A Case Built On A House Of Cards

Yesterday Breitbart posted an article about the testimony of U.S. diplomat Bill Taylor.

The article reports:

U.S. diplomat Bill Taylor, during his deposition last month, identified the New York Times as the sole source of his claim that President Donald Trump wanted Ukraine to help him get dirt on Joe Biden, transcripts released Wednesday show.

Taylor suggested that Trump wanted Ukraine to launch investigations into corruption allegations against the former vice president and his son Hunter and potential U.S. election interference only to get information on his political rival Joe Biden.

The article includes a transcript of the questioning:

Besides a New York Times article, “I have no other information from what the [U.S.] president was thinking,” he declared under questioning by Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) during his October 22 deposition, given behind closed doors.

The transcripts of his testimony described the Zeldin-Taylor exchange as follow:

Zeldin: What was the goal of requesting investigations into 2016 election and [Ukrainian company that employed Hunter] Burisma?

Taylor: As I understand it from one of the maybe the article in the New York Times about [Trump’s private lawyer] Mr. [Rudy] Giuliani’s interest in Burisma, in that article, he describes, and I think he quotes Giuliani at some length, that article indicates that Giuliani was interested in getting some information on Vice President Biden that would be useful to Mr.Giuliani’s client. I think that’s what he says. He says he’s got one client, and he’s useful to the client.

Zeldin: And then it’s your inference that Mr. Giuliani’s goal would be the President’s goal?

Taylor: Yes.

Zeldin: And your source is the New York Times?

Taylor: Yes.

Zeldin: So do you have any other source that the President’s goal in making this request was anything other than the New York Times?

Taylor: I have not talked to the president. I have no other information from what the President was thinking.

Just for the record, in a normal court of law, this testimony would be thrown out. This is ridiculous.

When The Politics Of Personal Destruction Became Acceptable

Many Americans look around at the political scene and wonder how we got to the point where anyone who disagrees with those in the media (and any liberal) is a horrible person probably guilty of hate speech. The concept of personal destruction has been with us for a while, but there are a few moments in American history that we can point to as watershed moments. One is the confirmation hearing of Robert Bork in 1987.

Robert Bork was recognized as a qualified conservative judge. In 1962, he became a law professor at Yale. In 1982, Ronald Reagan appointed him to the U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit. In 1987, he was nominated for the Supreme Court. His nomination hearing was one of the low points of American history. The unfounded attacks on him were a shadow of things to come.

Yesterday PJ Media posted an article about Joe Biden’s role in the confirmation hearings of Robert Bork.

The article notes:

During the fourth Democratic debate on Tuesday, former Vice President Joe Biden — the ostensible moderate in the race — bragged about his role in the acrimonious political attack that first made Supreme Court confirmation battles as vicious as they are today. While Democrats often blame House Speaker Newt Gingrich for coarsening America’s political rhetoric, the character assassination of Robert Bork first ignited the partisan political warfare that hit a fever pitch with Trump.

Biden is campaigning on a platform of “restoring the soul” of America, aiming to reverse the influence of Trump, whom he blames for the white nationalist riots in Charlottesville, Va. Yet the former VP played a key role in the political declaration of war that turned Bork’s last name into a verb. On Tuesday, he bragged about that.

Asked about abortion, the former senator — and Senate Judiciary Committee chairman — bragged, “When I defeated Robert Bork, I made sure we guaranteed a woman’s right to choose for the better part of a generation.”

So the smearing of Robert Bork (also the smearing of Brett Kavanaugh) was actually about abortion. It worked the first time; it didn’t work the second time–Justice Kavanaugh was confirmed–Judge Bork was not.

The article continues:

Yet bragging about Bork is a bad strategy, especially for a candidate who aims to present himself as a return to political civility.

As Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) wrote in his excellent book Them: Why We Hate Each Other—and How to Heal, the “Borking” of Robert Bork helped create the “angry constituency” that spurred on (Newt) Gingrich’s success.

…Biden played a large role in the character assassination.

Stage management was a key part of this made-for-tv political drama, and one of the central cast members was the Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman, Delaware Senator Joe Biden. His former staffers later admitted that chairman Biden hatched a plan to work with outside advocacy groups to heighten the visibility of the Bork hearings. Biden thought a Supreme Court fight could be a key lever to boosting his name recognition in advance of the 1988 Democratic primary.

