Friday, September 20, 2019

What did Donald Trump do today?

He said it didn't matter if he tried to get a foreign country to intervene in the 2020 election.

Inevitably, Trump was asked today about yesterday's revelations about his apparent attempt to pressure the government of Ukraine to start an "investigation" of his political rival, former vice-president Joe Biden.
Q    Mr. President, on that point, did you discuss Joe Biden, his son, or his family with the leader of Ukraine? 
TRUMP:  It doesn’t matter what I discuss. 
Of course, it does matter if Trump is attempting to use the powers of his office to force a foreign government to interfere in yet another American election. It's illegal to corruptly influence a foreign government, to accept (or offer) a bribe, and to use federal office for personal gain.

The Putin regime in Russia broke American laws in a successful attempt to influence the election on Trump's behalf, with the Trump campaign's knowledge. In June, Trump openly invited foreign countries to do it again, saying that it wasn't necessary to alert the FBI just because a foreign government offered to illegally intervene on his behalf. 

In other words, Trump—who yesterday claimed in court that it was illegal to even investigate a sitting president for any crime at any level of government—is now saying that it "doesn't matter" if he commits crimes in order to ensure his re-election.

Further reporting today from the Wall Street Journal suggested that in his phone call with the Ukrainian president, Trump brought up the subject of the "investigation" eight times. At the time, Trump was withholding $250,000,000 in military aid that Congress had appropriated to help Ukraine fight the illegal Russian occupation of Crimea.

Why is this a problem?

  • Americans should be free to have open and fair elections without foreign influence.
  • No matter how hard he might try to be, the president is not above the law.
  • A president who can't put the country's best interests ahead of his own is unfit for office.
  • If this isn't abuse of power, nothing is.