Mike Pence is dependably, relentlessly incorrect

Mike Pence is dependably, relentlessly incorrect

THE MORE unrestrained President Trump becomes in his scattershot defenses of his behavior toward Ukraine, the more robotically Vice President Pence appears to remain on message. Unfortunately, that message is an indefensible fallacy. Throughout a tv interview Monday with PBS’s Judy Woodruff, Mr. Pence said 3 times that anybody who reads the rough transcript of Mr. Trump’s July 25 telephone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky “will see the president not did anything incorrect. There is no quid professional quo.”

The interview left us with the sense that Mr. Pence himself has not thoroughly read the document. As we mentioned in an editorial on Sept. 25, the day it was launched, the records ends with a clear exchange of commitments in between the U.S. and Ukrainian presidents. Mr. Zelensky guarantees to launch the examinations Mr. Trump had actually simply requested of Joe Biden and the Democratic National Committee; Mr. Trump responds by providing the invite to the White Home Mr. Zelensky was looking for.

More to the point, Mr. Pence appears identified to overlook the sworn testimony of senior officials who have since verified the quid professional quo that the White Home claims doesn’t exist. The most current was National Security Council official Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, who told Congress on Tuesday that he went to a July 10 meeting with a senior Ukrainian authorities at which an ambassador appointed by Mr. Trump, Gordon Sondland, “started to speak about Ukraine providing particular investigations in order to secure the conference with the president.”

To his credit, Lt. Col. Vindman told Mr. Sondland that “his declarations were improper, that the demand to investigate Biden and his child had absolutely nothing to do with nationwide security,” a judgment he said was echoed by his employer, NSC senior director Fiona Hill. Both later on reported their concerns to the NSC basic counsel.

That makes a minimum of five officials who have explained the quid pro quo in congressional statement. That consists of the United States’ acting ambassador in Kyiv, William B. Taylor Jr., who stated Mr. Sondland informed him U.S. military help was also connected to Mr. Trump’s political needs; Kurt Volker, the previous unique envoy to Ukraine, who supplied text spelling out the deal; and Mr. Sondland himself, who, according to his lawyer, told House detectives that while Mr. Trump had actually denied any quid professional quo, Mr. Sondland– who talked to the president directly about the matter– believed there was one.

Mr. Pence dismissed all this proof on the grounds that it was “leaks” from secret hearings; never ever mind that many of the authorities launched their own opening declarations. He criticized Home Democrats for stopping working to hold a formal vote on impeachment procedures and for not launching the records of testament, although they have announced they will do both. He appeared to believe that by mindlessly duplicating the words “no quid professional quo” he could vanish the significantly effective case that Mr. Trump abused his office.

He can’t– and nor will slander of the witnesses by Mr. Trump’s more vulgar surrogates. On Tuesday, previous congressman Sean P. Duffy (R-Wis.) shamelessly suggested that Lt. Col. Vindman, a refugee from the previous Soviet Union, might be more devoted to Ukraine than the United States. GOP law professor John Yoo hinted the Purple Heart recipient might be implicated in espionage. Such vile slurs only underline the lack of any legitimate defense for Mr. Trump’s actions.

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