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Thursday, January 23, 2020

Sylvia Garcia Defends Joe Biden in Impeachment Hearings



Sylvia Garcia (D-TX)


Today, Sylvia Garcia (D-TX), one of the House managers presenting the impeachment case to the Senate, went into great detail in defending Joe Biden and his son Hunter in the Burisma-Ukraine issue.

It was President Trump's phone call to Ukrainian President Zelenskyy last July 25 that forms the basis of this impeachment. President Trump asked President Zelenskyy to investigate the alleged Ukrainian meddling in the 2016 election, mentioning Crowdstrike, and also asked him to look into the Biden issue involving the firing of the prosecutor (Viktor Shokin), who was investigating Burisma, which had put Hunter Biden on its board of direetors for no discernible reason. (Well, there was one obvious reason).

Given the famous video of Joe Biden bragging to the Council on Foreign Affairs that he had gotten Shokin fired while visiting Ukraine as vice president, the obvious conclusion is that Biden was acting to protect his son.

Not so, argued Rep. Garcia. Shokin was considered corrupt, and people in the US Congress and other international bodies were complaining to Ukraine about him. Garcia argued that Biden was merely carrying out the wishes of the US government in demanding Shokin's firing,

As for Biden's son being on the Burisma board of directors, which was under investigation for corrupt practices at the time by Shokin? Just a coincidence. (My words, not hers)

I don't buy that for a minute, but even if true, Biden should have had the sense to recuse himself from such a task due to the obvious appearance of a conflict of interest. But even that is giving Biden the benefit of the doubt.

Garcia also argued that nobody in Ukraine or anywhere else had alleged any corrupt, illegal or improper actions by Hunter Biden during the time he was serving on Burisma's board. That may be so, but it is irrelevant. What is important is the mere fact that he was on the board itself. Hunter Biden has no experience in energy, Ukrainian matters, or any other field that might justify him being on the board. The younger Biden was receiving a salary from Burisma that was $50,000 a month or $80,000 a month depending on your source. Let's be real: Hunter Biden was sitting on that board (likely doing nothing-proper or improper) and getting a huge salary because he was the son of the Vice President of the United States.

It's called influence peddling.

Garcia went on to discuss the Crowdstrike story, which involved Ukrainian interests coming into possession of hacked Democrat emails and acting against the candidacy of Hillary Clinton. Garcia argued that it had been conclusively proven that it was the Russians who got those emails not Ukrainians.

That may be so. Trump's defenders are not disputing the fact that Russians meddled in the 2016 election to the detriment of Clinton. The important point-the final conclusion of the Mueller investigation- is that neither Trump nor his campaign were involved or colluded with the Russians.

But was there Ukrainian meddling as well-meddling that was to Trump's detriment? Did not Alexandra Chalupa, a  DNC operative, go to the Ukrainian embassy in Washington and ask officials to dig into Trump's associates in Ukraine, specifically Paul Manafort? Mr Manafort was investigated and successfully prosecuted for his shady business dealings with Ukraine, which took place  before he briefly became Trump's campaign manager. The Kiev District Court itself said that there was Ukrainian meddling in our election by those who leaked information about Manafort's dealings. And finally, did not the then-Ukrainian ambassador write an op-ed in the Hill severely criticizing candidate Trump for comments he made relative to the Ukraine-Russia conflict?

Rep. Garcia has not only tried to explain the inexplicable and defend the indefensible. She tried to tell us that there is no elephant in the back of the room. (Biden's action in getting Shokin fired). She may have opened up a can of worms. It is my opinion that when the Republicans put on their defense, they should address Garcia's claims. I have been saying for a long time that the Republicans are not talking enough about what Joe Biden (the supposed victim) did. I say let them respond to Garcia's claims. Make Joe Biden the centerpiece of the defense. Let the TV viewers see for themselves what Biden did, how he bragged about it on video, and let the public decide as to why he did it.

In my view, there was Russian meddling and Ukrainian meddling, the latter probably being much less sophisticated. The Mueller investigation has already established that neither Trump nor his campaign were involved. However, the actions of Ms Chalupa, a DNC operative, suggest that if there was Ukrainian meddling, there was Democrat collusion with that meddling.

The fact is that Trump was within his presidential rights to ask his counterpart in Ukraine to investigate these allegations even if some might prove unfounded. But even if you think Trump's motives were personal and political (which I don't completely discount though I don't think it will be proven), the public should ask: Which is worse- Biden getting the prosecutor fired to protect his son's interests, or Trump asking the Ukrainians to investigate it?

Rep Garcia has made her assertions trying to defend Biden. She has opened the door, and the Republicans should march right through it.


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