year, he wouldn’t have to worry about being impeached. Trump instigated his own impeachment, it is a consequence, not an optional reversing of an election that can be used at any time. This is a matter of crime and punishment. No crime, no punishment. I suppose repeat offenders who keep going to trial for their crimes feel just like Trump and the Republicans. Also, the Mueller “Russia Hoax” has resulted in the indictments of dozens of people including Russians who attacked U.S. elections in 2016, the convictions of Trump’s advisers, Campaign Chairman, Assistant Campaign Chairman, National Security Adviser and on and on. I don’t think many hoaxes result in proving people guilty of crimes. Also, Mueller never exonerated Trump on Russian conspiracy, he just said he didn’t have sufficient evidence to get a conviction…and considering that AG Barr refused to allow any indictment of Trump, it’s not surprising. Mueller did strongly present 10 counts of obstruction of justice against Trump in his report. Not bad for a hoax. And lastly, the people didn’t elect Trump, a majority of Americans voted for Hillary Clinton instead of Trump. He won the Electoral College which in the end, is winning the election but it is not being elected by the people since that means a voting majority.
- “What Trump did may not have been ideal but it’s not impeachable.” The Founders created the impeachment clause in The Constitution specifically to remove a rogue, corrupt president who acted exactly as Trump has, abusing the power of the office to personally benefit himself (herself). To quote The Constitution, “The President, Vice President and all Civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” Why are treason and bribery specifically referred to? What they have in common is that they represent corruption and putting self-interest above the welfare of the country. This is unquestionably what Trump has done. Even the Republicans in The House who flail around to defend him, haven’t claimed that a public announcement by Ukraine of criminally investigating the Bidens is in the national interest. As many have said, if this betrayal of his oath of office, his position of power and the country by overriding the nation’s interests to serve himself, if this isn’t impeachable, nothing is.
- But the process! But Hunter Biden! But Hillary! But The Steele Report!” Distractions are the primary weapon that Trump has employed against truths that expose his immorality, criminality, etc. Calling impeachment “illegal” or unconstitutional”, knowing that it is specifically established in the Constitution is intended to be outrageous to the intelligent and more Kool-Aid for the Trump cultists. Claiming that Hunter Biden needs to be investigated…without any evidence of any crime being committed is a dishonest distraction and very Russian in its lawlessness. It also doesn’t change Trump’s committing a crime by trying to say someone else committed a different crime. And beating the dead costumed horse of Ukraine conspiring with Hillary, Russia, Christopher Steele, Fusion GPS and an assortment of boogie men to defeat Trump…is as nutty as it is provably false. But this is really just intended to be a political version of throwing grit in the eyes of the public. Whataboutism is always an admission of guilt, why else do Trump and his angry band of Republicans need to change the subject to how bad someone else is if it’s not to try and grade Trump’s criminality on a curve?
Knowing the Republicans, they will be up late concocting new contorted and dishonest defenses of Trump so more may need to be added to this collection.
What is worrisome though is word that AG Barr is preparing to release a report on his crooked investigation of the origins of the Russia probe. His goal from the start was to declare that all these conspiracy theories about The Deep State, the Democrats, Russia, Ukraine, etc. were all working together to prevent Trump from being elected and were “spying” on him. Barr is as corrupt as Trump and it wouldn’t be unexpected for him to flat out lie about this as he did when summarizing the Mueller Report. The plan may be to use that to sabotage the impeachment of Trump and try to blow up our democracy if it means saving Trump and retaining power. All Americans should brace for such desperate acts by Trump and his cronies and be prepared to fight back against them with the truth in hand.