Tag Archives: Hunter Biden

Let the trial begin … with witnesses!

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

It looks as though the U.S. Senate is going to convene a trial next week. The president of the United States is going to stand trial on charges that he abused his power and obstructed Congress.

The trial of Donald Trump isn’t a purely legal proceeding. It’s damn close to one, though. It’s close enough to a courtroom trial that there needs to be witnesses called who have something important to add to the issue at hand.

That issue is: What happened precisely during that “perfect phone call” that Trump had with the president of Ukraine? Then-national security adviser John Bolton was present when Trump talked to his Ukrainian colleague; so was acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. The Senate needs to hear from them. What they did hear? Did the president ask a foreign government to interfere in our 2020 election? Did he withhold military aid to Ukraine until it announced an investigation into Joe Biden, a potential Trump foe?

The nation does not know what they know. We have not heard it from them directly. I am one American who wants to know what they heard. I want to hear ’em say it out loud, in public, under oath.

Will that occur? Will the Senate summon them? We don’t know.

In return, of course, Trump wants the Senate to call Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, who worked for the energy company for a handsome sum of money. There are allegations of “corruption” involving Hunter Biden. Except that prosecutors have said time and again that the younger Biden did nothing illegal.

The president also wants to call House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff. Why? Beats the livin’ malarkey out of me!

Let’s not turn this trial into a sideshow. It is serious. It is a sober event. It should be conducted with utmost decorum and dignity.

I am awaiting the start of this trial. I hope we get to hear from Bolton and others with direct knowledge of what happened … allegedly!

We need a serious trial. Not a circus.

Turnabout isn’t always ‘fair play,’ Mr. Former VP

My politically induced heartburn is flaring up again. The cause is the statement by former Vice President Joe Biden, who says he would deny a Senate subpoena if he’s called to testify during the upcoming impeachment trial of Donald John Trump.

Dang it, Mr. Vice President! You cannot do that.

Here’s the deal: Critics such as me and millions of others have been hammering Trump over his refusal to let key White House aides testify after being summoned by lawfully authorized congressional subpoenas. That means fairness requires Biden to show up if the Senate does the same thing to him.

I happen to agree with Biden that a Senate subpoena would divert attention away from the allegations that have been leveled against Trump, that he abused his power and obstructed Congress; he sought a foreign government’s help for political purposes and has gotten in the way of Congress performing its oversight functions as prescribed in the Constitution. Thus, the Democratically controlled House impeached Trump.

Now comes the trial. The GOP controls the Senate. Republicans want Biden to testify in a trial. The idea stinks. However, it’s a lawful request if that’s what the Senate decides to do.

Just as I’ve said all along about Trump, if he’s got nothing to hide, he shouldn’t obstruct Congress. The same can be said of Biden. I happen to believe that the former VP didn’t break any laws with regard to Ukraine; prosecutors there have said so. Neither has his son, Hunter, who’s another key player in this drama.

My heartburn is only going to worsen the longer this idiocy plays out. That’s what my sense of fairness is doing to me. I just want to ask Joe Biden to spare me from having to reach for the Pepto.

I fear this trial is going to produce an unwelcome result, no matter whether Biden testifies or sits it out.

Graham exhibits remarkable duplicity once more

Lindsey Graham may run out of ways to pi** me off, although it’s looking like he has a bottomless supply of duplicitous positions he can exploit.

The South Carolina Republican U.S. senator once said that Donald Trump was unfit for the presidency, that he is a shameless liar and that he was everything this side of being the Son of Satan. Now he is one of the president’s — yep, the same Donald Trump — most ardent Senate boosters.

He also said in 2016 that Joe Biden is the “nicest man God ever created.” He said that if you can’t admire Biden that “you’ve got a problem.” Biden, he said, “is the nicest man I’ve ever met in politics.”

What’s he saying now about the former vice president, who might challenge Donald Trump in 2020? Graham wants the Senate Judiciary Committee that he now chairs to examine whether Biden committed any crimes in Ukraine, or whether his son, Hunter, broke any laws while being paid by a natural gas company in Ukraine.

So, Graham wants to find dirt on the “nicest man” in the known universe? Is that what I understand?

The Bidens — father and son — have become the chief diversionary targets of Republicans seeking to shift the attention away from the president’s soliciting political favors from Ukraine; Trump asked Ukraine to look into the Bidens in exchange for the release of weapons the Ukrainians purchased to help in their fight against rebels backed by Russia. Ukrainian prosecutors, incidentally, have said the Bidens have done nothing illegal.

Can you say “quid pro quo,” which is fancy term for, oh, bribery or extortion?

I am left now to wonder which Graham view of Biden is the truth. The version he talked about in 2016 or the one he is tossing out there in defense of the individual he once derided as unfit for office?

I’ll go with the latter view, which confirms what I suspect about Sen. Graham, which is that he is utterly lacking in principle.

