Too Rich! Dems are the ones actually engaged in Quid Quo Pro with Ukraine!

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  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 1,736

    @reformed posted:

    And YET AGAIN you mischaracterize facts.

    You say the senators' letter - available in full HERE (apparently because it was NOT hidden on a code word classified server!) - is "the exact thing" of which the president is accused. Let's examine the claims of the Townhall.com article to which you link and the specifics of the two situations to learn more:

    • The article describes the letter as "threatening," one that "demand[ed]" Ukraine help in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into potential Russian collusion," and that expressed "(specific interest) in former campaign manager Paul Manafort's role." The letter indeed referred to an allegedly "frozen" Ukrainian investigation into Manafort's work with the country's corrupt and ousted president Viktor Yanukovich, but issued no threats. At their most pointed, the senators "strongly encourage(d)" Kiev to "reverse course and halt any efforts to impede" the Mueller investigation. The senators also declared their disappointment with the reported decisions of the Ukrainian government to pause what they believed were important investigations, and the signal said pauses sent to the international community about Ukraine's commitment "to support justice and the rule of law."
    • The article refers to Sen Rand Paul and his weekend appearance on Meet the Press: "According to Sen. Rand Paul, those three threatened to pair back military aid for Ukraine if the country didn't honor their request," and "According to Sen. Paul, the senators informed Ukraine, 'If you don’t keep investigating Trump, we may reconsider our bipartisan support for your aid.'" The senators' letter made no such threats.
    • At its close, the Townhall.com article quotes Sen. Paul as saying someone needs to "objectively evaluate" the senators' letter. I recommend such objectivity to Sen. Paul himself.


    As to your claim, reformed, that the senators' letters is "the exact thing" of which the president is accused:

    • Having the previous week put a hold on an aid package to Ukraine, President Trump asked his Ukrainian counterpart for "a favor though" when that counterpart spoke of his government's interest in purchasing additional anti-tank weapons. At the time of the senators' letter, there was no hold on aid and the senators had no power to institute such a hold. In fact, their letter's only reference to U.S. aid to Ukraine is to a NY Times report of Ukraine's concern that continuing the paused investigations might "(jeopardize) U.S. financial and military aid to Ukraine." That is, any perceived pressure on Ukraine was not coming from the senator's letter, but from the Trump administration's power to withhold aid! In addition, the senators did not ask for a "favor though;" instead they asked Ukraine to cooperate with a duly authorized and ongoing investigation of the United States' Department of Justice, and to renew its commitment to "support justice and the rule of law."
    • President Trump's "favor though" had to do with a debunked conspiracy theory about his 2016 election opponent's campaign, and the son of one of the leading Democratic candidates to run against him in 2020. The senators' letter made no mention of any of their previous or forthcoming election opponents or opponents' family members.
    • The president asked the Ukrainian president to address those two election-related matters in a meeting with his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, someone who was not NOT an employee of the United States government, as well as the Attorney General. In their letter, the senators made no request that Ukrainian officials meet with their personal, non-governmental representatives.

    So, no threat, no authority to issue a threat, no aid hold going on at the same time, no request for a "favor though," no invitation to meet with personal representatives, and no mention of past or forthcoming domestic election opponents. That's not "the exact thing" of which the president is accused. As you would say, try again.

  • reformedreformed Posts: 2,527

    Oh you don't read between the lines on their letter? That's rich too. OH THE DOUBLE STANDARDS

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 1,736


    @reformed posted:

    Oh you don't read between the lines on their letter? That's rich too. OH THE DOUBLE STANDARDS

    Nice evasion of basically every assertion of fact in my previous post, including my contention of the townhall.com article's and Sen. Paul's mis-characterization of the senators' letter, and the many specifics differences between their letter and President Trump's phone call. One thing I can count on from you, reformed: In your reply posts, you won't mention, let alone engage, a fact or question that damages your arguments. You might do so once I raise it a fifth or sixth time, but in your initial response? Not a chance. It's hard to underestimate your forensic bravery.


    "Between the lines" of the senators' letter? Cite for me specific words and phrases from their letter that in your view justify your assessment of their intentions.

    From Trump's phone call trancript/summary I cite...

