All the president's alchemists
by Tom Sullivan
Q: Who said the whistle blower's report got everything wrong?
A: President Trump.
Q: Who claimed the FBI spied on his presidential campaign?
A: President Trump.
Both the House impeachment inquiry and a report issued Monday by the Justice Department's Office of the Inspector General have debunked those claims.
False claims by this president could fill volumes. Few of those claims are justiciable. Fewer still because he refuses to testify under oath to what he knew and when he knew it.
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) appropriated that formulation from the Nixon-Watergate investigation to make a sharp point about just how much we know do about Donald Trump's actions on Ukraine. Swalwell used his five minutes of questioning in the House Judiciary Committee's hearing to ask Democratic counsel Daniel S. Goldman a rapid series of questions with a two-word answer (watch the clip for the full exchange):
“Mr. Goldman, who sent Rudy Giuliani to Ukraine to smear Joe Biden?” Swalwell asked. “President Trump,” Goldman replied.
“Who fired the anti-corruption ambassador in Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch?” Swalwell asked. “President Trump,” Goldman replied.
“Who ordered his own chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, to withhold critical military assistance for Ukraine?” Swalwell asked. “President Trump,” Goldman replied.
“Who refused to meet with President Zelensky in the Oval Office?” Swalwell asked. “President Trump,” Goldman replied.
“Who personally asked President Zelensky to investigate his political rival, Joe Biden?” Swalwell asked. “President Trump,” Goldman replied.
“Who stood on the White House lawn and confirmed that he wanted Ukraine to investigate Vice President Biden?” Swalwell asked. “President Trump,” Goldman replied.
“As to anything that we do not know in this investigation, who has blocked us from knowing it?” asked Swalwell. “President Trump and the White House,” Goldman said.
“So as it relates to President Trump,” Swalwell concluded, “is he an incidental player or a central player in this scheme?”
“President Trump,” Goldman said, “is the central player in this scheme.”
As Rep. Swalwell notes, nobody asks “what did Trump know and when did he know it?”— House Judiciary Dems (@HouseJudiciary) December 9, 2019
He knew everything, he directed everything, he was at the center of everything. pic.twitter.com/2c8SGrpdg7