Incompetent Elected Officials Of The Decade: The Democratic Congress. Why? It Now Appears That They Want To Impeach The President For Following A Treaty

It’s really pretty funny, or would be, if this wasn’t such damning evidence of a party’s complete ethical disintegration.



Bill Clinton signed it. Joe Biden voted for it. It is still a valid treaty. There is no exception in the treaty for “crimes that may have been committed by temporary poll leaders regarding an election over a year away, or their corrupt children who cashed in on their father’s position,” and the fact that “mutual assistance” is what the news media now calls “collusion” still doesn’t make a completely legal request authorized by treaty illegal, or, obviously, impeachable.

It is fair to say, which is why I am saying it, is that if the Democrats were not so blinded by their anger and hate-driven determination to remove the elected President by any means necessary, including shredding the Constitution, they might have paused sufficiently to do their due diligence and check the law. But this is the danger when an entire political party is corrupted  by the undemocratic idea that their duty is not to seek impeachment in the rare circumstance where the President of the United States has clearly breached crucial standards of conduct that materially and unquestionable threaten the nation, as in Nixon’s Watergate scandal, but to search for an excuse to impeach because the party really, really thinks it should have won the last election, really hates the leader of the nation, and is desperate to take power if it isn’t given to them.

So by all means wave this remarkably straightforward and unambiguous document in the faces of your resistance friends, as I assume the White house and Republicans, and, if it comes to that, the courts, will wave it in the faces of Pelosi, Schiff, Nadler, Schumer et al. If you can’t post a link to Ethics Alarms, use this link. Why did a small political blog have to reveal this document, and not, for example, the New York Times?  Well, to begin with, one was doing its job, and the other was busy being part of the resistance.

The other fascinating question is whether the White House knew about the treaty, and set up the Democrats for this humiliation. That would be unethical, because making the Congress look like a confederacy of dunces is not good for the country (even if that is exactly what it is), as much as Democrats deserve it. The end result is, however, what George Will calls condign justice.

In case you think this is some kind of trick, and the Treaty doesn’t really authorize exactly what the President discussed with the President of the Ukraine, below is the full description of what the treaty covers.

As Gene Wilder says repeatedly when his scheme falls apart in “The Producers,”

“No way way way out…”








 November 10, 1999.--Treaty was read the first time, and together with 
the accompanying papers, referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations 
          and ordered to be printed for the use of the Senate.


79-118                     WASHINGTON : 1999

                         LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL


                                The White House, November 10, 1999.
To the Senate of the United States:
    With a view to receiving the advice and consent of the 
Senate to ratification, I transmit herewith the Treaty Between 
the United States of America and Ukraine on Mutual Legal 
Assistance in Criminal Matters with Annex, signed at Kiev on 
July 22, 1998. I transmit also, for the information of the 
Senate, an exchange of notes which was signed on September 30, 
1999, which provides for its provisional application, as well 
as the report of the Department of State with respect to the 
    The Treaty is one of a series of modern mutual legal 
assistance treaties being negotiated by the United States in 
order to counter criminal activities more effectively. The 
Treaty should be an effective tool to assist in the prosecution 
of a wide variety of crimes, including drug trafficking 
offenses. The Treaty is self-executing. It provides for a broad 
range of cooperation in criminal matters. Mutual assistance 
available under the Treaty includes: taking of testimony or 
statements of persons; providing documents, records, and 
articles of evidence; serving documents; locating or 
identifying persons; transferring persons in custody for 
testimony or other purposes; executing requests for searches 
and seizures; assisting in proceedings related to restraint, 
confiscation, forfeiture of assets, restitution, and collection 
of fines; and any other form of assistance not prohibited by 
the laws of the requested state.
    I recommend that the Senate give early and favorable 
consideration to the Treaty and give its advice and consent to 

