by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The impeachment story begins in the heart of the Washington swamp. House Democrat Adam Schiff and his intelligence committee staff cooked up a carefully crafted “whistleblower” complaint with an anonymous CIA bureaucrat. In a gossipy document full of inaccuracies, the anonymous CIA guy alleged that, during a call with Ukraine’s newly elected President Volodymyr Zelensky, President Trump threatened military aid to Ukraine unless its government investigated Joe Biden.
Why was Trump talking to Zelensky about Biden? Starting in 2014, Biden’s son Hunter made about $50,000 a month acting as a director for a Ukrainian gas company, Burisma. Hunter locked in this huge salary, not to mention work directed to his law firm, despite being recently kicked out of the military for using cocaine and having no energy industry experience. At the time, Joe Biden was a key Obama administration emissary in dealing with Ukraine. …
… The only “favor” Trump asked for on the call was for Ukraine to aid the Justice Department’s investigation into 2016 election interference. Here, Trump brought up the missing Democratic National Committee server the FBI never examined — the basis upon which the Hillary Clinton campaign claimed Russia was trying to help Trump get elected. Trump said he wanted Zelensky to assist Attorney General William Barr’s investigation into how the Clinton-fueled Russia narrative was allowed to infect the federal bureaucracy.
Trump told Zelensky he was concerned that the “same people” in Ukraine who had helped fuel the Russia investigation were still in power. The Ukrainian president, who ran for office on fixing Ukraine’s endemic corruption, promised all “investigations will be done openly and candidly.” This pleased Trump, who then mentioned the Ukrainian prosecutor who Biden got fired, saying he was concerned that a “good” prosecutor was “shut down.”