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The impeachment hearings: It should be fun

by Gary Fouse

Today public hearings begin in the Trump impeachment process. The Democrats, under the leadership of Adam Schiff (D-CA), will take those witnesses whom they feel were strongest against President Trump in the infamous closed door hearings and put them before the public. We will hear from the former US ambassador to Ukraine, the former acting US ambassador to Ukraine, and an army lt. colonel who was assigned to the White House. Maybe we will hear from their famous anonymous whistle blower. (His name is already out there, but some are reluctant to use his name in public.) He is a partisan Democrat with links to Joe Biden. It seems the Dems are balking at using him because he can only testify to hearsay and as stated, he is a known partisan. It is more the Republicans who want him to come forward.

Make no mistake: This is an attempted coup designed to bring down the president. The ex-ambassador, Marie Yovanovitch, was removed for good reason. She had reportedly directed members of her embassy staff-in Ukraine- to monitor the activities and statements of people like Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and other private citizens, mostly conservative. That is unheard of.

The crux of the matter is that in July, Trump spoke on the phone with the current president of Ukraine, Volodyrmyr Zelenskyy, and (in Adam Schiff's words) ordered him to make up dirt-anything- on his presidential opponent, Joe Biden. US military aid to Ukraine depended on it. It was an effort to use US aid to force a foreign  government to investigate and dig up dirt on the man most believe will be the Democrat candidate for president.

Except that is not the accurate scenario according to the official transcript of the call as taken down by those in the White House monitoring the call. It is true that Trump asked Zelenskyy to look into the matter of Crowdstrike (a US cybersecurity firm hired by the DNC to investigate the hacking into their computers during the 2016 campaign) as it pertained to Ukraine. What is wrong with a US president requesting that Ukrainians investigate it? Ukraine and its supreme court have already gone on the record as saying that Ukrainian interests attempted to meddle in the US election to the benefit of Hillary Clinton.

More importantly, it is true that Trump mentioned Joe and Hunter Biden in that call in connection with the firing by the previous president of the prosecutor investigating Burisma Holdings, Ukraine's largest non-governmental energy company. Burisma, during the Obama administration, had placed Hunter Biden on its board of directors. The question is: Why? Hunter Biden had no expertise in Ukraine or natural energy. He spoke no Ukrainian. He had no qualifications to sit on that board-other than the fact that he was the son of Joe Biden-who had been appointed by Obama to be the point man in Ukrainian affairs. As a result Hunter was being paid money in the amounts of $50,000-80,000 a month according to which source you are relying on. Burisma was under investigation for corrupt practices by Ukraine's chief prosecutor, and one of the things he wanted to look into was the role of Hunter Biden with Burisma Holdings.

Then then-Vice President Biden paid a visit to Ukraine and told the then-Ukrainian president in no uncertain terms that he wanted the prosecutor fired. Biden stated that he was leaving the country in 6 hours, and that if the prosecutor wasn't fired by then, Ukraine would not receive some one billion dollars in US loan guarantees.

How do we know all that? Is it hearsay, similar to what Mr Whistle Blower heard about the Trump-Zelenskyy call? Hardly. We get it right from the mouth of Joe Biden, who bragged about it on video during an appearance before the Council on Foreign Relations. He tells the whole story-without mentioning Hunter, his son, of course.

But the Democrats and the press don't care a whit about all that. To them, the real impeachable offense is what Trump did in his phone call to Zelenskyy. In reality, if the transcript is accurate, what Trump did was perfectly reasonable and lawful. He did what US officials do every day in their interactions with other governments. He requested they investigate possible wrongdoing-both in the Crowdstrike issue as well as Joe Biden's truly improper demand to fire the Ukrainian prosecutor. If you think it is illegal for an American official to ask a foreign government to investigate an American, you are wrong. It happens every day. When I was a DEA agent stationed in Thailand in the 1970s and Italy in the 1980s, I asked those police counterparts on many occasions to help us investigate Americans who were in their respective countries engaging in drug trafficking. We have international agreements that cover all that.

This Ukrainian flap, just the latest attempt to remove Trump from office, is similar to the failed Russian collusion scandal. The Democrats and the press could care less that the whole story was started with the Clinton campaign and the DNC enlisting Fusion GPS to dig up dirt on Trump. Fusion then turned to Christopher Steele, the ex-British intelligence agent, who somehow produced the infamous Russian dossier, which led to the FBI wiretap of Carter Page among other questionable investigative endeavors. Much to the consternation of the Democrats and the press, Attorney General William Barr and his appointed counsel, John Durham, are investigating this whole mess in great detail. But the Democrats would rather believe that Trump colluded with the Russians to steal the election from Her Nibs (Hillary). Nor did they care that the FBI and Obama Justice Department essentially whitewashed the "investigation" into Clinton's emails, in which a ton of real evidence was gathered all for nought.

In short, the Democrats in Congress, led by Schiff and cheered on by the media, are ignoring the improper acts by Biden just as they all did in the case of Hillary's emails in order to focus on acts by Trump which were well within his power as president. But there is good news. The Democrats may control the witnesses who appear, but the Republican members of the committee will be able to ask them hard questions in public view. Already Schiff has stated that he will not permit the issue of Ukrainian election meddling or the Bidens to be brought up. In turn, the Republicans want both the Bidens to testify. Americans are going to hear the Republican members raise the issue of Hunter Biden, Burisma, and Joe Biden's successful demand that the prosecutor be fired. Schiff may try to stop it, but there surely will be much argument and Republican references to the issue. One way or another, the American people are going to hear about the Bidens. When the phrase quid pro quo is raised, viewers will have to consider what Joe Biden did and which was worse-the actions of the former vice president or President Trump? This is going to blow up in the Democrats faces, just as the Russian hoax did and just as the testimony of Robert Mueller did.


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