What the hell is going on with POTUS?

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Somebody please wake up Mitt Romney and tell him that my conversation with the Ukrainian President was a congenial and very appropriate one, and my statement on China pertained to corruption, not politics. If Mitt worked this hard on Obama, he could have won. Sadly, he choked!

What you see here is a tweet that Donald Trump fired off after Sen. Mitt Romney criticized him for admitting to asking for China to “investigate” Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

I am virtually speechless over this.

Think for just a moment about this.

The president is likely to be impeached by the House of Representatives over his soliciting foreign government assistance in his re-election, an act forbidden by the U.S. Constitution.

A House impeachment means the president stands trial in the Senate. Mitt Romney is a Republican member of that body and will serve as one of 100 jurors in a trial to determine whether the president is guilty of “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Is this how you talk to one of those jurors? Is this a prescription for conviction, particularly if Romney is able to persuade other GOP senators that the president of the United States has lost his ever-lovin’ mind and must be removed from office?

Not smart, Mr. POTUS. Oh wait! I almost forgot. Trump says he’s the smartest man in human history.

Get ready for the filthiest campaign in history

I am trying like the dickens to wrap my noggin around an impossible prospect.

That is, I am seeking to comprehend the level of filth that will sully the next campaign for the presidency of the United States. We are getting a whiff of the stench that already is filling the air around the 2020 campaign.

Donald J. Trump’s re-election campaign is getting set to run TV ads on the Fox News Channel that seek to tie Joe Biden, a potential 2020 opponent, to phony allegations of corruption involving the former VP and his son, Hunter, in business dealings in Ukraine.

Think about that for a moment. When have we seen an incumbent president seek to influence a primary outcome in the other political party? I am trying to remember. The closest parallel I can find is 1972, when Republicans sought to surreptitiously undermine Democratic frontrunner Edmund Muskie of Maine while greasing the skids for Democrats to nominate George McGovern of South Dakota. The difference between then and now is that President Nixon’s re-election team did it all under the table … not out front and in plain view of the entire world! The strategy worked: Nixon won re-election in a historic landslide, then got into serious trouble with that thing called “Watergate.”

Meanwhile, the current president is facing the real prospect of being impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives over his admission that he is asking for foreign government help in his re-election effort, not to mention help in digging up dirt on Joe and Hunter Biden.

My fellow Americans, welcome to the new age of American politics, where the president of the United States openly violates his oath of office and then seeks to smear a potential campaign opponent with the hope that the opposing party will nominate someone else.

I hope we all have the stomach for what we are about to witness.

Trump: the gift that keeps giving

The Stable Genius who masquerades as president of the United States is leaving a bread-crumb trail that is leading straight toward impeachment by the U.S. House of Representatives.

Donald Trump today — in full view of the entire world — called on China and Ukraine to investigate Joseph Biden and his son, Hunter, over business dealings that Trump has characterized as “crooked.”

I need to mention that the elder Biden is running for the Democratic presidential nomination and might face off against Trump next year during the 2020 presidential election.

So, there you have it, loudly and clearly and with no ambiguity.

The president of the United States has solicited another foreign government to help him win re-election. Sound familiar? Well, yes. It does! He got that kind of help from Russia during his winning presidential campaign in 2016 against Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Man, on man. This guy is off his rocker.

He is now openly abusing the awesome power of his office for personal political gain. There can be no pretense. There can be no need to put “alleged” or “allegedly” in front of reports that Donald Trump has enlisted the aid of foreign governments.

This is astonishing, incredible, mind-blowing — just name it.

The idea that Trump would seek help from a authoritarian power such as China to investigate a U.S. citizen is utterly and completely beyond the pale.

If there is any doubt that the president deserves to be impeached for abusing his office, I believe he has just emptied the gasoline can over an already raging political wildfire.

Whistleblower is a hero, not an ‘almost spy’

Mr. President, you should be ashamed of yourself.

Oh, wait. I almost forgot. You have no shame. 

For you to suggest that the individual who blew the whistle as he or she saw fit is “almost a spy” is preposterous and frightening in the extreme.

The whistleblower is protected by federal law. You ought to know that. You also ought to realize that acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire said the individual “acted in good faith.”

The whistleblower has reported out that White House officials sought to cover up your attempts to bully/pressure/coerce foreign government officials to interfere in the 2020 election. What’s more, for you to suggest that the foreign government assist in digging up dirt on a potential political opponents only worsens matters beyond anything we’ve ever seen.

This individual has done what he or she believes is right.

Yet you — as is your hideous habit — chose to call this person a “political hack” and then you decided to up the ante by saying this week that we used to treat spies differently “when we were smart.” Are you really suggesting, Mr. President, that this whistleblower should be executed? Is that the message you seek to convey?

