Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Ukraine Thing: What Am I Missing Here?

 

I struggle to grasp the logic of the Ukraine impeachment charge being developed by the odious Rep. Schiff. First, we need to look at the established policy precedent. Ukraine has an obligation under the Treaty with Ukraine on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters ratified by the Senate in 2000 to cooperate with requests by the US Attorney General in criminal investigation matters and specifies how such requests should be made.

Mr. Biden in 2015 and Mr. Trump (Mr. Giuliani?) do not appear to have touched all those bases. As I read the Treaty, each nation is required to aid the other when an investigation is being conducted by the other one. The Obama and Trump administrations both seem to believe the treaty authorizes one nation (the USA) to tell the other whether and how to conduct its own internal investigations as well. I do not see that provision in the treaty in my quick reading.

Let’s compare aid-withholding actions:

The Obama involvement involved an express, overt withholding regarding an internal Ukranian probe with the additional issue of a financial stake by an administration figure (Joe Biden qua the father of Hunter Biden) and achieved the intended quid pro quo whereas Trump did not. I am struggling to find a distinction that makes Trump culpable but not Obama.

Given what is charted above, we are faced with two choices:

(1) The Obama administration actions were legal/appropriate in which case the Trump actions must also be deemed lawful and appropriate because there is no meaningful distinction that makes Trump culpable.

Or

(2) The Obama administration’s actions were unlawful/ inappropriate in which case Trump’s actions were lawful and appropriate but procedurally defective. In other words, if Trump had reason to believe the Bidens are dirty he has every right under the treaty to request assistance but that request should have been made by the Attorney General pursuant to an active US investigation. Trump could be guilty of jumping the gun, especially given that Durham and Barr are already looking at Ukraine-related matters. Ultimately he would be impeached for not expressly directing Barr to investigate Biden which would be convoluted and stupid even for Adam Schiff.

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There are 55 comments.

  1. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    The lesson from Lt Col Kent Dorfman is that Ukraine risked losing “bipartisan,” meaning Democrat, support if it investigated the Bidens. It’s right there in his testimony.

    • #1
    • November 20, 2019, at 8:48 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  2. Old Bathos Member
    Old Bathos Post author

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):

    The lesson from Lt Col Kent Dorfman is that Ukraine risked losing “bipartisan,” meaning Democrat, support if it investigated the Bidens. It’s right there in his testimony.

    Anybody know if there is a reg/guidance on uniform to wear when testifying before Congress? My recollection is that even the Army Chief of Staff wears his plain old class A’s (not dress blues) when he is testifying on the Hill. Vindeman looked like he was ready for the prom. If a ceremonial saber were available I think he would have worn it. (Wonder if he has a Doug Neidermeyer silver helmet…)

    • #2
    • November 20, 2019, at 9:24 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  3. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Old Bathos: I am struggling to find a distinction that makes Trump culpable but not Obama.

    Um. . . because he’s a mean nasty Republican who shouldn’t have won the 2016 election?

    • #3
    • November 20, 2019, at 10:02 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  4. Old Bathos Member
    Old Bathos Post author

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Old Bathos: I am struggling to find a distinction that makes Trump culpable but not Obama.

    Um. . . because he’s a mean nasty Republican who shouldn’t have won the 2016 election?

    Contest closed. That was the correct answer. You win an iPod filled with Hillary Clinton’s top 25 speeches.

    • #4
    • November 20, 2019, at 10:06 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  5. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Old Bathos (View Comment):
    Contest closed. That was the correct answer. You win an iPod filled with Hillary Clinton’s top 25 speeches.

    I”m not entering anymore of your contests, @oldbathos. Ugh.

    • #5
    • November 20, 2019, at 10:07 AM PST
    • 11 likes
  6. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    Old Bathos (View Comment):
    his plain old class A’s (not dress blues) when he is testifying on the Hill.

    It has been pointed out elsewhere that the Blues are now the Class A’s for active duty. We never see them because everybody wears BDUs, no doubt to avoid cleaning bills, unless they are trying to impress TV audiences.

    • #6
    • November 20, 2019, at 10:20 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  7. Joseph Stanko Member

    The dispute hinges on the assertion of facts in rows C and D of your chart. Whenever the MSM mentions the Hunter Biden connection they include the word “debunked,” their assertion is that Biden demanded the replacement of the prosecutor because he was soft on corruption, and wanted him replaced with someone more likely to investigate Burisma.

    So the Adam Schiff theory of the case is that whereas Biden acted like a patriot and put the national interest ahead of his family’s financial interests, Trump put his own political interests ahead of national foreign policy goals.

