House Announces Two Articles of Impeachment against Trump

After 77 days of formal investigation, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, along with the chairs of the investigative committees, announced Democrats’ intent to impeach Donald Trump on two charges: abuse of power related to his attempt to extort the government of Ukraine into announcing an investigation into the son of Trump’s political rival, former V.P. Joe Biden, and obstruction of Congress related to his refusal to provide witnesses and documents for the investigation.

[…]

Trump’s Sordid History of Accepting, Requesting, and Encouraging Foreign Interference in US Elections

Susan Walsh/AP

Here’s a good one from David Corn at Mother Jones

One of the key lines in the House Democrats’ impeachment report distills the Trump-Ukraine scandal to a simple idea: “[T]he impeachment inquiry has found that President Trump, personally and acting through agents within and outside of the U.S. government, solicited the interference of a foreign government, Ukraine, to benefit his reelection.”

And in the report’s preface, the Democrats place Trump’s Ukrainian caper within the larger context of foreign intervention in US elections, namely Russia’s covert attack on the 2016 contest, which was mounted in part to help Trump win the White House: “we were struck by the fact that the President’s misconduct was not an isolated occurrence, nor was it the product of a naïve president. Instead, the efforts to involve Ukraine in our 2020 presidential election were undertaken by a President who himself was elected in 2016 with the benefit of an unprecedented and sweeping campaign of election interference undertaken by Russia in his favor, and which the President welcomed and utilized.”

The point was clear. Trump muscling Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky to produce political dirt that could influence the 2020 election for Trump’s personal advantage was a continuation of Trump’s behavior in 2016. This contextualization brings back into the spotlight Vladimir Putin’s clandestine assault on American democracy—and how Trump encouraged and exploited that attack. So now, as Trump is under scrutiny for pressing Ukraine to influence the 2020 race, it’s a good time to review all the ways that Trump aided and abetted a foreign adversary’s scheme to subvert a US election the last time the nation was choosing a president.

Read the whole sordid history here.

What to Read: Angry White House Staffer on Twitter, Friday Afternoons

Every Friday late in the afternoon, East Coast time, an anonymous Twitterer with the handle @AngrierWHStaff but known simply as “Angry Staffer” answers questions from readers about goings-on behind the scenes at the Trump White House. Because the writer is anonymous, it’s impossible to verify what Angry says — and yet it all has the ring of plausibility.

One of Angry’s central thesis is that Trump will resign before the next election, either later this month or by March. We can only hope!

Check out Angry’s website HERE.

[…]

Timeline: Hunter Biden, Burisma and the Trump Ukrainian Scandal

Hunter Biden

Key Points: Hunter Biden was appointed to the board of directors of Burisma, a Ukainian energy company, in April 2014. His five-year term ended in April this year.

Burisma was founded in 2002 by Ukrainian oligarch Mykola Zlochevsky. In 2010, Zlochevsky was appointed minister of ecology and finance under newly elected pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovich.

There appears to be an inherent conflict of interest in the appointment of an energy baron to head the Ecology and Finance Ministry, and Zlochevsky and Burisma have been investigated many times over the years for tax violations, money-laundering and self-dealing via the ministry.

In 2016, Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko stated that there was never a hint that either Hunter Biden or Joe Biden did anything wrong in relation to Burisma. He repeated this in a May 16, 2019, interview with Bloomberg News. “Hunter Biden did not violate any Ukrainian laws — at least as of now, we do not see any wrongdoing,” Lutsenko said, “A company can pay however much it wants to its board.”

[…]

Putin Said to Be Source of Trump’s Bogus Ukrainian Conspiracy Theory

Putin, left, with Hungarian Strongman Viktor Orban

Every conspiracy theory has a source. More often than not, however, the source is impossible to track down. Not so with Trump’s pet theory that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that interfered in the 2016 election.

The source of that thoroughly disproved assertion was Trump’s handler, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin. Putin first mentioned it in public during a news conference with right-wing Hungarian leader Viktor Orban, in 2017:

[…]