A witch-hunt is “An investigation carried out ostensibly to uncover subversive activities but actually used to harass and undermine those with differing views.”
After the failure of their Russian-collusion witch-hunt, the Demonrats have manufactured yet another baseless pretext to impeach President Trump.
An anonymous Deep State whistleblower claims that in a July 25, 2019 phonecall with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump used $400 million in U.S. military aid to pressure Zelensky to open a probe into possible corruption involving Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
Note: When Joe Biden was Obama’s Vice President, he lobbied for the removal of Ukraine’s State Prosecutor Viktor Shokin, who was investigating a Ukrainian energy company that employed Joe’s son, Hunter Biden, who served until earlier this year on the company’s board and was paid a reported $50,000 monthly salary. The investigation into the company ended without charges brought against Hunter.
Although the whistleblower had not actually heard the Trump-Zelensky phone conversation, but based his/her accusation on hearsay, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) used the phonecall as the pretext for the House to move to impeach Trump.
On Sept. 25, the White House released the transcript of the Trump-Zelensky phone call, which confirms Trump’s and Zelenksy’s accounts — that Trump made no reference to the $400 million U.S. military aid, nor did he use the aid as a quid pro quo to coerce Zelensky.
In the phonecall, Trump did ask Zelensky for help to investigate two matters:
- The DNC (Democratic National Committee) server that was hacked in 2016.
- What Hunter Biden was doing in Ukraine, about which Joe Biden bragged that he had stopped Hunter from being prosecuted.
Trump told Zelensky Attorney General William Barr and Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, would be in contact with Zelensky on the investigations.
A Constitutional-law attorney points out that it is entirely proper for Trump to ask Zelensky. In the words of the attorney:
The President is head of the Executive, which carries exclusive power to conduct foreign relations. No other branch of government has this power…. As Executive, the President is the ONLY official authorized to request foreign assistance in a corruption investigation…. Obtaining foreign cooperation in investigations of corruption by a US official is a matter of statecraft/diplomacy, ie, a function of foreign affairs…. CONCLUSION: Trump not only is entirely within his powers to use foreign aid as a means to persuade Zelensky to investigate the Biden affair, I believe he was obligated to do so…. The fact Trump may obtain…political advantage from the investigation is simply irrelevant as a matter of law.
It turns out that there is actually a U.S. treaty with Ukraine on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters — a treaty that the Clinton Administration signed on July 22, 1998, in Kiev, Ukraine.
Below are excerpts from the Treaty Between the United States of America and Ukraine on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, which entered into force on February 27, 2001:
SCOPE OF ASSISTANCE
1.The Contracting States shall provide mutual assistance, in accordance with the provisions of this Treaty, in connection with the investigation, prosecution, and prevention of offenses, and in proceedings related to criminal matters.
2. Assistance shall include:
(a) taking the testimony or statements of persons;
(b) providing documents, records, and other items;
(c) locating or identifying persons or items;
(d) serving documents;
(e) transferring persons in custody for testimony or other purposes;
(f) executing searches and seizures;
(g) assisting in proceedings related to immobilization and forfeiture of assets, restitution, and collection of fines; and
(h) any other form of assistance not prohibited by the laws of the Requested State.
3. Assistance shall be provided without regard to whether the conduct that is the subject of the investigation, prosecution, or proceeding in the Requesting State would constitute an offense under the laws of the Requested State.
4. This Treaty is intended solely for mutual legal assistance between the Contracting States. The provisions of this Treaty shall not give rise to a right on the part of any private person to obtain, suppress, or exclude any evidence, or to impede the execution of a request.
1. Each Contracting State shall have a Central Authority to make and receive requests pursuant to this Treaty.
2. For the United States of America, the Central Authority shall be the Attorney General or a person designated by the Attorney General. For Ukraine, the Central Authority shall be the Ministry of Justice and the Office of the Prosecutor General.
EXECUTION OF REQUESTS
1.The Central Authority of the Requested State shall promptly execute the request or, when appropriate, shall transmit it to the authority having jurisdiction to do so. The competent authorities of the Requested State shall do everything in their power to execute the request. The competent authorities of the Requested State shall have authority to issue subpoenas, search and arrest warrants, or other orders necessary to execute the request.
In other words, President Trump did nothing wrong — even less any impeachable “high crime or misdemeanor” — in the July 25 Zelensky phonecall:
- President Trump did NOT use U.S. military aid to pressure Ukraine to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden.
- President Trump didn’t NEED to exert any pressure because the two countries already have a treaty that obliges the Ukrainian government, when requested by the U.S. government, to conduct a criminal investigation.
- Furthermore, in that investigation, the U.S. “Central Authority” with whom the Ukrainian government communicates is none other than the U.S. Attorney General, i.e., William Barr, or a person designated by Barr, i.e., Rudy Giuliani.
- Transcript of phonecall between Trump and Ukrainian president shows no wrongdoing
- Ukraine President Zelensky defends Trump: ‘Nobody pushed me’
- Constitutional-law attorney’s analysis of the Trump-Zelensky phonecall