                                                William J. Clinton.
                          LETTER OF SUBMITTAL


                                       Department of State,
                                      Washington, October 19, 1999.
The President,
The White House.
    The President: I have the honor to submit to you the Treaty 
Between the United States of America and Ukraine on Mutual 
Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters with Annex (``the 
Treaty''), signed at Kiev on July 22, 1998. I recommend that 
the Treaty be transmitted to the Senate for its advice and 
consent to ratification.
    Also enclosed, for the information of the Senate, is an 
exchange of notes under which the Treaty is being provisionally 
applied to the extent possible under our respective domestic 
laws, in order to provide a basis for immediate mutual 
assistance in criminal matters. Provisional application would 
cease upon entry into force of the Treaty.
    The Treaty covers mutual legal assistance in criminal 
matters. In recent years, similar bilateral treaties have 
entered into force with a number of other countries. The Treaty 
with Ukraine contains all essential provisions sought by the 
United States. It will enhance our ability to investigate and 
prosecute a range of offenses. The Treaty is designed to be 
self-executing and will not require new legislation.
    Article 1 sets forth a non-exclusive list of the major 
types of assistance to be provided under the Treaty, including 
taking the testimony or statements of persons; providing 
documents, records and other items of evidence; locating or 
identifying persons or items; serving documents; transferring 
persons in custody for testimony or other purposes; executing 
requests for searches and seizures; assisting in proceedings 
related to immobilization and forfeiture of assets, 
restitution, and collection of fines; and, rendering any other 
form of assistance not prohibited by the laws of the Requested 
State. The scope of the Treaty includes not only criminal 
offenses, but also proceedings related to criminal matters, 
which may be civil or administrative in nature.
    Article 1(3) states that assistance shall be provided 
without regard to whether the conduct involved would constitute 
an offense under the laws of the Requested State.
    Article 1(4) states explicitly that the Treaty is not 
intended to create rights in private parties to obtain, 
suppress, or exclude any evidence, or to impede the execution 
of a request.
    Article 2 provides for the establishment of Central 
Authorities and defines Central Authorities for purposes of the 
Treaty. For the United States, the Central Authority shall be 
the Attorney General or a person designated by the Attorney 
General. For Ukraine, the Central Authority shall be the 
Ministry of Justice and the Office of the Prosecutor General. 
The article provides that the Central Authorities shall 
communicate directly with one another for the purposes of the 
    Article 3 sets forth the circumstances under which a 
Requested State's Central Authority may deny assistance under 
the Treaty. A request may be denied if it relates to a military 
offense that would not be an offense under ordinary criminal 
law. A further ground for denial is that the request relates to 
a political offense (a term expected to be defined on the basis 
of that term's usage in extradition treaties). In addition, a 
request may be denied if its execution would prejudice the 
security or similar essential interests of the Requested State, 
or if it is not made in conformity with the Treaty.
    Before denying assistance under Article 3, the Central 
Authority of the Requested State is required to consult with 
its counterpart in the Requesting State to consider whether 
assistance can be given subject to such conditions as the 
Central Authority of the RequestedState deems necessary. If the 
Requesting State accepts assistance subject to these conditions, it is 
required to comply with the conditions. If the Central Authority of the 
Requested State denies assistance, it is required to inform the Central 
Authority of the Requesting State of the reasons for the denial.
    Article 4 prescribes the form and content of written 
requests under the Treaty, specifying in detail the information 
required in each request. The article permits other forms of 
requests in emergency situations but requires written 
confirmation within ten days thereafter unless the Central 
Authority of the Requested State agrees otherwise.
    Article 5 requires the Central Authority of the Requested 
State to execute the request promptly or to transmit it to the 
authority having jurisdiction to do so. It provides that the 
competent authorities of the Requested State shall do 
everything in their power to execute a request, and that the 
courts or other competent authorities of the Requested State 
shall have authority to issue subpoenas, search and arrest 
warrants, or other orders necessary to execute the request. The 
Central Authority of the Requested State must make all 
arrangements for representation of the Requesting State in any 
proceedings arising out of an assistance request.
    Under Article 5(3), requests are to be executed in 
accordance with the laws of the Requested State except to the 
extent that the Treaty provides otherwise. However, the method 
of execution specified in the request is to be followed except 
insofar as it is prohibited by the laws of the Requested State.
    Article 5(4) provides that if the Central Authority of the 
