White House Transcript Confirms Trump Asked Ukraine President To Investigate Biden

The White House has released a summary of the July 25th phone call between President Trump and the President of Ukraine. It doesn't help President Trump or his defenders.

As had been promised late yesterday, the White House released a summary of the President’s July 25th phone call with Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and it confirms that the President did indeed ask the Ukrainians to investigate his potential political rival:

President Trump told his Ukrainian counterpart to work with the U.S. attorney general to investigate the conduct of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and offered to meet with the foreign leader at the White House after he promised to conduct such an inquiry, according to a newly-released transcript of the call.

Those statements and others in a July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky were so concerning that the intelligence community inspector general thought them a possible violation of campaign finance law. In late August, intelligence officials referred the matter to the Justice Department as a possible crime, but prosecutors concluded last week that the conduct was not criminal, according to senior Justice Department officials.

The administration’s disclosures underscore how the president’s phone call has consumed the federal government in recent days, and how the White House is now scrambling to defuse the situation by offering more details of what the president said.

White House officials said the transcript does not show the president seeking an investigation of Biden’s son in exchange for providing aid to Ukraine. When the president reminds Zelensky of how the U.S. helps Ukraine, Zelensky responds that he appreciates the tough sanctions the U.S. has imposed on Russia.

As expected, there is nothing in the “transcript” which is really a summary of what the two men said to each other during the July 25th call, that can be called a quid pro quo in which the President specifically makes military aid contingent on reopening the Biden investigation. That being said, what the transcript actually says hardly vindicates the President:

The call begins with Trump congratulating Zelensky on his election victory, but quickly devolves into the president pressing for an investigation of his political rivals and endorsing an apparent conspiracy theory. He seems to suggest Hillary Clinton’s private email server is in Ukraine and asserts that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation started with that country. He repeatedly says Zelensky should work with Attorney General William P. Barr or his personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani. Giuliani had separately pressed Ukrainian officials for a Biden inquiry.

“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,” Trump says, according to the transcript.

He adds later: “There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it. … It sounds horrible to me.”

Zelensky replied that “my candidate” for the prosecutor job “will look into the situation, specifically to the company that you mentioned in this issue.”

At the outset of the call, Trump also asks for Ukraine’s help in finding the location of the Democratic National Committee server that U.S. officials say was hacked by Russian intelligence in the run-up to the 2016 election.

“The server, they say Ukraine has it,” Trump says according to the transcript. “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.”

The transcript, in keeping with White House practice, is a memorandum of a telephone conversation and is not a verbatim account of the conversation. The text reflects the notes and memories of officials in the Situation Room. A disclaimer in the transcript warns that a number of factors “can affect the accuracy of the record, including poor telecommunications connections and variations in accent.”

During the course of the phone call, Trump also makes specific mention of his private attorney Rudy Giuliani, whose involvement in all of this I wrote about this morning, as well as Attorney General William Barr and officials at the State Department. Perhaps the most significant thing about the call, though, is the fact that the President’s repeated mention of the Biden affair and his obvious and open appeal to “dig up dirt” about a political opponent came right after President Zelensky made reference to the aforementioned military aid, which the President had blocked just days before, as well as the sale of other defensive military equipment. Immediately after Zelensky brings that up, Trump immediately mentions that he needs the Ukrainian President to do him a favor, and that favor involves reopening the investigation of Hunter Biden and, by extension, the former Vice-President. That may not be an explicit quid pro quo, but it is most certainly an implicit one and it provides more than enough ground for further investigation of this matter by the relevant Congressional Committee(s).

Even with just this summary as evidence, it is clear that President Trump acted improperly with respect to this matter. Asking the political leader of another country to intervene to investigate someone who could very well be his rival in his 2020 General Election is clear an improper use of his office for personal gain. Additionally, The transcript, which is really a summary, confirms that the President pressured President Zelensky to reopen an investigation that potentially could touch on a domestic political rival. This is at least improper and potentially illegal. If nothing else, this justifies the decision by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to formally designate the ongoing investigation as an impeachment inquiry. Whatever may happen in the future, the President has left Congress with no other option at this point.

That doesn’t mean the investigation is complete, of course, but it also doesn’t mean that the President is vindicated. In fact, it means quite the opposite and that there are grounds to expand this investigate beyond just the July 25th phone call to include persons such as Giuliani, Barr, and others. Additionally, Congress and specifically the Intelligence Committees in the House and Senate need to be provided with a copy of the whistleblower’s complaint as required by law as well as access to the whistleblower. There are apparently negotiations with the lawyer representing the whistleblower going on right now to make the second happen, but the White House is refusing, without justification, to provide a copy of the complaint. In any case, if the White House thought that releasing this transcript would end the matter, they were woefully mistaken.

Here is the transcript/summary:

Trump Zelensky Phone Call S… by Doug Mataconis on Scribd

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2020, Donald Trump, Impeachment, National Security, Politicians, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. mattbernius says:

    InB4 @Guarneri and “lolz what a nothingburger and what about Biden?!” flack comes in.

    Also worth noting that This morning, the finely oiled White House Machine sent out their Memo talking points ASAP. The only problem was they mass emailed them to the Democrats…
    https://twitter.com/AndrewDesiderio/status/1176884014768185344

    I really think the staff are trying to get PoTUS impeached. At least that would feed @JKB’s deep state conspiracy theories.

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  2. @Doug:

    As expected, there is nothing in the “transcript” which is really a summary of what the two men said to each other during the July 25th call, that can be called a quid pro quo

    On page 2 Trump remind Zelensky of all the things that the US does for the Ukraine, more than the other European countries.

    He then, on page 3, after Zelensky wholeheartedly agrees about how much the US does for Ukraine, ask for a “favor”.

    That is pretty darn quid pro quo.

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  3. It is utterly remarkable that Trump directed Zelensky to speak to his personal attorney, whose job it is to aid Trump’s re-election.

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  4. Joe says:

    Of course, Steven L. Taylor, Giuliani’s story now was he is a secret State asset, which someone at State apparently immediately denied. This should be a fun part of the story.

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  5. EddieInCA says:

    @Doug

    From the transcript, page 3:

    “I’d like for you to do us a favor, though.”

    Anyone with ANY life experience knows what the “though” at the end of that sentence means.

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  6. @EddieInCA: Indeed. Trump talks about reciprocity in the relationship, Zelensky mentions needing help with their defense, including buying more Javelins, and then Trump asks for a favor.

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  7. @Joe: Even if he was a secret asset, it is wholly inappropriate to mix diplomacy with re-election campaigns.

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  8. Kari Q says:

    This is the evidence they want to share? It suggests that what they are refusing to turn over is brutally damning.

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  9. (setting aside the ridiculous notion that State would need a secret envoy for this, let alone a secret envoy who goes on TV to talk about what he is doing).

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  10. Gustopher says:

    Once they realize that this isn’t exonerating, I wonder how our right wing friends will spin this.

    – The “transcript” was reconstructed from notes taken by a member of the deep state?

    – The real scandal is that someone used an Oxford comma? (If there is an Oxford comma in there, this might work, but will they even check for an Oxford comma?)