Because character assassination worked in that instance, the Democrat party has tried it on other occasions. It wasn’t until they tried it on President Trump that they met someone who was willing and able to fight back. That is one of many reasons that the Democrats are trying to remove him from office–their normal bag of tricks is not working on him.

The Political Cost Of Impeachment

What the Democrats in the House of Representatives are doing is not impeachment. It might be called ‘impeachment light’, but it is not impeachment. Impeachment is something that is supposed to begin with a vote of the full House of Representatives. At that point, both parties are allowed to call witnesses and question witnesses. The accuser (or accusers) of the President is asked to step forward and state his case. What the Democrats are doing violates a number of basic principles in our Constitution. Our Constitution allows a person charged with a crime to face his accuser. Our Constitution allows for both sides of an accusation to be heard. Our Constitution allows for any exculpatory evidence to be heard. None of this is happening in ‘impeachment light.’ So what is the cost of this charade to the Democrats?

The Washington Times posted an article today that includes the following:

Independent voters are warming up to President Trump, says a new survey which finds that Mr. Trump is now besting Democratic front-runners in a theoretical matchup.

“A new IBD-TIPP poll shows President Trump has gained significant ground with independent voters in head-to-head matchups with the Democrat Party frontrunners for president,” wrote Matt Margolis, a contributor to PJ Media.

He cited the factors. Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, for instance, leads Mr. Trump by just one percentage point among independents, down from Mr. Biden’s 18 percentage point lead in September. Against Sen. Elizabeth Warren, 49% of independents backed Mr. Trump, while 43% favored the Massachusetts Democrat.

The article concludes:

“What caused such a dramatic swing in Trump’s favor with independents? Is it a coincidence that this poll was conducted after Nancy Pelosi formally launched an impeachment inquiry into President Trump? Not to me,” Mr. Margolis said.

“Impeachment is not exactly popular among voters, and only a minority of independents support it,” the analyst noted. “Many on the right have warned Democrats that impeachment fever will only benefit Trump in the long run — and they appear to be proven right by this poll.”

I am sure that the House Democrats are aware of these numbers. It will be interesting to see what they do about them.

This Latest Attempt To Smear The President May Not End Well For Those Promoting It

The Gateway Pundit posted an article yesterday about the latest scandal the media has concocted to damage President Trump. The scandal is related to something a whistle-blower heard President Trump discuss with a foreign leader. Of course all of the details are being leaked out strategically by the media in a fashion to hurt the President, but there are a few details we already know that are more damaging to the media.

The article reports:

After leaving office in 2017, Vice President Joe Biden Bragged about strong-arming the government of Ukraine to fire its top prosecutor.

Joe Biden made the remarks during a meeting of foreign policy specialists. Biden said he, “Threatened Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in March 2016 that the Obama administration would pull $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees, sending the former Soviet republic toward insolvency, if it didn’t immediately fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.” Biden suggested during his talk that Barack Obama was in on the threat.

In April John Solomon revealed what Biden did not tell his audience. Joe Biden had Poroshenko fired because he was investigating Joe Biden’s son Hunter.

 Poroshenko was investigating $3 million in funds that were being transferred out of Ukraine and into accounts in the United States at that time.
Joe Biden had him fired.

In May President Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani said in an interview that he plans to travel to Ukraine to push the country’s leadership on several probes that may prove “very, very helpful” to President Trump, as Republicans continue looking to turn the tables on Democrats and prove that they — not the GOP — were the party that improperly conspired with foreign actors.

This is a very awkward situation. It is appropriate for President Trump to tell Ukraine to clean up their corruption. The difficulty occurs when that corruption involves the son of someone currently leading in the Democrat presidential primary elections. At that point the appearance of a political motive becomes a problem. However, political motive or not, Joe Biden’s statement creates a problem for the Democrats. If Joe Biden’s son was involved in illegal international transactions during the time that Joe Biden was Vice-President, does that end the candidacy of Joe Biden for President? It’s the Democrat party, so it might not.

However, it is time that we dealt with politicians or their families getting rich because of their offices.

In August 2019, The Washington Examiner reported:

John Kerry’s stepson rushed to play damage control at the State Department after his business partner Hunter Biden cut a deal with an oligarch-owned Ukrainian gas company in 2014, according to internal State Department correspondence obtained by the Washington Examiner.

