In 1998, the United States entered into a treaty with Ukraine, which called for “a broad range of cooperation in criminal matters.”
Article 1 of the treaty outlines specific types of assistance covered under the treaty, including:
“… taking the testimony or statements of persons; providing documents, records and other items of evidence; locating or identifying persons or items; serving documents; transferring persons in custody for testimony or other purposes; executing requests for searches and seizures; assisting in proceedings related to immobilization and forfeiture of assets, restitution, and collection of fines; and, rendering any other form of assistance not prohibited by the laws of the Requested State. The scope of the Treaty includes not only criminal offenses, but also proceedings related to criminal matters, which may be civil or administrative in nature.”
It’s against this backdrop that the now-infamous July phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky should be seen for what it was—a perfectly legal and ethical conversation seeking cooperation on an investigation into corruption under a juridical agreement that was forged 21 years prior.
To state this more simply: Trump’s actions with Ukraine aren’t impeachable offenses.
Democrats and left-leaning news organizations have asserted the legitimacy of an impeachment proceeding by focusing heavily on a statement by a so-called whistleblower, who said Trump was “using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election.”
However, the transcript of the call shows that the help sought by Trump was in regard to activities that took place during and before the 2016 election.
“I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike … I guess you have one of your wealthy people … The [DNC] server, they say Ukraine has it,” Trump said to Zelensky.
Trump also referenced alleged corruption by then-Vice President Joe Biden: “The other thing, There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it … It sounds horrible to me.”
In 2014, Biden’s son, Hunter, was hired to the board of Ukrainian company Burisma and paid a salary of $83,333 per month, despite having had no previous experience in the energy sector. Fox News reported, “All told, the Ukraine company paid $3.4 million to Rosemont Seneca Bohai LLC, a company headed by Hunter Biden business partner Devon Archer.”
Ukrainian prosecutors were investigating Burisma and it was Joe Biden himself who publicly bragged “about threatening to withhold military aid to Ukraine as a pressure tactic to force the firing of a prosecutor he did not like,” according to Real Clear Politics.
It was actually Biden who did everything Democrats are accusing Trump of having done. This is further evidenced by the fact that it’s impossible for Trump to have engaged in a quid-pro-quo with Ukraine, because Ukrainian officials didn’t even know the funds were being withheld until a month after the phone call.
Additional Facts Surrounding Ukraine
It’s also important to consider these additional facts when following the impeachment hearings:
- Zelensky said he felt absolutely no pressure from the Trump administration.
- The former prosecutor investigating Hunter Biden said that he did feel pressure to drop the case.
- The “whistleblower” doesn’t even qualify as a real whistleblower, because he or she didn’t have firsthand knowledge of these events. Their story is based on hearsay.
- Curiously, just days before the whistleblower complaint was filed, the Intelligence Community Inspector General (IG) changed the whistleblower policy to allow hearsay/secondhand accounts.
- On Sept. 17, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said on MSNBC that his office had no contact with the whistleblower. He also claimed to have no knowledge of the contents of the whistleblower complaint. Yet, the whistleblower secretly met with Schiff’s aide and didn’t disclose this fact to the IG.
- The whistleblower’s lead attorney is a Biden donor.
- The whistleblower has previously worked with two members of Schiff’s staff.
- Trump’s actions broke no laws.
- Biden is being investigated for potential corruption that occurred in the past. This phone call and request from Trump to Zelensky has absolutely nothing to do with the 2020 election.
Why the Intense Impeachment Hysteria?
In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past three years, Democrats have sought to impeach Trump since before he was even sworn in. The Ukraine scandal and soon-to-be full House impeachment effort is simply the latest attempt by the “Get Trump Mafia” to have him removed from office, despite there being no grounds to do so.
Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution says that a president “shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” Adhering to a two-decades-old treaty hardly constitutes any of those things. Therefore, impeachment efforts against Trump are baseless.
Our constitutional republic isn’t under assault by the Trump administration. It’s under assault by politicians whose seething resentment is causing them to abuse their power and turn our core, fundamental constitutional principles on their head in an effort to undo the results of the 2016 election.
Impeachment hearings also provide a great distraction from the upcoming release of the Justice Department Inspector General’s report and findings of the criminal investigation by U.S. Attorney John Durham into alleged illegal activities conducted by the Obama administration, vis-a-vis the origins of the Russia probe.
Adrian Norman is a writer and political commentator.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.