There's no harm in newly released emails about holds on Ukraine funds

Democrats claim that a newly released batch of emails proves that President Trump was withholding Ukraine funds as part of a quid pro quo to destroy Joe Biden's candidacy.  In reality, the new emails show only that Trump was determined to investigate whether taxpayer money was being put to good use, even as bureaucrats were worried about procedures and timing.  Although the emails are innocuous, Democrats are trying to leverage them into presenting new impeachment evidence in the Senate.

It's hard to remember with Nancy Pelosi contentedly sitting on the House's vote to impeach, but once upon a time, impeachment was something that couldn't wait.  Thus, the Democrats' initial plan was to rush impeachment proceedings so as to create a sense of urgency about a whole bunch of nothing.

The result was that the House hearings were secretive, truncated, and so meaningless that the best Democrats could come up with was two generic articles of impeachment, the first of which boils down to disagreeing with President Trump's exercise of his constitutional foreign policy powers and the second of which purports to make it a hanging offense for a president to assert executive privilege claims.

In the wake of this shoddy proceeding, Democrats are now trying to dictate the way in which the Senate should hold its impeachment proceedings.  Sen. Chuck Schumer, the Senate minority leader, insists that, having abandoned their responsibility to make a real case in the House, the Democrats should now be allowed to do so in the Senate.  To this end, Schumer is crowing that newly released emails at long last prove that President Trump did bad things vis-à-vis Ukraine and the emails must therefore be put into evidence in the Senate:

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) seized on newly released emails surrounding President Trump's decision to delay aid to Ukraine, arguing they underscored the need for witnesses and documents as part of an impeachment trial.

"The newly-revealed unredacted emails are a devastating blow to Senator McConnell's push to have a trial without the documents and witnesses we've requested," Schumer said in a statement.

"These emails further expose the serious concerns raised by Trump administration officials about the propriety and legality of the president's decision to cut off aid to Ukraine to benefit himself," he added.

Schumer's comments come after Just Security obtained unredacted emails between the White House Office of Management and Budget and the Pentagon about the decision to delay aid to Ukraine.

[snip]

"This new evidence also raises questions that can only be answered by having the key Trump administration officials — Mick Mulvaney, John Bolton, Michael Duffey and Robert Blair — testify under oath in a Senate trial," Schumer said Thursday.

Schumer's problem is that, if one takes the time to read the information Just Security offers about the allegedly "smoking gun" emails, one discovers that they prove nothing.  We already know that Trump early on ordered that all payments to Ukraine be stopped pending investigations into both Ukraine's notorious corruption and the disproportionate amount of money American taxpayers provided, compared to that coming from the Europeans sitting geographically much closer to Ukraine.

Moreover, while the New York Times once attempted to paint the hold on funds as something done immediately before Trump's July 25 phone call with Ukrainian president Zelensky, it now admits that the facts show that Trump was already worried more than a month before the call about excessive American taxpayer money going to a corrupt government.

Just Security concludes, based upon bias alone, that the new emails prove that a crazed Trump was going off the reservation to put pressure on Zelensky.  The facts Just Security adduces, however, show something quite different: the bureaucrats surrounding Trump were worried that the U.S. might miss the regulatory deadline to release the funds.  Some were also concerned about harm to Ukraine from delaying the funds' distribution.

That's it.  Various government workers were fussing in the same way that Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman was fussing — they were worried that Trump was ignoring procedure and that he wasn't being fair Ukraine.  Unlike Trump, there's no indication that they cared much about misusing American taxpayer dollars.

Significantly, nothing in the newly released emails shows that, before his now famous throwaway line during the telephone call with Zelensky, Trump indicated he was withholding funds in order to extort campaign aid from the Ukraine government, aimed at exposing Hunter Biden's bizarrely profitable employment and his father's potential complicity.  In other words, this is another Democrat red herring.

Democrats claim that a newly released batch of emails proves that President Trump was withholding Ukraine funds as part of a quid pro quo to destroy Joe Biden's candidacy.  In reality, the new emails show only that Trump was determined to investigate whether taxpayer money was being put to good use, even as bureaucrats were worried about procedures and timing.  Although the emails are innocuous, Democrats are trying to leverage them into presenting new impeachment evidence in the Senate.

It's hard to remember with Nancy Pelosi contentedly sitting on the House's vote to impeach, but once upon a time, impeachment was something that couldn't wait.  Thus, the Democrats' initial plan was to rush impeachment proceedings so as to create a sense of urgency about a whole bunch of nothing.

The result was that the House hearings were secretive, truncated, and so meaningless that the best Democrats could come up with was two generic articles of impeachment, the first of which boils down to disagreeing with President Trump's exercise of his constitutional foreign policy powers and the second of which purports to make it a hanging offense for a president to assert executive privilege claims.

In the wake of this shoddy proceeding, Democrats are now trying to dictate the way in which the Senate should hold its impeachment proceedings.  Sen. Chuck Schumer, the Senate minority leader, insists that, having abandoned their responsibility to make a real case in the House, the Democrats should now be allowed to do so in the Senate.  To this end, Schumer is crowing that newly released emails at long last prove that President Trump did bad things vis-à-vis Ukraine and the emails must therefore be put into evidence in the Senate:

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) seized on newly released emails surrounding President Trump's decision to delay aid to Ukraine, arguing they underscored the need for witnesses and documents as part of an impeachment trial.

"The newly-revealed unredacted emails are a devastating blow to Senator McConnell's push to have a trial without the documents and witnesses we've requested," Schumer said in a statement.

"These emails further expose the serious concerns raised by Trump administration officials about the propriety and legality of the president's decision to cut off aid to Ukraine to benefit himself," he added.

Schumer's comments come after Just Security obtained unredacted emails between the White House Office of Management and Budget and the Pentagon about the decision to delay aid to Ukraine.

[snip]

"This new evidence also raises questions that can only be answered by having the key Trump administration officials — Mick Mulvaney, John Bolton, Michael Duffey and Robert Blair — testify under oath in a Senate trial," Schumer said Thursday.

Schumer's problem is that, if one takes the time to read the information Just Security offers about the allegedly "smoking gun" emails, one discovers that they prove nothing.  We already know that Trump early on ordered that all payments to Ukraine be stopped pending investigations into both Ukraine's notorious corruption and the disproportionate amount of money American taxpayers provided, compared to that coming from the Europeans sitting geographically much closer to Ukraine.

Moreover, while the New York Times once attempted to paint the hold on funds as something done immediately before Trump's July 25 phone call with Ukrainian president Zelensky, it now admits that the facts show that Trump was already worried more than a month before the call about excessive American taxpayer money going to a corrupt government.

Just Security concludes, based upon bias alone, that the new emails prove that a crazed Trump was going off the reservation to put pressure on Zelensky.  The facts Just Security adduces, however, show something quite different: the bureaucrats surrounding Trump were worried that the U.S. might miss the regulatory deadline to release the funds.  Some were also concerned about harm to Ukraine from delaying the funds' distribution.

That's it.  Various government workers were fussing in the same way that Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman was fussing — they were worried that Trump was ignoring procedure and that he wasn't being fair Ukraine.  Unlike Trump, there's no indication that they cared much about misusing American taxpayer dollars.

Significantly, nothing in the newly released emails shows that, before his now famous throwaway line during the telephone call with Zelensky, Trump indicated he was withholding funds in order to extort campaign aid from the Ukraine government, aimed at exposing Hunter Biden's bizarrely profitable employment and his father's potential complicity.  In other words, this is another Democrat red herring.