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  11. @Gustopher: The spin I am seeing is that there was no quid pro quo, therefore it is (to quote Senator Graham on Twitter), a “nothingburger”

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  12. Mikey says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: That there doesn’t need to be an explicit quid pro quo is the inconvenient fact Graham and the rest of the lickspittles are leaving out.

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  13. Neil Hudelson says:

    I’ve seen some chatter pointing out that this call lasted around 30 minutes and involved two speakers fluent* in English, yet the ‘transcript’ details about 10 minutes worth of conversation.

    Well, it turns out the ‘transcript’ was generated by voice software, along with input from aides.

    Which I believe indicates there is a recording of the call.

    *Or, whatever you call Trump’s grasp of his native language.

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  14. Erik says:

    @Joe: you have to admit that this is actually true, as long as you conflate “Trump” with “the state”

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  15. Paul L. says:

    I agree with ArchConservatives Rick Wilson, Max Boot, Jennifer Rubin and Andrew Sullivan.

    IMPEACH DRUMPF!

    Who is the Heroic Whistle blower who destroyed Trump?
    It has been reported that the Whistle blower did not witness it and heard a rumor. So was it Hearsay?
    Is the President considered part of the IC when they are still pursuing and investigating Trump for treason?

    “An intelligence officer cannot file a whistle-blower complaint against the president, because the president is not a member of the intelligence community; nor does a presidential phone call with a foreign leader qualify as an intelligence operation.”

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  16. EddieInCA says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    Stolen from me on the other thread:

    It was a thirty minute phone call.
    It’s a 2000 word document.
    The President of Ukraine is totally fluent in English.
    That’s about 66 words per minute.
    The average American speaks between 125-150 words per minute.
    So this transcript refers to two people speaking at roughly half the speed of normal speech.
    Alot is missing from this transcript.

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  17. mattbernius says:

    @Mikey:

    That there doesn’t need to be an explicit quid pro quo is the inconvenient fact Graham and the rest of the lickspittles are leaving out.

    2019 Graham perhaps. 1998 Graham is another story:

    Here’s @LindseyGrahamSC on Impeachment in 1999, when it was Bill Clinton: “He doesn’t have to say, ‘Go lie for me’ to be a crime. He doesn’t have to say, ‘Let’s obstruct justice’ for it to be a crime. You judge people on their conduct, not a magic phrase.”

    https://twitter.com/girlsreallyrule/status/1119349981599674369

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  18. Kathy says:

    Trump, his band of deplorables, and his enablers and apologists in the GOP, will attempt to narrowly define what constitutes a crime. They will buy it, but no one else will.

    A few years back I was robbed at gunpoint right outside the bank. The guy robbing me did not say “this is a robbery,” he didn’t threaten me, he didn’t even point his gun at me. He did say “give me that money you just withdrew” (words to that effect, I don’t recall exactly what he said).

    By the cheetoland narrow definition method, this was not a crime. He made a request, and I chose to comply. And it was certainly not a robbery because the guy didn’t call it a robbery.

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  19. My comment about the lack of an explicit quid pro quo is that there’s no record of Trump saying that he’d release the military aid if Zelensky opens the investigation. That being said, as I went on to say, there’s no mistaking that there’s no mistaking what the President was implying in the phone call and what the price for releasing the military aid would be.

    If you’ve ever followed a mob trial, this the way the Mafia operated. The boss almost never explicity says that something illegal should be done, but the implication of what he says and doesn’t say could not be clearer. The similarities aren’t coincidental. Trump’s relationship with the mob in New York has been well-documented and he has spending much of his time in office operating thewa the head of a crime family would operate.

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  20. Lit3Bolt says:

    Time for Dr. Joyner to make mealy mouth apologies for his Traitor-King. Did I say apologies? I mean gloating.

    Let’s just start saluting all the Saudis, Russians, and Chinese mafiosos now. They clearly run the Republican Party, so they run America. Makes sense.

    I’m not mad Opie. Just disappointed. Bitterly.

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  21. @EddieInCA:

    There was a guy from the Obama Administration who used to handle calls like this on MSNBC earlier. He said this isn’t unusual, especially since much of the 30 minutes was taken up by the translators doing what they do.

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  22. mattbernius says:

    @Paul L.:

    It has been reported that the Whistle blower did not witness it and heard a rumor. So was it Hearsay?

    Well, I guess… of course, this overlooks the part where the President confirmed it independently and released a transcript that confirmed it as well.

    But you know, other that that, how was the play Mrs Lincoln…?

    All that said, I’m sure you think its a great thing that we have an impeachment inquiry going so we can learn more about the context of the original report.

    I look forward to your questions about Biden’s son. And myriad other forms of deeply thought through and well informed whataboutism.

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  23. HarvardLaw92 says:

    This is essentially a statement from the White House directly implicating Trump and Giuliani – at a minimum – in violations of 52 US 30121(a)(2). If Barr was stupid enough to make his call as well, toss him into the idiot bin too.

    Just when you think that this bunch of clowns can’t possibly get any dumber, they swing for the fences. If Cippolone agreed to this release, frankly he should be disbarred. If they released it over his advice, he should be looking for the nearest exit.

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  24. Paul L. says:

    @EddieInCA:
    Go Full Transcript Truther!!!

    The President of Ukraine is totally fluent in English.

    Debunked!

    No, Zelenskiy is NOT a fluent English speaker. His spoken English is very limited and he would certainly need a translator to speak in the manner in which this memo suggests he did.

    DRUMPF!DRUMPF!DRUMPF!DRUMPF!DRUMPF!DRUMPF!DRUMPF!DRUMPF!DRUMPF!

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  25. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    IT’S NOT A TRANSCRIPT!!!
    It’s a memo, or as Doug’s sub-headline accurately states, a summary.
    And if this is what the WH thinks is exculpatory…imagine what they aren’t showing us.
    We need to see the whistle-blowers complaint.
    And the rank arrogance of Baghdad Barr to decide to try to bury this, when he is implicated.
    He should be impeached immediately.

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  26. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Paul L.:

    You’re engaging in fluff. The transcript establishes the willful commission of a felony. Indeed, it establishes a conspiracy to violate federal campaign finance laws. You get that, right?

    I’m not sure your side has an appropriate grasp of the size of what’s happening here.

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  27. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Let’s all be honest; any other Presidency would already be over.
    However, Trump has a corrupt Senate Majority Leader and a corrupt AG and the Justice Boof Court.
    Still…in a normal, functioning America…he would not be able to survive this.

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  28. CSK says:

    @HarvardLaw92: I think Trump believes that his fans will see the transcript as his vindication–and he’s right. They do.

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  29. Nickel Front says:

    Two guys talking about a corrupton scandal that affects both their countries.

    Oh the horror!

    You certainly need to read a lot into that to find any evidence of collusion, pressure, etc.

    How many times do you have to fall for the aforementioned nothingburgers and out right lies?

    Just because you WANT something to be true doesn’t mean that it is.

    But I get it. The orange man who is literally Hitler is bad and all.

    Feel free to resume your bloviating.

    Or go back to impeaching Kavanaugh or something.

    P.s. did you note how Trump is tougher on Russia than the EU?

