Tag Archives: quid pro quo

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 about ‘due diligence,’ Chairman Graham?

Dang! I always thought U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham was a competent lawyer, even if he was a shallow, callow politician.

Sen. Graham, one of Donald Trump’s staunchest Senate defenders, now says he won’t look at the transcript of interviews given by two key individuals linked to the potential impeachment of the president of the United States.

He calls it “BS,” and declares he has no intention of reading the text of the interviews collected by House committee members looking into the impeachment inquiry.

The testimony comes from European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland and former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Kurt Volker. The men reportedly have said they knew of a quid pro quo struck between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy over a request Trump made to Zelenskiy to dig up dirt Joe and Hunter Biden; if Zelenskiy delivered the goods on the Bidens, then he would get the military hardware Congress had approved, but which Trump withheld as part of the deal he sought to strike. It’s at the heart of the impeachment inquiry.

The transcript is now seen as crucial evidence that Trump has committed an impeachable offense.

Graham, though, won’t have any of it.

I believe the senator/chairman is committing an egregious error. It involves a commitment he has made to perform due diligence as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

This is bad news, Sen. Graham. You need to do your job, even if it means reading material that does damage to Donald Trump.

‘Quid pro quo’ to become part of our lexicon

I’ll make a prediction: When the tumult over Donald Trump’s time as president is over, millions of Americans will develop a thorough understanding of the term “quid pro quo.” 

It might even become of those “cool” phrases that we’ll actually enjoy reciting.

It’s a Latin phrase that means “something for something.” Donald Trump’s current troubles involve his asking a foreign government for “something” in exchange for “something.”

The “something” Trump sought was dirt on Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. Joe Biden is the former vice president who might become the Democratic Party presidential nominee in 2020. The “something” Trump would deliver in exchange for the dirt would be weapons for Ukraine, which is fighting Russia-backed rebels.

The quid pro quo has become a central part of this impeachment inquiry. It’s a bad scene, man, if you’re the president of the United States and have sought this quid pro quo while serving as head of state of the world’s mightiest nation.

You see, the Constitution forbids a quid pro quo. Presidents aren’t allowed to solicit foreign governments for political help. Therein lies the impeachable offense that House of Representatives Democrats believe they have on the president.

The discussion going forward is going to involve plenty of references to quid pro quo. Americans might get sick of hearing the phrase. Or, they might decide that a president who sought to offer “something for something” is a serious enough offense to warrant getting tossed out of the White House.

Trump or Taylor: Who do we believe?

Well now. The impeachment inquiry into Donald J. Trump’s presidency has taken yet another decisive turn and it doesn’t look good for the president.

William Taylor, a career diplomat, a West Point grad, an infantry officer with combat experience in Vietnam, someone with 50 years of public service under his belt has testified that Donald Trump did seek a political favor from a foreign government.

On the other side is Trump, a president, a man with zero public service experience, no national security experience, a serial liar, a novice who doesn’t the first or second thing about diplomacy denying the existence of a “quid pro quo” with Ukraine.

Who should we believe? I am going to go with the first fellow, Ambassador Taylor.

Taylor is a top U.S. envoy to Ukraine. He has been at or near the center of what has gotten Trump into so much political trouble. He reportedly told a congressional committee that Trump did indeed seek a political favor from Ukraine. He said Trump did seek to withhold military assistance until Ukraine provided dirt on Joe Biden and his son, Hunter; oh yeah, Biden might run against Trump for president in 2020.

My head is spinning.

If there can be a more decisive moment in this impeachment inquiry to date, I am hard-pressed to identify it.

William Taylor is credible. Donald Trump is not.