Let’s get this right out: what is “Quid Pro Quo?” Something that is given in return for something else or accepted as a reciprocal part of an exchange.
That’s simple enough. On Capitol Hill, we’ve heard it every day, all day, and 24/7. And it’s all about the telephone call from the Summer between President Trump and Ukraine President Zelensky. The President’s detractors claim that in the phone call, President Trump threatened Ukraine U.S. holding of Congressionally approved foreign aid IF Zelensky did not restart Ukraine’s previous investigation into corruption in his government that involved former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. President Trump immediately authorized the release of the transcript of that phone call. What follows is a .pdf of the transcript. If you haven’t seen it, I recommend you do so. It’s brief: 427409665-Ukraine-Call-Transcript
Here’s the part of the call that has set the political left on fire, and, quite honestly, has become the latest justification for their impeachment of President Trump: (Trump) “The other thing, There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution, so if you can look into it…It sounds horrible to me.”
In context, Ukraine’s former federal prosecutor was in the middle of a massive investigation of Burisma — the Ukrainian gas company which had Hunter Biden on their Board — for enormous corruption allegations. Zelensky’s predecessor abruptly fired that prosecutor just hours after then-Vice President Joe Biden threatened to withhold $1 Billion of U.S. Congressionally approved aid to Ukraine if that prosecutor was not fired. Biden famously bragged publicly about giving Ukraine six hours to do so. The firing happened: a real “Quid Pro Quo” that assured Ukraine their receipt of that $1 Billion.
Trump detractors claim that his administration this past Summer withheld additional aid to Ukraine. And even though President Zelensky publicly declared there was no quid pro quo given by the Trump Administration that might have affected the release of foreign aid, Democrats are dead-set on finding someone who will somehow implicate President Trump for doing so.
This entire conversation has forced many — including TruthNewsNetwork — to take an objective view of United States foreign aid to other countries. Indeed, much of such assistance is for humanitarian reasons: healthcare, extreme poverty, famine in some places, and even housing. But much of U.S. foreign aid is for military purposes. Only a naive American — or a Washington politician — would expect Americans to believe that the U.S. has expectations for every type of foreign aid from its recipients, but especially a return of some sort on the $50 Billion or so the U.S. doles out in military assistance.
Every year around this time, the administration submits its annual request to Congress to appropriate billions of dollars for America’s allies and partners in the Middle East to finance their purchase of U.S. military training and equipment. Congress rubber stamps these requests with little regard for whether this assistance achieves U.S. foreign policy objectives. It does the same when the executive branch requests congressional approval of arms sales for cold hard cash. Such free-spending might be good industrial policy—after all, it creates jobs in key congressional districts, provides corporate welfare for America’s defense companies, and helps maintain the national defense. But it makes for lousy foreign policy. The United States will continue to pour money down a rat hole until Congress and the executive branch better understand why these problems keep recurring and muster the political will to fix them.
Would any of this even be a minor consideration of foreign aid if there was no specific type of expectation of a return — or a “Quid Pro Quo?”
I could not say it better than did Alabama Republican Congressman Mo Brooks, “In every instance in which the United States government gives another country something, whether it be military supply or it is food, there better dadgum well be a quid pro quo.” Mo continued, “There better be an expectation, for example, that military equipment we give Ukraine is going to be used to fight the Russians. Another quid pro quo is that we expect that Ukraine is not going to give that military equipment to any of our enemies like al Qaeda, the Islamic State, or what have you,” he continued, calling for a mutually beneficial transaction.
Just one P.S. here regarding former VP Joe Biden’s public mixup in which he claimed to blackmail Ukraine to stop investigating his son. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pointed out (without saying it explicitly) that there WAS a U.S. quid pro quo regarding Ukraine, but it was NOT by President Trump, but apparently by the previous administration. Pompeo put it this way:
“This is the administration that sold Ukraine the javelin missiles they wanted (referencing the Trump Administration). The previous administration… I couldn’t tell you why I couldn’t answer if it’s because of Hunter Biden that Barack Obama and Vice President Biden didn’t give defensive weapon systems to Ukraine,” he continued. “They’ll have to answer for that. Maybe I just don’t have the full story,’” Pompeo said.
Could it be that Obama refused to arm Ukraine in the conflict with Russia because of a perceived quid pro quo regarding the two Bidens? (I don’t have an answer)
2020 Presidential Candidate Quid Pro Quo “Forecast”
As Democratic presidential candidates spend more time on the stump, it was inevitable that the question of whether aid to Israel should be sacred or not would come up. Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg were both asked recently whether U.S. assistance to Israel should be used as a way of influencing Israeli behavior — in other words, “quid pro quo” — and they both answered in ways that opened up the door to that possibility while being purposely vague about whether and how they would actually pursue it. Warren responded to a question about tying aid to settlement construction that American policy supports a two-state solution and that “everything is on the table” if Israel moves in the opposite direction.
Buttigieg said that he would use assistance to Israel as “leverage to guide Israel in the right direction.” (Hmm….) That leading candidates from the party’s progressive and moderate wings gave similar answers about using assistance to Israel as a way of influencing Israeli behavior is a good indication that at some point in the not too distant future, tying aid to specific Israeli policies will be a mainstream Democratic position if things continue along the same path.
In anticipation of the rabid rapid intensification by Democrats of their calls to impeach President Trump for his alleged “blackmail” of Ukraine President Zelensky, we offer today the explanation of the “normal” use of quid pro quo by an Obama staffer! She explains how political quid pro quo always HAS been used by the United States government, IS used today, and still WILL be used by the U.S. as leverage as it sees fit at the time with governments it chooses. Watch and listen carefully to this objective analysis:
If Ukraine quid pro quo by Mr. Trump that is 100% alleged and without factual evidence in its support is the tool Pelosi, Schiff, and Nadler use to remove Donald Trump through impeachment as President, for the next year all that we will see and hear will be hollow threats and allegations from Democrats. There certainly is not nor can be “Treason, High crimes or Misdemeanors” factually attached to this benign incident by Mr. Trump — an incident of typical and historical leverage of American foreign aid used to compel (in this case) the Ukraine president to resume his country’s investigation into corruption it had investigated during the Obama Administration but mysteriously stopped.
This video should be downloaded, kept in your notes, and passed out throughout this impeachment process when you hear and see others scream about Trump’s impeachable Ukraine quid pro quo.
It wasn’t, isn’t and will NOT be an impeachable offense. Just ask every previous president who is alive today if THEY used it in their foreign aid negotiations. I’ll answer for them: “They DID!”
By the way: remember in our opening we defined “quid pro quo?” For an incident to be one that qualifies as such there must be “something given to one party in return for something provided by the other party.” Ukraine received that foreign aid that has been wrongfully mischaracterised by Democrats. What did Ukraine give to Donald Trump? NOTHING. There is NO investigation initiated or ongoing by Ukraine into Joe Biden or his son Hunter.