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  30. Paul L. says:

    @mattbernius:

    other forms of deeply thought through and well informed whataboutism.

    Whataboutism: renaming “rooting out hypocrisy and naked partisanship” to deflect criticism for applying standards to your opponents that you would never hold your allies to.

    Here is some more deeply thought through and well informed commentary.
    IMPEACH DRUMPF!IMPEACH DRUMPF!IMPEACH DRUMPF!IMPEACH DRUMPF!IMPEACH DRUMPF!

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  31. mattbernius says:

    @HarvardLaw92:
    You’ve been gone for a bit, so if you’re interested in a good laugh, scan the thread where Paul tried to lecture us about all the problems with Climate Science and systematically got every (easily googlable) fact wrong.

    Like completely and totally wrong.

    And he kept going. And getting more things wrong.

    It was kinda like an Andy Kaufman routine:

    https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/climate-change-science-is-biased/

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  32. EddieInCA says:

    @Paul L.:

    No, Zelenskiy is NOT a fluent English speaker. His spoken English is very limited and he would certainly need a translator to speak in the manner in which this memo suggests he did.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbAFMypfY2c

    Here’s he is speaking English, fluently at 8:38 of the video. He switches to Ukranian for his domestic audience.

    Try harder Paul.

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  33. mattbernius says:

    @Nickel Front:
    Nice, didn’t address a single fact. Just a wall of rando text.

    Not even an attempt at whataboutism. Not even an accusation about Biden. No actual flack at all.

    Guys, I think he realizes how bad this really is.

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  34. drj says:

    Zelensky: “We are almost ready to buy more Javelins* from the United States for defense purposes.”

    Trump: “I would like you to do us a favor though”

    * Tech the Ukranians desperately need in their ongoing conflict with Russia.

    As others have noted, the quid pro quo is right there.

    Even as a non-lawyer, I’m pretty sure that in the context of a criminal trial this would count as an explicit quid pro quo.

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  35. Jay L Gischer says:

    @CSK: I recall a reporter that covered Rob Ford writing about just what it takes to crack the support of a populist like Ford or Trump. She said it takes a videotape. There’s no videotape, but there most likely is an audio recording of Trump’s call. Maybe there’s more. We still haven’t seen the whistleblower report, which is probably worse for them, since they released this summary memo, and not the whistleblower report.

    But I’m not sure the whistleblower report will do it, either. Each time they defend him, they make it harder for themselves to change directions.

    It was the release of the tapes that did in Nixon, nothing less.

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  36. the Q says:

    I liked the total obsequious azz kissing of “when I last visited New York….I stayed at the Trump Tower”….this guy should be a comedian…

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  37. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:
    Let’s not forget how Baghdad Barr lied about the Mueller report.
    There really is no reason to believe this memo is accurate, at all…other than the fact that it is so damaging.

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  38. Gustopher says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: I’m wondering if the.whistleblower complaint actually refers to Ukraine at all…. It would be lovely if it really was a complete crank, and that all of this bubbled to the surface due to speculation and failed spin.

    The Ukraine matter is clearly the President leaning on Ukraine to get help with his campaign, which is illegal and impeachable with or without a quid pro quo.

    The whistleblower complaint could really be anything for all we know.

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  39. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @CSK:

    Give it time. It took a while for the public to grasp the magnitude of Nixon’s perfidy too. That having been said, his fans were never the target. Sally Soccermom out in Fairfax just spit out her Pinot over this one.

    They’re still dutifully repeating the wrong talking point – no quid pro quo. That won’t hold water for long. I’m still blown away by the degree of ineptitude required for anybody in the White House not to grasp what the content of this document – and what releasing it – does.

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  40. HarvardLaw92 says:

    Now we have Senator Perdue stating that House and Senate Republicans reviewed the transcript before it was released with Pat Cippolone in the room

    Strike what I said earlier. He should be disbarred. This really is Watergate-For-Morons

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  41. drj says:

    @the Q:

    I liked the total obsequious azz kissing of “when I last visited New York….I stayed at the Trump Tower”….this guy should be a comedian…

    Zelensky is simply doing what is best for his country. He bloody well knows he is being utterly ridiculous.

    It’s much, much sadder that Trump bought it.

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  42. Gustopher says:

    @Paul L.:

    It has been reported that the Whistle blower did not witness it and heard a rumor. So was it Hearsay?

    Hearsay may not be allowed in a court of law, but it is absolutely allowed in an investigation — possibly not enough to get a search warrant, but definitely enough to poke around for things in plain sight. For prosecution, you need to get more evidence, such as the President‘s tweets, this summary, etc.

    IANALBIANAFI (I am not a lawyer, but I am not a fucking idiot)

    Also, we do not know what is in the whistleblower complaint. That could be all about Slovenia for all we know.

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  43. Steve V says:

    @mattbernius: I don’t think he does. They are living in a different reality and their media heroes reinforce it all day long.

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  44. EddieInCA says:

    I’ve been watching Fox News all day.

    It’s Biden, Biden, Biden. No Quid Pro Quo. Biden. Biden. Biden. Corruption. No Quid Pro Quo. Biden. Biden. Biden.

    It’s as is the document doesn’t say what it says.

    Fascinating.

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  45. CSK says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Yes, but…they’re not going to see anything wrong with an attack on the Bidens. That’s a good thing, in their eyes.

    You may be underestimating the depth of the Trumpkins’ commitment to to their boy. This will make that commitment even deeper.

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  46. Paul L. says:

    @EddieInCA:
    He is reading a statement. Not carrying on a conversation.
    IMPEACH DRUMPF!IMPEACH DRUMPF!IMPEACH DRUMPF!Yeeaaaaaargh!

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  47. mattbernius says:

    @EddieInCA:
    Which were the White House talking points… that, again, they shared with the Democrats.

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  48. Teve says:

    “this is like telling your girlfriend you’re not cheating on her, and then releasing the sex tape to prove it.” -john iadarola

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  49. Mikey says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    I’m not sure your side has an appropriate grasp of the size of what’s happening here.

    Well, to be fair, I’m not sure anyone on his side is used to grasping anything of appreciable size.

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  50. Lounsbury says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Welcome back

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  51. Paul L. says:

    @Gustopher:

    Hearsay may not be allowed in a court of law, but it is absolutely allowed in an investigation — possibly not enough to get a search warrant, but definitely enough to poke around for things in plain sight.

    So exactly same standard as if without the Hearsay.

    john iadarola

    He is TYT hack who would claim the CBS Bush TANG memos were genuine.

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  52. Steve V says:

    @EddieInCA: It was “fascinating” when they were obsessing over Uranium One and the Clinton Foundation. What’s happening now is too dangerous to be just fascinating, imho.

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  53. CSK says:

    @Jay L Gischer: Did the audio of Trump boasting about his pussy-grabbing prowess hurt him? The video of him mocking Serge Kovaleski’s disability? All the other videos/audios of him making a swine/buffoon of himself?