    • #7
    • November 20, 2019, at 10:52 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  8. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    Biden’s guilt in Ukraine is an affirmative defense. 

    Meanwhile in Ukraine: https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/press-conference/625831.html

    • #8
    • November 20, 2019, at 11:20 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  9. Sweezle Member

    The distinction is clear. Obama is a democrat, loved by the MSM and Trump is a republican President therefore evil and hated by the MSM.

     

    • #9
    • November 20, 2019, at 12:17 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  10. Old Bathos Member
    Old Bathos Post author

    Sweezle (View Comment):

    The distinction is clear. Obama is a democrat, loved by the MSM and Trump is a republican President therefore evil and hated by the MSM.

     

    And we found out over the last two days that Trump is so evil he somehow managed to put record numbers of children in cages in 2015.

    • #10
    • November 20, 2019, at 12:31 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  11. WillowSpring Member

    John Solomon has been a great source on the Ukraine issues (and more). He writes faster than I can absorb – when I was looking up the link for what I read this morning, I found a new article that I need to read.

    He has been criticized by many (like Schiff) for his ‘debunked’ theories. His response this morning is:
    https://johnsolomonreports.com/impeachment-surprise-how-adam-schiff-validated-my-reporting-on-ukraine/

    edit: The article above the one I cited has a good timeline of events in Ukraine. Like most of Solomon’s work, it includes links to source material

    • #11
    • November 20, 2019, at 1:36 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  12. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    Ukraine is corrupt and a bunch of corrupt politicians cronies are there sucking up government money. We need to withdraw and break all support with it.

    • #12
    • November 20, 2019, at 2:09 PM PST
    • 1 like
  13. Sweezle Member

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    Sweezle (View Comment):

    The distinction is clear. Obama is a democrat, loved by the MSM and Trump is a republican President therefore evil and hated by the MSM.

     

    And we found out over the last two days that Trump is so evil he somehow managed to put record numbers of children in cages in 2015.

    So no bribes for answering correctly??? I’ll take the HRC recording just in case the “33,000”might be one of them.

    I often want to put children in cages. And that includes all the whiny brats up to 35. As I age I get more cranky.

    • #13
    • November 20, 2019, at 3:40 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  14. Clifford A. Brown Contributor

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):

    The lesson from Lt Col Kent Dorfman is that Ukraine risked losing “bipartisan,” meaning Democrat, support if it investigated the Bidens. It’s right there in his testimony.

    Anybody know if there is a reg/guidance on uniform to wear when testifying before Congress? My recollection is that even the Army Chief of Staff wears his plain old class A’s (not dress blues) when he is testifying on the Hill. Vindeman looked like he was ready for the prom. If a ceremonial saber were available I think he would have worn it. (Wonder if he has a Doug Neidermeyer silver helmet…)

    There is not more green suit for the Army. The Class A is now the slightly redesigned former dress blues, with heavier fabric for durability under regular wear. There is a new white shirt with shoulder straps for rank epaulets. The rationale offered was that this reduced the number of uniforms soldiers needed to maintain and the system needed to supply. You dress up the uniform with a bow tie in the evening if intended as formal rather than business attire. This blue uniform is designated the “Army Service Uniform” or ASU.

    BUT WAIT! THERES MORE!

    Now a new group of Command Sergeants Major need to make their own mark, so the Army is going old school, bringing back the classic World War II Army Greens, with some updates, in 2020!

    • #14
    • November 20, 2019, at 4:33 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  15. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    Sweezle (View Comment):

    The distinction is clear. Obama is a democrat, loved by the MSM and Trump is a republican President therefore evil and hated by the MSM.

     

    And we found out over the last two days that Trump is so evil he somehow managed to put record numbers of children in cages in 2015.

    And not only that, Trump also is responsible for creating ISIS. While also managing a hotel/RE empire and being a TV reality program host.

    • #15
    • November 20, 2019, at 5:31 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  16. Old Bathos Member
    Old Bathos Post author

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):

    The lesson from Lt Col Kent Dorfman is that Ukraine risked losing “bipartisan,” meaning Democrat, support if it investigated the Bidens. It’s right there in his testimony.

