Carrie Cordero, a former Justice Department and intelligence official who’s served in Republican and Democratic administrations asked the question in a PBS interview that we all need to ask.
Cordero said, “The problem has to do with whether or not he is in violation of the Constitution and of the constitutional principles of whether or not he is fulfilling the oath of office, whether or not he is abusing his constitutional authorities to conduct foreign affairs by using that access to foreign leaders to basically work in his own personal interest.”
Her question is: Is the president (sic), when he’s conducting foreign affairs, acting in the United States’ interests, or is he using that position to work in the benefit of his own personal political ambitions?
Many Trump supporters say our president should root out corruption in nations that are receiving financial aid from the United States. That’s a fair point and it’s one previous administrations have done. In fact, it’s what the Obama administration was doing when Joe Biden pressed Ukraine to get rid of a prosecutor, who was NOT investigating his son. But, why is Joe Biden, who has not been accused of doing anything illegal the focus of Trump’s pursuit of rooting out corruption in foreign nations?
Some Trump supporters argue that Joe Biden was not a candidate when Trump was asking other nations to investigate him, so that means he wasn’t a political opponent at the time. But as reported yesterday, Trump brought up Biden’s presidential prospects to China’s president Xi Jinping last June. Biden announced his presidential campaign last April. In case you’re a Republican, April comes before June. Even before Biden announced his campaign, Trump was tweeting attacks at Biden and mentioning his potential campaign. Donald Trump viewed Biden as a political opponent.
Hunter Biden is accused of leveraging his name and father’s position as vice-president to make money off foreign nations, specifically Ukraine and China. But, that’s not illegal. Even if it was illegal, it probably wouldn’t stop Trump and his children from doing the exact same thing.
Since January 2017, Eric and Don Jr. have sold more than $100 million of the family’s real estate, according to Forbes. That includes a $3.2 million deal in the Dominican Republic, despite their daddy’s pledge not to do any new foreign deals while in office. Yes, he promised that. That also hasn’t stopped the Trumps from making $41 million last year from their Washington hotel, which foreign money is pouring into on a daily basis. It hasn’t stopped them from engaging in a $1.7 billion Trump project in Indonesia which received a $500 billion infusion from a state-owned Chinese construction company. It hasn’t stopped Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, of getting a massive cash infusion from Qatar. That hasn’t stopped Ivanka from receiving trademarks for her brands in China. Yet, let’s investigate Hunter Biden.
When Eric and Don Jr. aren’t making money off the presidency in foreign countries, they like to spend their spare time attacking Hunter Biden for making money in foreign countries.
Back to the question, is Trump using the presidency to advance the nation’s interests when he talks to foreign leaders, or his own? According to new reports, Trump has asked Australia to help discredit the Mueller investigation. According to the Times of London, just two days after Boris Johnson became prime minister, Trump called him seeking help to discredit the Mueller investigation. That was just one day after his call to Ukraine where he asked that nation’s president to investigate Joe Biden. Last week, Attorney General William Barr flew to Italy to pressure that nation to help discredit the Mueller investigation. Yesterday, Trump publicly called for China to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden.
The impeachment inquiry began because of Trump asking a foreign nation to help his campaign. That’s exactly what Trump did publicly yesterday. Remember that “no collusion” line? It’s the same thing he did during the 2016 campaign when he asked Russia if they were listening, to help his campaign. Later that day, they proved they were listening and started hacking Democrats.
Trump withheld foreign aid from Ukraine that was approved by a majority in both houses of Congress until that nation’s president told Trump he’d help with investigating the Bidens. If all these dealings are for the nation’s interests and not his, then why is Trump sending his personal goon/attorney, Rudy Giuliani, to harass Ukraine instead of it being an initiative of the State Department? Why did he remove the ambassador of Ukraine, a staunch advocate of ridding corruption in Ukraine, after Giuliani complained about her?
Is Trump abusing his power by threatening the whistleblower and those who helped him? Is he abusing his power by insinuating they should receive the death penalty for exposing his corruption?
Russia helped Donald Trump win the presidency. Since then, he’s forgiven them for invading Ukraine and has argued they should be allowed to rejoin the G7. He’s taken Vladimir Putin’s word over his own intelligence agencies about Russia meddling in our elections. He’s pulled us out of a nuclear treaty with Russia. He’s destroyed notes of his meetings his Putin. On top of all that, he refuses to say one negative word about the Russian president. What will China receive for digging up dirt on the Bidens? Will it end the trade war?
Yesterday, it was revealed that text messages between top diplomats and a representative for Ukraine’s government were discussions that a high profile visit for Ukraine’s president to Washington was contingent on that nation investigating Burisma, the gas company whose board Hunter Biden served on, and an investigation to prop up the conspiracy that Ukraine, not Russia, meddled in the 2016 election to help Hillary Clinton.
The diplomats, Special Envoy Kurt Volker, William “Bill” Taylor, the charge d’affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, and Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, were the diplomats trying to get Ukraine to announce an investigation before they would receive a date on a visit to D.C. After aid to Ukraine was withheld, Taylor sent a message stating, “As I said on the phone, I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.” At that point, Sondland messaged, “I suggest we stop the back and forth by text.”
Taylor also wrote at one point, “Are we now saying that security assistance and WH meeting are conditioned on investigations?” From the messages, yes, it was.
This abuse of power, trading U.S. security for political favors with foreign leaders, threatening whistleblowers, and Trump’s daily corruption is OK with his cult. For them, they would be fine if Trump shot someone on 5th Avenue. But what about the rest of us?
We’ve become desensitized to Trump’s emolument violations, his sexual assaults, his vulgarity, his lies, his stupidity, his greed, and his narcissism. We kinda stopped demanding to see his taxes. But if enough time passes, will we become inoculated to this? Will we not care anymore? After Christmas, will we struggle to remember why there’s an impeachment inquiry? This is the very definition of corruption and Trump is flagrantly waving it around, daring the nation to remove him. This is a man who believes he’s above the law. These acts of corruption are enough to make Richard Nixon say, “Damn.” Seriously, we should have thrown the guy out when he suggested hosting the G7 at one of his crappy resorts.
Republicans will try to distract us at some point, but I’m not going to let it go. I hope you don’t either. Trump cultists may not deserve better but we do.
In response to Carrie Cordero’s question; Yes, Donald Trump is abusing his office and using his position for political (and financial) gain. My question is: Are we going to let him get away with it?
Support the cartoonist.
As I noted in a previous cartoon, these are perilous times for political cartoonists. But you can help me continue to create cartoons, blogs, and videos by making a contribution. All support, large and small, is greatly appreciated. You can also support me by purchasing a signed print (8 1/2×11) for $40, or a signed poster (18×24) for $100 by clicking the PayPal button (just include a note if you’re purchasing a print). If you want to support but don’t want to use PayPal, you can send a contribution through the mail (address is on the contact page. Again, include a note for a print).I don’t plan on going anywhere and your support will help guarantee that. Whether you support, can’t. or just choose not to, please know that I am truly thankful that you visit my site and read my work.
Watch me draw.