Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Ukraine In The Membrane

At this point, the Trump/Ukraine extortion story is getting comically stupid, as we're on shoe number five or six to drop.

President Trump told his acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, to hold back almost $400 million in military aid for Ukraine at least a week before a phone call in which Trump is said to have pressured the Ukrainian president to investigate the son of former vice president Joe Biden, according to three senior administration officials. 
Officials at the Office of Management and Budget relayed Trump’s order to the State Department and the Pentagon during an interagency meeting in mid-July, according to officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. They explained that the president had “concerns” and wanted to analyze whether the money needed to be spent. 
Administration officials were instructed to tell lawmakers that the delays were part of an “interagency process” but to give them no additional information — a pattern that continued for nearly two months, until the White House released the funds on the night of Sept. 11. 
Trump’s order to withhold aid to Ukraine a week before his July 25 call with Volodymyr Zelensky is likely to raise questions about the motivation for his decision and fuel suspicions on Capitol Hill that Trump sought to leverage congressionally approved aid to damage a political rival. The revelation comes as lawmakers clash with the White House over a related whistleblower complaint made by an intelligence official alarmed by Trump’s actions.

So yes, the extortion happened first when the military aid already approved by Congress was blocked on Donald Trump's orders, then the phone call to Zelensky happened where Trump made it clear why he was holding up the money. He expected a foreign leader to come up with something on Hunter Biden in order to help Trump beat Joe Biden in 2020.  Told Mulvaney to lie to Congress about it to boot.

That's it, that's the crime.  Bag em, tag em, fire up the grill.

Dude did it.   And remember Pence was in on it too.

Pelosi now finally moving forward with the big I.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been quietly sounding out top allies and lawmakers about whether the time has come to impeach President Trump, a major development as several moderate House Democrats resistant to impeachment suddenly endorsed the extraordinary step of trying to oust the president. 
Pelosi, according to multiple senior House Democrats and congressional aides, has been gauging the mood of her caucus members about whether they believe that allegations that Trump pressured a Ukrainian leader to investigate a political foe are a tipping point. She was making calls as late as Monday night, and many leadership aides who once thought Trump’s impeachment was unlikely now say they think it’s almost inevitable. 
The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak frankly. 
Pelosi’s conversations — and reconsideration of her long-held position that impeachment is too divisive — come amid a growing clamor for impeachment that extends beyond the party’s liberal base and many Democratic presidential candidates to moderate lawmakers in competitive House seats. 
Seven freshman Democrats with previous service in the military, defense and U.S. intelligence said in a Monday night Washington Post op-ed that if the allegations against Trump are true, “we believe these actions represent an impeachable offense.

Things are starting to move towards a critical mass.  Finally.

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