By Max Boot
“The United States has been
The very next words out of Trump’s mouth are: “I would like you to do us a favor
Trump refers to a ridiculous conspiracy theory that the Democratic National Committee’s email server has somehow wound up in Ukraine and says, “I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it.” In other words, Trump is politicizing the U.S.
Trump leaves no doubt that, in addition to
It’s true that Trump didn’t say, “If you expect to see any more aid from us, you’d better investigate Joe Biden and Clinton,” but the threat came through loud and clear, given that at least a week before, he had put a hold on nearly $400 million of aid to Ukraine. On the call itself, Trump pivoted from Zelensky’s request for missiles to Trump’s request for an investigation of his political opponents.
Trump did no business on behalf of the United States on this call. He did not once mention any desire to root out corruption in Ukraine or achieve any other foreign policy objective. It was all campaign business — dragging a foreign head of state and his own attorney general into his desperate efforts to win reelection and remove any taint from his initial election. As Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, notes: “The transcript of the call reads like a classic mob shakedown.”
The TelCon, far from absolving Trump, greatly strengthens the case for impeachment. If this is supposed to be exculpatory, can you imagine what the
That shows he literally has no idea of what a president is supposed to do — and not do. Recall that Trump’s former secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, said Trump often made illegal requests. The Trump-Zelensky phone call is Exhibit A.
Greg Sargent: New revelations on Trump call and Giuliani make impeachment more likely
Jennifer Rubin: Trump’s call with the Ukrainian president should seal his fate
Alexandra Petri: Donald Trump might get impeached? Donald Trump?
Megan McArdle: The irony in Democrats’ impeachment position
Jonathan Capehart: Nancy Pelosi has a responsibility. With impeachment, she intends to fulfill it.
Anne Applebaum: Tuesday was a turning point on both sides of the Atlantic