To: Republican Members of the Everlasting Choose Committee on Intelligence, Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Committee on Overseas Affairs

From: Republican Workers of the Everlasting Choose Committee on Intelligence, Committee
on Oversight and Reform , and Committee on Overseas Affairs

Topic: Key factors of proof from the Democrats’ closed-door “impeachment inquiry”

On September 24, 2019, Speaker Pelosi unilaterally introduced that the Home of Representatives would provoke an inquiry into impeaching President Donald J. Trump in regards to the President’s phone dialog with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on July 25. Democrats allege that President Trump “jeopardized U.S. nationwide safety by pressuring Ukraine to provoke politically-motivated investigations that would intrude in U.S. home politics .”2 The proof, nonetheless, doesn’t assist this allegation.

That is true however deceptive. Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced that the Home committees already conducting oversight would conduct their evaluate underneath the umbrella of an impeachment inquiry. That formalized the method, however Republicans have complained there was not on the time a vote within the Home, though that’s not required within the Structure. Pelosi introduced the inquiry additionally partly as a result of the administration had been searching for to maintain each the August whistleblower complaint and the transcript of the call in July between Trump and Zelensky secret. Each have been subsequently launched. Pelosi’s allegations in opposition to Trump have been truly far more broad. She stated in a short televised handle that the President’s actions have been a “betrayal of his oath of workplace, betrayal of our nationwide safety and betrayal of the integrity of our elections.”

Within the 49 days since Speaker Pelosi’s announcement, Rep. Adam Schiff, Chairman of the Everlasting Choose Committee on Intelligence, has been main this inquiry from his Capitol basement bunker.

The safe room utilized by Schiff’s Home Everlasting Committee on Intelligence is certainly underground, and so are his committee’s places of work. He has managed data rising from that safe room, which was at one level crashed by Republicans — even if Republican members have been in hearings the entire time. Schiff lately started releasing transcripts of depositions and can this week conduct public hearings. Some parts of the transcripts launched by Schiff’s committee have, nonetheless, included redactions.

The actual fact-finding is all unclassified, so the closed-door course of is solely for data management. This association has allowed Chairman Schiff-who has already publicly fabricated proof and misled People about his interactions with the nameless3 whistleblower – to selectively leak cherry-picked data to assist paint deceptive public narratives whereas, on the identical time, inserting a gag order on Republican Members current.

Controlling data is a key component of any investigation. US Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland had his reminiscence jogged by the testimony of different witnesses. Beginning this week, the committee will conduct public hearings with a number of the identical witnesses.

Speaker Pelosi promised the “impeachment inquiry” would “deal with the President with equity.”4 Chairman Schiff has damaged this promise. In the middle of the inquiry to this point, Chairman Schiff has denied basic equity and minority rights. He directed witnesses referred to as by the Democrats to not reply Republican questions. He withheld deposition transcripts from Republican members. He broke with precedent and supplied no due course of protections for the President.

The assault on course of is Republicans’ principal line of protection on the President’s behalf. Nonetheless, an impeachment continuing will not be the identical as a prison trial, and Trump will not be technically owed a safety of “due course of” in an impeachment continuing. Nevertheless it’s not an excellent search for Democrats to have saved attorneys for Trump out of those preliminary depositions — although even that’s sophisticated by the truth that Trump’s private lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, is a key determine within the occasions underneath investigation.

Republicans within the closed hearings did ask questions primarily on Trump’s behalf and also will achieve this on the public hearings. Democrats need to view this preliminary investigation like grand jury continuing. Republicans need to view it like a trial. But when Democrats within the Home impeach Trump, he can have a trial — within the Senate, which is managed by Republicans.

As Chairman Schiff now strikes his inquiry from his basement bunker to public hearings, this memorandum updates Republican Members about the important thing factors of proof realized to this point within the Democrats’ “impeachment inquiry.” The physique of proof to this point doesn’t assist the Democrat allegation that President Trump pressured Ukraine to conduct investigations into the President’s political rivals for his political profit within the 2020 election. The physique of proof to this point doesn’t assist the Democrat allegations that President Trump coated up misconduct or obstructed justice.

This can be a key, and really rigorously worded, sentence. Trump clearly requested Ukraine to conduct investigations, together with into Biden, his main 2020 rival — and the main focus of Giuliani’s actions over the months main as much as the decision. The political profit is apparent however implied.

Democrats will allege, nonetheless, that President Trump abused his authority by leveraging a face-to-face assembly with President Zelensky and U.S. safety help to Ukraine to pressure Ukraine to conduct two “political” investigations: one into the function of Vice President Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, on the board of a Ukrainian vitality firm referred to as Burisma, and the opposite into allegations of Ukrainian interference within the U.S. presidential election in 2016.

That is truly a succinct and correct translation of the allegations. Reminder: A whole lot of this will probably be Republicans and Democrats drawing completely different conclusions from the identical info.

4 key items of proof are deadly to the Democrats’ allegations. Stripping away the hyperbole and hysteria, these indeniable items of proof present that there was no “Treason, Bribery, or different excessive Crimes and Misdemeanors,” as required by the U.S. Structure.

These are certainly the crimes for which impeachment is correct, as spelled out in Article II, Section 4. There’s been quite a lot of debate about what precisely constitutes “excessive Crimes and Misdemeanors.” Some consultants counsel it’s merely violating the general public belief. A whole lot of Democrats have taken to arguing that Trump might be guilty of bribery, an impeachable offense, for conserving a maintain on navy assist already accredited by Congress in alternate for the promise of investigations.

  • The July 25 name summary-the finest proof of the conversation-shows no conditionality or proof of stress;
  • President Zelensky and President Trump have each stated there was no stress on the decision;
  • The Ukrainian authorities was not conscious of a maintain on U.S. safety help on the time of the July 25 name; and
  • President Trump met with President Zelensky and U.S. safety help flowed to Ukraine in September 2019- each of which occurred with out Ukraine investigating President Trump’s political rivals.