    • The president's addition of the word "though" to his request "I would like you to do us a favor," coming immediately after the Ukrainian leader's mention of a purchase of anti-tank weapons. The clear function of "though" in that rhetorical context is to tie the "favor" to the just-mentioned arms purchase.
    • The president's failure to mention "corruption" during the call
    • His citing only two cases, BOTH having to do with his domestic political rivals
    • His request that Zelenskyy meet with Trump's personal, non-governmental, attorney
    • And the fact that White House staffers quickly to secrete record of the call on a code word classified server

    ...as support for my claim. Please cite equally specific words and phrases from the senators' letter, and/or actions of the senators' and/or their aides' that support your claim.

  • reformedreformed Posts: 2,527

    You read between the lines on the President's call. In the letter they talk about they have been supportive of aid BUT are disheartened. It implies they will push to have aid withheld.


    What does failure to mention corruption have anything to do with anything?


    What does a non-governmental attorney matter? I don't see the issue.


    Again, the server is a red herring.

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 1,736
    edited October 15

    @reformed posted:

    You read between the lines on the President's call. 

    As demonstrated in the specific citations I offered in my previous post, there's not much distance to read between the lines of the president's call! It's all pretty much out in the open and obvious.

    You, on the other hand cite this:


    In the letter they talk about they have been supportive of aid BUT are disheartened. It implies they will push to have aid withheld.

    ... which contains yet ANOTHER mischaracterization of facts (the tell that your statement likely was false or misleading was that you didn't quote from the letter).

    In their letter, the senators express support for a "capacity-building process," which has to do with what earlier in the paragraph they call Ukraine's recent years' "significant progress in building these (democratic) institutions." That's not a reference to financial or military aid; that's a reference to support for efforts in pursuit of democratic reforms.

    In addition - and this is something I should have added to the list in my previous post - remember that prior to his ask for a "favor though" from Zelenskyy, Trump reminded the Ukrainian of how much the United States had done for his nation:

    "I will say that we do a lot for Ukraine. We spend a lot of effort and a lot of time. Much more than the European countries are doing and they should be helping you more than they are. Germany does almost nothing for you. All they do is talk and I think it's something that you should really ask them about. When I was speaking to Angela Merkel she talks Ukraine, but she ·doesn't do anything. A lot of the European countries are the same way so I think it's something you want to look at but the United States has been very very good to Ukraine. I wouldn't say that it's reciprocal necessarily because things are happening that are not good but the United States has been very very good to Ukraine."

    THEN Zelenskyy referred to anti-tank weapons. THEN Trump said, "I would like you to do us a favor though." So for that moment, the course of the conversation was...

    • TRUMP: We do a lot for you - much more than others do - and the relationship is not necessarily reciprocal.
    • ZELENSKYY: We're looking forward to buying more anti-tank weapons.
    • TRUMP: I'd like you to do us a favor though.

    There is NOTHING in the senators' letter that even whispers of that kind transaction. NOTHING.


    And as for the senators' disheartenment? In their letter, they make clear that they are "disappointed" by Ukraine's reported abandonment of the principles of "the rule of law and accountable democratic principles," and the "worrying signal" their actions send about the Ukrainian government's "commitment more broadly to support justice and the rule of law." Where is there ANYTHING close to such a principled stand in Trump's engagement with Zelenskyy? There isn't anything, of course, because Trump wasn't pursuing democratic reforms or improved corruption fighting. He was asking for a "favor though" that had to do with his domestic political rivals.

    The senators had every right to "strongly encourage" the Ukrainians both to cooperate with a duly authorized DOJ investigation and to pursue democratic institutions and the rule of law. Do you argue that the American president had every right to ask a foreign leader to investigate matters connected to two of his domestic political rivals? Do you see NO appearance of conflict of interest there?


    What does failure to mention corruption have anything to do with anything?

    "The president was simply asking Ukraine to root out corruption!" remains a trumpster talking point (I heard it from a GOP member of Congress today). But how could he have been pursuing corruption in Ukraine writ large and NOT have mentioned the word? And how was it that the ONLY two examples of "corruption" he raised BOTH had connections to his domestic political rivals?


    What does a non-governmental attorney matter? I don't see the issue.

    Since when do personal, non-governmental attorneys represent the government of the United States in its business with other governments? Trump's involvement of Giuliani was an obvious attempt to keep some of the matters off the record, and that's NOT okay.



    Again, the server is a red herring.

    And again, you're wrong about that. A decision made in haste by White House officials to secrete an obviously NON-code word classified conversation in a code word classified server is a flashing red light, not a red herring.



    The bottom line here is that you are batting 0 for 2 in this thread. The Townhall.com article to which you linked mangled facts, and your efforts to draw lines of equivalence between the senators' letter and the president's phone call have failed badly.

    • The senators did NOT ask Ukraine to investigate their domestic political rivals; Donald Trump did.
    • The senators requested Ukraine's cooperation with a duly authorized DOJ investigation; Donald Trump asked the country to investigate a debunked conspiracy theory and a matter that had long since been abandoned by Ukrainian prosecutors.
    • The senators communicated directly with Ukranian officials, in their capacities as elected officials of the United States; Donald Trump asked the Ukrainian president to deal with his personal, non-governmental attorney.

    I'd encourage you to try again, but there's nothing else there for you to try. So, instead I'll say better luck next time.

  • reformedreformed Posts: 2,527

    Never did the president say that the sale of weapons is dependent on the favor. That is the part that is completely made up.

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 1,736

    @reformed posted:

    Never did the president say that the sale of weapons is dependent on the favor. That is the part that is completely made up.

    I don't think he had to say it. In fact, it would have been (more) unwise (than usual) for him to have said it. But what he DID say, in the context in which he said it, clearly constituted a dejure quid pro quo.

    Unsurprisingly, you have yet to deal with the actual course of events in this matter - what Trump said and the circumstances under which he said it. I'll try one more time to get you on the record ABOUT THESE SPECIFIC FACTS:

    • The week before the president's phone call with Zelenskyy, he ordered a hold on hundreds of millions of dollars of aid to Ukraine. Neither the State Department nor the Defense Department was consulted on or knew about the president's action. (And THAT fact doesn't give you pause either?)
    • During the phone call, after telling Zelenskyy that the U.S. had done a lot for his country, and without much reciprocity, Trump responded to Zelenskyy's mention of a forthcoming anti-tank weapon purchase with the words "I would like you to do us a favor though."

    Given THAT fact pattern, please answer this question DIRECTLY AND WITHOUT EVASION: (If you made anything resembling a habit of answering questions directly and without evasion, I wouldn't have to ask you to do so. But you don't, so I have to.) OTHER than to link the anti-tank weapon purchase with the "favor" for which he was about to ask, what purpose did the word "though" serve in Mr Trump's response? In other words, what was the meaning of the word "though" IN THAT SPECIFIC CONTEXT?

  • reformedreformed Posts: 2,527

    It is only clear if you are biased toward believing that. I don't read that in the conversion. Would not have even crossed my mind reading that conversation. Still doesn't cross my mind reading that conversation.


    No, the hold on the aid doesn't give me pause, especially since Ukraine did not even know about it. It's all again reading things that are not actually there. We routinely withold aid from countries all the time. Honestly I don't think we should be giving any countries aid because we can't even pay for our own things.


    Do you have any actual evidence that the President was witholding aid from Ukraine for this conversation? No you don't. I know you think you do but all you have is a timeline and reading into soething that happened, but not actual evidence.

  • C_M_C_M_ Posts: 3,173

    More nonsense!

    In the days when wood and coal were used to cook, it would leave black residue on the bottom, equally, of the cookware. The saying the pot can't call the kettle black. This OP is just that, "the pot calling the kettle black" when they both are the same hue. Don't lose any sleep over it. CM

  • reformedreformed Posts: 2,527

    You for one. Not to mention you have proven time and time again that I don't think you know what you believe on many topics. You are wishy washy but with politics you are liberal through and through.

  • C_M_C_M_ Posts: 3,173

    Reformed,

    There, you go again, name calling. This is why evil is spoken of about several of your posts, even, when you seek to do good. I am disappointed to read what you said of me. Do you have proof of such conclusions? I am "wishy washy" because I ask biblical questions? Have you evaluated all the other posters in these forums? By what standards or on whose authority you do such? Frankly, I don't think anyone would agree with you when it come to my posts on matters of the Bible.

    You appear to be too closely bound to a political party. Sometimes you get too emotional about the news of the day. Step back from both parties and you will be able to "call a spade, a spade". CM

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 1,736
    edited October 15

    @reformed posted:

    It is only clear if you are biased toward believing that. I don't read that in the conversion. Would not have even crossed my mind reading that conversation. Still doesn't cross my mind reading that conversation.

    As is all too usual in our exchanges, you didn't answer the question I asked, so I will ask it again: Other than to link the anti-tank weapon purchase with the "favor" for which he was about to ask, what purpose did the word "though" serve in Mr Trump's response? In other words, what was the meaning of the word "though" IN THAT SPECIFIC CONTEXT?



    No, the hold on the aid doesn't give me pause, especially since Ukraine did not even know about it. It's all again reading things that are not actually there. We routinely withold aid from countries all the time. Honestly I don't think we should be giving any countries aid because we can't even pay for our own things.

    I don't know that your claim is true. Please provide evidence that "we routinely withold [sic] aid from countries all the time." Specifically, provide evidence that we "routinely withold [sic] aid from countries all the time" without consulting either the Defense or State Departments.



    Do you have any actual evidence that the President was witholding aid from Ukraine for this conversation? No you don't. I know you think you do but all you have is a timeline and reading into soething that happened, but not actual evidence.

    Have you read the text message exchanges between Kurt D. Volker (former special U.S. envoy to Ukraine), William B. Taylor Jr. (former top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine), and Gordon D. Sondland (U.S. ambassador to the European Union) that were released earlier this month? You can find them HERE. Here's a collection of texts that, taken together, for me make a compelling case:

    • [7/19/19, 7:01:22 PM] Kurt Volker: Good. Had breakfast with Rudy this morning-teeing up call w Yermak Monday. Must have helped. Most impt is for Zelensky to say that he will help investigation—and address any specific personnel issues—if there are any [SIX DAYS BEFORE THE TRUMP-ZELENSKYY CALL, U.S. DIPLOMATS KNOW, LIKELY WITH GIULIANI'S INPUT, THAT THE INTENTION IS TO GET THE UKRANIAN PRESIDENT TO AGREE TO INVESTIGATE THE CROWDSTRIKE CONSPIRACY THEORY AND JOE BIDEN'S SON.]


    • [7/21/19, 1:45:54 AM] Bill Taylor: Gordon, one thing Kurt and I talked about yesterday was Sasha Danyliuk’s point that President Zelenskyy is sensitive about Ukraine being taken seriously, not merely as an instrument in Washington domestic, reelection politics. [FOUR DAYS BEFORE THE CALL, AMERICAN DIPLOMATS ARE AWARE THAT ZELENSKYY HAS EXPRESSED CONCERN ABOUT THE DOMESTIC POLITICAL POTENTIAL OF HIS DEALINGS WITH THE U.S.]
    • [7/21/19, 4:45:44 AM] Gordon Sondland: Absolutely, but we need to get the conversation started and the relationship built, irrespective of the pretext. I am worried about the alternative. [SONDLAND AS MUCH ACKNOWLEDGES THE POLITICAL "PRETEXT" OF THE FORTHCOMING REQUEST FOR UKRANIAN INVESTIGATIONS, BUT IS MORE WORRIED ABOUT WHAT WILL HAPPEN - I.E. THE PRESIDENT'S REACTION - IF THEY DON'T GET UKRAINE TO GO ALONG.]


    • [7/22/19, 4:27:55 PM] Kurt Volker: Orchestrated a great phone call w Rudy and Yermak. They are going to get together when Rudy goes to Madrid in a couple of weeks.
    • [7/22/19, 4:28:08 PM] Kurt Volker: In the meantime Rudy is now advocating for phone call. [THREE DAYS BEFORE THE CALL, THE DIPLOMATS KNOW THAT TRUMP-ZELENSKYY CALL IS POSSIBLE, PERHAPS EVEN LIKELY.]


    • [7/25/19, 8:36:45 AM] Kurt Volker: Good lunch - thanks. Heard from White House—assuming President Z convinces trump he will investigate / “get to the bottom of what happened” in 2016, we will nail down date for visit to Washington. Good luck! See you tomorrow- kurt [ON THE DAY OF THE CALL, BUT BEFORE IT ACTUALLY OCCURS, VOLKER DRAWS A DIRECT LINK BETWEEN ZELENSKYY'S REACTION TO THE REQUEST FOR AN INVESTIGATION OF THE BIDENS ET AL AND THE POSSIBILITY OF ZELENSKYY'S RECEIVING AN INVITATION TO THE WHITE HOUSE - a.k.a. a "quid pro quo".]


    • [8/9/19, 11:27 AM] Kurt Volker (to Rudy Giuliani): Hi Mr Mayor! Had a good chat with Yermak last night. He was pleased with your phone call. Mentioned Z making a statement. Can we all get on the phone to make sure I advise Z correctly as to what he should be saying? Want to make sure we get this done right. Thanks! [TWO WEEKS AFTER THE CALL, AMERICAN DIPLOMATS WANT TO ADVISE ZELENSKYY AS TO WHAT HE SHOULD SAY IN HIS PUBLIC STATEMENT.]


    • [8/10/ 19, 5:42:10 PM] Andrey Yermak: (A Zelenskyy aide) Once we have a date, will call for a press briefing, announcing upcoming visit and outlining vision for the reboot of US- UKRAINE relationship, including among other things Burisma and election meddling in investigations [UKRAINIANS KNOW THERE IS A LINK BETWEEN UKRAINIAN INVESTIGATIONS INTO BIDEN ET AL AND A ZELENSKYY VISIT TO THE WHITE HOUSE.]


    • [8/29/19, 2:28:19 AM] Andrey Yermak: Need to talk with you
    • [8/29/19, 3:06:14 AM] Andrey Yermak: https://www.politico.com/story/2019/08/28/trump-ukraine-military-aid-russia- 1689531 [FROM STORY IN POLITICO, UKRANIANS LEARN THAT AID HAS BEEN HELD UP]
    • [8/30/19, 12:14:57 AM] Bill Taylor: Trip canceled [THE FOLLOWING DAY, TRUMP CANCELS TRIP TO POLAND AT WHICH HE WAS TO MEET ZELENSKKY]


    • [9/1/19, 12:08:57 PM] Bill Taylor: Are we now saying that security assistance and WH meeting are conditioned on investigations? [TAYLOR WONDERS WHETHER THERE IS A QUID PRO QUO]
    • [9/1/19, 12:42:29 PM] Gordon Sondland: Call me [SONDLAND COULD EASILY HAVE SAID "NO. OF COURSE NOT." BUT HE DIDN'T. HE SAID "CALL ME."]


    • [9/9/19, 12:47:11 AM] Bill Taylor: As I said on the phone, I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign. [I THINK THIS IS THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT TEXT. TAYLOR OBVIOUSLY DID CALL SONDLAND AND EXPRESSED HIS ALARM OVER WITHHOLDING THE AID FOR POLITICAL PURPOSES. WHATEVER SONDLAND SAID IN REPLY DURING THAT PHONE CALL DID NOT SATISFY TAYLOR'S CONCERN THAT THE AID HAD BEEN WITHHELD FOR POLITICAL PURPOSES.]
    • [9/9/19, 5:19:35 AM] Gordon Sondland: Bill, I believe you are incorrect about President Trump’s intentions. The President has been crystal clear no quid pro quo’s of any kind. The President is trying to evaluate whether Ukraine is truly going to adopt the transparency and reforms that President Zelensky promised during his campaign I suggest we stop the back and forth by text If you still have concerns I recommend you give Lisa Kenna or S a call to discuss them directly. Thanks. [MORE THAN FOUR HOURS AFTER TAYLOR'S TEXT - AFTER WHAT WE NOW KNOW WAS HIS PHONE CALL TO TRUMP, SONDLAND OFFERS A PRESS-RELEASE TYPE REPLY. SONDLAND WILL REPORTEDLY TESTIFY TO CONGRESS THIS WEEK THAT TRUMP TOLD HIM TO RESPOND THIS WAY, BUT THAT HE DOES NOT KNOW THAT WHAT THE PRESIDENT TOLD HIM TO SAY WAS ACTUALLY TRUE. IN ADDITION, SONDLAND ASKS TAYLOR NOT TO TEXT HIM FURTHER ABOUT THE QUID PRO QUO MATTER! WHY WOULD HE DO THAT IF THE ISSUE WAS STRAIGHT FORWARD AND WITHOUT COMPLICATIONS?]


    That's a long answer to your question. YES, I DO have evidence - powerful evidence - that Trump withheld the aid money for his phone call with Zelenskyy.

    Post edited by Bill_Coley on
  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 1,736
    edited October 15

    A BLANK TEXT POSTED BY ACCIDENT. SORRY!

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 1,736

    AND THEN THERE'S THIS FROM SEN CHRIS MURPHY OF CONNECTICUT, SUMMARIZING A BIT MORE OF FIONA HILL'S BOMBSHELL TESTIMONY BEFORE CONGRESS LAST NIGHT:



    Granted, that's a quid pro quo about a Zelenskyy visit to the White House and not about financial aid, BUT IT IS A QUID PRO QUO.


    Fiona Hill will turn out to be a critically important witness in the impeachment inquiry.

  • reformedreformed Posts: 2,527

    A collection of texts selectively released by Adam Schiff. NO thanks.

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 1,736

    @reformed posted:

    A collection of texts selectively released by Adam Schiff. NO thanks.

    Hear no evil. See no evil. Speak no evil. Read no evil.

    You ARE consistent, reformed. If a question does damage to your argument, you don't answer it - my goodness, you won't even acknowledge it. And now we learn that if there's evidence that does damage to your argument, you won't read it.

    I admire your consistency.

    To think I wasted my time dealing directly and point by point with the townhall.com article to which you linked and the false claim you posted with it. I could have said, "A collection of assertions selectively assembled by Townhall.com? NO thanks!" Why didn't I think of that?!

  • reformedreformed Posts: 2,527

    No, I just don't trust Schiff who has been known to twist things. It hasn't damaged my argument at all.


    Let's talk about the invite to Washington. That's not quid pro quo. If they have nothing further to discuss, why bring him to Washington? You seem to think that an invite to Washington is some sort of payment or service. It's not.


    On the text dated 8/9. You read a lot into this. Simply put. You assume, it means to make sure he doesn't say something to incriminate the POTUS on something yet that is nowhere to be found in the text.


    The witholding of aid LOOKED like something to one aid. Yet he was assured that it was not the case in what he suspected. So no, you do not have proof of anything. Just fantasy land.

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 1,736


    @reformed posted:

    No, I just don't trust Schiff who has been known to twist things. It hasn't damaged my argument at all.

    How could Schiff have "twisted" the content of those text messages? None of the authors of those texts has objected to the content as published by the House committees. On what basis do you?


    Let's talk about the invite to Washington. That's not quid pro quo. If they have nothing further to discuss, why bring him to Washington? You seem to think that an invite to Washington is some sort of payment or service. It's not.

    Have you read the text messages? Are you well enough informed about the Ukrainian situation to know how important a meeting at the White House was to the newly-elected Ukrainian president? OF COURSE that was a quid pro quo! "You agree to investigate Biden. You'll get your invitation to the White House." Why bring him to Washington? Because he wanted/needed to go to Washington! HERE'S a thoughtful analysis of why such a meeting mattered to Zelenskyy.



    On the text dated 8/9. You read a lot into this. Simply put. You assume, it means to make sure he doesn't say something to incriminate the POTUS on something yet that is nowhere to be found in the text.

    That's NOT the point of Volker's August 9 text at all. His concern about Zelenskky's statement had NOTHING to do with President Trump's conduct, and EVERYTHING to do with whether Zelenskyy would publicly and sufficiently declare his nation's intentions to open Crowdstrike and Biden investigations.

    This stuff has been all over the news since the text messages were released. I'm surprised that you, someone who claims to be well informed about these matters, seems not to be aware of these well-publicized details.



    The witholding of aid LOOKED like something to one aid. Yet he was assured that it was not the case in what he suspected. So no, you do not have proof of anything. Just fantasy land.

    Again, did you read the text messages? Did you notice that BEFORE Sondland issued the reassurance of which you write, his FIRST response to Taylor's inquiry was "Call me"? Did you notice that Taylor obviously then called Sondland, but their phone call did NOT change Taylor's view of a quid pro quo? And when Sondland received THAT text, it took him more than four hours to get back to Taylor, having spoken to Trump? And after issuing the assurance of no quid pro quo, Sonland asked that they stop texting about the quid pro quo?

    And have you seen the reporting that says Sondland will testify this week that Trump told him to respond that way to Taylor, but that he, Sondland, does not know whether it's actually true?

    That set of facts doesn't at all catch your attention?! I bet it would were Obama's people the principals. (I hope to high heaven it would catch MY attention were Obama's people the principals.)

  • reformedreformed Posts: 2,527

    Again, you and the rest of the liberal alice in wonderland gang are reading in things that aren't there because of your bias. That's fine but it doesn't make it true.


    I'm reading the same information you are. No red flags go up. In fact, if Obama was doing the same thing I would hope I wouldn't go into the frenzy you are in because there would be nothing wrong if he did it either. What you claim to be present in the texts and the transcript simply aren't there. Sorry.

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 1,736

    @reformed posted:

    Again, you and the rest of the liberal alice in wonderland gang are reading in things that aren't there because of your bias. That's fine but it doesn't make it true.

    I agree. That you and I interpret texts - SMS and biblical both - the way we do does not, in and itself, make our interpretations accurate. But such an observation of the obvious doesn't change the fact that Sondland DID respond with "Call me" when Taylor asked whether aid and a White House visit were tied to Ukraine's investigating Biden and Crowdstrike. And it doesn't change the fact that AFTER his call to Sondland, Taylor SEEMED TO CONCLUDE that aid and the visit were tied to those investigations. Alice and her Wonderland aren't needed to read the words of those texts.



    I'm reading the same information you are. No red flags go up. In fact, if Obama was doing the same thing I would hope I wouldn't go into the frenzy you are in because there would be nothing wrong if he did it either. What you claim to be present in the texts and the transcript simply aren't there. Sorry.

    Given that you completely misunderstood the meaning of Volker's August 9 text to Giuliani about Zelenskyy's forthcoming public statement, I question the value of your insights into the texts. But prove me wrong. Explain the Sondland/Taylor exchange I described above.

    • Taylor wonders whether there's a quid pro quo.
    • Sondland says "Call me."
    • After his phone call with Sondland, Taylor no longer asks about a quid pro quo, but rather seems to assume one exists when he declares that he thinks such an arrangement is "crazy."
    • Sondland takes four-plus hours to text back, talks to Trump in the interim, from the president gets a response to give to Taylor, responds with a word choice totally out of character with the rest of his texts to Taylor, then asks that they stop texting about the matter.

    Explain THAT sequence of events, starting AFTER the Sondland-Taylor phone call prompted by Sondland's "Call me." \What does Taylor's "As I said on the phone, I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign" text to Sondland sent AFTER their phone call on the matter, but BEFORE the four-plus hour intermission during which Sondland got a talking point from the president tell you about what Taylor must have heard from Sondland during their phone call? And if the question of a quid pro quo was so easily answered - "The president's been quite clear: NO quid pro quos!" - why did Sondland ask Taylor to stop texting about it?

  • reformedreformed Posts: 2,527

    So one person wonders about quid pro quo and it is a national crisis even though they were told that is not the case? And it obviously is not the case since aid was released?

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 1,736

    @reformed posted:

    So one person wonders about quid pro quo and it is a national crisis even though they were told that is not the case? And it obviously is not the case since aid was released?

    In this particular circumstance, it wasn't just any person who wondered whether there was a quid pro quo. It was the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine (Taylor), for sure, and quite possibly, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union (Sondland) whom Trump had appointed to his post because he donated $1 million to the Trump inauguration fund. So a seasoned diplomat and, quite possibly, a strong Trump ally wondered whether there was a quid pro quo, a wonder that clearly was NOT resolved when the two of them spoke by phone after Sondland asked Taylor to call him once Taylor raised the concern.

    It's not normal for career and politically appointed American diplomats to wonder whether the president of the United States is engineering a quid pro quo with a foreign nation over that president's political interests. That's a VERY rare occurrence, one the Congress has every right and responsibility to review.


    And who was it that told them "that is not the case"? The president who they believed might have been engineering the quid pro quo. If Mr Trump WAS using the aid money as leverage, how likely was it that he was going to say so to Sondland when Sonland called to ask how to respond to a seasoned diplomat's concerns? There was NO chance Trump was going to admit that over the phone.


    And it's not a quid pro quo since the money was released? What about BEFORE the money was released? If terrorists begin planning and preparing to bomb a federal building - say they buy supplies, organize a team, and decide on an itinerary - but then decide not to follow through on their plan, are they no longer guilty of planning to blow up a federal building? Of course not. The fact that Trump released the money does NOT prove he didn't intend to use the hold on the money as leverage with Zelenskky.

  • reformedreformed Posts: 2,527

    There is no evidence of him having that intent other than someone "wondering" if that was his intent. Again, there is no evidence here Bill. Just a lot of reading into things. Kinda like what you do with Scripture.

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 1,736

    @reformed posted:

    There is no evidence of him having that intent other than someone "wondering" if that was his intent. Again, there is no evidence here Bill.

    If there is "no evidence" of the president's intent to use the aid money as leverage against the Ukrainian president, why did a seasoned professional diplomat think there was? And why was the president's ally to whom that diplomat expressed his concerns not able to allay them in a subsequent phone call? And if there's "no evidence," why does that presidential ally reportedly intend to tell Congress that he doesn't know whether what the president told him to convey to the diplomat was true or not?


    Courts and juries conclude the existence of "intent" all the time with less than the amount of evidence we have in this case. A president puts a hold on aid money, inexplicably without telling the relevant executive departments (State and Defense). Then when a foreign leader speaks of purchasing much-needed anti-tank weapons, that president immediately says "I would like you to do us a favor though," not once in the conversation even mentioning the weapons of whose purchase the foreign leader spoke. The president then asks for the foreign leader's help with securing investigations into two matters of his personal political interest, and requests that those investigations be aided by, among others, his personal, non-governmental attorney. THAT'S evidence of intent.


    On the issue of the word "though," you have yet to answer the question I've asked you twice now (granted, I usually have to ask you a question three to five times to get an answer). So, I ask it again - for the third time, and again I ask for a direct, non-evasive answer:

    Other than to link the anti-tank weapon purchase with the "favor" for which he was about to ask, what purpose did the word "though" serve in Mr Trump's response when he said "I would like you to do us a favor though"? In other words, what was the role of the word "though" IN THAT SPECIFIC CONTEXT?

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 1,736

    Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney today ACKNOWLEDGED that aid to Ukraine WAS IN FACT held up as part of a quid pro quo. From the video that you can watch HERE...


    ABC REPORTER JONATHAN KARL: So the demand for an investigation into the Democrats was part of the reason that he ordered to withhold funding from Ukraine.

    MULVANEY: The look back to what happened in 2016, certainly, was part of the things that he was worried about in corruption with that nation, and that is absolutely appropriate.

    KARL: Withholding the funding.

    MULVANEY: Yeah. Which ultimately then flowed....

    KARL: But to be clear, what you just described is a quid pro quo, it is funding will not flow unless the investigation into the Democrats’ server happens as well.”

    MULVANEY: We do that all the time with foreign policy....


    Mulvaney went on to claim that the money was held up ONLY to extract a Ukrainian promise to investigate the DNC server conspiracy theory, and not because of the the Bidens - a claim that is not believable, in my view - but the fact remains that he DID acknowledge what we all - or at least most of us - already knew: There WAS a quid pro quo. [View the video to its conclusion and you will hear Mulvaney make the astonishing contention that this quid pro quo was a product of the president's political views. Mr Trump believes quid pro quos are appropriate to get people to compel foreign governments to investigate domestic political rivals, while others do not believe they are. Because "elections have consequences," Mulvaney argued, such quid pro quos are legitimately the current policy of the United States government. Wow.]


    As to the central question of whether there was a quid pro quo in the president's request for "a favor though" from the Ukrainian president, we now have the answer.

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 1,736

    @reformed posted:

    And of course, as I suspected, the media jumped the gun. He did not admit that it was held up for quid pro quo.


    I give you credit for trying to rationalize yesterday's confession away, but only for trying.

    Look at the flow and content of Mulvaney's responses yesterday, and explain FROM THEM how he possibly meant ANYTHING other than to confess to a quid pro quo.

    • ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl pointed out to Mulvaney the clear meaning of what he had just said: "But to be clear, what you just described is a quid pro quo, it is funding will not flow unless the investigation into the Democrats’ server happens as well.”
    • Now if in fact, as Mulvaney's backtrack later in the afternoon contended, "there was absolutely no quid pro quo between Ukrainian military aid and any investigation into the 2016 election," why didn't he respond to Karl's assertion with words to the effect of "A quid pro quo? Absolutely not. If I gave you that impression, perhaps I didn't make myself clear. There was absolutely no quid pro quo...."?
    • If there was "absolutely no quid pro quo," why was Mulvaney's direct response to Karl's observation of a quid pro quo, "We do that all the time with foreign policy"?
    • And why a few minutes later in his press briefing did he tell people to "get over" their objections to the existence of "political influence in foreign policy," that such influence "...is going to happen" because "[e]lections have consequences. And foreign policy is going to change from the Obama administration to the Trump administration"?

    Where in that flow of the press briefing do you find ANY reason to believe Mulvaney meant "there was absolutely no quid pro quo"?

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