Unless something massive surfaces — something massive that we’ve heard nothing about so far — President Donald Trump will be exonerated yet again from another Democrat-media tissue of lies.
Depending on how you keep score, this is either 2-0 Trump, 3-0 Trump, 10-0 Trump, or ~1,000,000-0 Trump.
The Mueller narrative was a fraud. The Kavanaugh narrative was a fraud. The Scotland resort narrative was a fraud. The second Kavanaugh narrative was a fraud. Who knows how many FISA applications were frauds. And now the Ukraine whistleblower controversy is shaping up to be a fraud.
Nothing has stuck to Trump, despite the intense level of scrutiny he’s endured.
The question now is how, exactly, the anti-Trump narrative will implode this time. There are lots of ways. It could turn out that the whistleblower doesn’t actually exist and is instead just a group of jaded, deep-state intel hacks. It could be that the whistleblower is one of those hacks. It could be that the whistleblower was fed faulty, fabricated or fraudulent information to induce action. It could be that Ukraine produces jarring evidence implicating those involved in the whistleblowing effort.
Any one of those scenarios would lead to fascinating analysis and speculation for weeks, if not months, to come.
But what if the seed of destruction sprouts from somewhere unexpected? Somewhere like a treaty that emerged at the very end of former President Bill Clinton’s administration and was approved by a Senate in which former Vice President Joe Biden proudly served.
The treaty in question is the Treaty with Ukraine on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, ratified by the U.S. Senate on Oct. 18, 2000.
While lawyers will have to dig into the exact wording of the treaty to tease out its applicability, an initial reading certainly lends itself to Trump’s defense.
The treaty, crafted with drug trafficking in mind, allows either country to call on the other for assistance in “taking the testimony or statements of persons; providing documents, records and other items of evidence; locating or identifying persons or items; serving documents; transferring persons in custody for testimony or other purposes; executing requests for searches and seizures; assisting in proceedings related to immobilization and forfeiture of assets, restitution, and collection of fines; and, rendering any other form of assistance not prohibited by the laws of the Requested State,” according to the State Department’s summary.
That’s a long list, and according to the State Department, it’s “non-exclusive,” which means that there are many other forms of assistance the treaty could facilitate. One such form could be an investigation of a group called Crowdstrike, which is the same group that the DNC brought in to investigate hacking and are, as Buzzfeed senior reporter Ryan Broderick said in an NPR interview, “sort of the ones that started the whole idea of collusion with Russia.”
A stickler might note that the Ukraine treaty designates the U.S. attorney general as the treaty point of contact, which might mean that Trump wasn’t acting in line with the treaty.
But remember, it was the Democrats who were so eager to let everyone know that Trump referenced Attorney General William Barr on the Ukraine call. Trump was setting Barr up to talk with his counterpart in Ukraine.
Trump’s a negotiator, and he likes dealing with people in person or as close to in-person as he can get. It’s only natural for him to talk with a foreign leader, communicate his desires and then have someone else handle the heavy lifting — someone like Barr.
Making the treaty defense even worse for Democrats and the anti-Trumpers is the fact that none other than William Jefferson Clinton transmitted the treaty to the Senate, writing that “I recommend that the Senate give early and favorable consideration to the Treaty and give its advice and consent to ratification.”
While not nearly as exciting as the other scenarios, defense under color of the treaty could dispense with the Democrats’ legal claims faster than any other defense the president might mount.
The Ukraine “scandal” will almost certainly fizzle, likely sooner rather than later given how quickly the cracks are forming. But if it somehow manages to gain traction, the president can easily appeal to the Clinton-era treaty designed to do exactly what Trump was trying to do — bring corruption and crime to a halt by leveraging America’s relationship with Ukraine.
Far from being illegal, it looks more and more like what Trump did was entirely appropriate for any dutiful executive, which is exactly what Trump, as the President of the United States, is.
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