    To a dedicated Trumpkin, these are features, not bugs

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  54. michael reynolds says:

    @Paul L.:
    I understand your hysteria. It’s upsetting when you begin to see that you’re just a sucker. But that’s what you are, just a fool who bought a load of b.s. you thought would make you important and part of something larger and all that. And now you’re just the dumb mark with empty pockets still protesting that the 3-Card Monte game wasn’t crooked.

    It’s genuinely pathetic. Funny, but also pathetic.

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  55. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Gustopher:

    I’m wondering if the.whistleblower complaint actually refers to Ukraine at all

    My sense is that this call is part of it, but not all. Reporting I’ve read indicates it’s a pattern of behavior, or at least “multiple incidents”.
    https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/462165-intelligence-ig-wont-disclose-contents-of-whistleblower-information
    Releasing this (likely inaccurate) memo is of the same playbook as the Mueller report. Get the talking points and spin out there, before the entire report is released, in order to obfuscate and taint the facts…thus blunting the impact of the actual complaint.

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  56. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @CSK:

    Nah. Trumpkins are a cult. I’m just interested in how large a slice of moderate Republicans this slices off. The Senate will never vote to convict, but that’s fine. Nixon didn’t go down and drag the party down with him overnight either.

    I’ll take months of increasing scandal coupled with White House evasion tactics for $1,000, Alex.

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  57. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Lounsbury:

    Thanks! Glad to see that your erudite voice is still here

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  58. EddieInCA says:

    @Paul L.:

    He is reading a statement. Not carrying on a conversation.

    Obviously, you haven’t learned any additional languages, or else you’d know that it’s harder to read a new language than it is to speak it. The fact that he can read in English only makes it clearer that he knows that language.

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  59. Chip Daniels says:

    Even if Trump didn’t offer anything to Ukraine, simply asking a foreign government to investigate his political rival is an impeachable abuse of his office.

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  60. Barry says:

    @Paul L.: “It has been reported that the Whistle blower did not witness it and heard a rumor. So was it Hearsay?”

    It has also been reported that Trump paid to piss in a bed with Russian hookers.

    Pick your standards.

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  61. Teve says:

    @EddieInCA: Most of Sean Hannity’s show last night was about Hunter Biden. It seems ridiculous when you read about that study that found that people who avoid all news are better informed about the news than people who just watch Fox News, but it’s really not.

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  62. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @mattbernius:

    Oh wow … 😀

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  63. Kathy says:

    The troll attitude today seems to translate as: There’s not enough evidence of wrongdoing yet. STOP looking for the rest of the evidence right NOW!!

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  64. Gustopher says:

    @Paul L.: Typically, when police or prosecutors start looking around after hearing second hand information, the suspect does not confess by twitter though. Or send his lawyer out to confess on tv and implicate others. Or release a damning summary. But, yes, it should be treated as other hearsay information brought to a tip-line — investigates if it is credible and serious.

    Also, it is usually not a violation of the law to attempt to repress the hearsay, as it is in this case. The handling of the Whistleblower complaint is a whole different set of crimes.

    But, sure, hearsay then confirmed by the president and his lawyer, implicating others in the process.

    Do you have a point? Do you refute the confirmation? Do you think your President was lying when he confirmed it? Do you think the summary/transcript was written in code that just happens to look like English?

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  65. JKB says:

    Doesn’t move the ball. Viewpoints are based on political stance before.

    However, this may make it impossible for Pelosi not to hold an actual impeachment investigation vote forcing all Dem House members on the record.

    This impeachment march is still fully political. Until the American people are brought along with something substantive, Dems risk a backlash for abusing impeachment for political purposes.

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  66. EddieInCA says:

    @Paul L.:

    The President of Ukraine is live on television right now, SPEAKING ENGLISH FLUENTLY, although with an accent.

    Ask your mom for the remote control and turn on Fox News. I’m watching it now.

    Care to apologize?

    Nah… Didn’t think so.

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  67. drj says:

    @EddieInCA:

    Some people conform their worldview to their observations. Other people conform their observations to their worldview.

    Hence, Zelensky doesn’t speak English. What you are seeing on your TV is not relevant to Paul L. and the other cultists.

    ETA:

    O’Brien held up the fingers of his left hand, with the thumb concealed.

    “There are five fingers there. Do you see five fingers?”

    “Yes.”

    And he did see them, for a fleeting instant, before the scenery of his mind changed. He saw five fingers, and there was no deformity. […]

    “You see now,” said O’Brien Sean Hannity, “that it is at any rate possible.”

    “Yes,” said Winston Paul L.

    ReplyReply
  68. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @JKB:

    FTLOG … impeachment is a political process, you moron, not a criminal one … 🙄

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  69. wr says:

    @EddieInCA: “Obviously, you haven’t learned any additional languages”

    Additional languages? He can barely write a sentence in English.

    ReplyReply
  70. R.Dave says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    OP: “As expected, there is nothing…that can be called a quid pro quo in which the President specifically makes military aid contingent on reopening the Biden investigation.”

    Comment: “My comment about the lack of an explicit quid pro quo…”

    I really don’t understand why so many intelligent, good faith commentators keep framing their analysis this way when that analysis inevitably goes on to explain that there obviously is a laughably transparent quid pro quo being offered/demanded. I mean, I get why the Trump partisans would try to create the impression that only a literal “I’ll give you X if and only if you give me Y” statement counts as a real, unambiguous quid pro quo, and reasonable minds can disagree if there’s anything short of that. Given the transcript/summary’s contents, they don’t really have any other play. But why would an honest writer choose to lead with what is so obviously a misleading framing?

    ReplyReply
  71. Jen says:

    Acting DNI threatened to resign if the White House refuses to let him speak freely with Congressional committees about this mess.

    I’m not sure this is the nothingburger Trump’s cult is suggesting.

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  72. Paul L. says:

    @EddieInCA:
    I apologize. It was quite a masterful soliloquy.

    We had a good phone call. We spoke about many things. I think and you read it that no one pushed it.

    IMPEACH DRUMPF!IMPEACH DRUMPF!IMPEACH DRUMPF!Yeeaaaaaargh!

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  73. David S. says:

    Oh, I see. Giuliani is the deep state.

    ReplyReply
  74. reid says:

    @Paul L.: I’m not sure what you think you’re accomplishing here besides looking like a complete goober.

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  75. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Paul L.:
    That is NOT what the guy said.

    ReplyReply
  76. Erik says:

    I think Paul L should take a break soon.

    ReplyReply
  77. inhumans99 says:

    I just wanted to chime in to say to Paul L that if you are still checking out this story please think about stepping outside for a breath of fresh air and just calm down. Your posts have me worried that you are very close to hyperventilating so just close your eyes and relax. I am looking at your posts and it increasingly looks like you are on the verge of a panic attack.

    I ended up spending hours on the phone with someone I know earlier this year who would have descended into a panic attack and needed emergency services if I was not on the other end of the phone to calm them down….it was grueling for me and I was not the one freaking out.

    Just step away from the internet for a few hours because I am sincerely concerned about your health.

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  78. EddieInCA says:

    I usually don’t feed the trolls, but the Trump defenders, on this site and others, are just ridiculous, and I think we all have a duty to call out their bullshit. I know they’ll never change, but there are people who read, who don’t post, who might be persuaded.

