|(This is longer than usual. Hope you can make it to the end.)
Columbus: What a week! Speaker Pelosi announced the House would start an Inquiry into Impeachment. Why now? Because Trump called the President of Ukraine (Zelenskyy) July 25 and spent 30 minutes threatening him, demanding seven times that he investigate Joe Biden’s son, and cancelling millions of dollars in military support. These details came from a Whistleblower report (apparently by a high up official in the CIA) because the phone call itself was top secret and would never become public. The Intelligence Committee, chaired by Adam Schiff, would conduct the Inquiry.
The next day Trump released a transcript (actually detailed notes by two or more intelligence officials who listened to the call). Wait, I thought this was top secret. Well, surprise, surprise. Biden’s name appeared only three times, all in the same paragraph. The only mention of military was by Zelenskyy, saying he wanted to buy more Javelins for defense purposes.
Then Pelosi said the Whistleblower complaint, not the Transcript, was the authentic document and was the real reason for the Inquiry. Was the Whistleblower also on the call? No, but he had talked to a couple who were on the call, plus other CIA friends, and they were all mad at Trump. So he felt compelled to write down all the comments and send this document to Schiff and Attorney General Barr.
Thursday, Chairman Schiff opened the Inquiry by quoting from the Transcript of the infamous call. Well, it was not exactly quotes. The Transcript was in English but Schiff translated it into what is best called “Schifglish.” (Here are a few pertinent quotes by Trump and the Ukraine President, plus the Schifglish translation.)
Trump: “We do a lot for Ukraine. A lot of effort and a lot of time. Much more than the European countries are doing.”
Schifglish: “We’ve been very good to your country; no other country has done as much as we have.”
Trump: “I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot [referring to the Mueller Russia investigation]… They say a lot of it started with Ukraine. Whatever you can do, it’s very important that you do it if that’s possible.”
Schifglish: “I have a favor I want from you though. And I’m gonna say this only seven times so you had better listen good.”
Zelenskyy: “Yes, it is very important for me as President and we are open for any future cooperation in relations between the United States and Ukraine… One of my assistants spoke with Mr. Giuliani just recently and we are hoping he will be able to travel to Ukraine… I also plan to surround myself with great people and in addition to that investigation, I guarantee that all the investigations will be done openly.”
Trump: “I will ask Giuliani to call you along with the Attorney General… 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. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you could look into it…”
Schifglish: “I want you to make up dirt on my political opponent, lots of it. You know what I’m asking so I’m only going to say this a few more times, in a few more ways.”
Zelenskyy: “The issue of the investigation of the case [firing the prosecutor] is actually the issue of making sure to restore the honesty so we will take care of that and will work on the investigation of the case.”
Trump: “I will have Mr. Giuliani and Attorney General Barr call and we will get to the bottom of it… Good luck with everything.”
Zelenskyy: “I want to thank you for the invitation to visit the United States, specifically Washington, DC.”
Trump: “Whenever you would like to come to the White House, feel free to call. Give us a date and we’ll work that out. I look forward to seeing you.”
Schifglish: “And don’t call me again! I’ll call you when you’ve done what I asked.” Then a concluding comment by Chairman Schiff: (This Transcript) “reads like a classic organized crime shakedown.”
So, for a few Congress members who have been demanding impeachment since Trump was elected (including Maxine Waters-CA and Al Green-TX) this is their dream. They have been Aiming for almost 3 years, Pelosi has finally Fired the shot, and they think they are finally Ready with a charge that will stick. Maybe. They are ignoring President Zelenskyy who a few days ago stated clearly he felt no pressure at all. It was a friendly call.
The central figure in this case is Joe Biden’s son. Hunter Biden was hired by a Ukrainian in 2014 as an “oil and gas expert” to consult for a salary of $600,000. You may wonder, why didn’t anyone in Congress question this hiring of the Vice-President’s son, with zero expertise in oil and gas, at an outrageous salary? Simple: almost everyone in Washington is hoping for similar deals for their family members. And many are already cashing in. Don’t rock the boat, especially when an earlier investigation found nothing illegal about Hunter receiving $50,000 a month from Ukraine, plus a one-time deal from China for millions of dollars.
Clearly, many news writers and political commentators have the opposite view. Of the handful of folks who have read all the way to here, half may disagree. In fact, half the people in this country will not be satisfied unless Trump comes to the same end as Richard Nixon.
Historic quote by Will Rogers:
(On Corruption) “The ones that are getting some of it don’t want it brought up.” Saturday Evening Post, March 30, 1929