Requested State determines that execution of the request would 
interfere with an ongoing criminal investigation, prosecution, 
or proceeding in that State, it may postpone execution or, 
after consulting with the Central Authority of the Requesting 
State, impose conditions on execution. If the Requesting State 
accepts assistance subject to the conditions, it shall comply 
with such conditions.
    Article 5(5) further requires the Requested State, if so 
requested, to use its best efforts to keep confidential a 
request and its contents, and to inform the Requesting State's 
Central Authority if the request cannot be executed without 
breaching confidentiality. This provides the Requesting State 
an opportunity to decide whether to pursue the request or to 
withdraw it in order to maintain confidentiality.
    This article additionally requires the Requested State's 
Central Authority to respond to reasonable inquiries by the 
Requesting State's Central Authority regarding the status of 
the execution of a particular request; to report promptly to 
the Requesting State's Central Authority the outcome of its 
execution; and, if the request is denied, to inform the 
Requesting State's Central Authority of the reasons for the 
    Article 6 apportions between the two States the costs 
incurred in executing a request. It provides that the Request 
State shall pay all costs, except for the following items to be 
paid by the Requesting State: fees of expert witnesses, costs 
of interpretation, translation and transcription, and 
allowances and expenses related to travel of persons pursuant 
to Articles 10 and 11. If during the execution of the request, 
it becomes apparent that extraordinary expenses will be 
entailed, the Central Authorities shall consult to determine 
the terms and conditions under which execution may continue.
    Article 7 requires the Requesting State to comply with any 
request by the Central Authority of the Requested State that 
information or evidence obtained under the Treaty not be used 
for proceedings other than those described in the request 
without its priorconsent. Further, if the Requested State's 
Central Authority asks that information or evidence furnished under 
this Treaty be kept confidential or be used in accordance with 
specified conditions, the Requesting State must use its best efforts to 
comply with the conditions. Once information is made public in the 
Requesting State in accordance with either or these provisions, no 
further limitations on use apply. Nothing in the article prevents the 
use or disclosure of information to the extent that there is an 
obligation to do so under the Constitution of the Requesting State in a 
criminal prosecution. The Requesting State is obliged to notify the 
Requesting State in advance of any such proposed use or disclosure.
    Article 8 provides that a person in the Requesting State 
from whom testimony or evidence is requested pursuant to the 
Treaty shall be compelled, if necessary, to appear and testify 
or produce items, documents and records. The article requires 
the Central Authority of the Requested State, upon request, to 
furnish information in advance about the date and place of the 
taking of testimony or evidence pursuant to this Article.
    Article 8(3) further requires the Requested State to permit 
the presence of persons specified in the request and to permit 
them to question the person giving the testimony or evidence. 
In the event that a person whose testimony or evidence is being 
taken asserts a claim of immunity, incapacity, or privilege 
under the laws of the Requesting State, Article 8(4) provides 
that the testimony or evidence shall be taken and the claim 
made known by written notification to the Central Authority of 
the Requesting State for resolution by its competent 
authorities. Finally, in order to ensure admissibility of 
evidence in the Requesting State, Article 8(5) provides a 
mechanism for authenticating evidence that is produced pursuant 
to or that is the subject of testimony taken in the Requested 
    Article 9 requires that the Requested State provide the 
Requesting State with copies of publicly available records in 
the possession of government departments and agencies in the 
Requesting State. The Requested State may further provide 
copies of any documents, records or information in the 
possession of a government department or agency, but not 
publicly available, to the same extent and under the same 
conditions as it would provide them to its own law enforcement 
or judicial authorities. The Requested State has the discretion 
to refuse to execute, entirely or in part, such requests for 
records not publicly available. Article 9(3) provides that 
records produced pursuant to this Article shall, upon request, 
be certified by the appropriate form attached to the request. 
Article 9(3) also provides that no further authentication shall 
be necessary for admissibility into evidence in the Requesting 
State of official records pursuant to this Article.
    Article 10 provides a mechanism for the Requesting State to 
invite the voluntary appearance in its territory of a person 
located in the Requested State shall indicate the extent to 
which the expenses will be paid. It also states that the 
Central Authority of the Requesting State has discretion to 
determine that a person appearing in the Requesting State 
pursuant to this Article shall not be subject to service of 
process or be detained or subjected to any restriction of 
