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Trump is innocent! Trump is innocent!
by Joseph Gatt
2019-12-07 09:06:54
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Let's say Thanos is the president and I decide to run against him. Thanos finds out that in my stint at the Korea Times I once accidentally ate someone's sandwich. Thanos meets the Korea Times president and asks the KT president for the file where I got a warning for eating someone's sandwich. Did Thanos violate any rules here? Is Thanos abusing his power?

tr01_400So President Trump talked with president Zelensky over the phone and asked for “evidence” that Joe and Hunter Biden had been involved in corruption with a previous Ukrainian government. The wording was very vague on President Trump's side. President Trump did not ask for classified documents, nor did President Trump discuss a procedure to declassify classified documents. And there was no follow-up on President Trump's vague request to dig up dirt on Joe and Hunter Biden.

Now if President Trump had asked for classified documents on the Biden case, or had Trump asked for documents the sitting president is not allowed access to on previous administrations, maybe, perhaps, that would be an impeachable offense. Or had Trump forced the CIA or the Ukrainian intelligence services to declassify classified documents or access to classified documents that Trump is legally not allowed access to, that would have been in impeachable offense.

Have we gotten to the point where the President is no longer allowed to chat comfortably with foreign and domestic leaders? Have we gotten to the point where anything I say, you say, anyone says becomes subject to bribery or attempted extortion or attempted graft?

When Koreans come up to me and tell me “buy me a drink” are they suggesting that I bribe them? (Truth is in some cases they are, but that's another story.) When Algerians give me a list of groceries and send me out to buy them and that I pay for the groceries out of my own pocket, am I bribing them? Or when Palestinians ask me to get them a dozen cartons of beer and a few kilos of meat, perhaps I'm bribing them as well.

What about that time I asked the French if Macron had mistresses. Maybe I was trying to dig up dirt on Macron, and maybe if they did not answer (they did not answer) I would stop buying French wine and cheese (there's French camembert in my fridge at this very moment, just had some with bread).

What about that time I asked my Spanish friend if I could have a list of the women Aznar slept with (which I never obtained). What about that time the wife of Sangyong Motor's CEO gave me a box of tissues (wasn't sure if I should thank her, but I did). What about that time late president Roh Moo Hyun sent me 14 DVDs of Korea's very best movies (and they were carefully chosen).

Let's get serious. Saying “hi” to a woman is not sexual harassment. Casually gossiping about political opponents is not abuse of power. When the Russians, Azeris or Iranians give you a couple of cans of caviar, they're not really bribing you.

The whole thing is a farce.

To conclude, please don't traumatize President Trump into avoiding chats with foreign leaders to avoid impeachment attempts. This constant threat of impeachment has done a lot of damage to the White House. People are afraid to do their job in normal circumstances. I don't want every breath I take, every move I make, every single day, every time I pray for the Democrats or Republicans to threaten me or anyone with impeachment.

Had Trump asked for access to documents he's not allowed access to, or had Trump forced his was into getting intelligence, or had Trump conditioned foreign aid in exchange for intelligence. OK. But impeachement for chatting with the Ukrainian president? And Zelensky has repeatedly said there was no tit-for-tat. Case closed.

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