Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Trump’s Ukraine Call Was Necessary and Right: Change My Mind

 

I don’t think there is any doubt about the following (I’ve highlighted things that I would like to have better details for):
1. Ukraine has had a long-term problem with corruption, including with its politicians.
2. We knew #1 and they knew #1.
3. We have a treaty with Ukraine to support each other in anti-corruption investigations. This predates the Trump administration.
4. Burisma is one Ukrainian company with a history of corruption.
5. Joe Biden’s son Hunter was given an amazingly lucrative position on the board of Burisma, given his experience.
6. Joe Biden claimed (in public and recorded) that he forced the removal of the prosecutor who happened to be investigating Burisma by threatening to withhold $1 billion in aid. (There is some confusion that the prosecutor had other corruption issues, but when he was replaced by a “solid guy,” the investigation into Burisma was stopped.)
7. Before the time period of interest, both the US and Ukraine had elections. Zelenskyy ran on a platform of getting rid of corruption and Trump on a platform that included being careful about how our foreign aid is sent to countries that are either corrupt or act against US interests. Trump was also interested in getting more buy-in from allies more local to the issues than the US.
8. Trump held up the aid to Ukraine until he was reassured by a bipartisan senatorial group that the new president of Ukraine was “the real deal.” (The media says this was because Trump heard about the whistleblower. I think both were very close in time, but I don’t think Trump would worry much about the whistleblower.)

So, from the US standpoint, I think Trump’s motivation was to reassure himself on points #7 and #8. From my perspective, that seems like not only a legitimate goal, but a required one.

What I haven’t seen mentioned is what Zelenskyy needed to get out of the call. This is speculation on my part, but makes sense to me.

1. He knows of the corruption issues – and ran on them.
2. He knows that there is a joint treaty on fighting corruption.
3. In spite of #2, he knows that the Vice President’s son (of the previous administration) was involved in one of his corrupt companies and that the Vice President had interfered with the prosecution of that company.
4. So, he must be thinking that #2 is sort of a “nudge, nudge, wink, wink” agreement to go after corruption except where it involved members of the US administration.
5. Trump needed to let him know that there was a new sheriff in town and he supported a full-blown investigation, no matter where it went.

Now, maybe Trump should have said something like, “I know you ran on fighting corruption and want you to know that my administration will back you up even if some from my country are involved,” but I think his mentioning of both “CrowdStrike” and the Bidens would be hard to misinterpret.

So as far as I am concerned, the call was necessary if not “perfect.”

Where am I wrong?

EDIT: @rgbact in comment 10, added more doubt to the confusion I had in #6 above about potential corruption of the prosecutor Biden pressured to be fired. I am grateful for that, since if #6 is significantly wrong, I think my sequence starts falling apart. I am looking into it, but haven’t had much time today. If anyone has more information about the prior prosecutor and the timing of the Burisma investigation, I would love to see it either as a comment or new post.

 

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There are 53 comments.

  1. Bob Thompson Member

    I see nothing wrong with the call. Considering this background was being looked into by Trump’s personal attorney at least several months before Joe Biden’s announced entry into the Democrat presidential nomination competition, the mention of the Bidens was reasonable and not in any way abusive since Hunter Biden’s role reeks of corruption and not just an appearance of corruption. I am curious if anyone is aware if payments as lucrative as that of Hunter Biden on Burisma’s Board of Directors are common to board members on corporations in the America? Did Hunter Biden attend Board meetings or otherwise participate in any corporate matters, or was his role only to prevent any investigations into corruption at the company?

    • #1
    • December 5, 2019, at 2:09 PM PST
    • 1 like
  2. WI Con Member
    WI Con Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    It is continually asserted by MSM/Democrats that it was investigated and that nothing improper was found – where is that report, who/what group did it and when?

    Guessing same “gumshoes” that cleared Hillary.

    • #2
    • December 5, 2019, at 2:13 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  3. Bob Thompson Member

    WI Con (View Comment):

    It is continually asserted by MSM/Democrats that it was investigated and that nothing improper was found – where is that report, who/what group did it and when?

    Guessing same “gumshoes” that cleared Hillary.

    I don’t think there’s much there other than just high level denials of anything amiss. If there is an actual impeachment and a trial in the Senate would not all of this be unveiled?

    • #3
    • December 5, 2019, at 2:19 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  4. Hoyacon Member

    I don’t have much doubt that Trump did this more to put a burr under Biden’s saddle than out of concern for Ukrainian justice. So maybe not “necessary.”