    Anybody know if there is a reg/guidance on uniform to wear when testifying before Congress? My recollection is that even the Army Chief of Staff wears his plain old class A’s (not dress blues) when he is testifying on the Hill. Vindeman looked like he was ready for the prom. If a ceremonial saber were available I think he would have worn it. (Wonder if he has a Doug Neidermeyer silver helmet…)

    There is not more green suit for the Army. The Class A is now the slightly redesigned former dress blues, with heavier fabric for durability under regular wear. There is a new white shirt with shoulder straps for rank epaulets. The rationale offered was that this reduced the number of uniforms soldiers needed to maintain and the system needed to supply. You dress up the uniform with a bow tie in the evening if intended as formal rather than business attire. This blue uniform is designated the “Army Service Uniform” or ASU.

    BUT WAIT! THERES MORE!

    Now a new group of Command Sergeants Major need to make their own mark, so the Army is going old school, bringing back the classic World War II Army Greens, with some updates, in 2020!

    As long as we are doing throwback uniforms, will they bring back the zouaves? Make it a profit center like the NFL with genuine throwback gear for sale…

    • #16
    • November 20, 2019, at 6:21 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  17. Metalheaddoc Member

    What you’re missing is … Orange Man Bad! ORANGE MAN BAD!!!!!!

    • #17
    • November 20, 2019, at 7:17 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  18. Spin Coolidge

    OB (wan kenobi), with respect to the Biden pressure, some claim that he was asking for an investigator to be removed who was not pursuing the corruption investigation hard enough. So he asked the guy to be thrown out. Do you know if that is true? Some have categorized it as him trying to get someone thrown out that was investigating his (Biden’s) son? Not sure which is true… 

    • #18
    • December 2, 2019, at 1:30 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  19. Spin Coolidge

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):

    The lesson from Lt Col Kent Dorfman is that Ukraine risked losing “bipartisan,” meaning Democrat, support if it investigated the Bidens. It’s right there in his testimony.

    Anybody know if there is a reg/guidance on uniform to wear when testifying before Congress? My recollection is that even the Army Chief of Staff wears his plain old class A’s (not dress blues) when he is testifying on the Hill. Vindeman looked like he was ready for the prom. If a ceremonial saber were available I think he would have worn it. (Wonder if he has a Doug Neidermeyer silver helmet…)

    From the AR, on the Service / Dress Uniform:

    13–3. Occasions for wear
    a. All-purpose wear. The male service/dress uniform is authorized for wear on and off duty, on and off the
    installation, unless restricted by the commander. The male service/dress uniform is not intended for wear as an allpurpose uniform when other uniforms are more appropriate.
    b. Approved wear. The male service/dress uniform is prescribed for year-round wear for all Soldiers, unless
    otherwise directed by the commander. Soldiers may wear variations of the male service/dress uniform:
    (1) On duty when prescribed by the local commander.
    (2) At social functions of a private or official nature, either before or after retreat, and while in transit to and from
    such functions. The male service/dress uniform is normally considered appropriate for social or official functions off
    the installation, such as memorial services, funerals, weddings, inaugurals, patriotic ceremonies, and similar functions.
    (3) When designated by the host of an event.
    (4) On other appropriate occasions, as desired by the individual.
    (5) Soldiers may wear the male service/dress uniform for commercial travel IAW paragraph 3–7b through c.
    c. Restrictions on wear.
    (1) Personnel may not wear male service/dress uniform in off-post establishments that primarily sell alcohol. If the
    off-post establishment sells alcohol and food, Soldiers may not wear the male service/dress uniform if their activities in
    the establishment center on the drinking of alcohol.
    (2) Commanders may further restrict wear of the male service/dress uniform IAW paragraph 2–6c.

    Now, DA Pam 670-1 says the Service / Dress Uniform consists of:

    11–2.Composition
    a. The male ASU and dress uniform consist of the following:
    (1) Coat, Army blue, male (AB 450 or AB 150) (see para 11–7).
    (2) Trousers (see para 11–8).
    (a) Light blue (AB 451 or AB 151)
    (b) Dark blue (general officers only) (AB 450 or AB 150).
    (3) Shirt, white, short- or long-sleeved (see para 11–9).
    (4) Necktie (see para 18–20).
    (5) Undergarments (see para 18–30).
    (6) Belt, black, web waist, brass tip, and buckle, belt, brass (see paras 18–2b and 18–2c).
    (7) Headgear (see paras 18–3 and 11–10).
    (8) Footwear (see para 18–25).
    (9) Socks (see para 18–26).
    (10) Undershirt (see para 18–30f ).

     

    • #19
    • December 2, 2019, at 1:40 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  20. Drusus Coolidge

    Bad behavior and motives from the Democrats aside, if you would like to understand it, please imagine Obama as Trump and Cheney as Biden. That should help. 

