Quid pro quo. This for that. On the second day of President Donald Trump’s defense in the Senate impeachment trial, former National Security advisor John Bolton leaked information from his yet unpublished book alleging that the president withheld aid to Ukraine in order to get an investigation into his political rival.
Threatened by a rising tide of hysterical pundits claiming the Bolton revelations changed everything, one of the president’s star lawyers, Democrat Alan Dershowitz, reversed the entire course of the public narrative:
“Nothing in the Bolton revelations, even if true, would rise to the level of an abuse of power, or an impeachable offense. You cannot turn conduct that is not impeachable into impeachable conduct simply by using terms like “quid pro quo…”
If anyone is still ignorant of what quid pro quo means, they must be living under a rock. The whole country has been hearing about a quid pro quo for months now.
Keeping in mind that asking for one thing in return for another is not illegal. President Trump allegedly demanded a quid pro quo from Ukraine’s president Zelenskiy. He allegedly demanded that Zelenskiy investigate the activities of Hunter Biden in Ukraine in exchange for US aid; aid for investigation.
- one, the president has the right to ask for something in return for US aid.
- two, Trump did not mention withholding aid until Zelensky started an investigation of the Bidens
The Democrats have been framing the argument this way: the president withheld aid to Ukraine to get President Zelenskiy to dig up dirt on the president’s political rival, Joe Biden.
But, that is not what happened. The president released transcripts of two calls that he had with Zelenskiy, and he does not ask in either of them for political dirt on Joe Biden. What he does ask for is cooperation investigating the 2016 election and help getting to the bottom of the firing of Viktor Shokin.
Read the transcript. The US and Ukraine have a lot in common and have good reason to cooperate in the ongoing battle against corruption.