Saturday, October 26, 2019

Sen. Lindsey Graham can say it if he tries - im.peach'a.ble

The Washington Post Editorial Board helps Sen. Lindsey Graham understand the quid pro quo, saying Here’s the quid pro quo proof, Lindsey Graham.

… Mr. Graham did say the other day that “if you could show me that, you know, Trump was actually engaging in a quid pro quo, outside the phone call, that would be very disturbing.”

We think we can help the South Carolina Republican. …

[SNIP]

William B. Taylor Jr., the U.S. chargé d’affaires in Kyiv, also knew about the demand for a public statement. On Tuesday, he testified that Mr. Sondland had told him he had heard about the requirement directly from Mr. Trump. Mr. Taylor also said Mr. Sondland had told him he had been wrong to tell the Ukrainians that only a White House meeting was linked to the statement; in fact, “ ‘everything’ was dependent on such an announcement, including security assistance,” Mr. Taylor said. That’s consistent with the news conference last week by White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, who confirmed that the military aid was held up to leverage a Ukrainian investigation — before issuing an unconvincing retraction.

The pressure campaign continued into September. On Sept. 8, Mr. Taylor said, Mr. Sondland informed him that after talking to Mr. Trump, he had told Mr. Zelensky that if he “did not ‘clear things up’ in public, we would be at a ‘stalemate.’ ” Added Mr. Taylor: “I understood a ‘stalemate’ to mean that Ukraine would not receive the much-needed military assistance.”

The Ukrainians eventually told Mr. Volker that they did not want to promise investigations of Mr. Biden and the Democrats. The statement, Mr. Volker said, “was shelved.” And Mr. Zelensky never got his White House meeting. U.S. military aid, which Mr. Trump had ordered held up on July 18, was released on Sept. 11 — only after the corrupt quid pro quo was becoming public. By that date, House Democrats had announced that they would investigate whether the aid had been blocked to force Ukraine to assist Mr. Trump’s reelection campaign.

Mr. Graham and some other Republicans would portray the July 25 phone call as an isolated event in which Mr. Trump did not clearly conclude a quid pro quo with Mr. Zelensky. But the evidence presented to Congress shows that the call was part of a process that extended over three months and included repeated and specific demands for Ukraine to undertake political investigations, including of Mr. Trump’s possible 2020 opponent, lodged by Mr. Trump and by the lawyer he told top aides to work with on the deal.

Mr. Graham is himself a lawyer and former military prosecutor. He surely can recognize this corrupt campaign for what it is. The question is whether he, and other Republicans, have the moral courage to do so.

I can help also. It’s more than “very disturbing” as claimed by Sen. Graham. It’s impeachable. The Senator can say it if he tries. im.peach’a.ble

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