To the Editor: After President Trump urged his attorneys to move their main defense from Saturday 1/25 to Monday 1/27, what unfolded could only be described as a play held at the Theater of the Absurd.
The day began with breaking news that former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s long-awaited memoir contained evidence that the President did exactly what he is accused of—withholding a State Visit at the White House and congressionally-approved military aid in exchange for an announcement by Ukrainian President Zelensky of false and politically motivated investigations. The news also confirmed that President Trump and his legal defense team had been sitting on an advance copy of the manuscript for weeks.
So what would his defense team do? First, Michael Purpura argued that there was no link between the hold on aid and investigations and that no one ever heard the President make this link, as though he didn’t realize that everyone in the chamber knew better. From there the day only got stranger.
Next former Special Prosecutor in the Clinton impeachment, Ken Starr laid out the argument that removing a duly-elected president was wrong and deeply divisive, in essence imploring Senators to “do as I say and not as I did” two decades ago. Then came Jane Raskin, who desperately tried to paint Rudy Giuliani as a “minor player” and a “shiny object” meant to distract the Senator’s attention. The same Rudy whom the President told his staff to speak with regarding Ukraine and the same Rudy he asked President Zelensky to speak with during the infamous 7/25/19 phone call, the transcript of which Mr. Trump implores us to read.
However, the most absurd argument by a White House lawyer came from Pam Bondi. She went directly to accusing former V.P. Biden of corruptly bribing Ukrainian officials, with money that wasn’t his, in exchange for dropping an investigation of Hunter Biden. In 2011, Bondi took office as the Florida Attorney General. At the time, there were two dozen open complaints of fraudulent activity at Trump University. This only came to light on Aug. 29, 2013 when a reporter from the Orlando Sentinel asked Ms. Bondi’s office if they would be joining the NY AG in suing Mr. Trump. On Sept. 17, 2013, four days after The Sentinel published its story on Trump University and complaints in Florida, Donald Trump gave a $25,000 “contribution” to Ms. Bondi’s 2014 re-election campaign. In mid-October, Ms. Bondi announced that her office would not be investigating the complaints against Trump University.
Making the situation even more ironic is that the $25,000 was illegally taken from the Trump Foundation. On Nov. 22, 2016 Mr. Trump pled guilty and admitted to numerous cases of self-dealing from his “charity,” including the $25,000 given to Ms. Bondi.
Finally, Mr. Trump’s long-time lawyer Jay Sekulow addressed the Bolton issue—he referred to the damning book as “an unsourced allegation” that was “inadmissible.” You just can’t make this stuff up.
Retired 28-year DOT employee
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