    I’ve been posting up a storm lately on The Resurgent, NR, and Dreher’s site, and I’m finally seeing cracks in the facade. Rod Dreher, Erick Erickson, and several others are now, finally, admitting Trump, MIGHT, have gone too far. It’s baby steps, but we need to continue pointing out the bullsh*t coming from too many on the right. Dreher, to his credit, has been calling out the Trump Cultists.

    David French just posted a new piece on National Review stating “The Trump–Ukraine Transcript Contains Evidence of a Quid Pro Quo”. That’s HUGE! Even though Andrew McCarthy, Kyle Smith, and the rest at NR are still claiming “nothing to see here”, but the cracks are starting to form.

    And as Paul L has shown, Trump could, literally, shoot someone on 5th Avenue, and Paul L would blame Democrats for the shooting.

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  79. Gustopher says:

    @inhumans99: Don’t worry, panic attacks are not a health threat in and of themselves. Just really annoying and unpleasant, both for the person and everyone around them.

    I don’t recommend generalized anxiety disorder, but if you must have a mental illness, it’s probably one of the better ones.

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  80. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @EddieInCA:

    And as Paul L has shown, Trump could, literally, shoot someone on 5th Avenue, and Paul L would blame Democrats for the shooting.

    Paul L. would volunteer to be the one shot.

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  81. Steve V says:

    @EddieInCA:

    I’ve been posting up a storm lately on The Resurgent, NR, and Dreher’s site

    I am truly impressed!

    … Andrew McCarthy, …

    who wrote a book arguing that Obama should be impeached. It’s just all so crazy.

    ReplyReply
  82. dennis says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    Still…in a normal, functioning America…he would not be able to survive this.

    Good afternoon, my brother. I’d say, in a normal, functioning America, his criminal azz wouldn’t have been elected in the first place. Sumpn’s rotten, and it ain’t in Denmark …

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  83. Kathy says:

    At this rate, by tomorrow Dennison may try to buy Scotland just to divert the media’s attention.

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  84. JKB says:

    @HarvardLaw92: impeachment is a political process,

    In this case, it is a strictly partisan process with the goal to overturn a constitutional election. You claim to be able to read Trump’s mind, when you can’t comprehend what I wrote in context.

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  85. dennis says:

    @EddieInCA:

    I’ve been watching Fox News all day.

    You have a strong constitution, my friend. I venture there every so often for “balance’s” sake. I don’t last more than two minutes.

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  86. the Q says:

    You mean no one had an iPhone to record this conversation? This “transcript” was the “best recollection of scribes” WTF? How do we know what the “scribes” might have left out?…”hey, if you want the damn weapons, you better come up with dirt on that asshat Biden and his crack head son who was boofing his brother’s widow. Am I clear Ivan?”…to the best recollections of his scribes, this was remembered as “hey, pal, can you do me a favor”…..we are in phucking elementary school here.

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  87. Moosebreath says:

    @EddieInCA:

    Add Daniel Larison to your list of outraged conservatives, though he has been outraged at Trump for some time now over foreigh affairs:

    “When Trump says, “I would like you to do us a favor though,” he is linking the favor to continued U.S. military assistance to Ukraine. I don’t agree with the policy of providing that assistance on the merits, but withholding it and then using it as a bargaining chip in an attempt to get a foreign government to engage in dirty tricks against a political rival is outrageous. It raises obvious questions about other foreign policy decisions that the president has made and whether he has engaged in similar behavior in dealings with other governments.

    Impeachment is the constitutional remedy for such abuses of power. These are exactly the kinds of self-serving abuses that impeachment was designed to check. Abuse of power need not be a crime to be deserving of impeachment, and there is already enough evidence of abuse to warrant finding out just how far the rot goes. Under the circumstances, an impeachment inquiry is entirely appropriate, and that inquiry may bring evidence of more abuses to light. The House should take its time and discover the full extent of the corruption in this administration, and then it should do its constitutional duty.”

    ReplyReply
  88. Teve says:

    @EddieInCA:

    And as Paul L has shown, Trump could, literally, shoot someone on 5th Avenue, and Paul L would blame Democrats for the shooting.

    somebody on Twitter yesterday said “over the last 48 hours the Trump cultists have convinced me that Trump could shoot them on 5th avenue, and they’d blame the Democrats.”

    ReplyReply
  89. Teve says:

    @Moosebreath: I honestly cannot keep Dreher and Larison separate. It seemed like I formed the opinion that one of them was too much of a lunatic to bother with, and the other was only a lunatic on something, and worth reading on other things. But I can’t remember which one is which. 🙁

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  90. dennis says:

    @JKB:

    Doesn’t move the ball. Viewpoints are based on political stance before . . . This impeachment march is still fully political. Until the American people are brought along with something substantive, Dems risk a backlash for abusing impeachment for political purposes.

    Fifty bucks there were more than a few JKBs back in ’74 saying the same thing right up to that 08.08 speech …

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  91. mattbernius says:

    @JKB:

    In this case, it is a strictly partisan process with the goal to overturn a constitutional election.

    Whelp, I suggest then you blame the founders and the Constitution for that.

    BTW, for the matter, it doesn’t overturn the election as the Vice President would move into the presidency. He was elected as part of the ticket.

    But hey, details.

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  92. Teve says:

    Andrea Mitchell
    @mitchellreports
    · 3h
    On whether Senators would vote for impeachment, @murphymike says, “One Republican senator told me if it was a secret vote, 30 Republican senators would vote to impeach Trump.” #AMRstaff

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  93. dennis says:

    @JKB:

    In this case, it is a strictly partisan process with the goal to overturn a constitutional election. You claim to be able to read Trump’s mind, when you can’t comprehend what I wrote in context.

    But you didn’t write “partisan;” you wrote “political.” We all understood clearly what you meant. Which means you’ve exposed yourself as untruthful. Again.

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  94. Nickel Front says:

    Trump immediately mentions that he needs the Ukrainian President to do him a favor, and that favor involves reopening the investigation of Hunter Biden

    This is a lie.

    The favor involves crowd strike, the hacked DNC server, and the whole Russia hoax.

    Read the transcript.

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  95. MarkedMan says:

    @Mikey:

    Well, to be fair, I’m not sure anyone on his side is used to grasping anything of appreciable size.

    It’s a bit unfair. Mikey won the dang Internet today and only got three upvotes….

    ReplyReply
  96. dennis says:

    @Nickel Front:

    Read the transcript.

    We’d love too; but they haven’t released it yet!

    ReplyReply
  97. CSK says:

    @EddieInCA: At NRO, French has been pretty anti-Trump all along, I think. So has Jonah Goldberg. Andrew McCarthy is the sap whose defenses of Trump grow increasingly feeble. McCarthy is trying hard and failing badly.

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  98. Moosebreath says:

    @Teve:

    “I honestly cannot keep Dreher and Larison separate. It seemed like I formed the opinion that one of them was too much of a lunatic to bother with, and the other was only a lunatic on something, and worth reading on other things. But I can’t remember which one is which. ”

    To me, Larison is fixated on a few issues (especially returning to the Iran nuclear deal and ending support for the Saudis in Yemen) where I generally agree with him, and talks only about foreign policy, where his views are those of a sane non-interventionist.

