Being Right: Modern-day Partisan Witch-Hunting

Patrick Taylor, Maroon-News Staff

Congressional Democrats have been looking for an excuse to impeach Donald Trump ever since he was elected President. There was the Russian collusion conspiracy, which fell apart the moment the Mueller report came out. There was the obstruction-of-justice narrative. This attempt at drumming up a scandal consisted of overzealous Democrats like Jerry Nadler and Adam Schiff grasping at straws and harassing anyone the president had ever associated with. This failed to generate any significant results, so now there’s a new story. And with the 2020 election inching ever closer, Democratic leaders were very happy to latch onto this one.

The idea that Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Zelensky involved any “quid-pro-quo” is blatantly false. This was the narrative that the media ran with early last week and Speaker Nancy Pelosi used as her primary reason to open up the impeachment inquiry. I think it’s also important to take another look at the timing of Pelosi’s announcement. She confirmed that Democrats would be opening up an impeachment inquiry on Tuesday, before the transcript of Trump and Zelensky’s call had even been declassified. Democrat leaders in Washington had no idea of the content of this call, aside from a so-called “whistleblower” who only had second-hand knowledge of the conversation. They had no basis to rush to impeachment; the call could have been perfectly appropriate for all they knew.

Since the transcript has been released, let’s examine the content of the call. The bulk of the call is spent discussing Zelensky’s recent landslide victory in Ukraine’s legislative elections. Midway through the conversation, Trump brings up the topic of CrowdStrike, the company responsible for investigating the 2016 Democratic National Committee server hack. He suggests that CrowdStrike, a company with connections to several powerful Democrats and Mueller staff, has some relation to Ukraine. This idea has some merit. In a statement to The Federalist, a justice department spokeswoman said, “A Department of Justice team led by U.S. Attorney John Durham is separately exploring the extent to which a number of countries, including Ukraine, played a role in the counterintelligence investigation directed at the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.” Later in the call, Trump asks Zelensky to communicate with Attorney General Barr to “get to the bottom of it.” This is a reasonable request; the president is simply asking a country that is involved in a criminal investigation to cooperate with the Justice Department.

Now, let’s get into the most controversial part of the call: Trump’s request regarding former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. Trump tells Zelensky, “There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution.” This is in reference to a scandal involving the former Vice President and the firing of Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin. Now, if you’re looking for a quid-pro-quo, here’s a pretty obvious one. Shokin was in charge of investigating an energy company in which Hunter Biden had recently secured a very lucrative job. In this position, Hunter Biden was receiving 50,000 dollars a month for work in an industry in which he was inexperienced. This alone seems questionable. However, it gets worse when you realize that he had gotten this job only a few months after his father, the Vice President, had begun to make regular diplomatic visits to the country. But, don’t worry, it gets even sketchier! In March 2016, Biden openly bragged about his demand that Shokin be fired, and that he threatened Ukraine by withholding 1 billion dollars in loan guarantees. Don’t believe me? Well, it’s clear on video. The direct quote from Biden himself states, “If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.”

So, keeping these facts in mind, do I think that it’s a problem that Trump wanted this scandal investigated? No way! The fact that the Biden family’s escapades in Ukraine had not been investigated sooner is the real scandal here. Impeachment should be out of the question; there’s a reason why 57 percent of voters oppose impeachment, according to a Quinnipiac poll released September 25. For the Democrats to keep moving forward with this partisan hack job would be irresponsible and a disservice to our country.