U.S. President Donald Trump checks time prior to a dinner of leaders at the Art and History Museum at the Park Cinquantenaire in Brussels on Wednesday, July 11, 2018. NATO leaders gathered in Brussels Wednesday for a two-day summit to discuss Russia, Iraq and their mission in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert, Pool)
Are you as jazzed about the impeachment hearings as Donald Trump is?
On Tuesday, over a series of tweets, the President announced that he’d “love to have” White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo testify amid the circus:
“The D.C. Wolves and Fake News Media are reading far too much into people being forced by courts to testify before Congress. I am fighting for future presidents and the Office of the President. Other than that, I would actually like people to testify. Don McGahn’s respected lawyer has already stated that I did nothing wrong. John Bolton is a patriot and may know that I held back the money from Ukraine because it is considered a corrupt country, & I wanted to know why nearby European countries weren’t putting up money also. Likewise, I would love to have Mike Pompeo, Rick Perry, Mick Mulvaney and many others testify about the phony Impeachment Hoax. It is a Democrat scam that is going nowhere but, future presidents should in no way be compromised. What has happened to me should never happen to another president!”
With regard to Don McGahn, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson ruled Monday that the former White House counsel will have to testify. But the Trump administration has promised to appeal. According to Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham, the ruling “contradicts longstanding legal precedent established by administrations of both political parties.”
Democrats are pushing for Bolton to take the stand as well.
As for withholding funds from Ukraine “because it is considered a corrupt country,” the President’s in line with Rand Paul’s November 10th assertion on Meet the Press:
“Foreign aid, by law, can only go out to countries that are not corrupt. So, if you think that a country is acting in a corrupt way, a president can always withhold aid until the corruption is fixed. So, you’re going to have to get into the mind of Trump and his advisers and say, ‘Well, he didn’t really believe that the Bidens were corrupt.’ I think he absolutely does. I think you could give him a lie detector test and say, ‘Do you think the Bidens were corrupt? And do you think you were investigating corruption, and that corruption is in the law, that you can’t give aid to a country that has corruption?’”
Therefore, the entire issue isn’t about law, but policy:
“This ends up being a policy debate and a partisan debate. And it has nothing to do with legality or illegality or impeachment. It’s purely a partisan way of trying to overturn the election.”
If that argument can be successfully made, we’re looking at a dramatically different conversation.
But for now, I’m not sure the Commander-in-Chief’s critics want to talk.
They want a fight.
And something tells me he’s as ready as ever to give them one.
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