Just watched the trial wrap up for the day. The White House counsel is still pushing the Ukraine scam which is utterly bonkers, saying that Ukraine rather than Russia was hacking the election to help the Democrats by… hacking the Democrats and leaking their emails. And that the Democrats sent their physical server to Ukraine who supposedly hacked them to keep the information from getting out even though it’s being leaked. Repeating that the White House was pushed out of the investigation even though Pat Cipollone, the very person making that claim, was himself invited to sit in at the depositions and cross examine those who defied White House orders to testify and wrote an indignant response without attending though there were 47 Republicans present. And trying rather cheekily to suggest that Democrats were selectively showing testimony without full context and that lack of full context should make everyone suspicious of their motives but still maintain that they shouldn’t have to dignify the subpoenas and document requests they’ve been issued.
And even if we were to humor the Ukraine thing there’s the little problem that if we’re to believe Trump believes Ukraine hacked the election he’d essentially be asking President Zelensky to implicate his own country in an attack on the US and would be offering vital material aid to those he was accusing of being enemies of the state. Discussing none of this with Congress, going behind their backs, hiding it after the fact, and just doing all of the things he’s accused of doing anyway.
Much is being made of the wording and the lack of direct mention of the holds in the call transcript but Scumbag 101 is that you make threats by implication rather than saying it plain and that’s the only educational program Trump didn’t have to make “donations” for passing grades in. When you’re hoarding everything edible in an area preparing to overcharge in a famine you don’t tell people you’re about to create a food shortage by buying it all up yourself you leave them to figure it out at their most desperate moment and play it off like they came to you willingly to make it difficult to qualify accusations of direct pressure. And when you want something specific in exchange you refer to it in a roundabout way like “You know it’d be easier to get this stuff from place to place before it spoils if customs weren’t so strict. Didn’t a few suggestions for good changes get made a while back? I think it’d good for both of us, I mean otherwise who knows what kind of condition this food will be in when it gets where it’s going, all that hassle, and people could starve just waiting for it and for all that paperwork to get done for all those fees and searches. I’d like to be able to make some guarantees.” The number of lawyers in that room should know it too. Or just anybody who watched any of the Godfather movies. Wrapped fish and severed horse heads can be clear enough messages, if indirect. And a bit harder to prosecute than tweeting “we killed ur dood, lol!”