President Trump has completely run out of convincing defenses in the face of his escalating impeachment inquiry. While he insists that his phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was “perfect” and “beautiful,” the transcript released by the White House clearly shows Trump asked for the “favor” of Ukraine opening an investigation into Joe Biden and his son Hunter, constituting a flagrant abuse of the Oval Office on his part to damage a domestic political rival.
Trump wants his supporters to believe that there was nothing wrong with strongarming the foreign leader into investigating the Bidens’ corruption, but multiple Ukrainian officials, including the former president, have already destroyed Trump’s narrative. There was no corruption and then-Vice President Biden never asked the Ukrainians to scuttle any kind of investigation into his son. The entire story being peddled by Trump is a fabrication.
Of course, Donald Trump is never a man to let something as basic as facts get in the way of his conspiracy theorizing, so he refuses to back down despite the complete breakdown of his argument. Now, he is really starting to push the idea that there was nothing political about his Ukraine-Biden and that he is simply a man who is deeply, deeply, deeply worried about corruption and that it was, in fact, his duty to make sure the former vice president was investigated.
The claim will ring completely false or downright ludicrous to anyone with even a cursory knowledge of this administration, which has quickly turned into one of the most corrupt in American history. The president’s children are flying around the world on behalf of the United States, accumulating powerful influence and enriching themselves in the process despite the fact that they have absolutely no international relations experience. Numerous Trump officials have been forced to resign after abusing or exploiting their offices and the president himself is almost certainly in violation of the Emoluments Clause as dark money from foreign actors flows into his businesses all around the world. In short: Trump doesn’t care about stopping corruption, he’s too busy spreading it.
While talking to reporters earlier today, Trump repeated ad nauseam the lie that he cares about fighting corruption. At one point, he was asked if he has ever requested a foreign leader to open a corruption investigation that didn’t involve one of his political opponents. Tellingly, the president was unable to name a single such instance and responded: “You know we’ll have to look.” Anyone who believes a word this man says is being duped. His guilt could not be more obvious and he must be removed from office before he degrades our democracy even further.
REPORTER: Have you asked foreign leaders for any corruption investigations that don’t involve your political opponents?
TRUMP: “You know, we would have to look.” pic.twitter.com/zM8BBVDIPP
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 4, 2019
Rob Haffey is a writer, filmmaker, and winner of the ScreenCraft Writing Fellowship. He is a graduate of Drexel University.