The Trump-Zelensky Conversation

“For present purposes, it suffices to note that the text of the memo offers not a whiff of support for the president’s claims about what he did. That text unambiguously reflects conduct intolerable in a president in a number of different respects. And it does so in five brief, easy-to-understand pages, in which Trump clearly seeks to recruit a foreign head of state to violate the civil liberties of American citizens and uncover dirt on a potential political opponent in the 2020 presidential election. For everyone who breathed a sigh of relief that the Mueller report did not establish presidential ‘collusion’ with Russia in 2016, the White House itself has announced with this release that the president himself has already engaged in such collusion with Ukraine for the next election cycle—and what’s more, he is putting the powers of the American presidency to that purpose.”

—Scott R. Anderson, et al. “Self-Impeaching: On the Trump-Zelensky Conversation.” Lawfare. September 25, 2019.

This Lawfare blog post does a pretty good job of covering the implications of the Trump-Zelensky transcript. It’s important to realize that the call itself was just part of what happened. For example, there’s the cover-up. The transcript of the call was transferred to a system for classified information to reduce the number of people that could see it. It also implies further involvement by Rudy Giuliani and Bob Barr that is probably criminal as well. Interesting times.

3 thoughts on “The Trump-Zelensky Conversation

  1. “Logic of Despair” that is rather depressing isn’t it? You are right though, and it is not just in politics it is everywhere.

    Kind of like we are morphing into a David Lynch film where everything is that little bit off just below the surface. The new normal indeed.

    My latest attempt to at least help keep myself ‘semi-normal’:) is 20 minute meditation in the morning and at night and something called the Welcoming Prayer which is more like a mantra really. Been reading Richard Rohr and Cynthia Bourgeault . She of the quote “sometimes you just have to wave to yourself as you go over the waterfall” (when you know you are about to do something probably not so wise and even after getting good advice not to, go ahead anyway)

  2. So……I was up at 6:00 a.m. to watch the whole hearing. My friend and I have watched and discussed the Trump presidency even before it was one. First not believing it could happen and now of course not believing it did.
    We are big fans of Rachel Maddow ( I know, I know, she can be annoying and perhaps too single minded sometimes) but she is an excellent storyteller and gives great history before most stories.
    I had Fox for a while so I could actually see what they were saying, especially back in the good old days when John Stewart was on……so I do try to listen to what both sides are saying mainly to understand where everyone is coming from. You know you are watching too much American politics when you can actually name the main players and explain the current state of play at a dinner party.

    I am almost afraid to believe that this is the beginning of the end. I have said so many times “So this is it, this will be the end of him” I wish him no ill, he can go back and do his”art of the deal” with whomever he wants in the dog eat dog world of real estate. I just want him off the world stage although even if they drag him kicking and screaming off the ‘stage’ I am afraid he will never be completely gone.

    this is the bravest I have been stating my opinion on the internet since my backlash with the trophy hunters……. anyway will be interesting to see if anyone who has been named can wiggle out of this one.

    1. I subscribe to the RSS feed of So, I keep up on U.S. politics. But, I find most of the discussion bad, on the level of people talking about sporting events.

      Conservatives are engaged in squaring the circle of “small government” combined with a global war-fighting capability. Liberals have forsaken the working class in favor of notions of a meritocracy, where the path to the promised land is through university education. And, slowly it is dawning on millennials with college educations (and the people without them) that the promise is a lie, and everyone else is looking on a partisan divide that leaves them dangling over the abyss, which explains Donald Trump.

      Sometimes, when there are no good options, it doesn’t matter whether you pick one that is worse that at least puts more people in the boat with you. There’s a logic of despair at play.

      Which is a long way to say, there are structural forces at play here that are just beginning. Donald Trump is just a symptom. I think he’s about done – at least with being President, but the underlying forces have just begun. He may also linger on. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if he started his own media company and tries to capture a sub-segment of the Fox News audience and where he can be on every day talking about his brain damaged ideas. Then, one of his children will run.

      Welcome to the new normal.

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