    Dreher is insane on most of topics, especially gay rights and how Christians are being persecuted now and will be more so in the future, and is a devout Christian who is not willing to even pay lip service to the Golden Rule, but instead rejects any discussion of how Christians have acted to non-believers as irrelevant. He is not a Trump fan, but thinks Trump is better for Christians than any Democrat could possibly ever be.

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  99. Paul L. says:

    @Jen:

    Acting DNI threatened to resign if the White House refuses to let him speak freely with Congressional committees about this mess.

    Maguire statement:
    “At no time have I considered resigning my position since assuming this role on Aug. 16, 2019. I have never quit anything in my life, and I am not going to start now. I am committed to leading the Intelligence Community…”

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  100. Kathy says:

    It occurs to me the Butcher of Riyadh, aka Mohammad Bin Salman, must be kicking himself. All the entreaties, the flattery, the time invested, and all he had to do was offer Trump dirt on Biden! Maybe if he found some now he could trade it for a strike or two on Tehran?

    BTW, on other news, two out of three ain’t that bad: Israel’s president gave Netanyahu first crack to try to form a government. here’s hoping his best efforts fall way, way short.

    And now on to silly speculation:

    Suppose Trump gets impeached and by some miracle, like God Himself comes down from Heaven and surgically implants spines on enough GOP Senators, also gets removed, say by February of next year. Would he try to run for the White House again? He’s just stupid, and vain, and stubborn, and vain enough to try.

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  101. Paul L. says:

    @Teve:

    And as Paul L has shown, Trump could, literally, shoot someone on 5th Avenue, and Paul L would blame Democrats for the shooting.

    I remember progressives saying “Cheney [accidentally] shot his Lawyer in the face.” as if it was premeditated murder.

    A man could attack Trump with a weapon on 5th Avenue and the Secret Service killed the man and the Democrats would say “Trump literally, shot someone on 5th Avenue”.

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  102. mattbernius says:

    @Nickel Front:

    The favor involves crowd strike, the hacked DNC server, and the whole Russia hoax.

    Even if you accept that, it’s an example of him attempting to subvert the Mueller findings.

    Which again is about the personal aspects. However, you also seem to ignore the fact that he then also asks for that pesky Binden investigation right after that. There are these concepts called “conjunctions” where things, like asks and requests, happen together.

    Keep trying to stretch that desperately small fig leaf.

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  103. Teve says:

    @Moosebreath: I just Google Image searched both of them. It’s amazing that by just looking at one picture you can tell Rod Dreher is batshit religious crazypants.

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  104. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Paul L.:
    Um…Cheney did shoot a man in the face. Well-regulated militia, indeed.

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  105. CSK says:

    :@Paul L.:

    Paul L. is correct. Maguire did deny, quite emphatically, that he threatened to resign.

    ReplyReply
  106. Teve says:

    Seen in a chat room:

    The thing that’s so fucking ASTOUNDING about this Trump-Ukraine thing is that it’s essentially exactly the same thing he was accused of (and which the Mueller Report found ample evidence of): “colluding” with a foreign government to find compromising information about a political opponent. And this is way, way worse. We have a partial transcript, which Trump himself provided by way of declassifying it, where he specifically asks as a “favor” from the Ukrainian leader, to investigate his political opponent Joe Biden, with the implication that if the Ukraine does so, he will free up half a billion dollars in military aid previously held up by his own actions.

    This is a Smoking Gun.

    And what’s truly fucking crazy about it is that Trump knew, or at least strongly suspected, he’d be fucked by the Mueller Report (the only thing preventing it was his hand-picked personal attorney general Bill Barr), but then he went ahead and did the same fucking thing, only this time not just as a private citizen running for office but as the actual President of the United States.

    He’s like a toddler who repeatedly sticks a fork in an electrical outlet and never, ever learns not to do it. He cannot help himself. He literally commits impeachable offenses as part of some sort of brain-stem reflex he’s powerless to control.

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  107. Jen says:

    Reuters is reporting that Zelenskiy thought only the US side of the call was going to be published.

    This is a complete mess of a day. That really should have been communicated to him prior to the release.

    ReplyReply
  108. CSK says:

    @Jen:

    I’ll say. We are now officially in Alice in Wonderland territory. Or maybe Through the Looking Glass.

    ReplyReply
  109. Jen says:

    @Paul L.: This is true, that was his statement.

    Of course, actually considering resigning and threatening to are two different things. And it’s entirely possible that whomever handed this over to the press misinterpreted something he said.

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  110. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Jen:
    @CSK:
    This is a critical time for the Republic.
    The press needs to be on top of their game. And they are not. Not by a long shot.
    Rushing erroneous stories only strengthens Trumps tiny little hands.

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  111. mattbernius says:

    I think the saddest element of these low energy, going-through-the-motions-trolls it that they have to continue to act as if — or who knows, they may truly — that the *only* person who isn’t lying to them is a President who has established a stunning track record of lying about everything down to the meanest little detail of the most meaningless things.

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  112. Joe says:

    @Kathy:

    Suppose Trump gets . . . removed, say by February of next year. Would he try to run for the White House again?

    Who does he think he is, Joe Arpaio?

    ReplyReply
  113. wr says:

    @mattbernius: “Keep trying to stretch that desperately small fig leaf.”

    One suspects that a desperately small fig leaf is all “Nickel Front” has ever needed.

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  114. Tyrell says:

    @Paul L.: If the Apostle Paul was president, they would be investigating him.
    There should be a law: one investigation allowed every four years.

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  115. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @EddieInCA: Bleep, it’s even hard to read a native language than it is to speak one. Check out how many people in the US have no oral reading skills s0metime. Fully half of my college students couldn’t read aloud effectively.

    ReplyReply
  116. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @wr: If I were going to guess, he probably can’t read aloud either. 🙂

    ETA:

    in a normal, functioning America, his criminal azz wouldn’t have been elected in the first place.

    Good point!

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  117. Moosebreath says:

    @Tyrell:

    “If the Apostle Paul was president, they would be investigating him.
    There should be a law: one investigation allowed every four years.”

    Considering that there were 8 separate investigations on one incident (Benghazi) within 4 years, and the head of the final investigation said in so many words that the sole purpose of the investigation was to damage Hillary Clinton’s electoral prospects, I suggest you raise that suggestion with someone who won’t point and laugh at you for making it.

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  118. Jen says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: I agree, and unfortunately, that’s what you get when the business model is now based on eyeballs and clicks; it’s more important to get there first than accurately.

    ReplyReply
  119. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @JKB:

    I don’t need to read his mind. I have a statement, one released by his White House no less, admitting that both he and his personal attorney / water carrier broke the law.

    Call me optimistic, but speaking as a former federal prosecutor, it just doesn’t get much better than that. I feel like I’m watching Perry Mason 😀

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  120. michael reynolds says:

    @Tyrell:
    Jesus Christ, Tyrell, that’s just plain dumb. If you don’t want investigations, don’t elect a criminal. And don’t pretend you didn’t know, because anyone with open eyes and a functioning brain knew.

