When will it end?
Ever since Donald Trump was declared the winner of the 2016 presidential election, Democrats have been on a mission to reverse those results, even though it’s meant dragging the country through one desperate witch hunt after another.
Now we turn the page to the latest chapter, with U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday announcing “an official impeachment inquiry” stemming in part from concerns over a secondhand report of a phone call between President Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky that neither Democrats nor apparently their source had yet even seen – and despite President Trump previously stating he would release the transcript of the call today.
I’ve heard the president both in private and repeatedly in public call for European countries to pay their fair share for NATO and for the defense of Ukraine. Having the U.S. pay less and our allies pay more has been a consistent theme of the president’s since he ran for office, and it should surprise no one that he hit on the need for Europe to play a larger role once again in the transcript he indeed released this morning.
What the transcript confirms he did not do on the call, and what much of the controversy has been about, was condition U.S. aid on Ukraine investigating former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
If the Democrats want to argue the threat is implied, well, they may want to check the stability of the moral high ground they claim to be standing on, as Democrats are guilty of the exact same behavior they want to impeach the president for.
In an op-ed for the Washington Post on Tuesday, Marc Thiessen highlighted a letter several Democrat senators sent to Yuriy Lutsenko, then Ukraine’s prosecutor general, saying they “are writing to express great concern about reports that your office has taken steps to impede cooperation with the investigation of United States Special Counsel Robert Mueller.”
After stating, “Ours is a relationship built on a foundation of respect for the rule of law and accountable democratic institutions,” and reiterating their support for Ukraine’s “capacity-building process” regarding those ideas, they note their “disappoint[ment] that some in Kyiv appear to have cast aside these principles in order to avoid the ire of President Trump.”
They then write, “If these reports are true, we strongly encourage you to reverse course and halt any efforts to impede cooperation with this important investigation.”
Thiessen rightfully asks, “So, it’s okay for Democratic senators to encourage Ukraine to investigate Trump, but it’s not okay for the president to allegedly encourage Ukraine to investigate Hunter Biden?”
Or how about instances such as Democrats pushing the Ukrainian president “not to heed the requests from Mr. Giuliani” and “warning that to do so could threaten bipartisan support for Ukraine in Washington”?
We must ask some other key questions.
For one, is there really something wrong with making aid contingent on behavior? Shouldn’t it be made clear to the new Ukrainian president that our aid is contingent on them not being corrupt?
Shouldn’t we want the European Union to send their fair share of aid instead of our government taking more and more resources from the American taxpayer?
Shouldn’t we want to get to the bottom of what Ukraine knows, including lingering details from the Russia investigation?
Shouldn’t we want to know why a foreign oligarch suspected of corruption was paying the then-sitting vice president’s son $50,000 a month?
Shouldn’t we want to know why the former vice president — on video — bragged about getting the prosecutor fired who was tasked with investigating that corruption?
How is it okay for Vice President Biden or Democrat senators to threaten aid to Ukraine but somehow impeachable for a president to allegedly do so?
The fact that House Democrats and the liberal media screeched for impeachment BEFORE even knowing a thing about what did or did not happen — that tells me we are in for another partisan ride, led by people who cannot and will not concede that Donald Trump is their president.
Finally, let’s consider the question I asked at the beginning: when will it end?
Simply put, never. The transcript will not be enough. The full whistleblower complaint, which I support Congress receiving, will not be enough. Testimony from the whistleblower – even if every single employee of the national security state testified in front of Congress on any topic – would not be enough. If there’s nothing to be found here, Democrats will simply try to find something else or return to old accusations.
The hatred for the Trump presidency runs deep on the left, and hate is consuming. It’s consuming Congress’ energy and time and the American people’s patience, for starters, and it’s time for the games to stop.
Rand Paul, a Republican, is Kentucky’s junior U.S. senator.