The correspondence adds to the questions about Biden’s business activities, which have dogged the 2020 Democratic primary campaign of his father Joe. Hunter Biden’s long history of drug and alcohol abuse, which contributed to his divorce and his dismissal from the Navy Reserve, has also attracted unwelcome publicity for the Democratic front-runner.

An email released to the Washington Examiner shows that Biden’s decision to join the board of Ukraine’s Burisma Holdings sparked immediate concern within his inner circle about the political optics. Biden’s father Joe — now vying for the 2020 Democratic Party nomination — was then vice president and overseeing the Obama administration’s Ukraine policy.

At the time, Hunter Biden, now 49, and Christopher Heinz, the stepson of then-Secretary of State John Kerry, co-owned Rosemont Seneca Partners, a $2.4 billion private equity firm. Heinz’s college roommate, Devon Archer, was managing partner in the firm. In the spring of 2014, Biden and Archer joined the board of Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian gas company that was at the center of a U.K. money laundering probe. Over the next year, Burisma reportedly paid Biden and Archer’s companies over $3 million.

Joe Biden is not responsible for his son’s misdeeds, but he is responsible for blocking an investigation into those misdeeds.

This scandal may turn out to be one the Democrats wish they hadn’t mentioned.

When The Timeline Doesn’t Work

One of the things generally cited by the media as justification for charging President Trump with obstruction of justice has been the memo written by James Comey claiming that the President asked him to go easy on General Flynn. Aside from the fact that most Americans would have agreed with the President’s request to handle a matter involving an American war veteran gently, the Inspector General’s Report brings the memo about that entire conversation into question.

Yesterday American Greatness posted an article that explains the problem with the memo.

The article explains:

According to Comey, during a private meeting in the Oval Office on February 14, 2017, President Trump asked the former FBI director to drop an inquiry into Flynn about his discussions with the Russian ambassador shortly after the election. (Flynn had resigned amid media reports he possibly violated an arcane federal law.)

“He misled the Vice President but he didn’t do anything wrong in the call,” Comey claimed Trump said to him. “[Trump] said, ‘I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go.”

According to Russian collusion truthers, those alleged comments form the most convincing evidence that Team Trump not only conspired with the Russians and tried to cover it up, but that the president broke the law by asking his FBI director to halt an investigation into one of his top advisors.

The memo is cited numerous times in the second volume of the Mueller report to implicate the president for obstructing justice by interfering in the Russian investigation, although Comey’s memo is the only evidence of such an act. (Trump has disputed Comey’s description of the conversation.)

Note that James Comey’s memo is the only description of the conversation. There is no second source.

The article continues:

But that portrayal of events was never the truth. The conversation in February 2017 had nothing to do with the Russia investigation, as I’ve written before: Neither Trump nor Congress nor the general public knew at that time that James Comey’s FBI had been investigating Trump’s campaign, including Flynn, since July 2016.

And the new report by the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) confirms as much.

The article also notes:

Further, in late January 2017, Justice Department officials refused to confirm to the White House that Flynn was under “any type of investigation.”

In fact, Comey himself admitted that the discussion about Flynn wasn’t related to the FBI’s Russia investigation.

“I had understood the President to be requesting that we drop any investigation of Flynn in connection with false statements about his conversations with the Russian ambassador in December,” Comey said in his June 2017 statement to the Senate Intelligence Committee. “I did not understand the President to be talking about the broader investigation into Russia or possible links to his campaign.”

The article concludes:

Further, in late January 2017, Justice Department officials refused to confirm to the White House that Flynn was under “any type of investigation.”

In fact, Comey himself admitted that the discussion about Flynn wasn’t related to the FBI’s Russia investigation.

“I had understood the President to be requesting that we drop any investigation of Flynn in connection with false statements about his conversations with the Russian ambassador in December,” Comey said in his June 2017 statement to the Senate Intelligence Committee. “I did not understand the President to be talking about the broader investigation into Russia or possible links to his campaign.”

It really is time to put as many of the deep state as possible in jail.

Sometimes You Just Need To Learn When To Get Off The Stage

The American Thinker posted an article today about presidential candidate Joe Biden that is somewhat troubling. All of us who have watched Vice-President Biden over the years understand that he often says things that are really not appropriate for someone in his position. The press has been very willing to overlook his gaffes, and there is no reason to believe that they will not continue to do so in the future. However, some of the gaffes are getting a bit concerning.

