Using the word “shakedown” in the title gives away my position on what I believe Mr. Trump did. The president’s attempt to get a foreign leader to announce a corruption investigation into the son of his political rival is the only impeachable offense the fearful Democrats charged Mr. Trump with. It was bad that Trump held up aid to Ukraine for at least two months, and released it only after the whistleblower’s complaint (submitted a month and a half earlier) finally brought the matter to the attention of our Checks and Balances. It was two more weeks before the original whistleblower complaint was released, and Trump unaccountably released the “transcript” of the hidden July 25th perfect call. Now they are impeaching Mr. Trump over that shakedown plan, which included acts within his powers, like dismissing an ambassador who stood in the way of the mischief of Trump’s personal lawyer and the other two amigos.
Limiting the impeachment to only that — and obstruction of the hated Congress (which nobody cares about) — takes a lot of other important high crimes and misdemeanors off the table. I suppose the theory is to err on the side of caution, make a clear and convincing case for the most open and egregious story or abuse of power for a corrupt purpose, easily understood, and have that stand in for the rest.
I’d have preferred at least one more, for obstruction of justice. Let him refute Mueller’s entire volume two, that would be good. Limiting the impeachment to this single series of despicable act takes Don McGahn and the rest of the fact witnesses Mueller talked to, under oath, about the president’s seamless pattern of obstruction of justice, off the table. It also sets the stage for Lindsay Graham to call Hunter Biden, Adam Schiff and Gerald Nadler as hostile witnesses in the Senate trial before McConnell allows an up or down straight majority party line vote to not remove the leader they all defer to, the man who controls the RNC purse strings. Senate Republicans will have the final word, per the rules, on all procedural decisions during their impeachment trial.
That said, here is the timeline (facts) of how long the appropriated military aid to Ukraine was held up (at least from July 3 to September 11), when it was released (September 11) and why (treason by so-called “whistleblower”).
The source for this timeline is lying NBC. All quotes are from the article linked here.
July 3, 2019: A hold is placed on the almost $400,000,000 in bipartisan, mostly military, aid to Ukraine. July 3 is when Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman learns of the aid being withheld.
A meeting at the White House with Ukrainian officials is cut short when Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, says he has an agreement with the acting White House chief of staff that Ukraine’s president would get a meeting with Trump if Ukraine agreed to launch investigations.
Then-national security adviser John Bolton “stiffened” and ended the meeting, later telling colleague Fiona Hill to report it to the National Security Council’s lawyer, she testified.
“I am not part of whatever drug deal Sondland and (acting White House chief of staff Mick) Mulvaney are cooking up on this,” Hill said Bolton told her.
July 18: White House Office of Management and Budget announces presidential order to hold up aid to Ukraine.
July 25: Mr. Trump’s perfect call to Volodymyr Zelensky.
AUGUST: The questions
Catherine Croft, the special adviser for Ukraine at the State Department, says two Ukrainians reach out to her to ask about the status of the military assistance. She told lawmakers she couldn’t recall the exact dates, but believes the outreach took place before the Aug. 28 publication of a Politico article detailing the hold.
August 12, 2019: Whistleblower complaint about withholding of aid to Ukraine and concerns about “perfect” July 25 phone call filed. DOJ does not forward complaint to Congress, as required by law. (It gets to Congress on September 25, 2019, weeks after House investigations begin.)
August 28: Politico publishes article on the withheld aid.
August 29: acting US Ambassador to Ukraine begins getting desperate calls from Ukrainians about the withholding of aid.
SEPT. 9: The investigations begin
Three House committees launch a wide-ranging investigation into the allegations that Trump, his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and possibly others, tried to pressure the Ukrainian government to help the president’s reelection campaign by digging up dirt on a political rival.
September 11: most of the appropriated aid to Ukraine is released.
September 25: August 12 whistleblower complaint released to Congress.
December 13, 2019: Democrats deliberately time their vote for Friday the Thirteenth to approve two baseless, partisan articles of impeachment against the president AG William Barr has repeatedly called innocent and totally justified to be enraged by the sneaky unscrupulousness of his many enemies.
Thank you and have a very nice day.