After Acquittal, The GOP Is Continuing Trump’s Ukraine Plot
The blatant nature of the corruption we are witnessing cannot be overstated. Over the past week, Senate Republicans acknowledged President Trump did what he was accused of, called it “wrong” and “inappropriate”, acquitted him for it, then proceeded to complete the objective of the Ukraine plot he was impeached for.
On February 5, at around 4:30 pm, the Senate voted to acquit President Trump for abuse of power (48-52 vote with Senator Mitt Romney joining the Democrats) and obstruction of Congress (47-53 party-line vote). The impeachment trial centered around allegations that President Trump extorted Ukraine in the pursuit of announced probes into the Bidens and the debunked Ukraine meddling conspiracy theory. Roughly an hour later, Senators Republicans Chuck Grassley (IA) and Ron Johnson (WI) announced a Senate probe into the Bidens.
The probe seeks to review “potential conflicts of interest posed by the business activities of Hunter Biden and his associates during the Obama administration.” The probe has been quietly ongoing for months and includes the Ukraine meddling conspiracy theory. What makes this even more corrupt is that the Trump Administration is being fully cooperative with the probe. Yahoo News reported on the effort:
Unlike Trump and Giuliani, however, Sens. Charles Grassley, chairman of the Finance Committee; Ron Johnson, chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee; and Lindsey Graham, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, have focused their efforts in Washington, seeking to extract politically useful information from agencies of the U.S. government. They’ve issued letters requesting records from Cabinet departments and agencies, including the State Department, the Treasury, the Justice Department, the FBI, the National Archives and the Secret Service.
The report goes on to note that the Treasury Department has already complied with a request for sensitive financial documents related to Hunter Biden. This is in stark contrast to how congressional requests from House Democrats have been treated. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has outright violated the law in refusing to hand over President Trump’s tax returns.
The Justice Department is also playing ball. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-KY) said that Rudy Giuliani is continuing President Trump’s dirt-digging plot in Ukraine and is funneling the information to Attorney General William Barr.
Remarkable. Sen. Graham says he talked to AG Barr this morning and they have set up a “process” by which Rudy Giuliani will now send his Biden “dirt” directly to AG Barr. pic.twitter.com/gteVz53jIG
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) February 9, 2020
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As I wrote in The Independent during the impeachment trial, the allegations against the Bidens are complete nonsense:
Former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi led the smearing of Joe Biden. Bondi claimed Biden extorted Ukraine into firing corrupt Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin because he was investigating Burisma, a company Hunter Biden was on the board of. I firmly believe that’s a lie. For one thing, Shokin was fired because he wasn’t investigating corruption; for another, the Burisma probe had been dormant for a year.
Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) gave the game away that this strategy was all about politically damaging Democratic candidate Joe Biden.
ERNST: “IA caucuses are this next Monday evening. And I’m really interested to see how this discussion today informs and influences the Iowa caucus voters, those Demcaucus goers. Will they be supporting VP Biden at this point?”
— Alan He (@alanhe) January 28, 2020
Multiple impeachment witnesses have testified to the fact President Trump was more interested in the announcement of the probes from Ukraine then the probes themselves. With the announcement from Senate Republicans, they have, in effect, completed President Trump’s corrupt scheme in broad daylight.
You read all that correctly. Senate Republicans have announced probes into the Bidens. The Treasury Department is handing over financial documents to aid that investigation. The Justice Department is coordinating with Rudy Giuliani as he digs up dirt in Ukraine. President Trump, with the full force of his administration and support of his sycophants in the Senate, is still carrying out the plot he got impeached for.