Political Editors / Dec. 6, 2019

Dems' False 'Dig Up Dirt' Assertion

Their double standard on Trump is why their impeachment charade is failing badly.

“President Donald Trump sought to pressure Ukraine into digging up dirt on Joe Biden, his possible, if not probable, 2020 election opponent.” That’s what House Democrats allege in defense of their dubious assertion that the president is guilty of an impeachable offense. In fact, the “dig up dirt” charge seems to have been accepted by both Democrats and Republicans as a crime, with the only question being whether Trump actually did it. But this merely begs the question. Furthermore, the sheer hypocrisy of the Democrats on this very issue is why so many Americans see this impeachment effort as nothing more than what it is — a purely partisan coup attempt to remove a duly elected president.

First off, there’s the reality of then-Vice President Joe Biden engaging in a quid pro quo to get Ukraine to end an investigation into Burisma, the energy company where his son Hunter just happened to be a lavishly paid board member — albeit a board member without any prior knowledge of the company, the energy industry, or even the country and its language. Yet whenever these facts are brought up, the mainstream media reflexively repeats the same talking point — that there’s “no evidence Biden did anything illegal.” But while that may well be the case, how can the American people know this without an actual investigation?

At the very least, this seems like an obvious attempt to buy influence, given that Joe Biden was the Obama administration’s point person on Ukraine, and given that Biden is on tape bragging about withholding money from Ukraine unless and until they fired the prosecutor responsible for investigating his son’s notoriously corrupt company.

In Trump’s request to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, he cited the fact that Hunter Biden worked for Burisma, and that Joe Biden having “stopped the prosecution” of the notoriously corrupt company “sounds horrible.” In terms of combating corruption, this request is entirely legitimate, and the assertion that Trump’s motives were entirely self-serving is neither provable nor relevant. If Trump had asked Zelensky to make up dirt on Biden — as Hillary Clinton’s campaign did when it funded ex-British spy Christopher Steele’s production of the infamous anti-Trump dossier — then Democrats might have an argument.

However, if Trump’s desire to investigate the questionable actions of Biden’s son revealed corrupt behavior on the then-vice president’s part, wouldn’t that information be beneficial to the concept of good governance? And if the investigation turned up no corrupt behavior, wouldn’t that information also benefit the American people, especially given that the senior Biden might well be seeking the presidency? In other words, Trump’s desire to investigate the Bidens, whether presidential or purely self-promoting, are neither impeachable nor remotely criminal. Indeed, this is an example of the nation’s chief executive doing his job.

All this is why the Democrats have failed to gain broad public support or even a single Republican vote for impeachment. The American people know a double standard when they see one.

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