These are extremely subjective arguments.

Performing chief of workers Mick Mulvaney subsequently acknowledged the help was held as much as stress for investigations.

Trump brings up Hunter Biden and Joe Biden repeatedly and likewise repeatedly pushes to have Lawyer Normal William Barr meet with the Ukrainians. Instantly after Zelensky talks about wanting a Javelin missile system, Trump asks for the favor of the investigation. That certain reads like stress and conditionality within the name transcript.

Zelensky did say publicly there was no pressure, however he has additionally stated he actually doesn’t need to get entangled in US politics. Zelensky additionally didn’t say there was no stress utilized, simply that “nobody can put stress on me.” There’s quite a lot of reporting, nonetheless, about the truth that Zelensky aides and US diplomats have stated that Zelensky felt stress. Plus, Ukraine nonetheless wants US assist in its standoff with Russia.

This final level is true. The aid flowed without an investigation. Nevertheless it occurred after US diplomat Invoice Taylor was alleging internally the situation looked inappropriate and after a bipartisan uproar on Capitol Hill. And we additionally know that it began coming to a head simply as Zelensky was ready to announce the investigations in an interview with Fareed Zakaria on CNN.

The physique of proof reveals as a substitute that President Trump holds a deep-seated, real, and affordable skepticism of Ukraine resulting from its historical past of pervasive corruption. The President has additionally been vocal about his skepticism of U.S. international assist and the necessity for European allies to shoulder extra of the monetary burden for regional protection.

Each of these items are utterly true.

Public reporting reveals how senior Ukrainian officers interfered within the 2016 U.S. presidential marketing campaign in favor of Secretary Clinton and in opposition to then-candidate Trump- together with some officers who President Zelensky retained in his authorities. Seen on this mild, any reluctance on the President’s half to satisfy with President Zelensky or to supply taxpayer-funded help to Ukraine is completely affordable.

That is the topic of a lot debate and virtually zero proof. There are two issues at play. First, a Ukrainian court docket did rule that the discharge of knowledge in 2016 about years-old funds made to then-Trump marketing campaign chairman Paul Manafort by the toppled Russia-backed Ukrainian authorities amounted to meddling. However an appeals court overruled that decision. (Manafort is now inmate #35207-016 on the federal penitentiary in Loretto, Pennsylvania, after being convicted on fraud and different costs regarding his Ukraine work.)

There’s additionally the problem of whether or not it was Ukrainian hackers that focused the DNC in 2016. However your entire US intelligence committee has fingered Russia for that, though Trump clearly nonetheless appears to suspect Ukrainians. And Manafort was pushing the idea it was Ukrainians back in 2016.

Democrats need to impeach President Trump as a result of unelected and nameless bureaucrats disagreed with the President’s selections and have been discomforted by his phone dialog with President Zelensky. The Democrat impeachment narrative flips our system of presidency on its head. The federal paperwork works for the President. The President works for the American folks. And President Trump is doing what People elected him to do.

If it have been bureaucrats impeaching Trump, this is able to be true. However the investigation is being carried out by elected members of Congress. Slightly than flipping the system of presidency on its head, impeachment follows precisely what the framers of the Structure envisioned.

BACKGROUND

To appropriately perceive the occasions in question-and most significantly, assess the President’s way of thinking throughout his interplay with President Zelensky-context is critical. This context reveals that President Trump has a deep-seated, real, and affordable skepticism of Ukraine and U.S. taxpayer-funded international assist, impartial of and previous any point out of potential investigations of Ukraine’s interference within the 2016 elections or Hunter Biden’s involvement with Burisma, a notoriously corrupt firm.

  1. Ukraine has an extended historical past of pervasive corruption.

Because it turned an impartial nation following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine has been affected by systemic corruption. The Guardian has referred to as Ukraine “probably the most corrupt nation in Europe”5and Ernst & Younger cites Ukraine among the many three most-corrupt nations of the world.6

Yep. All true. Right here’s that Guardian piece from 2015. Ernst and Younger’s corruption survey has certainly not been kind to Ukraine.

Corruption is so pervasive in Ukraine that in 2011, 68.8% of Ukrainian residents reported that they’d bribed a public official inside the previous twelve months.7

Bribery and extortion are pervasive in public life in Ukraine, in keeping with a survey carried out with backing from USAID.

Pervasive corruption in Ukraine has been one of many major impediments to Ukraine becoming a member of the European Union.8 Corruption-related considerations additionally determine prominently within the E.U.-Ukrainian Affiliation Settlement, the doc establishing a political and financial affiliation between the E.U. and Ukraine.9

State Division witnesses referred to as by the Democrats throughout the “impeachment inquiry” confirmed Ukraine’s repute for corruption. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent described Ukraine ‘s corruption downside as “critical” and stated corruption has lengthy been “a part of the high-level dialogue” between america and Ukraine. 10Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, the previous U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, testified that in Ukraine “corruption is not only prevalent, however frankly is the system.”11Ambassador Invoice Taylor, the present cost d’affaires in Kyiv, stated corruption in Ukraine is a “large situation.”12Ambassador Kurt Volker, the previous Particular Consultant for Ukraine Negotiations, testified that “Ukraine has an extended historical past of pervasive corruption all through the economic system[,] all through the nation, and it has been extremely tough for Ukraine as a rustic to cope with this, to analyze it, to prosecute it.” 13 He later elaborated:

Ukraine had for many years a repute of being only a corrupt place.There are a handful of people that personal a disproportionate quantity of the economic system. Oligarchs, they use corruption as form of the coin of the realm to get what they need, together with influencing the Parliament, the judiciary, the federal government, state-owned industries. And so businessmen typically don’t need to spend money on Ukraine, even to this present day, as a result of they only concern that it’s a horrible atmosphere to be working in, they usually don’t need to put – expose themselves to that threat. I must consider that President Trump would concentrate on that common local weather. 14

  1. President Trump has a deep-seated, real, and affordable skepticism about Ukraine resulting from its historical past of pervasive corruption.

