HORIST: Should Trump be concerned about investigations in Ukraine?
Political narratives are not designed to educate or inform. Rather, they are intended to persuade and deceive. They can also be very confusing. Consider what is being said about the corruption in Ukraine – and any investigations to address the problem.
According to Democrats, President Trump crossed the line when he blocked military aid to Ukraine in return for an investigation to dig up – or make up –dirt — on former Vice President Biden and his son, Hunter, for political purposes related to the 2020 presidential campaign – and that is impeachable. That is the Democrat narrative.
Republicans argue that the request to check out the Bidens’ past activities in Ukraine is just part of a broader effort to rev up investigations into historic rampant corruption in that nation by Ukraine’s’ new President Volodymyr Zelensky.
So, where does the truth lie?
FACT: Everyone agrees that Ukraine has been ravaged by pandemic corruption on a grand scale. It is said that the deposed crooked leaders made off with an astounding $40 billion of Ukraine’s treasure – money that could have been used to fight the Russian invaders.
FACT: The people of Ukraine elected a pro-reform administration – President and legislature – that seems to be serious about reform – but we have been disappointed in the past.
FACT: While President Obama had a policy to fight corruption, he refused to provide military aid to Ukraine – a serious blow to the nation’s war effort against Russian President Vladimir Putin. President Trump changed that policy upon entering office – much to the chagrin of Putin.
FACT: Obama assigned much of the Ukraine policy to Vice President Biden.
FACT: In 2014 – while his dad was Vice President of the United States – Hunter Biden took a job on the board of the energy company, Burisma Holdings – a company owned by corrupt oligarch Mykola Zlochevsky– and a company that was accused of tax evasion, money laundering and securing improper licensing agreements from the state.
FACT: Hunter Biden had no apparent experience in international business, the energy business, Ukrainian affairs – and had just come out of the Navy.
FACT: Hunter Biden was paid more than $50,000 per month for what was a part-time job and did not require that he travel to Ukraine – which he never did.
FACT: Hunter Biden served on the Burisma board for five years under corrupt governmental and corporate leadership.
FACT: So far, every witness in a position to know who has testified in the Impeachment Inquiry has said that Hunter’s position on the board as his father was Vice President created “an appearance of conflict-of-interest.” An “appearance” of conflict-of-interest means the possibility of such conflict.
FACT: It remains unknown what services Hunter provided to Burisma other than having arranged high level State Department meetings in Washington for members of the corrupt cabal in Ukraine.
FACT: In an effort to fight corruption in Ukraine, Biden bragged about holding up American non-lethal aid unless a corrupt national prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, was replaced.
FACT: Though he was considered a corrupt prosecutor by America and our European allies, Shokin WAS investigating Burisma at the time Biden demanded his ouster.
FACT: In notes provided to the State Department Inspector General, Shokin said that he was informed that the reasons for his removal was his investigation of Burisma.
FACT: The Bidens claim that not only did they do nothing wrong but that they have been cleared of any wrongdoing despite the FACT that there have not been any real investigations of their activities.
FACT: American law forbids the sending of foreign aid to a nation that is determined to be corrupt or would use such aid in a corrupt manner – in other words, steal it as had been done with previous American aid.
FACT: Despite Democrat claims, there is no evidence that Trump, or any of his representatives, requested the Ukrainians – specifically Zelensky — to “make up” or “dig up dirt” on the Bidens. His request was only that the Biden issue be investigated. He never suggested an outcome.
FACT: While Trump did mention the Bidens as potential subjects of investigation, he also often referred to the broader scale of investigations. The Biden involvement was inclusive – NOT exclusive.
FACT: The investigations Trump seeks have to do with PAST conduct. The FACT that Joe Biden is running for President of the United States is coincidental, but not necessarily the basis of the investigation.
FACT: Zelensky has repeatedly said that there was no quid pro quo — no untoward pressure — on him or his nation to conduct improper investigations.
FACT: It has been a longstanding policy of the United States to encourage – and even pressure – Ukrainian leaders to investigate corruption.
Based on these FACTS – and the appearance of a conflict-of-interest on the part of the Bidens — is it unreasonable to conduct an official and compressive investigation that would include the roles of Joe and Hunter Biden? Is it a proper course of action consistent with longstanding American policy to root out corruption in Ukraine?
Is it unreasonable for an American President to temporarily withhold such aid until he has had an opportunity to gain assurances of reform from a newly elected Ukrainian President? Is that action not similar to what Bide did on behalf of America during the Obama administration?
While Democrats are advancing a narrative that isolates the request to investigate the Bidens’ activities as the basis of impeachment they display an irrational inconsistency over the issue of investigations in general.
In recent days, Democrats have criticized Trump for not mentioning investigations in the earlier phone conversation with Zelensky. If Trump was serious about investigations into corruption, why would he not have mentioned it right off the bat? They negatively interpret that as an indication that Trump was NOT all that interested in investigations.
On the other hand, Democrats have jumped on the fact that Trump mentioned investigations during the overheard phone conversations with EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland. They see this as an indication that Trump was obsessed with investigations – especially of the Bidens. Although Trump did not mention the Bidens in the overheard conversation.
The argument that Joe Biden’s withholding aid until the Ukrainian prosecutor was replaced was in the national interest – and Trump’s request was purely personal – requires that one believe the Democrat assertion that it was about the 2020 election, when all the facts suggest it was about the Bidens’ suspicious past activities – that “appearance” of wrongdoing.
Consistent with the approach of the #NeverTrump Resistance Movement, the Democrats and their media cronies will interpret EVERYTHING as a negative against Trump – even when their spins are impossibly inconsistent.
By law and by moral authority, Trump has both a right and an obligation to investigate matters of corruption in Ukraine – and to encourage the new leadership to take up the cause.
So, there ‘tis