Popcorn: WSJ Columnist Wrecks The Democrats' Trump-Ukraine Impeachment Claims

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Posted: Oct 16, 2019 2:05 PM
Popcorn: WSJ Columnist Wrecks The Democrats' Trump-Ukraine Impeachment Claims

Source: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley Strassel isn’t having any of the Democrats’ nonsense on this impeachment push. Yes, the Democrats have executed the final stages of their three-year plan: impeaching Donald Trump. It’s an inquiry. It’s nothing official…yet. But they’re doing their best to muddy the waters in the hopes that the damage being inflicted could impact the 2020 race by making the president’s already shoddy approval numbers (though I’m skeptical of those polls) even more dirty, making the unpalatable man even more distasteful with voters. Fine—but the allegations against Trump regarding this call he had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky are straight trash.

The Democrats allege there was quid pro quo, wherein Trump threatened to delay military aid if Zelensky didn’t open a corruption probe into Hunter Biden’s arrangement with Burisma, an energy company. Hunter Biden is the son of Joe Biden and has zero experience in the energy sector. The Trump White House released the call and refuted all of the juicy claims made in this whistleblower report from a reported CIA agent who is a registered Democrat and had worked with a 2020 Democratic candidate. Oh, and the staff of Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, was in contact with this person and knew about the contents of the complaint before it was even filed. It’s another orchestrated hit from the ashes of the Russian collusion myth.

You don’t need to be an investigative reporter to see that the Democrats have nothing here. That’s why this entire inquiry is being done in secret. And the only saving grace that keeps this impeachment drum going is that the liberal media takes everything Schiff and others say as gospel. So, Strassel does what she does best; gut the Democratic narrative—brutally. She goes line-by-line giving the GOP, Trump supporters, and anyone else who is skeptical of the impeachment push a go-to sheet in exposing this smoke and mirrors show (via WSJ):

Motive matters, but what matters more is the accuracy of the complaint itself. The real news of the past few weeks has been the steady accumulation of evidence that its central claim is totally wrong.

Which shouldn’t be surprising, given how many facts the complaint mangled about the call. It alleged, for instance, that Mr. Trump asked Ukraine to “locate and turn over servers.” He didn’t. It claims Mr. Trump “praised” a prosecutor named Yuriy Lutsenko and suggested the Ukrainian president “keep him in his position.” That didn’t happen either. There’s more, and when the whistleblower can’t get the facts of the call right, it’s no surprise he got his conclusion wrong too.

There is simply no evidence of what House Democrats have made the central claim of their impeachment inquiry: that Mr. Trump engaged in a “quid pro quo” by withholding aid to Ukraine unless it “opened an investigation” into former Vice President Joe Biden.

We now have the transcript of the call, in which Mr. Trump never threatened to withhold aid as a condition of an investigation. He doesn’t even mention money. The press is trying to suggest the threat was “implicit”—which means he didn’t say it.

There’s also the belated and devastating fact that the Ukrainians say they had no knowledge the aid was being withheld until a month after the call. How can you demand a quo when the target is unaware of the quid? Further, the aid was released—despite no “investigation” or “dirt” from Ukraine. And Mr. Zelensky has twice said there was no “pressure” or “blackmail” from the U.S. with regard to an investigation.

We also now have the opening statement of Kurt Volker, the former special representative to Ukraine, from his testimony last week to the House Intelligence Committee. “As you will see from the extensive text messages I am providing,” Mr. Volker said, “Vice President Biden was never a topic of discussion” during negotiations

The GOP may feel compelled to attack this circus, but Strassel warns that they should conserve their energy, noting that they’d be “be better off uniformly noting that the central players in this episode, and the written record, have already refuted the complaint, and that anything further is theater…the left is again counting on the public getting lost in a swirl of innuendo. But facts matter, especially when it comes to impeachment.”

And to the Left, facts don’t matter, which probably explains why Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) was ejected from a closed-door session with Fiona Hill, a former Russia adviser to the Trump White House. Granted, he’s not on the House Intelligence Committee, but being on Judiciary, which handles impeachment, he argued he should have been allowed in. Katie made a good point on the podcast yesterday. Democrats don’t want a real impeachment proceeding. It gives equal power to the GOP to subpoena witnesses and have access to documents that will torpedo the entire circus. They’re hoping that disseminating little crumbs will keep this narrative alive. It won’t. Tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year—Trump will remain the president of the United States.