personal liberty by reason of any acts or convictions that 
preceded his departure from the Requested State. Any safe 
conduct provided for by this article ceases seven days after 
the Central Authority of the Requesting State has notified the 
Central Authority of the Requested State that the person's 
presence is no longer required, or if the person has left the 
Requesting State and voluntarily returns to it.
    Article 11 provides for temporary transfer of a person in 
custody in the Requested State or in a third State to the 
Requesting State for purposes of assistance under the Treaty 
(for example, a witness incarcerated in the Requested State may 
be transferred to have his deposition taken in the presence of 
the defendant), provided that the person in question and the 
Central Authorities of both States agree. The article also 
provides for voluntary transfer of a person in the custody of 
the Requesting State to the Requested State for purposes of 
assistance under the Treaty (for example, a defendant in the 
Requesting State may be transferred for purposes of attending a 
witness deposition in the Requesting State), if the person 
consents and if the Central Authorities of both States agree.
    Article 11(3) further establishes both the express 
authority and the obligation of the receiving State to maintain 
the person transferred in custody unless otherwise agreed by 
both Central Authorities. The return of the person transferred 
is subject to terms and conditions agreed to by the Central 
Authorities, and the sending State is not required to initiate 
extradition proceedings for return of the person transferred. 
The person transferred receives credit for time served in the 
custody of the receiving State.
    Article 12 establishes the authority of the Requested State 
to authorize transit through its territory of a person held in 
custody by a third State whose appearance has been requested by 
the Requesting State. The Requested State further has the 
authority and the obligation to keep the person in custody 
during transit. The Parties retain discretion to refuse to 
grant transit of their own nationals, however.
    Article 13 requires the Requested State to use its best 
efforts to ascertain the location or identity of persons or 
items specified in a request.
    Article 14 obligates the Requested State to use its best 
efforts to effect service of any document relating, in whole or 
in part, to any request for assistance under the Treaty. A 
request for the service of a document requiring a person to 
appear in the Requesting State must be transmitted a reasonable 
time before the scheduled appearance. Proof of service is to be 
provided in the manner specified in the request.
    Article 15 obligates the Requested State to execute 
requests for search, seizure, and delivery of any item to the 
Requesting State if the request includes the information 
justifying such action under the laws of theappropriate. The 
Central Authority of the State receiving such information is required 
to inform the Central Authority that provided the information of any 
action taken.
    Article 17 also obligates the Contracting States to assist 
each other to the extent permitted by their respective laws in 
proceedings relating to forfeiture of the proceeds and 
instrumentalities of offenses, restitution to victims of crime, 
and collection of fines imposed as sentences in criminal 
prosecutions. This may include action to temporarily immobilize 
the proceeds or instrumentalities pending further proceedings. 
The Contracting State having custody over proceeds or 
instrumentalities of offenses is required to dispose of them in 
accordance with its laws. Either Contracting State may transfer 
all or part of such assets, or the proceeds of their sale, to 
the extent permitted by the transferring State's laws and upon 
such terms as it deems appropriate.
    Article 18 states that assistance and procedures provided 
in the Treaty shall not prevent either Contracting State from 
granting assistance to the other Contracting State through the 
provisions of other applicable international agreements or 
through the provisions of its national law. The Contracting 
States may also provide assistance pursuant to any bilateral 
arrangement, agreement, or practice which may be applicable.
    Article 19 provides that the Central Authorities of the 
Contracting States shall consult, at times mutually agreed, to 
promote the most effective use of the Treaty, and may agree 
upon such practical measures as may be necessary to facilitate 
the Treaty's implementation.
    Article 20 provides that the Treaty is subject to 
ratification and the instruments shall be exchanged at 
Washington as soon as possible. The Treaty enters into force 
upon the exchange of instruments of ratification. Article 20 
further provides that either Contracting State may terminate 
the Treaty by written notice to the other Contracting State, 
with termination to be effective six months following the date 
of notification.
    A Technical Analysis explaining in detail the provisions of 
the Treaty is being prepared by the United States negotiating 
delegation, consisting of representatives from the Departments 
of Justice and State, and will be transmitted separately to the 
Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
    The Department of Justice joins the Department of State in 
favoring approval of this Treaty by the Senate as soon as 
    Respectfully submitted,
                                                    Strobe Talbott.

