Clearly, Trump is now looking for kompromat to discredit his opponent Biden, to take revenge for his friend Paul Manafort, who is serving seven years in prison. We do not investigate Biden in Ukraine, since we have not received a single official request to do so.
— Anton Geraschenko, the Ukrainian government official who would oversee such an investigation.
President Trump in a July phone call repeatedly pressured the president of Ukraine to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s son, urging Volodymyr Zelensky about eight times to work with Rudy Giuliani, his personal lawyer, on a probe.
Much as he did three years ago — when he asked Russia to hack the emails of his Democratic rival — President Trump on Friday seemed to make a similar request of Ukraine, all but urging the Eastern European nation to investigate Joe Biden, his potential Democratic opponent.
For Trump, controversial public disclosures have became almost routine, with the president saying the potentially scandalous part aloud. It is a form of shamelessness worn as a badge of protection — on the implicit theory that the president’s alleged offenses can’t be that serious if he commits them in full public view.
The president asked a foreign power to help him win an election. Again.
The disclosure comes amid new details about the White House’s role in preventing Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire from complying with Congressional demands for the material in the complaint.
White House Counsel Pat Cipollone has been engaged in the matter since shortly after the whistleblower action surfaced, officials said, helping to identify legal obstacles to the sharing of information that could be politically damaging to Trump.
I do think that we will have to pass some laws that will have clarity for future presidents. A president should be indicted, if he’s committed a wrongdoing — any president. There is nothing anyplace that says the president should not be indicted. That’s something cooked up by the president’s lawyers. That’s what that is. But so that people will feel “OK, well, if he — if he does something wrong, he should be able to be indicted.”
A president is sitting in the Oval Office, right now, who continues to commit crimes. He continues because he knows his Justice Department won’t act and believes Congress won’t either. Today’s news confirmed he thinks he’s above the law. If we do nothing, he’ll be right.
It is high time for Congress to do its duty, in the manner the framers intended. Given how Trump seems ever bent on putting himself above the law, something like what might have happened between him and Ukraine — abusing presidential authority for personal benefit — was almost inevitable. Yet if that is what occurred, part of the responsibility lies with Congress, which has failed to act on the blatant obstruction that Mueller detailed months ago.
Congressional procrastination has probably emboldened Trump, and it risks emboldening future presidents who might turn out to be of his sorry ilk. To borrow John Dean’s haunting Watergate-era metaphor once again, there is a cancer on the presidency, and cancers, if not removed, only grow. Congress bears the duty to use the tools provided by the Constitution to remove that cancer now, before it’s too late. As Elbridge Gerry put it at the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, “A good magistrate will not fear [impeachments]. A bad one ought to be kept in fear of them.” By now, Congress should know which one Trump is.