Watching the impeachment “inquiry,” something that keeps striking me is this: no one seems to be able to point to any evidence that Trump’s supposed pressure on Ukraine actually happened.
It’s hard to keep up with the leaks, but what we know is that in two phone calls with Zelensky Trump congratulated him on his election, noted that we have been helping Ukraine, and asked Zelensky to pursue apparent corruption.
The complaint is that this might hurt a political opponent — who admitted in a widely-disseminated video that he did pressure Ukraine with a threat of withholding aid, which was effective. It also happened to help protect the company from which his son Hunter was receiving a pretty damned lucrative sinecure. But putting that aside, the defense is “but that was the administration’s policy.”
It would seem the obvious retort is “so what?” Why was protecting Hunter’s phony-baloney job supported by U.S. policy?
It’s not as if the Obama administration was unaware of the issue: Ambassador Yovanovitch testified under oath that she was prepared by her coaches for her confirmation hearing that she might need to deal with that and to refer questions to the vice president’s office. This is a pretty clear admission that the Obama administration knew there was something hinky about Hunter’s sinecure in 2014.