    • #20
    • December 2, 2019, at 1:41 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  21. Spin Coolidge

    Old Bathos: I struggle to grasp the logic of the Ukraine impeachment charge being developed by the odious Rep. Schiff.

    OB, you really need go no further than you’ve gone. Trump is a bad person, he’s doing a horrible job as President, and he needs to be done away with. So whatever crap we can throw to the wall, that sticks, is what will do.

    • #21
    • December 2, 2019, at 1:42 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  22. Brian Wolf Coolidge

    I want to answer the question what Old Bathos is missing, but I want to make clear that I do not believe the impeachment of Trump is justified. Trump is a clumsy politician unused to government he could have done what he wanted very cleanly and have a bullet proof defense for his actions but he just doesn’t know how to do it. That is not an impeachable offense. The Constitution does not allow for impeachment because someone is a bad politician.

     

    So what is missing here is that Trump illegally held up the money that Congress had authorized for Ukraine. His stated reason for holding up the money was within his power but the aid money had passed that hurdle and could not longer be stopped for corruption. So when he put the money on hold he was doing so illegally. So Impeach right?! No.

    These kind of illegal holds happen all the time in government practically every President in our History could have been impeached for illegally holding up money. At some point every President gives in to the legal pressure and releases the money they are “illegally” holding. Presidents have used these “holds” all the time to exert pressure or gain leverage. 

    Trump simply made things more gross by releasing the money only after hearing about the whistle blower report and made the quid pro quo explicit in a phone call with the Ukrainian President. He further messed himself up by not launching an official investigation of Biden, he thought he was covering his tracks and he could act as if he never knew Ukraine was going to investigate Hunter.

    This is JFK level incompetence here and that is pretty serious.

    I am not sure about the Obama era decisions if they messed themselves up so badly on procedure and therefore made their decisions look so gross and the press just ignored it or if Obama’s admin. simply kept things cleaner and less gross so it was easy for the press to ignore. The Ukrainian prosecutor at the time was famously corrupt and that gave Biden cover for his actions, without a doubt. So in a sense Obama Admin. had a fall back position that corrupt Ukrainians were trying to black mail Joe. Trump did not have Ukrainian corruption as a cover for his actions. At least not in the same way.

    Both actions were gross and in Trump’s case we know he handled it clumsily and he was not interested in rooting out corruption but in hurting a domestic political opponent. This base motive gave the issue a political power that tempted the Democrats into their typical over reach and triggering the disastrously incompetent Dem. Political class into a clueless and stupid impeachment effort that will end in dismal orgy of self inflicted political wounds on all sides.

    • #22
    • December 2, 2019, at 1:42 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  23. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge

    Spin (View Comment):

    Old Bathos: I struggle to grasp the logic of the Ukraine impeachment charge being developed by the odious Rep. Schiff.

    OB, you really need go no further than you’ve gone. Trump is a bad person, he’s doing a horrible job as President, and he needs to be done away with. So whatever crap we can throw to the wall, that sticks, is what will do.

    There is also the theory being passed around by various Trump supporters on Fox cable that what is important to Schiff and the rest of the Demonrats is getting an impeachment trial to happen in the US Senate. So that then Trump can be deposed. And then if he makes any misstatements, he could be impeached.

    Clinton was not impeached for his affair with Monica but for his lying about it.

    Remember how when it was becoming obvious that Mueller had not dug up any dirt on Trump, the D’s started to say, “But Trump probably thought about obstructing the Mueller investigation. And that fact alone could be the nail in his coffin”?

    • #23
    • December 2, 2019, at 2:09 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  24. Old Bathos Member
    Old Bathos Post author

    Spin (View Comment):

    OB (wan kenobi), with respect to the Biden pressure, some claim that he was asking for an investigator to be removed who was not pursuing the corruption investigation hard enough. So he asked the guy to be thrown out. Do you know if that is true? Some have categorized it as him trying to get someone thrown out that was investigating his (Biden’s) son? Not sure which is true…

    That is the Dem/MSM version. Good Old Joe was fighting corruption. The fact that Burisma was (nominally) under investigation, the fact that the Obama administration brazenly delivered a do-not-prosecute list, the fact that diplomats were openly concerned about both the optics and the substance of Biden junior’s involvement, the fact that Good Old Joe has lied about who, when and what he knew are all irrelevant/invisible items because the Obama administration was scandal-free.