President Trump’s views on Ukraine have been coloured by the nation’s historical past of pervasive corruption. The Democrats ‘ witnesses described how President Trump holds a deep-seated skepticism of Ukraine, a view that witnesses stated was real and affordable given the nation’s historical past of corruption.

A number of Democrat witnesses supplied firsthand testimony of President Trump’s skeptical view of Ukraine, going way back to the President’s first 12 months in workplace.

It’s slightly deceptive to name these Democratic witnesses. They’re witnesses referred to as by Democrats, sure, however most are profession diplomats who made a degree of testifying they’ve served Republican and Democratic presidents. Others, like Volker and Fiona Hill, have carried out extra work with Republicans than Democrats.

Ambassador Volker defined that “President Trump demonstrated that he had a really deeply rooted adverse view of Ukraine based mostly on previous corruption. And that’s an inexpensive place. Most individuals who would know something about Ukraine would assume that.”15 He elaborated that the President’s concern about Ukraine was real, and that this concern triggered a delay within the assembly with President Zelensky.16 Ambassador Volker defined:

So the problem as I understood it was this deep-rooted, skeptical view of Ukraine, a adverse view of Ukraine, preexisting 2019, you recognize, going again. Once I began this, I had one different assembly with President Trump and [then-Ukrainian] President Poroshenko. It was in September of 2017. And at the moment he had a really skeptical view of Ukraine. So I do know he had a really deep-rooted skeptical view. And my understanding on the time was that although he agreed within the assembly that we had with him, say, okay, I’ll invite him, he didn’t actually need to do it. And that’s why the assembly saved being17 delayed and delayed.

Different testimony confirms Ambassador Volker’s evaluation. Ambassador Yovanovitch recalled the President’s skepticism, saying that she additionally noticed it firsthand throughout President Trump’s assembly with President Poroshenko in September 2017.18 She testified:

Q. Have been you conscious of the President’s deep-rooted skepticism about Ukraine’s enterprise atmosphere?

Q. And what do you know about that?

A. That he-I imply, he shared that concern immediately with President Poroshenko of their first assembly within the Oval Workplace.19

CNN’s story about that meeting targeted on the truth that whereas Trump routinely rolls out the crimson carpet for international leaders, he saved the assembly with Poroshenko, a foe of Russia, low-key.

Dr . Fiona Hill, former senior director on the Nationwide Safety Council, additionally confirmed President Trump ‘s skepticism. She testified:

I feel the President has truly fairly publicly stated that he was very skeptical about corruption in Ukraine. And, in reality, he’s not alone, as a result of everybody has expressed nice considerations about corruption in Ukraine. 20

Read Fiona Hill’s full testimony.

Catherine Croft, Ambassador Volker’s deputy on the State Division, likewise confirmed that President Trump was skeptical of Ukraine resulting from its historical past of corruption, explaining: “[H]e described his considerations being that Ukraine was corrupt, that it was able to being a really wealthy nation, and that america shouldn’t pay for it, however as a substitute, we needs to be offering assist by loans.” 21

Read Croft’s full testimony. Trump likes to inform nations they might be wealthy in the event that they’d work with him. He’s carried out it most notably with Iran and North Korea.

  1. Senior Ukrainian authorities officers interfered within the 2016 U.S. presidential election in opposition to President Trump.

This can be a key level. Trump has detailed Barr to investigate the origins of the Russia investigation. Particularly with regard to Ukraine, this may embody how proof of Manafort’s many hundreds of thousands of {dollars} of earnings for political consulting of the previous Russian-backed governor got here to be public in a ledger. That data compelled Manafort out of Trump’s marketing campaign in the summertime of 2016. It finally led to his conviction by particular counsel Robert Mueller’s workforce of financial institution fraud and unreported international earnings. He’s at the moment in jail.

President Trump’s skepticism about Ukraine was compounded by statements made by senior Ukrainian authorities officers in 2016 that have been important of then-candidate Trump and supportive of his opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Though Democrats have tried to discredit these assertions as “debunked,” the publicly accessible statements by Ukrainian leaders converse for themselves.

In August 2016, lower than three months earlier than the election, Valeriy Chaly, then Ukrainian Ambassador to america, authored an op-ed in a U.S. newspaper criticizing candidate Trump for feedback he made about Russia’s occupation of Crimea. 22 Ambassador Chaly wrote that candidate Trump’s feedback “have raised critical considerations in [Kyiv] and past Ukraine.”23 Though President Zelensky dismissed Ambassador Chaly on July 19, 2019,24 the ambassador’s op-ed nonetheless stays on the web site of the Ukrainian Embassy in america.25

Right here is Chaly’s op-ed in The Hill. It was important of Trump and pushed him, if he turned President, to again a international coverage against nations invading sovereign borders. Trump had questioned the necessity for sanctions on Russia, a departure from the GOP platform and a preview of his deference to Vladimir Putin within the Oval Workplace.

Later that month, the Monetary Instances revealed an article asserting that President Trump’s candidacy led “Kyiv’s wider political management to do one thing they might by no means have tried earlier than: intervene, nonetheless not directly, in a US election.”26 The article quoted Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian Member of Parliament, to element how the Ukrainian authorities was supporting Secretary Clinton’s candidacy.27 The article defined:

Although most Ukrainians are disillusioned with the nation’s present management for stalled reforms and lackluster anti-corruption efforts, Mr. Leshchenko stated occasions of the previous two years had locked Ukraine on to a pro-western course. Nearly all of Ukraine’s politicians, he added, are “on Hillary Clinton’s aspect.”28

The Monetary Instances reported that throughout the U.S. presidential marketing campaign, former Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk had warned on Fb that candidate Trump “challenged the very values of the free world.”29 On Twitter, Ukrainian Inside Affairs Minister Arsen Avakov referred to as Trump a “clown” who’s “an excellent larger hazard to the US than terrorism.”30 In a Fb publish, Minister Avakov referred to as Trump “harmful for Ukraine and the US” and stated that Trump’s Crimea feedback have been the “analysis of a harmful misfit.”31 Minister Avakov continues to serve in President Zelensky’s authorities.

