Trump did hold the aid to ensure a personal benefit including the ordering of various agencies and staff to rationalize the hold in order to force a Ukraine investigation announcement. Trump may still be emboldened to force such a statement from Ukraine president Zelensky after that expected acquittal.
“If Republicans bear the brunt of media pressure to explain why they don’t want to hear from witnesses, that risks highlighting their true rationale: They adamantly fear new revelations precisely because they know Trump is guilty…” https://t.co/HXUuuwZfBR
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) December 30, 2019
If Mitch McConnell is going to pull off his scheme to turn President Trump’s impeachment trial into a quick and painless sham with no witnesses, the Senate majority leader needs the story to be covered as a conventional Washington standoff — one that portrays both sides as maneuvering for advantage in an equivalently political manner.
But extraordinary new revelations in the New York Times about Trump’s corrupt freezing of military aid to Ukraine will — or should — make this much harder to get away with.
McConnell badly needs the media’s both-sidesing instincts to hold firm against the brute facts of the situation. If Republicans bear the brunt of media pressure to explain why they don’t want to hear from witnesses, that risks highlighting their true rationale: They adamantly fear new revelations precisely because they know Trump is guilty — and that this corrupt scheme is almost certainly much worse than we can currently surmise.
That possibility is underscored by the Times report, a chronology of Trump’s decision to withhold aid to a vulnerable ally under assault while he and his henchmen extorted Ukraine into carrying out his corrupt designs.
“This story makes the choice even clearer: Will the Senate hold a fair trial, or will it enable a cover-up?” he said. “President Trump, if you are so confident you did nothing wrong, why won’t you let your men testify?” https://t.co/zXGvrABg2C
— Ronald Brownstein (@RonBrownstein) December 31, 2019
This shows all four witnesses we requested—Mulvaney, Bolton, Duffey, Blair—were intimately involved & had direct knowledge of Pres. Trump’s decision to cut off aid to benefit himself.
That makes even stronger the case for why these witnesses must appear.https://t.co/ECz175wUpL
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) December 30, 2019
"Putin set out on a strategy that seems on the face of it incredible," said Applebaum. "He decided that what he wanted to do was break up the European Union, break up NATO, and get the United States to leave Europe.
from "the decade in review" @cbssundayhttps://t.co/Tzrkc7SyLz
— Anne Applebaum (@anneapplebaum) December 31, 2019
Montenegro is under a hybrid attack by pro-Russian far-right parties right now. It is first NATO member subjected to such subversion. Here is a report on this very subject by @RichardKraemer7 & @VeskoGarcevic for @FPRI. It’s aged well https://t.co/mFmZD57vZE
— Reuf Bajrović (@ReufBajrovic) December 26, 2019