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  121. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Paul L.: I’m just curious, how does one accidentally shoot someone in the face? What little instruction I received in gun handling included always point the gun toward the ground when not pointing it at the target as the first rule. Was my instructor bad?

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  122. michael reynolds says:

    I believe in about two months we’ll need another CR to keep funding government. If Trump stonewalls, we need to shut it down and make it clear that only his cooperation will re-open it.

    If Barr doesn’t recuse, he should be impeached as well. Pompeo won’t be far behind.

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  123. Teve says:

    Trump:

    “I think you should ask for VP Pence’s conversation, b/c he had a couple of conversations also. I could save you a lot of time — they’re all perfect.””

    What’s he doing here? Trying to hint to Senate Republicans that if you really look into this you’ll impeach him AND Pence, and then Pelosi will be President?

    No, he doesn’t have the brain power to scheme that hard. He’s probly just babbling.

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  124. Steve V says:

    @Teve:

    And what’s truly fucking crazy about it is that Trump knew, or at least strongly suspected, he’d be fucked by the Mueller Report (the only thing preventing it was his hand-picked personal attorney general Bill Barr), but then he went ahead and did the same fucking thing, only this time not just as a private citizen running for office but as the actual President of the United States.

    And what’s also crazy about this is that he didn’t do it alone. At a minimum his inner circle of advisors (and Rudy Giuliani) were in on it and actually formed some kind of plan.

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  125. Teve says:

    Ben Garrison cartoons are about to be lit!

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  126. dazedandconfused says:

    Something that grabbed me in the transcript:
    This is a snip of one of the President of Ukraine’s replies to Trump:

    . I also plan to surround
    · myself with great people ·and in addition to that investigation,
    I guarantee as the President of Ukraine that all the
    investigations.will be done_openly and candidly ..

    However, his statements this week show he never investigated a damn thing. He said that he was waiting for a “formal request” from the US to do so. “Openly and candidly”…that Russian habit of extraordinarily complicated double-speak. Say everything, say nothing.

    I think he had Trump nailed as a phony-tough guy playing a weak hand. Phony-tough and dumb plays here but not in Russia. Someone will say this isn’t Russia but the Ukraine is culturally so close as makes no diff. They deal with real tough guys over there and on a daily basis.

    He was not eager to be Trump’s chump. He wasn’t seeing Rudy either. Rudy had to talk to one of his assistants.

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  127. Barry says:

    @JKB: “In this case, it is a strictly partisan process with the goal to overturn a constitutional election. You claim to be able to read Trump’s mind, when you can’t comprehend what I wrote in context.”

    Incorrect. It’s a constitutional process, just as constitutional as an election.

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  128. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Kathy:

    Suppose Trump gets impeached and by some miracle, like God Himself comes down from Heaven and surgically implants spines on enough GOP Senators, also gets removed, say by February of next year. Would he try to run for the White House again? He’s just stupid, and vain, and stubborn, and vain enough to try.

    No ma’am. Article 1, Section 3, Clause 7:

    Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

    Were he to be impeached and convicted, he would subsequently be ineligible to hold ANY office within the United States government, including president.

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  129. Joe says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Were he to be impeached and convicted, he would subsequently be ineligible to hold ANY office within the United States government, including president.

    Well, then, I’ll sign off on that happy thought.

    ReplyReply
  130. Kathy says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Thanks.

    I still think he would try. And, depending on his popularity, state-level officials wouldn’t try to keep him off the primary ballot.

    ReplyReply
  131. Gustopher says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I’m just curious, how does one accidentally shoot someone in the face? What little instruction I received in gun handling included always point the gun toward the ground when not pointing it at the target as the first rule. Was my instructor bad?

    If you’re drunk, and staggering around looking for ducks, and someone blows a duck call right next to you…

    Lots of scenarios. I don’t think Cheney intentionally shot the man in the face, because he apologized for it. The guy he shot in the face apologized, that is.

    Seriously though, it’s an incompetent or inebriated hunting accident. Nothing more serious.

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  132. reid says:

    @Teve: Yeah, and it was just several months ago that he told George Stephanopolous in an interview that of course he would take information about his opponent from a foreign power. That he then did it (and more) shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, really. He has no ethics and never will. Which also explains why he released this incriminating document. He’s just clueless about right and wrong.

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  133. michael reynolds says:

    As has been pointed out elsewhere, if the vote were secret a lot of GOP Senators would vote to remove him. They’re all spineless but not all of them are stupid enough to think Trump is anything but poison to the party. You can practically feel the longing for this impeachment to turn public opinion just enough to allow them to pull their tongues out of Trump’s anus.

    There are people at the White House right now looking up Watergate on Wikipedia to see how many secondary figures did time. (40 indicted or jailed.) The legal fees alone would bankrupt a lot. The question now is how many are rats – rats know when to desert a sinking ship.

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  134. dennis says:

    @Tyrell:

    @Paul L.: If the Apostle Paul was president, they would be investigating him.

    Well, there WAS that bullshyt story about a bright light on his way to Damascus, so . . .

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  135. @HarvardLaw92:

    Were he to be impeached and convicted, he would subsequently be ineligible to hold ANY office within the United States government, including president.

    Nerdy point of clarification: the Senate would have to choose to impose that penalty (although surely they would do so). See Alcee Hastings, who was impeached and removed from the bench, but was not barred from federal office and later was elected to Congress.

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  136. Kathy says:

    @michael reynolds:

    As has been pointed out elsewhere, if the vote were secret a lot of GOP Senators would vote to remove him.

    I see no chance for a secret vote.

    But Senators 3 and 5 years from reelection campaigns might just vote to remove, if they figure the Cheeto base might have forgotten everything then. Also a few GOP Senators from blue states might also vote to remove.

    Absent a swing in public opinion, especially in the Republican base, I see the chances of removal as between slim and the Moon really is made of green cheese.

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  137. An Interested Party says:

    The most incredible thing about all of this (other than this dipshit openly admitting to impeachable offenses) is how all of his toadies, whether they be politicians, pundits, or just people on internet comment threads, are all defending him as if nothing happened, as if what we see with our own eyes isn’t there…and these are the delusional people we are told we have to make compromises with for the sake of the country…it’s pretty difficult to make compromises with people who live in their own alternate reality…

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  138. mattbernius says:

    Ok, so Sasse, Romney, and others have seen the unredacted complaint and they are not sounding all that excited about defending the president.

    For example:

    https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/463100-gop-senator-on-whistleblower-complaint-theres-obviously-lots-thats-very

    They still take shots at the Democrats, but this is not the sounds of confidence that this is only smoke.

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  139. Teve says:

    This is interesting:

    David Roberts
    @drvox
    My extremely cynical prediction: we are seeing a small moment of wavering in some quarters on the right, a moment of uncomfortable cognitive dissonance, that will inevitably resolve itself in favor of the clear, Manichean “yeah he did it so what fuck you.”
    1:38 PM · Sep 25, 2019·Twitter Web Client
    108
    Retweets
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    David Roberts
    @drvox
    ·
    6h
    Replying to
    @drvox
    Remember, an aversion to uncertainty & ambiguity is part of what makes people conservatives in the first place. They need black & white, good & bad, us & them — not just politically, but psychologically. The collective pressure to resolve the ambiguity will be overwhelming.