In January 2017, a Politico article by present New York Instances reporter Ken Vogel detailed the Ukrainian effort to “sabotage” the Trump marketing campaign. 32 In keeping with Vogel’s reporting, the Ukrainian authorities labored with a Democrat operative and the media in 2016 to spice up Secretary Clinton’s candidacy and damage then-candidate Trump. The article reported:

Ukrainian authorities officers tried to assist Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his health for workplace. Additionally they disseminated doc s implicating a prime Trump aide in corruption and prompt they have been investigating the matter, solely to again away after the election. They usually helped Clinton’s allies analysis damaging data on Trump and his advisers, a Politico investigation discovered. 33

The Politico article detailed how a Democrat operative “traded data and leads” with workers on the Ukrainian embassy and the way the Ukrainian embassy “labored immediately with reporters researching Trump, [Trump campaign manager Paul] Manafort, and Russia to level them in the correct instructions.” 34 The article quoted a Ukrainian political officer on the embassy as saying that he was instructed to not converse to the Trump marketing campaign “as a result of [ candidate Trump] was important of Ukraine” and “Hillary goes to win.”35

Listed below are the articles by the Financial Times and Politico. And right here’s a quote for stability from the Politico article: “The Ukrainian efforts had an impression within the race, serving to to pressure Manafort’s resignation and advancing the narrative that Trump’s marketing campaign was deeply related to Ukraine’s foe to the east, Russia. However they have been far much less concerted or centrally directed than Russia’s alleged hacking and dissemination of Democratic emails.”

As well as, testimony from a 2018 transcribed interview of Nellie Ohr, a contractor for Fusion GPS, the political intelligence agency employed to assemble details about candidate Trump, reveals that Ukrainian parliamentarian Leshchenko – the identical politician who stated that Ukraine was “on Hillary Clinton’s aspect” in 2016 – was a Fusion GPS supply for details about Manafort.36

Here’s the Nellie Ohr transcript. The related portion begins on web page 114.

A number of witnesses referred to as by the Democrats testified that these Ukrainian actions throughout the 2016 election marketing campaign seemingly colour ed President Trump ‘s views of Ukraine. Ambassador Volker stated:

Q. And also you talked about that the President was skeptical, had a deeprooted view of the Ukraine. Is that appropriate?

Q. And that, whether or not honest or unfair, he believed there have been officers in Ukraine that have been out to get him within the run-up to his election?

Q. So, to the extent there are allegations lodged, credible or uncredible, if the president was made conscious of these allegations, whether or not it was by way of The Hill or, you recognize, by way of Mr. Giuliani or by way of cable information, if the President was made conscious of those allegations, isn’t it honest to say that he could, in reality, have believed they have been credible?

Ambassador Sondland testified:

Q. Did [President Trump] point out something about Ukraine’s involvement within the 2016 election?

A. I feel he stated: They tried to take me down. He saved saying that time and again.

Q. In reference to the 2016 election?

Q. That was what your understanding was?

A. That was my understanding, yeah. 38

Ambassador Taylor testified:

Q. So isn ‘t it potential that Trump administration officers may need a good-founded perception, whether or not true or unfaithful, that there have been forces within the Ukraine that have been working in opposition to them?

A. [B]ased on this [January 2017] Politico article, which, once more, surprises me, disappoints me as a result of I feel it’s a mistake for any diplomat or any authorities official in a single nation to intrude within the political lifetime of one other nation. That’s disappointing. 39

  1. President Trump has been clear and constant in his view that Europe ought to pay its justifiable share for regional protection.

Since his 2016 presidential marketing campaign, President Trump has emphasised his view that U.S. taxpayer-funded international help needs to be spent properly and cautiously. As President, he has continued to be important of sending U.S. taxpayer {dollars} to international nations and has requested our allies to share the monetary burden for worldwide stewardship.

Trump calls himself a nationalist and he’s argued that Europeans ought to do extra to pay for NATO, that South Koreans ought to do extra on the Korean peninsula and that Saudi Arabia ought to do extra within the Center East.

In a March 2016 interview with the New York Instances, then-candidate Trump stated: “Now, I’m an individual that-you discover I discuss economics fairly a bit [in foreign policy] as a result of it’s about economics, as a result of we don’t have cash anymore as a result of we’ve been taking good care of so many individuals in so many alternative kinds that we don’t have cash.”40 That very same month, candidate Trump spoke to CBS Information about U.S. spending to the North Atlantic Treaty Group (NATO), a collective protection alliance between the U.S., Canada, and European nations. He stated then:

NATO was arrange once we have been a richer nation. We’re not a wealthy nation anymore. We’re bon-owing, we’re borrowing all of this cash … NATO is costing us a fortune and sure, we’re defending Europe with NATO however we’re spending some huge cash. Primary, I feel the distribution of prices must be modified. 41

Right here’s that New York Times interview. He truly introduced up Ukraine on the time, however mischaracterizing the scenario. He stated Russia and Ukraine have been getting “confrontational.” In actuality, Russia violated Ukraine’s border in 2014 after which backed separatists going to conflict there. It was clear on the time Trump didn’t thoughts Russia’s enlargement and he ignored the worldwide outcry on the time. “Now I’m all for Ukraine,” Trump stated. “I’ve associates that dwell in Ukraine, nevertheless it didn’t appear to me, when the Ukrainian downside arose, you recognize, not so way back, and we have been, and Russia was getting very confrontational, it didn’t appear to me like anybody else cared aside from us.”

