To the Editor: Finally, the tables have turned; the man who led chants of “lock her up” now finds himself knee-deep in legal troubles.
Seemly having escaped serious political or legal jeopardy from the 10 counts of obstruction of justice related to foreign election interference in 2016, as outlined in the Mueller Report, President Trump apparently thought it a good idea to roll the dice again and pressure an ally, Ukraine, into helping his next campaign.
Not surprisingly, GOP lawmakers have gone on defense. Some have said Mr. Trump’s actions were improper while others have stated that the evidence, so far, proves nothing. No GOP elected official has supported impeachment yet.
But that may soon change. Fox News (of all sources) has released a poll showing that 51% of Americans support impeachment and removal of the President. Yet, the news gets worse, much worse. That poll was taken before two associates of the President’s private lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, were arrested for election fraud. According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the two men, ex-Soviets Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, were accused of setting up a dummy company for the purpose of funneling an unnamed Russian donor’s money to former Texas Congressman Pete Sessions and the pro-Trump super PAC America First Action. The WSJ also reported that these men were the main principals who “helped Rudy Giuliani’s efforts to investigate Democrat Joe Biden.”
At the behest of Messrs. Parnas and Fruman, Congressman Sessions wrote to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in May 2018 requesting the removal of then-Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, and to lift U.S. sanctions on Russia. A year later, Mr. Trump ultimately ousted Ms. Yovanovitch at Mr. Guiliani’s urging because (as per the WSJ) “she was undermining him abroad and hindering efforts to investigate Mr. Biden.”
It doesn’t end there; Federal prosecutors arrested the two ex-Soviets as they were waiting to board a plane at Dulles Airport, with them holding very-recently-purchased one-way tickets out of the country. One of the men was scheduled to testify at the Congressional impeachment hearings the day after his arrest, and they both had lunch with Mr. Giuliani at the Trump International Hotel only a few hours prior to their arrest.
It is also notable that Mr. Trump and his son Don Jr. have met and dined with these men. I predict this is only the beginning. We have yet to see the full, word-for-word transcript of the July 25th Trump/Zelensky phone conversation, which is likely far more damning than the partial White House memo that was released in September, and more shoes may soon fall. Stay tuned.
Retired 28-year DOT Employee
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