    That said, this has become a big deal because . . . Trump, and is not a reason for impeachment.

    • #4
    • December 5, 2019, at 2:28 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  5. WillowSpring Member
    WillowSpring Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    I don’t have much doubt that Trump did this more to put a burr under Biden’s saddle than out of concern for Ukrainian justice. So maybe not “necessary.”

    That said, this has become a big deal because . . . Trump, and is not a reason for impeachment.

    I think that if there is evidence that a high official in administration N is suspected of corruption, it is extremely important that administration N+1 should sort it out. 

    • #5
    • December 5, 2019, at 2:32 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  6. WillowSpring Member
    WillowSpring Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    One thing that I left out of the OP in order to not muddy the waters is that Trump surely knew of the interference of Ukraine against his candidacy. For example, the Ukraine ambassador to the US wrote a derogatory opinion piece about Trump during the campaign.

    So part of the call could have been to reassure Zelenskyy that Trump understood that those things had been done under the previous Ukrainian administration and Trump understood that and would start with a clean slate.

    • #6
    • December 5, 2019, at 2:37 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  7. Hoyacon Member

    WillowSpring (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    I don’t have much doubt that Trump did this more to put a burr under Biden’s saddle than out of concern for Ukrainian justice. So maybe not “necessary.”

    That said, this has become a big deal because . . . Trump, and is not a reason for impeachment.

    I think that if there is evidence that a high official in administration N is suspected of corruption, it is extremely important that administration N+1 should sort it out.

    I don’t think that our views are necessarily inconsistent and I agree there was likely something funny going on. But I also think that there isn’t exactly a long tradition of our presidents looking into high-placed foreign corruption involving American citizens.

     

    • #7
    • December 5, 2019, at 3:03 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  8. WillowSpring Member
    WillowSpring Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    But I also think that there isn’t exactly a long tradition of our presidents looking into high-placed foreign corruption involving American citizens.

    Shouldn’t there be?

    • #8
    • December 5, 2019, at 3:40 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  9. Locke On Member

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    WillowSpring (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    I don’t have much doubt that Trump did this more to put a burr under Biden’s saddle than out of concern for Ukrainian justice. So maybe not “necessary.”

    That said, this has become a big deal because . . . Trump, and is not a reason for impeachment.

    I think that if there is evidence that a high official in administration N is suspected of corruption, it is extremely important that administration N+1 should sort it out.

    I don’t think that our views are necessarily inconsistent and I agree there was likely something funny going on. But I also think that there isn’t exactly a long tradition of our presidents looking into high-placed foreign corruption involving American citizens.

     

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burr_conspiracy

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Wilkinson

    • #9
    • December 5, 2019, at 3:54 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  10. Bob Thompson Member

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    WillowSpring (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    I don’t have much doubt that Trump did this more to put a burr under Biden’s saddle than out of concern for Ukrainian justice. So maybe not “necessary.”

    That said, this has become a big deal because . . . Trump, and is not a reason for impeachment.

    I think that if there is evidence that a high official in administration N is suspected of corruption, it is extremely important that administration N+1 should sort it out.

    I don’t think that our views are necessarily inconsistent and I agree there was likely something funny going on. But I also think that there isn’t exactly a long tradition of our presidents looking into high-placed foreign corruption involving American citizens.

     

    I think that’s right. But in this case there was/is a Ukrainian connection(s) working against Trump in the 2016 election campaign and possibly afterwards. Maybe that was related to the Russia activity and the Biden aspect may not be connected, but it is in Ukraine and there seems to be much interest in not having it investigated. That’s likely why Trump’s interest stays high and when Giuliani started looking Biden had shown little interest in running in 2020. He entered then when the group of candidates was either very weak or very socialist. So when Trump mentions Biden in the call, he is speaking of a political rival but regarding past events that already have some visibility.

    I have to think had Joe Biden even just thought maybe he would run for POTUS back in 2014 he should have not allowed Hunter Biden to get a seat on Burisma’s board. It doesn’t wash that Hunter is really operating independently of Joe’s influence and guidance. Joe’s in trouble even if nothing connected to DNC 2016 election misdeeds.

    • #10
    • December 5, 2019, at 4:35 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  11. rgbact Member

    I won’t bother. I think the latest polls show 70% of people think the call was shady……so I’m more interested in the 30% of holdouts. proving that they have some special smarts and knowledge that merit listening to. So far, I’m not seeing many big thinkers take up the 30% side…..so imo, the case is won.

