• On Thursday, acting White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, first said that President’s Trump decision to delay $400 million in US security aid to Ukraine was partly driven by the intention to pressurize the country into cooperating with a Justice Department investigation. However, hours later, Mulvaney took a U-turn, saying his comments had been misconstrued.
• Initially, Mulvaney said President Trump’s decision to withhold military aid to Ukraine was partly to address corruption issues in the country. He was likely referring to conspiracy theories that Ukrainians framed Russians for hacking into the DNC's (Democratic National Committee) computer systems during the 2016 presidential election.
• “The look back to what happened in 2016 certainly was part of the thing that he was worried about in corruption with that nation…… Did he also mention to me in the past the corruption that related to the DNC server? Absolutely, no question about that” Mulvaney told reporters.
• Mulvaney’s statement contradicted Trump’s previous statements. Shortly after Mulvaney’s statement, Trump’s personal lawyer Jay Sekulow came out with a statement distancing president’s legal team from Mulvaney’s comments.
• As per CNN, a senior Justice Department official also responded to the comments, saying, "If the White House was withholding aid in regards to the cooperation of any investigation at the Department of Justice, that is news to us."
• Later on Thursday, Mulvaney backtracked on his comments, saying he did not admit to the quid pro quo. “Let me be clear, there was absolutely no quid pro quo between Ukrainian military aid and any investigation into the 2016 election,” Mulvaney said in a written statement.
We’re dealing with an administration that’s fluent in manipulatory diversion. Trump has been the subject of scrutiny well before the Ukraine ordeal. Impeachable offenses could have been found & tried following the Mueller report (which was redacted, but still was a far cry from exoneration). Additionally, Trump did not divest his foreign or domestic business, has announced his Doral Resort as the G7 location. Further, the White House (under his direction) order individuals to ignore Congressional subpoenas, and he has abused national emergency declarations in order to further his border interests.
Now we have a more simple event to evaluate: quid pro quo, or no? Mulvaney dished out and said that indeed, it was quid pro quo. This is the outcome Democrats were looking for in their investigation, but it was handed to them verbatim. What does this mean? Well, Mulvaney’s lack of restraint in saying how it is he succeeded in minimizing the significance of what transpired by sub-housing it in a new category. Rather than an impeachable offense, we are now to accept this as politics per usual. With their propa-lexicon they are now able to blame it on the Deep State, on the Fake News Media, Sleepy Biden, Crooked Hillary.
Trump isn’t a clever criminal. He blasts through stop signs and red tape in plain sight, and nobody stops him. His entire life was built on such tactics. A deeper look into the G7 location reveals that Trump owes Deutsche Bank $125 million for a loan that was granted to get Doral up and running. We still don’t have his tax returns, and it’s becoming clear why. He’s above the law and he has always been. However, Dems and defiant Republicans working in our branches of government are in a unique position. They can, indeed, circle together and give the man a consequence. This is a choice they need to make. And I urge them to look beyond personal political and career interests. How this profound opportunity is responded to will be recorded and reflected upon for decades to come. The here and now is critical.
Time to re-assess our standards, shall we? While Democrats are stuck in a perpetual state of “holier than thou”, there’s a little more to this tune. Mulvaney said what he did, and that’s a whole lot better than the poorly covered-up DNC conspiracy that created Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee in 2016. Wasserman-Schultz had to resign because the Russians exposed this before the election. Hillary was propped up by tactics that are less than commendable.
And dare we speak of the “new” rules for the Democratic primaries and convention? The people aren’t choosing the nominee. It’s being diverted to super delegates who will choose. Liberals, you’re not even choosing your own candidate. Take a step back.
It’s not illegal to ask a country to cooperate. Mueller got full Ukrainian cooperation for his investigation, with no halt or holler. Computer servers and individuals who might be hacked may very well in the periphery of a foreign power with more access to the hosts of interference. Criminal conduct or the possibility thereof should be investigated and there is nothing illicit about this. And those freaking out about quid pro quo—that’s the nature of anything we do in life. Quid pro quo means, literally, a favor or advantage expected or granted in return for something. Isn’t that why we work? In return for money? Why we marry? In return for partnership and the possibility of building a family? Why we eat? So we can live? Why we sleep? So we can be in good health?
Quid pro quo is no evil. Quid pro quo is the essence of all systems and sectors that makes up our life.
But we have to look beyond that interpretation of quid pro quo. As with many phrases that have been common for centuries, they come with uses and connotations that color their intent and usage, distinguishing the nature of the phrase al together. Quid pro quo can indeed mean, a straightforward exchange of “something for something” or we can interpret it as a retaliatory “tit for tat.”
It’s not an innocent statement and tends not to be interpreted as such. Foreign help can indeed be requested, but in this case, an investigation into Biden has a clear undercurrent pointing to the 2020 election. Dirt on Biden means votes for Trump. If this investigation had taken place long ago it would’ve made more sense, but not when we are in the middle of a political storm and Democratic primaries. Trump’s intent was to secure his own re-election, and in no way you twist or bend the request would it have been an honest attempt at finding criminal justice. It didn’t “just so happen” to involve Biden. It happened precisely because of Biden’s involvement.