“The impeachment serves two purposes,” Texas Republican Representative Louie Gohmert said during Wednesday’s hearing to impeach Donald Trump, “Number one, stop the investigation by the US Department of Justice and the Ukraine into the corruption of Ukraine interference into the election of 2016.” While he didn’t exactly say what number two is, Gohmert did proceed to ramble his desultory way through a number of additional crack-brained Kremlin talking points, including why it was all Hillary’s and Obama’s fault.
When Gohmert finally ran out of things to quote Vladimir Putin about, New York Democratic Representative Jerry Nadler stood up and said, “I am deeply concerned that any member of the House would spout Russian propaganda on the floor of the House.” Gohmert tried to shout his way back to the podium but was gavelled down from his attempted pearl-clutching retort. Gohmert’s fury was provoked because Nadler dared to suggest that Gohmert was spouting Russian propaganda when all Gohmert was doing was spouting Russian propaganda.
In case you missed it, the Russian propaganda that Representative Nadler is referring to is the brainchild of Vladimir Putin himself, one he has vocalized in at least one interview. It has all the usual ingredients of a conspiracy theory, including the casting of a suspicious shadow over a perfectly innocent event. After Russia invaded the Ukrainian Crimea peninsula in 2014, in 2016 then presidential candidate Trump suggested that Crimea really did belong to Russia after all and they were within their rights to take it back. Ukrainian ambassador Valeriy Chaly understandably took exception to this viewpoint, and calmly and rationally explained the reasons for his exception-taking in an editorial published by The Hill on August 4, 2016. Chaly illuminated why such a position went in direct opposition to the United Nations’ condemnation of Russia’s actions, and even pointed out that Trump was at odds with the Republican Party itself for adopting such an ill-advised policy. Chaly wasn’t alone in this viewpoint, either, members of the Republican Party, Mexico, Ecuador, France, Israel and some 60 other nations joined Ukraine in condemning candidate Trump’s soft-on-Russia position.
Republicans don’t want you to know this, of course. Some Republicans like Louie Gohmert only want you to think that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election using specific means they are too busy shouting about to explain in detail. Ambassador Chaly would have been in dereliction of duty had he not protested Trump’s position – and protested it vigorously. I am actually in awe of the restraint Chaly displayed. If you read the op-ed in full, it is written more as a plea for candidate Trump to change his mind than what it quite reasonably could have been, proof of yet another ineptitude demonstrating why Donald Trump wasn’t fit to be president of his local Rotary Club, let alone of the United States of America.
Meanwhile, as far as I am able to determine, thirty five million dollars is still owed to Ukraine. Donald Trump, vindictive to the last, the embodiment of pettiness true to form, is still withholding the final tally of Congressionally-allocated aid to Ukraine because Ukraine never did announce an investigation into the Bidens. With Rudy Giuliani just back from Ukraine with more manufactured dirt on the Bidens compliments of the corrupt ex-Ukrainian prosecutor in exile, Trump is demonstrating that not even impeachment for attempting to enlist foreign nations for assistance in interfering in the 2020 election will slow him down from attempting to enlist foreign nations for assistance in interfering in the 2020 election.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.