    • #24
    • December 2, 2019, at 3:06 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  25. Old Bathos Member
    Old Bathos Post author

    Brian Wolf (View Comment):

     

    So what is missing here is that Trump illegally held up the money that Congress had authorized for Ukraine. His stated reason for holding up the money was within his power but the aid money had passed that hurdle and could not longer be stopped for corruption. So when he put the money on hold he was doing so illegally. So Impeach right?! No.

    These kind of illegal holds happen all the time in government practically every President in our History could have been impeached for illegally holding up money. At some point every President gives in to the legal pressure and releases the money they are “illegally” holding. Presidents have used these “holds” all the time to exert pressure or gain leverage.

    Trump simply made things more gross by releasing the money only after hearing about the whistle blower report and made the quid pro quo explicit in a phone call with the Ukrainian President. He further messed himself up by not launching an official investigation of Biden, he thought he was covering his tracks and he could act as if he never knew Ukraine was going to investigate Hunter.

     

    Refusing to spend an appropriation is not per se illegal if the President reasonably believes it infringes on his own constitutional authority. You correctly note the long history of these kinds of conflicts.

    There is evidence that Trump believed Ukraine to be broadly corrupt and undeserving of aid. Requiring a demonstration of good faith—including investigation of unlawful assistance to Hillary’s campaign and of the corrupt measures to protect Burisma and Biden the Younger—is not an unreasonable request.

    I agree that mentioning Biden in that conversation was needlessly impolitic. I disagree that it is evident that Biden was the sole driving issue. I agree that impeachment for this is absurd.

    • #25
    • December 2, 2019, at 3:19 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  26. Unsk Member

    Fine post Bathos. 

    • #26
    • December 2, 2019, at 3:39 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  27. Spin Coolidge

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    Spin (View Comment):

    OB (wan kenobi), with respect to the Biden pressure, some claim that he was asking for an investigator to be removed who was not pursuing the corruption investigation hard enough. So he asked the guy to be thrown out. Do you know if that is true? Some have categorized it as him trying to get someone thrown out that was investigating his (Biden’s) son? Not sure which is true…

    That is the Dem/MSM version. Good Old Joe was fighting corruption. The fact that Burisma was (nominally) under investigation, the fact that the Obama administration brazenly delivered a do-not-prosecute list, the fact that diplomats were openly concerned about both the optics and the substance of Biden junior’s involvement, the fact that Good Old Joe has lied about who, when and what he knew are all irrelevant/invisible items because the Obama administration was scandal-free.

    Do you have any “evidence” of this I can see? Evidence being, of course, some online new article (as it always is these days). Thanks!

    • #27
    • December 2, 2019, at 4:58 PM PST
    • 1 like
  28. Old Bathos Member
    Old Bathos Post author

    Spin (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    Spin (View Comment):

    OB (wan kenobi), with respect to the Biden pressure, some claim that he was asking for an investigator to be removed who was not pursuing the corruption investigation hard enough. So he asked the guy to be thrown out. Do you know if that is true? Some have categorized it as him trying to get someone thrown out that was investigating his (Biden’s) son? Not sure which is true…

    That is the Dem/MSM version. Good Old Joe was fighting corruption. The fact that Burisma was (nominally) under investigation, the fact that the Obama administration brazenly delivered a do-not-prosecute list, the fact that diplomats were openly concerned about both the optics and the substance of Biden junior’s involvement, the fact that Good Old Joe has lied about who, when and what he knew are all irrelevant/invisible items because the Obama administration was scandal-free.

    Do you have any “evidence” of this I can see? Evidence being, of course, some online new article (as it always is these days). Thanks!

    Anything that makes Joe look bad has been “debunked” so by definition there can be no evidence, fact or inference that contradicts that narrative.

    ”Debunking” is a key technique of modern “journalism.” American “journalists” are just now catching up the professional standards set by Neues Deutschland and Pravda in their heyday.

    • #28
    • December 2, 2019, at 5:44 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  29. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    Old Bathos (View Comment):
    ”Debunking” is a key technique of modern “journalism.” American “journalists” are just now catching up the professional standards set by Neues Deutschland and Pravda in their heyday.

    Other stuff for the journalists, Hunter was being paid at least 12X what other board members were getting. That really makes it look like a payoff. Also, Hunter has been ordered to disclose financial records in the paternity case he lost. 

    • #29
    • December 2, 2019, at 6:54 PM PST
    • Like
  30. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Obama: “Youse don’t get any money unless youse look the other way.” wink-wink 

    Trump: “Youse don’t get any money until you stop looking the other way.” 

    Press: Trump is a criminal! 

    • #30
    • December 2, 2019, at 7:21 PM PST
    • 4 likes