    • #11
    • December 5, 2019, at 4:36 PM PST
    • Like
  12. Bob Thompson Member

    rgbact (View Comment):

    I won’t bother. I think the latest polls show 70% of people think the call was shady……so I’m more interested in the 30% of holdouts. proving that they have some special smarts and knowledge that merit listening to. So far, I’m not seeing many big thinkers take up the 30% side…..so imo, the case is won.

    Shady can mean very different things to different people. I personally subscribe to the idea that some ill deeds emanated from Ukraine (in addition to Russia) leading up to the 2016 election. Trump should have limited himself to that in the call and it would have been ‘perfect’. Not quite ‘perfect’ as it was but not impeachable.

    • #12
    • December 5, 2019, at 4:45 PM PST
    • 1 like
  13. EDISONPARKS Member
    EDISONPARKS Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    My point all along is why do we all fall for the old don’t you dare lay a hand on Joe Biden and his little boy (D)/MSM/Lawfare scam.

    Rudy rooting around Ukraine for evidence of Biden related malfeasance may be unorthodox and even ill advised, but just because Joe Biden is currently running to be the (D) nominee for President should not grant Biden immunity if he in fact either broke the law or acted extremely unethically in his and his son’s overseas business transacti0ns.

    The (D)/MSM/Lawfare corruptocrats are overjoyed Trump and Rudy committed the diplomatic faux pas of stepping on the deep state’s shoes, thus giving the Lawfare creeps the opportunity to manufacture yet just one more pretend “scandal” ….. and this one will be the impeachable one they promise …. because Adam Schiff and the MSM say it’s really really bad this time … for real …. you just wait and see.

    • #13
    • December 5, 2019, at 4:55 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  14. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    It seems obvious that the US is pumping a bunch of money into Ukraine and the Democrats and it’s bureaucracy is pulling a bunch of money and political black ops out of it. This is the tell and the line that DJT broke. No Democrat money scam can be stopped, investigated, or even discussed, ever. To do so means censor and maybe prison. Corruption is good and acceptable when done by Democrats.

    • #14
    • December 5, 2019, at 5:23 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  15. rgbact Member

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    rgbact (View Comment):

    I won’t bother. I think the latest polls show 70% of people think the call was shady……so I’m more interested in the 30% of holdouts. proving that they have some special smarts and knowledge that merit listening to. So far, I’m not seeing many big thinkers take up the 30% side…..so imo, the case is won.

    Shady can mean very different things to different people. I personally subscribe to the idea that some ill deeds emanated from Ukraine (in addition to Russia) leading up to the 2016 election. Trump should have limited himself to that in the call and it would have been ‘perfect’. Not quite ‘perfect’ as it was but not impeachable.

    I guess the poll word was “wrong”, not “shady”. Even worse. So again, if 70% of people support my position…and very few credible sources outright oppose it…..why am I trying to convince the 30% holdouts that haven’t proven they are moved by facts?

    https://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/470881-70-percent-of-americans-say-trumps-actions-in-ukraine-call-were

    • #15
    • December 5, 2019, at 5:25 PM PST
    • Like
  16. Bob Wainwright Member

     

    EDISONPARKS (View Comment):

    My point all along is why do we all fall for the old don’t you dare lay a hand on Joe Biden and his little boy (D)/MSM/Lawfare scam.

    Rudy rooting around Ukraine for evidence of Biden related malfeasance may be unorthodox and even ill advised, but just because Joe Biden is currently running to be the (D) nominee for President should not grant Biden immunity if he in fact either broke the law or acted extremely unethically in his and his son’s overseas business transacti0ns.

    The (D)/MSM/Lawfare corruptocrats are overjoyed Trump and Rudy committed the diplomatic faux pas of stepping on the deep state’s shoes, thus giving the Lawfare creeps the opportunity to manufacture yet just one more pretend “scandal” ….. and this one will be the impeachable one they promise …. because Adam Schiff and the MSM say it’s really really bad this time … for real …. you just wait and see.

    The Dems really are saying that Biden has some kind of immunity from certain investigations merely because he’s a candidate. But imagine if this had all happened during a Trump second term. Same call, same requests, same everything. It would have been a totally plausible request even in that scenario. But there would have been no way for the Dems to say Trump was abusing his power for his “personal political” interest since he wouldn’t be running again. His motivation would be only political, namely his desire to damage a leader in the opposing party. Would that too be considered a high crime? Think of the Pandora’s box that precedent would open. 

    If Trump gets re-elected, he should ram the point home by doing the exact same thing again. This time, there would be no “personal interest” at all for the Dems to cry about. 