As president, President Trump has continued to press European allies to contribute extra to NATO protection. Jens Stoltenberg, the NATO Secretary-Normal, acknowledged that President Trump ‘s stance has helped NATO member nations to extend protection spending, commending the President on “his robust message on burden sharing.”42

Members can not correctly assess President Trump’s mindset throughout his July 25 telephone dialog with President Zelensky with out understanding this context. President Trump has typically been skeptical of international help, believing that European allies ought to contribute their justifiable share to regional protection. President Trump has had, for years previous the decision, a deepseated, real, and affordable skepticism towards Ukraine resulting from its pervasive corruption. President Trump was nicely conscious of actions by senior Ukrainian authorities officers to work for his defeat within the 2016 election. These experiences coloured President Trump ‘s interplay with President Zelensky.

That is all true. Nevertheless it’s additionally true that little or no of this got here up throughout the Zelensky name. As a substitute, what got here up have been particular requests to analyze Biden. Plus, the appearing White Home chief of workers, Mick Mulvaney — who was a key determine in holding up the help — acknowledged during an October press conference that the help was contingent on the investigations and he argued there wasn’t something improper with that. He later walked these feedback again.

KEY POINTS OF EVIDENCE

At its core, the Democrats’ “impeachment inquiry” facilities on the interplay between two people: President Trump and President Zelensky. The abstract of their July 25 name reveals no conditionality, and each presidents have stated they felt no stress. President Trump by no means raised the problem of safety help throughout the name, although proof suggests it had been delayed by that point. In the end, the delay on the safety help cleared and President Trump and President Zelensky met face-to -face with out Ukraine investigating the President’s political rivals. These info undercut the Democrat allegations.

  1. The abstract of the July 25 telephone dialog confirmed no conditionality or stress on Ukraine to analyze the President’s political rivals.

One of the best proof of the phone dialog between President Trump and President Zelensky is the contemporaneous abstract ready by White Home Scenario Room workers. As transcribed, the decision abstract denotes laughter, pleasantries, and compliments exchanged between President Trump and President Zelensky. The abstract doesn’t evince any threats, coercion, intimidation, or indication of a quid professional quo- as even Democrats have acknowledged. 43

The transcript additionally paperwork Trump pivoting immediately from speak of US navy techniques Zelensky says Ukraine must a “favor” Trump desires — investigations. The stress is evident. The query is whether or not the facility construction — Ukraine is at conflict with Russia and desires US cash; Trump has the cash however has frozen it — amplifies the stress. The testimony from diplomats, which is remarkably constant, makes clear the requirement for assist was the investigation and that made Invoice Taylor specifically uncomfortable. We additionally know that Sondland made clear to Zelensky’s aide in September — months later — that there was a requirement of an investigation for the navy assist clear.

The abstract bears completely no resemblance to Chairman Schiff’s self-described “parody” interpretation of the decision.44

Schiff will never live down his parody. He in all probability shouldn’t.

Democrats have seized on the President’s phrasing – “I would really like you to do us a favor although”45– to accuse the President of pressuring President Zelensky to focus on his political rivals for his political profit.46 Democrats omit, nonetheless, the rest of his sentence. The complete sentence reveals that President Trump was not asking President Zelensky to analyze his political rivals, however fairly asking him to help in “get[ting] to the underside” of international interference within the 2016 election.47 This studying is supported by President Trump’s subsequent reference to Mueller, who had testified the day earlier than about his findings,48 and to Barr, who has initiated an official inquiry into the origins of the Russian collusion hoax.49 Additionally undercutting the Democrat allegation of stress, President Zelensky didn’t specific any concern that President Trump had raised the allegations about international interference within the 2016 election.

Please do read the transcript. When Trump talks about international affect in 2016, he’s speaking about attempting to undermine the Mueller report and, regardless of the info, pin election meddling on Ukraine as a substitute of Russia. He’d additionally like to clear Manafort’s identify. A short time later he asks for the investigation into Biden for the primary time. Right here’s that full quote: “The opposite factor, right here’s quite a lot of discuss Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and lots of people need to discover out about that so no matter you are able to do with the Lawyer Normal could be nice. Biden went round bragging that he stopped the prosecution so in the event you can look into it… It sounds horrible to me.”

In truth, the Democrats’ witnesses testified that it might be acceptable for Ukraine to analyze allegations of corruption, together with allegations about 2016 election interference. Ambassador Volker testified that he “at all times thought [it] was fantastic” for Ukraine to analyze allegations about 2016 election interference.50 Dr. Hill equally testified that it’s “not truly utterly ridiculous” for President Zelensky’s administration to analyze allegations of corruption arising from prior Ukrainian administrations.51

Democrats have additionally seized on the President’s passing reference to former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, referring to Hunter Biden’s place on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian firm recognized for its corruption.52 The decision abstract reveals, nonetheless, that President Trump and President Zelensky didn’t talk about Hunter Biden substantively.53 President Zelensky didn’t even reply to President Trump’s passing reference earlier than the dialog continued to a distinct topic.54

If immediately asking a international chief to look into your political rival and his son is a passing reference, so be it. And Zelensky doesn’t transfer on to a different topic, however fairly explains how he’s hiring a brand new prosecutor. The earlier prosecutor, Yurie Lutsenkso, had stated there was no evidence of wrongdoing by the Bidens. Plus, Trump will not be making the case himself right here, however fairly pushing for conferences between Zelensky, Barr and Giuliani.

Nonetheless, there are respectable questions on Hunter Biden’s place on Burisma’s board. Burisma was based by Mykola Zlochevsky, who served as Ukraine’s Minister of Ecology and Pure Sources from 2010 to 2012.55 Throughout Zlockevsky’s tenure within the Ukrainian authorities, Burisma obtained oil exploration licenses with out public auctions.56 In keeping with the New York Instances, Hunter Biden and two different well-connected Democrats Christopher Heinz, then-Secretary of State John Kerry’s stepson, and Devon Archer-“have been a part of a broad effort by Burisma to usher in well-connected Democrats throughout a interval when the corporate was dealing with investigations backed not simply by home Ukrainian forces however by officers within the Obama administration.”57 In 2016, the Obama Justice Division fined a Hong Kong subsidiary of a multinational financial institution for the same scheme, with then-Assistant Lawyer Normal Leslie Caldwell explaining that “[a]warding prestigious employment alternatives to unqualified people with a purpose to affect authorities officers is corruption, plan and easily.”58

The case concerning Burisma had been closed. However that’s irrelevant in some ways. Trump has fueled this conspiracy idea into the mainstream in get together by placing stress on Zelensky. His aim right here is to undercut Biden. The extra that is mentioned, the extra profitable he’s. Right here’s CNN’s full fact check.

