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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 12/19/19

Republicans Defend Trump With "Four Facts" That Are Fake

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#3. "We have the fact Ukraine didn't even know aid was paused at the time of the call..."

This is, at best, a disputed "fact" of limited relevance. At Trump's request, the Office of Management and Budget had put a hold on $391 million in aid by July 3. By July 25, Zelensky was surely aware that the aid had not been delivered and, assuming basic competence, his government had at least made discreet inquiries as to when it might be expected.

As of July 3, the hold on Ukraine aid was a secret to most of the relevant US officials, including those who had approved its being sent. By mid-July, knowledge of the hold had spread, to the concern of members of State, Defense, NSC, and other agencies. One OMB official feared that the hold violated the Impoundment Control Act.

The OMB didn't put the hold in writing until after the July 25 phone call.

According to news reports, Ukraine officials learned of the hold on their aid package in mid-July, and had been making inquiries by July 25.

During the July 25 call, President Zelensky raised the issue obliquely and got no answer. Raising a stink about not receiving a gift hardly seems like an effective diplomatic approach if the goal is to get the full $391 million.

#4. "... and most importantly Ukraine took no action, i.e., never made any announcement of investigation into anybody let alone the Bidens to get the aid released."

Insofar as this is "most important," it's a clear measure of how bankrupt the Republican defense of Trump has become.

The critical timeframe is from July 25 to September 11, when the aid was released. During those seven weeks, Trump officials put increasing pressure on Zelenksy to announce the Biden investigation. They even wrote out the statement they wanted him to make. Eventually, Zelensky agreed to go on CNN to make the announcement, and a date was scheduled in September.

But on August 28, Politico broke the story. On September 9, the House announced an investigation. On September 11, the White House released the aid. At some point, Zelensky cancelled his CNN appearance.

The only reason Zelensky didn't deliver on the quid pro quo demanded by Trump was that Trump's impeachable chicanery was exposed.

The Republicans' defense of Trump, their ritual recital of "four facts" that are fake, is an unsupportable sham. But for them it doesn't really matter. They've managed to muddy the waters to Trump's benefit. And the Senate the jury in any impeachment trial is already coordinating with the defendant on his acquittal, the Constitution be damned.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

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Vermonter living in Woodstock: elected to five terms (served 20 years) as side judge (sitting in Superior, Family, and Small Claims Courts); public radio producer, "The Panther Program" -- nationally distributed, three albums (at CD Baby), some (more...)
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