Upon the completion of the truly historic first day of extraordinarily powerful public testimony before the House Intelligence Committee of two impeccable witnesses in the impeachment investigation of Trump, the stark reality of the abject treachery, the downright treasonous behavior of this criminal low-life in the White House could not have been more clearly on display.
For all the Republicans on the committee who tried so hard to chip away at the testimony, there’s hardly a word that can better describe their desperate efforts than “fools.” History will not be kind to these sycophants.
The witnesses, both lifelong, accomplished servants in protecting the vital interests of the United States of America, William Taylor and George Kent, elevated themselves and their testimony so far above the muelling protestations of the Republicans on the committee, much less so far above the sewer rat they were trying so feebly to defend.
Taylor and Kent couched their remarks in the context of the strategic interests of the U.S. and the threat to those interests that the live, shooting war in Ukraine represents. This is the reality that a lot of the media coverage of their contribution has tended to overlook or underplay.
This puts the treasonous treachery of Trump’s withholding $390 million in vital military aid to the Ukraine in proper context. No, it wasn’t the threat of withholding the aid for months that was the issue for Ukraine and its new president Zelensky. Actually, it was the impact of that move on the war they are waging against Russian aggressors who currently occupy seven percent of that nation’s land mass.
Trump was clearly moving to tilt the balance in that war in favor of Moscow against the U.S. ally attempting to stymie Russian aggression.
Do any of the pathetic Republicans on the Intelligence Committee have an explanation for why the military aid, as approved by Congress, was withheld? Or do they simply argue that the president had a right to do it if he wanted to? Is that a sufficient answer? No.
There is no explanation other than the one the preponderance of evidence suggests: Trump extorted Ukraine in order to get Zelensky to go to “a public box” and announce that an investigation “leaving no stone unturned” is being launched into the alleged actions of Trump’s strongest presidential rival, former Vice President Joe Biden and his son.
It was also generally overlooked in the media coverage that Ambassador Taylor stated to the committee he was prepared to resign over this withholding, thinking to himself at the time, “The Russians will love this, Trump will get his statement about Biden and still withhold the military aid, and I quit.”
These actions by Trump were described by Taylor as “crazy,” as “counterproductive to all the U.S. is trying to do supporting Ukraine as a front line state against Russia.”
It was stated by Tim Morrison, Fiona Hill’s replacement at the National Security Council, that Trump’s position was that “he wanted no assistance to go to Ukraine, at all,” though Zelensky was led to believe that “everything,” the military aid and an Oval Office meeting with Trump, was dependent upon his announcing the investigation against the Bidens.
The Russians launched a new aggressive military offensive in Ukraine beginning in 2014, and so far 14,000 Ukraine civilians have died at their hand fighting against the invasion. In addition, 298 citizens were killed when the Russian aggressors shot down a civilian airliner.
The U.S. response was initially to put $1.6 billion into Ukraine to help shore up its defenses, including at a training facility near Lvov.
When recruited into the Ukraine acting ambassadorship earlier this summer, Taylor said he showed up in Kyiv to find the situation “confusing and unusual,” with an irregular channel involving Trump loyalists like Giuliani, Sondland, Perry and Mulvaney on one track and the regular U.S. foreign service effort on another.
Giuliani seemed bent on discrediting and smearing the existing Ambassador Yovanovich and she was eventually removed. This was despite the fact that for 30 years Ukraine had remained free and at peace.
Nicholas Benton may be emailed at [email protected]