I would like to respond to the “Strike 3” letter, lest the information shared give the wrong impression ("Impeachment? Strike 3, you're out," Dec. 29, 2019).
Regarding top Democrats calling for use of the 25th Amendment, of 285 Congressional Democrats, not one introduced such an action in Congress. Ball 1!
Let’s talk Russia. The bottom line is that Russia, without question, meddled in our election to help Trump get elected. Who says so? Only the CIA, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, FBI, NSA, Justice Department, Homeland Security, and House & Senate Intelligence Committees.
The fact that Mueller could not tie Trump directly to this activity is more a testament to how successful he was at thwarting the investigation than his innocence. As recently as this week, in Federal Court, one of Trump’s lawyers acknowledge there has never “been an instance of such a broad scale defiance of Congress.” Ball 2!
Remember three years ago shortly after Trump was elected, the Democratic leaders were claiming that he was “mentally unstable” and unfit to se…
Next – the Mueller Report. 22 months – correct. Cost of $30 million – close, but about a third of what the government has spent on Trump’s golfing trips and the cost would have been far less if Trump had cooperated. Came up with nothing? I’m not sure how you can call 34 indictments, including several of Trump’s people, nothing.
Also, Mueller absolutely did not clear Trump. Per Mueller’s own statement, “If we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.”
In addition, like any good Mafia boss, Trump’s lieutenants do his dirty work so he can have plausible deniability. But Mueller did indicate there might be enough evidence to support a criminal charge of obstruction. Perhaps this will happen when Trump is out of office and goes from the White House to the Big House. Mueller investigation nothing? Not even close to nothing. Ball 3!
Addressing other issues in the letter. Why did Biden ask the Ukrainian prosecutor be fired? Not because he was investigating Biden’s son. It was because he wasn’t investigating anyone. There are a lot of corrupt people in the Ukraine and Shokin was part of the problem, which was why the International Monetary Fund, European Union, U.S. government, and the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development, among others, wanted him gone.
I will admit the optics of Hunter Biden sitting on the Burisma board were not good but his qualifications were certainly not out of line for a typical board member. And this was investigated with no findings of wrong doing.
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On the other hand, the money Hunter Biden received from Burisma is dwarfed by the amount of money Trump’s children will rake in through deals obtained through their father’s presidency. One small example. Ivanka Trump has gained initial approval of 16 very hard to get Chinese trademarks, 3 on the same day her father dined with the Chinese president. Ball 4!
Saying the Ukraine issue was a single phone call is like saying the Civil War consisted of a single speech by Abe Lincoln. Those activities started right after Trump incorrectly believed Mueller had proclaimed his innocence and are ongoing. After all, he has already stated many times he can do whatever he wants.
The Bidens having control over our aid money? Where did that one even come from? I’m going to have to count that as two. Ball 5 & 6!
The withholding of money allocated by Congress to the Ukraine was a violation of the Impoundment Control Act. Absolutely no one in the Trump administration would give a legal reason the money was being withheld. In fact, they tried to hide what they were doing and, suddenly, when it hit the media, it was released. Ball 7!
Why didn’t Pelosi go to court to enforce the subpoenas? She did. However Trump’s lawyers will drag these cases out for years. You cite Nixon, however he was far more cooperative than Trump. Remember the John Dean “Cancer on the presidency” testimony?’ And you can’t imply the process is taking too long, then advocate something that would extend the process another year. Ball 8!
As for a Senate trial, if the House impeachment proceedings were akin to a Grand Jury, impeachment an indictment, then the Senate should look like a jury trial, as it has in prior impeachments. Imagine someone robbed you and the chairman of the jury decided only evidence from the Grand Jury could be submitted. No witnesses. No new evidence. And the jury was meeting with the defendant to discuss strategies to get him acquitted. Outrageous!
Plus, if a person was truly innocent, why wouldn’t they want all the testimony and evidence that could be mustered? Only a guilty person would object to that. Ball 9!
Time for Trump to walk. And I gave him 5 mulligans, which is far less than he takes on the golf course.