Did Trump demand a quid pro quo by holding up aid to Ukraine in exchange for an investigation of Joe Biden’s possibly corrupt dealings in Ukraine?
If this isn’t apparent from the transcript, was it visible from his demeanor and tone of voice?
Did he try to tamper with an investigation, hide evidence, etc.?
Was Hunter Biden, in fact, guilty of corruption? Did he come by his very lucrative job in Ukraine because his employer expected him to use his influence to their benefit? (Oh, and don’t tell me that it doesn’t matter whether or not the younger Biden behaved corruptly because it was overseas and it’s their choice whether to prosecute, or because there’s no evidence that he actually did try to use his influence corruptly, whether or not the Ukrainians though he would. I’ve been through enough sessions on anti-corruption when I was still employed in the corporate world to know that this doesn’t matter.)
Are the Democrats treating behavior which is icky as if it goes further, to criminality?
Or, if it is merely unethical but not criminal, is it nonetheless so clearly wrong from a moral standpoint, is this so clearly behavior which, if conducted by anyone else would be criminal, were it not for some loophole or another, that it is still impeachable misconduct?
Have there been so many scandals that have turned out to be nothing (most recently, a claim that Trump negotiated favorable terms for a business in Scotland — only for it to be revealed that this occurred in 2014) that Democrats have lost their credibility? Or is this one the tipping point and Republicans are unable to see it because they are conditioned otherwise by all the wolf-crying?
Will it ever sound normal to me to read “Ukraine” instead of “the Ukraine” as was practice for at least part of the post-USSR era?
Near as I can tell: there is no smoking gun. Trump supporters see this as just another attempt by Democrats to nullify the election, as evidenced by their trumpeting out “impeachment” on the merest promise of evidence to come. Trump opponents say that its not necessary to have a directly stated bargain, that merely the suggestion that a political rival’s family member should be investigated, or quite apart from this the holdup of aid to Ukraine that Congress had appropriated, is enough to warrant removal from office.Me?
I’m staying out of it.
I am not an expert in the applicable law.
I am not an expert in the debates around what constitutes an impeachable offense. I know nothing about any consensus as might have existed, pre-Trump, on the matter. I have no knowledge of what similar offenses Democratic politicians may or may not have committed which would have some bearing on the matter as precedents.
And I would like nothing better than for Trump to decide that it suits him just fine to be a one-term president because he’d rather watch Fox News from Trump Tower than the White House. But I’m also not keen on the idea of impeachment simply becoming a process for removing a president if a supermajority wills it.
Which all means that I’m going to sit this one out.
I’ll write about retirement, and about the coming schism in the German Catholic Church and, in general about topics that I have a certain expertise in, or the interest level to give myself some knowledge, or just want to vent about, with an eye towards issues where I think I can persuade or inform readers of something meaningful.
But either outcome could be acceptable to me, depending on the particulars. Trump stays in office because the standard for impeachment is firm. Trump leaves because he turns out to have been a criminal. At the same time, the opposite could be true: Trump stays in power because the GOP majority in the Senate is indifferent to Trump’s criminality. Trump leaves because Democrats are trying to use the impeachment process to nullify the election.
So I’m not going to bury my head in the sand, but I am also not emotionally invested in this process, one way or the other. (Heck, I’m not even digging up relevant links.)
And now it’s time to turn my attention elsewhere.