From where I sit, Mr. President, the whistleblower has performed a patriotic — perhaps even heroic — act on behalf of the nation. Whoever this individual well might have exposed to us all the corrupt intent that seems to pervade every decision to you make.

Yet you throw out threats of reprisal against this individual.

That is a shameful, disgraceful and despicable act of arrogance and ignorance on your part, Mr. President.

I cannot say this with enough passion: I want you removed from the office you occupy. I would prefer to leave that process to the 2020 election, but if impeachment and conviction in a Senate trial does the job … well, so be it.

One little word becomes focus of Trump-Zelenskiy chat

The attention of the political chattering class in Washington has drawn a bead on a single word contained in those notes released from Donald Trump’s conversation with the president of Ukraine.

It’s the word “though.”

Trump chatted by phone with Volodymyr Zelenskiy. The presidents were talking about U.S. military assistance to Ukraine in its fight with Russian aggressors. Zelenskiy thanked Trump for all he has done and what I suppose Trump was planned to do in the future.

Then Trump, according to the notes of that conversation, said the following:

I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike… I guess you have one of your wealthy people… The server, they say Ukraine has it. There are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation. I think you’re surrounding yourself with some of the same people. 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. As you saw yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance, but they say a lot of it started with Ukraine. Whatever you can do, it’s very important that you do it, if that’s possible.

There it is, the word “though.” 

Trump is offering to have Attorney General William Barr “get to the bottom” of Joe Biden’s son Hunter’s business dealings in Ukraine. He was soliciting Zelenskiy’s help in digging up dirt that could harm Joe Biden’s potential nomination as a candidate for president in 2020.

Zelenskiy had just said the following prior to the Trump’s “though” moment: We are ready to continue to cooperate for the next steps specifically we are almost ready to buy more Javelins from the United States for defense purposes.

Do you get it? Zelenskiy is anticipating the purchase of anti-tank missiles to use against Russia. However, Trump appears to put a caveat on delivery of those Javelins to the Ukrainians. The caveat deals with Joe Biden and whether there can be dirt to be flung at the former vice president in advance of his possible campaign against Donald Trump.

That looks to me like an impeachable offense.

Don’t take my word exclusively for it. Read the White House document here.

You be the judge.

Trump’s big mouth is getting him into trouble … maybe, perhaps

Donald Trump doesn’t know about circumspection. When reticence would serve him well, he turns to his natural instinct, which is to blab, blather and bloviate.

So he happened to mention out loud the other day that he talked to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky about former Vice President Joe Biden, one of a large crowd of Democrats seeking to run against Trump next year. Specifically, he talked to him about Biden’s son, Hunter, and whether Hunter Biden had some sort of nefarious business relationship with a Russian oligarch who owns an energy country.

Trump’s big mouth has opened up the impeachment talk. Democrats are yapping about impeaching the president right now. Let’s not wait, many of them are saying, claiming that they need to do their “constitutional duty.”

Their “duty” can wait. What cannot seem to wait, though, is the president’s big mouth.

He vowed to be an “unconventional” president. Of all the campaign promises Trump made, this is one he has kept in spades. Building the wall? Replacing the Affordable Care Act? Hiring the “best people” in the White House? Pffft! They’re all down the tubes.

However, he remains unconventional in the extreme. Part of his unconventional approach has to be the way he shoots off his trap about discussions he has with foreign leaders.

Why can’t this guy, the president, ever learn that some things need not be repeated beyond the room in which he says them initially?

Oh, well. That’s just Donald.

It could sink him and his presidency. To my way of thinking, that’s not a bad thing. Not at all.

Will impeachment pressure lead to explosion?

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is feeling the heat even more from her colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Is she strong enough to fend off calls to impeach Donald John Trump? That’s the question of the moment.

The president, to my mind, might have cut his own throat by acknowledging publicly that he spoke to Ukrainian officials about former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter and alleged business dealings that Hunter Biden has had with a Russian oligarch.

Oh yes, I guess I should mention that Joe Biden is the leading Democrat running for the presidency of the United States.

But … did the president seek information from the Ukrainians? Did he offer them a quid pro quo? Did he offer ’em a bribe?

Trump says he is “considering” whether to release a transcript of the conversation he admits has occurred. Do you think he’ll do it? Well, I don’t believe it. Why? Because, I am willing to conjecture, Trump might have something else to hide from the public.

Pelosi has dug in against rushing to impeach Trump. I concur with her view. There needs to be more. Pelosi wants broad public buy-in. She also wants more than a congressional Republican or two to climb aboard the impeachment express.

The questions facing Pelosi are the same ones facing Donald Trump.

What precisely did he say? How did he present this issue to the Ukrainians? Has the president of the United States committed a treasonous act by soliciting campaign assistance from a foreign power?

The heat is growing under Speaker Pelosi.

It’s also getting hot under the president of the United States.