     

    • #16
    • December 5, 2019, at 5:28 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  17. WillowSpring Member
    WillowSpring Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    rgbact (View Comment):
    I won’t bother.

    Well, I guess it will be a short discussion. Are there any of the points that I laid out that you disagree with?

    Given that the news has been 99% towards it being “shady” or worse, I think it is amazing that maybe 30% don’t think so.

    • #17
    • December 5, 2019, at 6:10 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  18. WillowSpring Member
    WillowSpring Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Bob Wainwright (View Comment):
    The Dems really are saying that Biden has some kind of immunity from certain investigations merely because he’s a candidate.

    When in your lifetime has Joe Biden not been a potential candidate?

    • #18
    • December 5, 2019, at 6:13 PM PST
    • 1 like
  19. rgbact Member

    WillowSpring (View Comment):

    rgbact (View Comment):
    I won’t bother.

    Well, I guess it will be a short discussion. Are there any of the points that I laid out that you disagree with?

    #6. The Burisma investigator that Biden wanted removed, Victor Shokin, was known for holding up investigations…..not doing investigations. That was the whole problem. The Ukrainian people were livid about it. Thats a big reason why this new Ukraine president had an anti corruption mandate.

    Then, in #4….. you also imply that the Ukraine president was still under the impression that he shouldn’t investigate US politician family members….and Trump was only giving a reminder to go after all corruption. Thats a inventive excuse. Is that your own or from FOX? No witnesses have backed this up.

    • #19
    • December 5, 2019, at 6:29 PM PST
    • Like
  20. WillowSpring Member
    WillowSpring Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    rgbact (View Comment):

    WillowSpring (View Comment):

    rgbact (View Comment):
    I won’t bother.

    Well, I guess it will be a short discussion. Are there any of the points that I laid out that you disagree with?

    #6. The Burisma investigator that Biden wanted removed, Victor Shokin, was known for holding up investigations…..not doing investigations. That was the whole problem. The Ukrainian people were livid about it. Thats a big reason why this new Ukraine president had an anti corruption mandate.

    Then, in #4….. you also imply that the Ukraine president was still under the impression that he shouldn’t investigate US politician family members….and Trump was only giving a reminder to go after all corruption. Thats a inventive excuse. Is that your own or from FOX? No witnesses have backed this up.

    Thank you for the comment on #6. Do you mean that Burisma was not under investigation?

    As for #4, I’m afraid that , as I said at the start of that section, it was speculation on my part. I haven’t seen it anywhere.

    • #20
    • December 5, 2019, at 7:17 PM PST
    • 1 like
  21. WillowSpring Member
    WillowSpring Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    @rgbact – I have been looking into your comment on #6 and you might actually be changing my mind. Thanks for that.

    I will update the OP when I find out more.

    • #21
    • December 5, 2019, at 7:36 PM PST
    • 1 like
  22. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    WillowSpring (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    I don’t have much doubt that Trump did this more to put a burr under Biden’s saddle than out of concern for Ukrainian justice. So maybe not “necessary.”

    That said, this has become a big deal because . . . Trump, and is not a reason for impeachment.

    I think that if there is evidence that a high official in administration N is suspected of corruption, it is extremely important that administration N+1 should sort it out.

    I don’t think that our views are necessarily inconsistent and I agree there was likely something funny going on. But I also think that there isn’t exactly a long tradition of our presidents looking into high-placed foreign corruption involving American citizens.

     

    However if what Rudy Giuliani tweeted earlier today is true, our officials really should be looking into massive corruption:

    Rudy Giuliani @RudyGiuliani
    The Accounts Chamber in Ukraine found an alleged misuse of $5.3B in U.S. funds during the Obama administration while Biden was “Point Man.”

    Obama embassy urged Ukrainian police NOT to investigate!

    Stay tuned to find out why.
    7:36 PM · Dec 5, 2019

    • #22
    • December 5, 2019, at 8:24 PM PST
    • 1 like
  23. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge

    From Reuters, regarding Joe Biden receiving some monies for lobbying:

     

    An independent Ukrainian lawmaker said on Thursday he had met U.S. President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer in Kiev to discuss the alleged misuse of U.S. taxpayer money by Ukrainian state bodies.

    In a statement on Facebook accompanied by photos of the meeting, Andriy Derkach said the two had discussed the creation of an interparliamentary group to fight corruption.

    As Trump faces an impeachment inquiry led by House of Representative Democrats into whether he abused his office by pressing Ukraine to investigate a political rival, the U.S. president and his allies have sought to reject that by saying Trump is interested in the wider issue of corruption in Ukraine.

