The Hearings were Unfair or Illegitimate

The Hearings were Unfair or Illegitimate

The way Adam Schiff ran the impeachment hearings was not ideal. He continuously silenced Republican members and would not allow many of their requested witnesses to testify. He also had a clear bias against the President.

However, his role was to uncover evidence of wrongdoing by the President, which he did, and Republican members often appeared to want to call irrelevant witnesses and divert the topic into conspiracy theories.

Objectively, it seems that it would have been appropriate for Hunter Biden or Joe Biden to have been called to testify, and Schiff prevented that from happening.

Ultimately, the hearings themselves may not have been completely fair, and some could argue that the impeachment hearings for Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon were not completely fair. However, the law was followed, the process was legitimate, and an impeachment investigation is absolutely the correct, appropriate, and Constitutionally required action when a President appears to have abused his or her power.


For more info, visit Trump-Ukraine Central


– rob rünt

The Democrats Keep Changing the Charges

The Democrats Keep Changing the Charges

“The offense itself changes depending on the day, ranging from quid pro quo, to extortion, to bribery, to obstruction of justice, then back to quid pro quo.”

Devin Nunes
U.S. Representative, CA and Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee
(11/21/19)


Most of these are synonyms. “Quid pro quo” is Latin meaning “that for this,” and is a description of bribery. From a legal perspective, bribery and extortion are the same thing, involving an attempt to persuade someone to do something in exchange for something else.

Obstruction of justice is a separate charge, and refers to the actions taken by the President to hide evidence, prevent witnesses from testifying, and intimidate witnesses and members of Congress – acts that the President engaged in during the impeachment hearings.


For more info, visit Trump-Ukraine Central


– rob rünt

This is How Politics Works: We Pressure Other Countries

This is How Politics Works: We Pressure Other Countries

“I have news for everybody: get over it. There’s going to be political influence in foreign policy. That is going to happen. Elections have consequences, and the foreign policy is going to change from the Obama administration to the Trump administration.”

Mick Mulvaney
White House Chief of Staff
(Press conference on 10/18/19)


It is absolutely true that the United States pressures other countries to enact policies that we agree with. We often use financial pressure and “carrot and stick” tactics. The difference here is that those actions are taken for America’s national security interest, not for an individual’s personal interest.


“I found the July 25th phone call to be unusual, because in contrast to other presidential calls I had observed, it involved discussion of what appeared to be a domestic political matter.”

Jennifer Williams
Official at the State Department detailed to Vice President Mike Pence
(11/19/19)


“I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. It was probably an element of shock, that maybe in certain regards, my worst fear of how our Ukraine policy could play out was playing out, and how this was likely to have significant implications for U.S. national security.”

U.S. Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman
National Security Counsel Ukraine Expert, Director for European Affairs
(11/19/19)


“In retrospect for the Ukrainians it would clearly have been confusing. In hindsight, I now understand that others saw the idea of investigating possible corruption involving the Ukrainian company Burisma as equivalent to investigating former Vice President Biden. I saw them as very different — the former being appropriate and unremarkable, the latter being unacceptable. In retrospect, I should have seen that connection differently, and had I done so, I would have raised my own objections.”

Kurt Volker
Former US Special Envoy to Ukraine
(11/19/19)


For more info, visit Trump-Ukraine Central


– rob rünt

It was Legitimate to Ask Ukraine to Investigate the Bidens

It was Legitimate to Ask Ukraine to Investigate the Bidens

Republicans argue that it was legitimate for Trump to want Ukraine to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden. Hunter Biden potentially made millions working for Burisma, despite having little obvious relevant experience in the energy industry. His father, then-Vice President Joe Biden, was overseeing the U.S. relationship with Ukraine. At best, this has a strong appearance of conflict of interest.

However, President Trump’s approach – having his private attorney, Rudy Giuliani,  pushing for the investigations behind the scenes, telling Zelensky to “talk to Rudy,” keeping the career diplomats in the dark, hiding the call transcript on a classified server – all seem to indicate an intent that was itself corrupt. And while the family of a political opponent should not be immune to investigation, such an investigation would need to be conducted in a way that rigorously avoids conflict of interest. That did not happen in Trump’s request to investigate the Biden’s.


“It is improper for the President of the United States to demand a foreign government investigate a US citizen and political opponent. It was also clear that if Ukraine pursued an investigation into the 2016 election, the Bidens and Burisma, it would be interpreted as a partisan play.”

U.S. Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman
National Security Counsel Ukraine Expert, Director for European Affairs
(11/19/19)


“I participated in the July 10th meeting between National Security Advisor Bolton and then Ukrainian chairman of the National Security and Defense Council, Alex Danylyuk. As I remember, the meeting was essentially over when Ambassador Sondland made a general comment about investigations. I think all of us thought it was inappropriate.”

