Trump And Giuliani Are Publicly Conspiring With A Foreign Power
Update May 11, 2019: Rudy Giuliani has since said he will not travel to Ukraine but the damage is already done. Giuliani has already declared to the world that President Trump wants foreign powers to meddle in the election. It was his “Russia, if you’re listening” moment. Below is our article from May 10 covering the initial announcement of his travel to Ukraine.
It’s happening again. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s 448-page report just outlined how the Trump Campaign was receptive to Russia’s election help and sought out information on future Wikileaks dumps. Now, President Trump and his attorney Rudy Giuliani have announced their intention to collude with another foreign power ahead of the 2020 election.
On Thursday, Giuliani announced that he is traveling to Ukraine to meet with their comedian turned President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky to try and get their government to pursue inquiries that would benefit Trump’s 2020 campaign. I’ll quote The New York Times report directly because it’s a bit unbelievable:
One is the origin of the special counsel’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. The other is the involvement of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s son in a gas company owned by a Ukrainian oligarch.
Mr. Giuliani’s plans create the remarkable scene of a lawyer for the president of the United States pressing a foreign government to pursue investigations that Mr. Trump’s allies hope could help him in his re-election campaign. And it comes after Mr. Trump spent more than half of his term facing questions about whether his 2016 campaign conspired with a foreign power…
Mr. Giuliani’s planned trip, which has not been previously reported, is part of a monthslong effort by the former New York mayor and a small group of Trump allies working to build interest in the Ukrainian inquiries. Their motivation is to try to discredit the special counsel’s investigation; undermine the case against Paul Manafort, Mr. Trump’s imprisoned former campaign chairman; and potentially to damage Mr. Biden, the early front-runner for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
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The report goes on to say that Giuliani claims this effort has the full support of President Trump. This is exactly what it sounds like. The President of the United States and his personal attorney are actively and publicly asking a foreign power to dig up dirt on a political opponent, undermine a domestic investigation the president was a subject of, and interfere in American democracy. In an interview with The New York Times on Thursday, Giuliani attempted to claim this conduct was completely fine:
“We’re not meddling in an election, we’re meddling in an investigation, which we have a right to do. There’s nothing illegal about it. Somebody could say it’s improper. And this isn’t foreign policy — I’m asking them to do an investigation that they’re doing already and that other people are telling them to stop. And I’m going to give them reasons why they shouldn’t stop it because that information will be very, very helpful to my client, and may turn out to be helpful to my government.”
Giuliani previously asserted there was nothing wrong with a presidential campaign accepting information from Russia. It’s now clear he meant it. Make no mistake, there is something very wrong with this corrupt behavior. Mueller did not charge the 2016 Trump Campaign with a criminal conspiracy with Russia because he did not find a “tacit agreement” to conspire, but he did outline over 100 pages of collusion evidence. In the event of a future investigation into a potential Trump-Ukraine conspiracy, the agreement couldn’t be more tacit.
It’s important to mention that Donald Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen was reportedly paid $400,000 to set up a meeting between the previous President of Ukraine and the President of the United States. Not only that, the dropping of former Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort’s case by the Ukrainian government was reportedly a direct appeal to obtain the President’s patronage. It’s not entirely clear if the incoming Zelensky administration will coordinate with the Trump administration. We’ll see if the Trump administration offers incentives for their cooperation. Keep an eye on this.
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