Biden bragged about pressuring Ukraine
Democrats in the House of Representatives are in a hurry to pursue their impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump. Two concerns argue against undue haste.
One is ensuring all the facts are available, of course. Surely the American people have seen enough rushes to judgment, often based on congressional hearings that clearly were based more on drama than getting the facts.
A second consideration is the foundation of Democrats’ push for impeachment.
Their complaint is that Trump pressured the Ukrainian government to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, who happens to be leading the polls as a potential Democrat challenger against Trump next year.
The transcript of a phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy shows our president indeed did seek action from his counterpart. Whether he did so improperly — that is, by withholding U.S. aid to pressure Zelenskiy — is another question.
But what stands out about Trump’s request is that it was not a general attempt to collect information unfavorable to Biden. The president’s concern was and is very specific.
It involves Biden’s son, Hunter, who had been paid as much as $50,000 per month to serve as a member of a Ukrainian company’s board of directors.
A Ukrainian prosecutor had been looking into that company, until Joe Biden, then serving as vice president, pressured Ukrainian officials to fire him. Biden has bragged about withholding $1 billion in U.S. aid until his demand was granted.
That — whether a former vice president improperly used U.S. aid to pressure a foreign country in order to safeguard his own son — is an important part of the situation. Democrats should not pursue their inquiry so swiftly that the Biden connection is not investigated thoroughly.