Impeachment rests on a tripod?
Published 2:57 pm Wednesday, December 4, 2019
The impeachment effort by the US House of Representatives is pretty much based on the following three issues from a 30-minute conversation in July of 2019.
From what I have seen, most people don’t understand the context or background, let alone the issues themselves. Let’s take a look, and I’ll give you my take.
- ISSUE: According to the published transcript of President Trump’s phone conversation in July with the president of Ukraine, Trump said, “I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say CrowdStrike …The server, they say Ukraine has it.”
CONTEXT: Crowdstrike is an American cyber-security firm that was hired by the Democratic National Committee in response to suspected hacking of their computers during the 2016 election campaign. Crowdstrike made copies of the computer data for analysis and did find evidence of hacking; they then removed the hacking programs. This data was later found to contain government classified emails on the unclassified computer(s).
Apparently, the FBI never got to examine these computers, only the data copies made by Crowdstrike. From my research, no one seems to know why those computers were never physically examined, nor for that matter, where they are today. One theory is that they ended up with a hacker in Ukraine and could still be there.
MY TAKE: According to the Mueller Report, the FBI only examined copies of data, not the originals. No one, including the FBI, seems to know what happened to the originals. To my mind, they should have been prime evidence and retained. If there was talk about that evidence being in Ukraine, I see no reason for President Trump asking if Ukraine could check into it.
- ISSUE: President Trump is also accused of making a vague suggestion during that phone call that Ukraine, not Russia, might be responsible for the hacking involved in the 2016 US elections.
CONTEXT: A computer hacker, known only by his online alias “Profexer,” wrote computer programs in his apartment in Kiev, capital of Ukraine, which he sold on the dark web. At least one of his programs has been publicly identified by US intelligence agencies as being used in the Ukraine hacking incidents currently attributed to the Russians.
Early in 2017, Ukrainian police officials said that the Profexer had turned himself in and is now an FBI witness for the 2016 election interference investigation. The police refuse to identify the Profexer other than to admit that he has not been arrested and still lives in Ukraine.
MY TAKE: I don’t believe that the President meant that Russia was not involved, only that there were also Ukraine connections. When the American intelligence community identifies software as part of the election hacking AND has the author (a Ukrainian) as a witness, there obviously were connections to Ukraine and President Trump asking about it was in line with two heads of state talking.
- ISSUE: Also, in that phone conversation, President Trump asked the Ukraine president to look into allegations that a prominent American had gotten involved in Ukraine government dealings, and to see if that involvement was legitimate.
CONTEXT: News video showed the Vice President of the US bragging about withholding American aid to Ukraine if they did not fire the Ukrainian Prosecutor that was investigating a company where the VP’s son sat on the Board of Directors.
Within hours of the threat, the prosecutor was fired. A new one was installed and no more investigation.
As an aside in his phone conversation with the Ukrainian president, President Trump asked him if he could check out the Ukrainian side of that deal and see if there was any corruption.
MY TAKE: The stated policy/strategy of the USA in relation to Ukraine included a strong emphasis on reducing or eliminating corruption in the government. Our help to Ukraine was based on it. If an American official was successful at stopping a corruption investigation into a Ukrainian company, it does not seem unreasonable to ask the new leader of the government that stopped the investigation to recheck the reasoning involved. Heck, look what our own government is doing to Trump because of an anonymous tip.
OVERALL: If the foundation of the impeachment process could be compared to a three-legged stool, I don’t think it would have a single leg to stand on.
What do you think? Join the discussion, send your thoughts in a Letter to the Editor at this newspaper.
David Derosier consults with small business on planning and marketing issues, and provides web design and hosting services through OhainWEB.com, an accredited business with theBetter Business Bureau that is rated A+ by BBB. He can be reached at JDAVID@Strategy-Planning.info