I have placed the text of President Trump's July 25, 2019, phone call to the President of Ukraine so that you can read it for yourself: https://chilp.it/3b5fa3c
I have placed the text of the leaker's complaint dated August 12, 2019, so that you can read it for yourself: https://chilp.it/a257834
As I begin to discuss my defense of the President, and I have given this a lot of thought, I realize that this may be a fool's errand. No minds will be changed here, no one will be convinced. The haters and the never-Trumpers may not even read this but will surely not be open to any discussion on the subject. The Trump supporters don't need me to tell them anything, as they are already in the Trump camp and I will be preaching to the choir again. So I apologize if my arguments are not as well organized as usual. This is sort of a visceral response. Nevertheless, here we go.
I realize that impeachment is not an Article III Court hearing but rather a political proceeding. But I have a legal background and thoughts of due process, the assumption that everyone comes into our courts with a presumption of innocence and the Rule of Law, of which I am so fond, are all elements of our system of justice and our culture. Despite the fact that many countries have adopted elements of our freedoms into their societies, our Declaration of Independence of 1776 and our US Constitution of 1789 were truly groundbreaking and remarkable at the time they were adopted. Our Constitution is the oldest written Constitution in existence on the planet.
The crux of the leaker's report is a simple, brief statement at the top of page three of the transcript released by President Trump where the President states, "I would like you to do us a favor..." This simple statement is the subject of the current controversy. Much of what follows from this simple statement is the debate over the President's state of mind or his intent at the time he uttered this statement in the phone call. This is what the media and the Democrat leadership call a "Quid Pro Quo" that is a request for something of value in return for something of value. Further, they assume that the President was referring to the 2020 election since part of the Ukraine story may include descriptions of corrupt activity of the former Vice-President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. Joe Biden is now a candidate for the office of the President of the United States, so, the media and the Democrat leadership would argue that the President was offering military aid which was being held up and the price of the aid was the cooperation of the Ukraine cooperation in the investigation of Mr. Biden's activities.
I would argue that the presumption of innocence which every sort of career criminal is afforded in our courts would require that the actions of the President should be viewed as being without the "mens rea" (guilty state of mind), in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, which must be proven in any case which requires specific intent. I also feel that the President was speaking of the corruption dealing with the 2016 election. The 2016 election should have been the crowning achievement of his life and yet the Democrats and the media have been trying to take it away from him for three years. Also, he mentions "crowdstrike" which refers to the 2016 election.
I don't feel the leaker's complaint is worth discussing here. He (or she) has not appeared to testify and his complaint document admits that he is offering only hearsay evidence as he did not actually hear the telephone call but has only been told by others who did hear the call of its contents. Further, he quotes news reports and has no direct evidence of anything. But you may read the complaint at the link at the top of this article. The President's declassified (but containing no redacted content) transcript of the call is also linked at the top of this article. The President stated that he specifically received permission from the President of Ukraine to release the contents of the call to the public.
My original article which started this process was written in late September. While I intended to present a rational, reasoned argument for the defense of the President, you are more likely to receive a frustrated rant about the indefensible, in my view, abuse of power and process the democrats have displayed in the partisan pursuit of their narrative. I apologize for that. I have watched with horror the freak show which has accompanied the news coverage (one problem) and the partisanship (the other problem) of the Democrats who continue their three year uninterrupted search for a crime to impeach this President. The efforts to impeach this President began before he even was elected. So these investigations have not been because of an alleged crime for which the President should be impeached based on evidence but they have been conducting a massive search for some sort of a crime on which their already formed intent to impeach could be based. The first drafts of articles of impeachment were filed in the House in the early months of his Presidency. The Dems and the media just don't like Donald Trump and they want to change the result of the 2016 election. And now that the Democrats control the House of Representatives, the due process guarantees, the presumption of innocence, the procedural safeguards of the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments of the Constitution simply do not apply. In the three previous attempts to impeach a historic President (Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton), the President has been afforded the procedural rights including the right for the President and/or his counsel to attend all hearings and depositions, to confront his accusers, to cross-examine witnesses, to subpoena witnesses on his behalf and to present evidence. In all previous cases, the House of Representatives has voted to hold an official inquiry - as it the House of Representatives not the Speaker or Chairman Shiff who may initiate such an inquiry according to the Constitution. Not only did Chairman Shiff give an unbelievable, prejudicial, and totally fabricated description of the President's phone call to the President of Ukraine on July 25, 2019, but he has held secret meetings to interview additional witnesses, provided no transcripts of their testimony and leaked out of context segments of witness testimony to the press. It appears that the leaker who filed the original complaint was in contact with members or staff of the Intelligence Committee in advance of filing the complaint. According to Republican members of the committee, no witness has provided any testimony that any member of the Ukraine government was aware of any hold or delay concerning their aid packages. Is this a "quid pro quo" with no "quo"? The Republican members are prohibited from reporting anything said in the hearings to outsiders on pain of an Ethics Complaint but apparently there is no prohibition on their saying what a witness does not say.
The President, apparently, surprised the committee and the Speaker by releasing the transcript of the telephone call shortly after Chairman Schiff's dishonest version of the call was read to the committee, the Congress, and the public. That released document, together with the President of Ukraine saying that there was no threat or pressure to do anything in the phone call should have ended this affair. The President has endured the democrat/media "witch hunt" for three years and has had to endure a constant barrage of untruths and discourtesy; all the while he has made tremendous progress on Making America Great Again and keeping his word to the American People on campaign promises made and promises kept.
John Durham/Bill Barr/ and the Horowitz reports are forthcoming, by the way. Film at 11. Now perhaps we will see some semblance of justice in these investigations.