The article reports a recent statement by Vice-President Biden:

“…those kids in Parkland came up to see me when I was vice president.” But when they visited Capitol Hill to talk with members of Congress, lawmakers were “basically cowering, not wanting to see them. They did not want to face it on camera.”

The article reminds us:

The kids could not have seen him in the Vice President’s Capitol office – as presiding officer of the Senate – since Biden was no longer the occupant of that office.

Biden fantasied this meeting and presented it as fact in public.

His recent gaffes already are horrendous. “Poor kids are just as bright, just as talented, as white kids” clearly indicates a mind that sees non-white (presumably black) kids as poor and in need of defense of their intellectual capabilities. “We choose truth over facts” plays directly into the progressives’ dismissal of facts as less important than the “higher truth” of the narrative they want to sell.  Or who prize being “morally correct” over mere facts, as AOC has done.

But those disturbing comments can be written off as a poor choice of words. Claiming to have met people in circumstances that did not happen is of a different order entirely. It indicates a mind that is not grounded in reality.

I have no idea what the statements about the Parkland kids mean in terms of the former Vice-President’s mental health, but they are disturbing.

Speaker Pelosi Has Jumped The Shark

CNS News posted an article today about a bill proposed by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. In an effort to continue to harass the President, Speaker Pelosi has introduced legislation that would require all candidates for president and vice-president to release their tax returns. There would be no requirement for candidates for Congress to release their tax returns.

The article reports:

The provision is part of H.R. 1—the “For the People Act”—which Pelosi introduced Friday.

A summary of the bill says that it includes a section titled “Presidential Tax Transparency.” This section, says the summary: “Requires sitting presidents and vice presidents, as well as candidates for the presidency and vice presidency, to release their tax returns.”

In 2017, when members of Congress were calling on President Donald Trump to release his tax returns, Roll Call asked all 535 members of the House and Senate to release theirs. As Roll Call reported at the time, 6 members did release their tax returns as requested by the publication. Another 6 had already released theirs elsewhere. Another 45 members, Roll Call reported, had previously and partially released their tax returns. But 473 members had not released their tax returns and did not respond to Roll Call’s request that they do so.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi was one of the members, Roll Call reported, who had not released her tax returns.

At an April 2017 press briefing promoting similar legislation that would have required the president—but not members of Congress—to release their tax returns, Pelosi said that president’s do not have a “right to privacy” when it comes to their tax returns.

I don’t mean to be picky here, but if Congress is willing to pass a law that states that candidates for president and vice-president have to release their tax returns, then Congress should have to release theirs.

I have a feeling that for the next two years the House of Representatives is going to spend more time working on laws to make life difficult for President Trump than it is making laws that will be helpful to Americans. That is truly sad.

Maybe It’s Not About Temptation–Maybe It’s About Gossip

This is not an April Fool’s joke–this is a true story. According to Newsbusters, NBC’s Today Show devoted two minutes to whether or not it was good policy for Vice-President Pence to go out to eat alone with a woman who is not his wife. Evidently they thought this was an important topic.

Here is a portion of the discussion:

CARSON DALY: Sounds like an old-school policy that Mike Pence would be on board with.

GUTHRIE: I think it makes some sense. It’s like, I don’t know if I would – I don’t think I would ask my husband to have that policy, but I think it’s, like, probably wise.

SHRIVER: Does she have that policy?

GUTHRIE: I don’t know.

SHRIVER: Mrs. Pence, yeah.

GUTHRIE: I’m not sure.

MELVIN: That’s a good question.

DALY: But why? Why wouldn’t you have dinner with – ?

MELVIN: Well, I mean, I think from his point of view, the easiest way to resist temptation is to avoid it. Not to say that the Vice President – you know, I’m not assuming anything.

DALY: That’s just because they say men and women can’t just be friends, it goes back to that whole thing.

Somehow I can just imagine the news reports if the Vice-President was spotted by a reporter eating dinner in a restaurant with a woman other than his wife. This policy is called wisdom. You might want to look at it as avoiding temptation, but you also might want to look at it as avoiding gossip that might be hurtful to the people involved.

I am simply amazed that the Today Show spent two minutes on this. Many of the religious leaders in America have similar policies–just to avoid the appearance of evil and to avoid gossip. It’s called common sense!