31 thoughts on “Incompetent Elected Officials Of The Decade: The Democratic Congress. Why? It Now Appears That They Want To Impeach The President For Following A Treaty

  1. I made a similar comment on Twitter to Humble about this, that anyone who submitted an MLAT should start to be concerned about their legal status.

    Alas, allow me to say that yes, the info on the call we have thus far, on its own, is not impeachable; but we should consider that there is additional information coming that will need to be considered in its proper context. It’s fine to refute weak evidence as it arises, but I won’t be condemning or defending people until they say all of the information is public.

    If this is the court of public opinion, then as a juror, I will reserve judgment until after the prosecution and the defense rests.

    • But Tim, one can immediately and correctly condemn an unjustified declaration that the President HAS committed impeachable offenses before there is such evidence. Prosecutors who do that are violating the ethics rules. This turns the process on its head: declare someone guilty, then see what can be dug up to support it. It’s one more “pass the bill to see what’s in it” approach, in a far more sinister context. Right now, without seeing anything else, I can state, correctly, that the impeachment inquiry is contrived and dishonest, as well as incompetent. Nothing that happens or turns up subsequently can justify that conduct retrospectively—it would be moral luck.

      • Yes – I do get all hot and full of rage when I see someone (dem nominees, senators, and media activists) declare guilt and Offer what the result should be.

        I’m not condemning the likes of Pelosi (yet) because I see a distinction of opening an impeachment hearing and calling for impeachment. I truly believe Pelosi wouldn’t have opened this based solely on the phone call. If she did, then she will be condemned and it will be the biggest mistake in the history of politics.

        I guess what I’m trying to say is: there’s more to come. Take down the evidence as it comes, but avoid broad declarations of exoneration while we still know there is more to come. We know the whistleblower is coming, let’s see what turns up.

        But yes, I agree, what is currently revealed, on its own, is a big nothing burger.

        • … there’s more to come

          Sorry, Tim: Hanlon’s Razor no longer applies to Democrats in general, and most especially to Pelosi and her cronies.

          There is nothing more to this than what we know. If there were, it would have been shouted from the rooftops by now.

          How can I be so sure? Past performance from the miscreants involved. It is ALWAYS a nothingburger, just noise designed to throw dust in the air for the momentary ‘advantage’ of smearing Trump, and those who voted for him. My take is that Nancy is playing a close vested game within her own party, for the sake of her own personal power. She has read the tea leaves: she intends to survive when her party burns next year. This helps her win reelection, while destroying her rivals for power in her party.

          That it makes the bonfire burn brighter matter not a bit to her: politics are never about ideology for her, just power.

  2. Jack, is it now fair to say that supporting the Democrats, at ANY level, is per se unethical?

    This behavior has become so pervasive that I do not believe there are more than 6 people outside of a cradle or nursing home who do not realize the Democrats are attempting a coup, and have been since before the election. It is in EVERY form of publicly available content, from the Internet to commercials to TV shows to movies to radio to print media to…

    All standards have been forsaken; all sense of fair play has long since left the field; simply being an opponent is enough to be worthy of dehumanization. This only leads to the miscreants (dare I say, deplorables?) being worthy of death.

