September 27, 2019


Trump's corruption is obvious (Quin Hillyer, September 27, 2019, washington examiner)

With so many ludicrously conflicting conspiracy theories being spread by all sides in the Trump-Ukraine controversy, we should at least be able to agree that the Wall Street Journal news section is a generally neutral, careful, fair-minded source. It doesn't have the conservative, increasingly Trump-apologist bent of the paper's editorial page. It doesn't have the crusading liberal reputation of the New York Times. The Journal is generally sober, reliable, and trustworthy.

Its lead story on Thursday was a model summary, shorn of right-wing excuse-mongering and left-wing bloodlust. Therein, in one concise sentence almost halfway through the article, one finds the nub of the scandal.

To wit: "There is no known precedent for a president to offer his private lawyer and the attorney general to assist a foreign country with an investigation into his own political rival." [...]

Reasonable conservatives and respected newsmen are finally making their voices heard. National Review's Ramesh Ponnuru, friendly enough to some of Trump's views that Trump seriously considered appointing him to the Federal Reserve Board, dispassionately analyzed the Ukraine case for Bloomberg and carefully picked apart the "flawed arguments in defense of Trump." He wrote that it takes "willful naiveté" to deny that Trump was pushing a quid pro quo.

Conservative policy wonk Yuval Levin, one of the least histrionic and most thoughtful writers on the right, opines that "the president's behavior seems plainly corrupt on its face," but that "the incoherent jumble of Trump's own mind, backed now with the enormous power of the American presidency, has the capacity to create a real world that doesn't hang together."

Conservative legal favorite Paul Rosenzweig, a Whitewater prosecutor under independent counsel Ken Starr in the 1990s, said: "It seems to me almost impossible not to think that this is a big problem for the president. Instead of being able to say 'No collusion,' he now has to say, 'Yes collusion. Why does it matter?' If the Mueller investigation had revealed that President Trump had had personal conversation with (Russia President) Vladimir Putin and promised him something -- assistance in Syria in exchange for dirt about Hillary Clinton's daughter, Chelsea -- everybody would've said that's collusion, that's conspiracy, that's wrong. That's exactly what happened here."

Posted by at September 27, 2019 6:31 PM