The Latest: Should Trump be Allowed to Ask Foreign Governments for Election Aid?
Should a president be allowed to ask a foreign government for help in an election?
by Countable's Trump Impeachment Coverage | 10.3.19
What’s the story?
- President Donald Trump on Thursday publicly urged China and Ukraine to investigate the Biden family.
- "I would think that if they were honest about it, they would start a major investigation into the Bidens," Trump said of Ukraine. "It's a very simple answer. They should investigate the Bidens. Because how does a company that's newly formed and all these companies if you look— by the way, likewise, China should start an investigation into the Bidens. Because what happened in China is just about as bad as what happened with Ukraine."
- The House recently launched an impeachment probe into Trump for a July 25 phone call where he asked Ukrainian President Vladomyr Zelensky to work with his personal attorney Rudolph Giuliani and U.S. Attorney General William Barr on two investigations that could help his 2020 election. At the time of the call, Joe Biden was the likeliest Democratic candidate to face Trump in the general election.
- “There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution” of him,” Trump said on the call. “A lot of people want to find out about that. So whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution. So if you can look into it … ”
Is collusion with a foreign government to influence an American election wrong?
It appears to be a nuanced question.
In June 2017, Sen. James Risch (R-ID), chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, interrogated then–Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
“Collusion with the Russians - or any other government, for that matter, when it comes to our elections – certainly would be improper and illegal,” Risch said. “Would that be a fair statement?” Sessions: “Absolutely.”
Earlier this year, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), chairman of the Judiciary Committee, expressed a similar view:
“The big thing for me, guys, has always been: Did Trump work with the Russians? And I told him to his face, almost two years ago: ‘If you did, that’s it between me and you. And anything that follows, you deserve.’ I will say that about any politician of any party.”
Following the transcript’s release on Sept. 25
“I looked at the transcript,” Risch told an Idaho TV station. “This conversation that the president had with the head of Ukraine is a typical conversation.”
Risch added that Trump’s statements “were absolutely normal, ordinary, regular things. “I saw nothing in the conversation that was inappropriate. We’re done here.”
Similarly, Graham tweeted the day of the memo’s release:
This past Sunday, Graham further condoned the call.
“I have zero problems with this phone call,” he told Margaret Brennan on Face the Nation, adding it was “absolutely” ethical for Trump to bring up Biden.
“I think somebody ought to look at whether or not Joe Biden had the prosecutor fired in an improper way. I love Joe Biden. I don't want to look at it. I want an inspector general somebody like Mueller. Did Biden know that his son was receiving 50,000 dollars a month from a gas company being investigated by the prosecutor...?”
Graham continued, saying the real issue was the whistleblower:
“I've read the transcript. I'm fine with it, but I'm not fine with this president being impeached based on hearsay. Every American should be able to confront their accuser, including Donald Trump.”
Trump cited Graham’s comments at the White House Wednesday when asked about the call:
“Lindsey Graham said, ‘I never knew you were that nice a person.’ He said, ‘You never asked him for anything. You were really, really nice.’ Lindsey was saying, ‘I never knew you were so nice. That was a perfect conversation.’”
Flip the script:
What if Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) asked a foreign government to work with his private attorneys to help oust Graham and Risch in their upcoming elections?
What do you think?
Was it a “perfect conversation”? Should a president be allowed to ask a foreign government for help in an election? Should the Democrats be allowed to ask foreign governments help oust members of Congress in their upcoming elections? Take action and tell your reps, then share your thoughts below.
Trump Delivers ‘Victory’ Speech After Acquittal: ‘It Was All Bulls**t!’, Democrats 'Vicious as Hell'President Donald Trump railed against Democrats and praised his GOP supporters in Congress in a fiery speech at the White
by Countable's Trump Impeachment Coverage | 2.6.20
Senate Votes to Acquit President Trump on Two Articles of ImpeachmentThe U.S. Senate has voted to acquit President Donald Trump on both House-passed impeachment articles. Article 1: Abuse of
by Countable's Trump Impeachment Coverage | 2.5.20
Watch Live: Senate Votes to Acquit Trump on Abuse of PowerWhat’s the story? The impeachment trial of President Donald Trump will conclude around 4 p.m. ET today with an expected vote to
by Countable's Trump Impeachment Coverage | 2.5.20