    Oh, it won’t start that way: just set up the laws such that we need to segregate the benighted ones ‘for their own good’ or ‘for the good of society’ such that they can be ‘reeducated’ and integrated into the collective utopia. Then the inevitable deaths occur, ‘from natural causes’ the public will be told, all the while the net is cast wider until we arrive at the killing fields, American style.

    The great Ronald asserted that America does not start wars, but we DO finish them.* Politicians have never been the reason this was true. It was the politicians knowing that their jobs and livelihood was on the line, as their constituents were roused and shook sleep from their eyes, and they better follow the people’s will or start packing that new china the wife just bought. Common Americans with values that built this nation will not stand still while Americans of ANY stripe are rounded up en masse. These same Americans know that the progressives are cheating to invalidate a legitimate election, and will NOT stand for it.

    Progressives mistake the true tolerance common Americans have for weakness. They believe that the (mostly red state) military will turn on their own, that police forces will shoot their neighbors, that the UN blue helmets would be welcomed to quell any ‘local disturbances’ by the sheep the left distains.

    Well, I have news for the little progressive toads: common Americans will not go quietly into that good night. They have lived in a bubble of their own making for too long, and mother nature (or human nature) just doesn’t give a crap about their ‘feelz.’ The rage at the dying of the light will burn quite a few snowflakes and elitists as well.

    So be it.

    *We used to, anyway: why are we still in Afghanistan again?

    • There are still parts of the nation where the UN would come looking for their Blue Helmets and the locals will merely respond “Blue Helmets? You said about 60 of them? Oh…you didn’t say 60 of them… well, we haven’t seen any of them around here. Sorry”

    • Jack, is it now fair to say that supporting the Democrats, at ANY level, is per se unethical?

      Obviously I’m not Jack, but I’ll weigh in from a layman’s perspective. In national elections, I have to say that speaking for myself, it is fair to say that.

      Let me say that I detest, dislike, and loathe Donald Trump as a person, and as a president. He is a creature of privilege who’s mental outlook never progressed beyond adolescence, and his every utterance makes me cringe and blanch.

      Having said that, I will crawl five miles nude over broken glass to vote for him against any so-far declared rival. This is the ultimate validation of the lesser of two evils argument, in my opinion. It is absolutely more important to my utilitarian ethics to prevent the election of one of the Democratic candidates than vote my principles for a minor challenger.

      Now, back to your point. In local elections, especially in red states, Democrats have much less in common with the national Democrats, so yes, they may be worthy of a vote. But the further removed from local elections you get, the less ethical (again, my non-ethicist opinion) that vote becomes.

      • I really do wonder just how big that contingent that will now vote for Trump enthusiastically is? I’m there myself. I detest Trump, voted against him in the primary and voted third party in the general. This time, I’m voting for him in both (if we have a primary in my state). I hope I’m far from alone.

        • I don’t know. I didn’t vote for him either, I voted for a third-party candidate.

          I guess we’ll find out how large that contingent is on election day.

        • But clearly, Trump is far from perfect for the job, any of the jobs he’s deperately required to do. Mostly, he’s not perfect for the job of protecting the nation from the increasingly radical, cynical, totalitarian-trending Democratic Party, a job which is existential in importance. The conduct of the resistance and the Left has been so astoundingly destructive, undemocratic and stupid since November 2016 that a smarter, more responsible, articulate President could have destroyed them easily. Instead Trump makes constant unforced errors and his tweets undermine his credibility as often as they score points.

    • Jack, is it now fair to say that supporting the Democrats, at ANY level, is per se unethical?

      Answer: yes. I’ve believed that for some time, and more so every day. It is an unavoidable conclusion if one is objective and paying attention.

  3. We’ll repeat it until people understand it:

    The Democrats are willing to completely burn our system down to the ground,

    A) because they can’t admit they ran practically the one person in the nation less electable than Donald Trump

    B) because they really don’t like our system anyway.

    (both of these are true by the way)

    • I think this is right. The Democrats are willing to do whatever it takes, including tossing the Constitution into the shredder, to get and retain power so they can bring their Utopian improvements to the unwashed, ignorant masses.