Proof means that Hunt er Biden’s function on Burisma’s board was a priority throughout the Obama Administration. In Could 2014, the Washington Submit reported that “[t]he appointment of the vice chairman’s son to a Ukrainian oil board appears nepotistic at finest, nefarious at worst. Regardless of how certified Biden is, it ties into the concept that U.S. international coverage is self-interested, and that’s a story Vladimir Putin has pushed throughout Ukraine’s disaster.”59

That is true and there was reporting on it on the time. However Trump is, years later, attempting to create the impression of impropriety after the remainder of the world had moved on. Republicans need nothing greater than to assault Biden’s credibility and make this story about him.

Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent testified that whereas he served as appearing Deputy Chief of Mission in Kyiv in early 2015, he raised considerations on to Vice President Biden’s workplace that Hunter Biden’s function on Burisma’ s board “might create the notion of a battle of curiosity.”60 Kent stated that the “message” he obtained again was that as a result of Vice President Biden’s elder son, Beau, was dying of most cancers there was no “bandwidth” to cope with another household points.61 Ambassador Yovanovitch equally testified that the Obama State Division truly ready her to handle Hunter Biden’s function on Burisma if she obtained a query about it throughout her Senate affirmation listening to to be ambassador to Ukraine in June 2016. She defined:

Q. And you might have talked about this once we have been talking earlier than lunch, however when did the problems associated to Burisma first get to your consideration? Was that as quickly as you arrived in nation?

A. Probably not. I first turned conscious of it once I was being ready for my Senate affirmation listening to. So I’m certain you’re aware of the idea of questions and reply and numerous different issues. And so there was one there about Burisma, and so, you recognize, that’s once I first heard that phrase.

Q. Have been there another firms that have been talked about in reference to Burisma?

Q. And was it within the common sense of corruption, there was an organization bereft with corruption?

A. The way in which the query was phrased on this mannequin Q&A was, what are you able to inform us about Hunter Biden’s, you recognize, being named to the board of Burisma.

Q. Did anybody on the State Division – once you have been approaching board as the brand new ambassador, did anybody on the State Division transient you about this tough situation, that Hunter Biden was on the board of this firm and the corporate suffered from allegations of corruption, and supply you steerage?

A. Nicely, there was that Q&A that I discussed.62

The decision abstract itself reveals no indication of battle, intimidation, or stress. President Trump by no means conditioned a face-to-face assembly on any motion by President Zelensky. President Trump by no means talked about U.S. safety help to Ukraine. President Zelensky by no means verbalized any disagreement, discomfort, or concern about any side of the U.S.-Ukrainian relationship or President Trump’s feedback.

  1. Each President Zelensky and President Trump have publicly and repeatedly stated there was no stress to analyze the President’s political rivals.

Since President Trump voluntarily launched the content material of the July 25 telephone dialog, each President Zelensky and President Trump have stated publicly and repeatedly there was no stress to analyze President Trump’ s political rival s. President Zelensky’s statements are significantly necessary, as Democrats allege that he was the goal of the stress marketing campaign. President Zelensky has variously asserted that “no one pushed . .. me,” “I used to be by no means pressured, “ and there was no “blackmail.”

Zelensky and Trump stated these items. However he’s additionally now utilizing the navy and safety assist and he’d prefer to hold doing that sooner or later. Plus, there may be copious reporting and testimony concerning the stress, which can also be documented on the decision transcript.

On September 25, President Zelensky and President Trump met face-to-face for a bilateral assembly throughout the United Nations (U.N.) Normal Meeting in New York. The presidents collectively participated in a media availability, throughout which President Zelensky asserted that he felt no stress. 63 President Zelensky stated:

Q. President Zelensky, have you ever felt any stress from President Trump to analyze Joe Biden and Hunter Biden?

A. I feel you learn all the pieces. So I feel you learn textual content. I’m sorry, however I don’t need to be concerned to democratic, open elections – elections of USA. No, you heard that we had, I feel, good telephone name. It was regular. We spoke about many issues . And I – so I feel, and also you learn it, that no one pushed-pushed me.64

This is surreal. Zelensky is requested, sitting subsequent to Trump, if Trump, who has the facility to chop off navy assist, pressured him. After which Trump takes over the reply.

PRESIDENT ZELENSKY: I feel you learn all the pieces. So I feel you learn textual content. I’m sorry, however I don’t need to be concerned to democratic, open elections — elections of USA.*

No, you heard that we had, I feel, good telephone name. It was regular. We spoke about many issues. And I — so I feel, and also you learn it, that no one pushed — pushed me.*

Sure.*

PRESIDENT TRUMP: In different phrases, no stress.*

Q President Trump, would — President Trump, would you want Mr. Zelensky to —*

PRESIDENT TRUMP: As a result of you recognize what? There was no stress. And you recognize there was — and, by the best way, you recognize there was no stress. All you need to do it see it, what went on on the decision. However you recognize that. However you may ask a query, and I recognize the reply.*

President Zelensky once more reiterated that he was not pressured to analyze President Trump ‘s political rivals throughout an interview with Kyodo Information, a Japanese media outlet, revealed on October 6. Kyodo Information quoted President Zelensky as saying, “I used to be by no means pressured and there have been no circumstances being imposed” on a face-to-face assembly or U.S. safety help to Ukraine. 65 President Zelensky denied “experiences by U.S. media that [President] Trump’s requests have been circumstances” for a face-to-face assembly or U.S. safety help. 66

