Saturday, July 04, 2020
Miles from the Mainstream
D. R. ZUKERMAN, proprietor

Ambassador Taylor Acknowledges Corruption in the U.S.
- and Other Matters

January 5, 2020 --

Acting Ambassador to Ukraine William B. Taylor meet with Ukraine journalists, December 26, on the eve of his return to the United States. Asked if reports that "Ukraine is the third more corrupt country" will harm its image in American, Ambassador Taylor said,  "If it’s not countered. There will be people like me — I’m going out of the government. I know something about Ukraine, I have spent some time there — I’m going to be able to make the case. Others are too. Ukraine is a developing democracy and economy. Yeah, we all have corruption. There’s a lot of corruption. The U.S. has serious corruption problems and so do a lot of countries. Ukraine is not the third most corrupt country. You can take a look at the ratings. Ukraine is somewhere in the middle and actually coming up, the perception of Ukraine continues to go up and improve."

LPR has a hunch that this statement does not meet, fully, the establishment's narrative on Ukraine.  Wasn't the allegation of Ukraine corruption used to get Vice President Biden appointed proconsul for Ukraine?   And even before that, wasn't Ukraine corruption cited to justify, at least  in part, the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych, in February 2014?

LPR will go further to suggest the possibility that CIA Director John Brennan concluded, after November 8, 2016,  that if Mr. Yanukovych could be removed from power, it would be even easier to arrange the ouster President Trump.

Meanwhile, there are signs that relations are improving between Ukraine and Russia -- and between the United States and Russia.    A second exchange of prisoners between Ukraine and Russia took place on December 29.   The New York Times reported, December 30, that Ukraine President Zelensky's hand was "weakened" in settlement talks by the Trump impeachment. The article did not elaborate. The Times story also reported that Kyiv agreed to pump Russian natural gas through its pipelines and suggested that critics of Mr. Zelensky may "see [him] as caving to Russian demands."   

The Times also, December 30, reported a phone call from Russian President Putin to President Trump to thank him for information that reportedly stymied a terrorist attack in St. Petersburg, on New Year's Eve.  A Kremlin statement said that Mr. Putin in addition to thanking  Mr. Trump for  assistance,  discussed with Mr. Trump other matters "'of mutual interest."   The Times reported that the White House would not comment.   Will Democrats next demand the release of the transcript of the December 29 Putin-Trump conversation, with failure of publication leading to a third article of impeachment?

LPR suggests an office pool, as to when, if ever, the impeachment articles will be delivered to the Senate.    By the time Congress next convenes?  By Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday? By the State of the Union address?    Does the fact that articles were adopted  satisfy, without more,  radicals like Rep. Tlaib who, using a bad word, called for impeachment January 3, 2019 -- one long year ago.  Would Speaker Pelosi deliver the articles only if she were certain of conviction in the Senate?  Bearing in mind the vicious declaration in 2016  from former Obama adviser David Plouffe that Trump and "'[h]is kind" must be thoroughly destroyed, it should be apparent that the war on his presidency will not end, should he be re-elected,  especially now that Michael Bloomberg seems willing to spend as many millions of dollars as  it will take to brainwash voters into equating the words "President Trump" with the words  "existential threat to the country."

How will the Senate react if Imperial Speaker Pelosi continued to hold hostage the articles of impeachment?  President Trump, in his 6-page letter to Ms. Pelosi, December 17, denouncing this impeachment as "an illegal, partisan attempted coup, asserted, "You are not just after me, as President, you are after the entire Republican Party."  Will senators like Murkowski, Collins, Gardner and Romney identify with the assault by the Democrats on the Trump presidency. or will they distances themselves from the president, putting procedural power for impeachment purpose in the minority's hands?

And how would Democrats react if President Zelensky offered, in the event of a Senate trial on impeachment, to appear as a witness for the defense?   Probably by decrying this, too. as foreign interference aimed at damaging the election chances of a political rival of Mr. Trump.  But then the following question is presented:  Is it a denial of equal protection of the law for Democrats to blame Mr. Trump for trying to hurt Joe Biden's election chances -- and not blaming the former vice president's Democratic political rivals for having the same aim?