Monday, November 18, 2019

It wasn't attempted bribery - it was bribery

Republicans claim that Trump's aim of using governmental funding to obtain a fraudulent investigation by a foreign power as a way to skew the 2020 election doesn't matter because the withholding "didn't happen" and the money was released.

It did happen.

The money was withheld for two months, possibly longer. Ambassador Taylor learned about it in mid-July (it happened sometime earlier than that), the Ukrainians knew about the hold in mid-August, and it was released on September 11 after public pressure caused by the whistleblower's complaint. For a country at war with a more powerful neighbor occupying part of its land, this withholding period isn't nothing.

Whether Ukraine gave in to the bribe offer in some form is immaterial, but it did. In addition to the well-known plan to announce an investigation during a CNN interview, Ukraine announced it is "auditing" the past investigations of Burisima. Trump didn't exactly get the fraudulent investigation he actually wanted, and it wasn't announced on CNN, but he did get the investigation he claimed to want.

Again, the difference between attempted bribery and completed bribery is immaterial as to whether Trump should be removed from office, but regardless, it was bribery that withheld military aid from a friendly nation under threat from an adversarial power.

Finally, each time Republicans talk about how important it was that Trump ultimately released military aid that Obama opposed, they're complimenting the whistleblower, because it's the whistleblower's action that got the aid released. (And of course, Obama did provide non-lethal military aid, wasn't violating Congressional direction, and had reasonable policy arguments for his position, but all that is ignored in the Republican talking point.)


6 comments:

David B. Benson said...

I don't seem to understand the difference between
Attempted bribery
and
Bribery.

Layzej said...

Trump's own million dollar man just implicated the whole lot of them.

Unknown said...

David
If I offered you a bribe, and you did not accept it, was it a bribe?

David B. Benson said...

Yes.

Bryson said...

The Republican party has become what the founders called a "faction"-- that is, a conspiracy against the public interest. From McConnell's cold blooded and total devotion to advancing his political power, stacking the courts with corrupt and/or fanatical judges, and serving the interests that in turn support him and his ilk, to Trump's obvious sociopathy, the question is not whether democracy in the United States is in danger, but whether there is any prospect of recovery. This at a time when a global emergency is underway and serious leadership from the U.S. is indispensable.

Layzej said...

"But officer! You can't arrest me for bribery of a public official unless you accept the bribe!"

Is right up there with

"Are you a cop? Because you have to tell me."