On October 10, throughout an all-day media availability in Kyiv, President Zelensky once more emphasised that he felt no stress to analyze President Trump’s political rivals. President Zelensky stated there was “no blackmail “ throughout the dialog, explaining: “This isn’t corruption. It was only a name.” 67

As well as, on September 21-before President Trump had even declassified and launched the decision summary-Ukrainian Overseas Minister Vadym Prystaiko denied that President Trump had pressured President Zelensky to analyze President Trump’s political rivals. 68 Overseas Minister Prystaiko stated:

I do know what the dialog was about and I feel there was no stress. There was speak, conversations are completely different, leaders have the correct to debate any issues that exist. This dialog was lengthy, pleasant, and it touched on quite a lot of questions, together with these requiring critical solutions. 69

Equally, Ambassador Taylor testified that he had dinner with Oleksandr Danylyuk, then Secretary of the Nationwide Safety and Defence Council of Ukraine, on the night time of the telephone dialog between President Trump and President Zelensky. 70 He testified that Danylyuk stated that the Ukrainian authorities “appeared to assume that the decision went fantastic, the decision went nicely. He wasn’t disturbed by something. He wasn’t disturbed that he instructed us concerning the telephone name.” 71

Taylor additionally testified concerning the stress being positioned on the Ukrainians and he spelled out the concept that assist was contingent on the announcement of investigations. Republicans will discover it tough to depend on the elements of Taylor’s testimony they like, however to disregard the others. Nevertheless it’s clear from different current statements that Republicans are prone to counsel that the stress and necessities for assist Taylor talked about have been both the results of miscommunication or misunderstanding of Sondland. They’re gearing as much as say that if there was wrongdoing, Trump wasn’t concerned.

Like President Zelensky, President Trump has repeatedly and publicly denied that he pressured President Zelensky to analyze his political rivals. In the course of the September 25 bilateral assembly with President Zelensky, President Trump stated to the assembled members of the media: “There was no stress. And you recognize there was-and, by the best way, you recognize there was no stress. All you need to do it see it, what went on the decision.”72 When requested whether or not he wished President Zelensky to “do extra” to analyze Vice President Biden, President Trump responded: “No. I need him to do no matter he can. This was not his fault; he wasn’t there. He’s simply been right here lately. However no matter he can do by way of corruption, as a result of the corruption is huge.”73

Democrats will assert that as a result of energy imbalance between america and Ukraine, Ukraine’s ongoing conflict with Russia, and Ukraine’s want for U.S. assist to repel the Russian risk, President Zelensky wouldn’t dare state any situation or concern he could have had with President Trump’s remarks. Nonetheless, there isn’t any proof that President Zelensky ordered the opening of an investigation associated to any of the issues mentioned on the July 25 telephone name, thus undercutting this Democrat assertion. As well as, Democrat witnesses defined that President Trump has extra strongly assisted and geared up Ukraine to discourage Russian aggression than President Obama did. Most notably, President Trump lastly offered Ukraine with deadly defensive weapons as a substitute of simply blankets. 74

Zelensky was ready to announce the investigation in an interview on CNN with Zakaria, who has stated he didn’t perceive what was about to occur on his present. However Zelensky was spared by the clock as information of the stress and the grievance began to seep out.

  1. The Ukrainian authorities was not conscious that U.S. safety help was delayed on the time of the July 25 telephone name.

Proof additionally means that the Ukrainian authorities by no means even knew that U.S. safety help was delayed till some level in August 2019, lengthy after the July 25 telephone name between President Trump and President Zelensky. Though the help was delayed on the time of the July 25 name, President Trump by no means raised the help with President Zelensky or implied that the help was at risk. As Ambassador Volker testified, as a result of Ukrainian officers have been unaware of the maintain, “there was no leverage implied.”75 This proof undercuts the allegation that the President withheld U.S. safety help to stress President Zelensky to analyze his political rivals.

Catherine Croft, an aide to Kurt Volker, the US particular envoy for Ukraine, instructed impeachment investigators Ukraine knew the aid had been frozen and why over the summer. That echoes Taylor’s testimony and undercuts this speaking level. However once more, this doc feels very very similar to a approach to shield Trump particularly. And sure, there isn’t any point out of the help being frozen on the decision. The query is whether or not the help was someway held with out Trump’s data or due to his command after the decision. After which, was it held due to the investigations? There’s testimony that solutions each of those assertions.

Many of the Democrat witnesses, together with Ambassador Taylor, traced their data of a maintain to a July 18 interagency convention name, throughout which the Workplace of Administration and Finances (OMB) introduced a maintain on safety help to Ukraine. 76 Nonetheless, the 2 U.S. diplomats closest the Ukrainian authorities – Ambassador Volker and Ambassador Taylor testified that Ukraine didn’t know concerning the delay “till the top of August,” six weeks later, after it was reported publicly on August 28.77

Ambassador Volker, the chief interlocutor with the Ukrainian authorities, testified that he by no means knowledgeable the Ukrainians concerning the delay. 78 The Ukrainian authorities solely raised the problem with Ambassador Volker after studying concerning the delay in Politico in late August. 79 Explaining why the delay was “not vital,” Ambassador Volker testified:

Q. Wanting again on it now, is [the delayed security assistance] one thing, within the grand scheme of issues, that’s very vital? I imply, is that this worthy of investigating, or is that this simply one other chapter within the tough and tumble world of diplomacy and international help?

A. In my opinion, this maintain on safety help was not vital. I don’t believe- in reality, I’m fairly certain that a minimum of I, Secretary Pompeo, the official representatives of the U.S., by no means communicated to Ukrainians that it’s being held for a cause. We by no means had a cause. And I attempted to keep away from speaking to Ukrainians about it for so long as I might till it got here out in Politico a month later as a result of I used to be assured we have been going to get it mounted internally. 80

Volker was actively engaged in attempting to assist the Ukrainians navigate Trump’s calls for. He wished them to get the help.

