Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) asked a question on behalf of several other senators and himself during the Q&A session of the Senate impeachment trial yesterday:
Given that the Senate is now considering the very evidentiary record assembled and voted on by the House, which Chairman Nadler has repeatedly claimed constitutes overwhelming evidence for impeachment, how can the Senate be accused of engaging in what Mr. Nadler described as a cover-up if the Senate makes its decision on the exact same evidentiary record the House did?
On this question, Patrick Philbin, Deputy Counsel to the President and Deputy Assistant to the President in the Office of White House Counsel and a former clerk for my favorite US Supreme Court Justice, Clarence Thomas, took the Democrats to school once again! He addressed two important issues in answering this question, with the Ukrainian election meddling being the second part of his answer. Here is what he said:
Philbin: I think that’s exactly right. I think it’s rather preposterous to suggest that this Senate would be engaging in a cover-up to rely on the same record that the House managers have said is overwhelming. They’ve said it dozens of times; they’ve said in their view that they’ve had enough evidence presented already to establish their case beyond ANY doubt, not just beyond a reasonable doubt. And it’s totally incoherent to claim at the same time that it would be improper for the Senate to rely on that record. Your judgment may be and should be, we submit, different from the House managers assessment of that evidence because it hasn’t established their case at all. But if they’re willing to tell you that it’s complete and that it has everything they need to establish everything they want, I think you should be able to take them at their word that that’s all that’s there. And to switch now to say, well, no, we need more witnesses … I mean, it just demonstrates they haven’t proved their case … they don’t have the evidence to make their case. And as I went through a minute ago, they have already presented a record with over 28,000 pages of documents. They’ve already presented video clips of 13l; witnesses. You’ve already heard evidence of the key witnesses. It was their process. They were the ones that said what the process was gonna be, how it had to be run, who ought to testify, and when to close it – when to decide if they had enough. And you heard all of the key highlights from that. And that is sufficient for this body to make a decision.
I just want to turn to one point in response to something that was said (by the House managers) a couple of minutes ago. And we keep hearing repeatedly today the refrain of … the idea that President Trump was somehow trying to peddle Vladimir Putin’s conspiracy theory that it was Ukraine and not Russia that interfered in the 2016 election. And the House Democrats try to present this binary view of the world – that only one country and one country alone could have done something to interfere in the election, and it was Russia. And if you mention any other country doing something related to election interference, you’re just a pawn of Vladimir Putin trying to peddle his conspiracy theory. That is obviously not true. More that one country, and foreign nationals from more than one country could be doing different things for different reasons in different ways to try to interfere in the election. And that’s exactly what President Trump was interested in in the telephone call … the July 25th transcript. He mentions Crowdstrike, he mentions the server, but he talks about, he says, “There are a lot of things that went on; the whole situation. I think you’re surrounding yourself with some of the same people.” So he’s talking about much more than just the DNC server, and he closes again saying, … he refers to Robert Mueller’s testimony and says, “A lot of it started in Ukraine. There’s a lot of stuff going on.” Twice in that exchange, he says “there’s a lot of stuff going on … the whole situation.” And what is that referring to? Surrounding yourself with the same people … and President Zelensky immediately refers to changing out the [Ukrainian] ambassador [to the US] because the previous ambassador who had been there under Poroshenko had written an op-ed criticizing President Trump during the election. We also know that there was a Politico article in January 2017 cataloging multiple Ukrainian officials who did things either to criticize President Trump or to assist a DNC operative, Alexandra Chalupa, in gathering information against the Trump campaign. And they [the House managers] said in the record that there was no evidence in the record … no one said that there was anything done by Ukraine. That’s not true. One of their star witnesses, Fiona Hill, specifically testified in her public hearing – because she said she went back and checked because she hadn’t remembered the Politico article [when she was first deposed in the SCIF] … and then she said that she acknowledged that some Ukrainian officials “bet on Hillary Clinton winning the election.” And so it was quite evident in her words that they were trying to favor the Clinton campaign including by trying to collect information on people working in the Trump campaign. That was Fiona Hill. She acknowledged that Ukrainian officials were doing that. So this idea that it’s a binary world – it’s either Russia or Ukraine – if you mention Ukraine, you’re just doing Vladimir Putin’s bidding – is totally false. And you shouldn’t be fooled by that. Various Ukrainians were doing things to interfere in the election campaign, and that’s what President Trump was referring to.
It’s about damn time that this got into the public record! The Democrats and the legacy media have been pushing the myth that Ukrainian meddling allegation is just a Russian-originated conspiracy since they began their “impeachment inquiry” last September. They know that they’ve got a LOT to hide in Ukraine, and it’s not just Hunter Biden-related corruption! And that’s why Democrats have used the old “it’s been debunked” claim about Ukraine election meddling just as they are using it to cover for the Bidens.
Patrick Philbin’s answer must have sent shivers down the spines of a lot of Democrats, as that signals that President Trump isn’t going to let this issue be forgotten. To the contrary, we will be hearing much more about it after he has been acquitted (Trumpenfreude!).