    David Roberts
    @drvox
    ·
    6h
    Adding: they will not directly defend what Trump did. They never do. Instead, as always, it will be a fusillade of whataboutism — what about Biden, what about Clinton, what about Benghazi. The point, as always, is not to justify anything but to permit everything.

    David Roberts
    @drvox
    ·
    5h
    BTW I wrote about all this a while ago and I think it holds up: America is facing an epistemic crisis

    ReplyReply
  140. EddieInCA says:

    I’m loathe to link to another site on this one, but this is too good to pass up. Moderators, feel free to delete this if you wish.

    Here’s Erick freaking Erickson: https://theresurgent.com/2019/09/25/republican-source-the-whistleblower-paints-a-clear-path-to-impeachment/

    “REPUBLICAN SOURCE: “[The whistleblower] paints a clear path to impeachment.””

    ReplyReply
  141. Teve says:

    @EddieInCA:

    I’m loathe to link to another site on this one, but this is too good to pass up. Moderators, feel free to delete this if you wish.

    ?

    ReplyReply
  142. CSK says:

    Okay, the WaPo is standing by its story that Maguire threatened to resign.
    Weirder and weirder.

    ReplyReply
  143. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Hastings is actually an unsettled matter of law. There is an opinion that the penalty must be explicitly imposed, but any straight forward reading of the constitution makes it clear that the disqualification is an automatic consequence of removal from office. Article 1 doesn’t say “if the Senate decides he/she should be disqualified”.

    The problem specific to Congress relates to the Article 1 Section 5 verbiage asserting that both houses shall be the judge of the qualifications of its members. Some assert that this verbiage allows either house to override the debar imposed by removal. Others, like myself, believe that the debar renders a removed member ineligible to be elected, since he/she is disqualified from office as a consequence of prior removal. It has never been tested by a court.

    In any case, that situation was precipitated by the House’s failure to seek guidance from the Supreme Court on the matter, and it is unique to potential members of Congress. No such uncertainty exists with respect to any other office.

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  144. mattbernius says:

    One last thought for the night:

    All of Trump’s defenders here, as far as I can tell, are arguing the details. They don’t have the balls to say “of course he asked for the investigation and offered an incentive, and there is nothing wrong with that.”

    Again ya’ll are portraits in courage. Keep arguing the details!

    BTW if I missed you working that, please point it out (in my defense y’all have offered up a lot of different explanations in such a short amount of time).

    ReplyReply
  145. An Interested Party says:

    Ahh, the meltdowns are already starting… *SNICKER*

    ReplyReply
  146. Teve says:

    @An Interested Party: yep somebody at the White House accidentally emailed Democrats the talking points about the whistleblower, and surprise, Fox News people started repeating them verbatim.

    ReplyReply
  147. michael reynolds says:

    @HarvardLaw92:
    You should start billing us. Here, I’ll pitch in. That’s, what, $20 for a billable hour? No? I’m sorry, what?

    ReplyReply
  148. Jax says:

    @michael reynolds: No kidding!! It’s really great having you back, HarvardLaw!!!

    This thread’s been keeping me entertained all day, I think we’re only missing one troll….I really thought One American would poke her head in and reaffirm her fealty to Mango Mussolini, but maybe the lava got her.

    ReplyReply
  149. Teve says:

    Jon Favreau
    @jonfavs
    ·
    11h
    I should’ve remembered that Trump and his goons are too ignorant and morally bankrupt to grasp that their crimes are crimes.

    ReplyReply
    4
    1
  150. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    LOL, for you guys, I’ll negotiate a discount from rack rate. I bill at $1,350 / €1,285 an hour. To be fair, though, a not insignificant portion of our book has migrated to fixed fee arrangements. We’re not exactly going broke though 🙂

    ReplyReply
  151. Mister Bluster says:

    @HarvardLaw92:..I bill at $1,350…

    As I repeatedly told my ex wife whom I met while she was in Law School: “A law degree is a license to steal.”

    ReplyReply
  152. Jen says:

    @Mister Bluster: When you need one, a good lawyer is worth every. damn. penny.

    🙂

    ReplyReply
  153. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @HarvardLaw92: It’s great to have at least one person with a legal education commenting here . Welcome back!

    ReplyReply
  154. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @Kathy: A President removed from office by impeachment and conviction may not run for election again, if memory serves.

    ReplyReply
  155. Pylon says:

    @SC_Birdflyte: My poor old Canadian legal education doesn’t count (I freely admit my hourly rate pales in comparison, especially with exchange rates).

    ReplyReply
  156. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Pylon:

    I’ve always found your analyses to be on point, well reasoned, and possessed of clarity. All qualities I value highly, quite possibly because they’re in such short supply these days. We do work in Canada (albeit it from New York), but if you ever find yourself interested in M&A work, feel free to toss a rock at my window. I’d be amenable to considering it.

    ReplyReply
  157. Blue Galangal says:

    @michael reynolds: My newest theory is that Tyrell is one of those “swing voters” that Sabrina Tavernise keeps interviewing. Maybe the one with the portrait of Robert E. Lee.

    ReplyReply
  158. Teve says:

    Tavernise deleted that lying-ass tweet but the internet did not forget it.

    ReplyReply
  159. Blue Galangal says:

    @Teve: Darn. Matt McDermott should have taken a screenshot instead, because his thread is 11 kinds of awesome with receipts.

    ReplyReply
  160. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: That’s because WaPo is Fake News!! HQ and Bezos hates Trump. Honestly, for people who follow politics so closely, you don’t know anything. 😛

    ReplyReply
  161. Barry says:

    @mattbernius: “Ok, so Sasse, Romney, and others have seen the unredacted complaint and they are not sounding all that excited about defending the president.”

    Every single one of these guys gets a bit shocked (but not too much!) and a little bit down (but not too much!).

    Then they go home, have a few drinks, put on a fresh shirt and a new smile, and go back to work defending Trump.

    ReplyReply
  162. Barry says:

    @EddieInCA: “Here’s Erick freaking Erickson: ”

    I was a bit surprised, but I will only really be surprised if he doesn’t get over it.

    ReplyReply
  163. CSK says:
  164. Pylon says:

    @HarvardLaw92: I am an insolvency lawyer. So M&A comes up from time to time. But get into it with a NY lawyer. I’d like to keep my skin, thanks. Though I will be in NYC in a few days – not on business. 🙂

    PS. I will take on one NY lawyer any day though – Rudy doesn’t seem that sharp.

    ReplyReply
  165. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Pylon:

    We’re really not that bad, and we offer punch and pie 🙂

    Rudy is, and always has been, a politician first and foremost. He’s never been much of an attorney. Aside from a fairly decent showing as a US Attorney (in which his staff should receive the lion’s share of the accolades for those accomplishments), his legal work has been confined to the mediocre, with a strong focus on leveraging his political career for lobbying purposes. Any decent 3L would shred him for breakfast in a courtroom. You, I’m confident, would filet him. 🙂

    ReplyReply

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