Ambassador Taylor equally testified that the Ukrainian authorities was not conscious of the delay of U.S. safety help till late August 2019. He defined:

Q. So, based mostly in your data, no one within the Ukrainian authorities turned conscious of a maintain on navy assist till 2 days later, on August 29th.

A. That’s my understanding.

Q. That ‘s your understanding. And that may have been nicely over a month after the July 25th name between President Trump and President Zelensky

Q. So that you’re not a lawyer, are you, Ambassador Taylor?

Q. Okay. So the concept of a quid professional quo is it’s an idea the place there’s a demand for an motion or an try and affect motion in alternate for one thing else. And on this case, when individuals are speaking a couple of quid professional quo, that one thing else is navy assist. So, if no one within the Ukrainian authorities is conscious of a navy maintain on the time of the Trump-Zelensky name, then, as a matter of regulation and as a matter of reality, there will be no quid professional quo based mostly on navy assist. I simply need to be actual clear that, once more, as of July 25th, you haven’t any data of a quid professional quo involving navy assist.

A. July 25th is every week after the maintain was placed on the safety help. And July 25th, they’d a dialog between the 2 presidents the place it was not mentioned.

Q. And to your data, no one within the Ukrainian authorities was conscious of the maintain?

It’s also Taylor’s testimony and the textual content messages he despatched in September that clarify he thought the help was contingent on the investigations and that he didn’t prefer it.

Different testimony from the Democrats’ witnesses in closed-door depositions, nonetheless unreleased by Chairman Schiff and due to this fact unavailable to the American public, helps the purpose that U.S. officers didn’t convey to Ukraine that safety help was delayed, a lot much less the notion that the delay was resulting from President Trump searching for political investigations.

  1. America offered safety help to Ukraine and President Trump met with President Zelensky with out Ukraine ever investigating President Trump’s political rivals.

Proof additionally reveals that U.S. safety help to Ukraine was launched and President Zelensky met with President Trump with out Ukraine investigating President Trump’s political rivals. These info considerably undermine the Democrat allegation that President Trump used both as leverage to stress Ukraine to analyze his political rivals.

The help was launched, presumably, on account of bipartisan backlash. And Trump’s assembly with Zelensky occurred on the sidelines of the UN and never on the White Home, as Zelensky had hoped. It additionally occurred after the broad outlines of the decision and the whistleblower grievance have been made public.

On September 11, 2019, OMB launched the U.S. safety help to Ukraine. Ukraine subsequently obtained this help. The U.S. disbursed this help with out Ukraine ever appearing to analyze President Trump’s political rivals.

On September 25, President Trump and President Zelensky met throughout the U.N. Normal Meeting in New York. President Trump and President Zelensky have been scheduled to satisfy practically a month earlier, on September 1 in Warsaw, however Hurricane Dorian compelled President Trump to alter his plans. President Trump and President Zelensky met publicly with out Ukraine ever investigating President Trump’s political rivals.

Ambassador Volker stated that President Trump and President Zelensky had a “constructive” assembly. He testified:

Q. Turning again to President Trump ‘s skepticism of Ukraine and the corruption there, do you assume you made any inroads in convincing him that Zelensky was an excellent associate?

A. I do. I do. I attended the President’s assembly with President Zelensky in New York on, I assume it was the 25th of September. And I might see the physique language and the chemistry between them was constructive, and I felt that that is what we wanted all alongside. 85

Ambassador Taylor testified that the assembly was “good” and President Trump “left happy that they’d lastly met nose to nose. 86 Ambassador Taylor stated there was no dialogue about investigations throughout the September 25 assembly. 87

Each Zelensky and Trump have been requested concerning the investigation requests by reporters, so in that respect it was definitely mentioned.

These 4 key factors undercut the Democrat impeachment narrative that President Trump leveraged U.S. safety help and a presidential assembly to pressure Ukraine to analyze the President ‘s political rivals. The abstract of the presidential dialog confirmed no stress; President Zelensky, the goal of the alleged stress marketing campaign, felt no stress; Ukraine didn’t know of the alleged leverage, the delayed safety help, on the time of the presidential dialog; and, lastly, Ukraine obtained what it wished with out doing something in return.

CONCLUSION

The Democrats’ closed-door “impeachment inquiry” has generated over 100 hours of testimony from 15 witnesses. The American folks noticed none of that closed-door testimony, solely studying about developments from selective leaks of cherry-picked data. The subsequently launched transcripts did not- and will not-convey tone, physique language, and different nonverbal indicators used to evaluate a witness ‘s credibility. The transcripts can’t be an alternative choice to dwell witness testimony.

The factors raised on this doc are an excellent indicator for a way Republicans will assault the witnesses in public hearings.

Now because the Democrats transfer their proceedings into open hearings, their course of is nonetheless one-sided, partisan, and basically unfair. There’s no co-equal subpoena energy. There aren’t any due course of protections for the President. There isn’t any assure that Chairman Schiff will name witnesses put ahead by Republicans. In truth, Chairman Schiff has already denied the minority’s request to name the nameless whistleblower whose grievance initiated the inquiry.88

These items usually are not required underneath the Structure, however subpoena energy, a minimum of, has featured within the two fashionable impeachment proceedings — that’s President Richard Nixon and President Invoice Clinton. Republicans have stated they might subpoena Hunter Biden, which is one cause Democrats gained’t give them subpoena energy.

However this unprecedented partisanship, the proof reveals that President Trump had a deep-seated, real, and affordable skepticism towards Ukraine, and a vocal place that Europe ought to contribute extra to regional protection. The abstract of President Trump’s dialog with President Zelensky displays no conditionality or stress, and President Zelensky himself stated he felt no stress. President Trump by no means raised U.S. safety help to President Zelensky, and finally the help was launched and a presidential assembly occurred with out Ukraine investigating the President’s political rivals. Merely put, the proof gathered to this point doesn’t assist the Democrat allegation that President Trump pressured Ukraine to analyze the President’s political rivals for his profit within the 2020 presidential marketing campaign. The proof gathered doesn’t set up an impeachable offense.



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