Democrats Sought Ukraine's Help in Investigating Trump in May 2018
On Tuesday, Democrats went all-in on impeachment despite not knowing all the facts regarding whether Trump threatened to withhold military aid to Ukraine to get them to investigate Hunter Biden, but, according to Marc Thiessen at the Washington Post, "If we are concerned about U.S. officials inappropriately threatening aid to Ukraine, then there are others who have some explaining to do."
It got almost no attention, but in May, CNN reported that Sens. Robert Menendez, D-New Jersey, Richard Durbin, D-Illinois, and Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, wrote a letter to Ukraine's prosecutor general, Yuriy Lutsenko, expressing concern at the closing of four investigations they said were critical to the Mueller probe. In the letter, they implied their support for U.S. assistance to Ukraine was at stake. Describing themselves as "strong advocates for a robust and close relationship with Ukraine," the Democratic senators declared, "We have supported [the] capacity-building process and are disappointed that some in Kyiv appear to have cast aside these [democratic] principles to avoid the ire of President Trump," before demanding Lutsenko "reverse course and halt any efforts to impede cooperation with this important investigation."
"So, it's OK for Democratic senators to encourage Ukraine to investigate Trump, but it's not OK for the president to encourage Ukraine to investigate Hunter Biden?" Thiessen added. In short, Democrats are looking to impeach Trump for something they actually did themselves in 2018, and something Biden bragged about doing back in 2016. Back in April, we also reported that top Democrats allegedly colluded with Ukrainians to interfere with the 2016 election.
Currently, there is no evidence of Trump offering a quid pro quo. The transcript of the phone call between Trump and Ukrainian president Zelenksy will be released Wednesday. Trump tweeted Wednesday morning that after seeing the transcript they should apologize:
Update 10:42 a.m. Eastern: The transcript has been released and shows no evidence of Trump offering a quid pro quo to the Ukranian president. You can read the transcript here.
Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama's Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis