As the House’s impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump continues, Republicans are continuing to dig into their positions that the president did absolutely nothing wrong, even as the evidence piles up. This week, they’ve come out with their own report covering the stage including the first public hearings of that impeachment inquiry, and they insist — among other things — that the Russian propaganda that Ukraine perpetrated some 2016 election meddling campaign should be believed. They’re actively siding en masse with this propaganda over the testimony of figures like experienced foreign policy official Fiona Hill, who insisted to Congress just the other day that claims about dangerous Ukrainian meddling are “a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves.”
Ignoring this, Republicans write:
‘Publicly available — and irrefutable — evidence shows how senior Ukrainian government officials sought to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election in opposition to President Trump’s candidacy, and that some in the Ukrainian embassy in Washington worked with a Democrat operative to achieve that goal. While Democrats reflexively dismiss these truths as conspiracy theories, the facts are indisputable and bear heavily on the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.’
Wrong. There was no campaign against Trump anywhere near the scale of the Russian government operation against Hillary Clinton, no matter what individual Ukrainians made their opposition known.
Besides, there’s plenty of evidence that individual Ukrainian officials’ concerns were entirely legitimate. Currently, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort is serving out a lengthy prison sentence over well-documented money laundering and other crimes connected to work for Ukraine. He’s not in prison over some conspiracy theory!
Just this past weekend on Meet the Press, prominent Trump ally Senator John Kennedy (R-La.) claimed that the Ukrainian president at the time of the 2016 elections “actively worked” for Hillary Clinton. There is just no evidence for that, no matter how many tiny details that the GOP would like to make into evidence of some kind of massive conspiracy that serves as an oh so convenient excuse for sticking by the president through impeachment.
As Alexandra Chalupa — who’s actually the Democratic activist whose concerns about Manafort have become a full-blown conspiracy in Republicans’ eyes — put it:
‘Why is anyone shocked at this point that Team Putin-Trump peddles Kremlin propaganda & policies? All roads really do lead to Putin, who is trying to build a global mafia empire & destroy the U.S. and our allies. This is the most corrupt administration in U.S. history.’
Besides peddling the Ukrainian meddling nonsense, Republicans also insisted in their impeachment inquiry report that — among more other things — Trump was entirely in the right for ever seeking a Ukrainian investigation into the Bidens in the first place. He tried to exchange that investigation for military aid. They insisted there’s “nothing wrong with asking serious questions” — but the problem is, there’s absolutely no evidence of any kind of wrongdoing by the Bidens. The Trump team claims there is something nefarious in then-Vice President Joe Biden pressuring Ukraine to fire a corrupt top prosecutor who happened to have looked into a company his son had worked for — but there’s just nothing there. Trump was pursuing a political errand, not valiantly combating corruption or whatever.