    As first reported by the New York Times, lawyer Rudy Giuliani has traveled to Budapest and Kiev this week to meet current and former Ukrainian officials for a documentary series amid the ongoing impeachment inquiry.

    The meetings also include a former top prosecutor whose activities were documented in a whistleblower report that sparked the impeachment inquiry.

    Giuliani could not be reached for immediate comment.

    • #23
    • December 5, 2019, at 8:54 PM PST
    • 1 like
  24. namlliT noD Member
    namlliT noD Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Bob Wainwright (View Comment):
    The Dems really are saying that Biden has some kind of immunity from certain investigations merely because he’s a candidate.

    You know who else is a candidate? Donald Trump.

    Pelosi, Schiff, Nadler, et al, are actively tampering with the 2020 election.

    • #24
    • December 5, 2019, at 9:10 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  25. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    WillowSpring (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    But I also think that there isn’t exactly a long tradition of our presidents looking into high-placed foreign corruption involving American citizens.

    Shouldn’t there be?

    Maybe. But there is such a thing as functional corruption – approaching zero corruption probably has a lot of hidden costs. Still, when people think, rightly or wrongly, that you can’t win unless you’re connected, you get the kind of young people we have today. 

    • #25
    • December 5, 2019, at 10:20 PM PST
    • Like
  26. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Oppo Research is probably not really a high crime or misdemeanor. 

    • #26
    • December 5, 2019, at 10:29 PM PST
    • 1 like
  27. WI Con Member
    WI Con Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    WI Con (View Comment):

    It is continually asserted by MSM/Democrats that it was investigated and that nothing improper was found – where is that report, who/what group did it and when?

    Guessing same “gumshoes” that cleared Hillary.

    I don’t think there’s much there other than just high level denials of anything amiss. If there is an actual impeachment and a trial in the Senate would not all of this be unveiled?

    K

    • #27
    • December 6, 2019, at 12:48 AM PST
    • 1 like
  28. Guruforhire Member

    WillowSpring: 6. Joe Biden claimed (in public and recorded) that he forced the removal of the prosecutor who happened to be investigating Burisma by threatening to withhold $1 Billion in aid. (There is some confusion that the prosecutor had other corruption issues, but when he was replaced by a ‘solid guy’, the investigation into Burisma was stopped)

    The confusion could also be that they SAID he was corrupt in order to protect their gravy train. Whether or not he was actually corrupt is unknown. It could be that people said he was corrupt in order to protect their corruption. He was investigated and found to not be corrupt.

    The thing is we have prosecuted governors for an awful lot less. I don’t see a reason why Joe Biden is more above the law than Rob Blagoyavich or Bob McDonnell.

    It could be that Joe Biden is completely on the side of angels here, but…. it definitely strains credulity.

    • #28
    • December 6, 2019, at 4:43 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  29. Guruforhire Member

    TBA (View Comment):

    WillowSpring (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    But I also think that there isn’t exactly a long tradition of our presidents looking into high-placed foreign corruption involving American citizens.

    Shouldn’t there be?

    Maybe. But there is such a thing as functional corruption – approaching zero corruption probably has a lot of hidden costs. Still, when people think, rightly or wrongly, that you can’t win unless you’re connected, you get the kind of young people we have today.

    There was some intellectual somewhere (Milton Friedman maybe) who said something to the effect of the object of government is to motivate terrible people to do the correct thing.

    • #29
    • December 6, 2019, at 4:44 AM PST
    • Like
  30. Bishop Wash, Blk X-man/Wh pilot Member

    Guruforhire (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):

    WillowSpring (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    But I also think that there isn’t exactly a long tradition of our presidents looking into high-placed foreign corruption involving American citizens.

    Shouldn’t there be?

    Maybe. But there is such a thing as functional corruption – approaching zero corruption probably has a lot of hidden costs. Still, when people think, rightly or wrongly, that you can’t win unless you’re connected, you get the kind of young people we have today.

    There was some intellectual somewhere (Milton Friedman maybe) who said something to the effect of the object of government is to motivate terrible people to do the correct thing.

    It was Friedman. I thought of his quote when Trump was elected and expected our side to remember it as well and approach his presidency in that manner. Alas most keep lamenting his election. 

    The quote is “It’s nice to elect the right people, but that isn’t the way you solve things. The way you solve things is by making it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right things.”

    • #30
    • December 6, 2019, at 5:10 AM PST
    • 3 likes