      Such sweethearts. So wise, so all-knowing, so tolerant… uh… concerned. Who needs freedom, after all?

    • They’re already lighting some fires. Who else has talked about packing the courts with judges who agree with them? Who else has talked about changing the Senate to make it reflect state population like the House? Who else has talked about doing away with the electoral college to make the presidency a direct popular vote? It hasn’t been the GOP. What is more, all three of these measures would trash the system as created in order to overwhelmingly benefit Democrats.

      What is still more than that, even the argument that this will make the nation more democratic and participatory is a shibboleth. The Founding Fathers specifically DIDN’T opt for direct democracy because they didn’t want a situation where some populist fraud could come in, get 51% of the people on his side, and then crush the 49%. The Democrats seem to have forgotten that. They’ve also forgotten how much they were against participatory voting when 32 states voted against gay marriage. Then suddenly it was “democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on dinner.”

      The Democrats are perfectly ok with participatory democracy, but only on their own terms, where they have all the power, all the advantages, and all of everything else. They want to be the parents, the teachers, and the priests, who have absolute power, and everyone else be the children, the pupils, and the congregants, who have no power. That’s ok though, because they know best, just like the parents, they know it all, just like the teachers, and their moral authority is absolute, just like the priests. They want to win all the time, which is easy to do when you take all the other side’s players off the field. They also want to stomp the other side into the ground, because they are just that superior. Laws, treaties, and whatever are only laws to others, to them they are just helpful guidelines.

      The worst part of it is that they think they’re doing it for everyone else’s own good.

  4. Excellent catch, Jack.

    But my position has always been that there is no way discussing possible criminal behavior by the son of a political rival is in any way an abuse of power, or otherwise impeachable.

    As a nation of laws, it is our duty to report putative violations of law, particularly apparent corrupt behavior that fleeces another country’s taxpayers, directly or indirectly. The idea that this is somehow a high crime is bizarre, and if it turns out that it somehow is, we need to change it.

    There is no rational question that Biden’s son’s appointment is suspicious. There is no question that Biden’s actions to apparently cause the removal the Ukranian prosecutor investigating his son’s appointment is suspicious, and possibly a violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977, assuming it applies to politicians as well as businesses and other US persons.

    Whatever the legality of the Biden family’s actions, it cannot be a crime for the President to ask another leader in the country of the offense to examine the matter, and his status as a putative challenger to Trump in the next election cannot make said request a crime absent other elements of intentional corrupt behavior, which appear to be absent.

    • I don’t know about the FCPA because that focuses on providing something of value. The latest advancements in Corruption law seem to have come from Ireland where they prohibit Carrots (bribes, things of value) but Sticks (threats, consequences) and Lies (false documents, manufactured information).

      It’s definitely corruption, but not sure it’s FCPA corruption. Might be UK Bribery Act corruption….but convincing them that they have territory over a US politician might be a stretch.

      • Well, did not Biden threaten to withhold something of value? That is the other side of the same coin, and in fact, he effectively negotiated to provide said object of value (1 billion in aid) in return for the corrupt dismissal of a prosecutor.

        Sounds like an FCPA violation to me.

        • Yet again, Trump is being accused of something a democrat actually did.

          Hillary’s campaign hired Fusion GPS. Fusion GPS paid Russians to spread lies about Trump. Follow the dots, that’s Hillary colluding with the Russians to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. Yet Trump was investigated.

          Biden threatened the withholding funds to stop an investigation that was connected to his son. Yet here again, Trump is the problem.

          Rush Limbaugh has said since Clinton that the best way to tell what corruption the Democrats are up to is to look at what they accuse the Republicans of doing. Here again he’s right.

