The Washington Post editorial board says they’ve been “reliably told” that Trump is essentially extorting the new reform-minded president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, by withholding much needed military and other aid to get that government to launch an investigation into Joe Biden, the candidate Trump believes represents the biggest threat to him in 2020.
Not only has Mr. Trump refused to grant the Ukrainian leader a White House visit, but also he has suspended the delivery of $250 million in U.S. military aid to a country still fighting Russian aggression in its eastern provinces.
Some suspect Mr. Trump is once again catering to Mr. Putin, who is dedicated to undermining Ukrainian democracy and independence. But we’re reliably told that the president has a second and more venal agenda: He is attempting to force Mr. Zelensky to intervene in the 2020 U.S. presidential election by launching an investigation of the leading Democratic candidate, Joe Biden. Mr. Trump is not just soliciting Ukraine’s help with his presidential campaign; he is using U.S. military aid the country desperately needs in an attempt to extort it.The strong-arming of Mr. Zelensky was openly reported to the New York Times last month by Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, who said he had met in Madrid with a close associate of the Ukrainian leader and urged that the new government restart an investigation of Mr. Biden and his son. Hunter Biden served on the board of a Ukrainian gas company, while Joe Biden, as vice president, urged the dismissal of Ukraine’s top prosecutor, who investigated the firm.
They actually already did investigate the Biden link and found there was nothing to the claim. Indeed, it was Trump who was up to his eyeballs in corruption in Ukraine in 2016, when his campaign manager Paul Manafort was being paid millions by anti-reform Russian oligarchs to undermine the Ukrainian government (and not reporting those millions for tax purposes or registering as a foreign agent, which is why he’s now in prison). Just another example of Trump using foreign policy to achieve his personal and business successes.