Kurt Volker
Former US Special Envoy to Ukraine
(11/19/19)


“The specific instruction [from John Bolton] was that I had to go to the lawyers, to John Eisenberg, our senior counsel for the National Security Council, to basically say, ‘You tell Eisenberg Ambassador Bolton told me that I am not part of this, whatever drug deal that Mulvaney and Sondland are cooking up.’”

Fiona Hill
Former White House Adviser, Former Senior Director for European and Russian Affairs
(11/21/19)


For more info, visit Trump-Ukraine Central


– rob rünt

These Were Rogue Operators – Trump Was Not Involved

These Were Rogue Operators – Trump Was Not Involved

“I came to realize that I had first-hand knowledge regarding certain events on July 26 that had not otherwise been reported and that those events potentially bore on the question of whether the president did in fact have knowledge that those senior officials were using the levers of diplomatic power to influence the new Ukrainian president to announce the opening of a criminal investigation against President Trump’s political opponent.”

David Holmes
Counselor for Political Affairs at the US Embassy in Ukraine
(11/21/19)


“Ambassador Sondland placed a call on his mobile phone, and I heard him announce himself several times along the lines of Gordon Sondland holding for the President. It appeared that he was being transferred through several layers of switchboards and assistance, and I then noticed Ambassador Sondland’s demeanor changed and understood that he had been connected to President Trump. While Ambassador Sondland’s phone was not on speaker phone, I could hear the president’s voice through the ear piece of the phone.
“The President’s voice was loud and recognizable, and Ambassador Sondland held the phone away from his ear for a period of time, presumably because of the loud volume. I heard Ambassador Sondland greet the President and explained he was calling from Kiev. I heard President Trump then clarify that Ambassador Sondland was in Ukraine. Ambassador Sondland replied, yes, he was in Ukraine and went on to state that President Zelensky ‘loves your ass.’ I then heard President Trump ask, ‘So he’s going to do the investigation?’
“Ambassador Sondland replied that, ‘He’s going to do it,’ adding that ‘President Zelensky will do anything you ask him to do.’ Even though I did not take notes of these statements, I have a clear recollection that these statements were made.”

David Holmes
Counselor for Political Affairs at the US Embassy in Ukraine
(11/21/19)


“Everyone was in the loop.”

Gordon Sondland
U.S. Ambassador to the European Union
(11/20/19)


For more info, visit Trump-Ukraine Central


– rob rünt

Trump Said Emphatically “No Quid Pro Quo”

Trump Said Emphatically “No Quid Pro Quo”

“He [President Trump] said, ‘I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo. I just want Zelensky to do the right thing, to do what he ran on.’”

Gordon Sondland
U.S. Ambassador to the European Union
(11/20/19)


Republican’s on the House Intelligence Committee have tried to make much of this, as did President Trump, claiming that this was proof positive that the President had done nothing wrong.

Tweet-Sondland

However, the conversation between Sondland and Trump that resulted in that quote happened on September 7, 2019 – before which, several relevant events had already occurred, including:

  • August 12:  Whistleblower complaint is filed.
  • August 26:  Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson sends a letter to acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire describing the Whistleblower complaint, saying that it “appears credible” and is a matter of “urgent concern.”
  • September 2:  A reporter asks Vice President Pence publicly to give definite  assurance that there is no connection between the withheld Ukraine aid and an investigation into the Bidens.
  • September 3:  A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators sends a letter to Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney expressing “deep concerns” about the withheld Ukraine aid. 

“During our meeting, during our call on September 8th, Ambassador Sondland tried to explain to me that President Trump is a businessman. When a businessman is about to sign a check to someone who owes him something, the businessman asks that person to pay up before signing the check. Ambassador Volker used the same language several days later while we were together at the Yalta European Strategy Conference.”

William Taylor
Acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine
(11/13/19)


Fiona Hill:  “It was very apparent to me that that was what Rudy Giuliani intended, yes – intended to convey that Burisma was linked to the Bidens, and he said this publicly repeatedly.”

Mr. Goldman:  “And Mr. Holmes, you also understood that ‘Burisma’ was code for ‘Bidens’?”

David Holmes:  “Yes.”


“The delegation then met with President Zelensky and several other senior officials. During the [July 26, 2019] meeting, President Zelensky stated that during the July 25th call, President Trump had “three times, raised some very sensitive issues” and that he would have to follow up.”

David Holmes
Counselor for Political Affairs at the US Embassy in Ukraine
(11/21/19)


For more info, visit Trump-Ukraine Central


– rob rünt