Monday, January 17, 2022

Ukraine affair and the missing link


Hailey Warner
Hailey isn't the biggest fan of Winter, but she's doing her best to embrace the cold weather and snow. You can find her trying out new recipes, playing squash or writing editorials.

The U.S President’s legal adviser had expanded his defense strategy in the Senate: The burden of proof is on the other side, said Pat Cipollone in the impeachment process against Donald Trump on Saturday. But this has nothing, just a witness who speculates. The prosecutors and the Democrats faced astonishment: Is that all the defense has to offer? Ultimately, this corresponds to the President’s monthly all-only hearsay tweet.

A day later, core passages of the book manuscript of the former National Security Advisor, who argued with Trump last September, became known had left the government. The “New York Times” provided the key witnesses for a flawless “quid pro quo”, a dirty barter deal in the Ukraine affair. In August of last year, immediately after Trump’s return from his summer residence in Bedminster to Washington, Bolton said he had contacted the president about the restrained military aid to Ukraine. Trump replied that he did not want to transfer the $ 391 million until the Kiev authorities failed to hand over all documents relating to Joe Biden and his son Hunter and support for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election campaign.

From the point of view of the Democrats, the passage from the book is the missing link, which is why they immediately requested Bolton’s summons as witnesses. You only need four senators from the republican camp, wrote Chuck Schumer , the minority leader of the Democrats. And Chief Prosecutor Adam Schiff seconded: This changes the situation dramatically. How could the Republicans refuse to interrogate Bolton now? Action was seen in the White House.

Midnight tweet of Trump has sparked on the internet. He wrote, “I never told John Bolton that military aid was linked to the investigation into the Democrats and Biden.” Bolton, had never complained about it, although he ceded it very publicly a little later. He only claims that to sell his book. The tweets sent late in the evening are striking: they contain no typing or spelling mistakes. The president also writes in full sentences. And he refrains from abusive insults. All of this suggests that he did not act hands-free in this delicate situation. The tweets read like this

Bolton had given the manuscript to the National Security Council in late December. This is how the regulations for secret holders stipulate it. The White House announced on Monday that the legal department under Cipollone had not seen the manuscript. The background, of course, is his statement in the Senate plenary that there is no evidence of a “quid pro quo”. Now it is said that some Republican senators asked for information on how this surprise attack could have happened. Trump, who at the beginning of the affair pretended not to have anything against Bolton’s testimony, recently said that his former security adviser could not be summoned as a witness for reasons of national security and should not otherwise speak publicly.

The reason for the change of heart was Bolton’s willingness to appear as a witness in the Capitol in the event of a subpoena issued by the Senate. This prompted Trump to rely on executive privilege – a relapse position that is by no means certain. Finally, in the emerging impeachment against Richard Nixon in the Watergate affair in 1974 , the Supreme Court ruled that the president could not invoke executive privilege and had to hand over the discriminatory tapes.

Trump only stayed on Monday to hold the House of Representatives up to the Democrats; it was up to them to summon Bolton during their first chamber investigation. It is not up to the Senate. Schiff replied, of course, that you did. At the time, however, Bolton refused and joined the lawsuit of his former deputy, Charles Kupperman, who had a judicial review whether the subpoena was punishable.

The unveiling now threatens to upset the timing of the process. Republican majority leader Mitch McConnell sought a quick acquittal in coordination with the White House. Even though Senator Mitt Romney had signaled that he was inclined to agree to the questioning of a witness, there was optimism that the Democrats would not be able to get four dissenters for the procedural request. Now the Republican leadership seems to be ready at the very last resort: if Bolton were to be invited, the President would also have to be allowed to interview Hunter Biden.

Bolton’s book also weighs on two important cabinet members: the author writes that he spoke to Justice Minister William Barr after Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Selenskyj that he was concerned about Giuliani’s goings-on in Ukraine. Barr had learned that Trump had mentioned Giuliani and him in one breath as the contact person for Selenskyj – a circumstance that makes the Minister of Justice’s efforts not to inform Congress about the whistleblower appear in a new light.

In addition, Bolton writes that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told him confidentially last spring that Giuliani’s claim that Marie Yovanovitch, the former ambassador to Kiev, spoke poorly about Trump, was baseless. Pompeo suspected that Giuliani was pursuing its own agenda because the diplomat was a thorn in the side of his business partners. Pompeo is reacting increasingly thin-skinned these days when it comes to the Ukraine affair. When he was asked by a journalist at the weekend why he had not put himself protectively in front of his ambassador, he stopped the interview.

Read also: Senate trial attendance or presidential campaign in Iowa?

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