Like the sun rising in the east, the story of this week’s latest impeachable behavior by President Trump already has an all-too-familiar ring to it. It is looking just like the myriad other desperate cries for impeachment emanating from a political party which apparently believes a show trial condemning the duly elected president is its only path to victory in 2020.
Consider the implications of some unnamed functionary taking matters into his own hands and alerting the media whenever he objects to something said by the president in a supposedly secure conversation with a world leader. Who died and left some insignificant mole in charge, free to leak like a sieve? Who elected this person? How can a security breach of this magnitude be allowed to stand? Even the virulently anti-Trump CNN analyst and former intelligence operative Phil Mudd condemned the breach. This is the issue which will persist long after the details and context of the president’s phone call are sorted out.
Think also of the irony implicit in Democrats condemning foreign interference in electoral politics. While they carry on with accusations of Trump-Russia collusion which were thoroughly discredited in the Mueller report, it seems lost on official Washington that most of the information in the infamous and scurrilous Trump dossier which became the principal basis for Obama administration surveillance of the Trump campaign, and ultimately the Mueller investigation, was obtained by the Hillary Clinton campaign from – wait for it – Russia.
Nevertheless, the wolves have resumed howling at the moon, certain that this latest scandal will be the one to finally take down this president who is driving them to madness. But this is a story with sharp tentacles, many of which could claw the Democrats’ own presidential frontrunner.
So Joe Biden decided to add his own voice to the chorus on Tuesday, calling for Trump’s immediate impeachment if he refuses to comply with everything the Democrat-run House is demanding — unrestrained by the truth of his son nakedly profiting from his father’s high government position.
It seems Biden broke no laws but is that enough to save him? We know that he and his son Hunter traveled together on the father’s plane, Air Force Two, while Biden was serving as vice president of the United States. They visited Ukraine – and later, China – and almost immediately upon returning stateside, Hunter closed lucrative deals with companies in the very same industries who had been meeting with his father in order to assure a continuing flow of American foreign aid to their country.
But the plot thickens considerably. Hunter was named a director of the largest energy company in Ukraine, Burisma Holdings, which enriched his bank account by some $50,000 per month. The problem is, he had zero experience or expertise in energy – he had been primarily a lobbyist for the gaming industry. But this is where the rubber really meets the scandalous road: as Joe Biden stated proudly and publicly, Ukraine’s chief prosecutor was fired just as he was closing in on – wait for it again – Burisma Holdings. Joe Biden claims he has never talked to his son about those business deals, but Hunter has said he did.
Biden defenders say the former vice president was simply acting on behalf of the Obama administration, and that the fired prosecutor’s investigation into Burisma had been completed before the younger Biden was named to the company’s board.
This story has been out for some time. But because Trump reportedly encouraged the new Ukranian president to investigate the matter, the left says Trump should now be investigated and impeached. Even some on Fox News have joined the chorus this time.
There is a tendency to believe that Democrats will ultimately back down from impeachment for fear that the consequent revelations will damage Biden irreparably. But that may well be a false assumption because the direction of the party’s presidential primary is opposite to Biden’s relative moderation. Translation: the progressives who have established domination of the party may be willing, or even anxious, to throw Biden overboard if it provides them the ability to demand Trump’s impeachment day after day.
The Democrats can then tell their voters they accomplished something, and that only the corrupt Republican Trump-enablers in the senate who refused to convict Trump and remove him from office thwarted the true will of the American people.
As with all things, it will be left to the voters to decide who is at fault, who crossed lines, and who profited from this burgeoning scandal.