  5. I just read the “whistleblower complaint.” (I use quotes because it is clearly nothing more than a partisan political document carefully drafted by lawyers.) It is a bizarre document. It reads almost like a list of White House talking points. Although it recites the facts in reverse chronological order, it essentially says:

    1. Back in March, the Ukrainian prosecutor announced that he had uncovered evidence that (a) the Democrats had colluded with Ukrainian private and governmental actors to interfere in the 2016 election, (b) the Obama-appointed ambassador to the Ukraine was actively obstructing the prosecutor’s investigation and (3) Joe Biden had corruptly interfered in Ukraine’s investigations in order to benefit his son financially.

    2. After this announcement, President Trump urged Ukraine several times to complete their investigation and share their results with US law enforcement.

    3. In his call with Zelenskyy, President Trump repeated these urgings.

    This is not Trump’s spin. It’s exactly what the whistleblower complaint says, and it’s exactly what the Democrats are characterizing as illegal interference with the 2020 election: (1) Proving that the Russian collusion investigation of Trump was a hoax, (2) Proving that the real collusion was by the Democrats — collusion with both Russia and Ukraine as well as a host of other foreign countries — and (3) Proving that a major Democratic contender has for many years used his official position corruptly to enrich his family by millions and millions of dollars obtained from the most noxious foreign bad guys.

    It’s no doubt true that proving these things would help Trump in his campaign. On the other hand, if the Democrats are not guilty of these things, they ought to welcome the Ukrainian investigation, and eagerly cooperate with the parallel Justice Department investigation, that will clear their names and give them a huge boost in their campaign against Trump. Isn’t that what they kept saying about Trump back when they were urging the Ukrainians and other foreign nations to cooperate with the Mueller investigation?

    The whistleblower complaint and the Democrat’s mouthpieces make much of the fact that Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s personal lawyer, has had repeated contacts with Ukrainian officials since last year. But of course, that was absolutely appropriate. President Trump was defending against the Mueller investigation. He needed to conduct an investigation of his own to uncover the facts to defend himself, and it was impossible for him to use the Justice Department to conduct that investigation — it therefore had to be done by his own personal attorneys.

    So now what, Jack? Do you think you’re going to force yourself to vote for Trump next year?

    • Imagine you were a government employee. Is that the kind of document you would craft to report something you thought needed reporting?

      If you’re like me, the answer is no. Yes, I am capable of drafting something similar, but the construction of the letter reads like the narrative portion of a criminal indictment. So I think we can be sure that the so-called “whistle blower” did not draft it unless he was a former prosecutor.

    • I have a creeping suspicion that this entire “whistleblower” narrative was concocted to get out ahead of that Ukrainian investigation into the Russian hoax that Trump was asking for. I hope I’m wrong.

  6. The NY Times story on the whistleblower complaint is headlined, “Whistle-Blower’s Complaint Says White House Tried to ‘Lock Down’ Ukraine Call Records.” The story is behind a pay wall so I haven’t read it, but presumably the headline summarizes their most damning claim: That the whistleblower’s password didn’t work when she tried to access a classified document that had nothing to do with her job duties.

  7. But if anybody here that the Democrats’ insanity will help Trump, I think you’re wrong. The media is flogging the Democratic story tirelessly and giving no airtime to opposing voices. Look at this clip from yesterday. MSNBC wouldn’t even allow the President himself to defend himself on the air. They cut away from his press conference and called him a liar, when in fact everything he was saying was absolutely true. A large portion of the country, probably a majority, will never hear the Republican defense against anti-Trump spin.

    • It will help Trump, unless this never gets to the hearings stage, and then it will still help Trump, because the resistance base will be furious. The President is still more popular than Congress, and almost always is. People could understand hush money and burglaries; they could understand hiding dresses and lying under oath. This is a pig’s ear, and looks like one no matter how you package it. The media also doesn’t have the credibility or power it had even three years ago.

      It will help Trump.

  8. If the President investigating what very likely is gross corruption by one of the 2020 candidates is counted as “interfering with the election”, then surely impeaching one of the 2020 candidates is without question “interfering with the election”.

  9. I believe I read on some blog somewhere “Bias Makes One Stupid.” Democrats need to find that blog and start reading it on a regular basis.

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