I don’t know about you, but I get tired of Donny Trump’s, “If you take a look at…” after he makes an unsupported statement. He’s basically saying, “I don’t know what I’m talking about, I’m just making an allegation, you go and find the facts to support it.” This fits hand in hand with the equally annoying trend in US politics that a headline= an empirical truth. No one reads anymore. That’s why a “Daily Caller” piece can be used as a proof. THE HEADLINE SAYS SO, ERGO, TRUE FACT BUBBA. Even though, if you read any “Daily Caller” piece, you’ll find the contents either have nothing to do with the headline, don’t support the headline, or sometimes even directly fucking contradict the headline.
In this fashion, some GOP congresspeople have been stating as fact, that Ukraine had undertaken an effort to undermine the 2016 US election, sans proof, outside of some regurgitation of something they heard from somewhere or a Politico headline.
In today’s impeachment inquiry, Steve Castor, the GOP Counsel, has laid out what now is the official GOP narrative about Ukrainian interference in the 2016 US Presidential election. This is on record and used as argument for Donny’s action.
To even the casual reader with average powers of critical analysis, the flaws in this argument are obvious and at points laughable, without doing a single minute of research to fact check any points made…not even necessary. Other points require both factual and/or subjective analysis. Which I promise you, I already started.
The GOP presented- Ukrainian Election Interference 2016:
The prospect that some senior Ukrainian officials worked against President Trump in the run-up to the 2016 election draws an even more visceral reaction from most Democrats. Let me say very, very clearly, that election interference is not binary, I’m not saying that it was Ukraine, and not Russia. I’m saying that both countries can work to influence an election.
A systemic, coordinate Russian interference effort does not mean that some Ukrainian officials, some Ukrainian officials (emphasis), did not work to oppose President Trump’s candidacy. Did not make statements against president Trump during the election.
Ambassador Volker testified in his hearing that it is possible for more than one country to seek influence in US elections. Dr.Hill testified likewise at her public hearing. Contemporaneous news articles in 2016 noted how President Trump’s candidacy lead Kiev’s wider political leadership to do something they never would have attempted before, intervene, however indirectly, in the US election.
In August 2016, the Ukrainian Ambassador to the US, published an Op ed in “The Hill” criticizing candidate Trump. Other senior Ukrainian officials called candidate Trump a clown and other words. They alleged that he challenged the very values of the free world. One prominent Ukrainian parliamentarian explained that the majority of Ukraine’s political figures were on Hillary Clinton’s side.
A January 2017 “Politico” article lays out a more detailed effort by the Ukrainian officials to oppose President Trump’s candidacy. The article notes how Ukraine worked to sabotage the Trump campaign by publicly questioning his fitness for office.
The article detailed how a woman named Alexandra Chalupa, a Ukrainian-American contractor paid by the DNC, and working with the DNC, and Clinton campaign, traded information and leads about the Trump campaign with the staff of the Ukrainian embassy in Washington. Chalupa explained how the Ukrainian Embassy worked directly with reporters to point them in the right direction.
Witnesses in the impeachment inquiry testified that the allegation of Ukrainian influence in the 2016 election was appropriate to examine., Ambassador Volker testified that he thought it was fine to investigate allegations about 2016 influence. Ambassador Taylor said, for example, that the allegations surprised and disappointed him.
On this record I do not believe that one could conclude that President Trump had no legitimate basis to raise a concern about efforts by Ukrainians to influence the 2016 election.