Why is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi delaying the transmittal of the articles of impeachment to the Senate? Because she and other Democrats know a Senate trial of President Trump could mean the end of the Democrats’ strongest presidential candidate, Joe Biden’s, quest for the White House.
If Republican Senators show a bit of courage and a modicum of brains, they will turn Trump’s trial into a trial of Joe Biden. Why? Because if President Trump’s request to the President of Ukraine to investigate the Bidens were based on a genuinely corrupt relationship between Joe Biden, his son, and a Ukrainian gas company, then President Trump was only doing his duty in making the request. It isn’t simply a matter of corruption in Ukraine; it would mean corruption in the Obama White House. And corruption in the White House, in a recent presidential administration, is something the American people should know about, especially when the person at the head of the corruption ladder is now a candidate for president.
Was Vice-President Biden engaged in corruption? The evidence is circumstantial but significant. His son was made a member of the board of directors of a Ukrainian natural gas company at extraordinary rates of compensation, $50,000 a month or more, which is far higher than normal remuneration for a board membership. He was given the position despite having no background in or, presumably, knowledge of the oil and gas industry. Why would the company do that? There is only one possible answer: because they thought it would buy them access to the Obama administration, at a very high level.
Did it? What we know is that when the chief prosecutor of Ukraine showed indications he might investigate the gas company for corruption, Vice-President Biden demanded the President of Ukraine fire the prosecutor. More, he threatened to withhold U.S. aid for Ukraine until he did so. How do we know that? Because Biden later bragged about it in a session that was videotaped and we have the tape. Moreover, unlike President Trump’s request to the current President of Ukraine to investigate Biden’s role, Biden’s demand was met and the prosecutor was fired. It seems to me that prosecutor would make a good witness in President Trump’s trial by the Senate. And the tape showing Biden bragging he got the prosecutor fired should certainly be shown, in a session open to the public and press.
Again, the evidence is circumstantial. Biden himself may or may not have profited by the deal, though his son obviously did. Joe Biden’s mind may be too pure for the thought of nepotism ever to have crossed it. His son may have brought unrecognized qualities to the gas company’s board, say, a particular grace in ass-kissing (always useful in business).
But the possibility that all this may be brought into the very bright light of a trial of a sitting president by the Senate must have serious Democratic politicians such as Pelosi worried. I suspect that if she needs encouragement to block it, Mr. Biden is providing it, frequently and loudly. That is why she is demanding Senate Republicans agree with Democrats on a structure for the trial before she sends over the articles of impeachment (without which President Trump may not have been impeached; Constitutional law scholars are in disagreement on that point). That structure will have to make a trial of Joe Biden in the court of public opinion impossible or the articles will not be sent.
There is no reason the Senate Republican leadership should agree to the Democrats’ demand. Or is there? It seems a few Republican Senators also had dealings with that Ukrainian gas company. The Senate Majority Leader’s phone may be receiving calls almost as frantic as those Madam Pelosi is probably getting from the Biden campaign.
It is obviously in President Trump’s interest to turn his trial into a trial of Joe Biden. It means the end of Biden’s candidacy and it justifies Mr. Trump’s request to the President of Ukraine. The Democrats will have ended up destroying their own best bet to retake the White House instead of President Trump.
All it takes for this story to unfold is some brains and some guts on the part of the Senate Republican leadership. If a couple Republican Senators get caught up in it too, well, they are not ones whose loss we should lament. There are only two Republican Senators in that category, Rand Paul and Mike Lee. Neither of them were getting money from Ukrainian gas enterprises.