Friday, October 23, 2020
Miles from the Mainstream
D. R. ZUKERMAN, proprietor

On Preventing President Trump From Benefiting Politically?

November 19, 2019 --

Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace, interviewing Rep. Will Hurd, November 10, misstated the substance  of the July 25th phone conversation between presidents Trump and Zelensky.  LPR wonders whether the misstatement means that  Mr. Wallace has decided  to join the Trump Resistance.   The transcript of the interview makes it apparent  that Mr. Wallace wanted the congressman to say that the president should be impeached  if he linked U.S.  support for UJkraine with a Ukraine probe of Democrats.  Herewith are relevant excerpts from the Wallace interview of Congressman Hurd.

After Rep. Hurd said, "Well, I don't know if it was necessarily investigate the Democrats, right? I think it was investigation of corruption.... "   -- the transcript continues:

WALLACE: Forgive me, sir, but specifically --

HURD: Sure.

WALLACE: --  what President Trump said on that July 25th phone call was investigate the Democratic role in the 2016 election, whether they were involved in hacking the DNC server and also, specifically, the Bidens and Burisma.

After the congressman asserted that there was "a Ukraine nexus" to "the Russian involvement on 2016 elections," Wallace continued to press for the answer he wanted..

WALLACE: But specifically, sir, the question, is if there was a quid pro quo, U.S. aid for Ukraine was going to depend on their doing these investigations of political rivals of the president. Is that an impeachable offense?

HURD: I think if you're trying to get information on a political rival to use in a political campaign is not something a president or any official should be doing, I think everybody has -- most Republicans have said that that would be a violation of the law.

WALLACE: So, that, in your view, if that were established to your satisfaction, if, I repeat, that would be an impeachable offense?

HURD: I believe that's something that would make it -- make it -- have to truly consider whether impeachment is the right tool or not.

WALLACE:  And we will see what happens this week and whether or not it persuades you. Congressman Hurd, thank you so much. Thanks for your time. Good to talk with you sir.

The problem with this interview is that at no time in the July 25 phone conversation did President Trump say anything like "investigate the Democratic role in the 2016 election, whether they were involved in hacking the DNC server and also, specifically, the Bidens and Burisma."

President Trump said this to President Zelensky: "I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it.  I would like you to find out what happened with  this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike ...  I guess you have one of your wealthy people ... The server, they say Ukraine has it...." Mr. Trump went on to say that he would like "the Attorney General" to call him or his "people," adding, "and I would like you to get to the bottom of it...if that's possible."

President Trump did not mention Burisma directly. His reference to the former vice president is as follows:  "There's a lot of talk about Biden's son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging  that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it ... it sounds horrible to me."

Congressman Hurd stated the fair inference from the phone call -- that President Trump asked for an "investigation of corruption," not, as Wallace put it,  "investigations of  political rivals of the president."   

Could it be that this is what the impeachment push is all about -- a means simply to prevent Mr. Trump from winning re-election, thereby denying him personal political benefit come November 3, 2020?